“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”
“Every Saturday,” says Allyn-a-Dale, “Will and I and our friends from the story world of ‘The Outlaws of Avalon ’ trilogy—”
“Coming one of these days to a book retailer near you!”
“—Will take at random two of the suggestions gleaned from you, our gentle audience, and incorporate them into… well, the sort of tomfoolery Will calls entertainment.”
“So make yourselves comfortable,” says Will, “as we now present to you: ‘Too Big-Name for Magic Britches’!”
[The curtain rises on a stage divided by light and its lack – one half in darkness, the other an illuminated set built to resemble the interior of a sinister-looking tower. A cloak billows impressively behind Little John, in his role as the Beast, as he stalks in front of the grim stone walls, while Robin Hood, costumed as a winged monkey, wrings his tail in the corner.]
Little John/Beast: Blast all, Simian. That fool Jack Snow and the accursed Woodsman have made off with my prisoner, and now you tell me they’ve obtained the skin of a shape-changer?
Robin/Simian: So woodland rumor suggests, my lord Antichristmas.
Little John/Beast [growling darkly ]: It can mean only one thing: They’ve discovered how to break the rose spell I placed on Wendy Darling-Pan. They must not be allowed to disenchant her! She holds the key to my undoing! [hurls a few household items around to underscore the point, then settles down enough to deliver his next lines ] If The Woodsman is half as clever as the Peter Pan he once was, he’ll be ready to make his play this very night. We shall have to be clever, too. [strokes beard, musing ] He’d know me coming a mile off, no matter what disguise I wore. You, on the other hand… [snaps his fingers ] I’ve just the thing. To my bedchamber!
[With a bit of professional razzle dazzle, the tower transforms into the bedchamber set. Little John strides to the wardrobe and rummages about for a bit before pulling out a pair of britches, which he tosses to the Robin monkey.]
Little John/Beast: Take these, and grab a handheld magic mirror on the way out.
Robin/Simian [timidly ]: A magic mirror’s no good to track Jack Snow, my lord.
Little John/Beast: So set it to track his companions! There are ways around everything, Simian, even the chosen Santa Claus. Once you’ve reached your destination, don the britches. They’ll let you get close enough to sabotage the rose disenchantment. Do not fail me!
[The stage’s light half goes dark while the dark half goes light – or as light as a nighttime-in-a-field set will look. Allyn-a-Dale as Jack Snow, Will Scarlet as Peter “The Woodsman” Pan, and a purple rose transplanted from flowerpot to ground standing in for Wendy (voice provided by Marion Hood) gather beneath an awning of gray clouds.]
Allyn/Jack: We’ve got our skin of a shape-changer and a starless night. What of a constellation and a true-minted Coin of the Realm?
Will/Woodsman: Well, here’s a Coin of the Realm. [holds up shiny golden disc ] And here… [holds up carryout sack from the last skit’s tavern ] …is the mint.
Marion/Wendy: Um, no, those are muffins.
Will/Woodsman: Mint chocolate chip muffins, sweetheart! True mint chocolate chips! Trust me, I know the Muffin Man; he only uses the very finest and most genuine ingredients in his baked goods. So, while I get the mint on the Coin and bury it by Wendy’s roots as the spell dictates, you call up a constellation, Jack.
Allyn/Jack: Out of what? [gestures above ] There are no stars!
Will/Woodsman: Well, I should hope not! The spell wouldn’t work, otherwise. We don’t want stars, we want a suitably twinkly substitute that will conform to your will. Any Act 5-ish ideas coming to you, sonny boy?
Allyn/Jack: Ah, of course: Fireflies!
Marion/Wendy: Jack’s knack for wooing woodland creatures just comes in handy all the time, doesn’t it? Sing-summon the substitute stars, son of mine, and I’ll be human again in a jiffy!
Allyn/Jack [obligingly ]: Fireflies, fireflies, hither fly to— [breaks off abruptly ] Hark. Someone comes.
Will/Woodsman [whipping ‘round, sword at the ready ]: Who goes there?
[Robin’s voice floats in from offstage, sounding extra British ]: Never fear, lads. It’s only me.
[Robin steps onstage sporting (in addition to a familiar pair of trousers) a dapper suit jacket and tie over a T-shirt that reads I AM SHER-FIRE&DEATH. Will lowers his sword, expression gobsmacked. ]
Will/Woodsman: Benedict Cumberbatch???
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience member Chelsea de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘britches’ and ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’.”
“If you enjoyed yourselves,” Will says, “(or if you didn’t, but you totally did, right?), don’t forget to leave suggestions for future productions in the comments! Words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything goes! Until next week, friends! Will and Allyn out!”
Edit: “OH!” Will exclaims in afterthought. “Danielle just reminded me: We’ve got giveaway results to announce! Congratulations to Emerald Barnes, winner of a signed Gant-o’-the-Lute bookmark!”
“And be not too downhearted, all ye others,” Allyn soothes, “for there shall be further opportunity in the weeks to come for gladsome gain in relation to ‘The Song Caster (Book Four of The Wilderhark Tales)’ – which launches in one month, by the by.”
“There. That’s everything I think. Will and Allyn out, for realsies!”