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Rapunzel Script Excerpt

PART ONE. PROLOGUE.

A Tower with a Window.

Blackout. MUSIC. Out of the darkness we hear RAPUNZEL singing. Her song yearns for freedom. Slow fade up to reveal RAPUNZEL, singing within the window of her tower. Short NUMBER.

RUDI watches separately. Maybe on the steps leading up to the stage or somewhere in the auditorium. He is not part of the onstage action.

RAPUNZEL.

(abruptly at end of song) Another beautiful morning and absolutely nothing to do! Locked down again – and again and again and again! (Disappears.)

(Light intensifies on RUDI.)

RUDI.

Wow… isn’t that the loveliest song you ever heard from the most gorgeous girl you ever saw…? But I’m forgetting myself and getting side-tracked - I’m supposed to be on a quest to find the lost fairy tale Princess of Evergreen. She was stolen away eighteen years ago as a baby - and if I find her, I win half the King of Evergreen’s kingdom – and that would be way beyond amazing…! But wow, that girl… By the way, my name is Rudi – Rudi O’Malley - and the missing Princess, her name is Rapunzel.

GOTHEL.

(off) Rapunzel, Rapunzel – let down your hair!

RUDI.

NO???!!! I mean, yes! YES!!! Did someone just say Rapunzel!?

GOTHEL.

(entering) Mother’s home!

RAPUNZEL.

(appearing in window) I’m here, Mother! (Starts to unfurl her hair out of the window.)

RUDI.

Rapunzel?! This is just unreal!!! I mean, who else in the known world is called Rapunzel - apart from Rapunzel…? That girl is the princess! I mean, this is serious, folks – so, maybe we need to go back eighteen years to the beginning and catch up on a few things. And hey, watch out for me, I’m really cute! (Looks back at GOTHEL and RAPUNZEL.) Wow! Look at that! The old bird’s gonna climb up her hair! I’ll see you all again in eighteen years! BLACKOUT.

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SCENE 1.

The Town Square in the Kingdom of Evergreen.

Opening NUMBER. CHORUS, on stage as the CITIZENS OF EVERGREEN. At some point in the NUMBER a little girl screams. RUDI runs on as RUDI’S DAD…

R’S DAD.

Rudi! Don’t pinch your sister!

(The number continues and at the end we hear a cheesy sounding public service announcement.)

“Ladies and Gentlemen of Evergreen, you have just ten minutes till the arrival of your King and Queen…!”

(There is general excitement.)

“Yes, it’s the day we’ve been waiting for, the day when their Royal Majesties will reveal the name of Evergreen’s beautiful baby princess – and not only that, good people – the Queen will declare the winner of the Great Green Garden Festival. The Great Green Garden Festival of Evergreen - The Land of Lettuce and Parsley!”

(MUSIC. ALL, disperse excitedly. The MUSIC turns ominous as GOTHEL enters.)

GOTHEL.

Yes, run along, run along… What a bunch of losers! (To AUDIENCE.) And that goes for you too! I’m sure you’re all a bunch of losers too! (AUDIENCE react.) Well, what did you expect? Fun and games? A riot of song and dance? Oh, no! Not whilst I, the witch Gothel, still have breath in my body… Of course, you’ve all come to see Rapunzel. But why not the magical witch, Gothel? Eh? I deserve it! I just want some recognition, some respect, some tiny scintilla of - love! There – I’ve said it! I’m special – I’m not just the local witch in this dump!!! Evergreen! The Land of Lettuce and Parsley? Huh! It used to be the land of just Lettuce! That is, until MY parsley was stolen. My parsley! My green fingered, mystical, magical triumph – all my care, all my love, all my everything, ripped from its special growing place by a nasty, thieving little boy. And guess what? That little boy is now a Daddy – which means I can take my revenge. I shall steal HIS love!!! (Laughs wickedly. FX. Her laugh is echoed by a very high pitched wicked laugh. GOTHEL pulls a fluffy little weasel from her bag.) This is Waylon, my wicked weasel. (FX. Weasel laughs wickedly.) Yes, alright, Waylon, we get the message. (Waylon laughs again.) I said, alright!

