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Remain Vigilant: Two Linked One-Act Plays

Remain Vigilant

Two Linked One-Act Plays

By David Ralph Lewis

Copyright © by David Ralph Lewis 2016

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Applications for performance by professionals or amateurs in any medium, including readings and excerpts should be addressed to the publisher:

[email protected]

www.davidralphlewis.co.uk

No performance of any kind may be given unless a licence has been obtained. Applications should be made before rehearsals begin. Publication of this play does not necessarily indicate it’s availability for amateur performance.

Dedication

To my mu, as always

Contents

Part One: The Watchful Eyes

Cast of Characters

Setting

Part Two: Paper Trail

Cast of Characters

Setting

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Other Books

Part One: The Watchful Eyes

Cast of Characters

KIERAN FAIRWEATHER
26. Not his real name. Level 3 clearance.

EDWIN HUNT

35. Not his real name. Level 6 clearance.

THOM WALSH

26. Level 30 clearance.

WARREN VOIGHT

33. Level 8 Clearance.

Setting

A staff room. The surfaces are clean and empty. A single table with plastic chairs by it. There are at least three CCTV cameras, all bulky and obvious. A couple of posters on the back wall, saying ’SEE IT: REPORT IT.’ and ’A QUIET WORKPLACE IS A SECURE WORKPLACE.’

Time

The present day.

The Watchful Eyes

{color:#000;}
pre

[_(EDWIN sits at the
table, sandwiches wrapped in foil in front of him. On curtain up he
is scribbling in a small notebook.)_]

[_(He hears something,
looks up frantically at the cameras, then puts the notebook safely
away. He unwraps the sandwiches as KIERAN enters.)_]

KIERAN

Newbie! How’s it going?
Settling in?

EDWIN

Yes.

KIERAN

Good to hear. Good to
hear. Think you’ll fit in well Eddie.

EDWIN

Edwin.

KIERAN

Seem fairly savvy. Got
your head screwed on.

EDWIN

It’s Edwin.

KIERAN

What?

EDWIN

My name is Edwin. Not
Eddie.

KIERAN

Same difference. What
you eating?

EDWIN

Just sandwiches.

KIERAN

Sandwiches. You a
joker?

EDWIN

No. Not a joker.

KIERAN

Classic. Look pretty
good.

EDWIN

They’re alright. Is
there a problem?

KIERAN

Just banter Eddie.

(Pause.)

KIERAN

Although…

EDWIN

What?

KIERAN

You got them scanned,
right?

EDWIN

What?

KIERAN

First thing. All the
security. Need to declare them.

EDWIN

I don’t understand.

KIERAN

Seriously? This is a
problem. How do we know you’re not a terrorist? I mean seriously
mate. It’s pretty much treason.

EDWIN

I didn’t…

KIERAN

Management will be
angry. I need to take them.

EDWIN

Sorry?

[_(KIERAN grabs the
sandwiches from EDWIN.)_]

EDWIN

Give them back!

KIERAN

No can do Eddie. I
could be saving the nation right now.

EDWIN

(aghast)

What is wrong with
you?

[_(KIERAN sniffs the
sandwiches)_]

KIERAN

Hmm. Tuna mayo. No hint
of anthrax.

EDWIN

Please give them
back.

KIERAN

Sounds like a something
a terrorist would say.

EDWIN

Why would a terrorist
possibly say that?

KIERAN

Only one way to tell
for sure.

EDWIN

They’re mine.

KIERAN

For Queen and
country.

EDWIN

What?

KIERAN

Give my porn collection
to charity if this doesn’t work.

[_(KIERAN takes a
bite.)_]

(Pause.)

[_(KIERAN looks at the
sandwich, then at Edwin. He starts to cough, then grabs at his
throat.)_]

EDWIN

Alright. Very
funny.

[_(KIERAN falls to his
knees, still coughing.)_]

[_(It goes on slightly
too long.)_]

EDWIN

Are you…?

[_(KIERAN springs up,
totally fine. He starts laughing.)_]

EDWIN

Christ.

KIERAN

There you go.

[_(He chucks the
sandwiches back to EDWIN.)_]

EDWIN

What was that
about?

KIERAN

Your face! Classic!

EDWIN

I don’t appreciate
being-

KIERAN

Seriously.

EDWIN

You cant just walk in
here and-

KIERAN

It’s a just a joke
mate.

EDWIN

Well it’s not
funny.

KIERAN

Remember though, as
your superior I can do that whenever I want and you can’t do jack.
Seriously.

