Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Knight of the Burning Pestle Viewing Party, November 16
SCAdians in particular, and more generally anybody who enjoys funny theater, may want to check out the viewing party that Alexx is running on November 16.

The show is "The Knight of the Burning Pestle", the only full-length non-Shakespeare period scripted play that Carolingia has ever put on. The production was directed by Alexx and produced by me, and grew out of our Elizabethan Theater class in college. The professor asserted that KotBP was the funniest play ever written, which kind of mystified us -- when you just read it on paper, that's not at all obvious. Eventually, Alexx threw himself into it, spent a fair while understanding the language and jokes well enough to grok *why* it is so funny, and wound up figuring out how to produce it properly.

It's quite a bit of fun, and much more modern than you might think. The fourth wall gets not just broken but stomped all over (within the first minute of the play), as the play gets warped and reshaped by the audience. It involves monstrous barbers, a magnificently ridiculous death soliloquy, a gratuitous maypole dance, the first known instance of the arrow-through-the-head gag, and the only Grocer Errant in theatrical history.

The recording is homebrew, and I'll warn that the sound quality isn't always the best, but it's reasonably followable. Recommended, both as a good play and as a neat piece of Baronial history -- y'all come by...

  • 1

What about Mandragola?

I seem to recall a production of Machiavelli's Mandragola. . .

Re: What about Mandragola?

Was there? Before my time, if so, and I don't know anything about it...

We've done Mandragola at least twice (once with you in the cast, jducoeur, if memory serves!) and Pierre Pathelin at least once, but those had been cut enough I'd be willing to quibble about "full-length." I'd insist more about counting Galatea and Old Wife's Tale.

No question but you should all go watch Pestle; you just know how I twitch when people say "I don't remember it therefore Carolingia has never done it."

Hmm. Still not remembering it, but if it was that heavily cut it might explain why it didn't register as "full-length" in my ever sieve-like brain.

I should be clear that by "full-length" I mean over 1.5 hours of text. I'm intentionally omitting a huge number of shorter plays ranging from George a Greene to Wit and Science, and looking for plays that are comparable in size and complexity to a Shakespeare production. At the time, I was certainly under the impression that Pestle was the only one that had been done, and nobody contradicted me at the time, but I could certainly be incorrect.

(Hmm. It would actually be a fascinating history project to try and enumerate all of the plays Carolingia has done over the years...)

Yay, Gyzki, your brain is working well indeed! I seem to recall that you had compiled such a list of plays at one point.

Marian and I have each compiled lists of plays from Carolingia. In my case I was concentrating on ones I'd been involved in, whether acting or directing; in Marian's, I can't remember if she was also sticking to one's she's been involved in, or more globally - in either case, I don't know what's become of her list. Heck, not sure what's become of mine either, but probably out there somewhere.

So if anyone did want to compile such a list at a baronial level, there's places to start. Might be fun for someone.

This would need some going-over to compile a definitive list — there have been at least two separate productions of Wit and Science which have gotten combined here, also Antonia was born 10 years after the event listed here — but it's a great start.

Speak up if anyone wants to actually undertake.

Hmm. I have the original script to the Pageant of Carolingia in my files somewhere (as far as I can tell, the master copy, with photographs from the performance). I could probably find the date in there, but it's presumably late 80s or early 90s, since I am in it as "The Spirit of Carolingia" (which probably means I was dancemaster at the time)...

I think the Pageant was November 1989, second Duello event.

  • 1