(GOTHEL wallops Waylon. Light and sound effect. Full size WAYLON is revealed, laughing wickedly and shadow boxing with himself.)

WAYLON.

Put ‘em up! Put ‘em up! I’ll take anyone – anyone at all! Put ‘em up!

GOTHEL.

Oh, no. He’s gone pop! Waylon, that’s enough!

WAYLON.

(ignoring her) Any weasel, any stoat – even a badger, I’ll take a badger, ten badgers – bring on a badger! (Laughs wickedly, fighting imaginary opponents.)

GOTHEL.

Waylon, shut up!

WAYLON.

(still sparring) I’m a Black Forest Ninja!

GOTHEL.

No, you’re not a Black Forest Ninja. Now, back in the bag!

WAYLON.

But I’m a fighter! I’m lethal, I don’t know defeat! (Laughs wickedly and continues sparring.)

(GOTHEL grabs WAYLON’s tail.)

WAYLON.

(squealing) Ow!

GOTHEL.

Back - in - the bag!!!

WAYLON.

(suddenly capitulating) Ok.

(Light and sound effect. WAYLON has disappeared.)

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GOTHEL.

(patting bag) That’s better. I should have got a rabbit.

(We hear HILDA singing off.)

Urgh… It’s Brunnhilde Blunderberg, with the Royal Baby – her pride and joy, but not for long…! Anyway, I’ll let you enjoy her last moments of happiness ON THIS EARTH!!! I’ll see you all later! (Exits.)

(MUSIC. Brunnhilde Blunderberg (HILDA) enters, pushing a large, old fashioned pram, which contains the baby and a giant marrow.)

HILDA.

Hello, Everybody! Here I am…! That’s it, give me a wave! How lovely to see you all! Welcome to dear old Evergreen – a little bit of Teutonic Cotswold Fairyland! (Choose a local area). And if that sounds a bit Grimm, think two M’s. (A beat.) Maybe that was setting the bar a bit high… Anyway, allow me to introduce myself! I am Brunnhilde Blunderberg, the Royal Nannie, but you can call me Hilda. And here’s my darling little baby Princess! (Taking her out of pram.) Look at that pretty little nose – goo goo goo goo goo wiggly spiggly woo…! She understands every word I say! And she’s so well behaved – almost never cries. She’s as good as gold – in fact, when she does cry, she cries tears of gold! I ask you, who but a fairy tale princess would do that? Golden tears to match her golden hair! You’re a magic baby, aren’t you?! (Putting Baby back in pram.) Yes, you are! And today, we’re going to tell the whole world your name… Yes, it’s the best kept secret in Evergreen! (To Audience) I bet you can’t guess what it is…?! No, don’t jump the gun… I was going to give you a clue. It begins with an R! What was that? Rap -? No…! No - you won’t force it out of me – my lips are sealed… Even if you hung me up by my entrails, cut out my tongue and left me for the wolves of the forest to devour, I would not tell you that her name is Rapunz– whoops, I nearly went and told you, didn’t I?! I’d have had one of my turns if I’d done that – and you don’t want to see one of my turns. I’ve been nervy ever since I actually did throw my own baby out with the bathwater. Took ages to get him back. But names are so important, aren’t they? Otherwise, we wouldn’t know what to call each other! You, sir – what’s your name? Malcolm? What a coincidence – I looked after a little boy called Malcolm once! Very difficult to get him potty trained. You’re not like that, are you, Malcolm…? That’s good, but steady as you go, you’re all of a sugar rush, aren’t you, Malcolm? And you, Madam, what’s your name…? Deborah?! Now, Deborah I like… Dignified, purposeful, yet somehow a little bit - frisky. Yes… You’re a saucebox, aren’t you, Deborah…?! Only joking – just go careful on the protein. But then I’m a fine one to talk - I mean, what about the name Brunnhilde? If only I’d been a Belinda, or a Beatrice, or a bonnie, bouncing Buttercup - I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been so much more… Feminine!

(NUMBER, using baby and pram in the choreography. At the end of the number child MAX runs on. He is dressed as a cub.)

Oh, look! It’s my own little boy, Max! And in his cubs’ uniform and everything! What is it Max?

(MAX whispers in her ear.)

