Shakespeare Day - 23 April

On this day in 1616 William Shakespeare died, leaving behind him a wealth of work providing an invaluable insight into the political goings on of his day. In homage to this magnificent man, I have written a little imagining of what he might have made of political intrigues today...

Shakespeare

The man himself, William Shakespeare
public domain via Wikimedia Commons

LOOKS LIKE LABOUR’S LOST

Dramatis Personae:

Prince David - Prince of the realm

Sir Edward - Prince David’s cousin

Nick - Prince David’s page boy

Don Farage of the Home Counties


Queen of the North

Fairy Queen of the Woods

Lady Daffodil


Prologue

Enter Nick

Nick: 

       Two households, both with some indignity,

       In “fair” Westminster, where we lay our scene.

       From ancient grudge, break to new mutiny,

       Where bankers gold makes leaders hands unclean. 

       From forth his Eton loins Prince David rose

       To rule our lands, he thought his earthly right,

       But Edward, cousin, seeks to overthrow,

       To take the throne by slight or plight or might.

       A city in a tempest of a sort,

       Till judgement comes, till people choose their male.

       But soft! An unknown rival comes to court,

       Don Farage dressed in purple, swilling ale.

       And from three corners, north and west and underneath,

       Approach weird sisters three, upon this blasted heath.

Exeunt


Scene I - Upon a Hampstead Heath


Enter Queen of the North, Fairy Queen of the Woods and Lady Daffodil

All:

       The fear’d sisters, hand in hand,

       Saviours of their chosen lands.

       Thus, do go about, about,

       Thrice to thine and thrice to mine,

       And thrice again to make up nine.

       Peace! No harm’ll come. 


Queen of the North:

       Where hast thou been sister?


Fairy Queen of the Woods:

       Planting pines.


Lady Daffodil:

       Saving mines.

       Sister where thou?


Queen of the North:

       I myself have been at home,

       Where the southern winds did come,

       And shattered our dear autumn hopes, 

       Of a world fairer to many, not some

       But sisters, be assured,

       We shall be compared to a summer’s day,

       For our rough winds did shake the Darling, Brown and May .


       Now is the winter of our discontent,

       Made glorious summer by this Queen of North,

       And all the clouds that loured upon this land,

       Shall change their ways and break upon the sun.


Lady Daffodil:

       Shalt we go forth and save this other Eden?


Fairy Queen of the Woods:

      This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this Britain.


Queen of the North:

       Aye, to court.

       Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

       They began the battle but shall not win the war.

Exeunt

 

Scene II - Westminster Court


Prince David:

       Do you bite your thumb at me Sir?

Sir Edward:

       Not I, Sir.

Prince David:

       But it pleaseth you to covet my throne?

Sir Edward:

       The throne is mine by right I’ll wager,

       The people sayeth so.

Prince David:

       What people are those? 

       The peasants lazing by my gates.

Nick:

       My Prince, I must advise-

Prince David:

       Silence, fool.

       Would that the power be mine to throw you from my court.

Nick:

       My Prince, I speak in earnest.

       If thou would keep thy royal powers,

       The people of thy land must know thy love.

Prince David:

       The people!

       The people know my love as sure as day,

       For am I, in myself, not one of they?

Sir Edward:

       This human side of you I do not know,

       But then, you’re my eternal deadly foe.

Prince David:

       What can you offer here that I cannot?

Sir Edward:

       Who better knows the lesser man than I?

Prince David:

       (aside) A truer word you never said.

       (aloud) Your father was to blame for all they suffer,

       What right have you to govern in my stead.

Sir Edward:

       My father’s not to blame, it was your mother,

       Still now the people cry out for her head.


       You’ll privatise our public rights.

Prince David:

       They will not go without a fight.


        I assure you Edward, 

       The country’s safe within my hands,

       The crown suits more my brow than thine.

Sir Edward:

       This country’s more to me than lands,

       The crown you have will soon be mine.

Prince David:

       Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage.

Sir Edward:

       Thou poisonous bunch-back’d toad!

Prince David:

       Thou subtle, perju’d, false, disloyal man!

Sir Edward:

       You most notable coward! Infinite and endless liar,

       Hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.

