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Characters In Quarantine, Part 1: Dorothy (of Oz) and Alice (of Wonderland)

Quarantine’s quite a fun thing, isn’t it? Lots of drama, lots of boredom, lots of lessons and lots of arguments. So, how would certain characters feel if they were forced into 2020 Lockdown with each other? Fun scripts for anyone to preform (at least one adult joke is made in this one). If anybody has any ideas for characters combinations, send them my way.

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We enter onto a plain room. It has white walls. There’s an ugly, old brown couch in the centre with a colourful knitted throw thrown over it. There’s a fireplace to the side of the couch, lit and a pile of ash at the bottom of it as it’s been going a long time. In front of the fireplace there’s an old knitted rug, in similar colours to the throw. There are a few pictures of cats hung on the wall and one picture of a scarecrow in a field next to another cat. Dorothy is sat on the couch, flipping through an old book. Alice is sat on the rug near the fireplace, her shirt partly down as she’s too hot in her dress. She’s hugging her knees to her chest, rocking back and forth and fanning herself.

Alice:              Can we go out yet?

Dorothy:        Nope.

Alice:              (brief pause) What about now?

Dorothy:        Still nope.

Alice:              Surely it must be over now?

Dorothy:        Not according to the news. We just have to be patient.

Alice:              I don’t like being patient (kicks the floor with her heel).

Dorothy:        Well, unless you want to be a patient, you have to be patient.

There’s a minute silence as Alice rolls around on the floor, doing many different silly poses to try and get comfortable. Dorothy continues to flip through her book and doesn’t look up.

Alice:              How are you so good at this?

Dorothy:        I’ve had to sit inside for days when tornado season comes to my Aunty Em’s farm.

Alice:              (shuffling again) Lucky.

Dorothy:        Not really. Why don’t you read a book, Alice?

Alice:              Don’t like books.

Dorothy:        Maybe paint a picture then?

Alice:              (gestures to the room) I’ve already done that. Do you not see all the cats?

Dorothy:        (looks up from book) Oh, yeah. They’re… nice.

Alice:              You didn’t even notice them.

Dorothy:        No, I did.

Alice:              Well, you didn’t say anything about them.

Dorothy:        I was busy, reading.

Alice:              You’re always reading. Can’t you play with me instead?

Dorothy:        Can’t you do your homework for class on Monday?

Alice:              Already done it. What about you?

Dorothy:        I’ll do it later. After I’ve finished my book.

Alice:              Ugh, I should’ve just stayed with my sister. Either way I’d just get someone reading a book and ignoring me.

Dorothy:        Take a nap. That’s what I do when I’m bored.

Alice:              Tried that. Not one sign of a White Rabbit.

Dorothy:        Honestly, I think that’s kind of a good thing to hear. I haven’t seen a sign of Oz lately either.

Alice:              They’re probably all stuck in quarantine too. Ugh, they must be so bored.

Dorothy:        Well, they do say it can get anywhere. I wouldn’t want to get the Good Witch ill. I don’t think she’d ever forgive me.

Alice:              Are you ready to play yet?

Dorothy:        No, Alice. Let me finish my book.

Alice:              Please.

Dorothy:        No.

Alice:              Come on, you know you want to.

Dorothy:        I’m busy.

Alice:              Can we at least turn the fireplace off? It’s boiling.

Dorothy:        No. It took me ages to light that fire. It stays on. A book’s always better with a roaring fireplace going on in the background.

Alice:              Who told you that? The scarecrow or the tin-man? (snickers)

Dorothy:        Don’t be silly. The scarecrow can’t go near fire. And the tin-man’s too scared that he’ll set his forest on fire.

Alice:              All your friends are kind of lame then?

Dorothy:        Oh, yes, what about your friends? The Mad Hatter who’s high on caffeine all the time or the caterpillar who’s high on something else entirely? Doesn’t everyone in Wonderland pretty much just want to kill you?

Alice:              At least it’s interesting there. Never a dull day. Unlike here.

Dorothy:        Well, then, next time this happens you can go and stay with someone else. I’ll be quite fine on my own.

Alice:              Oh, please. You like the attention too much to be all alone.

Dorothy:        How dare you. Get out.

Alice:              I can’t go out, remember?

Dorothy:        Then, go to another room.

Alice:              Fine. I’ll go play with the yellow bricks in the garden (makes to leave).

Dorothy:        It’s raining outside, remember?

Alice:              Ugh. I hate this stupid house.

Dorothy:        Hey, at least you weren’t swept up in a tornado.

Alice:              Oh, please, Dorothy. Everyone knows it was all a dream.

Dorothy:        It was real. I’ve got bruises to prove it.

Alice:              If you had bruises to prove it, why would they still be there? Liar.

