The following script excerpts comes courtesy of John Harrison, author of the excellent biography “Spellbound: The Wonder-Filled Life of Doug Henning.” I’ll be posting it over the next couple of days, but rather than talk about the script myself, I’ll let John explain it further.
“It is Act I, Scene 6 (the final act prior to intermission). The prior action has Merlin proving to his mentor his mastery of the elements (illusions themed around, earth, air, fire and water), and the Evil Queen played by Chita Rivera conspiring to use Merlin’s naiveté to put her son (Nathan Lane) on the throne.
The scene centers around the amazing flying illusion, where Doug, who is feeling overly confident having just passed his mentor’s test, flies and tumbles in the air and, amazingly, flies between pillars and columns on the set. The character of “Adriadne”, who figures in this scene, is the beautiful young woman that the Evil Queen conjured up to be Merlin’s temptress (in the previous scene, the Evil Queen transforms a black panther into Adriadne). The character of “Philomena”, also in the scene, is Merlin’s unicorn companion (played by ballerina Rebecca Wright), who does not speak and communicates with Merlin through mime and dance.”
The markings on the pages are stage manager’s cues. The facing page of each page of the script have other illusion-related cues, which I have not included, so as not to expose any of the illusions.”
Special Thanks to John Harrison
Be Sure to Return Next Time for the Final Part of Merlin: Act 1, Scene 6!