EDWIN

Right.

(Pause.)

[_(EDWIN picks up the
sandwich with a bite taken out of it, looks at it, then throws it
down in disgust.)_]

KIERAN

You’re a bit old. No
offense.

EDWIN

None taken. This is a
young department.

KIERAN

That’s the way
Management like it. I’ve known computers all my life. It’s in my
blood.

EDWIN

You can navigate the
ins and outs of the system.

KIERAN

Damn right.

EDWIN

You must know all the
back doors.

KIERAN

Know it like the back
of my hand. Unlike older men.

EDWIN

I’ve got sufficient
experience and skills for this position.

KIERAN

You’re picking it up
alright. But it takes longer. Dad still writes passwords down on
sticky notes and puts them by his computer. Bless.

EDWIN

I am not your
father.

KIERAN

But you’re old
enough.

EDWIN

I’m only thirty
five.

(KIERAN whistles.)

KIERAN

Fuck me! Practically dead.

EDWIN

Many thanks for the
vote of confidence.

KIERAN

Seriously? Thirty
five?

EDWIN

Yep.

KIERAN

Wow. Wonder why
Management picked you.

EDWIN

Because of my unique
combination of skills.

KIERAN

Sure mate. Sure.

[_(Pause. They examine
each other for a moment.)_]

KIERAN

Seen any naked birds
yet?

[_(KIERAN sits opposite
EDWIN.)_]

EDWIN

What?

KIERAN

Naked birds. On their
laptops.

EDWIN

I don’t think that’s…

right.

KIERAN

Sure, get a conscience
now. Already spying on them, might as well get something out of
it.

EDWIN

It just doesn’t seem
ethical.

KIERAN

Seriously. You need to
take advantage. Take this Saturday. Went to this club, got chatting
to this right tidy piece- her arse was…

EDWIN

I’m sure.

[_(KIERAN leans over and
takes a sandwich.)_]

KIERAN

Lost her. But I had her
phone number. Jackpot.

EDWIN

That’s mine.

KIERAN

Got back to mine.

Dialled in.

EDWIN

My sandwich!

KIERAN

Chill out Eddie.

EDWIN

I was just about
to-

KIERAN

This bird right,
cracking arse, tight black dress. Was so pissed I lost her. Should
have seen her mate. Nice tits as well. I got back-

[_(THOM enters. EDWIN
coughs.)_]

THOM

Alright fellas.

EDWIN

Hi?

KIERAN

Thom.

THOM

What are you chatting
about?

EDWIN

Oh, nothing.

(Pause.)

THOM

Warm welcome as
always.

KIERAN

Don’t you have tea to
be getting?

THOM

I’m on my lunch.

KIERAN

Again?

THOM

No, first time.

EDWIN

Good afternoon. I don’t
think we’ve met.

THOM

New recruit?

KIERAN

That’s right.

EDWIN

Name’s Edwin.

THOM

Thom. With a H.

KIERAN

With a H. Dick.

THOM

Sorry?

KIERAN

Nothing.

THOM

Nice to meet you
anyway.

[_(He shakes EDWIN’s
hand.)_]

KIERAN

Ew!

THOM

What?

KIERAN

You got the newbie
stink.

THOM

Sorry about Kieran.

Some of our staff haven’t evolved much beyond the stone age.

EDWIN

It’s fine.

KIERAN

How’s it down in Data
Entry?

THOM

Fine. Better than you
plebs up here in Information Monitoring.

KIERAN

Going to get beyond
level thirty this year?

THOM

Kieran’s a real
joker.

EDWIN

I noticed.

THOM

Shame none of his jokes
are funny.

EDWIN

A bit unethical I
find.

KIERAN

What’s it to you?

(Pause.)

EDWIN

Nothing.

[_(THOM puts a kettle
on.)_]

KIERAN

Bit embarrassing. Stuck
at a low level at twenty six.

THOM

This is why I always
enjoy coming up here Kieran. Your brilliant company.

EDWIN

So what does that make
me?

KIERAN

You just started mate.

You’ll be going through the levels in no time.

THOM

I wouldn’t listen to a
thing he says. It’s all lies.

KIERAN

Shut up. Avoid Internal
Ethics and you can advance. Start earning the big bucks. I started
where you are fresh out of school. Few years ago now. Mates thought
I was a mug for not going to uni. Now level fifteen. Earning more
than they ever will.

EDWIN

Oh. Right.

THOM

He won’t let you forget
it either.

KIERAN

Some of us take pride
in our work.

