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Headscratchers: Once Upon a Mattress
  • Isn't it kind of counterproductive to keep an entire kingdom from marrying until the prince does? I mean, that's a surefire way to shrink the population right there.
    • Except that it's a plot point that Sir Harry's girlfriend, Lady Larken, gets pregnant. She goes into hiding so that he won't be embarrassed once she gets bigger, but he can't marry her until the prince gets hitched. Since this is a comedy, it's not played off as a very serious problem (and the two of them get a really cute song together, as well). Anyway, this subplot indicates that people everywhere are just having pre-marital sex instead of getting married.
    • This troper, who has been in a production of the show, can tell you that some productions feature every female extra sporting a fake pregnant belly at the end, so it's not just implied. (It may even been in the script, but it's been almost two years and I can't recall.)
      • (This troper is currently in a production of the show [in which the entire pregnancy is edited out because kiddies will be watching, but also leaving a gaping plot hole], and she is certain there aren't any pregnant bellies written in the script.)
    • Yea, this troper took about halfway into the rehearsal schedule to grok the fact that they NEVER explain why on Earth this rule exists. The queen's actions make sense, why they have an effect on the whole kingdom makes no sense.
    • It's because the queen is a raging, unreasonable bitch who wants everyone to be miserable.
    • It's a fairy tale, it doesn't have to make sense. And the pregnant bellies aren't in the script, as there's a surprisingly Getting Crap Past the Radar joke for a '50s family musical in the opening song. A recurring rhyme is "None of the ladies are having any fun," and the song ends with "None of the ladies are having any/No one is having any/No one is getting any... younger." So there you go. No one is getting any, except Larkin and Harry.
      • Actually, yes, fairytales do have to make sense. They might have magic and rely on suspension of disbelief, but they still follow some sort of logic. As for the song; since Larkin would rather leave the kingdom than have to reveal she's pregnant, clearly pre-marital sex is not approved of. Of course everyone is going to pretend they're not having sex in that situation. Also, at that point in the story the audience isn't supposed to know Larkin is pregnant.
    • Maybe it was embarrassing for the Queen to see other people getting married before Dauntless.
      • Or, as Aggrivaine hints, if she's not going to get to marry Dauntless, nobody gets to marry anyone.
  • The entire song Normandy just plain irks this troper. It really serves no purpose, and is quite boring.
    • If you are talking about the version sung by Matthew Morrison and Zooey Deschanel in the most recent television production, then you are correct in saying it's irrelevant to the show. However, in the stage show it does have a purpose: the whole song is the Jester, the Minstrel and Lady Larkin (with King Sextimus miming along) hatching a plan to spirit Larkin away from the kingdom to Normandy where she won't be persecuted for being pregnant out of wedlock.
  • I found a lot of the humor at the expense of the domineering mom/wife irksome. It's great that Sextimus gets his voice back at the end, but we're meant to cheer that Agravain simultaneously loses her voice and Sextimus starts bossing her around. Turnabout is fair play, I guess, but after 2 hours of rooting for a non-girly-girly princess, this seemed too much of a retro stereotype.
    • Depends on the production, I'd guess; in This Troper's high-school production of it, she kept ranting mutely while everyone else ignored her.
    • In the script Sextimus does have to regard Aggravain and boss her around, but to be honest, this is a really weak example of a "stereotype" — he's just doing what anyone would do after they've been unable to speak for years and left to the mercy of their overbearing asshole SO, regardless of gender.

My Fair LadyHeadscratchers/TheaterOthello

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