The Owl and the Pussy-cat” is a nonsense poem by Edward Lear, first published during 1871 as part of his book Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets. Lear wrote the poem for a three-year-old girl, Janet Symonds, the daughter of Lear’s friend poet John Addington Symonds and his wife Catherine Symonds. The term “runcible”, used for the phrase “runcible spoon,” was invented for the poem.
This short script includes suggestions for creating a setting/backdrop, costumes, tips for performing on Zoom, and music to accompany the piece.
About the Author
Ruth Landowne-Giordano is pleased to join the writers at Drama Notebook. She has been active in the performing arts since early childhood ballet, teen years on – and backstage at the Brown Ledge Camp theatre, College years following the urge to perform at the O’Neill Memorial Theatre Center. Facing adulthood, she turned to costuming and then took time out for family. Years later: adapting plays and stories for radio drama. Producing and directing both live shows and recordings-for-broadcast in Taipei, Taiwan. Recently returned to Massachusetts and learning more about audio recording as a means to preserve radio dramatic works.
Excerpt from the short play
(in order of appearance)
The narration divides nicely into three parts, but it could be done with fewer, or more.
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat –
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar:
O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!
Pussy said to the Owl,
You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?