'stomping ground'- short play' (strong language)


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    'stomping ground'- short play' (strong language)

    STOMPING GROUND
    Act 1
    Scene one
    Nightclub- its aesthetic alternate. There are flashing coloured lights and strobe effects. Several people scattered about the space. They socialise with drinks in their hands, laughing and talking. Four of them sit in a seating booth, the rest stand.
    We hear-The Mars Volta- Eriatarka in the background.
    A DRUNK MAN stammers into sight, back and forth, with a severe loss of wit. He drops a beer and glances erratically around. He spots the booth and makes his way over.
    The four people sit at the booth. They are VERONICA, EVAN, MARK and SALLY. They chat boisterously.
    EVAN- No Im being totally serious, really. Cards are on the table. I hate this place
    MARK- What?
    SALLY- Really?
    EVAN- Yeah.
    VERONICA- Serious?
    EVAN- You asked.
    MARK- Are you kidding?
    EVAN- Nope. Theres always one thought thats always circling around my head, along with the booze in here. Its, when are those dump fuck bouncers ever gona get round to chuckin me out on my arse and freeing me?
    MARK- Youre in here every Friday with us drinking? Explain?
    EVAN- Democracies a bitch. I come here to hang with you guys, if it has to be this place, well guess I made my piece with that.
    SALLY- Why didnt you ever say?
    EVAN- I didnt want to be that guy.
    MARK- Well youre pretty much being him now so--
    The DRUNK MAN violently barfs into Sallys lap. The table responds disgusted.
    SALLY - Awwww!
    EVAN- Shit
    VERCONICA - Thats fuckin disgusting!
    MARK- Get off you twat!
    EVAN rips the guy off Sally. Two BOUNCERS take him away.
    MARK- What an Asshole!
    EVAN- Thats also why I hate this place, fuckin inbreeds.
    SALLY- I need to clean up. (Looks at it) Well, try Shit, what a fuckin mess.
    VERONICA- Come on, well see what we can do.
    SALLY- Cya in a bit, babe.
    SALLY leans into kiss Mark. He turns his face to the side coldly and she kisses his cheek.
    SALLY Whens Johno getting here?
    MARK- About half an hour. Says he had to sort out some studio shit.
    SALLY- Fair enough. (To Veronica) Come on V.
    SALLY and VERONICA walk off
    MARK- Cya (Pause). What was that?
    EVAN- What?
    MARK- You hate this place?
    EVAN- Just coming clean.
    MARK- You could of said.
    EVAN- Its a minorities place to stay quiet. (Smiles) Besides after a while everything becomes habit, regardless of taste.
    MARK- You really arent kidding. Jez, you think you know people.
    EVAN- Forget it
    MARK- Then whyd you spill specifically tonight?
    EVAN- I quit my job today
    MARK- Really?
    Evan- Yeah, cleared out my desk today. Everythings gone.
    MARK- Shit. Why didnt you say?
    EVAN- Was in the pipe line.
    MARK- What happened?
    EVAN- I just quit. Called my boss a self-centred capitalist cunt and walked straight on out.
    MARK- Really? I gota buy ya a drink for that.
    EVAN- I was wasting my time there... honestys becoming the order of the day.
    MARK- Honesty ay? well Ill be honest. I think we need to stop wasting time and get on with our drinking, ay?.
    MARK wraps his arm around EVAN and leads him to the bar. They stop in front of it as a BAR TENDER turns to face them.
    BAR TENDER- What you lukin for mate?
    MARK- Two Sambucas please and a two double vodka and cokes, thanks.
    EVAN- So how come youre in such a good mood?
    MARK- I got promoted.
    EVAN- Congrates man.
    MARK- But I dont want it to shadow your shit.
    EVAN- Shadow what? Two reasons to celebrate.
    MARK- You are strange.
    EVAN- I know.
    THE BAR TENDER places the Sambuca shots down on the surface in front. They both pick up one.
    MARK- Down the hatch.
    MARK and EVAN down the shots and slam them back down, then pull disgusted faces.
    MARK- So you feel good now?
    EVAN- Oh yeah, top form (Pulls a face from alcohol). How come you got promoted?
    MARK- Oh some looser in financial management hung himself.
    EVAN- Coz of the job
    MARK- Personal issues
    They smirk.
    EVAN- Just hope you know what youre getting into, but Im happy for you.
    MARK- Just let me worry about the job and you worry about getting another, smart arse.
    EVAN- Whatever.
    MARK- Besides, tonight I just wana have fun. I mean real fun, messy fun. We aint had a wild one for some time.
    EVAN- Thats coz were thirty. Wild aint in our vocabulary no more.
    MARK- Well I just said it so...
    EVAN- You sound retarded.
    MARK- Come on man.
    EVAN- You had that great a day?
    MARK- Yeah man. Tonight is about reminding ourselves that we can still have fun. I mean this age thing; its been hitting our entire group in one-way or another. Were all been trying to act like these new grown versions of our selves, which is just a lie. Still the same old kids we once were.
    EVAN- So its your mission to break us out of it?
    MARK- Its my mission to get you fucked so drink up.
    The BAR TENDER places their double vodka and cokes on the surface.
    MARK picks up his drink and downs it. Evan watches.
    MARK- Another please.
    EVAN- Christ
    The lights come down on MARK and EVAN.

