domingo, 9 de marzo de 2014


Like the young erudite queen of Sweden?
How appropriate!
Well, this stage version of The Snow Queen, which predates my history fic "Christina's Choice" by decades... (Her beau, by the way, is named Klaus!), has named her so!

One week ago, little Christina ...
...The Princess ...
 The Princess, went to her father ...
The King ...
... The Princess went to the King; and 
she said to her dear Papa, "Papa,
I'm bored." 
"I'm bored, Papa," she said, "and if I can't get 
married, I'd rather be dead."
Well, Princess Christina said to her dad, I shan't 
let you marry me to a lad who just says "Yes"  to all I 
Because that's why I'm bored, that's why I'm 
sad. Everyone's too good. I want some lad who is brave 
enough to be bad — to me. 
So the King ordered every country lad to come to 
the castle and see who had no fear of Christina...
... and her dad; and they were all afraid except 
one lad...
He just laughed and chatted unabashed. 
He chaffed the Princess ...
... and her dad. And the Princess said, "That's the 
lad!" And they were married; and her dad ...
His Majesty the King ...
...Her dad gave them half of his kingdom. 
And a marvellous garden party! 

The curtain opens in the dark. A. hall in the Royal Palace — a 
somewhat sombre place in gloomy light. Out of the vaulted room 
there leads in the background an apparently endless gallery. Across 
the middle of the floor goes a chalk line, very noticeable in the half 
darkness, dividing the hall and the gallery into two exactly equal 
parts, the right one darker and more sinister than the left. 

When His Majesty gave Christina and Klaus halt of 
his kingdom they got half of the castle too. This line cuts 
right through the heart of the kingdom. This half is 
Christina's. That's her father's. 
Better beware of the father's half. 

The castle is dark and damp 
and vast, with passages which for centuries past no one 
has entered. 
 (Gerda bundles Karl and Klara, the crows, into hiding 
with her as the 
noise grows and the door opens and in bursts a Horse made 

up of two people, Christina riding on it. — A. Lackey 

accompanies them, carrying two candlesticks with burning 

candles and lighting the Horse's capricious progress. 

Followed by another Lackey with cymbals and a third 

Lackey with a trumpet?) 

Princess (like a circus-rider, urging the Horse): Ho, ho! — 

More music! Louder! Quicker! 

{The noise becomes dreadful. The Horse runs about, wilder and 

wilder, and the forelegs' seem to be rather unruly.) 
Stop that! 

(Christina is thrown off.) 
For shame! {Furious, puts her crown straight.) You don't 
know how to play! You frighten me! 
{The Horse bursts out laugfiing, takes his head off, and out of 
the fore-legs' climbs a boy of about fourteen, laugjoing; he is 
the Prince.) 
Prince {laughing): You wanted to marry somebody who 

wasn't afraid of you — I'm not. 
Princess: You are insolent! 
Prince: But you like me — haha! 

(Lackeys are still beating the cymbals and blowing the trumpet?) 
Princess {to the Lackeys): Do stop that noise! {They 

Prince: That's better. I'm tired of playing circuses. {See- 
ing the hind legs standing miserably in a corner, carrying the 
fore-legs and the horse's head.) And he's tired, too. Send 
the hind legs to bed. 
Princess: You can go. 
Lackeys: Good-night, your Royal Highnesses! 

{The Lackeys go off— except the one who bears the candle- 

Prince: Good-night, old chap! (Giving the hind legs a 
friendly clap.) Good-night, hind legs! 
(The "hind legs"  puts the head on for ease of carryings but puts 
it by mistake back to front and so makes it impossible to 
see. He trips over something and falls out. Christina and 
Klaus both laugh.) 
{Tidying himself in front of a mirror.) I'm sorry if I was too 

{Sound of weeping from Gerda in hiding.) 
Prince: Oh! There's no need to be a cry-baby! 
Princess: I'm not a cry-baby! 

{More weeping off.) 
Prince: Well, you're crying all right! 

