Tea With A Side Of DeathMature

(The lights rise on Alice asleep on the floor of her cell. She slowly begins to dream. The scene opens up in a large beautiful garden. Alice is sat having tea with Edith and Lorina. It is a bright sunny day and Liddell manor can be seen in the background.)



Edith: It's so nice to see you outside Alice. It isn't good for you being cooped up in your room.


Alice: It's nice in there.


Lorina: It's nice out here.


Alice: There isn't a lock out here.


Edith: Don't be silly. What do you need a lock for? It's all quite safe here.


Alice: If you say so. (mutters during the following conversation) Why does your cat grin like that? Oh Cheshire! A Cheshire cat! Marvellous. What peculiar little figures. If I had a world of my own everything would be nonsense.


Lorina: It's a beautiful day today. Let's try to enjoy it.


Edith: Later, we should take a boat down the river, we could have a picnic by the bank.


Lorina: Oh yes that sounds delightful!


Edith: Alice? What do you think?


Alice: Yes.


Edith: Splendid. I'll arrange for that lovely man from before to lend us his rowing boat.


Lorina: It's settled then. Shall we ask mother and father if they want to come?


Alice: No.


Edith: Why ever not Alice? They would thoroughly enjoy it.


Alice: No.


Lorina: Don't be so selfish.


Edith: Come on let's ask them now.



(Edith stands to go inside but as she does the faint sound of arguing can be heard)



Lorina: Perhaps we should ask them later. Best not to trouble them now.


Alice: You'll be waiting a long while.


Lorina: Pardon?


Alice: Their fights go on for hours.


Edith: Maybe we should see if they're alright?


Lorina: (sharply) No. They'll be fine. Sit back down Edith.


Edith: Yes Lorina.



(The sound of shouting grows louder and the crashing of objects can be heard)



Alice: Mother needs help.


Lorina: Mother is fine.


Alice: You know what he's doing to her.


Lorina: They are simply having a disagreement.


Edith: What is father doing?


Lorina: Nothing Edith. Drink your tea.


Alice: I'm going.


Lorina: Sit down Alice.


Alice: She needs me.


Lorina: You will stay here.


Edith: Alice perhaps it's best to do as Lorina says.


Alice: No it isn't.


Edith: Please Alice. We can go down the river and have a lovely day. Just us three. Just like we used to.


Alice: No.


Lorina: That is what will happen Alice. You will be a member of this family. Whether you wish to be or not.


Edith: I have missed you so Alice.


Alice: Why aren't either of you doing anything to stop this?


Lorina: There is nothing to stop. They're having a disagreement.


Edith: Yes Alice, they always disagree but they do love each other.


Alice: No they don't. He doesn't.


Lorina: Sit down Alice. I will not ask you again.


Alice: (reluctantly sitting) There.


Lorina: Good now drink up. If we want to go out in the boat we best head off promptly.



(A piercing scream can be heard from the house and a large thud)



Alice: Mother!



(She runs off stage)



Lorina: Get back here Alice!


Edith: What if she's hurt Lorina?


Lorina: You truly believe father would hurt her?


Edith: No but she might of fallen.


Lorina: Doubtful. Stay here.


Edith: But Lorina...


Lorina: (interrupting) Stay here.



(Alice screams off stage)



Edith: Goodness!


Lorina: Alice is always overly dramatic.


Edith: No Lorina. Something bad has happened.



(Edith exits. Alice enters.)



Lorina: This better be another one of your little fantasies Alice.


Alice: She's dead! He pushed her! It's all your fault!


Lorina: No. He wouldn't.


Alice: Go and see for yourself. See what evil he's done. See what evil you let him do.


Lorina: If anything it's your fault. They fight over you. She does it for you. You caused this. Not me.



(Lorina exits. Alice falls to her knees crying. Scene switches back to Alice in her cell. She wakes up and has clearly been sobbing in her sleep. She clutches rabbit tightly. Rabbit enters with two teacups on saucers. He hands one to Alice.)



Rabbit: Bad dream?


Alice: Yes Rabbit.


Rabbit: It's alright now, you're awake.


Alice: It's not alright when the place you wake up in is just as bad as your nightmares.


Rabbit: But there is less pain here. I'm here.


Alice: I know. I know. I know.


Rabbit: Drink your tea.


Alice: (sips) Thank you Rabbit.


Rabbit: We always used to love tea.


Alice: Yes.


Rabbit: And cakes.


