Rob Hayes Writes Plays

Free Plays From Rob Hayes.

Month: August, 2013

Primate Example

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An interior office. The blinds are drawn. The desks have been overturned and pushed to the walls. The chairs have been arranged to form a makeshift climbing frame. There is debris – files, papers, food, furniture – scattered across the floor.

Three men in suits squat like monkeys in the middle of the room, eyeing each other. They grunt, beat their chests and roll around the floor. They are, in effect, acting like monkeys.

After a moment, one of them shuffles out the room. One of the remaining men, Davies, immediately stands up.

DAVIES: I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up.

Shenton also stands up.

SHENTON: Just go with it a little longer. Please.

DAVIES: This is insane. We have our first project appraisal on Tuesday and we’ve done nothing. We’ve not even started.

SHENTON: It’s under control.

DAVIES: How? How is it under control? We’re pretending to be monkeys!

SHENTON: I’m telling you his system works. I’ve seen it.

DAVIES: We’ve made no progress.

SHENTON: But we have. Subconsciously. It’s all about unlocking creativity. Primal behaviour. We’re allowing our brains to do all the work. Last day, we get it all on paper.

DAVIES: I’m getting nervous Shenton.

SHENTON: Just trust me. The man’s a maverick, but he knows what he’s doing.

DAVIES:I just don’t see it.

SHENTON: Did I tell you about the Thai monk who trained him?

DAVIES: Yes you told me about the Thai monk who trained him.

SHENTON: We can’t expect to understand his ways. We must only serve them. And remember, you can’t show any signs of weakness, okay? If he senses even for a second that you’re not fully committed then the whole thing will go down the toilet. Is that clear?

Davies sighs, nods.

DAVIES: But I’m gonna need a break. My knee’s playing up again.

SHENTON: Okay. Fine. Just a little longer I promise.

The third man, McKee, enters. The three immediately start acting like monkeys again.

After a moment Davies exits. McKee immediately stands up.

MCKEE: How much longer is this going to go on for?

SHENTON: I don’t know mate, I don’t know.

MCKEE: We can’t work carry on like this. The man’s a nutter.

SHENTON: He’s having a really tough time. His wife left him, he’s under a lot of stress.

MCKEE: But this is ridiculous. We have nothing to show for the past two weeks. Why the hell should we risk our entire project pandering to that man’s neuroses? He’s a nut! He should be suspended.

SHENTON: Don’t worry, I’ve been working on the report in my spare time. It’s almost ready. You just keep quiet and carry on. And don’t, whatever you do, break the illusion. He’s very unstable at the moment. God knows how he’d react if he thought we weren’t genuine monkeys in an actual jungle.

MCKEE: But it’s not right. It just isn’t right.

SHENTON: All I’m saying is he’s a semi-professional archer. That’s a fact.

MCKEE: He shouldn’t be in a workplace environment. He should be in a secure unit.

SHENTON: We need to indulge him. Just till it’s safe for him to start therapy.

MCKEE: Shouldn’t we, I don’t know, tell someone?

SHENTON: In time, yes. I’ve got it under control. Listen, I’m gonna have to go and work on the report for a few minutes. Can I trust you?

McKee sighs, nods.

SHENTON: You’re a good man McKee, I’m sorry I dragged you into this.

Shenton exits. Davies re-enters. He and McKee eye each other, then both crouch down and start acting like monkeys. Again they grunt and howl, banging on the floor.

McKee moves over to Davies and starts grooming him.

Davies responds by climbing onto the furniture.

McKee moves over to a large bowl of fruit and starts chewing it up, skin and all, and throwing the mushed up remains around the room.

Davies pulls his tie off and rips open his shirt. He moves over to a bucket, sits into it and starts taking a shit.

At that moment the boss, Squire, enters.

SQUIRE: What the…

He puts his tie over his nose, gagging at the smell.

SQUIRE: Oh god! Shenton warned me you two were fooling around but…this is insane! You have a project appraisal looming and you’ve spent the whole time…hopping around like animals! What the hell do you think you’re playing at? You think it’s all one big joke? You know we’ve got another round of layoffs coming, don’t you? You are aware of that. In fact, what am I talking about? You’re both fired! Thank you for making my job a little easier.

The two colleagues are paralysed with shock.

DAVIES: But sir–

SQUIRE: I don’t want to hear it. You couldn’t possibly have an adequate excuse. Get out! Now! Pack your things and get the hell out!

The two men abjectly shuffle out of the room.

Shenton saunters in.

SQUIRE: Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Shenton. It couldn’t have been easy.

SHENTON: Such a shame.

He takes out a banana and peels it.

SHENTON: I have no idea what they were playing at.

He takes a big bite.

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Gangster Priests – Part One

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Father Caine – 50s. The Boss.

Father Dymmock – 60s. Dreary alcoholic.

Father Labine – 30s. Dumb henchman.

Father McCullagh – 40s. Mouthy Irish bastard.

Father Tremaine – 50s. Morally conflicted. Too old for this shit.

