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Drama for Learning English:
A Play to be produced in Thailand.

Under Construction

The Script of Beauty and the Beast
French dramatised from La Belle et La Bete, a famous French fairy tale,
dramatised and directed by Shaun MacLoughlin
with Assistant Director, Miss Mimie Acuna

(BACKDROP OF FOREST IN SNOW. ENTER A MERCHANT ON HORSEBACK)
NARRATOR 1:
Greed and Jealousy
Greed and Jealousy
Once upon a time in winter, in France, a merchant was returning home after a long journey. As night fell, he entered a deep forest.

(THE HORSE SLIPS ON ICE AND WHINNIES. WOLVES HOWL)

His horse slipped on the ice and wolves howled, but his head was full of thoughts of his three daughters, named Greed, Jealousy and Beauty.

Greed and Jealousy gave themselves ridiculous airs. They went every day to parties, balls, plays, and concerts, and they laughed at their youngest sister, because she spent the greatest part of her time in reading good books and playing the harpsichord.

Before he had left home the merchant had promised his daughters presents.
French dolls from the fairy tale: Beauty and the Beast
(THE THREE DAUGHTERS APPEAR. THE MERCHANT STEPS ASIDE FROM HIS HORSE.)
MERCHANT: What do you each most desire?.
GREED: I want a pearl necklace, to match my white skin.
JEALOUSY: I want a gold chain, to match my blonde hair.
BEAUTY: I only want your safe return.
MERCHANT: You must choose something that I can bring home with me.
BEAUTY: Then I choose a simple rose.
NARRATOR1: He had found and bought the two necklaces; but waited until shortly before his return to find a fresh, sweetly smelling rose.

(THE DAUGHTERS LEAVE AND THE MERCHANT RESUMES HIS JOURNEY ON HORSEBACK)

In the forest he realised that he was lost. At last, he saw some sort of track. At the beginning it was rough and slippery,

(THE BACKDROP CHANGES TO ORANGE TREES)

but soon it led him into an avenue of orange trees covered with flowers and fruit. Here there was no more snow.

(THEN HE DISMOUNTS FROM HIS HORSE AND THE BACKDROPS CHANGE AS DESCRIBED. FINALLY HE FINDS A COUCH IN A SMALL ROOM. THE MERCHANT LIES DOWN AND FALLS ASLEEP)

He saw a flight of stone steps. He went up them into a great castle. Inside he passed through several splendid rooms. Everywhere in the castle there was a deep silence. At last, he stopped in a small room, where a fire was burning. He lay down on a couch and very soon fell into a sweet sleep.

(WHILE HE SLEEPS SERVANTS CREEP IN WITH A SUMPTUOUS MEAL AND LAY IT BESIDE HIM. HE WAKES AND STARTS TO EAT)

He wanted to thank his kind host, whoever it might be. But no one appeared.

(BACKDROP CHANGES TO ROSE GARDEN. BIRD SONG)

Then he went down into the garden, and though it was winter everywhere else, here the sun shone, and the birds sang, and the flowers bloomed, and the air was soft and sweet. He had never seen nor smelt such beautiful roses.

(HE PICKS ONE. IMMEDIATEY A FRIGHTFUL, UGLY BEAST APPEARS BEHIND HIM)
BEAST:
















MERCHANT:
The Beast and the merchant
The Beast and the Merchant
Who said that you could pick my roses?

You are ungrateful. I saved your life, and, in return, you steal my roses, which I value beyond any thing in the universe.

You shall die for it. I give you a quarter of an hour to say your prayers.

(THE MERCHANT DROPS THE FLOWER AND GOES DOWN ON HIS KNEES)

Pardon me, my Lord, I beseech you to forgive me. Indeed I had no intention to offend in gathering a rose for one of my daughters, my Lord. I am truly grateful to you for your kindness. I could not imagine that you would mind if I took such a little thing as a rose.
BEAST: My name is not My Lord, but Beast. Excuses and flattery will not save you from the death you deserve! I don't love compliments. I like people to speak as they think; and so do not imagine, I am to be moved by any of your flattering speeches.
MERCHANT: Alas! My daughter's rose has put me terrible danger.

