Perpetually

Concept

Below is the the opening part of the script from my stage play Perpetually.

It was inspired after I performed in Bishops Waltham Little Theatre’s 1989 production of one of the J.B. Priestley’s time plays, Dangerous Corner [pictured].

As a keen member of the theatre and budding writer I wanted to pen a story that was designed to give an opportunity to all the various aged members of the cast, particularly those who were involved in the annual pantomimes and summer shows but felt that there was no chance to feature in the more serious plays staged in spring and autumn each year.

When I had written this piece and offered it as a reading to the theatre committee it was declined, without consideration or even a reading.  The reasons given were that previous member written pieces had received poor public reception.  Plus when the group performed the serious plays in the spring and autumn ticket sales were poor in comparison to the big winter pantomime and summer shows.

These mega shows pulled in paying public audiences of around a thousand people and the local halls charged the group accordingly.  Unfortunately this encouraged the halls to effectively overcharge for other performances which would only attract less than a quarter of these sales.  In fact it often cost the group money to stage the serious plays and without a publicly recognised author or known title ticket sales were considered too big a risk.

As a result the play has never been staged, or indeed read through in any formal or informal sense [to my knowledge].

Did the theatre group make the right call? What do you think?

Feedback would be much appreciated.  Does it work as a piece?  Do you understand what it is saying?  Is the dialogue compelling?  Is it interesting?  Would you want to see it staged?

Remember it is a completed piece of work.  It may take a little time to read through both acts.  As a result I have only included the opening part here.  You will need to visit my website to get the full transcript.

vinceunlimited.co.uk/perpetually.htm

Or if you are reading on a mobile device and want a smartphone formatted experience use vinceunlimited.co.uk/perpetuallym.htm


Perpetually

A Stage Play by Vince Poynter

Written around 1990

Act One

The curtains open on a bright country scene on a fine summer afternoon in England, present day.  A large barn dominates the left of stage, its position preventing any stage access from up left.  A small stone bridge is right of centre over a stream running downstage towards a tree, right downstage.  A pile of rocks centre upstage, with the theme continued onto the backcloth imply restricted access, a dry-stone wall perhaps, along the back.  The skyline is a clear blue over the hilly features.  Some discarded farm waste (old barrels, straw bales, bags etc.) is piled up carelessly against the barn.  The barn door hangs open on two of its four hinges.  The access hatch at high level is also open in front of which precariously hangs a bag of grain from the jib above.  Underfoot is grass.  Note that unseen access can be made from within the barn to the loft.

Sounds of birds singing and insects chattering are heard throughout.

As soon as the curtains open an irritating whine is heard.  The noise comes from a radio controlled car hurtling around centre stage.  The model car runs into the barn door, reverses, drives forward and over the bridge off stage right.  A moment’s pause and the car returns, crosses the bridge, spins round and round and careers into the mud at the edge of the stream, to a sudden halt.

Little girl: (Off)  “Oh no!”

Little boy: (Off)  “Ha Ha! Serves you right, my turn.”

Little girl: (Off)  “No, mine … mine.”

Little boy: (Off)  “Gimme that, it’s my turn, my turn now.”

The little girl and boy enter (upstage right) running.  They are of a similar age, about six to eight years old.  They are dressed in jeans and tee-shirts with soft shoes on their feet.  Mud stains are on their knees and elbows, perhaps also on the face.  They are happy, excitable.

The girl is first and she clutches the controller for the radio-controlled car.  They cross the bridge, still arguing.

Little girl: (Entering)  “You said that I could have a go.”

Little boy: (Following)  “Only ’til you crashed it though.  Now it’s my turn.  You’ve smashed it up.”

The little boy pushes past the girl as they cross the bridge causing her to miss her footing and stumble into the pile of debris by the barn.

Little girl: (Stumbling)  “Hey, watch out.”

The little boy laughs and gets to the model car first.  He picks it up and turns to the little girl.

Little boy: “Come on then.  Give it to me.  Gimme the box.”

Little girl: (Recovering)  “No I wont.  It’s still my go.  You’ve had your go.  Give me the car.”

