A Midsummer Night’s Dream Eats Harold Pinter
In 1977 I wrote a play called ‘Home Sweet Home’, it was a little bit autobiographical and anti-materialistic. It was given a play reading at the Sheridan Theatre, North Adelaide, directed by Jean Marshall, and my friend, Susan Tonkin, played Kate. The one thing that struck me at the reading was the audience, there were plenty of people there and they laughed and laughed and laughed. I also remember sitting down with Jim Vila, then director of drama at The University of Adelaide, and discussing the play, he said, ‘You have the characters now write the play!’ Years later I was in England, on a Churchill Fellowship, and I saw the Leominster Morris Men performing at the Apple Days at Much Marcle, and a really gutsy passionate performance they did give, I was inspired by their energy and I wanted to start writing again. In 2010 I was rereading ‘Home Sweet Home’, with the idea of shredding it, when two things struck me, it was funny and there was a love story in there, so I decided it was worth re-writing rather than shredding.
I took my old play and a very rough adaptation of a mummer’s play, threw them both together and, to add flesh to the play, I reached back in time to some very early experiences of mine in the Adelaide Theatre scene. I worked with various directors and theatre companies in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Bruno Knez, at the La Mamma Theatre in Thebarton, The Adelaide Theatre Group, at the Sheridan Theatre in North Adelaide and Jim Vila, Director of The Ensemble at the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild and I used these experiences to flesh out the new play.
The play is a reworking of the Romeo and Juliet theme from a new perspective but it’s much more than that. Kate is besieged by three men but she hates all men. Her parents are passionate about things and they have an almost Pinteresque obsession with their new lounge suite. Then the players arrive and it’s pure Midsummer Night’s Dream madness. The new play seemed to click with my brain, driving in a car I had to write and in the middle of the night I would get up to write. It is just a little bit of fun but, like a good love story, just a little bit of fun can be hard to create.
Noahs Nuclear Niche: An Assortment of Crazy Plays
Julio & Romiette
Life Love & Lavenham
L’Hotel Le Big Knob
Mum: Kate’s mother in her late forties.
Dad: Kate’s father in his early fifties.
Richard: A strong, well-built deliveryman who gets hijacked.
Kate: Somewhere between twenty and thirty years of age trying to find her own way in the world.
Lucinda: A very keen and energetic director of amateur theatre, possibly in her thirties but any age really.
Peregrine: A bored public servant from the suburbs, he’s in his thirties, unmarried and looking for a life.
Angelo: A backpacker from Italy pulled in off the street to act in the play however he speaks very little English.
Leticia: An old school friend of Kate’s who gets involved in theatre in order to get out and meet people.
Set: To start with an empty stage but slowly the stage fills up with furniture. The rehearsal scenes are played to the front of the stage but can use any space available.
All players carry stout wooden swords, fun hats and have ribbons and bells attached to their clothes and hats.
(Enter Kate and Leticia, they are well dressed in an, I work in an office, kind of style. They have been at the office all day and now are going home from work.)
Leticia: I’ve been meaning to say all day, those shoes!
Kate: Good aren’t they?
Kate: Yes, Italian from Milan, I’d love to go to Italy and go shopping.
Leticia: Don’t you have enough shoes?
Kate: You can never have enough shoes.
Leticia: So, will you come to the theatre group?
Kate: It’s not my sort of thing, it was bad enough in the school play when they made me be a tree, I was so embarrassed.
Leticia: Please come, I can’t go by myself and I never go out. I’ll never meet anybody and if I never find Prince Charming it’ll be all your fault and when I die of a broken heart I’ll come back and haunt you.
Kate: Sorry but no! When people talk about the theatre I always have visions of Miss Ascot and her dance classes at school. D’you remember? ‘I want you all to go to sleep and now I want you all to slowly awaken’, I think we were meant to come to life slowly, all very arty farty, I stayed asleep, Miss Ascot got really annoyed, I said my alarm hadn’t gone off.
Leticia: It’s just a bit of fun, you’ve gotta have a laugh. Better than going round the pub after work and having all the blokes trying to get us in the sack.
Kate: There’s a better class of pervert in the theatre.
Leticia: It’ll be interesting.
Kate: I couldn’t do any Shakespeare, I hate Shakespeare. Fifteen year old girls having to stand up in class and read bloody Twelfth Night and then discuss it, it put me off for life.
Leticia: No it’s not Shakespeare. I’ve got the scrips and your part…
Kate: My part?
Leticia: The director gave me two scripts and said bring a friend along.
Kate: Thanks for that.
Leticia: Can’t you see the funny side of it? Me and you from the suburbs, great actresses, stars, turning up in our fur coats on opening night, all the nobs and snobs are there, it’s a command performance and we have to bow to the Queen and say: ‘How do you do Ma’am’, be a laugh.
Leticia: Just for me, for old time’s sake? And you still owe me twenty cents I lent you when we were five.
Kate: Bloody hell, long memory.
Leticia: It’s money!
Kate: You always were tight.
Leticia: It was for your Dad’s birthday present. I didn’t claim it back, I thought I’d get you in my debt and then one day…
Kate: You conniving little…
Leticia: Then you’ll do it?
Kate: But Shakespeare.
Leticia: Bloody brilliant.
Kate: Alright, I’ll be a tree.
(Kate and Leticia exit)
(Mum and Dad enter they dress a bit like deros but they are just suburbanites)
Mum: Today’s the day.
Dad: The moment of destiny.
Mum: I’m so excited.
Dad: A little self-control.
Mum: I’ll have to cross me legs.
Dad: A small step for man but a giant leap for mankind.
Mum: (Dancing on the spot to stop herself from wetting her pants) Gawd Almighty if it don’t come soon I’ll wet meself.
(Dad looks out of the window.)
Dad: Here it is.
Mum: Aw aw, squooze me.
(Mum rushes off for a moment then returns)
Mum: Ahh that’s better.
Dad: Caught it just in time?
Mum: Nearly disgraced meself.
Dad: I feel a bit nervous in the water works department as well.
Mum: Where’s the delivery truck then?
Dad: False alarm.
Dad: Delivering a large screen telly ‘cross the road.
Mum: What did they buy that for?
Dad: No common sense.
Mum: Hocked up to their eyeballs they are.
Dad: People got no sense.
Mum: They think they’re better than everyone else.
Dad: Think they’re bloody royalty.
Mum: I wouldn’t let ‘em clean my shoes.
Dad: Think they’re so grand.
Mum: We only buy what we need and can afford, keep within our means.
Dad: Then they get tired of it, two thousand dollar telly in the front door one week and a week later two thousand dollar telly out the back door.
Mum: Remember that wok they bought?
Dad: All singing and dancing electrified all the attachments.
Mum: Never used it.
Dad: And that Weber, talk about Rolls Royce of barbeques, got the most expensive, nothing but the best.
Mum: They never use it.
Dad: A metal plate, a couple of bricks and a bit of kindling cooks your snags as well as a bloody Weber.
Mum: Never been out of the garidge.
Dad: And that soft top sports car! Cost ‘em an arm and a leg, took it out once/ Can’t take it out when it’s too hot, can’t take it out when it’s too cold, can’t take it out when it’s wet, can’t take it out when it’s dusty.
Mum: Still in the garidge next to the Weber.
Dad: No one seems to have our common sense.
Mum: No one’s perfect like what we are.
Dad: Bloody hell I think it’s here now, I’m nearly wetting meself, when a man’s gotta go he’s gotta go.
Mum: Wait for me oh Gawd I’m wetting me knickers.
(Dad and Mum exit)
(Enters Lucinda the director followed by Peregrine looking rather boring and Angelo dressed as an acrobat doing hand stands and other crazy things.)
Lucinda: (To Angelo) Give me a kiss lover.
Angelo: (Moving away) No speak English.
Lucinda: I’ll save you for later.
Peregrine: I’m just completing an important report on regional arts funding for the State Government and its impact on community theatre. I’d like to get your point of view later on.
Lucinda: Yes sure thing over coffee.
Peregrine: That would be good because…
Lucinda: Alright everybody now gather round, gather round we have to audition our latest hopeful and then the cast will be complete for the actor’s workshop.
(Leticia enters dragging in Kate)
Leticia: Come on, no one will bite you. It’ll be a laugh.
(Angelo spots Kate and stops monkeying around.)
Kate: I’ve changed my mind.
Leticia: You can’t now.
Lucinda: Come hence fair maiden, you have entered the realms of make believe, everything you want to be you are, everything you do not want to be you are not. You have set yourself free, you are now a free spirit, you can fly, you can sour, you will live for ever.
Kate: (Aside to Leticia) What an idiot, can I tell her to get lost?
Leticia: Come on fair go, it’s just a bit of fun.
Kate: (Aside to Leticia) I want to go, this isn’t fun, people look at you.
Leticia: Look, one night, and if you feel the same after a couple of hours then fine I won’t ask for my twenty cents back.
Kate: It’ll be the hardest twenty cents I’ve earned in my life.
Lucinda: My name is Lucinda, I’m from Hungary, that is where I trained in the theatre techniques pioneered by Stanislavski of the Moscow Art Theatre.
Kate: Isn’t that something to do with dogs drooling?
Peregrine: That’s Pavlov.
Kate: I think I’ll be a tree.
Peregrine: Is it to do with empathy?
Kate: Are there any trees in this play?
Lucinda: Stanislavski created a method of acting where the actor analyses the motives and motivation of the character he is about to play.
Kate: I could be a shrub or even a flower.
Lucinda: The idea is to perform with psychological realism and emotional authenticity.
Kate: I do a very good fish.
Peregrine: I find this all very interesting.
Kate: (Aside to Peregrine) Get a life.
Lucinda: The idea is to recall emotions and sensations from our own life and use them to identify with the characters being portrayed.
Kate: I think I could empathise with a rock.
Lucinda: It was popularized in America by Lee Strasburg at the Actors Studio between the1940’s and the 1980’s. However I am not looking for method acting today.
Kate: I’m so disappointed, I was looking forward to being a sunflower awakening as the sun rises in the morning.
Lucinda: Plenty of time for that, remind me later.
Kate: I’m busy empathising with someone committing suicide.
Lucinda: We are putting on a folk play from Medieval England known as a mummer’s play. These plays are about rebirth and renewal and traditionally performed mid-winter, this particular play however is not quite so old or traditional, I wrote it myself, well I used an old text to create it.
Kate: Are there any trees in it?
Lucinda: Let’s get on with the audition.
Kate: I could make the coffee.
