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Hello again all you keen thespians and wannabee actors. Presented here is my latest play, written as always for three people to be performed for the RMRS annual beginning of the year evening of feasting and entertainment known (not particularly accurately) as the 'Saturnalia'. Those of you with medium length memories may remember that I posted the previous two plays up about a year age and so it would seem churlish not to do the same again. For those who do not remember (or prefer not to) the previous two plays can be found here:
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and here:
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As before, if any of you have recently undergone lobotomies and therefore wish to perform the play yourselves, you are free to do so as long as you mention my name (the real one that is, which can be found in my profile).

Here then, without further ado, is the latest play from your resident untalented playwrite.

Well, having now said that here is little 'ado' in the form of link to some photos to give the flavour of the theatrical wonders we can achieve:
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/C ... lyGaul.jpg

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/C ... 10play.jpg

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/C ... elmets.jpg

Right, now we've got that out of the way, here goes:


THE TRAGEDY OF HANNIBAL (in two acts)

Dramatis personae

Fabius Maximus - The shield of Rome
Marcellus - The sword of Rome
Hannibal - The famous Carthaginian general
Hasdrubal- A Carthaginian general, Hannibal's brother
Carthaginian soldier
Spanish soldier
Gaul 1
Gaul 2
Gaul 3
Roman messenger


ACT ONE

SCENE ONE - Just outside Rome

(Enter Fabius Maximus and Marcellus)

Fabius Maximus
- I am Fabius Maximus, heroic general and saviour of Rome. I have defended the Roman people so well and on so many occasions that I am known by the people and the tabloid press as - THE SHIELD OF ROME!

Marcellus
- I am Marcellus, heroic general and saviour of Rome. I have led the armies of Rome to victory all over the world and have taken the fight right to the enemy's own gates, knocked down those gates and walked in, sweeping aside all opposition as I would have my most menial slave sweep the dust from the floor. I have been so successful in war that the people (and the better quality broadsheets and colour suppliments) call me - THE SWORD OF ROME.

Fabius Maximus
- We stand here with our forces combined. The shield and sword of Rome!

Marcellus (with a dirty look towards Fabius)
- The SWORD and shield of Rome. Yes, we have joined our armies into one because we have heard that the North African general Hannibal and his brother Hasdrubal have led their rabble of ahh - surprising well disciplined Carthaginians into Spain and have begun to infect the Spanish with their dirty un-Roman ideas. Fabius, let us go immediately to Spain to teach this dirty Carthaginian and his brother the true meaning of bathing.

Fabius Maximus
- Great, I'll stay here and protect Rome. I am the shield after all.

Marcellus
- No Fabius! Rome must protect itself! I have confidence that as soon as they have all bathed properly, nothing less than twenty thousand fine Roman men will come running to the standards of Rome at the slightest mention of need, willing and ready to win great victories for Rome at Trebia and Lake Trasamene. Even if they do not have their own swords when they leave Rome they will come back with Carthaginian swords to spare.
We must go and take the fight to Spain and restore it to a proper culture. Those dirty Spaniards used to bath in their own urine, but at least they bathed honestly. If we don't get there in time to beat the Carthaginians back they will have to bath in sand!

Fabius Maximus
- By Hestia and Janus! You are right. Quickly - marshal your forces! Lets get going!

(Both exit)





SCENE TWO Spain

(Enter Hannibal and Hasdrubal)

Hannibal
- I am Hannibal Barca, famous general of Carthage and liberator of Africa, Spain and everywhere else in the world still waiting for me to arrive to explain to them why they they want to be liberated.

Hasdrubal
- I am Hasdrubal Barca, famous general of Carthage and almost as famous as my brother the famous general Hannibal. I will support my brother Hannibal in his conquest....

Hannibal (interupting)
- Liberation! You're supposed to say 'liberation' when other people are listening.

Hasdrubal
- Um - as I was saying, I will support my brother Hannibal in his saintly quest to liberate the world from oppression and show them the cleanliness of sand.

(Enter Carthaginian soldier)
- Generals, I am one of your Carthaginian soldiers and I have come to tell you that we are ready to march forward for you in this wonderful war of conquest in he name of our fantastic city of Carthage

Hannibal
- Shh, shh. Don't mention the conquest - its a war of liberation.

Hasdrubal
- Yes, that's what we told the reporters at the press conference yesterday. We don't want the embedded scribes hearing and sending carrier pigeons home to their editors.