You got your Home Safety badge…? Ladies his and gentlemen – he got his Home Safety badge!

(HILDA leads applause. MAX whispers in her ear again.)

And the King and Queen are arriving any minute? Yes, I know they’re arriving any minute… Hang on - what do you mean they’re arriving any minute?!! I’m not ready! The baby needs changing and I was going to do my hair. It looks, dreadful, Max! It looks dreadful! What am I going to do? This is the biggest day in Rapunzel’s life – oh, my goodness, I’ve told everybody her name now! I’ve let the cat out of the bag and almost committed treason! Oh, dear, this is more than a muddle – I’m going to have one of my turns. I am Max…! I’m going… I’m going…!

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MAX.

You need to chill out Mum!

HILDA.

You’re right, Max. Chill out! That’s what I need to do. chill out… (Does absurd deep breathing. Big breaths, little pants, quivers all over etc.) There... I’m calm... Nothing can ruffle me. I’m calm. (Suddenly agitated.) But what if it happens again?! What if I get all agitated and you’re not there to remind me to chill out?

MAX.

(pointing to Audience) Why don’t you ask them?

HILDA.

What a brilliant idea! Max, you are always so practical! (To Audience.) If I get a bit agitated, will you remind me to chill out and stay calm…? You will…? Brilliant! Ok, so, if I start to go – and I’ll tell you when I’m going, in fact I’ll say – “I’m going! I’m going…!” – then, you all shout “Chill out, Hilda!” Got it…? Right. Good. Shall we give it a go…? Great. Now, we just need to pretend that everything’s fine – and then something worries me, like –

MAX.

You’ve got a spot on the end of your nose.

HILDA.

Have I??!! Have I got a spot on the end of my nose??!! Aaah! I’ve got a spot on the end of my nose!!! I’m going… I’m going….!!!!

(Audience shout.) Hang on a second. I don’t think you quite understand. That sounded like three mice in a library. I need you to shout. Really shout. Shall we try it again…? Ok – I’m going…! I’m going…!

(Audience shout.) Not bad. But I might be so upset that you really need to cut through. Let’s give it one more go. Ok, Max, make it real. Does my bum look big in this outfit?

MAX.

Yes.

HILDA.

What? It does? Really big?

MAX.

Yes.

HILDA.

NO!!!! I’ve got a big bum!!! I’m going...! I’m going…!

(Audience shout. HILDA breaths deep...) Thank you! Thank you! That was wonderful! I am serene…

We hear a public service announcement… “One, minute, please, Ladies and Gentlemen. You have one minute until the arrival of your King and Queen, King Bernard and Queen Bunty!”

Aaah!!! They’re coming, Max and I’m not ready! I’ve got a spot on the end of my nose, a big bum and I’ve almost committed treason! It’s all too much! I’m going…! I’m going…!

(Audience shout. HILDA breaths deep…) Thank you! Thank you! I am calm...

(Fanfare. The CITIZENS all assemble excitedly. They all carry some sort of fruit or vegetable. MUSIC. The KING and QUEEN enter behind a Royal Page, who carries a tasselled cushion with some parsley on it. The KING has a luxuriant moustache. ALL bow and curtsey. HILDA hands the baby to the QUEEN.)

KING.

Loyal subjects of Evergreen, once in a hundred years our kingdom produces a true fairy tale princess –

QUEEN.

A princess, who cries golden tears, symbolising our wealth and prosperity for the next one hundred years.

KING.

You see before you today just such a fairy tale princess, who today we name in celebration of our kingdom!

QUEEN.

And in particular, after the delicious lettuce, which makes Evergreen so special –

KING.

The lettuce we love and the lettuce we call –

BOTH.

Rapunzel!!

HILDA.

Three cheers for the Princess Rapunzel! (Leads three cheers.)

QUEEN.

And now it is my most pleasant duty to judge the entries to our Great Green Garden Festival.

(EVERYONE holds up their entry hopefully.)

And as always, I applaud you for the wonders you achieve through the greenness of your fingers… From Nannie Blunderberg’s giant marrow, Frau Schmidt’s spectacular, easy-stretch rhubarb - (FRAU SCHMIDT stretches rhubarb) through to Herr O’Malley’s inflatable radish (HERR O’MALLEY blows up radish.) – all highly commended. But this year, as indeed every year, the first prize, the green rosette, goes to - the King’s Parsley!