Little boy: (Holding car)  “Well you can’t have it.  It’s my turn now.  You crashed it.”

Little girl: (Approaching boy)  “It isn’t fair.  Just five minutes, then it’s your go.  Go on, just five …”

Little boy: (Interrupts)  “No, my go, you smashed it up.  Now it’s my …”

The little girl has approached the little boy and she suddenly pushes him over onto the ground.  He falls awkwardly and after a moment’s pause starts to cry, deliberately audibly.  The remote-controlled car has fallen to the ground and is picked up by the little girl.  She takes it to centre stage, places it on the ground and starts to drive it around in circles.  The little boy, noticing how she is playing with the car and ignoring his cries, stops crying, jumps to his feet and grabs the car as it passes him.

Little boy: (Defiantly)  “I’ve got it now.  So there.”  (He sticks out his tongue).

Little girl:  “But I’ve got the control box though …”  (She runs toward the barn door then turns to face the little boy) “… and you can’t have it.”  (She sticks out her tongue).

Little boy:  “But it’s mine.  You’ve got to give it back to me.” (Pause) “Now!”

Little girl:  “Well I won’t, I won’t, I won’t.  You said I could have a go.”

The little boy, sensing a stalemate, puts the car back down onto the ground.  He starts to walk positively toward the little girl.  She reacts by driving the car again.  He turns back toward the car and stoops to pick it up.  Before he gets to it she drives the car around him fast (well downstage).  He grabs for the car but misses it.  The car continues past the little boy, past the little girl and into the open door of the barn, fast.  There is a crash.  Silence.  Brief pause.  The little boy then runs toward and into the barn, pushing past the little girl.  Pause.  She looks anxious.  The little boy returns holding the remains of the crashed and obviously broken car.  He is sad.

Little boy:  “Now look what you’ve done.”

Little girl:  “That was your fault. You made me do that.”

Little boy:  “My mum will kill me.  I’m telling on you.  It was you who did this.”  (He holds up the car)  “You broke my car.”

Little girl:  “You broke my green tricycle the other day.”

Little boy:  “No I didn’t.  You were on it as well.”

Little girl:  “You shouldn’t have been on it.  It was your fault.”

Little boy: (Hurries past the girl)  “Well I’m going back to tell her.  You’re going to be in trouble now.”  (He is starting to cry).

Little girl: (Following him)  “I’m going to tell her it was you.  You dropped it.  Yes you did, didn’t you.  I know.  Nah, nah, na-na, nah.”

Little boy: (Crying)  “You better hope it can be mended.”

Little girl: (Now also starting to cry)  “I only played with it because you wanted me to.”

They are crossing the bridge, stopping only to argue.  Then leaving upstage right.

Little girl:  “Could your dad fix it? He fixed the train set.”

Little boy:  “He’s away. Mummy said he’s in hospital.”

Little girl:  “Stupid car anyway.”  (They are leaving)

Little boy: (Now off)  “You didn’t have to play with it.”

Little girl: (Also off)  “You said you wanted someone to …”  (Trails off)

They have exited.  Silence, except the continuing bird-song and other background noises.  Pause.

Two adolescent teenagers stroll in, arm in arm, downstage right.  They are both of a similar age, about 15 to 16 years old.  Modern dress; jeans and tee-shirt on the boy, the girl with a simple green skirt and blouse, her shoes suitable for a relaxing walk in the country.  He has a boy scout type knife in a leather sheath on his belt.  They are intensely discussing a subject but are not arguing.  They seem carefree.

Boy: (Entering)  “… But that’s not the point.  I suppose I can see your side of the argument but that can’t possibly happen can it?  How can it?  Surely as many girls have to as boys do.”

Girl:  “Yes. I can see that.  But that doesn’t change my point of view.  And all my friends agree.”  (She stops and faces him direct)  “Tell me, how many of your friends have?”

Boy:  “They all have.  All my mates have.”

Girl: (Laughing)  “Even Danny?”

Boy:  “Yes … Well everyone except Danny.”  (He laughs along too).

Girl:  “They tell you that they have.”

