Love living (scenes 1 and 2) | Writing Forums
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Love living (scenes 1 and 2) (1 Viewer)

These are scenes one and two of a short three scene play I'm working on.
My aim is to use a romantic human relationship as a metaphor for birth, life, disillusionment, innocence and death. It's my first attempt at drama and I'd like some constructive criticism. Enjoy!

Scene One

[Spotlight on Jessica a lone attractive woman sitting at a bar nursing a dink. To her right is a Futon bed hidden in the darkness. Enter David from right.]

David: [Taps Jessica on the shoulder] 'Scuse me have you got a light?

Jessica:No, I don't smoke[turns away]

[David pauses, unsure of himself then sits in the stool next to her. Jessica ignores him. There is a long pause]

D: [to audience] Love at first sight. It's a terrifying thought. You walk into a room can be anytime, anywhere and BAM! There they are sitting nonchalantly with all radiance, beuty and subtlety of the proverbial supernova light at the end of the tunnel. All of a sudden you become a walking complex of clichés, your heart starts beating, your knees start moving and you're stomach feels like it's screamin "OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod...OH MY GOD!" Your mind, supposedly the seat of rational thought starts churning out millions of the most irrational fantasies-all perfect- perfect dates, perfect first anniversary, perfect fucked up, kinky, contortionist sex, perfect kids, raising perfect grandkids who come to visit you in the perfect cottage overlooking the sea. And that's the scary thing-not the cottage or kids-those thoughts. It's like those new-born babies, with their eyes going flickflickflick- trying to take in the vastness of a world that presses in on their small conciousness like a hurricane. There's so much potential, so many pssibilities but what if it dissapoints? [Looks at Jessica] What if she's just a person? [pauses, then laughs] Maybe I'm worrying needlessly, I still haven't worked out exactly how I'm gonna say
[To Jessica] You know, I think you're the most captivatingly beautiful person I've ever seen. [winces]

[Jessica turns slowly towards him. Pause]

J: Thanks. And you are?

D: I'm David. You?

J: Jessica. Jess if you prefer. Do you usually approach strangers and pay them wildly exaggerated compliments like that?

D: Only the captivatingly beautiful ones.

J: [laughing] Seems I can't lose with you, can I?

D: Could be. There's only one way to find out really.

J: Yeah... I'm a little more wary round complete strangers than you seem to be though.

D: Right, so how do I go about becoming something more than a complete stranger?

J: [smiling] Wel you could buy me a drink for a start.

D: Ok [to bar] A pint of Guiness and...{turns to Jessica questioningly]

J: Vodka and Coke

D:[to bar] Vodka and Coke [to jessica] Vodka and Coke. You're such a stereotype you know that?

J:[mock indignation] Me? Excuse me Mr 'Oh-you're-so-captivatingly-beautiful'. How many ladies have had the pleasure of that line before me?

D: [Puts hand on heart] Harsh! But not as many as you seem to think.

J: And, [drinks from her galss] look at what you're drinking. I mean come on- Guiness? It's got stereotypical Irish male written all over it.

D: Ah but I've a defense for that one. I take it you've seen the new Guinness ad on tv?

J: Actually I don't watch tv.

D:Really? You really are original. Any particular reason why not?

J: I just consider it a waste of life. Any way the ad...

D: Oh yeah, right, the ads got this hot, bling-blinged to the eyeballs kid, super pretty spice-boy kind of guy walking up to a bar, and ordering some bitch drink. So you see him sitting there while the barman gets his drink, and you're going "Oh my god this must be the slickest shining example of masculinity in existence. I wish he was me" So, he's sipping his bacardi breezer or whatever it is, when it dawns on him that there's a noticeable lack of females about the place. He decides to mention this to the barman who informs him that they're all in the lounge with 'Tom'. Of course our hero isn't gonna let this slide. He strides into the lounge to confront, the chap that's been hogging all the local talent. He bursts in the door and there they are, twenty of the most ridiculously attractive blondes giggling like schoolgirls as Tom gets to the punchline of his joke. Thing is though-Tom ain't another N*Sync boyband boy- he's an old tweed-capped turf cutter who's wearing more wooly jumpers than teeth.