Father Ransome – 30s. Young, observant, ambitious.

SCENE ONE

Parish house, afternoon.

All the priests, bar Dymmock, are sat around drinking tea.

Caine.

Fuck is Father Dymmock?

Nothing.

Caine.

Eh? Where’s fuckin Dymmock? Hello? Talkin to myself am I?

Labine.

He’s doing the five o’clock at Bluefield.

Caine.

He’s doin the what?

Labine.

The five o’clock.

Caine.

At Bluefield?

Labine.

Yeah.

Caine.

The fuck is he doin that for?

Labine.

Cos I did his midday here.

Caine.

And why in great Satan’s arsecrack did you do his midday here?

Labine.

I had errands.

Caine.

Errands. You fuckin comedian. You had errands? And what possible errand could you have had, Labine? When the entire universe of your day should have been encompassed in my simple instructions to wake the fuck up, sit on your arse for four hours, do the five pm service you were scheduled to do, then come over here and wait without causing any major accidents. What errands did you manage to squeeze in to that so as to fuck up the entire evening’s proceedings?

Labine shrugs.

Labine.

Just errands.

McCullagh.

What the fuck does it matter? Labine does the 12 o’clock. Dymmock does the five o’clock. What’s worth getting your bollocks in a twist for?

Caine.

I’m glad you asked. I’m glad one of you had the presence of mind to ask, even if it was the fuckin farmhand. It’s especially worrying considering I briefed you all on this two weeks ago. Honest to fuck, you can remember the entirety of Mark’s Gospel in Latin but you can’t recall what you had for fuckin breakfast. The reasons why this is another monumental mark on Labine’s already heavily annotated card, are twofold. Firstly by five pm Dymmock would’ve got enough sacramental wine down him to drown a warship. By now he’ll be makin as much sense as the old biddies on the dementia ward.

Tremaine.

They won’t notice the difference down there.

Caine.

The dribblin cadavers who’ve been wheeled in there maybe not. But you can bet your bollocks the nurses will. And that’s exactly what we need, more idle speculation surrounding this bag of turds you call a parish. And anyway, that’s small cheese compared to the second problem. Which is I’ve got half a ton of tainted Eucharist floating into the estuary at 7.30. And believe it or not, Padre Matissio is going to expect Father Dymmock’s rosatia-ridden mug grinning at him from the dock, otherwise he’s gonna think the whole thing’s gone sour. Say what you want about the old fermented bag of fruit, but for some unholy reason he’s got a way with people. They trust him. That’s why we put him up there in all the deals. We turn up without him, it’s gonna look like we’re pullin a right number.

Ransome.

Tainted eucharist? What you gonna do with that?

Caine.

I’m gonna feed it to the old dears down at St. Patricia. Give them a CAFOD meeting to remember. The fuck you think I’m gonna do with it? Colleges break for Easter on Thurday. They wanna go out ravin. What they gonna do, shove a load of pills up their bum?

Ransome.

So they buy unleavened bread?

Caine.

Laced with the finest DMT you’ll find this side of India mate. Only one thing harder to get hold of round here and that’s pure uncut Pakistani opium, which forget about it. College kids ain’t about buyin baggies off hoods on street corners anymore. They got university careers to think about. We put on a special student mass, they park their arses on the pews, collection plate goes round, we lay it on them. Three hours later they’re dancin on the clouds.

Tremaine shakes his head.

Ransome.

That’s pretty smart.

Caine.

Thank you. I know. I came up with it.

McCullogh.

No you didn’t. Italians been doin it for years.

Caine.

Shut your spud hole. Except now whole thing might be scuppered because this casualty went and started swapping around the schedule without permission, which he still hasn’t explained why. Errands. Gimme a fuckin break.

Ransome.

I’ll go.

Caine.

What’s that son?

Ransome.

I’ll go. To the meet.

Caine.

Will you now? Well well. Look at new boy over here. Fuckin Ballykissangel over here. Fuckin choirboy wants to come along on a drop. Where’d that come from then?

Ransome.

Be a shame to derail the whole thing over a misunderstanding. Worth a shot.

Caine.

You do realise you get on that boat and look at them funny, even for a second, Matissio will slit you open.

Ransome shrugs.

Caine.

They ain’t fuckin about mate. They come from a different place. Got all kinds of shit behind them.

Ransome.

I know. I’ll give it a go.

Caine.

What makes you so sure of yourself then?

Ransome.

I have a trustworthy face.

Caine.

Fair enough. Ransome’ll come with. See how that one turns out. Still, best make some use of that face of his before he hits puberty and the whole thing goes to shit. Labine, you’re temporarily. And I mean temporarily. Off the hook. You are driving though. McCullagh, Tremaine, go nurse a stout and meet us at the drop off in two hours.

SCENE TWO

The docks, dusk.

Caine and Ronsome sit on a bench. Ransome is smoking.

Caine.

Whatever you do, don’t get on the boat. That’s alarm bells time. Everythin happens on the dock. Neutral ground. And don’t talk neither. Not a word. Think it’s that one there. See. Like two lights. Like two blinking lights, just.

