Plays


My background is in theatre and I love writing dialogue. Like most writers my study is packed with theatre scripts, TV scripts, film treatments etc,  all awaiting the killer punch. The only play of mine which has actually made the stage is:

“The Rise and Fall of Magbeth!”

which has been produced several times around West Cornwall. It is a Shakespearian satire on the career of Margaret Thatcher, borrowing scenes from many of his plays and ranging from political satire to broad farce to downright tragedy. It has always been a howling success and still has ambitions to travel .

(Excerpts below)

Scene 2

Media 1

Maggie…

Media 2

Maggie…

Media 3

Maggie…

Media 1

Hail to thee fair Education

Media 2

Hail to thee who shall be Tories’ captain

Media 3

Hail to thee, oh yes, Prime Minister!

Magbeth

Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence…

The Media vanish

Magbeth

So quickly gone?

Then tread you carefully Maggie, watch your back

And let your machinations never tire

What meeter hand than mine when destiny calls

To grab the country firmly by the balls?

 

Scene 2:1

Enter the mechanicals, Jim, Dennis, Tony, Michael, and Neil

 

Jim

Pat, pat, here’s a marvellous place for our rehearsal. Are we all met? You know me for Jim the Leader. There stand Dennis the Money, (Each one answers in ‘Aye’ in turn)  Tony the Mouth, Michael the Marcher, and Neil the Speech?

Good. Our play is “The Most Lamentable Tale of the Grocer Macheath and the Rogue Scargyle” Very tragical mirth. Do you all know your parts?

Hubbub

Well you’ve had long enough to learn them.

Michael

Tell me, be there any killing in the play we do perform?

Tony

If so, let it be by conventional weapons only.

Neil

Will not the ladies be afeared of the rogue Scargyle?

Jim

Well we could write a prologue saying that Scargyle is not Scargyle at all but, save you ladies, one of our company blowing on the fog-horn

Dennis

I’ll write it, and it shall be in eight and eight. Eighteen.

Jim

Is it?

Dennis

Yes, allowing for inflation

 

Scene 2:3

Tebb

Gentles! Do not quail. ‘Tis only I

And though your wildest nightmare may exceed

I in the name of mischief sole appear

No mighty warrior I in evil deeds

In life, in petty meanness I excel.

My name is Norman Badfellow, Tebb yclept,

My sneering mouth and eye of basilisk

Are known to all. I make the children cry

At night when through their windows I do leer

Or hide beneath their beds and catch their legs.

I love to start a fight in busy alehouse

Wherein I slip when no-one marketh me

And down a lady’s front do pour the beer

Of innocent bystander, whose husband then

His toes I stamp and head-butt in the belly

Then settle down to cheer the chaos on.

‘Tis I who on the bus do ring the bell

When ancient dame with walking-frame of steel

Half on the platform is. Ah,’tis my joy!

 

This evening I did creep on lovers twain

Who in the bushes deep their lust to slake

Had hidden them, and with the sharpest thorn

From blackthorn tree promiscuously pluck’d

His arse I smote, and all in the confusion

His condoms gently prick’d, now truly fuck’d

The pair, as generations to be born

May witness bear.

 

But who cometh here?

A play toward? I’ll be an auditor

An actor too perhaps if I see cause.

 

Scene 3:5

Messenger

My Lord Cecil would have you know, my lady, that his wife and he no longer can together bide. There.

Pause

Magbeth

Even so. And so we had perceived.

Wert thou a woman, messenger, thy news

Would be but as an underlining stroke

The text of which were known. ‘Tis natural, sure,

Our victory absolute hath been the key

By which his feelings, British and reserved,

Have been unclasped, and like a raging torrent

They burst unchecked in passion Continental.

Ah Cecil! Now illicitly thou longs’t

Our smouldering fire with flame to consummate!

How beats our heart! How weakly shake our knees!

For though the man’s part all day long we play

Yet we are woman through and through, and like

The meanest of our sex when propositioned

By such a handsome rogue do gulp and flush

And like a petal tremble in the wind.

Go sirrah go! Unto the victor bold

The spoils! We can no longer stay his will.

Have him washed and send him to our rooms!

 

What, still at hand?

Messenger

There’s more, my Lady.

Magbeth

More? Aye, but not for your ears and eyes.

Messenger

His wife he leaveth for another

Magbeth

Hist. His wife he must retain withal.

If he Conservative would voter woo.

Although his passions elsewhere may abide

Still family photo must his pamphlet garland.

Messenger

‘Tis his secretary.

Magbeth

What is?

Messenger

She for whom my master doth his wife forsake. His secretary. I’ve been trying to tell you…

Magbeth

Rogue, thou hast lived too long!

She attacks him with a candlestick

Messenger

Gracious Madam, I that bring the news made not the match!

Magbeth

Thou vicious millipede!

She chases him round the room. He hides behind the furniture.

Messenger

Good Madam, patience!

Magbeth

His secretary! Faugh! How low, how cheap,

How lacking in nobility and spirit

When he could at the finest target joust

With his lance held high! Come hither, slave.

Cleaner

He is afear’d to come.

Magbeth

We will not hurt him. Come you hither sir.

Think you that from this sordid dalliance he

Might by a match of infinitely greater

Worth be yet diverted?

Messenger

No, of that I’m sure.

Magbeth

How so? Know ye so much of women? Why so?

Messenger

Because she’s in the club. His secretary that is…

Magbeth

Aaaaarrrggghhh!

She throws everything in reach at the messenger, who tries to dodge

Cleaner (Aside, to the audience)

How like, how very like the home life of our own dear Royal Family.

The messenger flees

 

Scene 4:4

Enter a peasant with a pitcher, who goes to the well

Magbeth

Thy words are fine, but how to turn them into action, thence to profit.

