Cueing script – Green Eye of the Little Yellow God

The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God,  J. Milton Hayes 
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Sq1

lx1

lx2

There’s a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There’s a little marble cross below the town; lx3
There’s a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down. sq3 lx4

He was known as “Mad Carew” by the subs at Khatmandu,
He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell;
But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks,
And the Colonel’s daughter smiled on him as well.

He had loved her all along, with a passion of the strong,
The fact that she loved him was plain to all.
She was nearly twenty-one and arrangements had begun
To celebrate her birthday with a ball.

He wrote to ask what present she would like from Mad Carew;
They met next day as he dismissed a squad;
And jestingly she told him then that nothing else would do
But the green eye of the little Yellow God. sq4 lx5, lx6

On the night before the dance, Mad Carew seemed in a trance,
And they chaffed him as they puffed at their cigars:
But for once he failed to smile, and he sat alone awhile,
Then went out into the night beneath the stars. sq5 

He returned before the dawn, with his shirt and tunic torn,
And a gash across his temple dripping red;
He was patched up right away, and he slept through all the day,
And the Colonel’s daughter watched beside his bed. lx7

He woke at last and asked if they could send his tunic through;
She brought it, and he thanked her with a nod;
He bade her search the pocket saying “That’s from Mad Carew,”
And she found – the little green eye of the god. sq6

She upbraided poor Carew in the way that women do,
Though both her eyes were strangely hot and wet;
But she wouldn’t take the stone and Mad Carew was left alone
With the jewel that he’d chanced his life to get. sq7

When the ball was at its height, on that still and tropic night,
She thought of him and hurried to his room;
As she crossed the barrack square she could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing thro’ the gloom. lx8

His door was open wide, with silver moonlight shining through;
The place was wet and slipp’ry where she trod;
An ugly knife lay buried in the heart of Mad Carew,
‘Twas the “Vengeance of the Little Yellow God.” sq8 lx9, lx10

There’s a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There’s a little marble cross below the town;
There’s a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down. sq9 lx11

lx12

sq10

 

I used this text, from 1911, for a number of years as a cueing exercise for training, using two narrators taking a verse each in turn.  Other roles, in a class of 12, are for DSM and observer; Lighting op and observer; Sound and observer; Wing ASMs; CSM taking notes. The set was simple: a space for some fetish object as idol; a bed with officer’s jacket; a rattan chair or similar.

It raises number of issues – cultural representation and appropriation; how the interpretation, in particular the lighting and sound design, act to support or undermine the colonial assumptions in the piece; the extent to which the Nepali setting is a cover for a loose ‘Orientalised’ location where the East is seen as a dark and mysterious place, of violence and maybe sexual mystery. What would be the nature of the Idol? And what does your choice mean in terms of the adherents of that faith? The parallels with Indiana Jones are obvious, and very similar. Technically, it may still be in copyright, so not for public performance.

The cues I used:

  • Sound
    • sq1 Intro – Morning raga by Ravi Shankar
    • sq2 Xfade to crickets
    • sq3 Parade ground noise – bugles and commands
    • sq4 Broken sitar chord
    • sq5 Fade crickets
    • sq6 Sitar chord
    • sq7 String quartet waltz
    • sq8 Thunderclap, followed by raga played under, quietly
    • sq9 Raga raise volume
    • sq10 Fade out
  • Lighting
    • Preset:  House lights and onstage preset
    • lx1 fade HL, Fade preset
    • lx2 Narrator 1 , fb Idol light
    • lx3 add Narrator 2
    • lx4 X to morning
    • lx5 FBO (scene change)
    • lx6 Evening in the club
    • lx7 Carew’s quarters, light from doorway
    • lx8 Darkens ?just door light
    • lx9 DBO, Lightning
    • lx10 Slow fade up Narrators
    • lx11 Fade to Idol light, then black
    • lx12 Return to preset