(ALL drop their entry and the radish goes fizzing off. They politely applaud.

Clap of thunder. Ominous MUSIC. GOTHEL enters clapping ironically.)

GOTHEL.

Well done, well done, well done! What a spectacular achievement!

HILDA.

It’s the witch, Gothel!

GOTHEL.

(taking parsley from cushion.) And what fine parsley! (Takes a bite and chews appreciatively.) Mmmm! (Spits it out contemptuously and points viciously at KING.) You stole from me!

QUEEN.

But the King grew that parsley himself!

KING.

It is the finest example of the parsley our kingdom is now famous for!

GOTHEL.

Yes, it is! The parsley that twenty five years ago was unknown -before a young Prince that is now a King stole it from the special growing place in my garden!

QUEEN.

Is this true, Bernard?

GOTHEL.

Do you deny it?!

KING.

But – I – I was just a boy!

GOTHEL.

You stole what was most precious to me – so now, I’ll steal what is most precious to you!

(GOTHEL grabs the baby from the QUEEN. ALL cry out “No!”. The baby cries. MUSIC.)

What’s that, little one? Tears? Tears of gold…! Oh, my! You really are a magical little princess! I shall be loved by someone so, so special – because I deserve to be special too! (To KING.) And this time, not you, nor the crown on your head, or anything else is going to take it away from me!!!!! (Recovering composure.) So, Rapunzel, say “Bye bye!” (Moves the baby’s arm.) Because we’re going somewhere nobody will ever find us! (To KING and QUEEN.) And there I’ll raise her as my own – just for me! And all the love that you would have given to her, I will give to her – and all the love that she would have given to you, she will give to me! I will steal your LOVE!!!

(PYRO. BLACKOUT. We hear GOTHEL’S wicked laughter. LIGHTS UP. GOTHEL and the baby have gone.)

HILDA.

She’s gone!

QUEEN.

No!

KING.

Prepare the King’s horse!

(Sound effect. We hear a mettlesome whinny off.)

HILDA.

To think of her with that horrible witch! I can’t bear it…! It’s too much! I’m going…! I’m going…!

(Audience shout. HILDA breaths deep.)

QUEEN.

(to KING) Don’t just stand there, watching her do yoga! Do something!

KING.

Yes, dear! Of course. I call for Sir Basildon Braveheart. The Bravest of the Brave!

(Bearded and armoured, a small child enters.)

SIR B.

I am here, my Liege!

KING.

Sir Basildon, you will take my horse and circumvent the globe if necessary, facing every danger known to man until you find the Princess and return with her!

SIR B.

I will, my Liege! (Exits.)

KING.

There. It is done.

(We hear another mettlesome whinny and the clattering of hooves as SIR BASILDON crosses the stage riding a hobby horse.)

QUEEN.

Are you sure this is enough?!

HILDA.

I don’t think it’s enough – I shall seek her too! I can’t bear the idea that anyone could harm even one golden hair on her darling little head!

KING.

You’re right. Let the whole kingdom seek her. This I swear - whoever finds and returns the Royal Princess Rapunzel shall receive half our kingdom. However long it takes!

NUMBER. BLACKOUT.

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SCENE 2.

Back at the Tower. Eighteen Years Later.

RUDI discovered.

RUDI.

Hi Folks! Here we all are back again eighteen years later and the search is still on. The old bird’s just gone in the window. Did you see me as a kid? I told you I was cute – and hey, I’m still pretty cute. And soon I’m gonna be rich and cute! I just hope Rapunzel is pleased to see me. Eighteen years cooped up in there – and then yours truly climbs in through the window! I can’t wait to see her face! Then it’s back to Evergreen to claim my reward! And Evergreen’s a long way, so there’ll be plenty of chances to get to know her better – and I’m good at getting to know girls better… But, as always, I’ve got to remember that I’m a professional. Eighteen years they’ve been trying to find her – and then wham! Rudi O’Malley comes up with the goods! I can almost smell the money! So, all I need to do is climb up when the old bird’s gone, and then – Princess Rapunzel, I am going to make your day! I better go get me some crampons or something! (Exits.)