{More weeping off.) 
Princess: I tell you, I'm not crying! 

{More weeping.) 
Prince {turning angrily) : Then if you're not crying who . . . ? 

{Stops as he hears weeping) 
Princess: Yes who? Who is crying? 

{A.s they both look to where it is coming from ', the weeping 

Gerda comes out, followed by fearful Klara and Karl.) 

Gerda {tearfully): It is I! I . . . I . . . I'm sorry . . . but 

. . . oooo! {She bursts into tears again.) 
Karl: Pardon! Pardon, Your Highnesses, but . . . 
Prince: Quiet, you! {Turning to Gerda.) What are you 

crying for? And how did you get in? 
Klara and Karl: Actually . . . 
Prince: Stop chattering! 
Princess: Dear little girl, we won't hurt you. But why 

are you crying? 
Gerda {sobbing): I ... I was behind the curtain . . . and 
. . . ooooooo! {Tears again.) 
Princess: You were behind the curtain and what then? 

Gerda: . . . Th . . . there was a little hole in it . . . 

Princess: Yes? 

Gerda: . . . I . . . looked through it and . . . 

Princess: . . . and . . . 

Gerda: . . . then I saw his {pointing to Prince) — his face 

Oooooo! (In tears.) 
Princess (enjoying this): And was that why you were crying? 
Gerda (swallowing hard)'. . . . Yes. 

(Princess laughs.) 
Prince: What's wrong with my face? 
Gerda: Oh! Nothing, please. It is just because it isn't 

Kay's face. 
Prince: Of course not. It's my own face. And I am 

Gerda: But the raven said he heard you, Princess, call 

him . . . (Gesture.) . . . 'Kay'. 
Prince and Princess (looking at each other)'. Kay? (To the 

others?) When? 
Klara: Actually, after lunch — this afternoon. 
Princess: Oh, that was when you told me the story of 

Kay and Gerda. 
Prince: Oh yes! And then we played that I was Kay. 
Princess: And I was Gerda. 
Gerda (sobbing)-. But ... I am Gerda. 

Prince and Princess: You ? Gerda? 

Prince: Now I see! 

Princess: It must have been a terrible disappointment. 

Come, Gerda, come, little girl, don't cry! I'll give you 

this ribbon. (She wants to take off her sash.) 
Prince: Nonsense! That won't be any real help to her. 

(Low voice.) Ask Gerda to stay. 

Princess: You are now our guest in the castle, Gerda. 

Gerda {drying tears): Oh! Thank you, but I must go on. 

Prince: To search for Kay? 

Gerda: Yes, Prince . . . 

Prince: 'Prince' — nonsense! Just call me Klaus. 

Princess: And me Christina. 

Gerda: Thank you, Klaus, thank you, Christina. 

Ravens (giggling, delighted): Christina! Christina! 

Prince {to ravens): Stop chattering! (To Gerda.) And 

where do you hope to find Kay? 
Gerda: In the far, far north, perhaps ... in the Snow 

Queen's land. . . . 
Prince: But that's a long way . . . (Pause.) (Suddenly.) 

I know! We'll give Gerda the coach! 
Karl: Ra-ra! 

Princess: And four black horses! 
Klara (delighted): Ra-ra! 
Gerda (embarrassed): But . . . 
Prince: And fur gloves — and a muff! 
Princess: And fur boots! 
Prince: And a fur cap! 
Princess: And a fur coat! 
Gerda: No, no, Christina, I can't accept that! 
Princess: Why not? I shan't miss it. I have four hundred 

and eighty-nine fur coats. 
Prince: But first you must have a proper rest. 
Gerda: Please, Klaus, please, Christina, don't make me 

go to bed first. I can sleep in the coach. 
Prince: Alright. (Impatiently.) Ravens! Fly to the 

stables. Tell the grooms to harness four black horses to 

the coach! At once! 
Princess: The golden coach! 
Gerda: Oh! At least not the golden coach, please! 
Princess: Don't argue! You'll look so much nicer in that 

Klara (going): A carriage! A carriage! 
Karl: Black mares! Black mares! Black mares! 

