The Fellowship of the Ring ala Gilbert and Sullivan

by onónë

Act I Scene 3 and Entre'acte


Act I Scene 3… The Journey from Bree

Unable to sneak out of Bree, the way they would have liked, the hobbits and Strider are escorted out of town by Barliman Butterbur and a chorus of Pony Patrons. While this certainly eliminates the elements of secrecy and surprise so necessary to the quest, it does provide a big, rousing musical interlude and get any number of extras into the scene, so it’s all right.

[“Then Frederic let your escort lionhearted” and “When the Foeman Bares His Steel” from Pirates of Penzance]

Barliman Butterbur:
Then Frodo, let your escort lionhearted
be summoned to receive a farewell blessing
Ere they depart upon their dread adventure.

Frodo:
Dear, sir, they come.

(Enter the 3 other hobbits, marching in single file. Strider is with them.)

Strider and Hobbit Chorus:
When the foeman bares his steel,
Tarantara! tarantara!
We uncomfortable feel,
Tarantara!
And we find the wisest thing,
Tarantara! tarantara!
Is to slap our chests and sing,
Tarantara!
For when threatened with émeutes,
Tarantara! tarantara!
And your heart is in your boots,
Tarantara!
There is nothing brings it round
Like the trumpet's martial sound,
Like the trumpet's martial sound

Tarantara! tarantara!,
Tarantara, tarantara, tarantara, tarantara,
Tarantara, tarantara, tarantara, tarantara,
Tarantara, tarantara, ra, ra, tarantara!

Butterbur:
Go, ye heroes, go to glory,
Though you die in combat gory,
Ye shall live in song and story.
Go to immortality!
Go to death, and go to slaughter;
Die, and every Hobbit daughter
With her tears your grave shall water.
Go, ye heroes, go and die!

Chorus of Pony Patrons:
Go, ye heroes, go and die!
Go, ye heroes, go and die!

Strider and Hobbit Chorus:
Though to us it's evident,
Tarantara! tarantara!
These attentions are well meant,
Tarantara!
Such expressions don't appear,
Tarantara! tarantara!
Calculated men to cheer
Tarantara!
Who are going to meet their fate
In a highly nervous state.
Tarantara! tarantara! tarantara!
Still to us it's evident
These attentions are well meant.
Tarantara! tarantara! tarantara!

Bill Ferney:
Go and do your best endeavour,
And before all links we sever,
We will say farewell for-ever.
Go to glory and the grave!

Pony Patrons:
Go to glory and the grave!
For your foes are fierce and ruthless,
False, unmerciful, and truthless;
Young and tender, old and toothless,
All in vain their mercy crave.

Strider:
We observe too great a stress,
On the risks that on us press,
And of reference a lack
To our chance of coming back.
Still, perhaps it would be wise
Not to carp or criticize,
For it's very evident
These attentions are well meant.

Hobbits:
Yes, it's very evident
These attentions are well meant,
Evident, yes, well meant, evident
Ah, yes, well meant!

(all break into song at once, repeating all of the above verse ad nauseum!)

top

And once again we see the hobbits trekking through the wilds, this time with Strider as their guide. But seeing as the stage is only so big, the four hobbits, Bill the Pony and Strider cross slowly and then run around backstage and come out wearily to cross again. And as they do this, they sing a reprise of an earlier song… a very G&S thing to do….

[“Twenty lovesick maidens we” from Patience]

4 Hobbits:
Four tired, weary Hobbits we,
Wand’ring ‘round from hill to hill
Twenty years hence shall we be
Four tired, weary Hobbits still?
Oh misery!

The curtain falls

Entre’acte… the Wizards Battle

While the curtain is down, Gandalf the Grey and a cleaner version of himself, Saruman the White, stroll out onto the proscenium to discuss the fate of the Ring. It quickly becomes evident that Saruman is all for using the Ring himself. Once again, this is not to Gandalf’s liking. (The audience pauses a moment to wonder why, if Gandalf was so positive about what had to be done with the Ring, he didn’t do it himself, instead of bossing everyone else around.) Gandalf bursts into song with…..

[“Oh False One, you have deceived me” from Pirates of Penzance]

Gandalf
Oh, false one, you have deceived me!
Saruman
I have deceived you?
Gandalf
Yes, deceived me!
You acted like you’re on our side
Saruman
And Gandalf am I not so?
Gandalf
But now I see it’s just your pride.
Saruman
I’m sure I’m not a jot so.
Gandalf
On my respect for you you play
Saruman
I’m not the one to plot so
Gandalf
But over me you have no sway
Saruman
It gradually got so!
Gandalf
Faithless wizard, to deceive me, I who trusted so
Saruman
Gandalf, Gandalf, do not leave me, hear me ere you go.
Gandalf
Faithless wizard
Saruman
Gandalf! Gandalf!
Gandalf
Faithless wizard
Saruman
Gandalf! Gandalf!
Together:
Gandalf
Faithless wizard, to deceive me, I who trusted so
Saruman
Gandalf, Gandalf, do not leave me, hear me ere you go.

The Ring, without reflecting, oh do not be rejecting.
Take the Ring so precious, its power beyond peers
At very highest rating has been accumulating
Many hundred years…
Many hundred years.
Don’t take It to Its master and
Crush us with disaster
What is all his power to the power we hold here?
My power unabating
(Gandalf: is it unabating?)
Has been accumulating
(Gandalf: been accumulating)
Far beyond my peers,
Far beyond my peers!

Together:
Gandalf
Faithless wizard, to deceive me, I who trusted so
Saruman
Gandalf, Gandalf, do not leave me, hear me ere you go.


We, however, don’t get to hear them ere they go. As they finish they exit stage right and we are left to wonder what they will decide, who will emerge victorious and why Saruman was singing alto.