Shakespeare's Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter

Act I Act II Act III

Act IV. "Double, Double, Toil and Trouble”

Scene 1 CHURCH and ROMEO.
ROMEO (SR) enters.

Romeo: A new day has washed away the night’s confusion and all sis born anew – save for my wretched soul. My father has sent word that I must here await his pleasure. ’Tis well he does, for I would ask him many things.
CHURCH (SR) enters. Must have locket #1.
Romeo: Father…
Church: Silence, my boy. Not so loud. Thy words do thunder in my skull like a cannon. I was kept awake long past my bedtime by the raucous antics of the pirates.
Romeo: It is the pirates about which I wish to speak.
Church: Then thou hast seen Captain Dredd.
Romeo: How could I not?
Church: Thou dost suspect the secret shame that I have guarded for these many years?
Romeo: Suspect?
Church: I did not wish to keep thee in the dark, I did only wish to protect thee.
Romeo: Protect me? How could…
Church: I can protect thee no longer.
Romeo: Father, I will…
Church: Here take this. (hands ROMEO the locket) Protect it with your life. I cannot guarantee my own at this time.
Romeo: What is this? I would know…
Church: Spare me your questions. All will be answered in good time. Now go.
Romeo: But father!
Church: Go.
ROMEO (SR) exits.
CHURCH (SR) exits.
Scene 2 PIRATES and the NAVY men.
The PIRATES (SL) and the NAVY (SL) men enter, hand-in-hand. It is obvious that they have spent some time together – all night.
Blake: The air do smell good in the morn. Do it not? Daybreak is the simple magick of the world.
John: Especially when you stay up all night to greet it.
Dick: What now dost thou think of the pirate’s life?
Shelley: There are certain definite advantages.
Peter: Oh, I’m sure there are joys of being in the navy.
Byron: In the navy – no, I don’t think we’ll tread that path.
Scene 3 JULIET, PIRATES and the NAVY men.
JULIET (SR) enters. She storms across the stage.
Juliet: My, aren’t we all a little cozy this morning?
Dick: Good morrow to you, Miss Juliet.
Juliet: Talk not to me, sir. I have long known of you wanton ways with the men that you capture, but now you seduce innocents.
Shelley: ’Twere nothing like that at all. We…
Juliet: I had thought ye Navy men to be trusty. But now I see that men are all alike.
Keats: No, fair lady. Some men are quite different, I can assure you from recent personal experience.
The NAVY twiters.
Juliet: Just the kind of lusty comment a man would make. I suppose now that you’ve had a taste of buried treasure, you’ll be trailing after me.
Byron: No, Miss Juliet. We have no taste for the likes of you.
Juliet: I no longer feel safe aboard this ship. I shall demand that my father expel you at once.
JULIET (SL) exits, as angry as when she entered.
Dick: Come along men. There is work to be done.
All: Ahh…
All exit (SR). JULIETTE, DICK, LONG JOHN costume change!
Scene 4 DREDD, and ETHEL.
ETHEL (SL) and DREDD (SR) enter from opposite sides of the
Ethel: Father, a word.
Dredd: Ye remind me so much of yer mother… I fear losing you as I did her.
Ethel: You seldom speak of mother.
Dredd: This locket did bring her back to mind.
DREDD shows ETHEL the locket.
Dredd: ’Twas a token of me love for her. ’Tis only fittin’ that I give it to thee. And thou, in turn, must give it only to the one thou dost love.
Ethel: But wait, Father… what about…?
DREDD exits before she can finish her question.
Scene 5 ETHEL and ROMEO.
Speaking of ROMEO (SR), he enters.
Romeo: Good morrow to thee… sister.
Ethel: Good morrow to thee… brother.
Romeo: The sun is bright today.
Ethel: Verily. And the clouds be few and fluffy.
Romeo: How true.
A beat. Then, almost simultaneously:
Romeo: Look I…
Ethel: I think… Pardon.
Romeo: Prithee continue.
Ethel: No. Thou goest first.
Ethel: It seems to me…
Romeo: Yes?
Ethel: Nothing.
Romeo: (deliberately) It seems to me, also.