Boy:  “I know they have.”

Girl: (Passing the boy onto the bridge)  “You think that they have because they say so.  You can’t really be sure.  You don’t really know do you?”  (Teasingly)  “Or have you seen  (She giggles)

Boy:  “Oh come on. Everyone has …”

Girl: (Interrupting)  “Except Danny.”

Boy:  “Except Danny … yes.  It’s a fact.  Oh come on …”

He has grabbed her by arm.  She turns away from him off the bridge.

Girl:  “No.  Not now.  Not here … Not yet …”  (She pulls away)  (Teasingly)  “Maybe never.”

She escapes from his grip and runs toward the barn.  He gives chase.  They are laughing, happy.

Girl:  “You won’t catch me! … You’ll never get me!”

Boy:  “Come here! … Come back … I’ll get you!”

Girl:  “Maybe never!”

The boy eventually traps the girl up against the barn.

Boy:  “Gotcha!”

They look at each other deeply.  He kisses her hard on the lips.  She resists after a brief moment then pushes him away.

Girl:  “No!”

She escapes under his arm and runs away, but only a few steps.  They are both facing away from each other.  He is left looking at the barn, she is centre stage looking right.

Boy: (Seriously)  “But we’ve known each other since we were kids.  We shared everything.”  (He turns toward the girl)  “It’s meant to be.”

Girl:  “Who says?”

Boy:  “That’s just the way it is.  Can’t you see that?  You, me … you know.”

Girl:  “You can’t even say it.  You can’t even bring yourself to say it.”

Boy:  (He steps one pace forward)  “Yes I can.”

Girl:  “Can’t.”

Boy:  “Can.”

Girl:  “No.”

Boy: (Stepping forward again. He is now quite close behind her)  “Yes.  I can.  You know that.”

Girl: (Turning sharply to him)  “Go on then.”

Boy:  “Well …”  (He looks around sheepishly, as if there are others around)  “You know …” (Positively)  “It!”  (He laughs).

Girl: (Annoyed)  “No!  Don’t!  Not it!  You had better ask me nicely and then I might say yes.”

Boy: (Eager)  “Yes.”

Girl:  “Might.”

Boy:  “Oh, alright.  If you insist …”

Girl:  “Yes I insist.  Or else is definitely ‘No’.”

Boy:  “Alright … Here goes … Will you? … Will you? … You know … with me?

Girl:  “Properly.  Or I definitely won’t.”  (She turns away again).

Boy: (Lunging forward and grabbing her arm, he pulls her to face him)  “Alright.  Alright … Will you sleep with me?”

A pause.  They stare at each other.  She is surprised, not at the suggestion, but his sudden confidence.  He looks increasingly expectant, his eyes widening.

Girl: (Breaking the moment)  “Sleep?”

(She turns away, slightly embarrassed, slightly amused).

Boy: (Hands dropping to his side)  “You know … You know what I mean.  Don’t you.”

Girl:  “Is that what your mates do, sleep?”  (She chuckles)

Boy:  “No, no … It’s just a phrase.”  (She laughs at him)  “Oh you’re impossible.”

The boy turns away.  He gets his knife out and stoops to pick up a piece of wood on the ground nearby.  He starts to whittle the wood.  The girl notices that she has upset him.

Girl:  “Hey, come on.  Don’t take it so bad.”

Boy:  “You’re rotten to me.  I don’t know why I go out with you anyway.”

Girl:  “Oh don’t be like that.  Hey …” (He stops whittling but still looks down) “… don’t take it like that.  It’s not that I don’t want to.  I do.  It’s just not good now.”

Boy: (Turning, knife in hand, almost menacingly)  “Not good now?”

Girl: (Explaining)  “No.  It’s my dad.  He’s ill.  I don’t feel like it at the moment.”

Boy:  “Oh, there’s always an excuse.  If it’s not one thing it’s another.”

Girl:  “You don’t understand.  Your dad was bad once.  And he died.”

Boy:  “That was a long time ago now … How is your dad?”  (He puts his knife away).

Girl:  “Oh, not too bad.  He’s just been off work today, that’s all.  A touch of flu perhaps?”

