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I posted this a few years ago. I did a little editing - wondered if any one else interested in play writing.
(APOLOGIES TO LEWIS CARROLL)

Scene: Plain stage, hatter and the hare are sitting on two chairs sipping from a bottle, a small table between them. Hatter is wearing a large hat. The hare has large ears.


Hatter:
I can't say teatime has been at all pleasant lately. If in fact we've not even had teatime. What do you attribute that to?
Hare: Right!
Hatter: Right…No! Do you not agree that things seem somewhat unpleasant?

Hare:
Oh? …I answered you quite succinctly. Indeed I answered in a very precise way. You see nothing is more annoying than an excessive and obsessive prattler. I have a virtue that allows me to speak in a way that comes right to the point of whatever the matter is. Anything short of that would be uninvited and rude.

Hatter:
Yes a virtue… what do you attribute it to.

Hare:
Precisely! (Emotive) you are a brilliant man …a man of stature and refinement.
(The Hatter looks in the bottle.)

Hatter:
In spite of my brilliance I fear that I have been over shot …(Makes a gesture of it being over his head) I asked…that is …I thought I asked as to what you attribute to…

Hare:
Yes! ...

Hatter:
…the point.

Hare:
Waste no time on points they end up being cause for unpleasantness, as you have pointed out.

Hatter:
I did?

Hare:
Lets get back to your original question…Two…you said attribute it ' two'. That is exactly why things are unpleasant. We have always been two. (Hatter takes a large swig on the bottle) Two is even …that is never at odds…See?

Hatter:
Keep going you are sadly beginning to make sense.

Hare:
(Stands up and paces - raised voice) Two must always come to an understanding lest they come at odds. It was Alice, she came uninvited and made us three…odd…and there is the crust of the matter.

Hatter:
Crux!

Hare:
What? I beg your pardon.

Hatter:
No need, Gods speed, let us heed, the acts of misdeeds…(shakes head) You said crust of the matter.

Hare:
Yes…crust… that which covers over…to encompass.

Hatter:
Do you have one?

Hare:
What?

Hatter: A compass perhaps if we could get our bearings we could get clearer on your theory of odds and evens.

Hare:
If two, out of discord, become at odds then the two become two -ones …see? Two at odds…with a third acting as mediator. All mediators are odds with an agenda. That’s natural, you see? …When one is left alone all matter of chatter races back and forth in between their ears…crashing and bouncing back and forth…twos and crows, to and fro. Without the calming and sedating benefit of another uninformed mind to agree with you… chaos ensues.

Hatter:
And that is bad?
Hare:
Three is the matter. Being pulled this way and that …that way and this…

Hatter:
Three the matter for the hatter to find a ladder so that he can clatter up that ladder to find out what's the matter with the Hatter and the Hare.

Hare:
When it's we two we must agree lest there be one. If there is three it becomes unbalanced. So we can't be sitting at tea…being balanced.

Hatter:
( Gives bottle to the hare who takes a desperate swig) I truly think you're on to something.

Hare:
No…not at tea. Teatime is pleasant and we always do what’s pleasant.Madness is sameness. Uncertainty must be avoided at all costs. That path leads us to creativity crashing about without proper control.

Hatter:
Unpleasant! ( Takes back the bottle from the agitated Hare )

Hare:
It may be that we must be doing something unpleasant thus confusing us and her.
I see a problem … we are -or were always at tea. We do nothing but tea and we are often as not confused.

Hatter:
We seem to be doing brandy, (Looks at the bottle) and if I may say with some good effect.

Hare:
And there is the point.

Hatter:
What's the point?

Hare:
We are not at tea as you pointedly pointed out.

Hatter:
You said that. (Gives him the bottle the hare swigs and hands it back with determination)

Hare:
(yelling) Yes I did! And that’s the fudging, fricking, frankan, flacking point.

Hatter:
What point are we on now…I've been taking your advice on points.

Hare:
We can assume we are not at tea and we are always at tea…and we know, as you pointed out, we are now at Brandy. To be at tea is a civilized thing -no one is at Brandy. One can retire to have a brandy.

Hatter:
(Looks at the bottle then closes his eyes…opens up) Can't be done.

Hare:
No time …no time …no resting now. I don't believe we are here. (Runs over and pinches the Hatter who doesn't react) ah ha! There…eureka!

Hatter:
Did you just pinch me?

Hare:
We are not here.

Hatter:
Not where?

Hare:
We are not at tea we are at brandying…an absurd idea…no matter its good effect. We are definitely not here.

Hatter:
If pinching me was in any way used as proof to our existence then you have made an error. I don't have feeling in my arms or legs due to the solution.

Hare:
Exactly we need a solution. Brilliant.

Hatter:
No I remember a solution.

Hare:
(Sitting with gusto) Good …go ahead.

Hatter:
Go ahead what?

Hare:
Go ahead with your solution.

Hatter:
The solution that I used to make hats has made me numb.

Hare:
You're mad.

Hatter:
No…I'm not angry I'm numb.

Hare:
Ah yes… As the context shifts the layers …the layers. Give me the Brandy. Maybe this is the solution. (Takes a swig)

Hatter:
(Reaches over and pinches the Hare who jumps up screaming and hopping around.) Are you mad or angry or has spring got you my sad perpetually celibate friend.

Hare:
I'm angry …angry … and I hurt. (Still howling and hopping) Why did you do that?

Hatter:
I was thinking in an uncharacteristic manner about the argument you presented:
One-Alice caused pleasant to transform to unpleasant.
Two-We are inexplicably not at tea but at brandy.
Three- Alice may be back
Four- What we will we do pleasantwise or unpleasantwise when she returns is uncertain and we agree that uncertainty is horrifying.
Five- Am I numb or mad?
Give me that bottle.