Alice: Yes.


Rabbit: I suppose that was before though wasn't it.


Alice: Yes. No. I suppose it was. Yes.



(Henry and John appear stage right. They are just outside of Alice’s cell.)



John: I don’t want to go in there. Must stay away. Must keep away from her. Henry. Please.


Henry: It’s quite alright. She won’t hurt you.


John: I might hurt her. I can’t hurt her. It can’t happen again. Those poor girls. Poor innocent sweet girls.


Henry: You’re with me. I’m your friend yes?


John: Yes Henry. My friend. Always my friend Henry.




(Alice and Rabbit hear noises outside the cell)



Rabbit: Oh, who is that?! It's not her is it?!


Alice: I don't think so...



(Henry and John enter)



Henry: Hello Alice. John wanted to come with me to see you.


Alice: Well if you don’t mind you’re both interrupting.


John: Interrupting what Alice?


Alice: Tea time.



(Henry and John slowly become The Hatter and The March Hare)



Hatter: Now now Rabbit, you weren't contemplating having a tea party without us now?


March Hare: How very rude Rabbit!


Rabbit: No me and Alice were simply....


Hatter: (interrupts) simply going to countenance our presence, yes?


March Hare: Is this for me?



(He snatches the cup of tea from Rabbit and drinks it)



March Hare: Not quite the standard we are used to but pleasant none the less.


Hatter: Alice, aren't you going to offer me some tea?


Alice: Yes, sorry, I quite forgot my manners. Would you care for some tea?


Hatter: Why yes Miss Alice, yes I would.



(He takes the cup from her and sips it)



Hatter: Enchanting.


March Hare: Would you like some wine?


Alice: I don't see any wine.


March Hare: That's because there isn't any.


Alice: Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it.


March Hare: It wasn't very civil of you to not invite us.


Hatter: Alice have you ascertained just why a raven is like a writing desk?


Alice: No and I dare say you haven't either.


Hatter: How very observant you are.


Alice: I believe I could guess it but I doubt it would be the correct answer.


March Hare: Do you mean that you think you can find the answer to it?


Alice: Exactly so.


March Hare: Then you should say what you mean.


Alice: I do, at least, at least I mean what I say, that's the same thing you know.



Hatter: Not the same thing a bit! You might as well just say that 'I see what I eat' is the same as 'I eat what I see'!


March Hare: You might as well say that 'I like what I get' is the same as 'I get what I like'!


Alice: Perhaps it's time you were both leaving. I don't want to get into any more trouble.


Rabbit: Yes yes, shoo shoo.


Hatter: You dare to shoo us Rabbit? Like some common animal scampering amongst your gardens. Like vermin being a nuisance. We only wish to have tea. Eloquent beautiful tea. The height of civilisation the height of royalty. The sheer elocution of it.


Rabbit: Alice wishes for you to leave so I believe that is what you should do.


March Hare: Come Hatter, we can have tea elsewhere. Let's not bother the young lady.


Hatter: Oh but I do enjoy vexing her.


Rabbit: Please, just go.


Alice: I'm feeling rather tired.


Hatter: All the more reason for me to stay, keep you smouldering.


Alice: Certainly not.


March Hare: Come on now friend we can leave amicably. Come with me yes? I’m all you need.


Hatter: I do not wish to depart. I wish to sojourn with Alice. Perhaps it is the two of you that should leave. Give us some space. Some alone time. Time to talk. To mull over days of old. Reminisce. Just me and the magnificent Alice Liddell.


Rabbit: Impertinent.


Alice: Rabbit never leaves.


Hatter: Shame.


March Hare: We're leaving. Please. Come with me. I need you…to come with me.


Hatter: Fine. May I at least present Alice with the gift I procured for her?  



(Hatter goes over to Alice he places the two pills from earlier in her hand and closes it around them. This should be very discreet. Hatter and March Hare then go to exit. Hatter pauses and turns back to Alice.)



Hatter: Until next time, delectable Miss. Alice.

(Hatter and March Hare exit)



Rabbit: What a pair of ruffians.


Alice: They mean no harm.


Rabbit: Well not yet anyway.


Alice: It's alright now Rabbit. You can rest.


Rabbit: Thank you Alice.




(Rabbit exits as Alice lays down to go to sleep with the toy rabbit. Just as she begins to drift off, Belinda enters. She stands at the door for a moment, her breathing is heavy. She walks into Alice's cell slowly)

The End

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