Lucinda: Can you sing?
Lucinda: Can you dance?
Lucinda: Have you had any experience acting.
Kate: I was once a tree in the school play.
Lucinda: You’re in.
Kate: Oh thanks, I’m so happy.
Lucinda: Let me introduce you to the cast, this is Angelo.
(Kate sees Angelo for the first time and she quite likes what she sees)
Lucinda: He is Spanish…
Lucinda: He doesn’t speak a great deal of English. He’s playing the romantic lead. Angelo’s a backpacker, I picked him up at the bus station on my way over here.
Angelo: How do you do, my English good no?
Kate: I do fine thanks.
(She extends her hand and shakes Angelo’s)
Angelo: Buon giorno.
Kate: So the lead is in Italian?
Lucinda: No English.
Kate: But he doesn’t speak English?
Lucinda: Well not a lot no, but that’s not a problem, we’ll have him speaking dinky die Australian in no time.
Angelo: I am very.
Lucinda: This is Leticia, you know her already I think.
Kate: Yes I have Leticia to blame for all this, she said I could be a tree.
Lucinda: She can’t act either, which is what I’m looking for in the cast for this play, she is playing a clown.
Leticia: They were looking for a man for the part but couldn’t get one, what does that say about me? No don’t say anything.
Kate: So you’re the local yokel.
Leticia: Wait until you find out what you are.
Kate: I’ll kill you.
Lucinda: This is Peregrine, he plays a character called…
Lucinda: I’ll back to you on that one.
Peregrine: Hi de hi, yeah I’m with the government, I spend my days writing reports that nobody reads. Great isn’t it? This is just a start for me, I want to get into bigger parts and really stretch myself, I’ve been reading Stanislavski’s book, all very fascinating. My favourite food is gourmet wood fired oven pizzas and my favourite colour is blue.
Kate: Excellent I really needed to know that.
Lucinda: He can’t act either and gets worse every time but that’s how I like it. I don’t put on plays so that the cast can play up to the audience, I want my actors to work together to form an ensemble.
Kate: I could build sets or help with the lighting.
Lucinda: No way, I was looking for someone who really couldn’t act to be the main female lead. We are doing the play for the Spring Festival and you will be just what the doctor ordered. Enough pleasantries, now I get nasty.
Peregrine: Time for a coffee break according to my watch I think.
Lucinda: Public Servants, all coffee breaks, smokos and meetings. Come on everybody I’ll show you our Green Room.
Peregrine: (To Kate) My all-time favourite movie is Casablanca.
Kate: Leticia can I go home now.
Leticia: Let your hair down, pull your head in, have some fun. There are men here.
Kate: I think that’s stretching the imagination a bit far. I’d rather stand naked in the sea with very hungry sharks swimming all around me.
Angelo: (To Kate) You coffee yes I make?
Kate: (To Leticia) Come on Leticia what a dag.
Angelo: I dag yes?
Kate: Sorry, no, you’re fine, you’re good.
Angelo: I dag, this good?
Kate: Sorry slip of the tongue. You’re not a dag. I’ll wash my mouth out with soap.
Angelo: I make coffee you.
Kate: Okay but don’t read anything into it, I don’t like Italian men, they’re all over you and they eat garlic and salami.
Angelo: You my place, I make pizza.
Kate: I bet that’s not all you’d make.
Leticia: Come on or we won’t get any coffee.
Kate: You’ve brought me into a hornets nest.
Leticia: It’s just a little bit of fun.
(Dad and Mum enter helping the delivery men carry in one rather large bright orange settee.)
Dad: Back, back, back, back, over to the left, no to the right, steady, steady, take it easy, easy, over a bit, down steady steady.
Mum: I want it over here.
Dad: We decided we’d put it here.
Mum: Over here! That’s right, don’t listen to him, over a bit more, slowly, down, down, give ‘em a hand Dad.
Richard: (One of the delivery men) Well that’s quite a lounge.
Mum: I don’t like it here let’s move it.
Dad: Cor blimey make your mind up.
Mum: It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.
Richard: Where would you like it?
Mum: Over a bit, a bit more.
Mum: No, over a bit.
Mum: No back a bit.
Mum: No forward a bit.
Dad: No over here.
Mum: Don’t you put your half penny’s worth in.
Dad: Gawd woman!
Mum: Don’t you gawd woman me!
Dad: Will you never make up your mind.
Mum: I’ll know exactly what I want when I see it.
Dad: You’re like a woman driver, all over the road.
Mum: Don’t you woman driver me, you’re a chauvinist.
Richard: (Still holding up the lounge suit) Ah hum.
Dad: I am not a chauvinist.
Mum: A male chauvinist pig.
Dad: Not in front of the delivery men.
Mum: You started it.
Dad: I did not, you started it.
Richard: Excuse me but it doesn’t matter who started it, what matters is where do you want it?
Mum: Such rudeness.
Dad: I’ve never heard the like.
Mum: I’m going to complain to your superior.
Dad: The customer’s always right.
Richard: I apologise, you have my full and sincere regrets and apologies but this lounge is getting pretty heavy.
Mum: (Pointing to where the settee was originally) I’d like it over there thank you and apology accepted.
Dad: That’s where I had it originally.
Mum: No it’s not.
Dad: Yes it is.
Mum: No it’s not.
Dad: Yes it is.
Mum: No it’s not.
Dad: Yes it is.
Richard: (To his helper) Thanks Frank I’ll be with you in a sec. (Frank exits) If you could just sign this delivery docket?
Dad: I don’t know that I want to sign anythink without reading it first.
Mum: Get into a lot of trouble that way, credit card fraud and the likes. You can lose your whole personality, people get your signature then they steal you lock stock and barrel, must do it in the night, then they sell you on, probably to the Arabs or the Chinese or foreigners.
Richard: It’s only to say that you’ve taken delivery of the lounge suite, nothing more, my boss needs it, if I don’t get your signature I’ll be skinned alive.
Mum: One of those is he?
Richard: Too right.
Mum: A tyrant.
Dad: Us working people have to stick together. Forty five years I was in the union, never did me no harm. Ya gotta stand up for your rights. Workers of the World Unite, you can’t turn your back for one minute or they’re after ya. Employers!
Richard: I’m the union rep at our place.
Dad: Good for you.
Mum: P’raps you’d like some tea.
Richard: Well I’ve got to go.
Mum: Cup of tea’s not going to take long.
Dad: Mum makes a good cuppa born in England she was. We both came out in 1964, ten pound Poms we are and proud of it.
Mum: Me mum and dad lived on tea, tea was their life’s blood.
Richard: Nice lounge suite.
Mum: Been wanting a new one for years and we finally took the plunge.
Dad: Yes we finally took a dive.
Mum: We’ve been waiting about for so long wondering perhaps we couldn’t afford it.
Dad: Perhaps we could.
Mum: Maybe we should take the plunge.
Dad: Maybe we shouldn’t.
Mum: We finally got fed up waiting.
Dad: And went out.
Mum: And committed ourselves.
Dad: It’s taken a load off my mind.
Mum: I can tell you.
Richard: I think it was the best thing in the circumstances, now you know exactly where you are.
Mum: Well I’m happy.
Dad: It’s like a second honeymoon.
Mum: Originally it wasn’t supposed to be delivered ‘til tomorrow you know.
Dad: They kept telling us a different story.
Mum: They told me yesterday that it was coming Wednesday.
Dad: ‘Day after tomorrow’ they said.
Mum: And today’s tomorrow so the lounge suite was supposed to come tomorrow.
Dad: The day after tomorrow yesterday they told us.
Richard: You can count today as a special bonus.
Mum: They rang this morning, first thing, I was so happy, I could have wet meself.
Dad: You did.
Richard: All worked out for the best in the end.
Mum: I’ve been saving for months.
Dad: I gave her the rest of the money to make up the amount as an early Christmas present.
Richard: Christmas comes earlier every year but this is ridiculous.
Mum: It’s the best birthday present I ever had.
Richard: It’s your birthday present as well?
Dad: Birthday and Christmas present combined.
Mum: Well here it is.
Dad: Makes me feel proud.
Mum: Just looking at it makes me feel good inside. I feel sort of warm all over. Do you know what I mean.
Mum: Yeah, sort of fulfilled.
Dad: I was worried it wouldn’t suit the room.
Mum: That the colours would clash.
Dad: But it’s perfect don’t you think?
Dad: Sorry I didn’t get your name.
Dad: I’m very pleased to meet you Richard, it’s an honour and a privilege to have had our lounge suit delivered by you.
Richard: Thanks very much, what’s your name?
Mum: Oh, don’t have to stand on ceremony with us, just call us Mum and Dad.
Richard: Gee thanks.
Mum: I think I’ll make a nice cuppa to celebrate. Might even get out the crockery set me mum gave me when I was married. Would you like a cuppa Richard?
Richard: I’ve got deliveries to make.
Dad: Live dangerously.
Richard: Why not?
Mum: (To Richard) Do you like it?
Mum: I think it’s the best lounge suite I’ve seen and I’ve seen lots.
Richard: It’s beaut, real beaut.
Mum: I’ve been looking for years and this one tops the lot.
Dad: I don’t think anyone could get a better lounge suite.
Mum: It’s one of a kind.
Dad: It’s got class.
Dad: It’s a pace setter.
Mum: On the cutting edge.
Dad: Shall we sit on it.
Mum: I don’t know.
Dad: We don’t want to spoil it.
Mum: We could keep it for best.
Dad: We could bring the old one back in and use that.
Mum: Just keep this one for special occasions.
Dad: We don’t want to spoil it.
Mum: Ooo I’m tempted.
Dad: Now control yourself, don’t get carried away, you know what you’re like when the mood takes you, there’s no stopping you.
Mum: I think I might risk it.
Dad: Take a chance.
Mum: It’s tempting.
Richard: I’ll take the plastic protective wrapping off.
Dad: Give over.
Mum: Don’t you dare!
Mum: We’re keeping the plastic.
Dad: Protect the fabric see.
Mum: Keep it clean, keep the dust off and peoples messy fingers.
(Mum sits on the sofa very cautiously)
Dad: Three cheers for the new sofa.
(Mum stands up)
Mum: I’d like to thank me mum and me dad without whom I wouldn’t be here and of course Ron here and let’s not forget Richard’s part, little though it was, it was an important part in the unrolling of today’s monumental event.
(Mum lowers herself steadily)
Mum: I declare the new lounge suite open.
(Dad sits down)
Dad: It’s really quite comfy.
Mum: Firm but soft.