    Scene Two
    Nightclub toilet
    We hear Black Light Burns- New Hunger in the background, muffled.
    SALLY stands by the sink. VERONICA kneels next to her scrubbing at the dress with wet tissue .
    SALLY- Is it gone?
    VERONICA- I cant tell
    SALLY- Fuck it!
    VERONICA- Keep still.
    SALLY- Sorry. Fucking drunks.
    VERCONICA and SALLY both gradually laugh.
    VERONICA- So whos this John guy thats coming?
    SALLY- Johno? Hes the reason were here, among other things. Got a gig on. Sings rock and stuff. Should be fun.
    VERCONICA- I feel like such the friend of a friend.
    SALLY- Can that. Youll love it. Thats why a brought you along. And youll love him. Hes a right laugh.
    VERONICA- Yeah?
    SALLY- Yeah.
    VERONICA- Need a laugh.
    SALLY- Youre not gona start on about your ex again?
    VERONICA- (Finishes cleaning) There, done (Stands up) and no, ill spare you.
    SALLY- Good coz that ship has sailed its coarse. Youre on a new route, remember? Tonights the beginning of that.
    VERONICA- Whatever
    SALLY- (looks down at dress). You think its clean?
    VERONICA- Best Im gona do.
    SALLY- Im serious.
    VERONICA- So am I. I find it difficult to clean anything, washing machine included. Besides I didnt come here to spend all night in a pisser.
    SALLY- What did you come her for?
    VERONICA- Cheap booze and meaningless sex
    SALLY Well Im glad youre back. (Looks down at dress) I think I can do better.
    VERONICA- Do it.
    SALLY wipes her dress with some hand tissues.
    SALLY- Be one more sec.
    VERONICA- Whens he on?
    SALLY- Who? Johno?
    VERONICA- Yeah.
    SALLY- About in forty five mins. Its set up time. He should be here about now. But hes so good. You should chat to him, just your type.
    VERONICA- Hardly want to pin myself down again after managing to getting out of the last car wreck.
    SALLY- I thought you said you wanted sex?
    VERONICA- Yeah I do, but a manikin would suffice, something lifeless. I dont want any strings, so I can run and not look back.
    SALLY- Well, hes a nice looking guy.
    VERONICA- Then why dont you ask him out?
    SALLY- I got myself a Mark. Thats enough.
    VERONICA- Too shay. (Looks at dress) That done yet?
    SALLY- Think so.
    VERONICA- Come on. The smell of piss is making want to puke. Should be booze.
    SALLY- Sure. Thanks babe.
    VERONICA- No probs but youre on drink detail. Ill have a double gin and tonic.
    SALLY- Oh youre such a bitch.
    VERONICA- Everything has its price.
    VERONICA and SALLY Exit.

    Scene 3
    Nightclub Sitting Booth- on the bar floor
    WE hear Eagles of Death Metal- I only want you in the background
    MARK and EVAN continue to sit by themselves. MARK appears pissed.
    MARK- Come on, have this. (Points to a drink)
    EVAN- Nah, Im good with this one (Points to his drink)
    MARK- Youve got a responsibility to catch up.
    JOHNO wanders onto the stage. He walks anxiously glancing around through the crowds of people.
    EVAN- And whod that leave to walk you home, all fucked and puking?
    MARK- Sally
    EVAN- Yeah Im sure she wants to do that.
    MARK (spots JOHNO) Hey! (Waves past EVAN) Hey its Johno, HEY!
    EVAN- HEY!
    JOHNO spots them and wanders up smiling. They shake each others hands and JOHNO sits down.
    JOHNO- Alright boys.
    MARK- Hey man. How you doing?
    EVAN- Good to see you.
    JOHNO- Im good. Fuckin studio shit, man. Had me recording fifteen takes of a song. Just werent likin it. And by the end we settled with exactly what we begin with. Nightmare. But thats producers for ya.
    MARK- Media types.
    JOHNO So whats going on with you guys?
    EVAN- Marks getting trashed.
    MARK- Evans lost his job.
    JOHNO- Really?
    EVAN- I quit actually.
    JOHNO- Why?
    MARK- Evans turned into a communist.
    JOHNO- Really?
    EVAN- Told my boss to shove it. Wanted to get clean of the place.
    JOHNO- Well good for you. When I was in sales I hated it. Sometimes you just need a way out, a start again button.
    EVAN sits smugly in the corner.
    MARK- You on in fifteen minutes?
    JOHNO- Yeah. What a venue, ya? Glad you guys could make it.
    MARK- Man, its no a chore. We love the place.
    EVAN glances at MARK, smirking.
    JOHNO- So wheres Sally? She not here?
    MARK- Nope, shes here.
    EVAN- Got thrown up on my some degenerate so shes washing her dress with Veronica.
    JOHNO- What?
    EVAN- Its one of those stories and I cant be arsed to tell it.
    JOHNO- Whos Veronica?
    EVAN- One of her friends.
    MARK_ Quiet tasty. Your type
    JOHNO- Yeah?
    EVAN- Mark...
    MARK- What? (EVAN makes a face). Just biggin her up to a friend. A friend whos single.
    EVAN- Shes nice.
    JOHNO- Cool, Ill keep an eye open. Well I got to get ready. Ill leave you boys to get on with the drinking.
    MARK- (Holds drink up) Oh, were on top of that.
    JOHNO- (laughs) Ill cya after. Enjoy the show.
    JOHNO walks off.
    EVAN- Sure.
    MARK- Rock and role man! (Pulls a rock insignia with his hand)
    JOHNO continues to laugh as he walks off. He pulls the same sign back.
    EVAN- That was unconscionable.
    MARK- Come on man. Have a good time.
    EVAN- Tryin. God Im tryin.
    MARK- You need more drink in ya.
    EVAN- Fine okay, if I down this double will you please leave me alone?
    MARK- Yes.
    EVAN- Fine (He downs the drink with a raspy discomfort on his face following)
    MARK- (Hugs EVAN) Youre a star.
    EVAN- Im a fucking idiot. (Struggles and coughs) I swallowed an ice cube.
    MARK- Down the hatch. You wana get the next round?
    EVAN- Ill be down on the floor in a minute.
    MARK- And wont that be fun?
    EVAN- Im goin for a piss.
    MARK- Ill hold the fort. Remember the drinks.
    EVAN- Sure (wander off to the toilets).

