Sindrella - Queen of the Night / by Chris Walker
ZIPPER - Sindrella's best friend
HER FAIRLY GOTH-MOTHER
SEXIA - stepsister to Sindrella
RAUNCHIA - stepsister to Sindrella
KING OF BAKWARDLAND
QUEEN OF BAKWARDLAND
THE ROYAL SERVANT
THE ROYAL DRESSER
THE PRINCE'S CHARM INSTRUCTOR
THE PRINCE'S DANCE INSTRUCTOR
THE ROYAL COOK
BLOODY MARY - leader of the band `The Deaf Beetles.'
4 DEAF BEETLES
4 BOUNCERS GIRLS AT THE CLUB
5 GIRLS ON THE STREET WITH HANDBAGS
THE COUNT - Sindrella's 'late' father, discovered at the end
If a predominantly female cast is needed, this play can be performed
with as few as three males: the King, the Prince and the Count.
By casting the Servant, Dresser, Cook, Club Manager, some of the Deaf Beetles, some of the Bouncers and some of the Club Attenders as men, however, it is also possible to have a balanced mixed cast.
The size of the cast can be as high as 30 + around 20 dub attenders.
Doubling can be employed as follows, however, for a total cast
of about 37 [assuming 20 club attenders]:
Club Manager / Count; Charm Instructor / Cook; Handbaggers / Clubbers; Dance Instructor /Clubber.
Smaller club attendance would bring these numbers down even further.
The play is full length, running at approx. 2 hours.
Sample Pages from the script
Ah, that will be my two darling girls back from doing the shopping.
Sexia and Raunchia enter stage left carrying huge shopping bags and with beaming wide-eyed smiles.
Mummy! Mummy! Look what we've got!
We've been shopping!
STEPMOTHER patiently I know. I sent you.
We of so many bargains.
And did you get everything on the list?
RAUNCHIA exchanging a look with her sister, confused
Yes, Raunchia. The one on bright pink rose-scented paper with mummy's own handwriting on.
Ohh!! That was the list? I used it to ... blot my lipstick. You're always TELLING me to do that.
Not with my shopping list, Sexia. But ... [Looking hopefully at the huge bags.] ...you did et most of it, anyway?
Oh, yes! We had so much fun! You'll be so pleased with us.
So you got what you thought mummy would want?
SEXIA We got ... [Reaching into her bag and pulling out a spectacular wig.] ... a WIG!!
RAUNCHIA as Sexia puts it on
Doesn't she look amazing?
Raunchia helped me pick it.
STEPMOTHER trying hard to be patient
Very nice, but ... did you get the bread?
BOTH SISTERS looking at each other
BOTH SISTERS again exchanging looks, less confidently
Bottle of milk?
BOTH SISTERS sadly
But we did get... [reaching into her bag and producing plastic bottle which she hands to Stepmother.] BLEACH!
STEPMOTHER staring at it
Yes, you'll enjoy that in your cocoa! 1 suppose greens would be too much to hope for?
Oh, yes! We remembered the greens. All new season!
Well, that's something I suppose.
RAUNCHIA producing from bag
SEXIA producing from bag
RAUNCHIA producing from bag
SEXIA producing from bag
Cabbage? Cucumber? Courgettes?
BOTH SISTERS shrinking
BOTH SISTERS heads bowed
So what else is in those bags?
Shoes! [She proceeds to take shoeboxes from her bag.]
Did you not get ANY food?
Oh yeah! We're not stupid, you know!
We got twenty cans of ...
proudly producing from her bag SLIMFAST!
STEPMOTHER So you didn't get one item from my shopping list? [Their smiles fade.] Not even a carrot?
BOTH SISTERS heads bowed
We're sorry, mummy. We'll do better next time.
Oh, give them a break! They can't help it if they have small delicate little brains.
Oh, thank you, Sindrella! You are sweet.
Oh, I can't be cross with you girls. Big hug!
Sexia, Raunchia and Sindrella all join in a group hug with the Stepmother. Zipper looks on disdainfully. Suddenly the Stepmother realises Sindrella is in the midst of the group and pushes her out, alarmed.
Get away, Sindrella What have I told you about touching us? Sexia! Raunchia! [Protectively guiding them to the door stage-right] Why don't you go and count your shoes.
They scurry off stage right
Why do I have to do all these tasks by myself? Why can't they help me? Why can't I ever go out and have fun?