Dad: A pleasure to sit on.
Mum: Come on Richard sit yourself down.
(Richard lowers himself slowly)
Richard: Soft yes and yet firm.
Mum: You won’t see too many of these around the suburbs.
Dad: The man who made this doesn’t turn ‘em out on a conveyer belt. He’s got a bit of pride in his work and that’s a rare thing these days.
Mum: You can say that again.
Dad: The man who made this doesn’t turn them out on a conveyer belt. He’s got a bit of pride in his work and that’s a rare thing these days.
Mum: You said that already.
Dad: I’ve said it all along and I’ll say it again.
Mum: Do you like the colour Richard?
Mum: I picked it out myself.
Dad: It matches the room doesn’t it?
Mum: Fits in well with the colour telly.
Dad: Really sets off the hi fi.
Mum: And the coffee table’s a perfect match.
Richard: You don’t think it’s just a mite fashionable?
Mum: Oh no, not at all fashionable.
Dad: Not in the least fashionable.
Mum: I didn’t want to get anything fashionable.
Dad: If you get anything fashionable it goes out of fashion.
Mum: This will do our house proud for years. We’ll get our money’s worth out of this.
Dad: Not trendy.
Mum: No not trendy at all.
Richard: A good lounge suite’s not easy to find.
Mum: It was certainly a good buy.
Richard: Comfortable, yes definitely very comfortable but I must be going.
Dad: No you don’t want to go yet you aint had a cuppa yet.
Mum: Yes I got to make you a cuppa.
Richard: Comfortable, yes comfortable, but I really do have to go.
(Richard starts to get up)
Mum: I admit I was very lucky.
Dad: Certainly lucky wasn’t she Richard?
Mum: I’m really pleased.
Richard: That’s good.
Dad: You can sit down, watch the colour telly and go to sleep.
Mum: We can certainly enjoy life now.
Dad: Our life is before us.
Mum: On this lounge suite we can feel as smug as a bug in a rug.
Dad: Just wait till Kate sees it.
Mum: Kate’s our eldest, she aint ‘arf got a good job, in an office mind you.
Dad: We’d like you to meet Kate, Richard.
Mum: You’ll like Kate.
Dad: Smashing girl.
Mum: Doin’ sompin’ with the theatre, doesn’t get it from my side of the family.
Dad: Nothing wrong with a bit of play acting.
Mum: She should be out meeting nice fellas like Richard here, I try to tell her but she knows best. She can’t see for looking.
(Fade out to next scene)
(Enter Kate carrying a classy shopping bag, enter Leticia and Peregrine.)
Kate: I moved set once, I enjoyed that.
Peregrine: You’re a natural, you’re experienced, you’re going to be a star.
Kate: I doubt it.
Leticia: (Trying to impress Peregrine) I went to a play once, it was about this boy and girl, they fall in love and all their friends fight and then they take poison and stab each other to death.
Kate: Don’t mind Leticia.
Leticia: What’s in the bag Kate?
Leticia: More shoes?
Leticia: Let’s see them.
(Kate takes out the shoes from her shopping bag.)
Leticia: Oh they’re nice, I wish I could afford as many shoes as you.
Peregrine: Very classy pair of shoes Kate.
Kate: D’ya know I’ve got more than one pair of shoes for everyday of the year.
Kate: But why, why do I need so many shoes?
Leticia: Retail therapy.
Kate: I’ve made a vow, this is the last pair of shoes I buy.
Leticia: I’ll believe that when I see it.
Peregrine: Kate you’ll like this one, did I tell you the joke about cold water.
Kate: Where’s Lucinda?
Leticia: Not here yet.
Peregrine: A guy went to his fathers for lunch and while they were cooking the son said what nice clean pans his father had and the son asked his father how he got them so clean and his father said as clean as cold water can get them. Then during dinner the son looked at the crockery and said how did his father get them so clean and shiny and his father said as clean as cold water can get them. And when they had finished the meal the father took all the crockery, cutlery, pots and pans and laid them out on the verandah and his son said: ‘What are you doing?’ and the father calls out: ‘Cold Water here boy.’
(Lucinda and Angelo enter.)
Lucinda: Today I want to start with a few acting exercises nothing much, nothing to be afraid of, the object really is just to loosen you all up and get rid of some of your inhibitions
Angelo: Buon giorno Kate.
Kate: No thanks.
Lucinda: Now, find yourself a space everyone find your own space.
Angelo: (In Italian to Kate.) Tu hai degl’ocche bellissimi.
Lucinda: Now we are going to do a sense memory exercise. As human beings we perceive the world through our senses, we see, we hear, we touch, we taste, okay?
Angelo: (In Italian to Kate.) Hai una pelle stupenda, fantastica.
Angelo: Scuzzi Lucinda boss.
Lucinda: So remember these things affects us, for instance when we think of our favourite food we start to salivate.
Peregrine: Boutique wood fired oven pizza.
Leticia: Would you like to go for one after the rehearsal?
Lucinda: Please everyone!
Lucinda: Or a song reminds you of a love affair.
Peregrine: When I think of you Kate I will always think of that Frank Sinatra song: ‘I’ve got you under my skin’.
Lucinda: Please, if I have your permission to go on.
Peregrine: Yes, yes certainly.
Lucinda: Thank you. I want you all to be a glass of water.
Kate: I knew it!
Lucinda: Concentrate! Smell that glass of water. Touch it, drink it very slowly. No don’t move you are just doing all this in your mind’s eye. Slowly, slowly drink it.
Peregrine: Can I think about a glass of beer?
Lucinda: Peregrine! Now I want you to think about the animals in the zoo. Think about apes and chimpanzees, think about penguins and think about flamingos. Now I want you to pick an animal.
Peregrine: The Lion, king of the jungle.
Lucinda: Be quiet! Now I want you to be that animal, you are that animal but you are asleep and I want you to slowly awaken.
Kate: I knew it, I told you, I knew it.
Lucinda: You are asleep.
Kate: I can do that bit.
Peregrine: Kate what are you doing after rehearsal?
Lucinda: Very slowly you start to awaken, you are that animal, I want you to feel like that animal, think like that animal, to move like that animal slowly, slowly you start to move like that animal.
Lucinda: Start to move, slowly, slowly start to move.
(Apes and monkeys all emerge and start cavorting around the stage, Kate is frozen)
Lucinda: Kate start to move.
Kate: I haven’t woken up yet.
Lucinda: Start to move now Kate!
Kate: I can’t think of an animal.
Lucinda: Now come on I am trying to expel your inhibitions.
Kate: Can I be a koala?
Lucinda: Of course, anything.
Kate: Good, when koalas wake up they go straight back to sleep.
Kate: Can I be a tree?
Peregrine: If my watch serves me correctly it’s time for a coffee break.
Lucinda: Alright everybody let’s break.
Peregrine: Kate I was a lion, king of the jungle, did you notice.
Kate: I thought you were a chimpanzee.
(Everybody but Kate and Leticia exit)
Leticia: Peregrine’s got the hots for you.
Kate: He’s a dag.
Leticia: He’s not.
Kate: No accounting for taste.
Leticia: And Angelo likes you.
Kate: Another dag.
Leticia: All men are dags to you.
Kate: That’s about right, dags, perverts, chauvinists and sexist pigs and all with only one thought in their head.
Kate: No not coffee but yes I would like one, anything’s better than being a glass of water.
(Kate and Leticia exit)
(Richard is sitting on the lounge suite two arm chairs have arrived now to finish off the ensemble. Dad stands behind the lounge suite with his hands lovingly caressing it. Mum enters carrying three great mugs of tea)
Mum: Tea’s up.
(Kate enters in her acting clothes, in the following sequence she is a little bit ironic)
Kate: Hi Mum, hi Dad, I’m home.
Mum: Kate quick come and see.
Kate: (Fingering the lounge suite from behind) It’s arrived has it?
Mum: Yes this is it.
Dad: This is it alright.
Mum: Oh this is Richard.
Richard: (Tries to shake her hand) Good to meet you.
Kate: Likewise I’m sure.
Dad: (Sitting down on the sofa) This is it alright, what do you think?
Kate: I like it.
Dad: She likes it!
Kate: It’s adorable.
Dad: She adores it!
Mum: Well I did pick it.
Dad: I picked it.
Mum: If you’ll remember rightly, I picked it.
Dad: I found the shop.
Mum: There were nearly a hundred lounge suites in that shop.
Kate: It’s something of a minor masterpiece.
Dad: Did you hear that Mum? Kate thinks it’s a masterpiece.
Kate: Michelangelo never did better.
Mum: Who’s he when he’s at home may I ask?
Dad: Italian carpenter, builder, painter, something.
Mum: Don’t hold with I-talians.
Kate: (Picking up the bill) Is this what you paid?
Dad: (Defensive.) Yes.
Kate: That’s very reasonable.
Mum: Can’t beat us for a bargain.
Dad: You can see it’s hand made.
Mum: Custom built.
Dad: You can see the skill.
Mum: Not one of those in and out jobs.
Kate: I love the material, really like the colour.
Dad: Beautiful and firm.
Mum: But at the same time lovely and soft.
Kate: You seem to have an eye for tasteful pieces of furniture.
Mum: It’s the nicest lounge suite I’ve seen in years.
Dad: It’s got taste, style and class.
Mum: A touch of class.
Dad: And the colour…
Mum: The colour fits perfectly with the telly.
Dad: Sets off the hi-fi.
Mum: The coffee table’s a perfect match.
Dad: Her next door could do with one of these.
Mum: I don’t know how she can put up with her lounge.
Dad: It’s completely tasteless.
Mum: And there’s a stain where somebody spilt coffee.
Dad: It’s an enormous piece of room filling.
Mum: The colours are atrocious.
Dad: She never did have any taste.
Mum: And their carpet?
Dad: It’s a hotch potch patch blanket.
Mum: They waste money.
Dad: Throw it around like it grew on trees.
Mum: No sense of value.
Dad: Not like us, we make capital investments.
Mum: Oh Kate have I introduced you to Richard.
Kate: Yes we’ve met.
Dad: He’s big in the union movement.
Kate: I knew he’d have to be big somewhere.
Richard: I must get going Mr and Mrs…
Dad: Oh you don’t want to go yet Kate’s only just come in.
Mum: Richard delivered the new lounge suite personally.
Kate: What a hero.
Mum: Maybe you and Richard could talk.
Kate: Sure, when hell freezes over.
Mum: Flippin’ ‘eck don’t be so rude.
Dad: What’s in the bag Kate?
