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TROUBLE AT HOME by Penny Phillips
Offstage is heard a slap. A scream. Feet running upstairs. A boy enters the room, slams the door and leans on it, sobbing and out of breath.
I hate her. I really hate her. Why does she have to be so horrible? (Shouting downstairs.) I hate you. I'm never going to come out again… ever!
He slams the door again and stomps across to the window on the edge of the stage.
I wonder if I could get out of here. Where's the catch? Got it!
He lifts the sash window and looks out over the audience.
It's getting dark. (Looking down.) Oh, it's not too high up. I could sit on the edge of the porch. That will teach her. She'll think I've run away. She'll think I've jumped. She'll think I'm splattered on the road and a large lorry has run over me. Well, flat on the path, anyway! Hmmm. I'll need to be comfy, and something to eat… a pillow and… where did I put those little Easter eggs.
Right, here goes.
He climbs out of the window onto the edge of the stage and then side-steps along with the pillow, bag of sweets and catapult, improvising the problems and the noises.
Phew! Made it! Right… Right, I'm here. This will teach her… I'm cold… NO… No, I'm not cold… I'm not… She made me miss my tea. And my television!… I can hear it. I hate her. When she comes looking for me, I'll shoot her with my catapult. (Looking around for a missile.) What can I shoot at her? (Fumbling in his pockets.) I know, I'll use these tiny eggs: she gave them to me, she can have 'em back again! I bet they'll hurt.
He unwraps an egg and eats it.
It tastes funny. I wonder if she poisoned them… Yuk!
He spits the egg out over the edge.
I feel sick. I bet she's poisoned them. Oh no, I really do feel ill, my head's all swimmy. It's getting really dark. Maybe I'm going blind!
He sees someone coming up the garden path.
Mum! Mum!… I'm up here, above the front door. Oh, Mum, Katy's been horrid to me again. She slapped me and I hate her! She poisoned my Easter eggs.
He listens for a moment.
It was because I put super glue on the dog. The vet's in the kitchen now. Mum, I'm sorry.
JANE EYRE adapted by Jacqueline Emery
Adapted from Charlotte Bronte's famous novel, this scene shows JANE - a young orphan living in a loveless home - punished by being locked in 'the red room' in which her uncle died.
Let me out! Let me out! I won't say my prayers. I won't! I won't! I don't care if Miss Abbott is right and something bad does come down the chimney to take me away. I really wish it would, then I wouldn't have to live in this horrible house again. But… I don't think it will and I'm scared. Scared of this lonely, cold bedroom; scared of those shadows and those flickering lights. Oh. my head is aching so much after that fall! It just isn't fair to lock me away in here. If Uncle Read had been alive he would never have allowed them to be so hard and cruel to me. Oh, why did they do it? Why?
Oh! There's a light on the wall and it's moving towards me. Oh look, the shadows and the lights… they seem to be moving across the room. They're coming closer. They're closing in on me. Help! Help! Bessie! Aunt! I can't bear it any longer! Let me out! Let me out! Please open the door. Please take me out. Let me go to the nursery. I'm afraid. Let me hold your hand, Bessie. Please don't turn away from me. Oh aunt, have pity. Forgive me! I can't endure it. Let me be punished some other way.
WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND by Mary Hayley Bell
The village children are taught in their Sunday School that one day Jesus will return to the world. A criminal is on the run in the area, and 12-year-old SWALLOW finds a sick and hungry man in her father's barn whom she believes to be Jesus. In this scene in the barn she tells some of the local children about the man.
Can you keep a secret? A really big secret? You've got to hold up your hand and do the 'See this wet' routine:
See this wet, see this dry, Cut my throat if I tell a lie…
This is a great and fabulous secret known to none but those within these walls. You have to join a society to be allowed to know the secret, and all who know must swear never to divulge. Will you absolutely swear? If you ever breathe a word something ghastly will happen to you… alright… That's Jesus… We have proof. We were in here messing about. There was a sort of knock on the door and I opened it. He stood there smiling at us, and said, 'Knock on the door and it shall be opened unto you'… And I said, 'Who are you?' and he stood staring round this place, not answering at once, and then suddenly said, rather loud: 'JESUS'… just like that… His legs were all cut and his boots and socks crammed with mud and he kind of lurched. I asked Him if I should get someone and He said 'Don't tell them till I've recovered'… He's ill… too ill to talk. He's been asleep for six hours!… In the daytime!… The grown-ups may not believe… suppose they try and take Him away… after all they did last time… But we can have a gigantic meeting, we can tell them all… swear them all to secrecy. There's hundreds of children around here and every child knows other children. We can bring them a few at a time to see Him and hear His words. Little by little we can spread the news to children all over the country that the first people to know Jesus has come back will be the children. And… if the grown-ups try to take Him away again, we'll defend Him… Hundreds of us!
OPERATION ELVIS by C. P. Taylor
MALCOLM, a schoolboy, lives in a fantasy world where he thinks he is Elvis Presley, the singer. This does not go down well with his mother, her boyfriend, or the Headmaster. A crazy idea of leaving home for Elvis Presley's birthplace, Memphis Tennessee, results in MALCOLM meeting Michael, a severely handicapped boy in a wheelchair. This new relationship helps him to an awareness of his own worth. This scene comes just after the nurse in charge of Michael has told MALCOLM that he must not consider taking the boy out in a boat (although later in the play this is made possible).
Setting: Outside the hospital, in Morpeth, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Time: The present.
(to MICHAEL) Michael, I got a book on how to play the guitar so I could learn to play some of the tunes you like. (Michael ignores him.) It's called A Tune a Day. It's good, I'm going to learn to read music and everything. Alex says he's going to pay for lessons for us. (Michael still ignores him.) Will I wheel you round for a bit? (Nothing. Michael ignores him.) Look man, she's right. Don't want to get you rotten drowned. (No response.) You going to speak to us? Look if you don't speak to us I might as well go home. I came out tonight especially to tell you, Michael, man I couldn't help it I mean she's a Sister and everything.
MICHAEL deliberately with all his strength spits in MALCOLM'S face.
Filthy rotten pig! (Wiping the spittle from his face. Michael is babbling in real anger.) Rotten come here all the way to see you. (Gripping him.) Could rotten chin you, deserve it, rotten filthy dirty pig. (Shaking him.) (To AUDIENCE) Could've rotten murdered him. That temper I've got. In the end I kind of stopped myself. I let go of him and started to go off without speaking to him. Rotten hating him. (Shouting.) Rotten stupid filthy cripple. I just turned away, going off. Sock! Then I remembered I'd left the stupid brake off his stupid chair and I didn't want it to start rolling down the hill, or anything. I went back to him, and he was just sitting there, not making any noise…. But down his cheeks, two tears were going down. From his eyes. I'd never had that feeling before… looking at him, and there were two tears running down his face. (To Michael.) What's the matter, Michael? I didn't hurt you man. What you crying for man? (To AUDIENCE.) I wiped the tears off his face with my hand and two more rotten tears came. (To Michael.) Stop it man, what you crying for? Stop rotten crying! Look man, I'm sorry, it's juts my temper. Me Mam says when I lose me temper, I could kill somebody. I'm sorry. Look, she just got us all mixed up. You're still my friend aren't you man? Come on, I'm still yer friend amn't I? Look I want to go in the boat with you as much as you do, man. (Michael is calm now.) Look, listen first day it's hot, right are you listening? Well Jackie and me'll organise it. Right? Jackie's got a friend with a van. We'll go out on that lake, right? It'll be safe, I mean, you should see what Jackie's made. Lifts us right up in the air. First time we tried it, mind, landed us right on me bum. Still black and blue from that.
MICHAEL is smiling now. He is moving his arms, trying to control them, looking down at them MALCOLM takes his hand.
Right, we friends now? (Michael is smiling.) Mind, you're as bad as me, aren't you. Rotten temper you've got. (Michael is laughing with his eyes now.)
Well you can burn my house, steal my car, Drink my liquor from my old fruit jar, Do anything you want to do, but, ugh huh honey,
Lay off my shoes. Don't you step on my blue suede shoes, You can do anything but lay off my blue suede shoes.
ALTERNATIVES TO EXPLORE AND CONSIDER:
The role of KATIE in Random Thoughts in a May Garden
JEAN HOWELL: (adaptation)
The role of STATUE in The Happy Prince
The role of BOLIVER in The Enchanted Forest (can be played by male or female)
The role of DAISY in Daisy Pulls It Off
BARRY HINES & ALLAN STRONACH:
The role of BILLY CASPER in Kes
JEFFREY du CANN GRENFELL-HILL:
The role of EMMA in Emma in 1848
The role of JACK in Detention
F. GOODRICH & A. HACKETT:
The role of ANNE FRANK in The Diary of Anne Frank
SOURCES FOR MONOLOGUES:
Solo Speeches For Under 12s
Edited by Shaun McKenna
Published by Oberon Books Ltd/LAMDA ISBN: 1-84002-013-X
Scenes For Teenagers
Edited and adapted by Shaun McKenna
Published by Oberon Books Ltd/LAMDA ISBN: 1-84002-031-8
Actresses' Audition Speeches for All Ages and Accents
By Jean Marlow
Published by A & C Black - London ISBN: 0-7136-4051-0
Classics For Teenagers
Edited by Shaun McKenna
Published by Oberon Books Ltd/LAMDA ISBN: 1-84002-023-7
One On One - The Best Women's Monologues for the Nineties
Edited by Jack Temchin
Published by Applause Theatre Books ISBN: 1-55783-152-1
Solo Speeches For Men (1800 - 1914)
Edited by Shaun McKenna
Published by Oberon Books Ltd/LAMDA ISBN: 1-84002-046-6
The Methuen Audition Book For Young Actors
Preface by Jane Lapotaire. Edited by Anne Harvey
Published by Methuen Drama ISBN: 0-413-66630-1
Solo Speeches For Women (1800 - 1914)
Edited by Shaun McKenna
Published by Oberon Books Ltd/LAMDA ISBN: 1-84002-003-2