Another angle on fire is: trial by fire
We commonly use this to mean, going through some kind of ordeal, or having to do something really hard without much experience at it (e.g. my first year teaching in a high school was trial by fire)
What gets burned away from us in these experiences?
What remains after the burning?
TERRENCE has been tried and judged guilty of a petty crime. He will soon be torched by the madding crowd.
TERRENCE: “I am innocent yet here I stand tethered to this stake awaiting my untimely death. Is there no one out there that has mercy?”
He scans through the sea of angry faces until he finds a friendly one. A gentleman steps forward.
TERRENCE: “My brother! Have you come to pay my fee?”
MAN: “I cannot pay your fee but I have come to give you hope.”
TERRENCE: “Hope? How can I hope to escape these flames that will soon engulf me?”
MAN: “Have faith, there is always a chance for liberty.“
The crowd grows restless but then a beautiful young woman steps forward.
YOUNG WOMAN: “My love!”
TERRENCE: “My wife! Have you come to pay my fee?
YOUNG WOMAN: “I cannot pay your fee but I too have come to bring you hope.”
TERRENCE: “Hope, again! There must be a way! I cannot give up now! If only I actually believe!”
The crowd is chanting now demanding satisfaction. An old man approaches him.
OLD MAN: “My boy, my son!”
TERRENCE: “Father! I knew you'd come! Have you come to pay my fee? Have you come to give me hope?
OLD MAN: “I have not come to pay your fee. I have not come to bring you hope. I have come to watch you die.”
The crowd is fighting among themselves now. Finally an old woman pushes her way through the mob.
TERRENCE: “Mother, you’re here, at last! Truly you must be my liberator! Have you come to pay my fee? Have you come to bring me hope? Or have you come to watch me die?”
MOTHER: “There you go again, always whining. And you’re wearing that in front of all these people? Doesn’t that wife of yours know how to clean? You look so skinny. I bet she doesn’t even cook for you. I warned you that she was trouble from the first time I laid eyes on her. How you could have married her after everything I’ve said is beyond me. If you stayed home you wouldn't be into this mess right now but no, you had to sow your wild oats…”
TERRENCE: “Anybody got a match?”
A Jeremy Kyle/Jerry Springer style show set in the Middle Ages and instead of a lie-detector test it's a trial by fire test (walking on hot coals, plucking a stone from a flaming cauldron, etc.)
Oh, and all the men should be played by women and the women played by men and talk in silly voices because that's never not funny!
Int. Day. Takes place in a Medieval village of Fool’s March, in the town hall. crowds of people gather inside to witness the trial. Chickens everywhere. And some straw.
Order in the court! Order! Bob of Fool’s March, You have been convicted of three counts of sexing a goose. Five counts of staring too long at Jeana next door. One count of leading an army of ferrets to overthrow the king and one count of watching a cow have a shit…How do you plead?
Not guilty m’ lord
And you have chosen to represent yourself?
No m’lord but the legal team I had formed haven’t turned up.
He shuffles through some parchment.
It seems that they were on trial for countless acts of defending guilty parties and have been sentenced to death by cow pat.
(Jury makings ooo noises)
You now have the privilege of choosing your trial…Trial by Jury and fire, Trial by fire and then Jury or trial by pineapple…
What’s a pineapple?
I don’t know but it’s in the script!
We call Snuggles, neighbour Geoffrey’s cat to the stand!
CAAALLING SNAAAGLES TO THA STAAAND!
Snuggles get carried to the witness stand and placed on the side.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, Judge m’lord, Jury. How are we darlings?
A talking cat? If anyone should be tried it should be the talking cat!
Silence, peasant, now where’s my milk darlings? I was promised milk.
My lord, he was paid off with milk.
There is no law saying that it is illegal to give cat milk during a trial. Continue…
Calling next witness…Neighbour Geoffrey himself…
Humberfloob suggested doing a Jeremy Kyle/Jerry Springer style show set in the Middle Ages and instead of a lie-detector test it's a trial by fire test (walking on hot coals, plucking a stone from a flaming cauldron, etc.) I ran with this idea. His suggestion was also to have the men play women etc. and talk in silly voices, but I will leave that up to you!
EXT. STAGE. DAY
The crowd are dressed in medieval-type clothes, and are ready to enjoy the entertainment in front of them. Some have brought snacks (gnarled roots, chickens in burlap sacks, whatever is under their fingernails). The crowd are restless until their idol, JEREMY FIRE, a cold smooth-talker, appears on stage. They then cheer, whoop and call his name as he alternates shushing them, and encouraging them to cheer even louder.
Forsooth, you are all very welcome to ….
TRIAL BY FIRE!!!
Trial by Fire. In today’s episode, we find if comely
maiden Bessie has lain with her husband’s brother….
…and who sired the child she carries within her
belly. Without further ado, please welcome….Bessie!
BESSIE enters stage right. She is a large lady, made larger by pregnancy, and her face looks recently cleaned but the tidemark of dirt is visible all around her hairline. The crowd are unsure what to make of her.
Boo! Shush! Trollop! SHUSH!!
Bessie! You have agreed to take part in the …
TRIAL BY FIRE!!!
…to establish if your virtue is untarnished. Your
husband’s brother, Jacob, has been telling all and
WRITERS: Write a Comedy Sketch based on a Trial By Fire.