Once Upon a Mattress


Writers: Dean Fuller Jay Thompson Mary Rodgers Marshall Barer


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
The Princess and the Pea (fairy tale)
Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Fairy Tale/Fantasy
Fantasy/Imaginary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
a far off place, a castle, medieval
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Some Dance
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Ensemble Cast, High School, Large Cast
Casting Notes

Includes mature adult, young adult, adult, early teen, late teen, elderly characters


Our story begins in a faraway kingdom long ago. Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak. Meanwhile, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless single, she has decreed that only the princess that can pass her test may marry her son. Further, no one else in the kingdom may marry until Prince Dauntless does. Lady Larken and Sir Harry are extremely disturbed by this fact since Lady Larken is now pregnant with Sir Harry's baby.

Luckily, Sir Harry is able to find an amazing princess, Winnifred the Woebegone. She instantly catches the attention of Prince Dauntless, and in the end, is able to pass the Queen's supposedly impassable sensitivity test. When the Queen still tries to prevent the Prince Dauntless from marrying, he tells her to 'shut up' which ends up breaking the curse on the king. Now able to speak, King Sextimus regains his rightful position as leader of the kingdom, and all is well. Mary Rodger’s classic Once Upon A Mattress is a delightful musical that is sure to become a fan favorite in theatres everywhere!

Lead Characters

Once Upon a Mattress guide sections