    Scene 4
    Nightclub- bar
    We hear Kelli Ali- Home, honey Im high in the background
    SALLY and VERONICA stand at the bar waiting for some drinks. It is busy.
    SALLY- You bored yet?
    VERONICA- Im ready to stab the bartender.
    SALLY- Need help?
    VERONICA- NahGot a better idea. Display em.
    SALLY- Yeah?
    VERONICA- Yeah. (Pushes boobs up and organizes them) Well get served in no time.
    SALLY- Thats easy for you to say (Pushes boobs up self consciously)
    VERONICA- It is when you got Ds. How are your Bs fairin up?
    SALLY- Oh you real bitch
    VERONICA- (Flutters eyelashes) Just checkin.
    The BAR TENDER, ED, wanders towards VERONICA.
    ED- Hey Veronica, how ya doin?
    VERONICA- Oh hey Ed. Didnt know ya worked here.
    ED- Sure. Cant complain. Earnin cash in this sea of fun for a couple of weeks. Whos your friend?
    VERONICA- Sally.
    SALLY- Hi.
    ED- Hey. (to VERONICA) So what you girls up to?
    VERONICA- Seeing a friend play.
    ED- Oh Johno, yeah hes good. Really good.
    VERONICA- So I hear.
    ED- Yeah
    VERONICA- Yeah?
    ED- Yeah
    An awkward pause
    VERONICA- Anyway Id like a Double gin and tonic with a red wine. Okay?
    ED- Coming right up (Walks away)
    VERONICA stands apprehensively and breaths a sigh of relief.
    SALLY- You okay?
    VERONICA- Yep.
    ED wanders back up to them with the drinks.
    ED- Thats seven fifty. But for you just call it a fiver.
    VEROMNICA- Thats generous of you.
    ED- Yeah well we should meet up again, you know?
    VERONICA- Yeah I know. I still got your number. Ill give you a call.
    ED- Great, catch you later.
    VERONICA- Later.
    SALLY and VERONICA walk off
    VERONICA- So didnt need that.
    SALLY- Who was he?
    VERONICA- A guy I fucked before the last tragedy.
    SALLY- Awkward.
    VERONICA- Not until you hear the rest. I fucked his brother.
    SALLY- What?
    VERONICA- Yeah, he was hot.
    SALLY- Whys he still into you?
    VERONICA- These (Points at her boobs)
    SALLY- Well lets go to the other side of the bar for the rest of night, um?
    JOHNO mingles through the crowd in the background. He glances around and spots SALLY.
    VERONICA- Definitely take you up on that.
    SALLY- Reap what you fuck and you used to fuck a lot.
    VERONICA- You know
    JOHNO taps SALLY on the shoulder. She turns around and immediately recognizes JOHNO.
    SALLY- Hey!!!!!!
    JOHNO- Hey Sal
    SALLY- Good to see you! When you get here?
    JOHNO- Just now.
    SALLY- You exited about tonight?
    JOHNO- Playing the old stomping ground? Shit man.... Shitting bricks
    SALLY- Aw, Im sure youll do fine.
    JOHNO- Whos this?
    SALLY- This is Veronica. (Moves her forward)
    VERONICA grins and nods her head, then drinks.
    JOHNO- A pleasure (He bows jokingly). Just saw Mark and Evan. Seem fine. Very pissed.
    SALLY- Really?
    JOHNO- Very much so.
    VERONICA- Guess were all aimin to get there tonight. Toilet time. Speak to you guys in a sec. (Walks off. Exit)
    JOHNO Wait for a few second to speak.
    JOHNO- Shes tasty.
    SALLY- And single.
    JOHNO- Really?
    SALLY- Newly. Keep charming Mr front man and you might just end up woo her, along with the crowd.
    JOHNO- How long ago?
    SALLY- Recent.
    JOHNO- So shes on the rebound?
    SALLY- Shes on Gin and Tonics and wants casual sex.
    JOHNO- You sure?
    SALLY- Her ex was a piece of shit. Beat her up and stuff. I told you this before remember?
    JOHNO- Oh? The two year thing?
    VERONICA- Yeah. Anyway shes happy to be free.
    JOHNO- So its a happy ending?
    SALLY- Exactly. Shes not damaged or crazy. A little exocentric, also cynical but above all shes a nice girl so dont go fuckin with her.
    JOHNO- Chill Sal, its me.
    SALLY- You aint been in ten square feet of a relationship for at least two years, so I bought the two of you together. Two good people make good partners. Dont screw it up.
    JOHNO-Ill step up.
    SALLY- Good, you wana get a seat.
    JOHNO- Sure.
    JOHNO and SALLY wander off, exit