Hannibal

- Right - time to get going. I hear that the Romans have started marching this way. Soldier, get the army ready to move

Carthaginian soldier

- Yes sir.

(Soldier exits)

Hasdrubal

- Hannibal, what do you think of our new Spanish soldiers?

Hannibal

- Hmmm. Well, I don't much like their bathing habits. I don't really like my solders to smell of cat's pee, and I like them smelling of their own pee even less. The sooner we get them integrated into the army with our nice clean Carthaginian soldiers the sooner they will learn to bath properly.

Hasdrubal

- Hmmm, yes. I have heard some rumours suggesting our Carthaginian soldiers are threatening to go on strike if they are made to work with smelly Spaniards.

Hannibal

- Really? In that case, I wonder if it would be a good idea to separate them into separate armies. I will take one army and you can take the other.

Hasdrubal

- But we don't have enough good Carthaginian men here. The sand here in Spain is not as good as it is back home and lots of our men have gone home so they can get a good meal and a decent bath. That means one of us will have to have a much smaller army than he other.

Hannibal

- You're right. I think we might need to get some more soldiers. Ah here comes one of ou Spanish soldiers now.

(Enter Spanish soldier)
- Hhello! Hai yam wahn off jore Eth-panith eth-oldierth and hai yam ferry clean. Come, ethmell me!
(Lifts his arm for Hasdrubal to smell)

Hasdrubal
- Ah, I've just remembered that I have to go and check on the sand supplies - urgently!
(Exit Hasdrubal)

Spanish soldier
- We Eth-panith eth-oldieth arr ready to march with a jou in thith war off jore conqueth!

Hannibal
- Good, good. Tell me, would you like to be in an army with my brother Hasdrubal? He needs good men and I think a clean man like you must have many friends who would be perfect for my brother's army.

Spanish soldier
- Yeth my Gennerale. We haff many fine men who bathes good and who fight ferry good too.

Hannibal
- Good. That's settled then. You get your men together and go and join Hasdrubal

Spanish soldier
- Yeth thir my gennerale.

(Exit Spanish soldier)

Hannibal
- Right, that's got rid of all of those smelly Spaniards. I still have a problem though. I still don't have enough men and I need to keep those dirty oily Romans out of Spain before they start spreading their slimy oil all over the world in their dirty pretence of bathing.

(Enter Gaul 1)
Gaul 1
- I am a Gaul and I have come to offer you the fighting spirit of my tribe.

Hannibal
- Hmm. What are they like, these Gauls of yours?

Gaul 1
- We all drink a lot. We like fighting and rowdy behaviour and we rub our friends' heads in cedar oil and keep them in wooden chests.

Hannibal
- Okay, um, what do you use for bathing?

Gaul 1
- We use a careful preparation of animal fat and wood ash. We call it - soap.

(Gaul 1 holds out a bar of soap)

Hannibal
- Mmm - that smells very clean. Good! I would be very happy to have you all fight for me in my army. Get your tribe together and we will get some elephants and then, without further delay we will head for Italy to defeat the Romans and liberate the Italians from their oily hell.

(Exit Hannibal and Gaul 1





SCENE THREE - Spain

(Enter three Gauls, with mugs of beer. Gaul 3 is limping)

Gaul 1
- Right lads, good work on getting those big grey animals for Hannibal. Everyone alright?

Gaul 2
- Fine, couldn't be better.

Gaul 3
- I got stood on at one point I think, but it's nothing which can't be fixed with a decent mug of beer.

Gaul 2
- Good idea!

(All three raise mugs and drink)

Gaul 1
- Right - that's better. Now, are we sure we got all the animal Hannibal wanted? I mean, we did get all of the big grey animals didn't we?

Gaul 2
- Yup! Every one of them. I got a couple of the spotty horses with the long necks too. I think they'll look good with my other horses - with their long legs they look just that little bit different and they should be good for eating vermin off the roof of my house too.

Gaul 1
- Oh, I didn't see them. What colour were they?

Gaul 2
- Yellow, with nice brown spots.

Gaul 3
- I saw them, but I was too busy watching them feeding those big birds. I got myself a nice new horse though. I'm going to ride it around in the moonlight at the next feast of Epona. Everyone will be so envious - no-one else will be like me and have a new horse with sexy black and white stripes.

Gaul 1
- I saw a lot of people jumping up and down when you collected that. They looked quite cross. I would have had a fight with them but I was too busy with the big grey animals.

Gaul 2
- They were just cross because we jumped over the fence instead of paying to get in like they had.