Mum: A new pair of shoes?
Mum: Let’s see ‘em.
(Kate takes the shoes out from her shopping bag.)
Mum: Ooo they’re nice, wish I could afford as many shoes as you.
Richard: Very classy pair of shoes Kate.
Kate: D’ya know I’ve got more than one pair of shoes for everyday of the year?
Kate: But why, why do I need so many shoes?
Mum: Makes you feel good.
Kate: I’ve made a vow, this is the last pair of shoes I buy.
Mum: You can’t have too many pairs of shoes Kate!
Dad: Kate’s just been promoted Richard, she’s now in charge of her department.
Mum: Earns a pretty penny I can tell you.
Mum: Plans to go to Italy for her holidays and buy shoes in Milan.
Richard: I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, the colosseum and all that.
Dad: I’ve got something to show you in the garden Mum come on.
(Dad stands up and goes off)
Dad: Come on.
(Mum exits. There is a profound silence)
Richard: Well we can’t sit here being silent forever.
Kate: Why not?
Richard: It’s too quiet, I’ll get a headache.
Kate: What did you want to talk to me about?
Richard: Well we’ve only just met, I thought we could talk and then…
Kate: I can’t talk, I can’t talk to anybody.
Richard: Did you watch that new show on TV about teenage dating?
Kate: Please, not more reality TV!
Kate: I don’t watch much television.
Richard: Me neither.
Kate: I need time to think, not to have my brain filled full of trivia.
Richard: Yeah, television today is such crap.
Kate: You watch it I’m sure?
Richard: Only the news, and world affairs of course, and I like cooking shows, I want to learn to cook and, um, shows about people getting ahead and I do like police drama.
Kate: I hate police drama.
Richard: I watch it, yes, just to laugh at it, it’s so bad.
Kate: My head spins around in circles, I couldn’t watch television I need to think. My head spins all the time. I’m looking for the light at the end of the tunnel but I haven’t found the tunnel yet. My head spins around in circles like a carousel gone mad. I have a dream, I fall into the sea from a great height and as I fall through the water it slowly sets like concrete.
Richard: That’s just a dream, the real world’s different.
Kate: The real world seems like a crazy dream sometimes.
(Richard stands up and puts his hand on Kate’s)
Richard: I can help, that is, we could go out.
Kate: No leave me alone.
Richard: We could talk, talking helps.
Kate: I don’t need your help, I don’t need anybody’s help, I’m going out.
Richard: I’m a good listener.
(Kate exits with Richard following)
Richard: Kate come back, I don’t want to be a nuisance.
(Mum and Dad enter)
Mum: It’s only me.
Dad: They’ve gone.
Mum: I told you she don’t appreciate Richard, she’s got no idea of what a nice decent young man he is, she don’t appreciate nothin’ ‘cept shoes. Like a top up?
Dad: Could do with one, tea’s a bit low.
Mum: I’ll put the kettle on.
(Peregrine enters and Angelo bounces in juggling)
Angelo: I learn English.
Peregrine: You like Kate?
Angelo: How now brown cow?
Peregrine: I saw her first.
Angelo: The cat sat on the mat.
Peregrine: Kate and me we have electricity. I knew it as soon as I first set eyes on her.
Angelo: To whom should Aunt Marjorie pass the plums?
Peregrine: I’m serious about Kate, I don’t want you coming between us.
Angelo: The weather today is quite fine.
(Enters Kate and Leticia)
(Kate ignores him)
Peregrine: Kate, Leticia, how are you.
Leticia: Good yeah.
Peregrine: Kate I wonder if you would like to come for a pizza when today’s session is finished?
Kate: How did you know my name?
Angelo: Katrina beautiful name.
Peregrine: You don’t have to decide now Kate.
Angelo: Finish, we coffee drink?
Peregrine: You can think about my offer of a pizza Kate, take your time.
Peregrine: (Puts his hand on Kate’s shoulder) Kate I have liked you from when I first saw you.
Kate: Get off you dag.
Peregrine: I meant no harm.
Kate: Sexist pig.
Peregrine: What have I done? Why do you hate me?
Kate: It’s not just you, I hate all men.
Peregrine: My intentions are honourable.
Kate: No man’s intentions are ever honourable.
Lucinda: Alright everybody let’s get down to work. Form into couples we are going to do some experimental theatre today we are going to improvise around the theme of Romeo and Juliet.
Kate: Can I be a geranium in a pot?
Peregrine: I’ll team up with you Kate.
Lucinda: Kate I want you to team up with Angelo I want to see how you spark together.
Kate: Like an electric chair.
Lucinda: Leticia and Peregrine okay.
Lucinda: I don’t need to tell you the story, I want it spontaneous. It’s a love story, a tragic love story but let’s concentrate on the love story, Kate and Angelo first.
Angelo: (On one knee) Kate I love you.
Leticia: Cleopatra, Kate is Cleopatra.
Lucinda: Juliet, she’s Juliet for Christ’s sake!
Angelo: (Touches Kate’s knee.) Juliet we marry?
Kate: Very nice of you to offer but no thanks.
Angelo: I you love.
Kate: I love you too (Blows him a kiss) but it’s just not meant to be.
Angelo: We a team?
Kate: Never been a team player really.
Angelo: We make bambini.
Kate: Never liked children.
Angelo: You like coffee? I make.
Kate: Truth is I don’t like coffee.
Angelo: Juliet me you no like?
Kate: Look…well…you are kinda cute but to tell you the truth I just don’t like men.
Lucinda: Very good, very good, now you see the real feelings expressed in that little segment shows me that you can both act…
Kate: I wasn’t acting.
Lucinda: …and that as an ensemble we can harness and develop that energy. Now Leticia and Peregrine it’s your turn.
Peregrine: Hi de hi Juliet.
Leticia: Hi de hi Romeo.
Peregrine: What ya doing today?
Leticia: Just goofing off.
Peregrine: Wanna grab something to eat?
Leticia: Yeah that would be good.
Peregrine: How about me and you?
Peregrine: Me and you, how about it?
Leticia: I think you’re hooked on someone else.
Leticia: Is it?
Peregrine: I’ve only ever had eyes for you.
Leticia: Is that true Romeo?
Peregrine: But soft the light of yonder sunshine heralds the dawn.
Leticia: What about Kate?
Peregrine: I’m nothing to her, she feels nothing for me, I’m finished with her, I’m over it.
Leticia: I wish I could believe that.
Lucinda: And thus concludes the play of Juliet and her Romeo.
Leticia: I was enjoying that!
Peregrine: What a load of rubbish, I didn’t mean any of it.
Leticia: I didn’t either it was just play acting.
Peregrine: We could go for a pizza later Leticia.
Lucinda: …today I have seen you begin to act for the first time, I am pleased, I am…
Kate: What’s that Romeo?
Angelo: You me finish, coffee?
Kate: No thanks.
Lucinda: Please people I can’t hear myself think here!
Angelo: Kate me want speak you.
Lucinda: I’ve lost it, we’ll finish up here, I’ve completely lost my train of thought.
Peregrine: Yes Kate.
Kate: Were you serious about the pizza?
Peregrine: Yes of course, gourmet wood fired.
Kate: Okay, why not.
(Kate grabs Peregrines arm and leads him off)
Kate: Peregrine I need you to protect me from Angelo.
Peregrine: That will be wonderful.
Leticia: She’s already spoken for fella.
(Lucinda grabs Angelo’s arm and leads him off)
Lucinda: I wouldn’t mind a coffee.
Angelo: Err okay?
Leticia: (Stamps her foot) Fuck!
(Enter Peregrine and Leticia)
Peregrine: Hi de hi Leticia.
Leticia: Hi Peregrine. Here we are again, Tuesday night
(Lucinda enters with Kate and Angelo carrying and half wearing their costumes for the mummer’s play. Angelo puts a queen’s crown on Kate’s head)
Angelo: Princess Kate.
Kate: Bugger off.
Lucinda: Come on everybody to the Green Room we are going to try on our costumes.
(Kate, Lucinda and Angelo exits)
Peregrine: Leticia hold it a minute, I wanted to tell you.
Peregrine: The good news.
Leticia: What is it?
Peregrine: About me and Kate.
Leticia: You’re getting married?
Leticia: Kate’s pregnant?
Peregrine: Hardly likely, don’t you have to go to bed together first?
Leticia: Is that how it happens, in your sleep?
Peregrine: Kate and I went for a pizza.
Leticia: Pizza was terrible?
Peregrine: Pizza was good.
Leticia: What then?
Peregrine: We had electricity or so I thought.
Leticia: A short circuit!
Peregrine: Ever since we first met we clicked.
Leticia: So you say.
Peregrine: We went for a pizza.
Leticia: I know, let’s finish the bloody pizza and eat something else.
Peregrine: And nothing!
Peregrine: I couldn’t think of anything to say. We just sat there eating pizza, I had a beer, Kate had a wine, then she went home, no conversation.
Leticia: That all? That’s sad.
Peregrine: No really, I took a long hard look at myself, I am Mr hi de hi a bit of a fool really.
Peregrine: I was embarrassed, I kept trying to think of things to say but I couldn’t think of anything. A deathly silence reigned supreme. You know when you are with someone and you are not talking and you are embarrassed at just existing.
Leticia: I hate that, I get that a lot.
Peregrine: What I need is someone whom I am not embarrassed to talk to. Someone that I can be near and the words flow. Those words are not going to be profound, eloquent or even really interesting, just silly comfortable easy conversation.
Leticia: Have you met that person yet?
Peregrine: You know that you really like someone when you enjoy doing nothing together. You don’t have to talk. You know that you really like someone when you are together and silence isn’t painful. You talk, chatter, say silly things, say nothing.
Leticia: You’re so right, if I could find such a man.
Leticia: Sorry about Kate.
Peregrine: Oh it was a lesson.
Leticia: What now?
Peregrine: Who knows.
Leticia: Could get a dog.
Peregrine: When I was a boy we had a dog, Bozo. He was a terrier and he used to do very smelly farts and we’d all say: Poo, and he’d run and hide under the TV.
Leticia: I once had a pet mouse.
Peregrine: I had a pet stone.
Leticia: What happened to it?
Peregrine: It died.
Leticia: Oh I’m sorry.
Peregrine: I was upset for a week.
Leticia: You never get over these things.
Peregrine: We buried it with full military honours.
Leticia: I like talking to you.
Peregrine: Yes I agree. Look this has been good, it’s helped me get over Kate and I’ve just made a life changing decision.
