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May Day Eve

By Nick Joaquin
Characters
Agueda (young & old)
Anastasia
Badoy Montiya (young & old)
Daughter
Squirt (akaGrandson)
Girls
Boys
Watchmam
NOTE: Pronounce with more emphasis on the
italicized words.
* Sitch = Situation
ACT ONE: AGUEDA
Scene One: Party at the Mansion

the West! I'll make sure they'll remember us! (chases


a bunch of girls at the other side)
Boy 5: He's drunk. Terribly drunk. Shouldn't we stop
him?
Boy 3: Oh, let him be. The guards will take care of
him.
Boy 2: I worry for him though.
(Anastasia appears in the background,
swatting the girls away)
Boy 2: Oh, crap. The old witch is here!
Anastasia: (waves the boys away) Get out!
Leave! Leave! Return to where you ought to be! //
(looks at the girls) And you girls, go back to
your rooms NOW!
At one side:

Sitch: Boys and girls scattered all over, some


dancing, some chatting, some drinking, some being
random idiots and completely embarrassing.
**DANCE THEN FREEZE (exaggerated poses)
Anastasia: (voice in the background) And it was May
again. It was the first day of May and witches were
abroad in the night. For it was a night of divination, a
night of lovers, // and those who cared might peer in a
mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it
was they were fated to marry.
At one side:
Boy 1: (like a pervert) Ah, my sweet signora, you do
not know how cruel 'tis for us to part without sharing
our
love!
Girl 1: (utterly fell for the pervert) Oh, we'll be able to
see each other again, surely?
At the other side:
Boy 2: Such a wonderful ball for us! Right on May
eve as well! Why do they send us away too early?
Boy 3: Pity, is it not, that we ought to bid farewell to
these pretty lasses before they can even remember
us?
Boy 4: Nay! They remember us, I tell you.
They will remember us, us lads from the great lion of

Girl 2: Being a fair maiden is just too sad! So horrid!


Girl 3: Look at how carefree those boisterous young
freemen are! Yet here we are, caged by our home,
and never we are to--(voice gets overladen with bell
tolls)
Watchman: Guardia sereno-o-o! Alas doce han
dado-o-o!
Scene Two: Anastasia's Story
Sitch: In the girls' room ala slumber party (with
nightgowns), Anastasia is picking up piled crinolines
and folding up shawls and raking slippers to a corner.
Girl 1: Enough, Anastasia! Enough! We want to
sleep!
Girl 2: Yes! Go and scare the boys instead, you old
witch!
Girl 3: (to the other girls) She's not a witch, she's
a maga! Born on Christmas eve, the maga!
Girl 4: (grabs a shawl and mimics Anastasia look) St.
Anastasia, Virgin and Martyr!
Girl 5: Are you not jesting? She has conquered seven
husbands! (to Anastasia, puzzled)Are you still a
virgin,
Anastasia?
Anastasia: No! But I am seven times a martyr
because of you girls! (grabs Girl 4's shawl and hits the
girls with
it) Now get to sleep! It is late!

Agueda: But Anastasia! You still have yet to tell us


your story!
Anastasia: Bollocks! Enough with your twit-twats!
Agueda: Oh, prophesy (read as: pro-phe-SAI) for me,
Anastasia. (other girls groan) Let her prophesy!
Whom
will I marry, old gypsy? Tell me! Come, tell
me!
Anastasia: (quiet for a while, before breaking into a
smile) You may learn in a mirror, if you are not afraid.
Agueda: (very excited) Alright! I am not afraid! I will
go. (jumps off the bed)
Girl 1: Girls, girls! We are making too much noise! My
mother will hear and she'll come just to pinch all of us!
Agueda, get back here! And you Anastasia, I
command you to shut your trap and go away!
Anastasia: (completely sarcastic) Your mother told
me to stay here all night, my grand lady!
Agueda: And I will not go to sleep! Not until I learn
about this mirror! Now, stay old woman. Tell me what
I have to do.
Girl 2-5: Tell her! Tell her!
Girl 1: Oh, you have got to be kidding me!
Anastasia: (stares at the girls with a grin for awhile,
then drops whatever she's holding)
You must take a candle, and go into a
room that is dark and that has a mirrorin it, and you
must
be alone in the room. // Go up to the
mirror and close your eyes and say:

Agueda: Rubbish! This is the year 1847 already.