Boy:  “Oh, I am sorry.  I shouldn’t have pushed you.”

Girl:  “No, no.  That’s alright.  Quite alright.  He’s not too bad it’s just …”

Boy: (Interrupts)  “Yes, I understand.”

Girl:  “It’s not that I don’t want you.  I do.  I love you.”

Boy:  “I love you too.”

They are close.  They look deep into each other’s eyes.  Their heads move together and are about to kiss.

Girl: (Suddenly putting her hand over his mouth)  “What’s that?”

Boy: (Muffled)  “What?”  (She removes her hand)

Girl: (Looking upstage right)  “I think I heard a noise.  Did you hear anything?”

Boy: (Looking)  “No.  What was it?”

Girl:  “Over there, someone’s coming.  Let’s go.”

She runs past the boy and heads for an exit down left.  He follows and grabs her arm just before she exits.

Boy:  “Stop.  Quick.  In here.”  (He ushers her toward the barn).

Girl:  “In there?”

Boy: (Deliberately)  “Yes, come on.  It’ll be alright.”

There are voices heard offstage right.

Girl: (After a moment’s deliberation)  “Oh go on.  After you.  Let’s hide.”

They run into the barn together.

Boy: (In barn, not seen)  “Quick, up here.”

Girl: (In barn, not seen)  “You first.”

Boy:  “No you. Go on.”

Girl:  “Alright …”  (sounds of the two ascending a rickety wooden ladder)  “It’s not very safe.”

Boy: (Laughing)  “I can see right up your …”

Girl: (Laughing)  “Shhh!”

Boy:  “Hurry up … hey over there.  Come back.”

The girl appears at the high level access hatch in the barn.  She is looking out for the others which she heard.  The boy appears next to her and puts his arm around her waist.

Boy:  “Come on.  Come back in here.  Come and make love”

Girl: (Warmly holds his hand on her waist)  “O.K.”

He walks back into the barn.  She is led away.  They are both out of sight.

Girl: (Off)  “Over there.  That’s a good place.”

Laughter is heard from within the barn.  It tails off.

A woman enters (upstage right) walking quickly.  She is about 30 to 35 years old.  She wears a loose light jumper and skirt and is rowing with the man following her.  He is about the same age, wearing a short sleeved shirt and casual trousers.  Their argument is intense and passionate…

…To be continued…

You will have to go to the full script page on my website if you want to read the rest.

Author: Vince Poynter

From Perpetually, from the Stage Plays and Writing sections of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 11 Apr 2018 but first written around 1990 and first published on the website in Jul 2005
The photograph is a still image taken by the author’s wife of a performance of J.B. Priestley’s 1932 stage play Dangerous Corner.  One of his trilogy of ‘time plays’, originally premiered in 1932.  The photograph shows four of the characters dancing on the set of the stage as performed by the Bishops Waltham Little Theatre in their 1989 staging.  The author is the gentleman dancing on the right

Advertisements

The Will

A Comic Stage Play by Vince Poynter

Concept

This is the first part of a stage play, a comedy set in a solicitor’s office.

A family is invited to the reading of the will of a deceased relative who died leaving a substantial income.

The will is read and certain requirements are requested to be made.

Firstly, a large chest is brought out which contains many fancy dress costumes which the potential beneficiaries must wear in order to lighten proceedings.

Secondly, a set of buzzers, lights and scoreboards are produced and a quiz is set up to award points on a pounds for points basis.

The intention is to find out just how far people will go for money?

Will they ultimately kill each other for greed?

Characters:

Solicitor: Randford, a pompous middle aged serious man. Thoughtful and calm.

Solicitor’s Assistant: Trisha, a lazy first year trainee, intelligent but without common sense. Excitable but clumsy.

Wife: Wendy White, a hypochondraic (with reason) in her late 30’s. Fussy and bitter.

Adopted Son: Griff White, a rebel without a cause. Just 20. Scruffy and greedy.

Secretary: Sonia Black, an attractive, mid-thirties woman. Single, principled and intelligent.