That's just the way it has to be, Sindrella. You know very well it's for your own good. [Under her breath.] And everyone else's. Now get back to work. [Exits stage right]
Poor Sindrella! Have you ever thought of asking your Fairly Goth Mother for help?
A lounge in the Castle Royal of Bakwardland. Sat in a high chair at a desk downstage left is Prince Charmless, sticking stamps into a large album. Stage right is a couch. There is a large door upstage centre, to the right of which a Royal Servant is standing.
One hundred and twenty-five of mother ... eighty-two of father ... even five of Great Aunt Betsy ... but none of oneself! Why is one's face not on a single stamp?
The King and Queen enter upstage centre and observe him.
What did one tell you? He's got his nose in a wretched stamp album again.
Well, dear, every boy needs a hobby.
Yes, but our... 'boy'... [He looks puzzled.] ... What's his name?
One knows that but what's he called again?
PRINCE Charmless. You named him yourself.
Oh, yes. So one did. Well, very apt. Anyway, how old is he now?
Thirty-three next December, darling.
Thirty-three! When oneself was his age, one had ... [He stops himself.] ... met you, my dear.
One is sure that one day he too will meet someone. We just haven't found a girl yet who appreciates him for the sensitive deeply thoughtful person he is.
Mama! [Standing.] One has a question. Why is there no stamp with one's own face upon it?
Well, dear, we just haven't found a photographer yet who can really do your noble features justice.
Dash it all! Why not just tell the boy he broke all the lenses?
That was because all the cameras were faulty. You know we should have trusted those nice polite Japanese people to capture his gracious smile. [The Prince beams.]
Nothing wrong with the cameras! It's the boy's face. Just look at it! There's hardly any wonder he has a problem with the ladies. Maybe if he DIDN'T smile graciously? [The Prince's face drops] Or just had a different face.
One just can't understand it. What woman would not dream of being wed to such a handsome, cultured and sophisticated young man? And yet ...
We've tried everything. We've brought to the castle every woman of aristocratic breeding and nobility in all of Bakwardland in the hope that one of them - just one!would see him as an acceptable husband.
He seemed to be getting along so swimmingly with Lady Astrid Chorlton until she expressed an interest in zoology.
And the numbskull went and got his pet snake to put around her neck!
Such a pity it wouldn't let go.
Hear she's out of therapy now.
One really did have such high hopes for a union with Princess Lavinia. How very unfortunate she visited during Nature Appreciation Week.
When the lad had dyed his hair bright green and coated his face with mud!
She was not amused!
We have to face the facts. Out son is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
He is the only heir to the throne and has neither wife nor child.
It is imperative that we find him a bride. We can't let the royal line end with - that!
But what if our son does not wish to marry?
It's time the boy understood his duty ... to his family and to the kingdom. Why don't YOU explain it to him? [He sits on the couch.]
Very well. Charmless, darling, we need to have a little talk.
Oh, not the birds and the bees again. That was quite frightful. One has never been able to look at a rabbit the same since.
Sindrella scans the club, licks her lips and begins stalking the stage with a sultry predatory air, like a cat spoilt for choice of mice to play with.
SINDRELLA approaching a
That top is so fetching on you. Where did you get it?
CLUBBER 1 shrugging
I can't remember. Might've been 'Next.'
Can I see the label? [Without waiting, she pulls the top back as if to read the label.]
What are you doing?
Stop wriggling! [Biting her neck.]
Hey! That hurts! Look, if you're that desperate to know, it was 'Tammy Girl' or 'Empire' maybe. Ooohh! I think these drinks must be going to my head. I feel all ... all ... [She slowly passes out and slips to the floor.]
SINDRELLA licking her lips
Bouncers scurry over, pick the Clubber up and carry her out upstage centre.
A PASSING CLUBBER
Some people just can't take their drink.
SINDRELLA approaching another girl
Hello! [Touching the girl's face.] Your skin is so soft.
CLUBBER 2 uneasily
Oh! Thank you.
I simply have to know ... where do you get your moisturiser?
CLUBBER 2 flattered
'Savers', I think.
And your earring. So sparkly! Let me look more closely. [Leaning into her neck.]
CLUBBER 2 giggling
Hey. What are you doing? You're tickling me. Oooh! That feels so nice. Sort of dreamy... like ... like ... [She passes out.]
