I've just completed my latest full length. The play is presented as though it is an instructional video that the audience are watching being filmed. Maddy presents a variety of methods for disposing of an unwanted husband and advice on how to deal with the consequences. She is aided by her husband Jim and three friends but as the play progresses the parallels with the couple's real life relationship gives Jim plenty to worry about and the audience should become aware that they are actually watching a murder mystery.
One scene from the play is below. Comments appreciated.
A Police Station
JOHN: Yes madam. How can I help you? MADDY: Oh, it's terrible. He's gone! JOHN: Who has gone madam? MADDY: My husband. He has just disappeared. JOHN: I'm sorry to hear that, did you want to report him missing? MADDY: I don't know what can have happened to him, he is not like this. JOHN: Don't upset yourself, there is probably a perfectly rational explanation to all this. MADDY: How can there be? Where can he be? JOHN: In the vast majority of cases the missing people just turn up again. MADDY: (Archly)Jim won't. JOHN: I'm sorry? MADDY: I mean, I pray for his safe return. JOHN: Jim did you say? MADDY: Yes. JOHN: And what is is surname? MADDY: Bennett. JOHN: Jim Bennett. Any other names. MADDY: His middle name is Gordon. JOHN: Jim Gordon Bennett. MADDY: His parents were so cruel. JOHN: And your name? MADDY: I'm Maddy Bennett. His wife. JOHN: When did you last see your husband? MADDY: On Sunday. He took the car to the car wash. JOHN: So he is in his car. MADDY: Damn! No. Er, he took the car to the car wash, then he returned and went out again for a walk. JOHN: What time was this? MADDY: About three o'clock in the afternoon. JOHN: Do you know if anyone saw him after he went for a walk? MADDY: Not that I know of. JOHN: So, the last person to have seen him, apart from yourself will have been the people at the car wash. MADDY: Oh hell. No. Forget about the car wash. JOHN: But it might be important. MADDY: OK then, it was one of those automatic ones, he won't have seen anyone. In fact the car is filthy. He didn't go to a car wash. JOHN: But you just said that he did. MADDY: No he said he was going to the car wash, then he came back, but he hadn't been to the car wash, and then he went out again for a walk. JOHN: Right, so he went out in the car but you don't know where he went. MADDY: That's it yes. JOHN: And how was he when he went out. MADDY: Fine, his usual self. JOHN: He didn't seem upset, or distracted at all? MADDY: Oh, that's a good idea, yes, he seemed depressed. JOHN: In what way? MADDY: What? JOHN: What gave you the impression that he was depressed. MADDY: He said he was going to kill himself. JOHN: I see. That is quite significant you know. MADDY: I'm sorry. I'd forgotten. JOHN: You'd forgotten that he said he was going to kill himself. MADDY: Well, what with the stress and everything. JOHN: I see. Are there any friends or relatives he might have gone to visit. MADDY: (Incredulous) You mean to help him to kill himself? JOHN: No, just anywhere that he might have gone. MADDY: Oh no. I don't think so. He was too depressed for that. JOHN: Hmm. Even so we'll need a list of names and addresses from you. Now, apart from being depressed how is his health generally? MADDY: Well, to be honest his health has taken a bit of a nose dive in the very recent past. JOHN: In what way. MADDY: (Off hand) He hasn't been looking too good since Sunday. JOHN: I'm sorry. MADDY: That's quite all right. JOHN: No, I mean I didn't hear what you said. MADDY: Oh, I was just saying he didn't seem very well on Sunday. JOHN: Did he complain of anything in particular. MADDY: Yes! He said he was having dizzy spells. JOHN: And yet he went out in the car. MADDY: They got better. JOHN: I see. Did he have any long term health problems? Something he had seen his doctor about. MADDY: Oh no. Do you know that you've started to talk about him in the past tense. JOHN: Oh, I'm really sorry. MADDY: That's quite all right. JOHN: When he went for his walk, did he have any credit cards with or forms of identity, that sort of thing? MADDY: No. Nothing. JOHN: Are you sure. MADDY: Quite sure. He didn't have a penny on him. JOHN: Was it usual for