Dead man’s friend: Reg Franke, a mid-forties loudmouth who thinks he is funny. Conceals a secret past.

Strange Woman: Anna Daiken, a middle-aged, silent, poetic stranger. Dressed in black to match her character.

Sister: Caryl Sand, a practical and down to earth divorcee.

Dead man: Jack White, died at 40.


 

Act One

The scene is a Solicitor’s office in England, present day. It is a mid sized room of classic design, tastefully decorated and furnished. No wall area is left blank so where there are no full height bookshelves the imperial wallcovering is hardly noticed behind the original oil masters hanging from the wooden picture rail. The room is dominated by the Solicitor’s solid leather topped desk and overbearing leather chair. The desk is tidy, almost unused with an immaculate blotter. A telephone, brass lamp and brass calendar/pen holder are all deliberately laid out. In front of the desk are two simple low backed chairs. Behind this magnificent desk is a matching mahogany hat and coat stand, which with the ferociously posed full-sized stuffed upright brown bear frame the large bay area window cosseted with heavy velvet drawn curtains. The curtains conceal a generous padded matching seating area designed to discourage sitting on the low cast iron radiators behind the hat stand and bear.

A secondary desk is in the corner with a chair either side. This simple arrangement is for a secretary with computer, telephone, filing trays, pot plant and penholder. Many pens and pencils are stuffed into the holder. The filing tray is half full of papers. A jumper lays across the back of the chair. Opposite this desk is a grand leather well used two-seater Chesterfield in front of an ornate fireplace. Simple brass and porcelain ornaments adorn the mantelpiece. A small round, empty mahogany coffee table sits in front of the Chesterfield.

Entrance to the room is from one side behind the Chesterfield through imposing double sized solid wooden doors with chunky brass furniture and a heavy wood surround. On the opposite side is a simpler wooden single door with surround. Both doors are closed and the scene opens in darkness. It is silent.

Offstage a Grandfather clock strikes the Westminster Chimes followed by eight rings. On the eighth chime exactly the double doors swing open in unison and the Solicitor, Randford, enters. Backlit from the corridor behind he stands in the doorway and shakes off his wet umbrella. Without shutting the doors behind he strides over to his desk and fumbles to switch on the desk lamp.

The light reveals this balding, portly, pompous, routine man wearing an immaculate subtly pin-striped three piece suit and perfectly white shirt. His shoes are shiny black brogues and equally as in keeping as his matching tie and pocket handkerchief. Along with his umbrella he carries a neat copy of The Times, the classic sized, broadsheet version. He is finished in an open large brown overcoat and matching hat. This man is around 45 although his gravitas makes him seem older. He exudes experience, remaining calm in all situations and never hurried. He is both thoughtful and punctual with constant references to his Grandfather clock against the “fourth wall” which he compares to his own chained pocket watch whenever it chimes. He approaches the hat stand and places his umbrella carefully in the base. He removes his hat and hangs it on the hook after brushing it clean. He then removes his coat and brushes it off with one hand whilst holding it with the other, then hangs it carefully on the peg. A brush down of himself follows, a quick tie straightening and he crosses to close the door, with both halves being shut simultaneously. He brushes himself once more as if routine and turns to switch on the light.

Trisha enters hurriedly as the light comes on full. She is a clumsy teenager wearing under her sodden long opened sheepskin coat faded patched ripped jeans and a large baggy jumper bearing the words “Save Rhinos”. Underneath is a white blouse but this is as noticeable as the smart short black skirt she carries in the supermarket plastic bag. She is the epitome of modern youth, lazy but excitable, educated but lacking common sense and pretty but understated. The glossy magazine she carries and the personal headphones she wears round her wet hair are her only thoughts as she violently swings open the nearest door knocking Randford face down behind the Chesterfield.

Trisha (Out of breath, entering) “Sorry I’m late Mr. Randford but I…” (she thinks he may not be there) “Mr. Randford… Mr. Randford…” (no response) “Oh good.”