SINDRELLA licking her lips thoughtfully
Sample Pages from Production Notes
PRODUCTION NOTES + TECHNICAL CUES etc.
N.B. These notes are suggestions only. You may find them helpful to follow; or they may act as a springboard for your own ideas; or you can choose to ignore them entirely!
Prince Charmless, only heir to the throne of Bakwardland and
most gormless twit in the kingdom, needs a wife, but no more suitable
girls can be found who are willing to come to the castle and meet
him. He himself would much rather stay at home and
peruse his stamps, but the King and Queen insist that it is his duty to the nation to marry and to continue the Royal line. As a 'last, desperate roll of the dice', they decide to send him to 'Ladies' Night' at the Rock and Roll club, and to prepare him for this, the Royal Dance Instructor, the Charm Instructor and Dresser go to work.
Meanwhile, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl named Sindrella,
is kept locked in a windowless room doing all the housework and
sleeping on a 'bed' of earth in the fireplace by her apparently
heartless Stepmother and Barbie-doll' sisters, Sexia and
Raunchia. Sindrella's best friend is a wise-cracking, fashion-conscious ghost called Zipper. As revealed later, Sindrella is actually a vampire, and restricted to the house in order to protect her from the sun's rays by day whilst protecting the outside world from her cravings at night. Her Stepmother lives in fear that if she goes out she will meet the same mysterious fate as her 'late' father, Count 'someone-or-other'!
When it is announced that an eligible mystery celebrity is to
attend the local Rock and Roll club, however, the Stepmother
and sisters are tempted away for a night and Sindrella's Fairly
Goth-Mother is summoned to set her free, 'dressed to kill,' after
darkness falls. She heads to the club 'for a drink' and here the real Sindrella, a seductive predatory vampire, is revealed as she feasts on the clobbers. After Charmless has been introduced and been persuaded to sing with Bloody Mary and the Deaf Beetles, Sindrella, attracted to his Royal blood, moves in to seduce him. Despite the efforts of her Stepmother to warn him of his danger, Sindrella almost has her fangs into the hapless Prince when her Fairly Goth-Mother warns her of dawn's approach and she dashes out of the door, having earlier slipped the Prince's tie down her top.
The King and Queen launch a kingdom-wide campaign to find the mystery woman, decreeing that the girl with the tie must marry their son [who is desperate to reclaim his favourite tie.] It is in fact such a hideous tie that finding the only one which has not been burnt is not so difficult a task and Zipper eventually leads the Prince and his Servant to the home of Sindrella. After the Fairly Goth-Mother lets them in and a stripsearch of the Stepmother and Sisters fails to reveal the tie, it is produced by Sindrella, who is invited to meet the family for dinner at the castle.
To the horror of his dresser and parents, Charmless is now garbed
in black leather jacket and blue jeans, with the tie worn as a
bandana. When Sindrella arrives, the King immediately takes a
fancy to her himself. While the four are in conversation the
Stepmother takes the place of the cook, with Sexia and Raunchia disguised as maids and announces a meal in which everything is heavily laced with garlic! Feigning loss of appetite, Sindrella prevails upon the King to keep his promise to give her a tour of the catacombs beneath the castle.
There it is that each character's final fate is decided and all the plot threads are neatly tied up, with the help of a surprise [hopefully] appearance by Sindrella's father and a twist of an ending.
THE INTENTIONS OF THE PLAY
In the words of the author, 'the idea of the play was to take the universally known story of 'Cinderella' and turn it on its head, taking advantage of all the audience's preconceptions to spring surprises. Reflecting the appeal to modern audiences of 'bad girls' and shows like 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', which blend wit with gothic icons, the central character is a vampire and the Prince is anything but the ideal man! Imagine a fusion of rock and roll, vampire comedy, the sexiness of the 'Rocky Horror Show' and a Cinderella spoof!'
'Definitely not a pantomime', says Chris Walker - though it capitalises on our preconceptions of pantomime too, and the characterisations are played for humour in a slick comic style that will require excellent pace and timing from the whole cast. There are opportunities for strong contrasts amongst the characters, which should be achieved through careful exaggeration of the modem archetypes that this play offers.
SINDRELLA - innocent teenage girl by day, seductive predatory vampiress by night. ZIPPER - her best friend, a wise-cracking, fashion-conscious teenage girl, who happens to be a ghost.
FAIRLY GOTH-MOTHER - a supernatural mentor, stylishly gothic and classy
STEPMOTHER - responsible for ensuring Sindrella doesn't go out on a killing spree.