THOM

What, watching ordinary
people go about their business? Say what you will about data entry,
but at least it’s honest.

EDWIN

I’m still getting used
to it myself. Seems… weird.

KIERAN

Takes some time mate.

But adapt and survive, that’s what I always say.

THOM

Funny that. It’s the
first time I’ve ever heard you say it.

KIERAN

You never listened in
the first place.

[_(Pause. The kettle
boils away.)_]

THOM

Still up for football
tomorrow?

KIERAN

Wouldn’t miss it. I’ll
kick your arse.

THOM

He says that a lot.

KIERAN

You should come along
Edward.

EDWIN

Edwin. And its not
really my-

THOM

It’s only a few of us.

Inter-departmental thing, been going a month or so.

EDWIN

I don’t play.

KIERAN

Nor does Thom.

[_(KIERAN laughs. No-one
else does.)_]

THOM

Remind me, what was the
score last time?

KIERAN

Piss off.

EDWIN

No. It’s not my
thing.

THOM

Shame.

KIERAN

This bird right. I have
a little VPN set up and-

EDWIN

Can you do that?

KIERAN

Sure. It’s easy.

EDWIN

But if Internal Ethics
catch you-

KIERAN

All anonymous. They
can’t prove anything.

THOM

Kieran’s a ninja when
it comes to getting his rocks off.

[_(The kettle has
boiled. THOM pours a cup of tea. Whilst he is doing this, KIERAN
grabs the foil from the sandwiches, scrunches it up and throws it
at THOM.)_]

KIERAN

Prick!

THOM

Alright! Calm down
mate.

KIERAN

Why are you here? You
have your own kitchen. With the lower levels.

THOM

Wanted to see your
lovely face.

KIERAN

Prick.

EDWIN

Are you allowed to use
another department’s staff room?

THOM

Sure. I don’t think
it’s a problem.

EDWIN

I thought this place
would be more secure.

THOM

Well there’s some areas
you can’t go to. You need higher clearance.

EDWIN

But this is fine?

THOM

Sure.

EDWIN

Internal Ethics
wouldn’t have a problem with it?

THOM

What they don’t know
won’t hurt them.

KIERAN

Exactly. Like my web of
beautiful, unknowing cam girls.

THOM

Take everything this
one says with a pinch of salt will you?

EDWIN

I will.

KIERAN

Nah, he can’t be
trusted.

EDWIN

No-one is to be
trusted, isn’t that the official motto?

(Slight pause.)

KIERAN

Yeah. Yeah it is.

THOM

Where’d you hear
that?

EDWIN

Just around.

KIERAN

Right.

[_(Pause. KIERAN reaches
over and takes the other sandwich.)_]

EDWIN

Excuse me!

KIERAN

What?

EDWIN

That’s my lunch.

THOM

His lunch now.

EDWIN

(Sighing.)

I suppose you think
your crude attempts to intimidate me are going to work?

KIERAN

Got balls newbie? Want
to take me on?

[_(Unseen to KIERAN,
WARREN has entered. He stands in the doorway, surveying the
scene.)_]

[_(Everyone else
freezes.)_]

KIERAN

Come on then?
Prick.

WARREN

Mr Fairweather. A
delight.

[_(KIERAN turns
around.)_]

KIERAN

Warren. Didn’t see you
there mate.

WARREN

I’m not your mate. And
it’s Sir or Mr. Voight to you.

KIERAN

(Quietly)

Oh right. Sorry.

[_(WARREN enters and
crosses to the sink. He wears elbow length gloves, which are
covered in blood.)_]

[_(THOM gets out of his
way.)_]

WARREN

Thank you Mr.

Walsh.

[_(He starts to wash his
gloves. THOM just nods., trying to be invisible. It doesn’t
work.)_]

WARREN

This is the Information
Monitoring staff room, is it not?

THOM

That’s right.

WARREN

Data Entry has their
own room. Downstairs.

THOM

Our kettle is broken. I
wanted a cup of tea.

WARREN

Whilst unfortunate,
that is a matter for Maintenance, is it not?

THOM

I guess.

WARREN

But you still enter a
staff room that isn’t yours.

THOM

So have you. You’ve got
your own kitchen down in Interrogations.

WARREN

I have higher clearance
than you.

THOM

Didn’t think it was
a-

WARREN

Ah! What a pleasure. I
see we are graced with the presence of-

[_(EDWIN stands quickly
and thrusts his hand out.)_]

EDWIN

Edwin Hunt. Nice to
meet you. I’m a new starter here.