Tebb

Then watch.

He puts on a  policeman’s helmet

Ho fellow.

Peasant

Good afternoon Constable

He continues to use the well

Tebb

And what do we think we’re doing?

Peasant

Using this well of course, like I’ve always done, me and my father and his father before him.

Tebb

Not any more you don’t

Peasant

What? Why not?

Tebb

Who does it belong to?

Peasant

Why, no-one. Or  rather, everyone.

Tebb

In other words the government. It’s high time you knew the government’s decided to stop wasting taxpayers’ money maintaining wells like this.

Peasant

It hardly takes much maintaining…

Tebb

So we’ve sold it to the Private Sector.

Peasant

What? You’ve no right to do that. My forefathers dug that well…

Tebb

No right? Are we not the government?

Peasant

Yes, but…

Tebb

And I’ll bet you voted for us.

Peasant

Well yes I did. You can’t really trust the other lot …

Tebb

But you can trust us.

Peasant

Yes, but where am I going to get my water from now?

Tebb

From here of course. I don’t want you to change your ways.

Peasant

Oh, that’s alright then…

Tebb

I’m sure the charges will be more than reasonable.

Peasant

Charges! What charges?

Tebb

We can’t expect them to do it for nothing, can we?

Peasant

I can’t afford to pay. It isn’t fair.

Tebb

If it wasn’t fair we wouldn’t do it. Would we?

Peasant

Well, I don’t know…

Tebb

Old man, you have a point. Why should this be taken from you, and you have to pay someone else?

Peasant

That’s just how I see it …

Tebb

So here’s a golden opportunity. Buy some of …these!

Peasant

What are they? Just bits of paper aren’t they?

Tebb

Bits of paper? These are shares! Buy them and you will be part-owner of the well yourself. Then everyone who uses it will have to pay you!

Peasant

Everyone who uses it? There’s hundreds use this well. What, my neighbours’d have to pay me to use it?

Tebb

You see! Before long you’d be rich!

Peasant

Yeah, yeah. Mind you. I haven’t got any money handy.

Tebb

Pity. I’m to sell them to the first-comers. I’ll have to ask your neighbours instead.

Peasant (Reaching into his coat)

Here. Give me a hundred quid’s worth.

Tebb

Congratulations! You’re in the water business!

Exit Peasant

 

Magbeth

Excellent! Excellent! The water tomorrow will be the same as today; he hath a right to draw it as he had yesterday; yet today…

Tebb

We’ve taken him for a hundred quid!

They dance and whoop together

Tebb

And now we’ll do it to all his neighbours.

 

Scene 5:3

 

Howe turns on the radio, which is broadcasting live from the House of Commons

Speaker

The Prime Minister.

Magbeth

My colleagues, and you oiks on other benches

Tonight I would commend you all to join me

In forging closer links with that great congress

Of nations European that in Brussels

Deliberations multilingual holds.

I say “I would” sincerely, would I could

Would I thought it served our nation’s needs

Would I thought it worth the time and effort

Would it were not full of ghastly foreigners..”

Howe

What!

Heseltine

Hearken…

 

Magbeth

… whose jibber-jabber doth offend our ears,

Haughty Helmut, barmy Jacques Delors,

Greasy fat Italians, spineless Belgians,

Other members speaking up for nations

No bigger than a municipal car-park.

And should we sit and ponder serious aims

With such a rag-bag of unstable aliens

Or treaties make redounding on our future

And binding fast our precious sovereign rights

With lying, garlic-chewing continentals?

I for our nation thus declare. No!. No!. NO!

(cheers and calls of “Hear hear”)

 

Heseltine

Now marry, Howe,

 

Dost still believe she’ll heed thy counsels wise

Or like a bullock trample where she listeth?

Howe

Oh Devil! Bitch! Oh treachery incarnate!

Good Heseltine, at last my spirits rise!

I like the cowardly lion will be, whose nerve

He did upon the road of yellow bricks

Propitiously discover! Lead the way,

I’ll into thy conspiracy be joined,

I’ll speak, I’ll shout, I’ll bellow from the rooftops!

Mine ears no more that burden shall endure

Of hectoring commands and vile sarcasm!

Oh bliss! Oh joy! Oh poop poop! I’ll be free!

What hell I have endured! I hated her!

Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate!

 

Scene5:5

Enter Hurd

Hurd                

My lady’s will?

Magbeth

Hast thou aught from London heard, Hurd? Is that vile poll reported? Am I crowned once more? Have I kicked that traitor Heseltine into the footnotes of history?

Hurd

Alas good lady, there is yet no news.

Magbeth

Well go and seek out rumours. Make haste!

Hurd

Certainly my lady.

Exit Hurd

Media, come to me. Tell me my doom is safe. Be with me in my hour of need.

Media (Off)

Maggie…Maggie…Maggie… Out…Out…Out…

Magbeth

NO!

The Media’s chant continues

You cannot desert me! We’ve gone so far together! Did you not promise me… that I would never be defeated in England?

Bell of Doom

Aagh! But I am in  France! Oh hell!

Re- enter Hurd

The Media’s voices suddenly stop

Thou hast heard word, Hurd?  WHY HAVE ALL MY MINISTERS GOT SUCH STUPID NAMES!

Hurd

Yes. Thou hast beaten Heseltine.

Magbeth

Yes! Now I’ll get them! I’ll get them all!

Hurd

But…

Magbeth

But?

Hurd

But not by enough. There’ll have to be another ballot.

Magbeth

Even so. Curse it!

Copyright © Michael Sagar-Fenton - Designed by: <a href="http://maddiemoocreative.co.uk">Maddie Moo Creative</a>