Ethel: Yes?
Romeo: Yes?
Ethel: It seems to me that just because we be brother and sister… Well, we can be civil… one to another.
Romeo: Indeed. Civility should be our watchword.
Ethel: (with some difficulty) And…
Romeo: And?
Ethel: And familial affection.
Romeo: Affection.
Ethel: Familial affection.
Romeo: Hmmmm….
Ethel: Hmmmm… A doubloon for thy thoughts.
She hands ROMEO a chocolate doubloon.
Romeo: (laughing) How extravagant. On land they fetch merely a penny.
Ethel: I feel not cheated: thy thoughts.
Romeo: I was thinking about plans… and wishes.
Ethel: Plans.
Romeo: And wishes.
SONG: Duet As Lovers Do
Ethel: I wish that… Damnation! Before yesterday, I knew thee not. By evensong… by evensong we were about to know each other well. Then, based on a chance meeting we discover that we are siblings. What be the good of being a pirate if ye cannot flaunt civilisation’s rules. Here. This be thine, (hands Romeo the locket) by our father’s own command.
ETHEL positions herself to be kissed and ROMEO moves closer but is confused.
Romeo: But… I… I mean…
Ethel: (with great exasperation) Thou art right. Even we, who live as free spirits, cannot defy God’s laws.
Romeo: But…
Scene 6 ROMEO, ETHEL, and the GHOST.
The GHOST (SL) enters; has locket #3, sock puppets.
Ghost: This be getting ridiculous.
Ethel: Who are you?
Romeo: Thou knowest me. I am Romeo, son of…
Ethel: Not thee. Her. Yon pale woman.
Romeo: What pale woman?
Ethel: She be right over there. Be ye blind?
Romeo: Oh no, God has driven thee mad for thy sins.
Ghost: He can’t see me. I come only for thee.
Romeo: Ethel? Ethel? Canst thou hear me, dearest Ethel?
Ethel: Once again, who are you?
Ghost: Ethel… I am your mother (I’ve always wanted to say that).
Ethel: Mother?
Ghost: Sure, now you recognise me.
Romeo: Come with me, Ethel. Mayhap I can get the ship’s physician to bleed you and restore thy humours.
Ghost: Allow me to cease these interruptions. There are three witches scheduled to prophesy to the boy. “I summon unto me weird sisters three. Phoebe, Piper and Prue, move your asses, do!”
PRUE, PIPER, and PHOEBE (SR) enter. PRUE has locket #4.
Phoebe: Oh my God! This is the weirdest one yet.
Prue: Judging by the dress we’re in the late 16th, early 17th century. Elizabethan, right?
Ghost: If ye be done sight-seeing, you have a client.
Romeo: Who are these women? Is this the pale woman you see?
PHOEBE reaches out and touches ROMEO.
Phoebe: The force is strong in this one.
Piper: You always say that.
Phoebe: And it’s always funny.
Scene 8 ETHEL and the GHOST.
The WITCHES move ROMEO off to up stage right while ETHEL deals with the GHOST.
Ethel: Forgive me, mother, I did recognise thee not. Thou did die when I was still nursing… Oh… Was I to blame? Didst thou die in childbirth? Father never told me…
Ghost: Nah. ’Twere a routine plague. Happens all the time.
Ethel: Then why dost thou haunt me?
Ghost: Haunt? You call this haunting? Thou shouldst see me with thy sister. Now that’s haunting.
Ethel: Then why not go and haunt her for a while?
Ghost: There is some spirit in thee. Good. Child, thou art about to make a terrible mistake.
Ethel: I know, mother. God forgive my sin, but I love him…
Ghost: ’Tis worst than I thought.
Ethel: I don’t care if he is my brother…
Ghost: Your brother? Child, thou dost overlook the obvious to concoct some wild idea. Allow me to tell thee a story, a story about two brothers – identical twin brothers – both of whom sought a life on the sea. One was apprenticed, as he was ought, to a dashing crew of pirates. Unfortunately, due to a stupid domestic, the other to a boring civil service job with a Royal Navy pilot. I’m sure the similarity of these two nautical terms will cause great confusion for hundreds of years to come.