She hurries across the room and through the opposite door leaving both doors open wide. Randford appears from behind the Chesterfield and slowly rises to his feet. He brushes himself down and straightens his hair and tie. He moves to the double door and closes it, then walks over to the other door and looks through before shutting it. He turns and bends to get a brush from a low drawer in his desk which he uses to brush his suit down from top to bottom. As he strokes his trouser legs, bending to reach, Trisha enters suddenly and again knocks him over, this time behind his desk. Trisha has removed her coat, thrown on her skirt and is trying to do up the zip as she enters, throwing her magazine on her desk. Her stereo headphones hang limp round her neck, the player in her hands.

Trisha “Mr. Randford… Oh he’s late.”

She hasn’t noticed her employer and sits at her desk in the corner. She pulls the headphones into place and starts to read her magazine, placing the player on the desk. The door swings shut with a gentle clunk to reveal Randford looking angry but contained, now stood. He again meticulously brushes himself off.

Randford (Contained) “Good morning Trisha.”

There is no reply as Trisha is engrossed in her magazine and listening to her stereo.

Randford (Louder) “Good morning Trisha.”

There is still no response so Randford steps forward and coughs twice. This has no effect either so he reaches out to press the stop button on her machine. She reacts jumpily.

Trisha “Urgh… Oh, Mr. Randford.” (She pulls off her earphones and stuffs them and the magazine into her drawer) “You’re here.”

Randford “Yes. Funny that. I work here you see. Unlike some people I could mention. What are you saving them for?”

Trisha “Sorry Mr. Randford. What?”

Randford “The Rhinos. For what reason are you saving them.”

Trisha “Oh, my jumper. Oh, the black rhino…”

Randford (Interrupting) “Trisha.”

Trisha (Pulling off her jumper) “Sorry Mr. Randford. I’ll make the coffee.”

As she talks and removes the sweater she stands as if to leave. Randford steps back to avoid the flailing arms.

Randford “No time for coffee, not yet. Today is an important day. It is Wednesday the sixth and you know what that means don’t you.”

Trisha (Cheekily) “Thursday the seventh tomorrow Mr. Randford.”

Randford “Trisha, may I point out that you are here to assist me in these six heaven sent weeks which our Government has kindly sent us. To assist me. In work. Not as a Butlins Redcoat but as a Solicitor’s Assistant, with the general idea that you learn how adults conduct themselves whilst away from children. So please learn to keep control of your built in desire to attempt humour. I suggest that you file it untidily away with your glossy Beano magazine and Gutter Blaster in the drawer.”

Trisha “Ghetto Blaster, Mr. Randford.”

Randford “I know what I said dear.” (He sits down in his chair) “Wednesday the sixth. Five days since last Friday. A Friday in which you may recall that we had a visit from a pale looking woman dressed in black. This may have struck a chord with you because despite being dressed entirely in black she introduced herself as Mrs. White. She had had some bad news.”

Trisha “Was she the one who wanted a divorce on account of her husband’s week in Portugal with the Sailor from Portsmouth?” (She sits, her jumper on her lap)

Randford “No. No. If you can recall she came to notify me of her husband’s untimely death.”

Trisha “Why untimely?”

Randford (Rising) “Three reasons. Firstly, he was forty. Now that may seem like old to you but please take it from me that at forty a man is still in the prime of his youth. A sudden death we are advised, but painless.” (He moves around his desk) “Secondly, his business was on the brink of breaking into Europe and without him the deal was not likely to go through. And thirdly, I lent him fifty pence for the parking meter when he saw me three weeks ago.”

Trisha “So why is today so important?”

Randford (Sitting opposite Trisha) “Because today is exactly five days since his death. And his will, which he lodged with me, because people do that sort of thing with Solicitors, stated simply that exactly five days after his death, his wife, or whoever, should bring to this office his old oak chest which contains his last will and testament requests. To be unlocked by this key…” (He produces the key from his waistcoat pocket) “…in the presence of certain people he has named in a letter at precisely o-eight thirty hours.” (He checks his watch and the clock) “Which is why you made those telephone calls for me on Monday cancelling today’s appointments.”

Trisha “Oh yes that reminds me. I forgot to tell you that that man with the Greek accent, Mr. Davros, called back.”