There is no such thing as devil anymore! // But where
could I
go, hm... // Yes, I know! Down to the sala!
It has that big mirror and no one is there right now.
Girl 1: Are you insane, Agueda?! You can't do this!
It's a mortal sin! You will see the devil!
Agueda: You know very well that's just nonsense!
And besides, I am not afraid. I'm going!
Anastasia: (mad, evil witch laugh again) Oh, you
wicked girl! You mad girl!
Girl 1: Agueda, if you don't come back to bed,
I will call my mother!
Agueda: And if you do, I will tell her who came to visit
you at the convent last March. Come, old woman.
Give me that candle. It's best for me to go.
Girl 1: Agueda! You're insane! Stop her, girls! Quick!
Take hold of her! Block the door!
(girls too dumb to move, so Agueda got out.
Anastasia just shook her head with a wry smile; very
witchy)

mirror, mirror, show to me, him whose woman I


will be. //

Sitch: Agueda runs in from the side then stops at the


edge of the 'sala', panting for breath. The mirror
(covered, also surrounded by candles) at the other
side of the stage. Candles by the edges are alight.
Five seconds after the music begins, with a candle on
hand, Agueda begins walking very slowly towards the
mirror. Exhaust the music as much as possible, but
not to the point of it being overbearing.

If all goes right, just above your left


shoulder will appear the face of the man you will
marry.
( make this very intimidating and
convincing; very important)
(complete silence)
Agueda: (very meek) And what if all does not go
right?
Anastasia: Then may the Lord have mercy on you!
Agueda: Why?
Anastasia: Because you may see the devil! (breaks
out into a cackle)
(girls 1-5 screamed and clutched one
another, ala horror movie)

Scene Three: Mirror, Mirror


NOTE: Everything relies on the playing background
music here as well as the acting. Since the dialogue is
only the incantation, Agueda must be very clear and
precise with her actions. Must be very convincing as
well.

Agueda: (pulls off the cover and stares at it for


around 10 seconds) (takes a deep breath then
exhale) (raises candle) (closes eyes)
Mirror, mirror...
(distraction outside) (some candles got blown
away)
Agueda: Show to me...
(another distraction) (half of the candles now
off)

Agueda: Him whose woman I will be.


(all candles now off, with just those around the
mirror and Agueda's alight)
(KILLER SILENCE MODE!)
(another distraction: Badoy enters
inconspicuously, sound of wood creaking)
(creepy evil giggle of Chuckie)

Agueda: (lips curled) Yes! That he has! // But alas, / I


could not see them at that moment. // All I could see
where his fine clothes, his flashing eyes, his curly hair
and mustache.
Daughter: And did he speak to you, mama?
Agueda: (slow, as if recalling)yes. (firm, as if
sure) Yes, he spoke to me.
Scene Four: Agueda and the Devil Badoy

Agueda: (scared eyes wide open then a gasp) (


make this very realistic; a very important scene)
(all candle lights now gone)
Intermission: Mother and Daughter
Sitch: At the bed, Mommy Agueda hugging daughter
Daughter: (very excited) And what did you see,
mama? What did you see?
Agueda: I saw the devil. (tulala)
Daughter: The devil, mama?! Oh... oh!
Agueda: (closed eyes)Yes, the devil.// (open eyes) I
open my eyes,/ and there / in the mirror / smiling at
me over my left shoulder / was the devil.
Daughter: (naiiyak) Oh, my poor little mama! Were
you frightened?
Agueda: Of course, my child. // You can imagine. //
Hence / good little girls do not look into the mirrors /
unless their mother tells them to.// You must stop this
naughty habit, / darling,/ of admiring yourself in every
mirror you pass / lest you see something frightful
someday.
Daughter: But the devil mama. What did he look like?
Agueda: Well, let me see... // I reckon he has curly
hair and a scar on his cheek.
Daughter: A scar like papa's?
Agueda: Well, yes. But this of the devil was the scar
of sin / while that of your papa is ascar of honour
or so he says. (from proud to deadpan)
Daughter: And? And? What else about the devil,
mama?
Agueda: He had a moustache...
Daughter: Like papa's too?
Agueda: Oh, no! Those of your papa are dirty and
graying and smell horrible of tobacco! // These of the
devil were very black and elegant. // Oh, how
elegant they truly were!
Daughter: And did he have horns and a tail, mama?
Like what the sisters say?