J: Very amusing but its not really an excuse.

D: Well I figured that there was no way I was going to compete with the JT copy but I reckoned I could just about pull of the dirty old man role. Check it out. [Holds up glass] Love life, love Guinness.[winks]

[They bothe laugh. Laughter dies into silence while they both stare into space.]

J[quietly] Love living, love drinking

Love always, remember, sinking
Into the deepest pit, the simplest spark
Of love doth dispel all dark

J:[Looks into his eyes]
'Tween twain love is sweetest
For the young, for the oldest
Is best. The quiet love, cosy love
The knowledge life and bride is fit above.

Trust love. Cupid's arrow flies straight
To its mark, the hapiness of heart. Debate
Not too long but dive
Without care or stay into those eyes

For now love is aflame. As never again
Will be. Wonderful delirium, too soon be sane

Love now, love, for ever
Love always, though she will never
Be so beautiful again. Cry not
For future, in this present you are fallen in

Both: Love

[They smile and hold each other's gaze for a while]

Is all too real
Too hard to reveal
Impossible to tell
The depth of this new sprung well

J[laughing nervously]What? That's not part of the poem.

D: [places hand on her shoulder]I'm so glad you don't smoke.

J:[alarmed] What?! Why?! What are you taliking about?!

D:I'm so glad you don't smoke because you'll be alive longer.

[Jessica becomes calmer. She leans back on her chair and falls to the bed. The stool clatters on the ground. Lights out. End Scene One}

[David bustles about getting ready for work. There is a desk on the far right of the stage. Jessica is in bed asleep. David pauses and looks at her]

David:[sighs] I love you

[Jessica turns over and mumbles something incomprehensible. David continues getting ready. Suddenly he stops]

D: Jess [silence] Jess!!

Jessica: [drowsily] What?! What is it?!

D: What’s the electricity bill still doing here?

J: What? What are you talking about?

D: [Angrily] I’m talking about the bill you promised to pay yesterday and didn’t

J:Oh, God, I’m sorry baby. I’ll do it today

D: Yeah, but then it’s late. You promised you’d do it yesterday-Christ all day to do one simple job and…

J: Hey! That’s not fair. You know how tired I am during the day. I can barely stay awake as we speak.

D: [sighs] Yeah, sure. It’s grand, I’ll pay it myself at lunch time [turns to leave]

J: Aren’t you gonna give me a kiss before I go?

D: Ok [gives her a peck on the cheek]

J: Love you.

D: [leaving] Yeah, love you.

[David goes to the desk. Jess settles back to sleep. Dave produces a pile of paper and begins writing on and stamping it. After some time he stops. He leans back on his chair which slips beneath him. He falls to the ground.]

D: Ouch!

[David lies on the ground staring upwards. He breathes deeply for a few moments.]

D: I’m getting really tired of this shit.

[He gets up, stands the chair up and sits down again]

D: I mean, the work, that goes without saying. Tick the box, stamp the box, tick the box, stamp the box, tick the box, stamp the box, tick the box, stanp the box.. All day long. Welcome to the wonderful world of authorizing leasehold payments. My arse. I hate work. I hate getting up for work, getting presentable for work, going to work thinking about work, talking about work, going through the whole hypocritical, two-faced, beaurocratic greeting ritual Hello-Mr-Kennedy-I-Hope-You’re-Well-Today-How-Is-Your-Lovely-Hippopotamus-Wife-Who-Got-Drunk-And-Came-Onto-Me-At-The-Office-Party-Which-Resulted-In-Me-And-My-Girlfriend-Of-Nine-Months-Sleeping-In-Separate-Beds-For-Christmas-YOU BASTARD!! I hate working [pauses] And God help me , I hate leaving work. Bread and rent. I’m a fucking slave to bread and rent. That’s it, that’s my life-eating, sleeping and working. [to audience] What!? Do you see anything else to it? [looks at Jessica] What, her?[laughs]

[Jessica stirs. She stretches and yawns but doesn’t sit up. She stares at the audience for a while. She begins to mouth words]

J: Goddammit! [She tosses and turns as if fighting with the blankets. She falls onto the ground. She stops, facing upwards]

J: It’s not supposed to be like this.

