Rumple Who? by Will Bartlett

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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must not be Copied or Performed without the Author's prior consent



The Queen
Henry her son
The Miller's Daughter


RUMPLE enters, dances to overture, then addresses and
improvises with the audience.

RUMPLE: Hi! How's everybody doing today?...No, no, you
can do better than that. How's everybody doing
today?...All right! Let me introduce myself. My name is
ah, ah let's see, it rhymes with thumple something I
can't remember. Does anyone know my name?...That's it!
Rumplestiltskin. Can everybody say that? Ah, music to my
ears. I can never remember my name; it's so confusing.
Well, since you all seem so smart let me ask you some other
questions. What is today?...All right, what was
tomorrow?...Okay, what will yesterday be?...That's not bad.
You know, I may have trouble remembering my name but I know
lots of other things like I know David is here today and
it's his birthday. Where are you? And Cindy is here, etc.
And I know how many birds there are two, they fly very
fast. And I know how many stars there are one, you're
looking at him. And I also know that I like people. Do
you know what kind of people I like? I like troublemakers.
Do we have any troublemakers here today? How about you?
And do you know why I like troublemakers? Because I like
to cause them trouble, that's why. I'll show you what I
mean. There is this Queen that lives in this land right
up there in that big, old castle. Can everybody see the
castle? Everybody say 'Hi castle'. Everybody say 'Hi
Gueen'. Everybody say 'Hi time this show got started'.
So, let me tell you about this Queen. She's really, really
greedy. She loves gold and she'll do anything to get it
she is trouble. Now, I've heard that this Queen is looking
for someone to teach her how to dance. You saw me dancing
just now; do you think I'm a good dancer? Well, this Queen
can't dance at all she's got two left feet. So, I think
I can go teach this Queen how to dance and at the same time
teach her a lesson about being so greedy. How does that
sound? Does that sound like a good idea? Now, I want
everybody to clap along with me on this - - put your hands
together - - make some noise! A five, six, seven, eight
a five, six, seven, eight:
I love to cause trouble and I love to dance-
these are the things that I'm good at-
this job at the palace is just what I need-
to teach the Queen to dance and make her pay for her greed.
All right, so I'm going to head to the palace now by the
way, what was my name again? Say what? Okay! See you



