“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: ‘Three Little Captains and the Big, Bad Beastie’!”
[The curtain rises on a dual scene. Stage right, Little John as the Beast stands in his dark tower, scowling into a handheld mirror. Stage left, on the nighttime field set, Will Scarlet as Peter “The Woodsman” Pan stands with his knife to the throat of Robin Hood in his “Benedict Cumberbatch” getup. Alongside Will, Allyn-a-Dale as Jack Snow and Marion as Wendy Darling-Pan look on.]
Will/Woodsman: All right, listen up, Benny…
Robin/Simian [hands up, palms out ]: I’m not actually Benedeck Cumberbatch. I’m Simian, captain of the Beast’s flying monkey guard. I could show you, if you’d let me remove my pants.
Will/Woodsman: Nice try, but nothing doin’. I’m wise to you: Those enchanted britches come off, your wings come out, and then you’ll be in the sky and back to your master before I can say “monkey’s your uncle”. No sir, the pants stay on.
Little John/Beast [stage-muttering to the audience ]: Never thought I’d heard him say that.
Will/Woodsman [continuing ]: …And you’ve got two options: Defect to the side of right, or I’ll cut your head off.
Robin/Simian [blanching ]: Defect to you? But my master will be watching with one of his magic mirrors!
Little John/Beast: Darn straight, he will.
Robin/Simian [continuing ]: The Antichristmas sees all! He knows when you’re sleeping, when you’re awake, whether you’ve been bad or good—!
Will/Woodsman [turning to Allyn with eyebrows raised ]: Memo to us, Jack: Take possession of those mirrors before this is all over. As the chosen Santa Claus, seasonal song has foretold that this all-seeing power is your birthright.
[Little John snarls and gnashes his teeth.]
Will/Woodsman [continuing ]: Now, Simian, what’s it going to be?
Allyn/Jack: Oh, no need to kill him, Woodsman. Just tie him up and leave him for the Beast to retrieve at his leisure.
Robin/Simian [screeching with alarm ]: No, no! Don’t do that! He’ll curse me for failing him!
Allyn/Jack [sweetly ]: Then it sounds like you’ve got little enough to lose by cooperating with us, doesn’t it? Come along, now – join the winning side, there’s a good monkey.
Robin/Simian [grudgingly, gesturing toward Marion ]: My lord did make it sound pretty dire if you managed to disenchant her. He says she holds the key to his undoing.
Will/Woodsman and Allyn/Jack [turning to Marion and speaking in unison ]: You do???
Marion/Wendy [blinking in surprise ]: Not that I was aware. The only key I’ve got is this.
[Reaching down the front of her dress, she draws out a necklace, the pendant of which is a sizeable white key of crudely ornate design. Little John’s movements suggest he’s either really in need of a bathroom or deeply distraught.]
Will/Woodsman: A key made of bone! Where in the world did you get hold of a skeleton key, Wendy?
Marion/Wendy: From Boaromir.
Robin/Simian: Captain of Gondor??
Marion/Wendy: No, you’re thinking of Boromir, son of Denethor. BOARomir, son of a sow, is captain of the local wild pigs. He came to my baby shower while you were on the lam, Peter, and this key was his gift. He said it opened the doors to some vault of treasure deep in the woods. Unfortunately, what with getting caught stealing supplementary baby shower snacks from the Beast’s garden, I never got a chance to search for the vault before I had to abscond to the cloudlands.
Allyn/Jack: The treasure trove of the forest’s pigs? Why, I know precisely where that is! The vault’s the work of the dwarves who raised me; they’ve got a miniature scale model sitting on the mantle.
Will/Woodsman: Brilliant! Then you can lead the way, Wendy’s key can get us in, and whatever treasure’s inside must be what’s needed to take down the Beast!
[The light on the field side of the stage goes dark as Little John roars and throws his mirror against the wall.]
Little John/Beast: NO! If they get to that treasure, I’m doomed! My best monkey has failed me. It’s time I called in the big, bad muscle. [raises arms high over his horned head; his voice booms like thunder as the lights flicker and flash ] By the dark powers vested in me, in the name of all evil things anti-Christmas, now do I summon…the Puffwolf!
[A chilling howl like a windstorm accompanies Little John’s villainous laugh.]
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience member Chelsea de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘Boromir’ and ‘The Puffwolf’.”
“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! ‘Til next time, friends: Will and Allyn out!”