    Act 2
    Scene 5
    Nightclub sitting booth- on the balcony level
    We hear Ian Brown- Set My Baby Free in the background
    JOHNO and SALLY sit at a booth table.
    JOHNO- So whats she into?
    SALLY- Why?
    JOHNO- Conversation piece?
    SALLY- Try alternate music, like rock and trip hop. Also films, less commercial, kinda more avant garde stuff.
    JOHNO- Got ya. So what you been up to today?
    SALLY- This, that. Same old shit really.
    JOHNO- Not happy?
    SALLY- Mark got in a hissy fit today.
    JOHNO- Thought that was left to you, (Smiles) being the lady of the house
    SALLY- Nah dick. Always seems to happen when we chat about the new house.
    JOHNO- Oh yeah, you guys are moving in together. It all sorted?
    SALLY- It would be, but hes impossible. Just cant stop fussing about when we should put the payment down and how, this or that amount. I keep saying, Christ, lets just do it. Were behind anyway and need to get moving.
    JOHNO- Didnt you tell me you were doing that last week?
    SALLY- Thats what Im saying. Hes stalling.
    JOHNO- Well Im sure hes just got shit on his mind. You know what hes like, busy guy. But Im sure its nothing to worry about.
    SALLY- Maybe I hate to ask but he hasnt said anything to you?
    JOHNO- No, not a word. Didnt even know it was an issue till now (VERONICA wanders up and sits down). Ill have a word with him for ya. See what he says.
    SALLY- Would you?
    VERONICA- What you guys chatting about?
    SALLY- Mark
    VERONICA- Go figure.
    SALLY- Anyway I best check on that degenerate.
    JOHNO- (Points) I think I saw him walk over there.
    SALLY- Thanks. Gota see if hes not resting his lips on some other bitches mouth. See you guys in a sec.
    SALLY wanders off.
    JOHNO- Cya
    VERONICA- Bye.
    JOHNO- How was the bathroom?
    VERONICA- Good thanks.
    JOHNO- The mens is a mess. Absolute tip, wish I was a woman.
    VERONICA- Yeah? (Pause) You always this communicative?
    JOHNO- Well, I do it a little better on stage.
    VERONICA- Yeah?
    JOHNO- I hope so.
    VERONICA (laughs) Thats fair enough. So when are you on?
    JOHNO (Looks at watch) About fifteen mins. Just need to make sure the bands ready and shit. Thats it really.
    VERONICA- So what you gona be playing for us?
    JOHNO- Well Im kind of going out on a limb and playing some of my own material. Feels like it needs to be more personal in this place. Kind of Grungy stuff with a hint of Alternative about it. Imagine The Distance crossed between Havoc.
    VERONICA- That sounds cool.
    JOHNO- Yeah Sally said you liked your trip hop and rock.
    VERONICA- Chill out docile beats and energetic pulsing metal. The extremes. Thats me.
    JOHNO- Well youll enjoy this then.
    VERONICA- It must be rough bearin yourself? You know, in the music? I see so many performers pouring out their hearts as they sing. I could never.
    JOHNO- You kind of get used to it. You just spill on that stage. You have to if you want an emotionally driven performance, to take a bite out of each persons soul and make em feel it. You gota do it. You see, the audience and yourself have a mutual emotional relationship to go through; you cant have one without the other. Its just generally more enjoyable; you get out a lot of anxiety and frustration out, all that bottled up shit. Its good, a kind of theory.
    VERONICA- Sure.
    JOHNO- I love it. What do you do?
    VERONICA- Im in marketing.
    JOHNO- Cool, got no idea
    VERONICA- Its real mundane compared to this but--
    JOHNO- --Youll be racking in the big bucks when Im down and out on the street?
    VERONICA- Ha. Hardly. Its okay pay, but what you do is far more gratifying, expressing yourself. Its just adds up to more than what I do.
    JOHNO- Dont be silly. You enjoy it?
    VERONICA- Im not sure anymore.
    JOHNO- Well then what would you want to do?
    VERONICA- Im not sure. (Laughs) I sound like a right cunt.
    JOHNO- No, no
    VERONICA- Think Ill never know the answer till Im dead. Just a goon trying to find something to do.
    JOHNO- Were all doing that. Theres always something. Thats why we shuffle on. Got to keep reaching for shit or youll end up lying down dead.
    VERONICA- Go figure.
    JOHNO leans in to kiss VERONICA. She moves away.
    VERONICA- What are you doing?
    JOHNO- I just
    VERONICA-No
    JOHNO- Im sorry I just thought--
    VERONICA- --You were wrong.
    JOHNO- Well I--
    VERONICA- Did Sally put you up to this?
    JOHNO- No. Youre a nice girl and I got the wrong end of the stick.
    VERONICA- Well back the fuck off!
    JOHNO- I am. Jesus whats your problem? I didnt mean to offend you
    VERONICA- Whatever
    JOHNO- (slightly confused) Listen I came on to you. You didnt reciprocate. It should be me thats upset. I look like the fuckin idiot. The case is, no fucking harm done.
    VERONICA- It can be.
    JOHNO- What? (Beat) Ah, fuck this. (He looks away Awkward pause).
    VERONICA- Can you just...
    JOHNO- (walking off) Im fucking gone.
    VERONICA sits sipping her drink alone. She stares at the cup.

