MASTERPIECE THEATRE THEME
As You Like It
Narrator: Many summers ago in France, Duke Frederick’s court was enjoying a day of wrestling. The fearsome giant, Monsieur Charles, was taking on all comers. Only Rosalind, Frederick’s niece, was sad. She was pining for her father, the rightful duke, whom Frederick had banished to the Forest of Arden after stealing his crown. Neither her dear cousin, Celia, nor Touchstone, the jester, could comfort Rosalind.
Celia: I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
Narrator: And now Orlando, to whom Rosalind had taken a fancy, was going to fight Monsieur Charles.
Celia: Give over this attempt.
Rosalind: Do, young sir.
Narrator: Orlando had also fallen for Rosalind, so he wanted to prove his strength.
Rosalind: The little strength I have, I would it were with you.
Narrator: Orlando was strong indeed! Everyone watched in awe as he skillfully floored the giant.
Puppets: Yo! Yo! Orlando!
Narrator: Even Frederick cheered, until he learned Orlando’s father had been his enemy.
Duke Frederick: I would thou hadst told me of another father.
Narrator: A courtier urged Orlando to leave court.
Courtier: I do in friendship counsel you to leave this place.
Narrator: Rosalind sadly gave her love a parting gift.
Rosalind: Wear this for me.
Puppet: Ooh. Ducky, it’s love!
Narrator: But Frederick then threw Rosalind from court.
Duke Frederick: Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste. And get you from our court.
Puppet 1: He’s a real tyrant!
Puppet 2: Takes one to know one!
Puppet 3: Throw a rat at him!
Narrator: Celia, his daughter, was shocked. She resolved to leave too, and help Rosalind find her father.
Celia: If she be a traitor, why so am I.
Narrator: They decided to travel to the Forest of Arden in disguise, Rosalind as a poor youth…
Rosalind: Call me Ganymede.
Narrator: …and Celia as his sister.
Celia: No longer Celia, but Aliena.
Puppet 1: They’re brave going into the forest!
Puppet 2: It’s not scary.
Puppet 3: Is the jester going too?
Narrator: Meanwhile, Orlando returned to the home he shared with his older brother, Oliver. Adam, an elderly servant, greeted him with bad news.
Orlando: Why, what’s the matter?
Narrator: Oliver, who had always been jealous of Orlando planned to murder him.
Adam: He means to burn the lodging where you lie. Do not enter.
Orlando: What! Would’st thou have me go and beg my food?
Adam: I have five hundred crowns…let me go with you.
Narrator: Orlando fled with Adam to the Forest of Arden. When Duke Frederick heard that Orlando and Adam had fled to Arden too, he hoped they might lead him to his beloved daughter, Celia. He sent for Oliver and ordered him to go and look for Orlando in the forest.
Duke Frederick: Find out thy brother wheresoe’er he is. Seek him with candle…
Puppet: Why waste a good candle on a brother?
Duke Frederick: …and bring him dead or living.
Oliver: I never lov’d my brother in my life.
Narrator: In the meantime, Ganymede, Aliena, and their companion, Touchstone, had reached the forest. They felt exhausted and afraid.
Rosalind: O Jupiter! How weary are my spirits.
Touchstone: I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary.
Celia: I pray you, bear with me. I cannot go no further.
Puppet: They’re just not used to being peasants.
Narrator: A kind shepherd helped them find food and shelter, so they could rest before beginning their search for Rosalind’s father.
Touchstone: I like this place.
Rosalind: Bring us where we may rest ourselves.
Narrator: When Orlando and Adam reached the forest, they too felt tired and hungry, especially the aged Adam. Fortunately, they came across the deposed duke’s camp where they were made welcome.
Orlando: I almost die for food; and let me have it.
Puppet: That Orlando should put his sword away and say please!
Real Duke: Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.
Puppet 1: Is that Robin Hood?
Puppet 2: No, pet, that’s the real duke.
Narrator: As Adam revived, one of the duke’s courtiers, Jaques, entertained them with a long speech.
Jaques: All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
Puppet 1: What’s them seven acts got to do with this plot?
Puppet 2: Not a lot, but it’s a great speech!
Narrator: In the mysterious, magical Forest of Arden, strange things began to happen. Touchstone, the jester, fell for Audrey, a goatherd. Phebe, a shepherdess, fell for “Ganymede,” making her sweetheart, Silvius, sad. Orlando professed his love for Rosalind to “Ganymede” who dared not reveal her disguise.
Puppet: He doesn’t recognize her!
Narrator: Only “Aliena” was without an admirer.
Puppet 1: Ooh, poor Aliena.
Puppet 2: It’s not “Aliena,” it’s Celia!
Puppet 3: Maybe I should visit Arden?
Puppet 4: Well I’m not going there for my holidays!
Narrator: Then one day in the forest, Orlando found a lion and a snake about to attack a sleeping man. The snake vanished when it saw Orlando, but the lion prepared to pounce! Orlando realized the man was Oliver, his brother. He slew the lion and saved him. Oliver felt ashamed and the brothers were reunited. But Orlando was due to visit “Ganymede” and “Aliena.” He sent Oliver ahead to explain the delay, while he bandaged a wound.
Oliver: He sends this bloody napkin.
Celia: Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
Puppet: Especially when they’re women dressed as men!
Narrator: At first sight, Oliver and “Aliena” fell head over heels in love.
Puppet: Love at first sight when love is blind?
Narrator: Oliver raced back to tell Orlando all about “Aliena.”
Puppet 1: Is “Aliena” Celia? And “Ganymede” Rosalind?
Puppet 2: ‘Tis verily so.
Oliver: I love Aliena; she loves me.
Narrator: Orlando, no stranger to instant love…
Various puppets: Love!
Narrator: …bid him marry the next day.
Orlando: Let your wedding be tomorrow. Thither will I invite the duke. Go you and prepare Aliena.
Narrator: At last, “Aliena” had found both love and a husband.
Puppet: Maybe he won’t want to marry a trickster?
Narrator: Thanks to “Ganymede,” the wedding did not go quite as expected.
Rosalind: I’m a magician.
Narrator: First she made Orlando vow to marry Rosalind if she could find her.
Rosalind: You will have her when I bring her?
Orlando: That would I.
Narrator: Then she made her father, the duke, vow to give Rosalind away.
Rosalind: You will bestow Rosalind on Orlando?
Duke: That would I.
Narrator: Finally, “Ganymede” vanished with the bride, “Aliena.”
Celia: From hence I go.
Narrator: When they reappeared, the girls were dressed once more as Rosalind and Celia. Hymen, the god of marriage, accompanied them.
Puppet: What’s a Greek god doing here?
Narrator: The duke was overjoyed, and Orlando and Oliver embraced their brides. When Phebe saw that “Ganymede” was a girl, she decided she’d rather marry Silvius. Touchstone and Audrey skipped with delight.
Puppet: Truly, it makes you want to dance!
Narrator: In the midst of all this joy, a messenger came from Frederick to say he repented of his wicked ways and wished to return the crown to his brother, the rightful duke. After Hymen had blessed the happy couples, everyone sang and danced for one last day in the mysterious Forest of Arden.
Puppet 1: I love a happy ending!
Puppet 2: But what will happen when they leave the forest?
Puppet 3: You’re blooming gloom and doom!
Puppet 4: Verily, a merry play!
Puppet 5: A verily merrily play, I say!
Puppet 2: Too good to be true, I say.
Puppet 4: Don’t be daft. It’s a play.
Puppet 5: I love it when Will goes daft!
Everyone: THE END.