Sitch: back to Scene 3 setting, only with lights on and


Badoy looking very much like a happy prat. Agueda
now ready to kick some arses.
Devil/Badoy: Charms like your shave no need for a
candle, fair one! (smiles and gives a low mocking
bow)
Agueda: (whirls around and glares at Badoy)
(Badoy bursts into a happy bully laugh)
Badoy: But I remember you! // You are Agueda, /
whom I left, / nothing but a mere infant / and came
home to find a tremendous, / splendid beauty, / and I
danced a waltz with you but you wouldn't give me
the polka!
Agueda: (huffs) I have enough of your foolishness.
Let me pass.
Badoy: (blocks) But I want to dance the polka with
the fair one.
(they stood before the mirror; their breaths
the only sound in the room)
Agueda: I told you, enough with your pranks! Now let
me be! // I will retire now, you insolent git! (pushes
Badoy aside)
Badoy: (grabs Agueda's wrist) No! Not until we have
danced!
Agueda: Silence, you prat! You'll wake even the
dead!
Badoy: I don't care about them! All I want is a dance!
A dance with you!
Agueda: Oh, shut up! Go into the devil!
Badoy: (laughs) What a temper has my serrana!
Agueda: (lashes out with a yell)
Badoy: Ah, ah! Now you'll wake the dead.
Agueda: I am not your serrana!
Badoy: Whose then? Someone I know? Someone I
have offended grievously? Because you treat me
and all of my friends as if we're mortal enemies. //
Such ill treatment I do not like at all, my fair maiden.

Agueda: And why not? You do not know how I detest


you! Oh, I detest you, you pompous young man! You
go to your beloved Europe and come back an elegant
lord and w-we poor girls too tame to please you! We
have no grace like the Parisiennes, no fire like the
Sevillians, and we have no salt! No salt, no salt! You
wear me! You bore me! You fastidiousyoung men!
NOTE: Agueda here sounds really angry. She's
basically rambling out her anger, complete with angry
gestures. Just go wild with yourself. Be an angry,
jealous lady, for once.
Badoy: Now you jest, serrana. How do you know
about us? How can you even be so
sure?(incredulous, demanding)
Agueda: I heard about you talking among yourselves,
and I despise the pack of you!
Badoy: But clearly you do not despise
yourself, signora. // You come to admire your charms
in the mirror even in the middle of the night!
Agueda: I was not admiring myself, sir!
Badoy: What then? The moon, perhaps?
Agueda: Oh! You! (drops the candle, covers face and
sobs like a pitiful damsel)
Badoy: (alarmed; gets touchy-touchy with
Agueda) Oh, do not cry, little one! Forgive me, I said
too much! // Please! // Don't cry! // It pains me too
much to see your lovely face / stained by such cruel
tears wrought by no one else other than me. //
Enough, Agueda! // No more tears! // If you seek to
hurt me, then such / you have already accomplished!
// Now, / please, / I beg of you, / and no one dares to
beg but / I of your forgiveness! // Too drunk of my own
folly, I truly was! // I knew not what I said, / and has
truly said too much!
(Badoy grasped and found her hand and touched it to
his lips. She shuddered, looking uptimidly and
cautiously)
Agueda: (shoves Badoy away again) Let me go!
Badoy: No! No, Agueda! Not without your
forgiveness!
Agueda: In your dreams, you prat! Let me go! Away
now!
Badoy: Such I cannot do! Say you forgive me,
Agueda! (grabs her hands again)
Agueda: (ITZ BITCHSLAP TIEMZslaps Badoy
then runs away; bite knuckles)