(Klara and Karl go.) 
Prince: Now let's fetch the fur coat! 
Princess: And the other things. You are not afraid to be 

left alone? 
Prince: Of course not. (To Gerda.) Nobody can touch 

you on this side of the line. 
Gerda: Thank you. I'll sit here. (Pointing to a stool.) 
Prince: Fine. We'll be back soon. 

(They both go off quickly with one candlestick.) 
Gerda: Thank you, Christina. Thank you, Klaus. (Sits 

down.) How nice they are to me. — But this castle is really 

very strange ... so old and damp and gloomy. And 

those ghosts . . . (The clock starts striking again.) One 

... I hope it's not midnight on top of everything . . . 

four . . . five ... If the ghosts appeared . . . seven . . . 

I hope they will be back soon . . . eleven . . . twelve. 
(Short silence.) Midnight . . . Brrrr! But . . . but . . . 

somebody's coming. (Slowly.) If it's the ghost of 

Christina's great-great-great-grandfather, what shall I . . . 
(The King enters.) 

Oh! (Curtsies.) G-good evening, great-great-great 

grandfather. . . . 
King (fixing his eyes on her)'. Hm? . . . Grandfather? 
Gerda: Yes, sir . . . (Seeing his angry eyes.) I am sorry if 

I said anything wrong ... I have never met a ghost 

before. . . . 
King: A ghost? I . . .? 

Gerda: Yes . . . and I don't quite know how to talk to a 

King: A ghost Hm? . . . You think I am . . . 

Gerda {curtsies)'. A great-great-great-grandfather of 

King {staring at her): Christina!— That hussy! Hm— 

Come here. Come here! 
Gerda: Please excuse me . . . but . . . 
King: When I say 'Come', people obey!— Ghosts are not 

kept waiting. 
Gerda {takes a few steps towards line, then stops): Klaus said 

I should not cross the line. 
King {loudly): And I say: come here. 

(Gerda moves nearer, then retires.) 
{Impatiently, shouting.) Enough of this nonsense! I am— 
no ghost. 
Gerda: No ghost? 
King {comes down the line, appears in the light): I am the 

King— Princess Christina's father— the King! 
Gerda: Oh — I am sorry, sir. 

King: 'Sir'! He who wears this ring is used to be 
addressed as 'Your Majesty.' 

{He stretches his hand over the line. He is wearing a large 
Gerda {intimidated): Yes, Your Majesty. 

{She approaches the line to look at the ring. The King quickly 
catches her.) 
King: Guards! Guards! 

{Trumpets offstage — secret doors open— guards enter as Gerda 
just succeeds to free herself and jumps into the light half of the 
Gerda: Shame! Shame! You cheated, you— the King! 
King {furious, to the Guards): Well! . . . What are you 

standing around for listening? Off with you! (Guards 

off.) And you. Have you no sense of etiquette? What a way 

to talk to me — the King! . . . To scold me — in front of 

my soldiers! You have shamed me. You have no feelings. 
Gerda: I have . . . but you wanted to trap me! 
King {still angry): No — not I! {Then looking round 

anxiously; low voice.) He did! 
Gerda: He? Who? 
King {low voice, irritated): I shall tell you, if only you will 

come here. 

(Gerda shakes her head. Moves away from line.) 

{Shouting.) I can't shout it across the whole room! Be 

seated. {Gesture.) 
Gerda {taking her stool to the line, sitting down): I'll sit down 

on this side. 
King {grumbling): You are insolent! Disobedient! And 

. . . and — look at me — having to carry my own seat! 

I the King! 

{Then grumbling and with a sigh goes to fetch another stool, sits 
down on his side of the line. They begin a conversation in 
whispers and very confidentially^) 

More and more indignity! You see, the Chancellor wants 


Gerda: The Chancellor? Oh! Where is he? 