him to leave the house like that? MADDY: Well, no. But he was wearing his gardening trousers. The pockets are full of holes and he wouldn't want to lose anything. JOHN: Why was he wearing his gardening trousers? MADDY: He'd been gardening of course. JOHN: After he came back in the car, but before he went for a walk? MADDY: No. Before he went out in the car. JOHN: So, he said he was going to the car wash but he was wearing his gardening trousers and didn't have a penny on him. MADDY: Er, yes. That's how I knew he was lying. JOHN: Plus, the car is filthy. MADDY: Exactly. JOHN: Did he say where he had been when he came back? MADDY: He said he'd been to the car wash. JOHN: Which you knew was a lie. MADDY: Yes. Hey, yes, that's it. I said he was lying. We had a row and he went for a walk. JOHN: You had a row. MADDY: NO! No, no, we didn't have a row, I was going to say that he was lying but I didn't and we didn't have a row but he did go for a walk. JOHN: Are you sure? MADDY: Yes. Absolutely. JOHN: Right. Do you have a recent photograph of your husband. MADDY: Oh yes. Here. (She passes him a photograph) JOHN: Does he always look like this? MADDY: Like what? JOHN: Well, scared to be honest. MADDY snatches the photograph back. MADDY: Perhaps that one is a little too recent. Here. (She passes him an alternative photograph) JOHN: OK. We'll get this copied and circulated. Now, don't worry yourself. He has probably just holed up somewhere and will turn up in the next day or so. MADDY: Yes, he certainly is holed up somewhere. JOHN: If you could let us know immediately if he does turn up, in the meantime I'll arrange for an officer to come and search your house. MADDY: What! JOHN: This is standard procedure, nothing to worry about. There might be clues there to his disappearance that you haven't noticed. MADDY: That's what I am worried about. JOHN: So, if you could try to leave things pretty much as they are. Don't start having a big clear out. MADDY: Er, I might have already started. JOHN: If you could just sign here. This gives us consent to search your home. MADDY: No. I'd rather you didn't. JOHN: It might hamper our investigation. You do want your husband found don't you? MADDY: Um. Yes, of course. It's just that you'll need to give me a few days to destroy the.. er I mean to, to, er, get used to the idea. JOHN: As you wish. Now I can give you some leaflets for support organisations, The Missing Persons Bureau, The Samaritans, that sort of thing. MADDY: Oh, I wouldn't bother. JOHN: And you're not to fret. He is most likely to be safe and sound. In fact it wouldn't surprise me at all if you got home and found him up to his neck with things in the garden. MADDY: Or even deeper than that perhaps. Thank you.
Great fun, Muncy, but I'm a little angry with you. The dog woke me to take her out. It's very early yet, still dark. When I came back from walking her I read this excerpt and laughed myself awake! That's why I'm angry with you. There's no going back to bed. By the way, this is the exchange that really caused me to chuckle, causing my belly to shake which in turn caused my side to split which caused me to become fully awake:
JOHN: Does he always look like this?
MADDY: Like what?
JOHN: Well, scared to be honest.
(MADDY snatches the photograph back.)
MADDY: Perhaps that one is a little too recent. Here.
JOHN: I see. Are there any friends or relatives he might have gone to visit.
MADDY: (Incredulous) You mean to help him to kill himself?
I had not read edd’s comments before I read it and I, too guffawed at the same exchange.
Below, I would insert a comma after “scared” for more clarity.
JOHN: Well, scared, to be honest.
Or an ellipse
JOHN: Well...scared...to be honest.
Also this one got me laughing:
JOHN: Jim Gordon Bennett.
MADDY: His parents were so cruel.
Is Maddy possibly may giving out too many slips too early? To make us realize she DID do the deed? Or are all these purposeful with intent to mislead us and the police? I loved the line “Yes, he certainly is holed up somewhere.” And that can have many other connotations other than death! So, I am not sure, which is good.
So, it has me wondering what will happen next.
It is all very funny and bounces along quite rightly in a consistent tone.