Gaul 1 (to Gaul 3)
- I saw you have a fight with one off them.

Gaul 3
- Oh him. The old chap with the blue hat on. Well - he tried to poke me with a pointy stick. Seemed to think he was in charge of the whole place. I only hit him once and he fell straight over and just lay on the ground. He didn't seem to understand fighting properly. And he was so angry too.

Gaul 2
- I hit another chap in a blue hat when he waved a net at me.

Gaul 1
- What were you doing?

Gaul 2
- I was only taking a couple of penguins. Someone else had already GOT the bear.

Gaul 1
- Ah, that was me. Anyway, we need to get going. We need to get the big grey animals to Hannibal so we can head off with him at 2 o'clock. Apparently we are going to see some mountains too - should be nice. I've had a wash so I'm ready to go. One for the road before we head off?

Gauls 2 & 3
- Good idea

(All three raise their mugs and drink deeply)

Gaul 1
- Right lets get going. Hey (to Gaul 2) - is that my helmet you're wearing?

Gaul 2
- No - hands off! One of my wives gave me this. Unless you want to fight me for it.

(Gaul 2 shoves Gaul 1, who shoves him back)

Gaul 3
- Hey - FIGHT!!!

(Exit Gauls, fighting)





ACT TWO

SCENE ONE - Norther Italy

(Enter Fabius Maximus and Marcellus)

Fabius Maximus
- Well Marcellus, it is now two years since Hannibal crossed the mountains with his elephants and the unruly crowd he calls an army. I always thought that Carthaginians were well disciplined and professional but now I know. They all have silly moustaches and wear weird things on their helmets. I do not believe any of them has ever seen a strygil and an oil flask, let alone used one. Instead they cover themselves in animal fat and ash and call themselves clean.

Marcellus
- Yes, you are right Fabius Maximus, and thanks to them half the people of northern Italy are now trying to wash themselves with sand. This is not right! It is not Roman!

Fabius Maximus
- Shame about the battles of Trebia and Lake Trasamene.

Marcellus
- Hmm yes. I'm not sure how I got that so wrong. I paid extra to Mystic Cassandra to make sure that didn't happen. I'll have to have a word with her.

Fabius Maximus
- At least though, Hasdrubal and his stinky Spaniards have been kept away from us here in Italy by Scipio over in Spain.

Marcellus
- You are right. Thank goodness for Scipio. He is the man to save Rome! If ever he was to fail and let Hasdrubal through to Italy, we would never be able to get the place clean again.

Fabius Maximus AND Marcellus
- Thank goodness for Scipio, the saviour of Rome!

(Enter messenger)

Messenger
- Generals, I bring you grave news. Scipio has been killed.

(Exit messenger)

Marcellus AND Fabius Maximus
- OH!

Fabius Maximus
- Marcellus, what are we going to do?

Marcellus
- Have courage Fabius Maximus. We must send a message to Rome to raise more soldiers.

Fabius Maximus
- Yes. Messenger!

Marcellus
- He's gone

Fabius Maximus
- Oh no. How will we send the message now?

Marcellus (taking out a wax tablet)
- Never fear. I have brought communications equipment.

Fabius Maximus
- Good idea Marcellus, but how will you get the message to Rome?

Marcellus (taking out a stylus)
- Don't worry. This is not the Bronze Age any more. We have the technology. Now let me just write a message here.

(Marcellus writes on the wax tablet and then closes it)

Fabius Maximus
- Now what?

Marcellus
- Like I said, this isn't the Bronze Age anymore. The message should have reached Rome by now.

(They both wait expectantly, looking at the wax tablet. Nothing happens)

Fabius Maximus
- Nothing's happening.

Marcellus
- Hmm, I wonder why not. Ah here we are. It should work now.

(Marcellus draws a radio aerial up from the wax tablet. They both wait. Nothing happens.)

Fabius Maximus
- Still nothing. Let me have a look.

(Marcellus opens the wax tablet for Fabius Maximus to see)

Fabius Maximus
- Hi babes. R U up 4 a good tim 2nite? Jiggy Jggy.

Marcellus (urgently and with embarrassment)
- No, no, not that message. I don't know how that got there. Someone must have borrowed my wax tablet while I was busy doing ahh - something else. Here - this one here.

Fabius Maximus (sniggering slightly)
- Ah, I see. 'Hasdrubal coming - send men! Marcellus'. Are sure you're using it right?

