A Tavern Tale was my attempt to do a very short play involving some of my favourite Shakespearean characters, all meeting up in some nameless tavern, where they bitch about their lives, and how hard they have had it. This is not a serious attempt at a play – I am not a playwright – but just a bit of fun. It is only some seven thousand words in total.
I have started a couple of other plays, with titles such as The Lighthouse Keeper and Two Voices, but this is the only one which has come to fruition. I can write novels, but doing a play is different, and I’m not sure whether I have the correct skill set. But I enjoyed writing this short play, anyway.
Extract from A Tavern Tale
SCENE I: The tavern. The Barkeep is stood behind the bar, polishing glasses with a dirty bit of rag. There is a large round wooden table, with seven seats around it. There is a knocking on the door leading to the outside.
Barkeep: Here’s a knocking, indeed! And such a day
As never I have seen. The first of our
Merry band stands outside the door, and he’s
Giving a knocking that I can’t ignore. (Knocking)
Knock knock! How eager he is to drink my
Watered ales, this traveller from the north,
This king of bloody travails. And five more
Of his like will join this thane anon: a
Prince from overseas, who equivocates
As none you’ve ever seen. Another king,
Of rickèd back and wicked wiles, of false
Praise and falser smiles. And a third king, yet,
Will join us soon, a traveller in night… (Knocking)
Knock, knock, knock; the time for opening is
Not yet nigh, would he knock my door apart?
Two more I have to ‘scribe for you – one of
Them a Jew, the other well known in such
Establishments as this. (Knocking) I’ll wait no more,
So you will see them as they come: and I
Had thought my days of portering well-done.
A Tavern Tale is available as an e-book on the Amazon Kindle store.