(HILDA enters excitedly. She has a big pair of binoculars.)

HILDA.

This is it, Max! This is it! We’ve found Rapunzel! Eighteen years searching and we’ve finally found her! The binoculars never lie! (Looks through binoculars at Audience and starts back.) Yugh! It’s you lot again! (Shouting off.) Maxwell, will you hurry up!

(ADULT MAX enters dressed as a Scout.)

(To Audience) You remember Max, don’t you? Of course, he’s grown up a bit in the last eighteen years… Got all his badges and everything. Oooh, I’m famished!

MAX.

(producing sandwich) Cheese and pickle sandwich?

HILDA.

You see? Always prepared.

MAX.

Chef Activity Badge.

HILDA.

(appreciatively) Mmmm. (Takes bite.) Anyway, back to business. (Pointing at tower.) She’s in there, Max. I know she is!

MAX.

How do you know it’s her? You haven’t seen her for eighteen years.

HILDA.

Are you saying I wouldn’t recognise my own little baby!? She’s got eighteen years’ worth of hair on her head! Isn’t it obvious?!

MAX.

What?

HILDA.

No one’s cut her hair – and that’s how the old witch gets in and out! She’s imprisoned her in there and climbs up her hair! It’s despicable, Max! Completely despicable! It’s horrible! It makes me want to chew my own arm off!

MAX.

Alright, Mum, calm down! It’s maybe not as bad as it sounds.

HILDA.

What do you mean?

MAX.

Say Gothel weighs a hundred and forty pounds.

HILDA.

(bewildered) What…?

MAX.

And say there are ten thousand hairs on Rapunzel’s head – I mean, there are probably more, but say ten thousand…

HILDA.

OK…?

MAX.

That’s a loading of less than a quarter of an ounce per hair.

HILDA.

Where did you learn that?

MAX.

Quantifiable Mechanics badge. You see, it’s not so bad.

HILDA.

Yes, it is! It’s like a fairy tale gone wrong! When I think of my poor little baby princess… It’s no good, Max – I’m going to have one of my turns

MAX.

No, Mum –

HILDA.

Yes, Max - I’m going…! I’m going…!

(Audience shout. HILDA breaths deep.) Thank you, thank you, thank you! But please shout quietly! We need to be discrete. How are we going to get in, Max?

MAX.

Why don’t you pretend to be Gothel?

HILDA.

Brilliant, Maxwell! That’s what I love about you. Clear thinking, solution focused… What shall I say?

MAX.

How about – Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair!

HILDA.

Maxwell, that is genius! I’ll do it now!

MAX.

Hold on, hold on. Isn’t Gothel in there at the moment?

HILDA.

You’re absolutely right. We’ll come back when she’s gone. Come on, Max. (To Audience.) We’ll see you all later! BLACKOUT.

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Rapunzel Characters

  • RAPUNZEL
  • RUDI O’MALLEY, principal Boy. A rakish, charming chancer
  • BRUNNHILDE BLUNDERBERG, dame and Royal Nannie (Known as Hilda.)
  • YOUNG MAX, cameo role for a child. (Only in scene 1.)
  • KING OF EVERGREEN, also plays King of England on the Wold
  • QUEEN OF EVERGREEN, also plays Queen of England on the Wold
  • GOTHEL, a witch
  • WAYLON, a weasel. Belongs to Gothel
  • MAX, Hilda’s son
  • LANDLORD JOHN DEERE
  • LANDLADY JANEY DEERE
  • CUSTOMS OFFICER JOBS
  • CUSTOMS OFFICER WORTH
  • KING of ENGLAND on the WOLD
  • QUEEN of ENGLAND on the WOLD
  • CHORUS, as Citizens of Evergreen, Knights, Sailors, Citizens of England on the Wold etc.

A Note on Doubling.

The show allows for a lot of flexibility in cast size. There are roles for 12 actors, but this can easily be reduced to 7 or somewhere in between. Waylon and Max can be doubled – and of course the King and Queen of Evergreen can also play John and Janey Deere and Jobs and Worth. Both pairs of Kings and Queens, however, should always be played by the same actors.

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