Ethel: And that be Captain Church…
Ghost: Romeo’s father.
Ethel: And Captain Dredd…
Ghost: Thy father, my husband.
Ethel: So, we be not brother and sister, but instead…
Ghost: That’s right: first cousins.
Ethel: First cousins. That be hardly better. We are still related.
Ghost: There be a world of difference between marrying thy brother and marrying thy cousin. Mortal sin versus mild perversion. In fact, marriage between cousins is required for the royal family of Europe. Consider it as keeping up with the Hapsburgs.
Ethel: First cousins. Be it not still a sin?
Ghost: A venal one. ’Tis not eternal damnation – ’tis maybe a few days in purgatory. At most a week.
Ethel: Thank you, mother.
Ghost: Now be quiet while I tell thee truly what thou truly needs to know.
Scene 9 ROMEO and the WITCHES (PRUE, PIPER, and PHOEBE).
Prue: Where before did meet we three? On Showtime, Fox, or W. B.?
Piper: Buffy’s network, we’re on when Dawson’s Creek begins to dim.
Phoebe: Wednesday night at nine P.M.
Prue: Who do we be?
Phoebe: You, you and me.
Piper: Power of Three.
Witches: Some say that witches evil be. And those that do can go to hell. So say the sisters Halliwell.
Romeo: You must be witches. I understood not a word of your mystical speech.
Phoebe: Whassamatter? Can’t you read the script?
Romeo: There’s a script for this?
Witches: We’ll explain it to you later.
Piper: Hold out your hand and let Phoebe touch you. That’s how she can see the future. Well, your future, our past.
PHOEBE takes ROMEO’s hand. She holds it tightly. As she speaks she begins touching more and more of ROMEO.
Phoebe: I think I’m getting it. Yes. This is it. Oh, yes. Yes. This is very nice.
Prue: Back to business.
Phoebe: Prue, you are no fun at all. I liked you better when you were in Beverly Hills.
Piper: Phoebs: the prophecy!
SONG: Contradiction Predictions
Phoebe: Oh, and you’ll be Thane of Cawdor!
Romeo: In Scotland?
Phoebe: Oh. Sorry. That was for somebody else.
Prue: Here. Take this locket. We’ve magicked it.
Phoebe: It’s charmed.
Piper: Very funny.
Romeo: But I already have a locket! Two of them.
Prue: A word of advice: Be careful what you wish for!
Scene 10 ETHEL, GHOST, ROMEO, and the WITCHES.
The GHOST walks over to the WITCHES.
Ghost: Come girls. ’Tis time to go.
Phoebe: But I have so many questions. I was taking this English lit class and I…
Ghost: Your questions and theirs must wait for the fullness of time. One thing more.
GHOST hands ETHEL a locket.
Ethel: Your locket. But I have...
Ghost: This be my real locket. The other is part of some strange plan of the queen’s. Get me started not on the queen. Farewell.
The WITCHES (SR) and the GHOST (SR) exit. WITCHES have a costume change.
Scene 11 ROMEO and ETHEL.
ROMEO and ETHEL stare in wonderment after their exiting visitors.
Romeo: Did these visions there appear, or have we only slumber’d here?
Ethel: (after much thought) B.
Romeo: But look, I have a locket.
Ethel: As do I.
They each show their two lockets each to each other, but the lockets become intertwined and ROMEO and ETHEL must struggle to extricate them during this next speech.
Romeo: And if we take their words for truth.
Ethel: We are only cousins.
Romeo: Which means…
Scene 12 ROMEO, ETHEL, and NAVY men.
He leans toward her to kiss her and the NAVY (SR) men run on stage.
Blake: See, I told you lads. That be the Brass Monkey. ’Tis the admiral’s ship.
Shelley: Oooh. The admiral is coming here. I’m so excited.
Keats: You have never met the admiral, have you?
Blake: I do hear that Admiral Benn’s wrath is fierce indeed. He once said the “d” word to a man. Right to his face!
Shelley: I don’t think my heart can stand it.
Byron: We better prepare this ship for his arrival.
Shelley: You too, Romeo. Come along.
Exuent omnes (SR)
Act V.