(THE BEAST THINKS FOR A MOMENT. THEN SAYS IN A LESS TERRIBLE VOICE)
BEAST; I will forgive you on one condition - that you will give me one of your daughters.
MERCHANT: What excuse could I invent to bring her here?
BEAST: No excuse! She must come willingly. Go home. I give you a month for one of your daughters to save you. If none is willing to come to me, you must come back alone. Do not think that you can hide from me. If you do not keep your word I will come and fetch you!

(THEY PART AND THE MERCHANT MOUNTS HIS HORSE AND TROTS THROUGH THE FOREST.)
NARRATOR2:
The merchant returns home
The merchant returns home
The poor merchant, more dead than alive, went to the stable where his horse was ready for his journey. It carried him off so swiftly that in an instant he had lost sight of the palace, and he was still wrapped in gloomy thoughts when it stopped before the door of his house.

(HIS DAUGHTERS APPEAR. HE GIVES THE NECKLACES TO GREED AND JEALOUSY, THEN THE ROSE TO BEAUTY.)
MERCHANT: Here is what you asked me to bring you; you little know what it has cost.
NARRATOR2: .

He told them of his adventures from beginning to end.

(THE GIRLS WEEP, GREED AND JEALOUSY IN ANGER AND BEAUTY IN SORROW)
GREED: (TO BEAUTY) It's all you fault, you snivelling bookworm.
JEALOUSY: It's not fair. Why should we suffer for your foolish wish.
BEAUTY: Who could have guessed that asking for a rose would cause so much misery? As I made this mistake, I should be the one to suffer. I will go back to the Beast with father.

(BACKDROP OF ROOM WITH FIRE BRING ON SPLENDID MEAL, WHICH THEY ARE EATING)
NARRATOR2: Her father took her back to the palace and led her to the little room, where he had stayed, and there they found a splendid fire burning, and a delicious supper set out on the table.

(AS THEY FINISH EATING WE HEAR ECHOING FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING. BEAUTY CLINGS TO HER FATHER, BUT TRIES HARD TO HIDE HER TERROR)

As they finished eating the Beast appeared.

(SHE NODS POLITELY TO THE BEAST)
BEAST: Good-evening, old man. Good-evening, Beauty.
BEAUTY: (SWEETLY) Good-evening, Beast.
BEAST: Have you come willingly?
BEAUTY: Yes, to save my father.
BEAST: I am pleased with you. As for you, old man, at sunrise to- morrow you will go.

Beauty, take your father into the next room, and help him to choose presents for your sisters. Take everything they would wish for.
NARRATOR2: Then he left them.
BEAST: Good-by, Beauty; good-by, old man.
NARRATOR2 In the next room they found splendid dresses fit for a queen. And when Beauty opened the cupboards she was quite dazzled by the gorgeous jewels that lay in heaps upon every shelf. After choosing a vast quantity, she opened the last chest, which was full of gold.
BEAUTY: I think, father, that gold will be more useful to you. We had better take out the other things again, and fill the trunks with gold.
NARRATOR2 So they did this; And at last the trunks were so heavy that an elephant could not have carried them!
FATHER: The Beast was making fun of us. He pretended to give us these things, knowing that I could not carry them away.
BEAUTY: Let us wait and see.
NARRATOR3: At sunrise, they went down into the courtyard, where two horses were waiting, one loaded with the two trunks, the other for the merchant to ride. And as soon as he climbed into the saddle, he went off at such a pace that Beauty lost sight of him in an instant. Then she began to cry and she went back to her room and fell into a deep sleep.

She dreamed that she was walking by a stream when a young prince came up to her and said, in a voice that went straight to her heart:
YOUNG PRINCE: Ah, Beauty! you are not so unlucky as you suppose. Only try to find me, no matter how I may be disguised, as I love you dearly. Make me happy and you shall be happy. Be as true-hearted as you are beautiful, and we shall have nothing left to wish for.
BEAUTY: What can I do, Prince, to make you happy?
YOUNG PRINCE: Do not trust your eyes. And set me free from my misery.
NARRATOR3 When Beauty awoke, she began to think about the charming Prince she had seen in her dream.
BEAUTY: He said I could make him happy. It seems that this horrible Beast keeps him a prisoner. How can I set him free? I don't understand it. But, after all, it was only a dream, so why should I worry about it?
NARRATOR3: Beauty and the Beast She got up to explore the castle, but she did not see anyone or hear any sound, and she began to find it rather dull.