Leticia: What’s that?
Peregrine: I’m going to give up women.
Leticia: I am such a big dork!
Peregrine: Can I help?
Leticia: No, you’re the problem.
Peregrine: Did I tell you the joke about two little boys? One was called Shut Up and one was called Trouble. Well Shut Up and Trouble went for a walk and Trouble got lost and Shut Up couldn’t find him, well a policeman came by and saw Shut Up in distress and said: ‘What’s the problem?’ and Shut Up said: ‘I’m looking for Trouble’ and the policeman said: ‘What’s your name sonny?’ and the boy said: ‘Shut Up’.
Leticia: I think we’d better go and try on costumes.
(Leticia and Peregrine exit)
(Mum Dad and Richard sit on the lounge watching the telly and eating their dinner on tea trays, a large coffee table has appeared, a big screen TV and other large furnishings. Kate enters)
Kate: I’m home.
Mum: Like a bit of dinner Kate?
Kate: I had something.
Mum: Richard’s here.
Kate: Richard’s always here!
Mum: She doesn’t deserve you Richard, she doesn’t appreciate you.
Kate: Poo poo.
Dad: What was that Kate? What did you say?
Dad: Better be an’ all.
Richard: Kate I thought we could go to the movies?
Kate: Richard this is not working.
Mum: Such a nice boy, one of nature’s gentlemen.
Dad: I can’t understand it, you couldn’t ask for a better bloke and you treat him like dirt. I try to teach you a few manners, a bit of civility.
Mum: What did Leticia at work say about our new lounge suite Kate?
Kate: Yes I told her you got one.
Mum: What did she say?
Kate: She said it sounded nice.
Dad: Nice, nice, is that all she said?
Mum: Is that all she said?
Kate: I told her it was orange.
Dad: Orange, orange, it’s not orange.
Mum: No it’s not orange Kate.
Dad: It’s burnt umber.
Mum: It’s not orange no it’s not orange. There’s a lot of colours you could have called it but not orange. You told her a wrong colour didn’t she dad?
Dad: You got your facts mixed up.
Mum: It’s burnt umber not orange. I wouldn’t have picked orange. Orange wouldn’t have matched the furniture. Orange isn’t stylish. Orange is too trendy. Orange is too fashionable.
Kate: I apologise.
Mum: I hope you’re going to put her right.
Kate: Yes sure.
Mum: What colour is it?
Kate: Burnt umber.
Mum: That’s better.
(Richard stands up)
Richard: Can we talk Kate?
Kate: It’s getting late, you’ll have to go home soon.
Mum: He can sleep in the spare room, he’s got his pyjamas.
Kate: We haven’t got anything to talk about.
Richard: I love you.
Kate: We’re not going through all that again.
Richard: I mean it.
Kate: I don’t know what love is.
Richard: I want to get engaged.
Richard: Because I love you.
Kate: Yes, you told me that.
Richard: I want to kiss you, to possess you, to have you.
Kate: Not in front of Mum and Dad.
Richard: I want you.
Kate: No thanks
Richard: We could be very happy together, I know we could. I’ve got a good job and a car and enough saved up to get a loan on a house. I’ll buy you anything you want, you can have as many pairs of shoes as you want, I’ll really look after you.
Kate: I don’t want to be looked after.
Dad: What do you want Kate?
Richard: It’s painful not to be with you, I love you.
Kate: Go and love someone else.
Richard: Who do you think you are, Miss Lady so and so.
Kate: I thought you loved me.
Richard: You’re not giving me a chance.
Kate: You’re the one who wants instant decisions.
Richard: Well it’s because I’ve never met anyone like you before.
Kate: I think you ought to go home.
Mum: I told you, he’s staying the night.
Dad: We’re goin’ rock fishing on the weekend, Richard and me.
Richard: Give me a chance, be reasonable.
Kate: See you later.
Richard: Can’t we talk like two sensible adults.
Kate: About what.
Richard: About our future.
Kate: What future.
(The doorbell rings)
Mum: Kate can you get the door.
Kate: Yes sure.
(Kate goes to the door.)
Angelo: Hello Princess Katrina, I learn English. How now brown cow.
Kate: You want to come in?
Angelo: No, no disturb, I bring olive oil, my family farm, Tuscany, my brother make, this for you Kate.
Kate: What are you after?
Kate: Forget it.
Angelo: Present for the prima donna.
Kate: No strings attached.
Kate: You don’t get something for nothing in this world.
(Angelo pulls out a loaf of bread from a small back pack)
(He takes the olive oil and makes a gesture with his hand)
Angelo: You roll.
Angelo: Pour you olive oil, bread you…(he makes another motion)
Angelo: Dip pour eat, is good.
Mum: Kate bring your friend in.
Dad: We like to meet your friends Kate.
Kate: Angelo come in for a moment.
Kate: Angelo this is my mother.
Angelo:(Impeccably pronounced) How do you do?
Kate: My father.
Angelo: How do you do?
Dad: He’s foreign.
Mum: Not one of us.
Angelo: I Italia.
Dad: This is Richard, Kate’s fiancé.
Angelo: I go yes? Buona sera.
Kate: I’ll see you out.
(Kate and Angelo go out)
Mum: What’s she making friends with I-talians for?
Dad: I can’t understand it.
Kate: Richard is not my fiancé.
Dad: As good as.
Richard: You’ve been seeing this Italian behind my back!
Kate: We’ve had this out before he is merely someone from my acting workshop, I don’t even like him.
Richard: I forbid it, I forbid it.
Kate: Your little mind can only rant and rave: ‘A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. A tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely bleeding nothing.’
Richard: I don’t hold with this acting lark.
Kate: Go to hell.
Richard: What’s wrong with me Kate.
Kate: What’s wrong with you Richard is that you’re a decent bloke. You’re always smartly dressed, hair always trimmed and combed, shoes polished, clothes ironed.
Richard: I’ll work hard, we’ll be rich, you’ll want for nothing.
Kate: You don’t get it do you?
Richard: Get what?
Kate: You just don’t understand.
Richard: Of course I understand, sure I understand, I understand that you’re being petty and small minded, I understand everything.
Kate: You understand nothing.
Richard: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Richard: You’re making absolutely no sense, nought, nothing, nil sense.
Kate: I am not going to marry you or anyone else for that matter.
Richard: You’re afraid of sex.
Kate: Get real.
Richard: I’ll be good to you.
Kate: ‘Oh Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo.’
Richard: What are you talking about?
Kate: ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow.’
Richard: You know what, I hate you.
Mum: Don’t worry about Kate Richard she’s just in one of her moods. I always said that you’d make a lovely couple, it’ll be the happiest day of your life Kate. Of course married life is no joke, it’s a serious business.
Kate: I’m not ready to go into business just yet.
Mum: Don’t you want to get married.
Kate: Marriage is a funeral with two corpses.
Mum: Don’t you want to have children?
Kate: I hate children with their dirty noses and messy nappies.
Mum: You had a dirty nose and a messy nappy once.
Dad: If you don’t want to get married what’re you going to do?
Kate: Just be alive.
Mum: You can’t go around just being alive all your life.
Dad: Look at me and Mum, we raised a family, we’re helping to build this country. We were ten pound Poms and we’re proud of it. My family were so poor when we were young that I used to go and scrounge around the local markets. This is the lucky country and we are the lucky ones.
Kate: I don’t feel so lucky.
Dad: Don’t talk stupid.
Mum: Play your cards right and you could have a lounge suite just like this one.
Kate: There is absolutely nothing I can say to that.
Mum: No my girl, laughing on the other side of your face now. No one’s going to serve you up a lounge suite on a tray.
Kate: I’m off.
Mum: We could invite anybody here now. Even the Prime Minister wouldn’t think it below him to sit on this lounge suite. We’d sit here and have a glass of cherry brandy and have a little chat about the economy. The Queen wouldn’t mind this bit of goods in Buckingham Palace, I wouldn’t wonder. I tell you, if the Queen got to know about this lounge suite she would send her man around here straight away. He’d be a Count, a Duke, an Earl or somethin’ and he’d say ‘Your noble dear lady. The Queen has got her eye on this ere lounge suite and will offer you anything you care to name in exchange for it. You name the price and the Queen will cough up.’ But I’d say ‘Sorry your ‘ighness but I’m keeping this masterpiece, worked hard all me life, brought up three fine girls and this is my throne.’
(In this scene Kate and Angelo are rehearsing their lines from the play they are both pretty bad. Angelo enters practicing not the play but lines he wants to say to Kate he looks at his watch paces up and down goes to the back of his script and recites.)
Angelo: Kate I think you very nice. Kate I think you beautiful eyes. Kate I think you lovely skin. (He repeats this and looks at his watch)
(Kate rushes on)
Kate: Sorry I’m late.
Angelo: Ciao Kate, no worries.
Kate: Let’s just drink coffee.
Angel: Kate we rehearse!
Kate: It’s going to be bloody awful.
Angel: We practice, we good.
Kate: There’s no need to rehearse, I think we should chuck the whole thing, we’ll be a laughing stock.
Angelo: We rehearse yes. The page three.
Kate: Oh okay.
Angelo: (Makes no sense of the lines and speaks them badly) She speaks O speak again bright angel for thou art as glorious to this night being o’er my head as is a winged messenger of heaven.
Kate: This is hopeless.
Angelo: Kate we do.
Angelo: Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this? Tis but thy name that is my enemy O, be some other name!
Kate: (She recites her lines as badly as Angelo)What’s in a name, that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,
Angelo: Good Kate yes?
Kate: No this is hopeless, I refuse to go on.
Kate: (Shouts) No!
(Lucinda, Leticia and Peregrine rush in.)
Leticia: What’s going on.
Kate: It’s going to be a washout.
Lucinda: Now listen to me.
Kate: No you listen to me.
Peregrine: I’m with Kate.
Leticia: Maybe she is right.
Angelo: No Kate we all good.
Lucinda: It’s nerves it’s always like this just before a first performance.
Kate: Only trouble is we are bad B.A.D. Bad.
Lucinda: It’s going to be fine, you’ll be surprised.
Kate: I certainly will.
Lucinda: You’ll go on and somehow, you don’t know how, it all seems to come together.
Kate: Angelo can’t even speak English.
Leticia: Yes that’s so right! God it’s going to be bloody awful.
Kate: And Peregrine’s bloody awful, worse than me and I’m bad enough, sorry Peregrine.
Leticia: No he is not!
Peregrine: Yes I am, she’s right.