    Scene 6
    Nightclub seating booth- On the ground floor
    We hear Ladyhawke- love dont live here anymore in the background.
    MARK continues to sit on his own, drinking. He appears very drink. SALLY wanders over.
    SALLY- Alright handsome. You wana have some fun?
    MARK- Sure.
    SALLY- Got a Mrs?
    MARK- Nope.
    SALLY- Youre a good liar.
    MARK- Thats what she says.
    SALLY- Wheres Evan?
    MARK- Toilet.
    SALLY- So how many you had?
    MARK- Six
    SALLY- What?
    MARK- Doubles.
    SALLY- Jesus Mark, you promised.
    MARK- You came out with me, and this is a bar.
    SALLY- The estate agent wants us to meet him at nine tomorrow. But that wont play out. No, youll drink some more and about one a.m youll be throwing up in the toilets. Ill have to take you home. You wont get up till two pm and well miss the appointment. Well still be without a house and still be stuck in our own dead end apartments. The exact thing I was afraid of.
    MARK- Quit worrying, Christ. We got plenty of time. This is a celebration!.
    SALLY- This is a mistake.
    MARK- Its not, because well be in there on time.
    SALLY- You said that three weeks ago.
    MARK- Im saying it now.
    SALLY- Like your breath, those words stink.
    MARK- Im not lying,
    SALLY- Youre drunk, which means you think youre telling the truth but in the morning its a different story. Fuck Mark, I asked you to do this one thing. Just one. And its not even about your promotion or how much money you earn because we can afford it. The first step is for you to turn up.
    MARK- I earned this. I want to have fun.
    SALLY- You can do it without drinking for once.
    MARK- Whats that suppose to mean?
    SALLY-
    MARK- What?
    SALLY- Youve been drinking a hell of a lot lately.
    MARK- Thats fuckin ridiculous. Before this week I hadnt drink in three months. I get promoted, have a night out with my mates and Im the one with the problem.
    SALLY- Its now been two days on the trot drinking after your promotion, two heavy nights and now its three. Of coarse Im not accusing you of being an alcoholic. But for you to have fun its always a requirement.
    MARK- Im not listening.
    SALLY- When you got the promotion you went out with your work mates. Fair enough. But you came home at six, woke up the street jumping on cars, with sick all over your seven hundred pound suit.
    MARK- Boys will be boys.
    SALLY- The next night I woke up at four to a noise. I checked the bathroom and youre sprawled out on the floor choking on your own sick.
    MARK- I dont remember that.
    SALLY- You wouldnt. And yeah, youll be fine the majority of the time but theres always that switch in you and its dangerous. That loose cable. Thats why its time you grew up.
    MARK- What?
    SALLY- Youre nearly thirty.
    MARK- My age doesnt dictate my behaviour. I do whats fun. You know that.
    SALLY- Well I need you to step up.
    MARK- Im not doing that.
    SALLY- I cant wait forever, Mark. Its your choice
    SALLY wanders away.
    MARK sits thinking by himself.

    Scene 7
    Nightclub seating booth- On the ground floor
    We hear Tool- The Pot in the background
    MARK sits by himself. He appears to be drinking.
    EVAN wanders onto the floor and up to MARK.
    MARK- What took you so long?
    EVAN- Didnt know there was a timer on me being back. I bumped into Dave at the toilet.
    MARK- Oh yeah how is he?
    EVAN- Hammered, like you.
    MARK- Well sos the rest of the room. Majority action.
    EVAN- I saw Sally wandering around. She looked like she came from here. You see her?
    MARK- Yeah we had words.
    EVAN- Bad words?
    MARK- Howd you figure that?
    EVAN- Your face has sunk seven shades severer since i was last here. Also we had words always implies trouble.
    MARK- Youre perceptive.
    EVAN- I aint no fool.
    MARK- She came over and had a go at me for drinking. Apparently Im an alcoholic, or not but I get stupid when Im on it. Shes totally being pissy. You see, weve got a meeting tomorrow with the precious estate agent and she thinks I wont get up for it. Shes just got a hard on for this estate agent and doesnt want to miss him.
    EVAN- Regardless, shes right.
    MARK- What?
    EVAN- If I had known you had that house thing I wouldnt have let you drink.
    MARK- Man, dont be a bitch.
    EVAN- Im serious. That girl loves you and youve been jerking her around for three weeks now. I know what youre like on booze.
    MARK- Well what am I like?
    EVAN- Please, Ive been on the piss with you since we were thirteen. You, and you alone, are always the one that involves the police in our night outs.
    MARK- Fuck off.
    EVAN- You know it. Throwing bricks at garages, houses, playing golf at cars, its all been in your twenty year MO. Thats what you do, what we end up doing, what weve done for years. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
    MARK- We used to have fun.
    EVAN- Im not saying we didnt.
    MARK- Well Im not an alcoholic.
    EVAN- Im not saying that and I dont think she would be, but you are a fucking wild card with the drink.
    MARK- So what?
    EVAN- You do drink a lot.
    MARK- Well, she knew me when she asked me to be with her.
    EVAN- She probably wants a bit of stability. Christ were all reaching mid thirties.
    MARK- Whys everyone tonight so obsessed about our fucking age?
    EVAN- Coz its somthin you need to bear in mind.
    MARK- Thats bull.
    EVAN- If Sally does, then you definitely do. And you know she does.
    MARK- Shes fine.
    EVAN-Not the impression Im getting.
    MARK- You doin a real good job of droppin my high.
    EVAN- Im just warning you, youll fuckin loose her.
    MARK- Youre not gona talk about this with me.
    EVAN- Fine. I guess Ill just pass that one on to the next boyfriend she gets. Maybe hell listen to reason.
    MARK- What are you trying to pull? You being a cunt on purpose?
    EVAN-No, like you, it just happens.
    MARK- Get out of my face.
    EVAN- With pleasure, dickhead. (Walks off)
    MARK is left drinking by himself.

    Scene 8
    Nightclub seating booth- On the balcony level
    We hear Dredge- Bug Eyes in the background
    SALLY and VERONICA sit. SALLY appears flustered while VERONICA sits passive and still.
    SALLY- What? What did you say to him?
    VERONICA- Get off and leave me alone.
    SALLY- Did he try something?
    VERONCIA- He tried to kiss me.
    SALLY- Yeah?
    VERONCIA- Yeah
    SALLY- Whats wrong with that?
    VERONCIA- Shut up. I know you orchestrated this coupling session.
    SALLY- Whats wrong? Hes a nice guy.
    VERONICA- So you said.
    SALLY- I dont see why youre this mad?
    VERONCIA- Youre not my match maker.
    SALLY- Three years ago you wouldnt have said this. You would have done it all by yourself.
    VERONCIA- Time passes.
    SALLY- It sure does.
    VERONICA- Listen did I say I wanted to get with him? Did I even say I liked him?
    SALLY- You dont say anything anymore. You say nothing, period
    VERONICA- So?
    SALLY- So you need a push.
    VERONICA- Fuck the push, fuck men and fuck you. I dont want your nose in my life. Keep it to your own busyness and why dont you worry about your own man.
    SALLY- Whats that suppose to mean?
    VERONICA- Youve been sour with him all night. Now coming back from him youre even sourer than before.
    SALLY- Leave him out of it.
    VERONICA- Then leave me out of your shit and concentrate on that.
    SALLY- Fine.
    SALLY wanders off.
    VERONICA sits on the table by herself.
    We hear an ANOUNCERS voice on the microphone.
    ANOUNCER- Ladies and gentlemen please put your hands together for Blood Shot Eyes.

