Once Upon a Mattress
The Princess and the Pea was released in the early 19th
century, and as mattress technology has developed, one can't help
but wonder how differently the story would have played out
Although I'm certain that the skin of a princess is still so
delicate and so fair that it can sense a pea under a stack of mattresses, I find myself
questioning whether their sensitive powers of detection would be
able to feel a pea under a single modern mattress, compared to the
heap of mattresses she was faced with hundreds of years ago.
My new idea for a play, Once Upon a Mattress, explores this idea,
taking audiences on a roller coaster ride from Tempur to Miracoil
and beyond, as the prince tries to battle modern technology to find
his authentic princess wife.
A Miracoil mattress is the modern equivalent of having a
stack of mattresses placed on each other. The mattress is full with
pocket springs ranging in sizes, which supports the body in
whatever posture it lays. Having a restless night on a Miracoil
mattress is unheard of, and I'm not convinced that the princess
would wake up restless, but rather well-rested and refreshed.
mattresses would offer a similar conundrum for our modern
prince. The heat of the princess's skin would mould to the
mattress, making it virtually impossible not to enjoy a good
night's rest. Additionally, it would also be near impossible for
the individual to feel the shape of anything else. A pea would not
affect her personalised mould, nor would a rock or a boulder, or a
person sleeping next to her.
The story's conclusion is one of irony. Where the prince of the
early 19th century was faced with fraud-princesses looking for his
hand in marriage, the modern prince could be faced with tens of
genuine princesses, who have genuinely soft skin, but have been
outwitted by the comfort of a single mattress.
Posted by Michael Ewing