Hare:
You are both mad and numb. (Sits crossing legs in a huff.)
(Silence)

Hatter:
We must be batty. I fear we may be at odds.
(The hare gets up and leaves the stage coming back with a large teapot. He looks in and slams the lid shut)

Hare:
Now reality takes a new twist. (He lifts the lid)

(O.S.V.):
Twinkle twinkle little bat how I wonder where you are at.

Hatter:
Way up in the sky so high.

Hare:
And that is the reason why
Hatter: What reason may I pry?

O.S.V.: Way up in the sky so high like a teacup in the sky

Hare:
And that is where the matter lies.

Hatter:
(Tries to take a drink the bottle is empty.) We are not at tea we are not brandying. It seems a rather uncertain place. My fall back …my vocation is harmful to me…the solution …you see?

Hare:
Well I believe that what's in this pot will enlighten us as to our dilemma.

Hatter:
What's in the pot?

Hare:
A bat.

Hatter:
Surely not. Has all reason collapsed? There has always been a door mouse in that pot.

Hare:
Yes and now there is a bat. There is the proof, the solution.

Hatter:
That made me numb and mad?

Hare:
Don't take numbness for the inability to feel.

Hatter:
I'm hardly sure I understand you. I feel well enough to know your comment was meant as an insult. And so we…(angrily) are at odds.

Hare:
No we are not.

Hatter:
Oh yes. (Louder) We most certainly are.

Hare:
(calm) No we are not …we are as even as…

Hatter:
(stands) We are …sir …most assuredly and profoundly are at odds…(sighs and sits) now I've done it .I had a lovely strong horrid feeling and I have lost it.

Hare:
Well done just the same … let's get back to the bat.

Hatter:
There once was a man with a hat
Quite pleased he took it off the rack
He heard a story that he took for fact
If you turn your back on your hat
Events may happen and you can't turn back
For in your hat in point of fact may have climbed a nasty, rasty, bat.

Hare:
This time it's a teapot.

Hatter:
Yes it's very assuredly a teapot.

Hare:
And in this teapot is the answer to the question of our reality. It is clear that the mouse has turned into a bat. Its survival depended on it. It was in a place untenable. It sprouted wings to remove itself from a situation in which it could not cope. It evolved, as is the way with the lesser creatures. And therefore Alice is to blame for rampant and chaotic evolution. We were well and good before she came and started changing things, evoluting everything.

Hatter:
Evoluting everything! (Looking behind himself) Where are my wings? I'm quite sure that I'm not coping either. All I have is this hat and you …those ridiculous ears. I assert that Alice brought sense from the senseless…uncertainty from our certainty.

End part 1

ken lehnig(c)2006


------
Why is doing what you love the hardest thing to do? Is it because failing what you thought defined you would be too devastating a thing from which to recover? If so, we stay where mere accident has left us.


Related Items

Comments

The following comments are for "When Alice left -1 act"
by jonpenny

Punch & Judy
Okay, because I'm not used to reading screen plays it took a bit of slogging to wade through all of the dialogue .. but I made it.

I noticed the physical 'dialogue' going on which led me to my lead in.

I noticed the Hare prattles on when he claims to be .. oh .. you know.

I noticed the farcical .. that's a word? My lord! I'd always thought I was making farcical up in my mind!

I noticed the farcical nature of the piece. This is good .. right?

I don't know as it's a good thing to begin where Lewis Carroll left off .. been done before .. yes?

So, lots to think about but, for me, the jury is still out.

Happy Year of The Rabbit!

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: March 8, 2011 )

Madness is sameness
I remember this! Think it may have been the first thing of yours I commented on. There's actually a reason I remember that bit of info.

But I don't remember what I commented so I will do so again.

I am not a drug user but I imagine this is probably the kind of conversation I'd carry if I were. Oh, wait...my former neighbor and I smoked some...uh...recently and apparently I did have this conversation. But you didn't hear that from me.

I've written several scripts that have been well-received by the few who read them but I wish I'd written this one. It's clever and respectful of the source material.

I did picture Johnny Depp though...

( Posted by: toscano [Member] On: March 8, 2011 )

When Alice left
Pen: I suppose it's supposed to be a little mind bending - playing with philosophic themes irreverently - how well I did it is up to the reader. There have other takes on the original I don't know if there has been one on the aftereffects. For me this was an exercise in pulling some form of lose sanity from the insane and absurd - while still being absurd???? Actually just a fun play to write. I'll post the second part tonight. Thanks for getting through it!


Toscano: It's flattering that you remembered it? I really had fun writing this. I did attempt to honor the original - which I believe is one of the best works in literature - for it's insights and creativity.I would love to read some of your scripts - it was my hope that others would give it a go or share ones they have written. I haven't seen the movie with Depp - I'll have to rent it. Thanks my friend!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: March 9, 2011 )

hatter and hare
Superversation? I LIKE IT!!!! Thank you Lucie!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: March 9, 2011 )

a holophrastic hare
enjoyed experience..

hare hare


salute

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: March 9, 2011 )

holophrastic indeed
I thought you might! ;) Thanks my friend!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: March 9, 2011 )

Alice...or the lack thereof
I've read part one...moving to part two before my comment.

I'm slow but sure!

Dave

( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: March 25, 2011 )

2 dave
Thanks for taking the time my friend - best to your family!

( Posted by: jonpenny [Member] On: March 29, 2011 )





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