Ransome.

Oh yeah. Like 200 yards.

Caine.

Bout that.

Ransome.

Couple of minutes then.

Caine.

Listen, the split might get a little sticky on this one. Even though that old cunt didn’t have the neurons to turn up, he did broker the whole thing. That swallows up the lion’s share, once operating costs are dealt with.

Ransome.

What about your share?

Caine.

That comes under operating costs. But Dymmock’s a funny one. You wouldn’t know it to look at him but he’s a shrewd bastard when it comes to his numbers. He’s got a nephew, summink. And a lot of friends called Glen.

Ransome.

So you’re saying there’s nothing in this deal for me then.

Caine.

I’m saying there’s nothing more than the others are gettin, even though you’re the one riskin your cojones. What I’m saying is you coming out here, putting your face up. It’s not gonna pay off like you’d hoped on this occasion. Is what I’m saying.

Ransome.

Did you hear me quibble about percentages before I offered to come along?

Caine.

No.

Ransome.

Well then.

He flicks his cigarette away and stands up. Caine follows him to the edge of the mooring.

A small tug-boat pulls in. Caine catches a thrown rope and helps pull it to the bank.

Padre Matissio steps off the boat with two tall, muscular, Italian-looking priests.

Matissio and Caine embrace.

Caine.

Padre, padre. How are ya? Chao bella. I see you’ve bought your on-board entertainment.

Matissio.

Careful Caine. Those jokes don’t float on the wind like they used to.

Caine.

Alright alright. We want a nice clean flight. Now I want to introduce you to someone. His name’s father Ransome, and.

Matissio spies Ransome. His face drops.

Caine.

And he’s one of the best priests we have. New to the parish, he is. Lovely lad.

Matissio.

Where is Dymmock?

Caine.

He got caught up. No bother. Nothing to worry about. Sends his wishes.

Matissio.

Where. Is. Dymmock?

Caine.

Look we’ve got the cash. We ain’t packing. We’re here for a friendly swap.

Matissio.

I will not ask again Caine.

Caine.

Come on Padre. You know me. This here’s a new boy. Showing him the ropes, that’s all. Dymmock got caught up with a five o’clock service.

Matissio looks to his henchmen.

Matissio.

Si muove, uccidere.

Caine.

Now come on, there’s no need to be speaking all Italian. We got a common language.

Matissio moves over to Ransome and presses a switchblade to his throat. Ransome barely moves.

Caine.

Alright. Okay. First things first, you get one of your boys to frisk me. No fuckin around. All gentle slow, like. I ain’t carryin Padre. I’m tellin you, it’s legit mi amigo. All legit.

Matissio.

Tanerlo.

Matissio’s henchmen restrain Caine.

Caine.

This is ridiculous.

Matissio.

Where is Dymmock?

Caine.

I’m tellin ya he’s been held up.

Matissio.

Is that a euphemism?

Caine.

Ain’t a euphemism, no. He’s literally been help up. Look we got the cash. We ain’t tryin to mug you off Padre.

Matissio.

Sulla barca.

The henchmen start to muscle Caine onto the boat. He resists.

Caine.

No. Now come on. I’m tellin ya. I am telling you. There’s no need to put me on the boat now.

A raspy hum makes everyone stop and listen.

After a moment, Father Dymmock rolls in, slumped over a mobility scooter.

He slows to a stop by the priests, unconscious. Everyone watches.

Matissio.

He’s dead.

Caine.
He’s not dead. Are you Dymmock. Dymmock?

Matissio nods to a henchman, who moves over and nudges Dymmock.

On the second nudge he snaps awake.

Dymmock.

Peace be with you peace be with you peace be with– wah? Where am I? Ha? Oh yes, the drugs deal. Sorry I’m late Padre, I had a service down at Bluefields. I realised I was late so I got here on the fastest mode of transportation I could find.

Caine.

What about your car, dymmock?

Dymmock thinks, remembers.

Dymmock.

Ah feck it. I did drive there in a car, so I did. Have to go back for that later.

Dymmock takes in the scene.

Dymmock.

What the bleedin’ hell’s goin on here then? For pity’s sake Matissio, put the knife away.

Matissio lowers his switchblade. He nods at his henchmen, who release Caine.

Dymmock.

Look at you. Honest to goodness. With your weapons and your frowny faces. You Italians have become so uptight since you stopped fiddlin with the little boys. Well, what the feck are you waiting for? Are we doing this or not then? We’ve all got homes to go to.

Matissio nods to his henchmen, who move onto the boat to pick up the stash. Dymmock moves over to Ransome.

Dymmock.

Well hello there young Father Ransome! How are you lad? Your first job with us, that’s exciting, isn’t it?

He spins to Caine.

Dymmock.

This fecker better not be getting my cut?

Caine.

Your cut is safe.

Dymmock turns back to Ransome, smiles sweetly.

Dymmock.

I have a nephew.