The QUEEN and HENRY are present.
HENRY: Mother, it just isn't true! I am the King and I am
doing a good job. You said that I could be King.
QUEEN: You may be the King but you are also my son and I
am telling you that good is not good enough!
QUEEN: And stop that whining! You may be my son but you
are also the King and Kings don't go around whining. Now,
the truth is we need more gold. So, if you want to remain
King you are going to have to raise the taxes.
HENRY: But Maa - I can't do that. The people have
nothing; you've taken all they have. They're tired and
sick; they just can't give anymore. Look at them! Some of
them look terrible. I think that one needs more food…Are
you hungry?...(etc.)
QUEEN: Oh, I don't know; they don't look so bad to me…
well, maybe that one. But they're not important. Like
your father always said, 'it doesn't matter if the people
are ill, just as long as they do our will'. A wise man,
your father; I've learned to respect him since he died.
HENRY: I just don't understand. We have a great palace
with 500 rooms; we have servants, cable TV, a great dental
plan; and the people all love us.
QUEEN: No, they love you; they do not love me.
HENRY: Some of them love you, Mother.
QUEEN: Who? Show me one.
HENRY: Well, there's that one there. What's your name?...
Do you love the Queen? How about you?...Gee, Mother, I
thought they did.
QUEEN: Shut-up, Henry. Do you think I care if they love
me? Do you think I need their love? No, I am the Queen.
They only love you because you are too easy on them. You
want to make them happy; but you're wrong. They must work
and slave to give me all they can so that I, so that we,
can be happy.
HENRY: But Maaa! What more could you possibly want?
HENRY: We have a beautiful palace
QUEEN: Not enough rooms
HENRY: We have color TV
QUEEN: But I want at least three
HENRY: What will it take to make you feel at home, Ma?
QUEEN: More gold, my son, that's what I'd like to see
HENRY: We have mountains and valleys
QUEEN: Nothing but dirt
HENRY: Some of our people are hungry
QUEEN: What does that hurt?
HENRY: How did you get this needless greedy greed, Ma?
QUEEN: Shut-up, my boy, and listen close to me
oh, you're never too old to never need gold
rich or poor I am told it's good to have gold
'cause if you catch a cold you're gonna need gold
and your house will be sold if you have no gold
I'd surrender my soul for a mountain of gold
what a sight to behold my world filled with gold
Henry, now be a good boy
and you'll always have your mother
HENRY: That's good, I guess
QUEEN: You sound just like your father
HENRY: He always knew best
QUEEN: Then I am sure, my son, you must agree that
gold is all we ever really
gold is all we ever really
QUEEN: gold is all we ever really need.
RUMPLE enters near the end of the song and sits in the
QUEEN: Get out of my chair! Who are you and how did you
get in here? Henry!
HENRY: Huh? Oh, how are you and who did you get in here?
RUMPLE: I'm sorry, my King, I cannot remember my name -
but I wish to teach the Queen to dance
and 'twas through that curtain I came.
QUEEN: Excellent. Come here you, whatever your name is.
So, you wish to teach me how to dance?
RUMPLE: That is my desire, my Queen.
HENRY: Mother, can I take dance lessons, too?
QUEEN: Henry, I'm not learning to dance for fun. There
will be a dance contest soon and the prize is a nice bag of
gold. I expect to win that bag of gold.
HENRY: But Maa, you know I've always wanted to be a
QUEEN: Silence! Leave us, Henry. Go to your room and
stay there until you decide to raise the taxes.
HENRY: Mother, I wish you wouldn't talk to me like that in
front of the people; it's embarrassing. After all, I am
the King.
QUEEN: That's true son; but I would like you to go to your
room anyway and when you get there I WANT YOU TO CLEAN IT
QUEEN: Now, where were we? You! Where were we?
RUMPLE: Sorry, my Queen, let's see - I was right here and
you were over there - and then you mentioned the Kings
QUEEN: Why are you laughing?
RUMPLE: It struck me as odd and funny it seems - to hear
King and Queen discuss such things.
QUEEN: Why shouldn't we discuss it? We're just like
everyone else - only better. Now, you stated that it was
your desire to teach me how to dance and that you expected
nothing in return, no gold, nothing, because to be of
service to your Queen is reward enough.
RUMPLE: I said all of that?
QUEEN: Of course if you are chosen to be my dance teacher
and at the contest I do not win the bag of gold you will
have your head chopped off. Fair enough?
RUMPLE: Certainly. What have I got to lose?
QUEEN: Your head.
RUMPLE: Why should I worry about losing my head -
if I lost my head then I would be dead -
and being dead it has been said -
the head worries about nothing instead.
QUEEN: You are quite strange. I must look deep into your
eyes so that I may know you can be trusted. Hmmm, yuk! I
see something sick, something sneaky.
RUMPLE: In my eyes, my Queen, I have been told -
others may themselves behold -
some have wept and some found fear -
it may be safer to look in my ear.
QUEEN: Are you being smart with me?
RUMPLE: No, my Queen, never smart - merely elusive, a
modern form of art.
QUEEN: Just shut-up and listen. I think you are sick and
I like you.
RUMPLE: I feel the same way about you, my Queen.
QUEEN: Therefore, I proclaim you the Queen's dance
teacher, best friend, and spy.
RUMPLE: Wonderful! And now our first lesson.
RUMPLE begins leading the QUEEN in some simple dance steps.
QUEEN: Yes. I have an errand for you. I've heard that
there is a peasant girl who lives nearby and that she has
been telling people that she has magic powers.
RUMPLE: Magic powers, my Queen? Of what nature?
QUEEN: Get this: she says she can take plain, ordinary
straw and turn it into pure gold on a spinning wheel. It
sounds ridiculous but you never can tell, these peasants
are always coming up with something.
RUMPLE: Not so hard to believe, my Queen, for I have been
told - there does live one who spins straw into gold.
QUEEN: You've heard this? Who is this person? Who! Who!
RUMPLE: The name, the name, I can never remember the name.
QUEEN: How could you forget something like that you fish
head! Never mind, just go find this girl; she's the
miller's daughter. Arrest her and lock her in the tower.
Tell no one. Henry must not hear of this; he has a rotten
soft spot for these peasants and if he finds out he'll
throw one of his terrible tantrums. Now go! Bring her
here and if she can really spin straw into gold we will
keep her here for a long, long time. Go!