SEXIA and RAUNCHIA - Sindrella's pretty and sweet-natured, but very dim, stepsisters.
PRINCE CHARMLESS - gormless unwed heir to the throne of Bakwardland.
KING - an arrogant womaniser, anxious to see the Royal line continue.
QUEEN - oblivious of her husband's affairs, innocent and unworldly. Dotes on her son.
THE ROYAL SERVANT - feels superior to both commoners and the Royal family.
THE ROYAL DRESSER - responsible for clothing the Prince and trying to instil some fashion sense into him, consequently at his wit's end.
THE PRINCE'S DANCE INSTRUCTOR - a mistress of the King's, who tries to teach the Prince the dance moves required for clubbing.
THE PRINCE'S CHARM INSTRUCTOR - a mistress of the King's, enlisted to teach the Prince how to chat-up girls
THE ROYAL COOK - responsible for following the culinary whims of the Royal family.
BLOODY MARY - lead singer of the band playing the rock and roll club - punk era or similar personality.
4 DEAF BEETLES - the back-up band to Bloody Mary.
CLUB MANAGER - tough no-nonsense boss.
4 BOUNCERS - all below five-foot, like scary munchkins who drag people out of the club.
GIRLS AT THE CLUB - some chatted up unsuccessfully by Charmless and some to fall prey to Sindrella.
5 GIRLS ON THE STREET WITH HANDBAGS - all a bit tarty, the kind of girls you can imagine dancing round their handbags.
THE COUNT - Sindrella's 'late' father, discovered in the finale. A stereo-typical vampire Count.
SETTING AND STAGE FURNITURE
The setting that follows is for a decent-sized but traditional proscenium arch stage. Permanent Features of the set:
1. A two-level bandstand [back for drummer and guitarists, front for singers], stage-left, angled towards DSR. Since this is masked for most of the production, it can be lavishly decorated, with a glitter curtain behind it, plus the band's drum set and other kit left in place.
2. A representation of the corner of an attic, stage-right, angled towards DSL, with, ideally, a sloping wall incorporating a skylight through which Sindrella can 'drop'. Since this is only used once, but is concealed at all other times, this can be decorated at pleasure with cobwebs, odd attic clutter and so on.
3. Screens/ facades stage left, to obscure the band-stand and stage right, to obscure the attic when these are not in use. These screens need to represent in turn:
Act 1, Scene 1: Sindrella's home
Act 1, Scene 2: The Royal Castle
Act 1, Scene 3: Sindrella's home
Act 1, Scene 4: The Royal Castle
Act 1, Scene 5: `The Cave' Rock'n'Roll Club [one side only since the bandstand is used here.]
Act 2, Scene 1: cross cuts between
Sindrella's Attic and the Royal Castle [one side only, since the
attic is used here.]
Act 2, Scene 2: A Street
Act 2, Scene 3: Sindrella's home
Act 2, Scene 4: The Royal Castle
Act 2, Scene 5: The Catacombs
Most effective use of screening is to have one side painted in a grey stone effect and used for the Royal Castle, the Rock and Roll club, the Street and the Catacombs. Different decorations could be hung on them, according to the scene:
For the Castle: family portraits or
Royal Coats of Arms
For the Club: advertising banners promoting bands, coming events at the club For the Street: left blank - or graffiti-ed posters
For the Catacombs: manacles, instruments of torture, cobwebs as preferred. Two sets of manacles, one for the wrist and one for the ankles, are hung for the catacombs scene, so hooks would need to be there for these.
On the other side of the screen would be decorations appropriate to a rather oldfashioned middle-class house - wall-paper or paint. A picture or two.
N. B. The screens need to reverse quickly - so would need to be on castors.
SETTINGS FOR INDIVIDUAL SCENES
Settings for Sindrella's home scenes: Act 1, Scenes 1 and 3; Act 2, Scene 3.
1. Old fireplace, with hearth containing bed of earth, upstage centre. This needs to open up at the back to allow for hidden actor to get on stage quickly. Castors on this item would allow for easy removal. There needs to be a hook on it to which Sindrella is chained.
2. Fireside stool, placed on or near hearth.
3. Screens masking both attic and bandstands, middle-class house decor
4. Cupboard against screen masking attic, stage right. Large enough for two actors to hide inside - which they do in Act 2, Scene 3.