The Story of Young King Arthur
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The Story of Young King Arthur -
The grandeur of
ancient British and Welsh legend and lore brought to life
through the eyes of the fabled master of Wizardry and Wit,
the Magical and Mysterious Merlin the Enchanter, who re-creates
the exciting and dramatic story of how young Arthur came
to be one of the most celebrated Kings in history. 2 Acts.
10 principal characters; 5 women, 5 men plus (for a
larger cast size) scripted lines for optional Barons and
Knights and Ladies. Settings: Act I, Merlin's Cave, a
forest; Act II, a churchyard and nearby. Costumes:
Ancient British or Medieval. (Note:
Play script includes a detailed appendix with information
and guidelines for optional magic illusions.)
For larger groups (and especially for groups who might be
studying this era of legend and history) we highly recommend our new
EXPANDED CAST VERSION of this play which has 40 individual speaking
roles (24 women, 14 men, and 2 gender flexible) which can be played by
as few as 30-35 actors (suggestions for combining and doubling roles are
in the script).
Approximate Playing Time: 70-80 minutes
At the beginning of the play Merlin is discovered in his magic cave. He busies himself with his magic potions and dusty books for a moment or two and then notices the audience. "Aha! There you are." He says. "I've been waiting for you."
Then he begins the story: "Today you will see how a mere boy accomplished what many strong men failed to do." Then he shows how he, Merlin, secretly entrusted with the safety of the infant Arthur, brought the child to be raised in secret in the safety of the home of good Sir Ector. As Arthur grows, he plays with Ector's children, Kaye and Elaine, but every day Merlin takes him aside and tutors him, saying that Arthur must prepare for his destiny. No one understands what this means, since Arthur's identity is still a secret, but they all trust Merlin. The years pass peacefully.
Then one day, Arthur's destiny begins to unfold and follow its true path, just as Merlin foretold. A beautiful sorceress, Morgan Le Fay, jealous of Merlin's power, and suspecting Arthur's true identity, disguises herself as a fortuneteller, and attempts to put a spell upon the boy. When Merlin intervenes, Morgan vows to return. Accompanied by a clap of thunder and a cloud of fog, she and her cohorts, Dragonfly and Katydidd, disappear to plot revenge and further mischief.
While Arthur was growing up in his peaceful home, the situation in the island country of Britain had grown more unsettled and desperate each year. And so it happened that one day very soon after the incident with Morgan - the good Archbishop summons all the knights and nobles of the land to London for a grand tournament. The real reason behind his summons, however, is that he hopes and prays they will cease their quarrels and finally agree to choose a new King. When Merlin and Arthur accompany Sir Ector and his family to London, Morgan Le Fay follows.
In London a wonderful and mysterious miracle occurs in the churchyard. One morning a great stone suddenly appears. Upon the stone is an anvil, and into the anvil is thrust a magnificent sword. On the sword in letters of gold are these words: "WHOSO PULLETH OUT THIS SWORD FROM THIS STONE AND ANVIL IS THE RIGHTFUL BORN KING OF BRITAIN." "Everyone shall have a chance to draw the sword," the Archbishop decrees, but first the tournament will take place, as planned. This is young Kaye's first tournament, and he's so nervous, he forgets to bring his sword. Arthur, as Kaye's squire, offers to go back to the inn to fetch it. The inn is locked, however, and Arthur despairs.
Suddenly Morgan Le Fay appears, and once again disguised, she encourages Arthur to remove the magic sword from the stone. When he easily does so, she is overjoyed! "I knew it!" She cries. "I knew he was the one! This boy is the rightful King of Britain! I have seen all I need to see!" But before she can do any harm, Merlin arrives, and challenges her: "If you think to control Arthur and his destiny, you must first overcome my powers!" Naturally, Morgan fails to do so. Defeated by Merlin's greater strength she and her cohorts disappear in a cloud of smoke.
When everyone discovers how the magical sword came to be removed from the stone, they know that Arthur is indeed the rightful King. The play concludes with a happy Coronation celebration in honor of the newly crowned ruler. Arthur takes Merlin aside asking him to stay and guide him as he learns how to rule the land. "Will I be a good king, Merlin?" Arthur asks. "Yes, Arthur," Merlin replies. "You will be a good king. I do not need to look into the future to tell you that." "You must stay with me, Merlin. There is so much I need to know. I need you to advise me." And Merlin replies, "I will stay with you as long as my destiny permits." Arthur laughs affectionately: "I won't ask you what that means! You and your riddles!"
As the celebration merrily continues Merlin bids farewell to the audience: "So ends the story I wanted to tell you today. Of course, Arthur went on to have other adventures after he was king, but that is another tale for another time. Perhaps we shall meet again someday, and I can tell you more about those long ago times. Until that time - whenever it shall be - I bid you - farewell!"
Photo Credits: Sol Theatre Project - Ft Lauderdale, FL (right - left bottom), Walter Anthony - EXCALIBUR's original "Merlin" - www.spellbindermagic.com (left above)
On Stage! Playlist
- Classic playscripts and stage plays for theatres, schools, young audiences and performers of all ages -
- ""Indicates Christmas Play titles "" -
|The Adventures of Robin Hood||The Adventures of Tom Sawyer||Aladdin and The Wonderful Lamp||Alice In Wonderland||Beauty and The Beast||A Christmas Carol|
|The Christmas Toyshop||Cinderella||The Emperor's New Clothes||Excalibur! The Story of Young King Arthur||Hansel & Gretel||Jack and The Beanstalk|
|King Midas and The Miraculous Golden Touch||One Magical Christmas Eve||Pinocchio!||The Princess and The Pea||Puss In Boots||Rapunzel and The Frog Prince|
|Rumplestiltskin||Sleeping Beauty||Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs||The Story of The Nutcracker||'Twas The Night Before Christmas||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|
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