Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gaol Theatre at Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury was fun this year.  One of the acts there was a group from Washington called "The Hangman's Acre," who put folks into gaol cells on trumped-up charges.  After some theatrical taunting, the accused could get out if they did something silly (some folks had to sing "I'm a little teapot," one young boy had to dance like a pretty ballerina).

The Child decided he wanted to be locked up--mostly, I think, for the experience of being able to bribe his way out of jail--so he took his money, marched up to the gaolers, and began to tell them he wanted to be locked up.   This was outside their script, and some slightly confused gaolers shook their heads to clear them, then looked around for the parents.

We laughed and I walked up and came up with the charges of "belching at the breakfast table and extreme flatulence" while Mark and The Child wandered off to be caught.  Once the paperwork was done, the Chief Gaoler and I were off to clap the miscreant into the clink.

Apparently, near the jousting area,  The Child was having some second thoughts.  "Here, Mark," he said, "You take my cloak and wear it; that way they won't know who I am."  But we found them.

The Chief Gaoler made sure The Child wasn't too freaked out, and then went into theatrics, reading the warrant, and then marching him off the the gaol, with many cries of "Make way for a most terrible criminal!"  Mark and I followed, with cries of "Baby-sitting!" which were quickly denied by the Chief Gaoler.

The Child was put into a cell--it didn't really lock, I think it closed magnetically--the charges against him were read and then spiked to the front of the cell.

He was encouraged to use the soap in the cell, and the Chief Gaoler did some more Gaol-Theatre.   I caught The Child's eyes and patted my pockets significantly, and he remembered that he had a bribe to give the Gaoler.

"Wait!" The Gaoler said, "The charges have been dropped.  This child is pure as the driven snow!"

We protested and argued a little with him, but The Child was freed.

The Gaoler leaned forward and said, "Congratulations, my boy; you'll go far in life."

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