Full title: All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.
Scene: Four men sit on chairs in the four corners of the stage. They represent the four seasons and are identified by signs suspended from the ceiling. “Turn, turn, turn” by the Byrds plays for 50 seconds. A white-haired man then enters carrying a long staff and an oversized hour glass. He walks to the centre of the stage and strikes the floor twice with his staff.
Father Time: Which is the best season of man's short life? The end or the beginning? The days of his youth or the years of his decline?
Spring (wearing a garish silk shirt and sporting a medallion): Yo, why ya bothering asking? This is where the action is. Ya want energy; ya want drive? Look no further, dude, ya know what I mean?
Winter (wearing a thick duffel coat and a bobble hat): (interrupting) What did he say? Could someone shut that door at the back? There's a draught in here.
Spring: Shut up you old fool! Your Ovaltine's getting cold.
Autumn (wearing a tweed smoking jacket and sucking on an unlit pipe): That's an awful way to address the elderly. In my day young people had a great deal more respect for their betters.
Spring: In your day everyone was your better. Nothing much's changed if ya ask me.
Autumn: How dare you? I remember when—
Spring: I dare all I want 'cos this world's, like, my oyster. Someone said that, didn't they? Whatever. My entire life's ahead of me. All ya got left, dude, are your memories. And you've probably forgotten most of them already.
Autumn: At least I don't run around sowing my wild oats and making a fool of myself in public.
Winter: Did someone mention oats? I wouldn't say no to a wee bowl of porridge.
Spring: (imitating Autumn's tone) At least I don't have to order Viagra over the Internet.
Autumn: That's downright slander. Those were fish-oil capsules and well you know it.
Winter: Did you say fish? I wouldn't mind a wee kipper drenched in Worcester sauce.
Spring and Autumn: Oh shut up!
Father Time: One season remains silent.
Summer (wearing chinos and a checkered shirt): The Bard put it well: “Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”
Spring: Ya what?
Autumn: He's quoting Shakespeare, you dimwit.
Spring: But what's it mean? This ain't no dress rehearsal. This is the real thing. Innit?
Summer: Man in his maturity understands that time is transient. He numbers his days wisely.
Spring: Who ya kidding? I got more years ahead of me than I know what to do with.
Autumn: Yet how swiftly they pass. Why if I had my days to live over—
Summer: The Bard also observed “'tis the Spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden.”
Spring: That was another quote, wasn't it? You is having a dig, ain't ya?
Winter: “Now is the winter of our discontent.”
Autumn: Ha, there's life in the old dog yet! Where did you dredge that one up from?
Winter: (smug, lop-sided grin)
Summer: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune”
Autumn: I say, that's not fair: your “words are razors to my wounded heart.” At my age there's a lot I would like to do, but my body won't let me.
Summer: “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
Autumn: Oh just shut up. You're as bad as that pimple-nosed simpleton.
Spring: Who are you calling spotty? I ain't the one wearing a toupee.
Autumn: “Thou art a boil, a plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle!”
(Autumn and Spring fall silent, sulking)
Father Time (banging his staff to end the debate): Does summer's blend of strength and wisdom surpass the other seasons of life?
Summer: “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May; and summer's lease hath all too short a date.”
Father Time: Well spoken. Time waits for no man: “The whirligig of time takes his revenge.” (to audience) Dear friends, neither squander nor hoard the days alloted to you. Live wisely. A last word, fair summer?
Summer: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
Winter: (yelling) I'm trying to nap here. Could someone turn down the lights?
(stage plunges into darkness)
Reference Notes: So how many of the quotations from Shakespeare did you correctly identify?
Title - As you like it
Oyster - Merry wives of Windsor
Struts and frets - Macbeth
Spring - Henry VI
Winter - Richard III
Tide - Julius Caesar
Razors - Titus Andronicus
Doubts - Measure for Measure
Carbuncle - King Lear
Summer - Sonnet 18
Whirligig - Twelfth Night
Be true - Hamlet
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