    VERONCIA gets up and looks out at the centre of the stage. She watches with piecing eyes and intrigue.
    We hear the footsteps of the band wanders onto the stage and a couple of musical notes played to check the instruments. We then hear JOHNOS voice on the microphone.
    JOHNO- This is us. Were err Blood Shot Eye and the first song is A Sad State of Affairs. Enjoy (Beat. Instruments play- a grungy, hard rock sound. JOHNO sings- angry, raspy, grungy) No sense left. The apple of my eye, its falling. And gradually rotting as time blows past. Everythings gone. Not much lasts now. Theres a hollow hole in the earth. A space for death to crouch. Its there, prepared and ready. Never far from sight. No sense left. I feel it in the air. A red clenched fist and a bottle. We strum our lives apart. Not much lasts now
    VERONCIA watches with a firm and fixed gaze.

    Act 3
    Scene 9
    Nightclub seating booth- on the balcony level.
    VERONICA continues to stand watching.
    We hear hard rock grunge being played and JOHNOS voice singing lyrics.
    JOHNO- This time the clock will not stop (Pause- music dies; we hear the smash of several instruments) Thanks
    VERONICA continues to stand. She stares out

    Scene 10
    Outside nightclub- parking lot
    We hear the distant hum of Pusifer- Momma said in the background
    SALLY sits on the pavement. EVAN appears from the entrance and wanders up to her.
    EVAN- How you doing sport?
    SALLY- Hey. You know
    EVAN- You thinking about taking up smoking.
    SALLY- Nope. Airs good out here.
    EVAN- Mark pissing you off that much?
    SALLY- (shakes shoulders) Hes a kid.
    EVAN- Didnt you know?
    (Pause)
    SALLY-Sometimes I forget, then he reminds me and its a shock. The kind you feel when an ice pick hacks at your head.
    EVAN- Thats Marks style. Ive known him since we were small but were made of different material. No matter how long I say Ive known him for, Ill still get moments like this.
    SALLY- Yeah You want a seat?
    EVAN- Sure. Hu, the air is better out here.
    SALLY- Told ya
    EVAN- So you thinking about going?
    SALLY- Run its coarse, tonight, aint it?
    EVAN- Yeah
    SALLY- You?
    EVAN- Probably. Not much reason in staying anymore. Can do this in the comfort of an armchair back home.
    SALLY- What? Watch a tragedy unfold?
    EVAN- I was referring to drinking. But I can feel one on the horizon. I dont need a TV in front of me to see it.
    SALLY- Tonights setting itself up for that.
    EVAN- Yeah, I was getting that feeling too.
    Beat
    SALLY- To be honest, I think I might slip off
    EVAN- Think?
    SALLY- Yeah, thinking about it anyway
    EVAN-If you do the others would be pissed.
    SALLY- The others are already pissed.
    EVAN- Do some more thinking.
    SALLY- I guess (SALLY looks at him) Youve got a stare.
    EVAN- What?
    SALLY- A stare in your eyes. Mark doesnt have it.
    EVAN- Yeah?
    SALLY- Yeah.
    SALLY and EVAN kiss.
    SALLY- (Pulls away) Im going back inside.
    EVAN- Sure.
    SALLY- This never happened.
    EVAN Nodes. SALLY walks off. EVAN lies down and stretches out on the concrete floor.
    EVAN- No. It never does.

    Scene 11
    Nightclub back entrance
    We hear Gazpacho- Upside down in the background
    JOHNO desperately stands in the doorway and tries to get through. The BOUNCER forces him back.
    JOHNO Man, I just want to come back in.
    BOUNCER- No stamp, no pass.
    JOHNO- I stepped outside for a smoke?
    BOUNCER- No stamp, no pass.
    JOHNO- Its was for like two seconds.
    BOUNCER- No stamp, no pass.
    JOHNO- Do you even know who I am?
    BOUNCER- Dont care.
    JOHNO- You should. I was playing today, I was on stage.
    BOUNCER- No stamp, no pass.
    JOHNO- Yeah you said that already. Look, Im not lying so please just let me in.
    BOUNCER- Get lost.
    JOHNO- Mate, in a minute Im gona
    VERONCIA enters and walks up to them.
    VERONICA- Sorry whats the problem here?
    BOUNCER- Miss, please move on.
    VERONICA- (In a put on act) Sure, okay. (points to JOHNO) Hey, can I ask you something, are you the singer of the band that were just on?
    JOHNO- Yeah. Will you tell him.
    BOUNCER- Please move on.
    VEROPNICA- Hes right, its the truth.
    JOHNO- Told ya fuckin asshole.
    BOUNCER- Hes the singer?
    VERONICA- Sure (turns around, gets a GUYS attention) Hey, mate, who is he?
    GUY- Lead fuckin singer of Blood Shot Eye. They fuckin rock!!! Can I have your autograph? (Thrusts a pen and paper at JOHNO)
    JOHNO - Coarse (Writes on paper, then hands it back) Now can I enter.
    BOUNCER- In you go.
    JOHNO And fuck you (Walks off)
    VERONICA chases behind him catches up and makes him turn around.
    VERONCIA- That was really good.
    JOHNO- Yeah?
    VERONICA- Yeah. Really good.
    JOHNO- Thanks. Why are you here again?
    VERONICA- You seemed in trouble with that Bouncer. Thought Id stepped in to help.
    JOHNO- Well you can step out now, coz I didnt need your help. Im in, no problem.
    VERONICA- From where I was standing you were two moves from being chucked out on your arse.
    JOHNO- Thats a point of view. Share it with yourself, not me.
    VERONICA- View points yeah. You know, when Im at a gig like this I always like looking behind me, just around the room, always do--
    JOHNO- --That bored?
    VERONICA- No. I just find it interesting to see what you performers are looking at, see what your experiencing, from your point of view. Places me just that little bit closer. But I didnt need to do that today.
    JOHNO- You want something?
    VERONCIA- Listen, I overacted before. I understand that now. I was harsh and I shouldnt of acted that way. So I wanted to apologise and see if we can just call it quits?
    JOHNO- Well should of, would of, could of Tell Sally Im off home. Nice to meet you.
    JOHNO walks away.
    VERONICA- (Grabs JOHNO) Hey wait, I just apologised.
    JOHNO- Yeah? And I just took it, then threw it on the floor and stepped on it. Now step aside.
    JOHNO walks away, off stage.