(Pause.)

WARREN

Of course. ’Edwin’. A
pleasure to make your acquaintance.

EDWIN

Nice to meet you.

WARREN

You’ll forgive me if I
don’t shake. I am a little… indisposed.

EDWIN

Not a problem.

(Pause.)

WARREN

I trust your colleagues
are instructing you well.

EDWIN

I’m learning a lot from
my superiors.

KIERAN

Showing him the
ropes.

WARREN

Of course. I’d expect
nothing less.

KIERAN

Yeah, he’s settling
in.

WARREN

Good to hear.

EDWIN

That’s right. I’m
getting to grips with the basics.

THOM

It’s what it’s all
about.

WARREN

Level thirty aren’t
you?

THOM

That’s right.

WARREN

Don’t address your
superiors in that fashion.

THOM

Like what?

WARREN

Damn your
insolence.

THOM

Sorry?

KIERAN

Mate, leave it.

THOM

I didn’t…

WARREN

You shouldn’t even be
up here.

[_(WARREN gets out a pad
and scribbles something down.)_]

WARREN

Tut tut. Such
disobedience. Go to the archive in Sub-Basement Three and find this
file.

THOM

What?

KIERAN

Go on mate.

THOM

I don’t…

KIERAN

It’ll be easier.

THOM

I’m on my lunch!

[_(WARREN hands THOM the
piece of paper. THOM looks at it, sighs.)_]

THOM

Fine, see you in a bit
Kieran?

[_(KIERAN is
silent.)_]

[_(THOM sighs and
exits.)_]

EDWIN

Does that happen a
lot?

KIERAN

Bit harsh.

WARREN

You are questioning my
methods?

KIERAN

Nah. Just saying.

WARREN

Has he been instructing
you in the ways of perversion yet?

EDWIN

He mentioned a few
things.

KIERAN

Got bored in your
basement did you?

WARREN

I do like to observe
the cattle in their natural habitat.

KIERAN

Been prosecuted by the
Geneva convention yet?

WARREN

For the protection of
Queen and country Mr Fairweather. But of course you are ignorant of
such matters.

KIERAN

Nah. Busy doing actual
work.

WARREN

Oh, that is what you
call it?

KIERAN

Vital work.

EDWIN

It certainly appears to
be fulfilling.

WARREN

Right. This
conversation bores me. Mr. Fairweather, Go retrieve your daily
log.

KIERAN

What? Why?

WARREN

Yours is not to
question why. Just do.

KIERAN

Aren’t even in our
department.

WARREN

But I do have
significant clearance as a level eight. Make haste.

KIERAN

Oh for fuck’s-

WARREN

Language.

KIERAN

Fine.

(He stands up.)

KIERAN

Back soon newbie.

WARREN

Don’t dawdle.

KIERAN

Don’t listen to the
prick.

(KIERAN exits.)

(Pause.)

WARREN

Well now.

EDWIN

Well.

(Pause.)

[_(WARREN removes his
gloves and places them in the sink.)_]

WARREN

Do we suspect he has
travelled far enough?

EDWIN

Probably.

(Slight pause)

EDWIN

Jesus Warren, you could
have given away my cover.

WARREN

My apologies Chris. I
was foolish.

EDWIN

I noticed.

WARREN

***

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Remain Vigilant: Two Linked One-Act Plays

"The system is set up to catch criminals, not to make them." Remain Vigilant is two linked one-act plays, both set in the same secret government organisation that deals with surveillance. Both plays show the paranoia that comes from watching the nation as well of the madness of any large office. They are linked together, telling the story of one organisation, but they are both stand-alone and can be performed separately. In the first play, The Watchful Eyes, Kieran teaches new recruit Edwin the advantages of surveillance whilst on his lunch break. But they are continually interrupted by colleagues form other departments, like the sadistic Warren, and Edwin has another agenda. A tense thriller where no one is as they seem and no one can be trusted. Suitable for a cast of four men. In the second play, Paper Trail, a data entry-clerk is asked to find a file in the basement. A simple request leads to madness as he stumbles on Yvonne and Pam, who have not had outside company for some time. They will not let someone from upstairs escape easily. A dark, grotesque comedy suitable for a cast of three, two woman and one man.

  • ISBN: 9781370717156
  • Author: David Ralph Lewis
  • Published: 2016-11-22 17:05:15
  • Words: 12441
Remain Vigilant: Two Linked One-Act Plays Remain Vigilant: Two Linked One-Act Plays