King: Oh, he is somewhere in the castle. He wants me 


Gerda {turning round): In this castle? How does he know 

that I am here? 
King: Oh, he has eyes everywhere. But what I am telling 

you is that he wants me to put you into a dungeon. You 

will let me, won't you? Eh? 

Gerda {slightly withdrawing from King): Put me into a 

King: It's not my idea. I'd let you go. 
Gerda: But . . . you are the King — can't you protect me 

from him? 
King: No, I can't! 

Gerda: But why? You are not scared of him, are you? 
King (low voice)'. No — not of him — but of her. 
Gerda: Whom? 
King: The Snow Queen. 
Gerda: Is she here too? 
King: No, no. She lives in her land to the north, which 

borders on my Kingdom. She is very powerful and she 

might come to invade my country, if I let you go. So let 

me put you in a dungeon. She does not want you in her 

Gerda: The Snow Queen does not want me in her 

King: No — that's what the Chancellor says. What can I 

do? Come, Gerda, do let me cast you into the dungeon. 

A nice dungeon, a comfy one. 
Gerda (deep in thought): She does not want me in her 

land . . . 
King {angry): How often must I tell you; NO! Come on! 

If we anger her we are all lost. But if you go to the 

dungeon the Chancellor promised me that she would 

turn all my enemies into ice. 

(Chancellor enters at the back and listens.) 
Gerda: If she does not want me in her land, that can only 

mean that Kay is really there. 
Chancellor: It means nothing of the sort! 
(Gerda jumps up. The King rises.) 

But may I remind your Majesty of what it may mean if 

that girl is allowed to get away? Seize her! 
King: But you see, my dear Chancellor, she is on the 

wrong side of the line. 
Chancellor: To that, one might be inclined to say: 

Fiddlesticks! (He slowly approaches the line.) A King must 

be (a) as cold as snow, (b) as hard as ice and (c) as swift 

as a — winter whirlwind! {Suddenly lassoes Gerda with his 

scarf and draws her across the frontier 9 .) 
Gerda: Help! Help! . . . 
Chancellor: Haha! That is the way to do it! 

(The Storyteller suddenly enters on King's half.) 
Storyteller (freeing Gerda): No, thafs the way to do 

it! (And he runs with her to safety across the line.) 
Chancellor: You — here? 
Storyteller: Yes, I'm here. (Embracing Gerda.) I saw 

you were following Gerda, so I followed you. Snip 

Snap! Now what can you do? 
Chancellor: Sire, call the guards! 
Storyteller (pulling out pistol to King): Who moves — is 

shot! (Drawing a sword, to Chancellor.) Who stirs — is 

Chancellor: Call the guards! He won't shoot. He 

probably forgot to load it. 
Storyteller: No, I didn't. (Engaging the Chancellor.) 

Haha! Sir Chancellor! 
Gerda: Klaus! Christina! 
Chancellor (fencing): The guards, sire! The pistol isn't 

King (trembling): He says it is. 
Chancellor: If it is — he'll miss. 
King: And if he doesn't? . . . It's I— I who'll be killed! 

Chancellor: Ridiculous! (He knocks the pistol out of the 
Storyteller's hand with his sword.) That's that! 
(The King approaches as the Storyteller, in the heat of 
battle, puts his foot across the line.) 
Gerda: Look out! The line! 

(The King trips up the Storyteller.) 
King (proudly): That's that. 
Storyteller (falling): You tripped me up, Your Majesty! 

You cheated! 
King (seizing the Storyteller by his arms): Guards! 

Gerda (seizing the Storyteller by his legs): Christina! 

(As King and Gerda start trying to pull the Story- 
teller into their respective halves, Two Guards run 
in on one side and the Princess and Prince on the other. 
A tug-of-war ensues. At last the Storyteller is pulled 
into Christina's half of the room.) 
Prince: What's this? 
Gerda: They nearly killed my best friend. And they 

want to cast me into a dungeon. 
Prince: Let them try. 