Randford “Davis. Mr. Davis and he’s from Winchester.”

Trisha “Him, yes. He said he was a bit annoyed with the change and mentioned something about inserting a skewer in you from below and you being the biggest kebab in Hampshire.” (She is trying to find the message in her tray) “Well that’s what I think he meant”

The main door opens and a strange black clad woman enters. Anna is without expression and moves slowly. She wears a long black cape with the hood up. Under the cape is a simple long black dress. She carries nothing except the rain on her cape. Her accented voice is classy, deliberate and intense.

Anna (At door) “Mr. Randford?”

Randford (Rising to greet her) “Good morning. And you are?” (He extends a handshake)

Anna does not respond to his welcome handshake and proceeds straight to the Chesterfield where she sits.

Randford (Arriving at her side) “I am awfully sorry madam but I cannot take visitors today. I have an important meeting.”

Anna (With a steel cold look) “I am here for your meeting.”

Randford “I am so sorry but it is invited guests only today.”

Anna “I am Anna”

She turns away and stares distantly into nothing.

Randford “Ah. You are Anna.” (He is at a loss so looks at Trisha) “Anna.” (He points at Anna)

Trisha “Anna.”

Randford “Anna… Oh Anna. A. Daiken. The list. You must be Mrs. A. Daiken.”

Anna (Fizzing) “Ms.”

Randford “Sorry I was mistaken.”

Anna (Turning, annoyed) “No that is me. I am Ms. Daiken.”

Randford (Again holding out his hand) “Randford.” (No response, he withdraws his hand) “Could I offer you a coffee?” (Still no response) “I said would you like a coffee?”

Anna (Looking intently at Randford, she speaks poignantly) “A Brazilian dream, the coffee bean. The making of Empires and Land. For all that you see, I would rather have tea. Darjeeling, Ceylon or Assam.” (Randford is open mouthed, Anna turns to Trisha) “And make it two sugars young lady.”

Randford (Turning) “Trisha. And I’ll have a strong black coffee, please. I think I might need it.”

Trisha “Alright, Mr. Randford. Coming up.”

Trisha leaves the room. Randford pulls up one of the low backed chairs to sit near Anna.

Randford “I am awfully sorry about your loss, Ms. Daiken.”

Anna “Anna. Please call me Anna.”

Randford “Yes. Anna.”

Anna “Death. It affects us all. And each of us experiences a different response. Does the eagle miss his mate? Do the dolphins cry? Can a tiger mourn? When another dies?”

Randford “How poignant. You must have really cared for Jack.”

Anna “Jack?”

Randford “Jack White.”

Anna “Oh, yes. Jack. Jack White. No, not really we weren’t very close you see. We go back, that’s all.”

Randford “Are you local?”

Anna “Everyone is local to somewhere. To which point of reference do you mean?”

Randford “Well, I mean here I suppose. Are you from around here?”

Anna “Perception, scale and time, Randford. Perception is based on common points of reference. Local to you may not seem like local to a small child whose experiences only extend as far as his mother’s home. And if two small ants were both living in this room at either end, they may never meet and therefore not consider themselves local to each other. A matter of scale. And then there is time. If two people both lived in the same house they would be local unless they lived in different times.”

Randford “Time. Yes.” (He checks his watch and clock)

 

…To be continued…


 

Isn’t it just a pain when they end just like that!

No this isn’t the shortest play in the entire history of truncated stagings, it is just simply incomplete.

Has it given you a taste though? Do you want me to pen the next exciting installment? Then I shall, as soon as I get around to it. There are many draws on my time so if you want to get to the nub of this venture send me a message.

The more interest it receives the better chance of completion. It’s in your hands.

Vince

Author: Vince Poynter
From the comedy and stage plays section of vinceunlimited.co.uk dated 19 Jan 18 but first published on the website in Mar 2004
The image was chosen far too quickly by the art department to illustrate a will.  It is of a Jaguar XJ8 wheel and was added on 19 Jan 2018. It frankly has no relevance whatever. Or does it? Nope, nothing at all, just decoration