28 Plays Later: Challenge 18: (House Party)

Today we had to follow a lot of rules,

1. The play has 3 talking characters and two that don’t talk. You have an option of adding one more character – but only if he delivers pizza!
2. One of the characters is magical (in whatever way you see fit) and/or one of the characters is obsessed with fish.
3. You may use a maximum of 7 pauses in the play, but 3 of them must be in the middle of a sentence.
4. One character has a total of exactly 26 lines in the play. Each line must begin with a different letter of the alphabet.
5. Every line of dialogue must have one of the following: either 4 words, 15 words, 21 words, 25 words, 47 words or 104 words (you can punctuate as you like).
6. The play will contain three scenes/acts.
7. One of the scenes involves all the characters dancing.
8. Each scene/act must have a minimum of 18 lines of dialogue, and each scene/act must contain one group action.
9. One person sings a drunken song on a table; one person spits; and one tries to commit suicide (can all be the same person)
10. One of the characters must make a life changing decision and two others realise they need to change their relationship.
I think I hit them all…

 

House Party

Samantha Frost

18th February 2017

 

 

Characters

Sally

Rueben

James

 

Denise

Max

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 1

 

The stage is set as a low-cost rental house, it is a student house. The living room is set with a TV in the corner, which is being used as a sound system for the house party that is currently raging. One old sofa is opposite the television, there is also a cheap coffee table and terrible pictures on the wall that seem to only exist in low cost rentals. Sally is stood on the coffee table singing loudly to sir mix a lot, Rueben, James, Denise and Max are all dancing. The song finishes.

Rueben:

Ahh, I am knackered! (he spits)

Sally:

Oi, No spitting inside. How many bloody times?

James:

That is grim dude!

Rueben:

Back the fuck off!

Sally:

Calm down you idiot! Sorry babe, he gets stupidly drunk and then he turns into a bit of a prick, a lot of one actually. Also, he spits, that’s a normal thing to do when your drunk, according to him.

James:

Sure, the spitting inside when your drunk thing, it’s more common than you’d think actually.

Sally looks at him confused

Sally:

You’re pulling my leg

James:

Yes, yes I am. Denise, want a drink? (Denise nods) Hang on where’s Max? He was just here.

Rueben:

Calm down, he does this sometimes, just disappears like magic, he’ll reappear shortly I’m sure.

Sally:

Yeah, he’s not wrong. I think he likes the attention of being a sneaky git, he has tried so, so many times to get the nickname, ‘Houdini’ to stick

Rueben:

Does not work, obviously

Sally:

If anything, has the opposite effect, people just call him Max to piss him off (They laugh) Thanks for coming all this way to see me honey, I was really missing you.

James:

I missed you too (he smiles, they kiss.)

Denise throws a cushion at James’ head.

James:

Thanks for that Denise

Denise mimes drinking.

Sally:

She wants a drink.

James:

Right, ok, she couldn’t have just said something to me, instead of a pillow attack?

Sally:

Her and Max are doing a 48-hour sponsored silence to raise money for the end of year film we are doing, we have to fundraise and as she never normally shuts up, this was a way to get some peace and some money (cushion hits Sally) love you really doll.

Denise sticks out her tongue and sticks up her middle finger

James:

She spoke to me earlier, wouldn’t stop actually it was slightly uncomfortable, if I’m honest.

Sally:

It started at midnight

James:

Ok, I’ll go grab that drink, (He turns around and Max is stood right behind him) Jesus Christ, Where the hell did you come from?!

Max points to the ceiling and sits down. next to Denise, they have a moment, there is tension between them.

 

James:

Ok, want a drink? (max nods) Cool I’ll go grab it.

Rueben:

Easy tiger, it is my house, my party, my booze I will grab them ok?

Sally:

Try not to leave a trail of spit, I am not cleaning it up again.

Reuben:

Fuck off. (he exits)

Sally:

See, drunken spitting prick.

James:

Yeah, I see that!

Sally:

I am going to pop to the loo, if you think you can manage to be alone with the silence twins?

James:

Rather them, than Rueben.

Sally:

Fair point, well-reasoned! Watch out for cushions! (exit)

James sits down next to Max.

James:

This is very cosy. So, like it here? (They nod) Cool, cool, cool, cool (awkward pause) Don’t really know how to have a conversation with people who can’t talk, bit weird. (awkward pause) Preferable to Rueben though! Oh, and your kissing! Ok, I am just going to go, over there by that wall because it’s interesting. (he stands up and walks to the wall)

Sally (o.s)

Everyone get up here!!

 

Fade to Black.

 

Scene Two

Bathroom. Rueben is sat on the floor, crying, his hair is wet. Denise is sat next to him, stroking his back, to try and cool him down. Everyone else is sat on the floor around him.

Sally:

Rueben, honey, everyone is here because we all want you to know that we love you and we want you around. If it ever gets this bad again that you think that is your only option, please come and talk to us, before is even better. Nothing is more important than that ,more important than how you feel, I mean it. Although I have to ask, and I’m not trying to be critical but I think, maybe this was a cry for help more than anything

Rueben:

Go away, please everybody, I don’t want you here, it is too embarrassing for me

Sally:

You tried to drown yourself, in the sink by putting your head, face down under a running tap, you didn’t even put the plug in.  Is it fair to say, you couldn’t tell us what’s wrong, so this was the only way you could think of to ask for help?