Lucinda: I know what I am doing, you will just have to trust me. The play is the thing, break a leg, have faith in yourselves. It’s not just about the play it’s about you. Do you have faith in yourselves?
Kate: Can I be a tree.
Lucinda: That is just a self defence mechanism, you are on your own but you are a team, you can go to hell for all I care or you can all pull together and really make something of this play, make something of yourselves. I don’t need this I’ve got work in London, I came back to Australia to put on this play, to give a little bit back, to try and share my experience, my talent with you. You’re either with me or against me, are you with me?
Peregrine, Leticia & Angelo: Yes.
Kate: I’ll give it my best shot.
Peregrine: According to my watch…
Lucinda: It is time for a coffee break. Fine yes but first a few changes, I have made an executive decision.
Peregrine: If I could play Tybalt a really nasty customer something I could get my teeth into.
Peregrine: I’m to play Romiette?
Lucinda: There is no easy way to say this: you are fired.
Peregrine: I’m sorry.
Lucinda: You can still march on with the troop, help with costumes.
Peregrine: Yes I can do that.
Leticia: It’s not fair.
Lucinda: I think we all need a coffee.
(All exit but Kate and Angelo.)
Angelo: I learn lines but no know lines.
Kate: Don’t worry I’ll help you learn the lines.
Angelo: I bad?
Kate: No it’s all for the best, we’ll all come good in the end, I think everything will be alright.
Angelo: We do great Kate, fair dinkum?
Kate: Why are you looking at me like that?
Angelo: I look you, you look me.
Kate: Check mate.
Angelo: Olive oil good? You Mamma, Papa good?
Kate: Yes Mamma, Papa good. Come and have some coffee and yes we can speak and yes you can make me coffee but that’s all, I truly don’t like men and I think I’m engaged anyway.
Angelo: Yes good make coffee.
Kate: Come on.
Angelo: Kate I write word for you: (Reads) Kate I think you very nice. Kate I think you beautiful eyes. Kate I think you lovely skin.
Kate: Very good, what about coffee?
Angelo: Okay Kate.
(Kate and Angelo exit)
(The lounge room. A bad taste, very large cocktail bar has appeared )
Mum: (Reading from some junk mail) There’s a lovely refrigerator advertised here Dad.
Dad: We just about need a new fridge.
Mum: An immaculate looking machine.
Richard: I can get you discount on a new fridge.
(Kate and Angelo enter)
Kat: Mum, Dad. Richard.
Dad: You’re home.
Richard: Good evening Kate.
Angelo: Buon sera Mr Mrs Gardener.
Kate: We’ve been learning our lines in the pub.
Mum: A fridge, we’ve been talking, we need a new fridge.
Kate: The old one still works.
Mum: But it’s not new, is it?
Kate: It works as good as new.
Mum: But it hasn’t got a very big capacity.
Kate: That old fridge will last a thousand years.
Mum: Yes but if we had a bigger fridge we could save money by buying frozen food in bulk. There’s a really good little washing machine advertised here too.
Richard: I can get you a discount.
Angelo: I wash, hand wash. (Demonstrates)
Kate: I thought you wanted a refrigerator.
Mum: A new refrigerator is just the tip of the iceberg. When I’ve paid off the car, the caravan, the stereo, the wide screen plasma TV, the lounge suite and the new cocktail bar then I’m really going to go to town.
Kate: What else could you possibly want?
Mum: There’s a beautiful bedroom suite advertised here, buy one get one free.
Kate: Why do you want two?
Mum: One for you and Richard.
Mum: It’s got a lacquered off whitish finish, antique reproduction bronze handles and matching mounted moulded marble trim. A seven drawer marble inlaid top antique walnut dressing table. An antique walnut corner unit and a headboard in antique walnut as well.
Kate: How will you pay for all this?
Mum: Buy now, interest free, pay nothing for five years.
Kate: You’re signing your life away.
Mum: Kate you will live in a palace, a royal palace fit for a king.
Dad: Queen Kate, King Richard, King Dad and Queen Mother Mum.
Mum: And how do you like our new cocktail bar?
Kate: Not really my style.
Mum: And what is so wrong with it I would like to have permission to ask?
Dad: It’s a very stylish piece of workmanship is that bar.
Mum: Cost a pretty penny I can tell you if you’re interested my lady.
Dad: But we don’t begrudge ourselves our little pleasures.
Kate: But you don’t drink cocktails!
Mum: Well that’s because we never had a chance before.
Dad: We never had a cocktail bar before.
Mum: It stands to reason.
Kate: I can just see it now you drinking blue lagoons and Dad drinking black Russians.
Mum: I think I’ll stick to sherry and lemonade.
Kate: Look we’ve got to get back to our rehearsals.
Angelo: Ciao Mamma, Pappa, Riccardo.
Richard: Yeah right.
(Kate and Angelo exit)
Dad: The cocktail bar sets off the lounge suite, we got the colours just right.
Mum: This lounge suite is like the south seas to us. A coral island basking in the sun. A tropical paradise, golden sun, silver beaches, palm trees swaying in the breeze, no worries, no cares, just a beautiful caressing sunshine bathing life in a warm glow.
(Kate and Leticia are going home from work they stand and talk on Kate’s door step)
Kate: Another day another dollar.
Leticia: Yeah, when I get married I’m going to give up work!
Kate: And be some man’s slave.
Leticia: God not much of a choice when you put it that way!
Kate: I saw a lovely pair of sandals.
Leticia: You and your shoes.
Kate: These aren’t shoes they’re sandals, made in Paris.
Kate: Lovely, I love shoes.
Leticia: Let’s see them.
Kate: I didn’t buy them.
Leticia: You didn’t buy them?
Kate: No, I didn’t buy them.
Leticia: Well wonders will never cease.
Kate: If they ask you about the lounge suite say it’s very nice, no say it’s lovely and the colour’s burnt umber.
Leticia: Burnt umber.
Kate: They’re very proud of it. Takes their mind off Angelo.
Leticia: How do they know about him?
Kate: They don’t hold with foreigners.
Leticia: He’s alright, just a bit different.
Kate: I can’t stand him.
Leticia: The blokes around here are okay.
Kate: He came by with bread and olive oil as a gift.
Leticia: Tell me all.
Kate: Nothing to tell really, he came to the door he gave me olive oil and some bread to dip and he came another time to rehearse.
Leticia: And what about Richard?
Kate: He’s my fiancé.
Kate: According to Dad.
Leticia: Can I be a bridesmaid?
Kate: Et tu Brutus.
Leticia: Richard, Angelo, and Peregrine, you can take your pick!
Kate: I’ll have none of them.
Leticia: Spoilt for choice.
Kate: Oh God who’s coming now!
Leticia: Hello, tall dark and respectable.
Richard: Hello Kate and friend.
Kate: What can I do you for.
Richard: Can I come in?
Kate: Don’t you like the doorstep?
Richard: I want to talk to you alone.
Leticia: I can take a hint, I’m off.
Kate: No we…
Leticia: Catch ya.
Kate: You haven’t got much of a memory, we broke up.
Richard: I’ve come to apologise.
Kate: Fine, apologise.
Richard: I’m sorry Kate, I was selfish and only thought of myself and now I apologise to you as a person.
Kate: You’ve apologised you can go now.
Richard: Kate we can’t just break up like this.
Kate: We could have a long talk and then break up.
Richard: Look I’m doing well at work, they promoted me into sales. I’m making a pretty penny. I’m a natural born salesman. There’s an art to salesmanship, it’s a science more scientific than science itself. You see a salesman is testing his skills and the consumer demand for his goods and services every day in the market place. You have to know what you’re doing. You have to have a case of samples, something that will impress the customer, glossy brochures of the product, in full colour, free samples. Customers adore free samples. People adore getting something for nothing even when they have to pay for it. You have to wait for the right moment then make your move. There’s no stopping me, I dress smartly, you see the salesman has to impress. You can sell anything if you present yourself properly. Not too pushy, not too earnest, sympathetic and understanding. If you can understand people you can convince them that they want to buy whatever you’ve got for sale. I operate smoothly down every street.
Kate: Street wise.
Richard: That’s me
Kate: Cool calm and collected.
Richard: Yes and Kate if I want something I get it.
Kate: You sell people rubbish and make them believe that it’ll make them happy.
Richard: I give you one word Kate, quality, I only deal in quality.
Kate: There’s got to be more to life than your quality merchandise.
Richard: We’ve got off the subject.
Kate: Who you are and what you believe is the subject.
Richard: Well I thought after the apology and everything, when a man makes an apology it means something and a girl shouldn’t take it lightly. You’re special Kate.
Kate: ‘If music be the food of love play on’
Richard: Believe me Kate I’ve been through a lot of soul searching. You really affect me deep down inside.
Kate: I wonder about things you know. I wonder about the universe why we are here, why we were born, sometimes I think all we do in this house is eat, consume and die and nothing, but it’s a rut a meaningless rut.
Richard: You’re the centre of my life Kate.
Kate: Oh Richard if only you were the centre of mine.
Richard: I love you.
Kate: I’m sorry Richard but we have to part. I need to find myself find out what I want.
Richard: I’ll let you be anything you want to be.
Kate: I’d be like a poodle on an extra-long leash.
Richard: Kate you have to grab the football and kick it, join in with life’s game.
Kate: I’m not really a joiner.
Richard: I care for you Kate and you throw it in my face, walk all over me.
Kate: I’m sorry.
Richard: It’s all off Kate, no matter what you say I don’t care, I’m breaking it off.
Richard: No, I’m not going to listen to your pleading we are through.
Richard: I wash my hands of you. I’ve ended it, it’s finished, kaput, done and I will not darken your doorstep any more.
Kate: I was going to say that we could still be friends and don’t think badly of me, but no, I don’t want to be friends and please think badly of me if you like.
Richard: I’m off.
Kate: Richard I didn’t mean to hurt you.
(Richard exits and Kate follows him)
Mum: Nice boy that Richard.
Dad: He’ll make a fine son-in-law.
Mum: I’ve booked the church, organised the flowers and I’ve spoken to Flo, her daughter’s bloke’s uncle’s friend is a wedding photographer, might be able to get him at a bargain rate.
Dad: Save a bob or two.
Mum: I’ve ordered the wedding cake, you should see it, looks lovely.
Dad: I’ve booked white limousines for the wedding cars. No expense spared for my best girl.
(Kate and Peregrine enter putting on their costumes, Peregrine wears a mummer’s costume)
Kate: I’m sorry about what happened.
