Stage set up and lighting:
There is a spot light in the middle of the room to make a small space like a prison cell or something similar in Wonderland. Just within the light is a mirror, white roses that have been half painted red, deep blood red that is. There is also the Mad Hatter’s hat in the spot light, and the White Rabbit’s pocket watch, a tea set of different size tea cups and a two teapots. There will also be a deck of cards spread out all over the floor; some might even have some of the red paint from the roses on them too. (There will be six really big red cards) there will also be a small frame with a door that Alice cannot open. The things in the “cell” trigger thoughts for her monologue(s). They are also there so the audience can immediately recognise that it is Alice in wonderland, even before she appears on stage. Also with the familiarity of the Wonderland objects, the audience will expect a happy ending.
The lighting for the start is a blackout. There is a recording playing; it is a recording from the Walt Disney film Alice in Wonderland (the part where she is running away from the queen and she reaches the door). Once the recording finishes Alice starts crying off stage in the dark and a spot light is turned on in the middle of the room where her cell is set up waiting for her. Alice is then thrown into the scene (still crying). She is collapsed on the floor where she fell. She looks up, and through her tears she speaks.
“No, I don’t want to die. I want to go home. I don’t want to die. I need my head. I really do. I want to go home. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. I can’t die. Not now. No, I don’t want to lose my head. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do it. It was the Cheshire cat. I’m innocent. Please don’t kill me. I don’t want to die. I… I… I need to wake up, wait.”
By now she has curled into a ball, her arms wrapped around her knees. Throughout most of the speech she is shaking her head. She looks up as if she has suddenly realised something.
“Can you die in a dream?”
She looks around the room trying to find something to save her with. Then she turns quickly to the mirror and looks at it funny. She turned as if someone was talking to her.
“I am Alice, I think. Who are you?”pause to hear the reply from the mirror. (You think? How can you only think who you are? You must know. Explain yourself). “I think because I can’t quite explain myself. I am not quite myself, you see.” Another pause. (I do not see. What I see is that you are not Alice because you think you are Alice) “Oh that is nonsense. You’re as mad as the rest of them.”
Alice turns away from the mirror and looks about the room again. This time she spots the roses on the floor. She picks one up. Drops it and catches it in her right hand. (This way the “paint” can be all over her right hand).
“All the roses in the queen’s garden were red. Very dark red. Well at least they were being painted dark red. No, wait. I need to wake up. I need to get out.”
She gets up and walks about the spot light trying to get out but she can’t. She is placing her hands on the “edge” of the light. Eventually she makes it to the mirror and she places her painted right hand on it. Then there is a painted hand print left on the mirror and she realises that the paint is actually blood. Or at least she starts to think it. She turns to look at the rose she dropped and picks it up again. She looks at and then swallows hard, trying to stay calm.
“What happens to the blood of the Queen’s victims? Their bodies look all dried up. There’s no blood in them. Not a single drop. But the blood was still dripping from the head of the queen’s latest victim (She looks over at the Mad Hatter’s hat then she looks down and falls/sits down she picks up some cards and starts playing with them as she speaks).And the cards, the cards were collecting the blood as we passed them, as I was dragged back pass them into that dreadful garden. Back pass all the dead bodies and abandoned heads. They were collecting the blood in buckets! In buckets as if it was water. But it’s blood. Red blood. Dark red blood! Other cards were painting the white roses. They were painting them red. Dark red. Dark red paint from buckets. Buckets just like the ones collecting the blood. Their painting the roses with blood! Blood from the innocent victims of the Queen of Hearts. And it’s my turn to paint the roses! No, I have to wake up!”
Alice pinches herself to try to wake herself up but it is not working. She keeps trying, and keeps telling herself to wake up. Closing her eyes and wishing with all her might that she would wake up. But it doesn’t work.
“I was just sleeping. Just pass the door. I was sleeping. I’m Alice and I am asleep out there. Out pass Doorknob. I’m asleep and I can’t wake up! Oh why won’t I wake up? Wake up Alice. Oh, I give myself such good advice but I never listen. Why won’t I listen. Alice wake up. Oh, I always wake up before I die in a bad dream. Why can’t I wake up! This is a dream, is it not? It’s not? Maybe it’s not. Maybe that was a dream and this is real life. Maybe I’ve finally waken up. And I can’t get back to sleep. To sleep, I must paint the roses red.”
During that little speech, Alice starts to change from being sad and scared to happy and crazy etc. She looks over at the pocket watch on the ground and laughs. She goes over to it and picks it up, opens it and laughs again.
“I’m late. I’m late for a very important date. No time to say goodbye, hello. I’m late. I’m late for a very important date. Important date? What important date? Why my important date to paint the roses red.”
She smiles to herself and spies the Mad Hatter’s Hat. She laughs again and as she walks over to the Hat and puts it on she says;
“But it’s my Un-birthday. I can be late if I want. It’s my Un-birthday. A very merry Un-birthday to me. To me! A very merry Un-birthday to me. What a better a day to paint the roses than on my Un-birthday. Oh but it’s only my Un-birthday. A better day would be my… un-life day. My death-day. Oh joy for my death-day. Maybe today is my death-day and not my Un-birthday? After all, I have a very important date today. I must paint the roses red for the Queen.”
her head snaps back to the mirror as if it has talked again.
“I’m Alice.” (But you can’t be.) “Pardon? Oh wait a second. How rude of me. Would like some tea?” she indicates towards the tea set. (Yes) “Oh good,” she walks over and gets herself a cup of tea and the mirror one. Then she takes it over to the mirror and sits with her back towards the audience. They should be able o see her face in her reflection though. The mad hatter’s hat has fallen off her by now.
“Now where were we? Ah yes, I’m Alice.” (no I am Alice.) “You’re not Alice, I’m Alice. No, wait, She’s Alice.” (Who?) “The girl behind Doorknob.” (the blonde one?) ”Yes, the little blonde girl in the blue dress. She is asleep and she is Alice.” (No, we are Alice.) “We’re not Alice.” (You’re Alice.) “I’m Alice? No I’m not. I’m not Alice. How can I be Alice when She is Alice? No I’m just the girl.” (What girl?) “Just the girl who has to paint the roses.” (Paint them what?) ”Red, blood red.”
Alice looks at her pocket watch and is shocked with the time. She places her tea down and gets up.
“Oh my, I’m late. I’m late for a very important date. And it’s my Un-birthday, my un-life day, my death day…”
Now she realises what is actually happening, that she is actually going to lose her head. She is not waking up, she has accepted that today is her death-day. She swallows hard as her hand reaches towards her neck. And now, in a softer voice (more scared and unsure) she says:
“It’s time to paint the roses red.”
She removes her hand and there is a hand print of blood on it. Alice looks over at the door and gives a nervous laugh then, the spot light goes out and it is the end.