Reuben:

Honestly, I don’t know what came over me, just felt I had to do it. I guess I suddenly realised I wasn’t happy, haven’t been for a long time, really. Just hit me, I’ve been feeling really low and drinking to make myself feel better. Killing myself to escape from it all seemed like the only thing I could do.

James:

I understand, at least to a certain degree, I mean, I’m not you, so I can’t understand fully but I had a rough patch a couple of years ago, and I wanted it to be over, Sally and actually met because of it, I was on my way to therapy and she was on her way out. What I’m trying to say is that life has a way of testing you but it does get better, if you admit the problem and get help, if it wasn’t for that rough patch, I would have never met her it gets better, please believe me mate.

Rueben:

Life has felt impossible. My dad died last year, right before I started uni, he was my best friend. Now I’m alone.

Sally:

No babe, you’re not. You have got us. Me, Denise, Max. (Max has vanished, they look around, Denise sees his feet and points) Max, we can see your feet, now get from behind the curtains, you bloody idiot. This isn’t the time!

Max comes out, looking embarrassed.

Sally:

As I was saying, we are all here for you, if you need us, ok?

Rueben:

Ok, I appreciate it.

James:

I am really, really sorry to hear about your dad Rueben, what was he like?

Rueben:

Personally, and I know I may be biased here, but he was the greatest dad we always used to do fun stuff together, like baking. Quiche was our favourite.

Sally:

Really, you liked baking?! I don’t think I have ever seen you cook, or actually be in the kitchen

Rueben.

Really couldn’t bring myself to anymore, it just hurt too much, reminded me of him.

James:

That is completely understandable. I know we only met today, so I don’t know you but would you mind if I gave you some advice?

Rueben:

Sure, I’d like that.

James:

Take a year out and deal with your grief, you can’t go on drinking your problems away, you are only going to create new ones. Take the time for yourself and figure it all out, without the pressure of uni. You clearly loved your dad so much and from what you have said it sounds like he felt the same way. I don’t think he would really want you to throw your life away for him.

Sally:

I think that’s really good advice, go home to your mum, or you could travel. I’ll help you with the admin stuff for uni and I’m sure they would be happy to let you take the year, under the circumstances.

Rueben:

To be honest with you, that’s what I’ve wanted to do since I came here.

Sally:

Right that settles it! On Monday, we will go in together and get your place deferred for a year. I’m sorry if we have been in any way adding to the stress of your situation, I am also sorry I called you prick tonight.

Rueben:

Understandable, I was being prick and I have been being one for a while, sorry.

James:

Let’s get you dry. Max, can you go with Rueben please and help him, make sure he is ok? (Max nods, he helps Rueben up and they exit)

Sally:

Jesus, I feel awful! I had no idea.

James:

He’ll be ok, it’s going to take some time for him to heal but we are proof it can be done.

Denise starts pulling on Sally’s arm, Sally turns around and see’s Denise has a massive smile on her face.

Sally:

Denise, this isn’t funny. (She shakes her head) So why do you look like you won the lottery when you should be concerned (Denise runs behind the curtains.)  Do you mean Max? (She jumps down and does a kissing face.

James:

Oh, are you trying to tell her you and max kissed earlier on the sofa? (she nods)

Sally:

What, when, were, how?  That is just amazing! (they hug and do a little jump up and down)

James:

A little context please?

Sally:

They have had a crush on each other since they met but Denise talks way too much when she gets nervous. And Max likes to disappear when he’s feeling stressed, or he is drunk, or awake. (To Denise) Yay, silence and alcohol!

James:

Ok, slightly strange and a little confusing but ok, seems to be on par with this party, congratulations Denise, I’m happy for you and Max

Sally:

Right its now six in the morning, there has to be a diner open somewhere. Let’s go check on Rueben, then take him out for breakfast, I think he could do with a little bacon fat.

James:

Agreed, bacon solves all.

Black out

 

Scene 3

The stage is now set for Rueben’s room. He is changed and drying his hair with a towel. There is a knock on the door.

 

Sally:

We’re coming in honey.

James:

How are you feeling?

Rueben:

Very stupid and embarrassed

Sally:

You are not stupid. You are dealing with a lot, we thought we could take you out for breakfast, get some bacon in you and help you figure out the logistics, or just be stupid, or whatever you want, if you want to of course, we can do anything you like.

Rueben:

(He smiles) Waffles?

Sally:

There will definitely be waffles involved, it’s not breakfast without waffles, just not the diner on the corner, the owner keeps trying to arrange a marriage between me and her son, she gets more and more insistent every time she sees me, it’s getting uncomfortable for me,

Rueben:

Xenophobe thy name’s Sally

Sally:

(laughing) There’s the Rueben I know, come on let’s go and get some guilt free food. Oh God, where’s Max?

James:

Denise is gone too. She was just here.

Sally:

Oh, hang on, look, (she points at the wardrobe) I think they are seven seconding it in the bloody wardrobe. Guys, we are all happy for you but for god’s sake, have a little tact!

Rueben:

Yeah, don’t know if you heard, some prick tried to kill himself at the party!

They come out of the wardrobe looking sheepish, everybody bursts out laughing, they join in.

James:

You know I hear that when you are upset, food actually stops contains any calories. That is a fact, science told me, zero calories, none at all, honestly its true.

Rueben:

Zero calorie comfort food, it is, I’m not one to argue with proven scientific facts.

Sally:

You’re going to come out the other side of this, you need to know that. Right now, though all you need to think about are waffles, and toppings of course

James:

Ok, team wafflers assemble!

They all laugh, Sally gives Rueben a big hug, they exit.

End

 

 


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