Madrigal Synopses

A Brief Synopsis of each Self Contained Skit:

Thomas Anthony Quinn, Author of Madrigal Scripts

Presented by Madrigal Traditions, Inc.
and written by Thomas Quinn ©2002-2020

A delightful and diverse banquet of self-contained skits written to perfection with flavor and flare, distinguishing them from any madrigal material found anywhere.

NEW - TOP 10 HITS OF 1589
This hilarious parody brings the up-tempo banter of a modern radio show to the middle ages, as three smooth-talking medieval DJ's extol the virtues of zaney songs like, "Joustin' with my Baby" and "Ain't No Dung Hill High Enough". A rockin good time for THREE ACTORS. - running time 4-6 minutes.


This is the age-old story of a good-timing peasant and his long-suffering wife. Pauper John loves to linger at the Ale House with his pals, but this time he has pushed his luck too far. Now he is afraid to go home, making his Mrs. even angrier, and the comedy ever more outrageous. 4 MEN AND 4 WOMEN ACTORS.
- running time 4-6 minutes.

The dating game gets a medieval twist in this rousing look at love among the peasantry. The Jester and Wench play host and hostess as our bachelor, Ned the Tanner, considers the virtues of three hopeful maidens angling for a husband. The entire Royal Court cheers and sobs like a well-coached studio audience in this hysterical farce. JESTER, WENCH, 1 MAN, & 3 WOMEN ACTORS. - running time 4-6 minutes.

Alone by the castle gate in the middle of the night, the Castle Guard shares his frustrations, fears, and faith with the audience. This lonely soldier is initially angry that he must stand guard in the cold darkness while those inside enjoy a warm, Christmas Eve celebration. But his anger quickly turns to introspection, and through his own thoughtful poetry, he discovers a deep and simple faith within himself. A loving tribute to the good soldier, this piece provides an excellent role for... ONE ACTOR. - running time 4-6 minutes.

Christmas shopping is complicated for the SERF and his WIFE. Money is tight, so he wants the misses to sell her beautiful hair, then use the profits to buy him an ox and plow. She, however, wants a cow for Christmas and insists that he sell his father's sun-dial to get the needed funds. Ultimately, love conquers silly selfishness in this wonderfully goofy holiday tale. Great fun for 1ACTOR and one 1ACTRESS.
- running time 6-8 minutes.

THE JESTER AND THE WENCH (Included in Noel Royal)

The JESTER thinks he's got what it takes to be a king, but the WENCH soon sets him straight in this light-hearted contest of wits. With laughter as his weapon, the ambitious Jester dreams of possessing the crown, but the no-nonsense Wench cools his political passions with a well-timed pie in the face. Classic Christmas slap-stick for one (1) ACTOR and one(1) ACTRESS. - running time 2-3 minutes.


This kindly SWINEHERD is quite content. He loves his little piggies so much that he doesn't even mind the smell. Yet, one night, as he sleeps in the pen with his beloved swine, he dreams that he is the guest of honor at a royal feast. Never mind that his pungent aroma knocks out the entire ROYAL COURT. For the tender-hearted Swineherd, the dream could not be sweeter. Cast includes: THE SWINEHERD, JESTER, A SERVANT GIRL, TOWN CRIER, THE KING, THE ROYAL COURT. - running time 5-7 minutes.


Three prisoners-in-the-stocks have a hilarious problem. They can't stop laughing about their king's appearance. The jokes and jibes just keep on coming as these farcical offenders poke fun at his majesty's flat nose, and enormous feet. Cracking each other up, they get into deeper and deeper trouble with every punch line. It's too funny. They just can't help themselves. Cast includes: THREE (3) PRISONERS, TWO (2) GUARDS, TOWN CRIER. - running time 4-6 minutes.


This is the moving tale of a mother's courage and love, which takes us on a desperate search for two little girls lost in a stormy forest on Christmas Eve. Presented by a single ACTOR (or) ACTRESS at the request of the KING, this stark and beautiful poem tells of a miraculous rescue with a strange and powerful twist. One of the little girls is deaf, the other blind, and their mother has no voice. So she sets forth into the terrible storm calling one child with a lantern, and the other with a ringing bell. In the end, the three are delivered from their plight by the mysterious intervention of heaven's angels. -running time 4-6 minutes.


EIGHT (8) (MALE or FEMALE) medieval pitch masters perform a well-choreographed, fast-moving info-mercial. With high energy and tongues in cheeks, they extol the virtues of some revolutionary new products, including soap, forks, and an Irish cookbook with one-hundred-and-one ways to prepare a potato.
- running time 4-6 minutes.


Old Horotsius and his three daughters are overworked and underpaid. It's their job to provide all the food and drink for the castle. But when the task gets too demanding for this funny, hard-working foursome, it's the King and his court who must suffer the hilarious consequences. One by one, Horotsius and his girls take a powder, leaving their masters high and dry, and wishing they had not taken so much for granted. Cast includes: OLD HOROTSIUS, HIS THREE (3) DAUGHTERS, THE JESTER, THE WENCH, THE KING, A LORD.
- running time 5-7 minutes.


An outlandish, roadside hold-up leads to laughter when SIR ROBYN, a boastful but cowardly knight, is set upon by THE CUT-PURSE, a saucy villain. As two (2) misguided MINSTRELS sing of Sir Robyn's bravery, the shrinking knight shamelessly takes refuge behind his traveling companion, a tough-talking DAMSEL with attitude to spare. In the end, the robbery is foiled by this feisty maiden, who drives off the thief, then turns upon the trembling Sir Robyn, who runs away in fear. - running time 5-7 minutes.

MADRIGAL MANNERS (Included in Noel Royal)

These FOUR (4) straight-talking, SERVING WENCHES mince no words as they present a crash course in ancient table etiquette. Frank and funny, they caution their guests against stealing silverware and getting into fights. Then, after offering some messy, medieval alternatives to the napkin, they kindly request that the gentlemen refrain from pinching the serving girls, (unless the girls should pinch them first).
- running time 4-6 minutes.

MORGANA'S REVENGE (Included in Noel Royal)

MORGANA is a powerful sorceress with an ax to grind. She's still angry with her big brother, the KING, because when they were children he pulled on her pigtails and teased her at school. But she'll have the last laugh when she casts a silly spell and makes the whole ROYAL COURT oink, cluck and moo like a bunch of barnyard animals. - running time 2-3 minutes.


With the help of the ROYAL COURT, which serves as the chorus, the KING and an OLD KNIGHT relate this beautiful tale of selflessness and hope. It is the story of a poor, hungry cobbler named Christoff, who finds a man in the snow and offers the stranger his last morsel of food. Little does the kindly cobbler know that the man he has saved is his new king and that his selfless deed will change his own life forever.
-running time 8-10 minutes.

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