Act One, Scene Two

[A Room in The Master's Cave]

{enter The Master, a carpenter; Mr. Trick, a joiner; Spike Bottom, a weaver; Lyle Gorch, a bellows-maker; Dalton, a tinker; and Colin Starveling, a tailor}

The Master: Is all our company here?

Spike: You had better do a roll call.

The Master: Here is a scroll of every vamp's name, which is thought fit, through all Sunnydale, to play in our interlude before the duke and the duchess at his wedding feast.

Spike: First, good Master, say what the play is; then read the names of the actors, and so get to the point.

The Master: Fine. Our play is, The Most Lamentable Comedy, And Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisby.

Spike: A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a comedy. Now, good Master, call forth your actors by the scroll. Gentlevamps, spread yourselves.

The Master: Answer as I call you. Spike Bottom, the weaver.

Spike: Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.

The Master: You, Spike Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.

Spike: What is Pyramus? A lover, or a tyrant?

The Master: A lover, who kills himself most gallantly for love.

Spike: That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. Yet my chief humour is for a tyrant. Name the rest of the players.

The Master: Lyle Gorch, the bellows-mender.

Lyle: Here, Master.

The Master: You must take the role of Thisby.

Lyle: What is Thisby? A wandering knight?

The Master: It is the lady that Pyramus must love.

Lyle: Nay, let not me play a woman; I am trying to grow a beard.

The Master: That's all right: you shall play it in a mask, and you may speak as small as you want.

Spike: As I can also hide my face, let me play Thisby too. I'll speak in a monstrous little voice, 'Thisby, Thisby!' 'Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby dear, and lady dear!'

The Master: No, no; you must play Pyramus; and Lyle, you Thisby.

Spike: Well, proceed.

The Master: Colin Starveling, the tailor.

Colin: Here, Master.

The Master: Colin, you must play Thisby's mother. Dalton, the tinker.

Dalton: Here, Master.

The Master: You will play Pyramus' father; I will play Thisby's father; and Trick, the joiner, you shall play the lion's part: and, I hope, here is a play fitted.

Trick: Have you the lion's part written? Pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.

The Master: You may do it off-the-cuff, for it is nothing but roaring.

Spike: Let me play the lion too. I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, 'Let him roar again, let him roar again.'

The Master: And you should do it too terribly, you would fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek; and that were enough to stake us all.

All: That would stake us, every mother's son.

Spike: I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to stake us; but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you as sweetly as any nightingale.

THe Master: You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, gentleman-like man; therefore, you must needs play Pyramus.

Spike: Well, I will undertake it.

The Master: Vamps, here are your parts; and I am to entreat you, request you, and desire you, to learn them by tomorrow night, and meet me in the palace wood, a mile outside of town, by moonlight: there will we rehearse; for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with company, and our plans known. In the meantime I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I pray you, fail me not.

Spike: We will meet: and there we may rehearse more obscenely and courageously. Tak pains; be perfect; adieu.

The Master: At the duke's oak we meet.

Spike: Enough, away.

{all exit}

Part 3