RUMPLE exits but re-enters during the reprise
QUEEN: Oh, you're never too old to never need gold
rich or poor I am told it's good to have gold
'cause if you catch a cold you're gonna need gold
and you house will be sold if you have no gold
I'd surrender my soul for a mountain of gold
what a sight to behold my world filled with gold!
At the end of the song the QUEEN sees RUMPLE.
QUEEN: You! What are you doing? I told you to go! Get
out of here! When I give an order I expect it to be
QUEEN chases RUMPLE out.
The MILLER'S DAUGHTER enters with a basket.
It's my job in the morning to pick up sticks
picking up sticks, little sticks
every day in the morning I pick up sticks
oh there must be something better that I can do
something that is better for me
But each day in the morning my mother needs sticks
to build a fire to cook our food
so all day in the morning I look for sticks
but there must be someplace different that I can be
someplace more exciting to see
I'm told by my mother and father
that I'm as pretty as I need to be
they tell me be patient and some day I'll find
all of the things that are meant to be mine
and so every morning I look for sticks
little sticks, funny sticks
and there's no one any better at finding sticks
still I can't help wishing I were somewhere else
and I won't stop pretending I'm someone else
for I'll keep on believing that someday I'll find
all of the things that are meant to be mine.
RUMPLE has entered toward the end of the song and applauds.
RUMPLE: Excuse me, that was very nice.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: You scared me! Who are you?
RUMPLE: My name, my name, I can never remember my
name…But you - you must be the miller's daughter.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: ...No, I'm not. I am a princess. You
may bow.
RUMPLE: Oh, really? And is this any kind of job for a
princess? Picking up sticks?
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: My castle is nearby and if you intend
me any harm you should know that the King is very close to
me. I mean - I am very close to the King. These are his
sticks. He asked me just this morning to bring him these
RUMPLE: Very well, if you say you are a princess I will
believe you - but what is your name? Princess who?
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: My name? Well, I've forgotten my name.
You said that you had forgotten your name so I have
forgotten mine.
RUMPLE: Oh, but I really have forgotten mine.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: Yes, and I as well.
RUMPLE: Very well, princess of no name -
I will play your dreamy game -
for I am seeking this very hour -
a peasant girl with magical power -
rumor has it, for there's many she's told -
that she can spin ordinary straw into valuable gold.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: Why do you talk that way? Do you wish
to be a poet? If you do then I must tell you that you are
not a very good poet and I think you should stop pretending
to be something you are not. Now, this girl you seek, I
think I can help you. First of all she is not a peasant.
She is a beautiful and kind princess who is loved dearly by
the King of this land. And spinning straw into gold is
only one of the many special things she can do.
RUMPLE: Oh, what else can she do?
She can sing, she can dance, she can fly
she can laugh, she can love, she can cry
mend a bird's broken wing, turn the winter into spring
yes it's true, she can do, almost anything
read a book, make a friend, have a plan
do what's right, when she knows, and she can
tell a joke, have a fling, fall in love with a king
yes it's true, she can do, almost anything
(Dance measures)
Tell a joke, have a fling, fall in love with a king
yes it's true, she can do, no it's true, she can do
she can do - almost anything.
RUMPLE: Very nice. Although I expected to find someone
else - could this magical princess be yourself?
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: It could be. Why? What do you wish
from her?
RUMPLE: Well, if you can do all that you say - I would
love to see you fly today.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: Fly? Okay. Can we have some flying
music?...One, two, three…I'm afraid you'll have to ask
for something else. I don't feel like flying today and
besides I never fly when someone is watching - they might
see how I do it.
RUMPLE: Now you tell me. Well, let's see. I know!
Perhaps you could spin some gold out of straw - and if
anyone asked I could tell them I saw.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: Gold? Okay. Stand there. Click your
heels four times.
RUMPLE: If I end up in Kansas, I'm gonna be mad.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: Gold, gold, gold…you know, I really
only do that on special occasions. Maybe some other time.
Anything else?
RUMPLE: Let me see. Yes, since your palace is nearby and
you are friends with the King - perhaps you can take me
there - I have some business with the Queen. Let's go!
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: Ah, sorry, the King is out to lunch and
the Queen is asleep; she takes a nap everyday about this
time…What are you doing?
RUMPLE: You are the special girl I seek - just open your
eyes and you will soon be asleep.
MILLER'S DAUGHTER: What are you saying? I'm not sleepy at
all. I slept all last night and -
Rumple places her in a trance and addresses the audience.
RUMPLE: Sweet dreams. Well, lots of trouble, lots of fun.
I like this girl who thinks she's a princess; she has
beautiful dreams. I wish I could make them come true for
her. Who knows, maybe I will. But first I must find a
way to make this Queen pay for her greed, and the way she
treats the King. What could I do to her? I could put
peanut butter in her nose! Or ice cream in her ears! Or
jelly in her hair! What do you think I should do to
her?...There has to be something that is more important to
her than gold and if I can find out what that is I can take
it away from her…a five, a six, a seven, eight…
Lots of fun and lots of trouble -
I'm having much fun playing this double -
I'll help this girl and use her in my plan -
to stop a greedy Queen and turn the King into a man -
if anyone can.
Princess, with your eyes open remain asleep -
if I had to carry you it would take a week. Off you go.
Oh, I promise I won't ask you this again, but could you
tell me my name just one more time? Say what? Thanks.

[end of extract]

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