Fight Scripts: The Kitchen Knight, or Sir Pretty-Hands of the Round Table

A play taken from Mallory.

Dialogue should be improvised beforehand in rehersals, and remain flexible. Insults are good, sexual innuendo is rife. But this can be toned down for school events…

Costume changes are minimal, and just involve putting different coloured tabards on. This is Nice and Easy.


The Narrator / King Arthur
Sir Kay (and other members of the court if possible- Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawaine, etc)
A Pretty Boy, the Hero
A Shrewish Maiden
Various Opponents (at least Black Knight, Green Knight and Red Knight; if possible also Indigo Knight, Blue Knight, etc)
A Damsel In Distress

Parts can be doubled up, when performed at Green College Ball we had four people:
Bunni was The Narrator, King Arthur, Black Knight, Indigo Knight and A Damsel In Distress
Ross was A Pretty Boy
Freya was Sir Lancelot and A Shrewish Maiden
Dom was Sir Kay, Green Knight at Red Knight

Act 1: King Arthur's Court

Scene 1: Pretty-Hands

The Narrator/Arthur explains that the story is taken from Mallory. It takes place at CAMELOT, on the feast of PENTECOST, when petitioners visited Arthur to ask boons.
The Narrator introduces as many knights as possible. KAY is Arthur's foster-brother, moody and violent. LANCELOT is French, effeminate and a poser. GAWAINE is Scottish. And so on.
Arthur calls for petitioners to approach. A young PRETTY BOY comes forward. Arthur asks his name, and he says he has none- Kay then says "he has a woman's hands!" and calls him Pretty-Hands (Beaumains in the original Mallory).
Arthur says he will grant Pretty-Hands three boons. Pretty-Hands asks for just one boon, food and lodgings for a year. Arthur agrees, and Lancelots volunteers to have the boy as his squire. Kay instead demands the boy as a kitchen page.

Scene 2: The Shrewish Maiden

A year later, same set-up (Arthur+Court, Camelot, Pentecost). Pretty-Hands is working in a corner of the hall.
Petitioners are called for: a SHREWISH MAIDEN approaches. She seeks a knight to save her sister, held captive by the Red Knight. Arthur agrees.
Pretty-Hands asks for his other two boons. He wants to do the quest, and he wants to be knighted "by his special friend Sir Lancelot". Arthur agrees, but the Shrewish Maiden complains bitterly- she wanted a proper knight, like Lancelot or Gawaine, not a stupid kitchen page.

Act 2: Fighting

Scene 1: The Black Knight

Pretty-Hands and the Shrewish Maiden leave Camelot, go travelling. Come across THE BLACK KNIGHT.
The Black Knight asks who they are, Shrewish Maiden says Pretty-Hands is following her and won't go away. FIGHT. Black Knight dies.
Pretty-Hands takes the Black Knight's tabard/shield/whatever, whilst being berated by the Shrewish Maiden ("it was luck, you're not a proper knight, what a pity a proper knight was killed by a bloody kitchen page, etc").

Scene 2: The Green Knight

He asks why Pretty-Hands is wearing his brother's clothes. Shrewish Maiden says Pretty-Hands killed his brother. FIGHT.
Green Knight is down on the floor, begging for his life. Pretty-Hands asks the audience if he should spare him, then asks the Shrewish Maiden. Shrewish Maiden tells him to make up his own mind. Pretty-Hands begins to swing his sword, Shrewish Maiden tells him to stop.

Scene 3+: Other Coloured Knights

They find a sequence of differently-coloured knights (BLUE, INDIGO, etc).
All the knights are brothers, and each ends up defeated by Pretty-Hands. Over time, the Shrewish Maiden is forced to admit that actually Pretty-Hands is a decent fighter, and a proper knight.

Act 3: The Red Knight

Finally they get to the place where the DAMSEL IN DISTRESS is held captive by THE RED KNIGHT. Damsel asks her sister the Shrew if she has brought a mighty knight, Shrew says yes and recounts a list of the foes he has vanquished.
Then Pretty-Hands and Red Knight fight. It is long, hard and climatic. Woof.
The Red Knight is finally vanquished. There is much celebrating. Both Shrew and Damsel offer themselves in marriage to Pretty-Hands: he asks the audience to choose which he should marry.
Pretty-Hands reveals that he does in fact have a name: he is Sir Gareth, brother of Sir Gawaine and cousin of Arthur. He went without a name so that he could win honour on his own, which he has now done.
Everyone lives happily ever after, except the dead ones.

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