Only that evening, at a delicious supper laid out for her, she heard the Beast coming, and she trembled with fear at what it might do. But he only said:
BEAST: Good-evening, Beauty. Will you give me leave to see you sup?
BEAUTY:





BEAST:
from Cocteau film 1946
from Cocteau
film 1946
(TREMBLING) That is as you please. No, you alone are mistress here; you need only bid me gone, if my presence is troublesome, and I will immediately withdraw. But, tell me, do not you think me very ugly?

No, you alone are mistress here; you need only bid me gone, if my presence is troublesome, and I will immediately withdraw. But, tell me, do not you think me very ugly?
BEAUTY: That is true, for I cannot tell a lie, but I believe you are very good natured.
BEAST: So I am, but then, besides my ugliness, I have no sense; I know very well, that I am a poor, silly, stupid creature.
BEAUTY: 'Tis no sign of folly to think so, for never did fool know this, or had so humble a conceit of his own understanding.
BEAST: Eat then, Beauty, and endeavour to amuse yourself in your palace, for everything here is yours, and I should be very uneasy, if you were not happy.
BEAUTY: You are very obliging. I own I am pleased with your kindness, and when I consider that, your deformity scarce appears.
BEAST: Yes, yes, my heart is good, but still I am a monster.
BEAUTY: Among mankind, there are many that deserve that name more than you, and I prefer you, just as you are, to those, who, under a human form, hide a treacherous, corrupt, and ungrateful heart.
BEAST: If I had sense enough, I would make a fine compliment to thank you, but I am so dull, that I can only say, I am greatly obliged to you.
NARRATOR3: Beauty ate a hearty supper, and had almost conquered her dread of the monster; but she had like to have fainted away, when he said to her: "Beauty, will you be my wife?
BEAST: Beauty, will you be my wife?
NARRATOR3: She was some time before she dared answer

(PAUSE)
BEAUTY: (TREMBLING) No Beast.

(THE BEAST LETS OUT SUCH A TERRIBLE SIGH THAT THE WHOLE PALACE SHAKES)
BEAST: (MOURNFULLY) Then farewell, Beauty
NARRATOR3: He left the room; and only turned back, now and then, to look at her as he went out.

When Beauty was alone, she felt a great deal of compassion for poor Beast.
BEAUTY: 'Tis a thousand pities, anything so good natured should be so ugly.
NARRATOR4: Beauty spent three months very contentedly in the palace. Every evening Beast paid her a visit, and talked to her with plain good common sense; and Beauty daily discovered some more qualitiesin the monster, and became accustomed her to his deformity. So far from dreading the time of his visit, she would often look at her watch to see when it would be nine, for the Beast never missed coming at that hour. There was only one thing that concerned Beauty. Every night, before she went to bed, the monster always asked her, if she would be his wife. One day she said to him:
BEAUTY: Beast, you make me very uneasy, I wish I could consent to marry you, but I am too sincere to make you believe that will ever happen; I shall always want you as a friend, try to be satisfied with this
BEAST: I must, for, alas! I know too well my own misfortune, but then I love you with the tenderest affection. However, I ought to think myself happy, that you will stay here; promise me never to leave me.
BEAUTY: I could promise never to leave you entirely, but I have so great a desire to see my father, that I shall fret to death, if you refuse me that satisfaction
BEAST: I had rather die myself, than give you the least uneasiness. I will send you to your father, you shall remain with him, and poor Beast will die with grief.
BEAUTY: No, love you too well to be the cause of your death. I give you my promise to return in a week.
BEAST: You shall be there tomorrow morning, but remember your promise. You need only lay your ring on a table before you go to bed, when you have a mind to come back. Farewell Beauty.

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