The Wee Triple Swine of Briarvine is a brilliant adaptation of The Three Little Pigs as Shakespeare might have written it. This play draws much of its dialogue directly from the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare to craft this rendition. Subscripts embedded in the play point to the various Shakespearean references. This play is intended to be performed by teens as an introduction to the language and style of Shakespeare, and as a pointer to his works. Students will definitely enjoy performing this clever adaptation!
Bill Schulte is a grandfather who shares a love of Shakespeare with his wife, June, and granddaughter, Lorien, age 13, for whom this play was written.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
TIME: Long Ago.
SETTING: The English countryside and the small hamlet of Briarvine.
Three households, unlike in constitution,
in fair Briarvine, where we lay our scene.1
Long ago but, nay, not so long ago,
under heaven’s dome did venture forth
not one but three wee piglets of an age
as a squash is afore it ’tis a peascod.2
Piglets all, i’faith, in misadventure
to set their gait beyond safe hearth and home
in wanderlust for lands that lay afar!
No mere extravagancy but, rather,
a determinate voyage3 to stake out
claim upon the torrid earth under
the welkin arc.4
Then soon arrive did they in Briarvine.
ACT I Scene I. Briarvine, a nascent field of hay.
Enter piglets, three, innocent and eager.
Even now, on a moderate pace,
have we since arrived but hither!5
What country, friends, is this?6
‘Tis Briarvine! Let thy joy be unbounded!7
Scene II. Briarvine, a nearby wood.
Enter WOLFE, ravenous and cunning.
If piglets be the food I love, prey on!
Give me excess of them that, surfeiting,
the appetite may sicken and so die!8
How now!39 A sweet breeze doth purge the air
of pestilence9, stealing and giving odour10 of
some sly and cunning sty nearby!
Hide will I behind yon pomegranate tree11
where, by strict convention, none shall see.12
Marry! By the very fangs of malice,13
I swear I see not one but three! Do I
speak at this14 or let it be? Nay, I say!
Fetch will I mine sheep’s attire! Then will I
conceal me what I am for such disguise
as haply shall become the form of my intent!15
ACT II Scene I. Briarvine, a nascent field of hay, adjoining nearby wood.
Engaged are piglets three, in construction, mightily.
How hot the eye of heaven shines this day!16
Make I a house of straw from yonder hay!
Make I a willow cabin at your gate.
Call upon my soul within the house17, for
the love we share, when’ere your need be great!
Stone upon stone, brick upon brick, mine home
will be in grain! ’twill endure both wind and rain!18
ACT III Scene I. Briarvine, PIGLET PRIMARY’s door.
Enter WOLFE, attired in sheep’s clothing.
Sweet swine, I desire better acquaintance!19
That is to say, “Let me in! Let me in!”
Pourquoi, my dear sheep?20
What is ‘Pourquoi’? In or not in? I would
I had bestowed that time in the tongues that
I have in pursuing tender, young swine!21
But soft!22 Tender must I be less mine lips
betray my fond intent for thee!
Yon gentle sheep doth tower at my door!
I would rather than forty shillings
I had such a leg.23 Yet, most certain, such
satyr24 leg must needs belong to carnivore!
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness!25
Cucullus non facit monachum!26 Big bad
wolfe begone! Take leave of me! Anon!
Nay I say, and say again, “Let me in! Let me in!”
Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!!
Then blow shall I, as does the sharp north wind!27
Attend! Attend! Your house will I blow in!
A plague upon this howling!28 A pox upon
your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,
Then did the wolfe but huff!
Then did the wolfe but puff!
Then did the house but fall!
All is lost! To prayers! To prayers! All is lost!30
Now flee must I to sister’s fond embrace!
Perchance the malignancy of my dark
fate will not distemper hers!31
Exeunt, PIGLET PRIMARY and WOLFE, with WOLFE in hot pursuit
ACT IV Scene I. Briarvine, PIGLET SECONDARY’s door.
Enter PIGLET PRIMARY, much out of breath.
Oh sister, I pray you! As I love you
and you love me, let me in! let me in!
Upon mine honor32, sister! How urgent
is your plea! Why do you so implore?
Safe now am I inside, quickly bar the door!
A tempest83 is upon us! That, and even more!
Marry! Speak sense, I prithee, sister mine!
Safe now are you, by Providence divine!33
I would I might bear these evils alone,
for it were a poor recompense for your
love to lay any of them on you.34
But, O, you should but pity me! For the
straw of mine own house lies once more
between the elements of air and earth35,
upon the fertile soil! Alas the day!80
Is it even so?36 How can this be true?