Princess (threatening): Papa, for this I shall . . . 
Prince (to Christina): Don't waste time on him! (To 

Gerda.) We've brought three fur coats. 
Princess: Oh, yes! Let's see which one suits you 

(Chancellor and King whisper together.) 
Prince: Don't waste time! (To Gerda.) Take the first 
you can get on! . . . (Loudly.) What are they whispering 
about there? 
Princess: Papa, if you don't stop plotting . . . 

King: We aren't plotting ... just chatting ... of this 

and that . . . 

(The Ravens enter.) 
Karl and Klara: Traral Traral 
Karl: A carriage is readyl 
Klara: Black mares are harnessed! 
Prince: Splendid! Thanks for your services! 

(The Ravens bow.) 
Prince: Ready, Gerda? — Christina? (To Storyteller.) 

Are you coming with us? 
Storyteller: No. I'll keep my eye on the Chancellor — 

to prevent him from following you. 
Chancellor: Oh fiddlesticks! 
Princess: And Papa, I warn you, if . . . 
Prince (impatiently): Oh come on, Christina! 
(The Prince and Princess go off.) 
Karl and Klara (off): Tra-ra tra-ra tra-ra tra-ra\ 
Storyteller (standing aside, keeping his eye on Chancellor, 

but tempted by the triumph of the moment to a little dance): 

Snip! Snap! Snooper! Pooper! Bazalooper! . . . 
Chancellor (aside to King): Sound the alarm! 
King (aside to Guard): Sound the alarm! 
Storyteller (stopping short in dance): Crippety! 
(Sound of alarm off.) 
The King has been looking out excitedly?) 
King: They've caught her! 
Storyteller (perturbed)-. What? 
King: My good soldiers caught her! Here they come 

now! Bring her in! 

(A Guard brings in someone who seems to be Gerda. She is 
crying and covering her face with a muff.) 
Storyteller: Gerda! Crippety! 
King: Gerda. 
Chancellor: That's that! 
King: That's that! To the dungeons with her! 

(Noise at door.) 
Chancellor: What's that? 
King: Come in! 

(A second Guard brings in another Gerda, similarly dressed 
and weeping.) 
Storyteller: Crappity! 

(General amazement.) 
King (hand to head): Oh! I knew all this would drive me 

mad! Two Gerdas! I've gone off my head! 

(Both 'Gerdas' lower muffs. They are Klaus and Christina.) 
Chancellor and King: WHAT! ! ! 
Storyteller: Yes, dear Chancellor — that is that! 
King: But . . . but . . . how is that . . . that? (Pointing 

first to Klaus, then to Christina.) 
Prince: Simple! We had three fur coats. Gerda put on one. 
Princess: . » , And we put on the other two in the dark . . . 

Prince: And the stupid guards ran after us . . . 

Princess: , . . And Gerda simply drove away . . . 

Prince: ... in the golden coach. (To Chancellor.) 
And you can't get her now! 

Storyteller: Bravo, you two! (The children run off.) 
And now, my dear Chancellor, is the game up? 

Chancellor: No. The game goes on, my dear Story- 
teller. (Exit officiously.) 

Storyteller (to audience): But our story — that goes on 
too! (Exit mimicking the Chancellor's exit.) 

King (dejectedly, sitting on throne): Oh! 
(Music of coach travelling.) 

Storyteller: And how are you all? 
Karl: Yiah . . . Klara and I are married. 
Storyteller: Congratulations. 
Karl: And travelling with Klaus and Christina. 
Storyteller: So that's why we didn't find any of you at 

the castle. 
Karl: Yes. Klaus has commanded the whole army to 

make one massive search party, to find Gerda. Ah! Our 

Prince has a plan! 
Storyteller: And what is your part in the plan? 
Karl (with modesty): I just hover in advance resting 

glances over the land. 
Storyteller: And have you found anything? 
Karl: Rather! 

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