Nick:

       (aside) For days like this the cousins sit,

       Outside the court an anger rises,

       The argument echoed on each lip,

       But which of these is more despise’d

Prince David:

       What say you Nick?

Nick:

       Nothing my Prince, save this,

       Beware the Nones of May.

Trumpets

Nick:

       Don Farage doth approach.

Prince David:

       Heavens save us from this Pretender, 

       His speeches grow more tedious by the hour.

Sir Edward:

       He who would banish our neighbours with a glance,

       Why do you allow him forth?

Prince David:

       His armies, at last count, numbered but three.

       Besides, he brings good ale.

       Don Farage, I bid thee welcome.

Enter Don Farage

Don Farage:

       EU or not EU, that is the question,

       Whether tis nobler in thy mind to open our borders, 

       To the hordes descending on our shores,

       Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

       And by opposing, save us.

Sir Edward:

      Forgive me Sir, I cannot countenance-

Don Farage:

      I am no Sir, Sir.

Prince David:

      Indeed, our differences could not be more pronounced.

Nick:

       (aside) Differences they say, but surely speak in jest.

       Alike in all but name they surely be. 

       Aye me, I fear this shall go on all night.

Alurum

Enter Guards

Third Spear Carrier From The Left:

       Alac my Lord, I know not what to say,

       Except to say that which I say I saw.

Prince David:

       Quickly let me have it.

Third Spear Carrier From The Left:

       As I did keep my watch upon the wall,

       As is my custom and duty,

Sir Edward:

                                                 Quickly!

Third Spear Carrier From The Left:

       The Queen of the North doth come!

General Alurum with much unnecessary gasping

Don Farage:

       Something wicked this way comes.

       Shut the gates!

       And bar the port!

       Shoot some Scots!

       They’re just for sport!

       For England, Farry and St George!

Sir Edward:

       Ah those lands of which I lost,

       My heart doth cry like tempest tossed.

Prince David:

       She’ll rue the day she comes this way,

       I shall not dally or delay.

       Make quick my horse!

Nick:

       Do not use force.

       She comes to parly,

       As sure she may.

Trumpets, bagpipes, whoops and cheers

Nick:

       She comes!

Sir Edward:

       The end I feel it near.

Don Farage:

       Would I were in an alehouse in London! 

       I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.

Enter Queen of the North, Fairy Queen of the Woods and Lady Daffodil

Queen of the North:

       My Lords, for too long now this court,

       Has been subject to your whims.

       We come, this merry trio of warmth,

       To let the daylight in.

       What say you?

Prince David:

        I know not what to say,

        Except -

Third Spear Carrier From The Left

                          - you’ve said it all.

Nick:

       You cannot hope to win this day,

       This Queen will see you fall.

Fairy Queen of the Woods:

       We do not seek to do you harm.

       To help, our only quest.

Don Farage:

       Then lock the doors against alarm,

       And save our NHS.

       For visitors who steal those beds,

       Should die at home, not waste our space.

Lady Daffodil:

       For shame my Lord, go hang your head,

       Those comments have no place.

Queen of the North:

       Indeed my Lord, please leave this court,

       And swill your ale instead.

Fairy Queen of the Woods:

       The Queen hath spake, do as you’re bid,

       Or feel our wrath in force.

Prince David:

       Zounds! Alack! What ho! Scullions! braggarts! knaves!
       These women would command the vote and make us all their slaves! 

Nick:

       Rumour has it, Nicola,

       Could be Prince Edward’s saviour.

Sir Edward:

       I have no need of women three,

       I’ll win on my own favour.

Queen of the North:

       Friends, Voters, Countrymen, lend me your ears;

       I come to change Westminster, not to steal it.

       To build a land that looks after its own, the world,

       And mother nature, Measure for Measure.

       These men have created Much Ado About Nothing,

       A Comedy of Terrors seeking their pound of flesh.

       We women three bring peace and plenty.

       You could vote UKIP, Labour or Conservative,

       But we’re offering a real alternative.

Nick:

       These last few years I’ve signed up to Prince David’s rotten mission,

       But now I’ll join these girls in their progressive coalition!


Exit pursued by a bear.




© Isla Robertson 2017