Marcellus
- Oh - you're right. I'll try this.

(He extends the aerial further and closes the tablet again. Both wait)

Fabius Maximus
- Marcellus, I don't think this new technology works. I am going to start a fire and send a smoke signal instead.

(Fabius Maximus pretends to light a fire)

Marcellus
- No wait!

(He extends the aerial even further)

Marcellus
- Great they've got the message now. Hey, what's that I can smell?

Fabius Maximus
- Yes, what is that horrible smell of stale urine? Oh no - Hasdrubal has arrived and he's coming this way. He must have seen the smoke from my fire! Quick - let's get back to Rome to defend it!

Marcellus
- No Fabius Maximus. We must go now and fight Hasdrubal before he gets any further. Come, stick some cloves and long stemmed roses up your nose and let us go forward - TO VICTORY!

(Exit Fabius Maximus and Marcellus)





SCENE TWO - Northern Italy

(Enter Hannibal, Gaul 1 and Gaul 2. The Gauls are alternately drinking and arguing)

Hannibal
- Well, it is now two years since we entered Italy and in that time we have liberated nearly half the peninsular to the joys of bathing with sand. My rowdy Gauls are also good at keeping down any unhappiness from any oily Roman type people who remain. They make good beer too. I hardly miss my Carhaginians these day. However, I hear word that my brother Hasdrubal has now arrived in Italy with his army. Now we will be able to liberate the rest of the peninsular from Rome in the name of Carthage and teach them the cleanliness of sand!

(Gauls approach. Gaul 2 carries a severed head)

Hannibal
- Ah - here is one of my Gauls now and he's got a head with him. I think it's a new one. Some of these boys have fantastic collections. Hello there. Where did you get this one?

Gaul 2
- This one's not mine. It's for you. It arrived by airmail just now.

(Hannibal takes the head and looks at it)

Hannibal
- Oh no - IT'S HASDRUBAL. Oh no! This is terrible!

Gaul 2
- Something wrong boss?

Hannibal
- YES - He was supposed to come here with his army and with a full body, not just his head. Some brother! He's always letting me down like this. Why does he think I'm gong to be better off with just his head and not the rest of him and his army? Ah well, there is nothing for it - we'd better go to Rome ourselves and do the job without him. Come on - off we go.

(Exit Hannibal and Gauls)





SCENE THREE - Near Rome

(Enter Fabius Maximus and Marcellus)

Fabius Maximus
- Here we are Marcellus. Back near our wonderful city of Rome again. Hasbrubal is beaten and his stinky Spanish army is scattered.

Marcellus
- Yes, here we are. But Hannibal is close behind with his motley army of Gauls, so we must prepare Rome to stand firm against him.

Fabius Maximus
- Too late. Here he comes now. Quick - give me your oil and strygil.

(Fabius Maximus pour oil on their arms and scrape them off with the strygil)

(Enter Hannibal)

Hannibal
- Ha ha, I have now arrived to liberate the Romans from their dirty oily bathing habits. Look, even now I can see Rome's top generals engaging in that filthy habit. As someone who bathes in good clean sand I know that they will be no match for me. It's been a long journey though and I think I could do with a bath

Fabius Maximus
- I am Fabius Maximus, the shield of Rome! I will see to it that he never gets into the city.

Marcellus
- I am Marcellus, the sword of Rome! I will see to it that he is driven out of Italy and sent back to North Africa again.

(They come together and fight. Hannibal, not having bathed, starts to lose and is pushed back)

Marcellus
- See - Hannibal is losing. See how bathing properly improves health and performance.

Hannibal (withdrawing)
- I knew I should have had bath. I've been away from Africa for too long. I'm going back to Africa to get a proper bath.

Marcellus
- He's getting away. Quick Fabius - get him!

Fabius Maximus
- No, I think we'll stay here and defend Rome a bit more. We will heroically let Hannibal get away back to Africa to build up his strength again and in a few years we will send Scipio's baby son over there to finish him off. It will be another great victory for Rome!

Marcellus
- Yes - A great victory. We have won a great victory for Rome!

Both
- HOORAY!

Fabius Maximus
- Right. That's that. I'm off to have a bath.

Marcellus
- Same here, a good clean, hard won, oily Roman bath.



THE END
Well, with appropriate application of Gaulish brew, that would be a great party piece. Good job. Funny stuff. Enough cultural insults to make just about everybody equally appalled, and of course, none of us want inequally appalled cultures, right? :lol: :roll: