An Attempt at a West End Production

Act One, Scene One

The stage is set to a typical suburban middle class scene.  There’s a perfectly nurtured garden surrounded by rows of white picket fencing.  We watch as our main character enters his home after a long day at the office.  Jim loosens his tie as he hangs his overcoat on the hook behind the door.

Jim:   Honey, I’m home!

There is silence as Jim tosses away the working day and ventures further into his ideal home, which is furnished with your typical middle class furnishings.

Jim:   Sweetie….are you home?

The sound of silence continues to resonate through the house, excepting for the clattering of the soles of Jim’s Italian shoes on the vinyl flooring.  The kitchen door swings open with a violent creak.

Jim:   {relieved}  There you are!  Why didn’t you answer when I called?

The identity of Jim’s company is obscured by darkness (or possibly a floral arrangement?) and our view through the remainder of the scene is mostly of Jim’s back (could wardrobe please ensure that Jim’s shirt is stylish, or at the very least presentable and well-ironed for this scene?)

Jim:   {concerned}   What’s wrong?  Aren’t you talking to me?  How was your day?

{Becoming agitated}   We never talk anymore, y’know?  When was the last time I came home from work and we had a conversation?  We used to share everything.  We’d talk about our day…read the newspapers together and discuss world events.  Remember our debates on contemporary opera?  You’d argue that Sergei Rachmaninov’s composition is greater than that of Francis Poulenc…oh how foolish you are, but I love you dearly.  Talk to me…tell me what’s changed?!

Jim pauses for dramatic effect {this should give the audience time to ponder the relationship between Jim and his partner, and also to wonder what Jim was talking about in that last line.}  The silence on stage is notable and should last for at least six minutes.

Jim:   I don’t understand, Jesus I don’t understand this!  We don’t talk…in fact, you don’t seem to do anything anymore!  I go out to work every morning and I slave my ass off in that office taking shipping orders for drawing pins and I come home….to this…?  {Becoming angry}  You don’t clean around the house anymore…the place is filthy!  You used to cook the most exquisite cuisines….now, nothing!  What do you do all day?!

{The anger has become irritation mixed with annoyance and antagonism and fury, with a slight hint of indignation, umbrage and impatience.  Jim’s facial expressions will be paramount in conveying this.  Even if his back is turned to the audience, it is important that Jim’s expressions are vivid}   Do you even respect me anymore?  It doesn’t feel like you do.  I mean…I’ve bought you a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes and you don’t wear a single item of them.  I thought you’d appreciate them…give you a new look…you’re always wearing that one outfit…I thought you’d like a change.

A thought briefly enters Jim’s head.  He sighs loudly.

Jim:   Is it that I haven’t bought you a wedding ring yet?  Is that why you’re so cold with me?  I know it’s been six months…and I understand that you’re still trying to adjust to your new life here with me…but I’ll get you a ring just as soon as I can afford it.  Surely you see that my love for you is greater than material possessions though?  God darling…you are my world.

Jim gets down onto his knees before the kitchen table, where he is at eye level with his partner.  But still there is no response forthcoming from her.

Jim:   I can’t take it anymore!  I’m going to phone our analyst!

Jim storms out of the kitchen, slamming the door behind him with a shuddering crash.  The lighting should be gradually lifted to reveal the figure of Jim’s partner who is black and wooly – indeed, rather sheepish – in appearance.

Jim’s partner:   Baaaaaaaaa.

Producer’s note:  I think it’s best we keep this to a one act, one scene play.


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