Peregrine: No worries, I’m a hopeless actor, Lucinda has given me a bit part, walk on walk off or walk on and get carried off suites me fine.
Kate: Peregrine, I apologise for all the bad things I’ve said about you you’re not a dag, a dork yes but a dag no, you’re not even a dork you’re a drongo, no I didn’t mean that.
Peregrine: Are you giving me the come on?
Kate: Only in your dreams.
Peregrine: Oh sorry.
Kate: Look we’ll talk after the play, there’s a party at my place yes! I know that when we went out for a pizza it was a flop, I apologise, maybe we can work something out, just protect me from Angelo.
Peregrine: I can do that.
(Angelo enters with a great bunch of flowers.)
Angelo: For leading lady.
Kate: No, err thank you.
Angelo: Chocolates from Italy.
Kate: Look I…
Angelo: I go now, sword, get sword.
Kate: Party my place after the play, everybody party my place.
Angelo: I come.
Peregrine: Break a leg everybody.
(Angelo Peregrine and Kate exits, Mum, Dad and Richard enter.)
Mum: This is exciting. I’m all dressed up to the nines, don’t get much chance to dress up.
Dad: You look like a queen.
Mum: Were the tickets expensive?
Dad: Kate got us free tickets.
Mum: Should get our money’s worth then.
Dad: When Kate hears of your new promotion and sees your new car Richard it’ll be wedding bells.
Richard: I am willing to forgive and forget.
Mum: It’s ‘bout time Kate made a nest.
(The troop of Mummers process on blowing whistles, toy trumpets and banging toy drums. They march around in a circle and then move into the centre lifting up their swords to the sky and they shout: The Play of Julio & Romiette. Then they form a circle with the crowd.)
(Lucinda is the Chorus, Leticia is dressed as a jester)
Lucinda: Two households both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny.
Leticia: Yes yes but what does it all mean what’s the play actually in point of fact all about?
Lucinda: Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
Leticia: Look can we have it in English, everyday English that people can understand not some half- baked gobbledegook.
Lucinda: From forth the fatal loins of these two foes.
Leticia: Call me a thicko…
Leticia: Call me a dumbo…
Leticia: Call me a gormless goofy gawk.
Mummers: You’re a gormless goofy gawk!
Leticia: But what is going on here to put it in a nut shell Julio…
(Kate steps forward)
Leticia: …the good looking daughter of the Capulets and Tybalt’s cousin although she doesn’t reckon much to him.
(Richard picks up a sword and joins the players he is wearing street clothes.)
Leticia: Tybalt, for better or for worse God love him no-body else does, is a bit of a rough neck and he’s the big noise in the Capulet mob. The Capulet, for those of you who haven’t read the story, are a gang of thugs who think that they are better than they are. Tybalt for all his big noising isn’t going to get it all his own way so he had better watch his step because Romiette is promising big things in the Montague mob.
(Angelo Steps Forward)
Leticia: The Montagues are another gang of mobsters who think that they are pretty special. Well Romiette as I said is going great guns until he spots the drop dead gorgeous Julio.
(Kate does a curtsy.)
Leticia: and this Romiette character fancies the pants off Julio but old Tybalt here isn’t going to take this lying down.
(Richard steps forward brandishing his sword.)
Leticia: Now call me a silly stupid sausage…
Mummers: You’re a silly stupid sausage!
Leticia: Isn’t that what’s going to happen or what?
Lucinda: A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.
Leticia: Yes yes can we get on with the play and stop giving away the plot for Christ’s sake.
Lucinda: Whose misadventured piteous overthrows.
Leticia: God almighty let the Play of the Mummer’s, Julio and Romiette begin.
Lucinda: Doth with their death bury their parent’s strife.
Leticia: Meanwhile Romiette a young spunk of the Montagues is out of sorts and wanders the streets doing just about nothing.
Angelo: Alas poor Yorick I knew him well Horatio.
Leticia: Wrong play boofhead.
Angelo: A horse a horse my kingdom for a horse.
Leticia: Wrong again shit for brains.
(Angelo sees Kate.)
Angelo: Was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium.
Leticia: What a dork, wrong play wrong playwright but at least he’s noticed Julio. So what happens now is fairly soap opera boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl back again.
Lucinda: The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love.
(Richard brandishing his sword dances around the stage.)
Richard: Once more unto the breach.
Leticia: Romiette is off with the fairies so his mate, a bloke called Mercutio, steps in to the breach.
(Peregrine steps forward brandishing a short sword)
Leticia: Anyway Mercutio a sort of understudy to Romiette jumps in feet first to sort out Tybalt.
Lucinda: and the continuance of their parents rage.
Peregrine: For now these hot days is the mad blood stirring. By my head here come the Capulets.
Richard: Turn thee Benvolio look upon they death I hate all Montagues and thee.
Leticia: Pay attention you goofball he’s Mercutio.
Richard: Turn thee Mercutio look upon they death I hate all Montagues and thee.
Peregrine: Who dares take control of the fair streets of Verona I for one will not allow it.
(They fight dancing around the stage in slow motion as the love scene develops in the middle of the stage.)
Angelo: She should have died hereafter
There should have been a time for such a word
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in its petty pace from day to day.
Leticia: Wrong play brick bat.
Angelo: To be or not to be that is the question.
Whether tis nobler in the mind…
Leticia: Wrong play twit wit.
Angelo: Get thee to a nunnery.
Kate: Hey, hey, good lookin’ whatcha got cookin’ how’s about cookin’ something up with me.
Angelo: She speaks
O speak again bright angel for thou art,
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven.
Kate: O Romiette Romiette wherefore art thou Romiette?
Angelo: Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
Tis but thy name that is my enemy,
O, be some other name!
Kate: What’s in a name, that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet,
Angelo: Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized,
Henceforth I never will be Romiette.
Kate: What man art thou?
Angelo: I know not how to tell thee who I am,
Kate: Art thou not Romiette and a Montague?
Angelo: Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislikes.
Kate: How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb?
And the place death, considering who thou art.
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
Angelo: With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls;
And what love can do, that dares love attempt
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.
Kate: If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
Angelo: Alack, there lies more peril in thine eyes
Than twenty of their swords.
Kate: I would not for the world they saw thee here.
Angelo: I have night’s cloak to hide me from their sight.
Kate: By who’s direction found’st thou out this place?
Angelo: By love.
Kate: Oh gentle Romiette, if thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully.
Angelo: Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear.
(The sword fight has been going on all around Julio and Romiette and at this stage Tybalt stabs Mercutio)
Peregrine: I am hurt a plague on both your houses, I am dead.
Angelo: Courage man the hurt cannot be much.
Peregrine: They have made worms meat of me.
Angelo: Brave Mercutio dead.
Peregrine: I die I die I die I’m dead.
Richard: And now for Romiette.
Angelo: Alive in triumph and Mercutio slain.
Richard: Thou wretched boy that did consort him here shall with him hence.
(They fight with swords)
Richard: Turn thee and look upon thy death.
Angelo: Put up they sword.
Richard: I hate hell all Montagues and thee.
Angelo: Thou villain Capulet.
Richard: The hate I bear thee can afford no better term than this, thou art a villain.
Angelo: Here’s my fiddlestick here’s that shall make you dance.
Richard: I will make thee a merry dance.
(Tybalt stabs Romiette in the arm)
Richard: A hit.
Angelo: Zounds a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death.
(Tybalt stabs Romiette in his other arm)
Richard: And another hit.
Angelo: A braggart, a rogue, a villain.
(Tybalt hits Romiette in the body)
Richard: And yet a hat trick.
Angelo: The furious Tybalt no fury shall save.
(Romiette hits Tybalt with his sword.)
Richard: Villain I hate thee.
Angelo: Either thou or I or both must go.
(Romiette hits Tybalt again)
Richard: I am hurt.
Angelo: And another hit.
Richard: A plague on both our houses.
(Romiette hits Tybalt again this time a deep wound)
Richard: I am dead.
Angelo: Courage man the hurt cannot be much..
Richard: You have made worms meat of me.
Angelo: This but begins the woe others must end.
Richard: Ah I die, I die I die I’m dead.
Kate: Romiette away be gone the citizens are up and Tybalt slain stand not amazed the prince will doom the death if thou art taken – hence be gone away!
(In the following speech Kate and Angelo act out the words.)
Leticia: Now Romiette rushes off to a place called Mantua as the police are after him and the plot gets all rather convoluted with Julio taking a sort of sleeping pill slash poison to pretend that she is dead then Romiette finds her and thinks that she is dead, dead as a door nail in point of fact, basically this Romiette character is a bit of a dim wit, anyway Romiette stabs himself and he is actually brain dead and then Julio wakes up finds him, Romiette, dead and she is a bit of a gormless nitwit as well and she stabs herself, I know, I know it’s all a bit involved and who would believe it anyway so we’ll give that ending the big miss and we will have Julio and Romiette getting married, a big wedding, Julio in white lots of photographs and a honeymoon in Bali and then they have five kids and live happily ever after.
Angelo: Kiss me Kate.
(Angelo and Kate kiss.)
Lucinda: For never was a story of more woe, than this of Julio and her Romiette.
Richard: A horse a horse my kingdom for a horse.
Leticia: Enough from you you’re dead. So that brings our play to an end if you have enjoyed our humble fare will you bring your hands together to show your appreciation.
(The Mummers take a bow and then march off blowing trumpets and bashing drums.)
(A party in Kate’s Mum and Dad’s house everybody enters in dribs and drabs.)
Lucinda: Brilliant, brilliant, you were all brilliant.
Mum: Kate wasn’ ‘arf good.
Lucinda: Kate was brilliant. You were amazing Kate you have come a long way.
Kate: Yes I felt that I had turned a corner. A year or so ago I hit a brick wall in my life and suddenly I feel a great weight lifted from my shoulders.
Richard: You were great Kate.
Lucinda: I am so glad that you introduced me to this good looking hunk.
Kate: No problems.
Lucinda: I find him tall dark and devastatingly handsome and he can act!
Richard: I thought Kate was wonderful.
Lucinda: I think we need to get to know each other a little better.
(Lucinda grabs Richard and kisses him. Dad and Mum are taking around trays of food and drinks, pop music is playing in the background.)
Dad: Anyone for drinks?
Mum: Anyone for a nibble?
Dad: What about a knees up?
Mum: (Mum puts down her tray and dances) Knees up Mother Brown, knees up Mother Brown, under the table you must go, ee eye ee eye oh.
Peregrine: If your nose runs and your feet smell then you’re upside down.