    Scene 12
    Nightclub- seating booth
    We hear Nick cave and the Bad Seeds- I sat sadly by her side in the background.
    MARK sits looking really pissed. VERONICA wanders up and sits down. A long beat
    MARK- Whats your name again?
    VERONCIA- Veronica.
    MARK- And how are you doing?
    VERONICA makes a face.
    MARK- That bad ha? As is the way. Im five burps from heaving.
    VERONICA- That good ay?
    MARK- Not good.
    VERONCIA- Looks like youre having a whale of a time.
    MARK- Looks can be deceiving.
    VERONCIA- I want to be in your position.
    MARK- What? Pissed?
    VEERONICA- Yeah.
    MARK- Im sobering up.
    VERONICA- Still a few steps away.
    MARK- Well, why arent you?
    VERONCIA- Events conspired against me.
    MARK- They always do. Here, have a beer. (Passes VERONICA a beer)
    VERONICA_ Thanks. Drinks what I thought I wanted six hours ago. Now I definitely know I need it.
    MARK- How many you had?
    VERONICA- One or two.
    MARK- Youve been on the wrong table.
    VERONCIA- Lifes cruel.
    MARK- Sure is. A drink gives it a new clean sheen. Makes you not notice all the filth scattered in the corners.
    VERONICA- I can still see the dirt though.
    MARK- You got a kind of cold fidgeting feeling where tonights fun was supposed to be?
    VERONICA- Fun left this place a couple of hours ago.
    MARK- What about everyone else?
    VERONCIA- Johno went home after his gig. I havent seen Sally and Evan for a bit.
    MARK- Yeah Sally and Evan fucked off outside probably. Thats the way it goes at this time of night. Your friends are here, but they arent. Always the same.
    VERONICA- How many you had anyway?
    MARK- Too many, apparently.
    VERONCIA- Ha. The drink wont cloak that.
    MARK- No. Not from your girlfriend anyway.
    VERONICA- This isnt what I expected, tonight that is.
    MARK- Has a habit of doing that. You see, were in this club out to have fun but thats not always the way it goes. We think as long as were with our friends nothing will matter but sometimes being with friends isnt enough.
    VERONICA- At least youre with friends. Im with one, singular and shes being a bitch. That means Im alone.
    MARK- Now alone with a drunk
    VERONCIA- Yeah. But strangers can be just as bad. Theyre just as capable to drag you back into lifes little intricacies, kicking and screaming.
    MARK- Ill take that as a hint and leave.
    VERONICA- No forget it. I was speaking about others. (Beat) Whats your name?
    MARK- Mark.
    VERONICA- You talk sense when your pissed.
    MARK- I talk a lot more crap too. Its even-stevens.
    VERONICA- Should we get going?
    MARK- I think Im going to barf.
    VERONCIA- Right, thats a yes.
    MARK- Ill be ten minutes max.
    VERONICA- Ill round up the others. Think you can make it outside in fifteen?
    MARK- I told you Id be ten!
    VERONCIA quickly surveys the room, and then wanders off. MARK slowly stammers off stage.