[She gets to her feet, blanket draped around her like a cloak]

J: When he said those words to me two years ago, I didn’t want to believe him.

D: You’re the most captivatingly beautiful person I’ve seen in my life.

J: How? How can I be? I’m just me, some scrap of humanity that’s been existing bit by bit for twenty years. And you expect a saviour! I’m just a person.

D: How can you think that? How can you not know how amazing you are? Do you even have a clue how much better the world is just ‘cause you’re in it?

J: Oh come on David. I do nothing. It’s just you. You’ re the perfect person.

D: Me perfect? Don’t make me laugh. I do everything wrong. I forget birthdays and anniversaries. I forget housework, and even when I remember I’ll let you do it just because you will. You deserve better then me. You deserve real perfection.

J:I do worse. You know how much trouble I’ve got you in. Your parents hate me. Your friends complain about never seeing you because of the time and attention you lavish on me. You worry about those insignificant mistakes but forget how hard you try never to repeat them, how you grow stronger and stronger each time.

D: Only for you.

J: Only to you.

[They run to each other, but are stopped by Jess tripping in her blanket and David falling over his chair. Jess looks out from under the blanket.]

J: That was how it used to be. Each of us feeding off each other. It was like we were being what the other believed us to be. Every day something new, David’s student artwork, my childhood dreams. Sharing and creating something that became more wonderful as time went by. And then the wonder went. What happened?! Our first shared home was so happy, our first Christmas together. All sparkly lights and expectations. And it led to this. He heads out to work in the with “Love ya, see ya later” dropping the full stop out the door. And that pisses me off. Love isn’t meant to be some shitty punctuation in the day. It’s supposed to be the day. It’s supposed to be our lives. [pause] I’m nit-picking.

D: I hate nit-picking.

J: But I wouldn’t care how or when he says it if…

D:If it wasn’t so cold [gets up and sits down] It’s freezing in here. Stupid management’s too cheap to pay for decent heating let alone give me a pay rise. But Jessica of course is still in bed, nice and cosy. My cold for her heat. How’s that for a fair trade? [Jessica gets up and starts walking around the bed.] Antway it seems it’s about time to pay a visit to the cosy homestead. I’m getting outa here.

[Daid gets up and walks over to Jess. She gives him a peck on the cheek.]

J: Hey hun’. Dinner’s ready, want some?

D: No thanks I’m not hungry [sits down on the bed and starts to take his shoes off]

J: Have you had something to eat at work?

D: No.

J: But you must be starving then. I mean you haven’t eaten since lunch.

D: Breakfast.

J: Are you skipping meals again? You promised me you’d stop doing that.[pause] Have you any idea how bad that is for you? [pause] David!

D: [angrily] Look we both know you’re just pissed off because you’ve wasted time trying to feed me. This has nothing to do with my welfare, which I’m looking after right now by getting a well-deserved rest.[climbs into bed]

J: What the hell is your problem David?

D:I don’t have a problem.

J: Yes you do, for the past few weeks you’ve treated me like shit. Am I not so captivating anymore? Have two years of a relationship with me sucked the joy out of your life? Huh?

D: Yes. Turn out the light please


Both: Both our lives are lessening.

Ilan Bouchard


So here's what I thought of the script. I liked it, but it diminished. The first third was fun, the banter and way the characters played off each other was fun. The second half wasn't so. There was a dramatic change in both of them, but you skipped over it. One scene they were the happy couple, the next they were questioning each other's love. I think there should have been a little more transformation. The last third showed this again, showing their realization of the change. I'd say work on the middle, and you have a solid script. Add a little more, show what changes them, what they do to preserve their juvenile love and how it fails.
Thanks for the read.