Badoy: (musing; monologue) But Judas! What eyes


she had, and what a pretty shade she turns when
angry! Son of a Turk, but she was truly quite the
enchantress! How could she think she had no fine nor
grace? And no salt? An arroba she had of it!
(singing ala Prince Charming; walk to the
window side while singing) No lack or salt in the
chrism, at the moment of thy baptism!
Badoy: Never shall I forget this night! Never!
(one last lightning outside window before
lights off)
ACT TWO: BADOY Scene One: Grandpa Badoy
and the Squirt
Sitch: Grandpa Badoy was walking home. Squirt is in
the sala, very much like in Scene 3. Grandpa enters
the dark sala then opens the light, he cried out when
he saw his grandson (in a frilly pink nightgown)
standing before the mirror.
NOTE: Grandpa Badoy sounds very much like an old
man who needs to get into a nursing home. Capisci?
Badoy: You foolish boy! What are you doing /
standing there like alike a--(struggles to find the
right word)
Squirt: Oh, grandpa! You frightened me, grandpa!
Badoy: Oh, you! So it was you all along, you
young bandit! And what is all this? Oi! What are you
doing down here at this hour?!
Squit: (adorably innocent) Nothing, grandpa. I was
only.. I was only...
Badoy: (very sarcastic) Yes you are. Yes, you are the
great Signor Only, / and how delighted I am to make
your acquaintance,/ great Signor Only. // But if I break
this cane on your head, / you may wish you were
someone else, sir!
Squirt: But it was just foolishness, grandpa. They told
me I would see my wife if I look into the mirror!
Badoy: Wife? What wife? You got duped again, you
little brat.
Squirt: But grandpa! The boys at school said I would
see her if I looked into a mirror tonight and say:
Mirror, mirror, show to me, her whose lover I will be.
(Badoy takes Squirt and pulled him along to sit
down on a chair)
Badoy: Why don't you put that candle down the floor,
squirt, and let us talk over this.// So you want your

wife already, eh? // You want to see her in advance. //


But do you know that there are wicked games / and
that wicked boys who play them are in danger of
horrors?
Squirt: Well, the boys did warn me I might see a
witch instead.
Badoy: Exactly! A witch so horrible you may die of
fright! And she will bewitch you, she willtorture you,
she will eat your heart and drink your blood!
Squirt: Oh, come on now, grandpa. It's 1890 already.
There are no witches anymore. Grow up, grandpa!
Badoy: Oh, no, my young Voltaire! And what if I tell
you that I myself have seen a witch? (in whisper)
Squirt: (surprised, piqued) You? Really,
grandpa? Where?
Badoy: Right in this room... right in that mirror. (points
at mirror)
Squirt: When is this, grandpa?
Badoy: Not so long ago. // When I was a bit older
than you, / oh, I was a vain fellow and though I was
feeling very sick that night, / I merely wanted to lie
down somewhere and die. // I could not pass the
doorway of course, / without stopping to see in the
mirror what I looked like when dying. // But when I
poke my head in, / what I should see in the mirror is
not me but... but...
Squirt: (whisper) the witch?
Badoy: Exactly!
Squirt: And did she bewitch you, grandpa?
Badoy: Bewitched me? Hah! She did more than just
that, my young child! She bewitched me
and tortured me! She ate my heart and drank my
blood!
Squirt: Oh, my poor little grandpa! Why have you
never told me so! Was she horrible? Oh, please tell
me no!
Badoy: Horrible? By the gods, no! // She was
beautiful. // She was the most beautiful creature I
have ever seen! // Her eyes were somewhat like
yours, / but her hair was like black waters / and her
golden shoulders were bare. // My God, / she was
enchanting! // But I should have known--// I should
have known even thenthe dark fatal creature she
was!
(another round of silence as squirt continues
looking up at grandpa in awe)
Squirt: (glances at the mirror) What a horrid mirror
this is, grandpa.

Badoy: What makes you say that, ei?


Squirt: Well, you saw this witch in it. And mama once
told me that Grandma once told her that Grandma
saw the devil in this mirror. Was it of fright that
Grandma died? If so, then it truly is such a horrid
mirror. Don't you think we should be rid of it, grandpa?
Badoy: (only stares at the mirror with a wry smile, as
if reckoning Agueda fondly) Who knows, kid. Who
knows...
(another silence, broken by Badoy who carries
his grandson off the chair)
Badoy: Well, that's enough story telling for today,
squirt. Now get back to bed.
Squirt: Okay, grandpa. G'nite!
(left alone, Badoy sits down again, shaking his
head as well)
Badoy: Who knows indeed...
****young couples meet(mirror); old couples meet(
bed)***
Watchman: Guardia Sereno-o-o! Alas doce han
dado-o-o-o
(LIGHTS OFF!)