Dorothy:        Call me liar again and I’ll…

Alice:              You’ll what? Read me to death?

Dorothy:        (throws her book at Alice, Alice dodges) Get out!

Alice:              Fine. I don’t want to see your stupid face anymore anyway.

Dorothy:        I don’t want to see yours either (goes to pick up her book). It’s corn on the cob for dinner tonight.

Alice:              Ugh, again?

Dorothy:        If you want to do the shopping, why don’t you go next time?

Alice:              I don’t want to.

Dorothy:        Then, we’re eating corn on the cob.

Alice:              Fine.

Dorothy:        Fine.

                        Alice storms out and Dorothy brushes down her book. She wanders back to the couch and fans herself.

                        Wow, geez, it’s hot in here.

                        She continues reading.

Posted in Book/TV/Film Themed Dishes

‘Alice in Wonderland’ Afternoon Tea

A tea fit for the Mad Hatter!

If anyone ever asks me what is my favourite genre of book, or asks me as a writer which genre I prefer to write, I will never hesitate to say ‘children’s’. I could go onto lengthy descriptions of exactly why the genre (which is more of an age range than a genre, since it contains many other genres within it) is so special to me. I could fill a book with ideas and thoughts on how the most secretive, mad and special genre manages to make me entertain and question everything.

But what can I say that can’t be understood by reading a masterpiece like Lewis Carroll’s famously mad-adventure ‘Alice in Wonderland’? And that is how you do a sly, but unsuccessful segue into the dish of the day: welcome my ‘Alice and Wonderland’ inspired Afternoon Tea.

When I decided to do an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ dish I knew straight away that it had to be tea-related. I mean, is there any scene that epitomises ‘Wonderland’ more than the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?

‘We’re all mad here’ — Cheshire Cat

Well, yes, there’s actually plenty of famous scenes from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and from ‘Alice through the Looking Glass too’ and with the Afternoon Tea I’ve managed to capture just a small few of the magical things inside the book.

The favourite of the day was an award won by the ‘Time/Thyme’ Scones and ‘White Rabbit’s’ carrot spread, made with very few ingredients but extraordinarily tasty. My only advice to myself when making them again would be to choose the softer parts of the thyme stem for clock handles, as the hard ones are a smidgen too difficult to chew.

Who knew a pun could be so tasty?
The tasty surprise of the hour!

The Mushroom Caterpillars were especially fun to make, and with a seat of buttery cooked chestnut mushrooms they were the perfect filling edition to the savoury platform. Although, as tasty as they were they were easily beaten by the Duchess’ tasty ‘baby’ in a blanket. The scene when the baby turned into a pig in a blanket (already a good dish in its own right) will forever be a memorable one and I hope to have elevated a great joke (and a great accompaniment) to an Afternoon tea delight, with the addition of a wholemeal ‘mattress’, a blue cheese ‘sheet’ and a little ‘baby’ lettuce cover. It was all a tasty treat and, by far one of the easiest things to make and enjoy.

‘Who are you?’– Caterpillar
It doesn’t take much to make something good, even better!

That brings us on to the puddings, a much harder fete as I had to think of any scene where there was a crazy enough idea to represent the sheer creativity of Wonderland. Jam and rose sandwiches were a must to celebrate the Queen of Hearts and her deck of Playing Cards. Keep painting those roses, guys!

Not quite as well decorated as I’d hoped? ‘Off with their heads’– Queen of Hearts

The Cheshire Cat’s smile is iconic and referenced all throughout many art works post ‘Wonderland’. With a crispy cinnamon base, a chantilly cream cover and large floral-milk jelly teeth I think this Cat will need to see a dentist pretty soon (especially if those biscuits don’t stop being as delicious as they are).

Use rose, lavender, thyme, verbena, whatever mad thing you can think of. Even use mint, then you’ll have teeth that tastes like toothpaste.

And last but certainly no less delicious, my salt and pepper madeleines, inspired by the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’. It may be a slightly dark tale (although no darker than other fairy tales and poetry for children at the time) but salted caramel and peppercorns go really well with the sweet vanilla and caramel sponge. If these things walked out of the sea and I was feeling as hungry as the Carpenter I’d be tempted to trick the young ones into following me too (wait, was this poem meant to be about the farming/fishing industry? Hmmm… That’s worth considering).

I can say nothing but, yum.

Overall I hope that this Afternoon Tea was a good tribute to one of my favourite books, and one of the favourite books of many other people. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is as timeless as a vanilla sponge, as fun as a scone with clock hands and as crazy as a mushroom mousse stuffed choux caterpillar.

Thank you for reading and the recipes will be posted soon for the Sea Salt and Pepper ‘Oysters’ and the ‘White Rabbit’s’ carrot spread .

Signed,

The Literary Onion