Leticia: You’ll have to stop joking.
Peregrine: I’ve joined a camera club.
Leticia: Oh right.
Peregrine: You’re a nice girl.
Leticia: I hope so.
Peregrine: Do you want to join the camera club as well?
Leticia: That’s the best offer I’ve had today, actually it’s the best offer I’ve had.
Peregrine: Then you will?
Peregrine: I could kiss you.
Leticia: Please do.
Kate: You were very good Angelo.
Angelo: I try hard make play good for you.
Kate: Thank you.
Angelo: Since first I see you…
Kate: You’re not going to get all gooey are you?
Angelo: To me you fantastico.
Kate: I’m not so special.
Kate: Look I have to circulate, lots of guests.
Angelo: I cook for you Kate.
Kate: No thanks.
Angelo: Angelo makes beautiful pizza.
Kate: That’s nice.
Angelo: Kiss me Kate.
Kate: Bugger off.
(Kate turns away from Angelo and is about to walk away when she turns back)
Kate: You’re not so bad, maybe I could get to like you.
(She grabs him and kisses him)
Mum: No one’s sitting on the lounge suite.
Dad: That’s because they can see it for what it is, it’s not something to be taken for granted but something to be respected, something special, very special indeed..
Mum: Look Dad at Kate carrying on.
Dad: Wish she’d stop all this toing and froing.
Mum: We might not have to take the wedding dress back.
Dad: I’ll keep the Limo on standby.
Kate: I’d like to see Italy one day. I’d like to give up everything, high powered job and all my shoes and live a simple life.
Angelo: I take you Tuscany, you meet my mamma, papa. I show you farm we grow olives, make wine, cheese, bread, much good things.
(Dad wheels in an enormous, all singing and dancing barbeque)
Dad: Everyone, chops and sausages on the all new singing and dancing barby outside in the garden.
Mum: First in best dressed.
(Dad wheels the barbeque out and everyone follows)
Kate: I think I could handle one more of your kisses Angelo.
Angelo: I handle much kisses Kate.
That’s all for now folks but if you’d like to explore more of Anthony’s humour you can read Life Love & Lavenham. A brilliantly funny surreal comedy of manners, or a lack of them. Philadelphia, an opinionated young beauty, has more suiters thrown at her than a howling tom cat on a hot tin roof has boots thrown at it. A weird and wonderful collection of caricatures all come together to jump start this comedy.
I was born in London England in 1953, which makes me a baby boomer I think. On emerging into the big wide world I enjoyed life thoroughly. My two sisters and I played on the Woolwich ferry, forever crossing backwards and forwards over the Thames and then, when we got bored with that, we had races in the foot tunnel under the Thames. It’s amazing what can keep a small boy happy.
Dad ran a market stall in Woolwich’s Beresford Square selling anything and everything. He was a natural Cockney salesman with all the patter that goes with it but when he was told to give it up or die from the cold, we packed up shop and migrated to Australia. Australia was great fun for a small boy from London, with snakes and kangaroos in the paddocks, unlimited sunshine and other boys who talked about nothing but sex!
I went to school like most people do but I was dyslexic and did not do well at all. Then one day, when I was about 15, I taught myself to read and after that I read books, lots of books. I won a scholarship to the University of Adelaide and while I was at University I started writing and staging plays. I found I could write funny lines that made people laugh and I could write good dialogue.
In the late seventies and early eighties, I worked at anything and everything. I got lots and lots of jobs all at once. I worked as an all-night waiter, a painter, junk mail distributor, gardener, builder’s labourer and theatre technician to name a few. I gathered together a bundle of money and went walk about to North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Russia, China, India, Thailand, Scandinavia, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy… and the heady heights of the northern English industrial town of Leeds.
While on my travels I worked! I worked picking grapefruit in Israel, oranges in Greece, olives up the mountains in Crete, I was a head barman in a pub in Yorkshire, I worked in a youth hostel in the south of England, I worked all night in a soft drinks factory, I was a storeman for the department store Marks and Spencer, I was a waiter, a kitchen hand, a guinea-pig in a medical experiment and was even in a Bollywood movie in India.
It wasn’t all fun and frolics though, I came close to death’s door three times in England. I was catapulted off my touring bike by a truck in London, a caravan outside Salisbury and a Mini Minor in Stockport. During this time I also wrote my first book: A Foxtrot Through India. I met a girl named Sue from Yorkshire, Sue poor lass now edits my books. I brought Sue back to Australia and we bought one hundred acres in the country and spent a year building our own home from mud bricks, then we planted apple trees and started to make cider and ran a successful business making the best cider in the world, as one customer said.
In my youth I always enjoyed my old Dad’s tales of his adventures in the navy in WWII and of his childhood hop picking in Kent, I think I got my love of storytelling from my Dad. I wrote a book on cider in 2008 after being awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel around the world and drink and research cider. My book: Cider Drink It, Make It, Cook with It was published later that year and sold out. I followed the success of my cider book by writing a series of madcap comic extravaganzas: Bigfoot Littlefoot & West, published in 2012. I followed Bigfoot Littlefoot and West with the Jack Hamma action adventure series starting with Shakespeare on the Roof and In Bed with Jane Austen. 2015 saw me writing three romantic travel adventures in my Continental Drift series starting with Sex Sardines and Sauerkraut. Having got the travel adventures out of my system it was back to Jack Hamma with Hi Jack, Poirot Packs a Punch, Licenced to Thrill, Blind Man’s Buff and more on the way. I should mention here that I have plans to write a new zany comedy called Rempit Nethis but more on that later.
This is the bit where I now state that I am happily living the good life on our 5 acre property, on the beautiful island of Tasmania, spending my time walking, cycling, planting trees, growing vegetables and writing the odd book, very odd some people say.
I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.
I’d love to hear from you:
Cheers Anthony E Thorogood
Jack Hamma: Action Adventures
Jack Hamma, an SAS Special Forces Commando, is sent on a top secret mission to assassinate a terrorist leader who is bunkered down on an island in the Indian Ocean. The action has only just begun when Jack and his co-assassin are ambushed by right wing terrorists. Jack is the action hero par excellence but has he met his match in the form of the beautiful Kashmere?
Jack Hamma receives an emergency phone call to escort a seventeen year old girl home from school but the Russian mafia has other ideas.
Jack awakes to find himself incarcerated in a completely blacked out dungeon. Who imprisoned him? Can he get away?
Jack Hamma is at it again. This is a relentless and, dare I say it, humorous thriller where every move is a false start and every clue is a red herring.
Jack is in trouble, he is chained and cemented and thrown off the side of a boat – I was out cold until I hit the water. It was freezing and I immediately awoke. My senses had no time to figure out what was going on, I was in the sea, it was cold, I was heavy and sinking fast.
Jack is on Stags Head Moor in the north of England. The hunt is on and he is the hunted – The bullet was so close I could feel the air move as it whizzed past my head. A second bullet came even closer, if it was possible to get even closer without hitting me. Blood was running down my forehead and into my eyes, I had been hit.
Jack is in the Australian Bush, it’s pitch black, there’s a thunderstorm and an old tree crashes down, Jack takes shelter from the thunder, lightning and torrential rain and then he hears a scream.
Jack, Kashmere and the manic Manooka are climbing a sheer cliff, two thousand feet high. Kashmere is leading, she moves up the rock face, gets a new hold, Jack looks up and the rock face begins to crumble.
Texas is a feisty beauty from the USA Axel is a good looking novice from Australia. They meet at a border crossing in India, they are stranded, the border guards refuse to let them through. Axel saves the day but Texas isn’t ready to owe him anything not even a thank you. Will love sparkle or will it wilt and die? ‘Not as much sex as I expected but plenty of sauerkraut!’
Johnathon Marvel had it all. The youngest billionaire in the world according to Time Magazine but Johnathon’s world collapses and his various business ventures go belly up. Jonathon does what any sane person would do in his situation, he makes a run for it.
Ash didn’t have much of a childhood, his mother left before he was old enough to remember her and his father was a drunken bum, but Ash makes good. There is only one problem, he feels nothing for nobody. Ash takes off on an around the world marathon eventually hanging out with a couple of members of the Irish Republican Army but then he meets Adelaide a girl who knows her own mind and the fireworks begin.
Opposites in every way, Josh and Samantha are kindred spirits from vastly different worlds. Falling deeply and powerfully in love, their attraction to one another defies everything they believe in, they share a passion that is bound to erupt like a volcano and then, who knows?
In Alice Springs, Constable Elizabeth West of the Territory Police is being interviewed for a promotion, it is an interview like no other. There is a drive by shooting, a double suicide, a shot is fired as a boy tries to protect his mother, West is shot at by a gang of bikies, a woman goes missing and West is abducted by a ruthless killer.
Chief inspector Bigfoot wakes up in bed with a naked woman who just happens to be dead.
Detective Bigfoot and Sergeant Elizabeth West are stalked by a heavily armed gunman in the Australian Outback.
A young woman turns up dead on Sydney’s Bonga-Bonga Beach. There are a string of murders in the Sydney Opera House…an utterly crazy comic whodunit.
Our famous trio are on exchange in London England but life isn’t all tourist buses and ice creams. A bank manager is shot dead and Police Sergeant West is stalked by a serial killer.
The precursor to the Death in the Australian Outback Series. Murder most foul comes to northern England and it is up to career woman Police Constable Elizabeth West to sort out the mess. Diabolical, haunting and a darn good read.
‘As a cyclist I found it entertaining, challenging and in parts, so funny. Very interesting.’
Written in conjunction with Sue Thorogood. The eating of sugar can cause obesity, cancer, diabetes and dementia, that’s the bad news, the good news is that you can create fabulous and tasty food without the little white crystals. Have a look at our cookbook it contains a brilliant collection of vegetarian recipes that even carnivores love to eat.
If you like cider and want to know about its history, how to cook with it and how to make it then this is the book for you. Includes a history of cider in Australia
A book of comic quips about girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, working, eating, drinking, sleeping, God, life, death and the universe.
Don’t forget I’d love to hear from you:
Cheers Anthony E Thorogood
Reviews: 'This is a very funny play. I find Thorogood the king of banter, I could watch any of his plays.'' 'I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I was told that I just had to check out this new play. I read a bit and thought - wow - what was that! So I started again. Orange, sorry burnt umber, lounge suites, shoes, parents, a play within a play to finish and too many suitors. Kate is a modern day heroine of a modern day Midsummer Madness. Will I read it again? Yes! And this exciting new Australian author is now wish listed for his other titles.'