JAC Publishing & Promotions


Shake-A-Spear by Michael Legge

ISBN #1-933159-030
JAC #2004-0004

(In order of appearance...)

  • TORONTO: 20s. Young guardsmen of the castle.
  • FLAGULOUS: 60s. Ghost of Toronto's father.
  • HERMAPHRA: 20s-30s. Sister of Toronto.
  • CAPTAIN LOWDER: Mid aged. Salty sea captain.
  • ABBOT: Mid aged. Spirtual leader of the community.
  • BROTHER LOUIS: Any age. His dull witted assistant.
  • MAGDA: 60s. Ugly, old witch.
  • LIPENCRANTZ: 30s. Not too bright castle king's guard.
  • GILDERSLEEVE: 30s. Another not so bright king's guard.
  • RICHARD the ZERO: Mid aged. Hunch-fronted, crippled, evil king of Upforgrabs.
  • WAYUGLY: Middle-aged. His hideous henchmen.
  • CITRUS: Any age. A poor rotten fruit peddlar.
  • QUEEN WHACKATHA: Richard's wife and general nuisance.
  • CLODIS: Whackatha's much put upon personal handmaiden.
  • The DUCHESS of WARTHOG: Any age. Party guest.
  • DUKE NUKEM: Elderly. Party guest.
  • LORD UPCHUCK: Any age. Party guest.
  • LADY UPCHUCK: Same age as lord. Party guest.
  • SERVING GIRL: Any age. No lines.
  • SPUTUM: Any age. Village idiot.

The Setting
The palace and surroundings of King Richard the Zero, medieval times.

Toronto is a palace guard under the reign of King Richard the Zero, the man who, unbeknownst to Toronto, murdered his parents and sister. Foretold by the ghost of his father, Flagulous, Toronto’s sister, Hermaphra, has come back, thanks to the help of the sea-worthy Captain Lowder, to seek her family’s revenge on Richard. By disguising herself as the King’s page, Hermaphra positions herself in the palace and solicits the help of holy men Abbot and Brother Louis, not to mention two bumbling guards, Gildersleeve and Lipencrantz. Toronto bribes the old witch, Magda, for family information, and the two are off to kill the king.  Add in the King’s servant Wayugly, Queen Whackatha, Clodis (the Queen’s lady), Cutler (Clodis’ mother), the Duchess of Warthog, Duke Nukem, Lord and Lady Upchuck and the village idiot, Sputum, and you have a medieval comedy sure to make The Bard turn in his grave.

Author Biography

Headshot (75662 bytes)As he says himself, Michael Legge has been a filmmaker, playwright, actor and director for "too many years."  He is the Artistic Director of the Medway (MA) Players and prides his group on the fact that they prefer to stage unpublished works and new plays.  When he can't do that, he searches for old, obscure plays that no one else does.  Shake-A-Spear is his first published play.  His previous plays include Shake A Spear, and Memoirs of a Gorilla.  Legge is also the head of his own production company, Sideshow Cinema, which has been producing no budget feature length comedies for 20 years.  His movies, Honey Glaze, Braindrainer, Loons and Cutthroats are all available on DVD and can be easily found online.  His newest movie, Democrazy, was released in January'05.  

Michael has no plans to "grow up" anytime soon.


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Have you also seen Legge's full-length plays Time Was and The Fabulous Imbecile?

Vital props needed:

  • A turtle (preferably one with a sharp stick);
  • A sword & scabbard;
  • The hilt of a sword with no blade & scabbard;
  • 2 long spears or staffs;
  • A piece of rawhide;
  • 2 signs: A small 1 with "Not Guilty" & a large 1 with "Guilty";
  • 2 daggers, 1 with disappearing blade;
  • Flagons for the tavern & party scene;
  • 2 whack-sticks: 1 broken & 1 useable;
  • Various pastries;
  • A log with a smiley face carved in it;
  • An epee;
  • An easel, canvas, paints & brushes.
SaS1.jpg (35618 bytes)
Jerry Matus, Steve Buja
SaS2.jpg (47342 bytes)
Lorna Nogueira, John Shanahan
SaS3.jpg (135833 bytes)
Lorna Nogueira, Michael Legge, Steve Paulovich, Jim Porter, Clark Slocomb, John Shanahan
Production Notes from the Author
Because of it's absurd premise, you can get away with a lot in terms of set, costumes and props. In the original production, the set consisted of a black curtain, and about a dozen black boxes which during scene changes were rearranged to make each scene, like building blocks. This is the fastest and most economical way to keep the pace flowing.

Costumes consisted of black turtleneck or long sleeve T shirts and tights or sweatpants for the men, with a tunic made of felt to go over them. The guards had palace insignias on their tunics. The king and queen wore crowns, and our Queen wore a long red satin dress. Female servants and the fruit seller wore period long flowing skirts and peasant shirts. The clergymen wore simple sackcloth made from sheets and dyed. Hermaphra's phony genitals were several sponges stuffed in her tights. The guests at the party simply all wore long black haired wigs, cardboard crowns, and both men and women wore beard and mustaches to match the Richard in our production.

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