    Scene 13
    Outside nightclub- parking lot
    We hear Pagoda- Lesson Learned in the far background.
    EVAN continues to lay sprawled out on his back staring up at the sky. SALLY and VERONICA stand away from each other. There is a silence. Pause.
    Suddenly MARK hurries out of the club entrance to join them. He struggles drunkenly.
    MARK- Im here.
    SALLY- About time.
    VERONICA- Lets just go.
    MARK- Alright. Im here aint i?
    EVAN puffs on the floor, then gets up and wander off.
    SALLY- Hey, wait a sec Evan.
    EVAN- (Turns around) Im not waiting. You said we were going? Were going.
    VERONICA- Hes right, come on.
    SALLY struggles to help Mark stand.
    SALLY- I need to help Mark.
    MARK- Im fine.
    SALLY- Youre not fine. Youre pissed, like i said youd be.
    VERONICA- Oh leave him alone.
    SALLY- Piss off, this is none of your business.
    EVAN- Move your arse Sally!
    SALLY- I told you Im helping Mark.
    MARK- I dont want your help!
    Silence. Long pause. SALLY lets go of Mark and walks off. EVAN, SALLY, MARK and VERONICA move.
    JOHNO (Off stage)- You guys wana shut up. Could hear you three streets away.
    JOHNO walks on stage, and leans against a lamppost.
    SALLY- What are you doing here? V said you had gone?
    JOHNO- Yeah, but then I wanted some chips which took me on little diversion. Basically to cut a long story short I ended up back here. So what you think of the show tonight?
    MARK- Loud. Very loud. Too loud for me.
    SALLY- Fantastic, had real energy.
    EVAN-Mental man, real sick.
    JOHNO- V?
    VERONICA- It was good. I already told you.
    JOHNO- Oh yeah. Well thanks guys. You fancy picking up a curry?
    EVAN- I could do with one. You guys?
    SALLY- Sure.
    VERONICA- Yeah.
    MARK- Starvin mate.
    SALLY- You gona throw it up?
    MARK- Well see.
    SALLY- Dick.
    MARK wanders forward but slips and falls over.
    MARK- Bollacks. SALLY comes to his aid. I think i need some help.
    SALLY- As usual.
    SALLY helps him get up and holds him steady.
    EVAN- (To SALLY) You okay with him?
    SALLY- Fine, apart from the stink.
    VERONICA- Ill help ya.
    MARK- (To VERONICA) Thanks luv (To SALLY) Thanks.
    SALLY- Hope you do. (To EVAN) We still on for next week, Evan?
    EVAN- Games day? Yeah, course. Bring your controllers round and well play a little three sixty. Makes my day, kicking your arses. Think im into double figures now.
    MARK- Anytime mate, anytime.
    EVAN- Also, Im gona make a suggestion, just throwing it out there, you know. I suggestion we never ever go back there. Who forwards that?
    SALLY- I
    JOHNO- I
    VERONICA- I
    MARK- I
    EVAN- Cool.
    MARK, JOHNO, EVAN, VERONIUCA and SALLY wander off stage.

    END

  2. #2
    Okay, obviously this needs a bit of cleanup. "I suggestion we never go there", for instance.

    Then there are the two pieces or standard advice I hand out to almost all early scripts.

    1. Format is important in dramatic writing. As is the way a script "speaks", the special "accent" in which drama tells the crew and cast what to do and say.
    Maybe you're aware of formatting, if not get samples and learn.

    INT. - NIGHT - NIGHTCLUB

    Not sure aesthetic alternate means anything to anybody else, but not to me. Surely you can describe the place in a short phrase. "Pretentious club for young moderns with a bit of money and no ideas of their own." Something.



    Always use simple present tense. Not compound verbs.
    "Colored lights flash, strobes jitter, a light scatter of young people socialize with drinks and good spirits", etc.

    Characters are generally introduced individually, unless they are an amorphous blob like "YOUNG INTERNS" or something.
    VERONICA--mid-twenties, pretty, nervous temperment--enters with EVAN--a few years older, ex-athlete look. They sit. Etc.

    One big hallmark of newbie scripts is the constant need to specify exact songs that are playing. A mark of amateurism. In fact, nobody wants to hear about your musical choice because they have staff who make those decisions and they involve royalties to music companies.
    Keep it generic:
    MUSIC OVER: mind-numbing emosexual lament. or something.

    2. A dramatic piece has to be about something. It has to tell a story, and hopefully that story makes a change or means something. Newbie plays always seem to be a bunch of people in their twenties sitting around talking about pretty much absolutely nothing. They are always assumed to be just adorable and withit, but we seldom see why. And nothing happens. No changes, nobody learns anything. It's like walking into a bar and tape-recording a hour of chatter, then writing it up.
    Nobody buys scripts like that.

    Sorry, but that's the way it works. And a script has to look right, like other scripts, to get read.
    See my books Hidden Content (and in heaven).

  3. #3
    Lin has given you some pretty good advice. You can get away with having a personal style of format when writing for the stage, but you should seek out the style being used by the company to which you want to market your script. Most publishers will have samples available to mimic. If you want to use an established format style, "Celtx" is a script writing program that is free and does the formatting as you go along. http://celtx.com/download.html

    My one suggestion so far (I haven't fully read it yet) is to consider changing the drunk vomiting on the girl to spilling his beer on her. If an audience sees a character vomit it could induce vomiting in the audience members, not as good a thing as you might think. Also, you describe dropping a beer bottle or glass, broken glass on a stage and spilled liquid is a hazard that most theater companies do not want to do unless it is key to the plot. Spilling the beer on the girl solves this issue as it will be cleaned up by the actors anyway.
    "PS: don't take technical advice about cold fusion from someone who can't spell fuzhun."

    Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Member Sonofjoe's Avatar
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    Licola just outside Naples, Italy. Born HULL, UK
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    Hi Scott
    Im no expert at writing or producing plays, hell Im no expert at anything, so take this as you will.

    Lin has some very good advice which you should take. I have taken pointers from it myself!

    If this is intended for the stage I think it would be difficult to produce in a provincial theatre as the scenes seem too complicated. For instance; a stage full of non speaking actors not doing anything, except milling around drinking would be too expensive. Changing from scene to scene; booth, toilet, bar, booth on balcony, car park etc. would a very taxing on the stage hands and set designers!

    I think this type of play would be more suited to film or TV in which case you could keep the vomiting scene in.

    An afterthought Does it need to be in a night club, would not a simple bar work with the focus on the booth and a juke box (showing my age here) playing? The interactions between the characters could be constructed while other characters are at the bar, toilet etc. A friend of mine who ran a provincial theatre company told me that producers like it simple with strong story/plot on a small set with a maximum of six characters. Lets face it, we aint going to get a Broadway or West End play produced until we have a very very good track record.
    Beer, Cigs, Caffeine, Fry-ups & Chocolate Cake. Always make sure you get your five a day!

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