Lizards – Megan Mostyn-Brown

Originally produced at the University of Minnesota’s Guthrie Theatre on April 11, 2007.

 

Original Cast:

Victor Ricardo Vazquez
Jesse John Skelley
Phoebe Valeri Mudek
Ronnie Amanda Fuller
Sebastian Jake Ford
Mallory Caroline Cooney

 

Director:  Josh Hecht

 

Phoebe:  23, married, Valium addict, lost
Jesse:  23, Phoebe’s husband, passive aggressive, a fixer
Mallory:  26, shy, nervous, making a big change
Sebastian:  25, laid back, pothead, thinks he’s a loser
Ronnie:  25, Punk, sassy, former Jersey girl, in love with Sebastian
Victor:  28, nervous, sweet, making a big change

 

Publication:  Mostyn-Brown, Megan. Lizards. New York:  Samuel French, 2007. Drama Library Stacks PS3613. O788 L59 2007.

 

Setting:  Various locations in New York City and the Bronx

Language:  Contemporary

RONNIE

Yes but I don’t have a fancy pants art history degree. In fact I don’t have a degree at all. And for the record, nobody expected anything more from me than managing the Sunglass Hut at the Short Hills Mall. So really my situation is a big step up for my lack of education and trashy Jersey background.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   Phoebe was saved from a near-drowning by an acquaintance and has spiraled into a drug-aided depression, turning away from her husband Jesse and towards her rescuer Sebastian.  Victor loses his job as a science teacher and meets Mallory who has been contemplating taking a trip to Rio. Sebastian has broken up with his girlfriend and is unaware that his friend Ronnie suffers from an unrequited love for him. They all teeter on the brink of change, uncertain of the path they must take to find happiness and fulfillment. Will they, like some lizards, adapt to their surroundings? break off a symbolic tail to escape? or regenerate a lost limb in order to survive?

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.7-9:  Victor deals with his rowdy class, giving a talk on reptiles.  He discovers at the end of the lesson that the class gecko Jimmy is dead.  Starts with

VICTOR

Okay…okay settle down… I said settle down… yes Shanikwa I know it is hot I opened the windows that’s the best I can do… now everyone take out your notebooks and a pencil… Daytwon put away your makers and take out a pencil… a pencil Daytwon not a pen… thank you… now today we are going to continue our lesson on lizards… Yesterday we learned that lizards are what? Anyone? Anyone?

and ends with

VICTOR

Yes Stasia the Komodo dragon may attack people but there are none of them in the Bronx so you have nothing to worry about…now where was I? I don’t remember and we only have five minutes left so I’ll leave you with this lizards regenerate…

[lines cut]

Uggh…just…just draw in your notebooks until the music teacher arrives or something…Fredrick bring me Jimmy…no Jimmy the gecko…it’s time to feed him…he’s not what? He’s not moving?

p.31-32:  Sebastian visits Phoebe at her job at Whole Foods.  She asks him to tell her the story of how he saved her from drowning.  Starts with

SEBASTIAN

Okay… ummm… It was cloudy so there was barely anyone at the beach. In fact we were going to go to Atlantic City instead but Ronnie really wanted to swim and it wasn’t training so we drove to Sea Isle. We stopped at that liquor store off the Parkway with that guy who looked like he was in ZZ Top. And when we got to the beach Victor mixed cocktails. [lines cut] Ronnie and Jesse stood up. And then I ran in. Swam and grabbed you from behind pulling you off of Victor. Holding you. The lifeguard was there too by that time. He gave you a paddle board and the four of us swam to shore. I helped you to the blanket while Victor threw up salt water and gin. Ronnie started crying and Jesse held you.

p.44-45:  Jesse confesses his fears about his wife Phoebe and talks about their honeymoon to Loch Ness.  Starts with

JESSE

She’s disappeared…not literally… I mean she’s still at home… a human being sitting there… but she’s gone… the Phoebe I knew is gone… inside I guess… I mean I look at her… into her fuckin’ eyes and there’s nothing there… I mean there’s something there but nothing I recognize… and I keep thinking about our honeymoon… [lines cut] anyway I guess I just keep hoping that happens with Phoebe, cuz she’s lost… and I can’t seem to find her there… in all that denseness beneath her eyes… and I hope whatever it is comes to the surface… I just want her to come to the surface…

p.46-47:  Sebastian calls his ex-girlfriend on the phone. Starts with

SEBASTIAN

Hey Sheryl… it’s me Sebastian… I know… I know you told me not to call you… which is probably why you’re not picking up… or maybe you’re not home… but I’d like to think that you are there sitting on your pink couch listening to this- Dammit.

[lines cut]

Me again… I think you’re answering machine is fucked- anyway what I want you to know is that I saved this this girl at the beach a few months ago… She was drowning and I swam out and I saved her… [lines cut] I’m not just a waste of space… and I just want you to think about that because I don’t think Phil the party promoter or whatever his fucking name is woulda done something like I did… cool… ummm call me back… Bye….

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.15-17: Mallory visits a travel agency to book a trip to Rio. Jesse tries to talk her out of buying a one-way ticket. Starts with

JESSE

Hello Ms. Daniels. I’m Jesse.

and ends with

MALLORY

Yeah.

p.31-35: Phoebe and Sebastian have been meeting to talk. During one of their talks, Phoebe asks Sebastian to tell her the story of how he saved her from drowning. After he tells her the story, Phoebe realizes that her husband didn’t try to save her from drowning but Sebastian did.  In her desperation, she decides to make a play for him. He tries to convince her that she has good things in her life and, in the end, rejects her.  Starts with

PHOEBE

(As if realizing it for the first time.) But he didn’t jump in.

and ends with

SEBASTIAN

Fuck me.

p.57-60: Phoebe and Jesse argue and festering resentments surface. Phoebe reveals her resentment of Jesse because he was always there when she wanted to do things on her own. She tells Jesse that she wants to end things between them. Then, despite that, she seems surprised when he tells her to go. Starts with

PHOEBE

I don’t want this anymore.

and ends with

JESSE

Try swimming. You seem to have luck figuring your life out there.

The Secret Lives of Losers – Megan Mostyn-Brown

 

Originally produced as part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s “Festival of N.O.W.” on February 10, 2006.

Original Cast:

Neely Anna Safer
Ale TJ Chasteen
Sylvia Angela Cristantello
DJ Patrick Du Laney
Nelson Jason Reynolds


Director
:  Meredith McDonough

 

Neely:  19, works at Amoco, sarcastic, lost
Alex:  19, small time drug dealer, Neely’s best friend
Sylvia:  19, overly friendly, small town girl, Alex’s new interest
DJ:  29, copy from Chicago, overweight
Nelson:  15-17, Neely’s brother, crystal meth addict, sweet but out of control
Sophia:  Alex’s baby, should be a doll in a car seat
Jessica:  Alex’s ex-girlfriend, voiceover

 

Publication:  Mostyn-Brown, Megan. The Secret Lives of Losers. New York:  Samuel French, 2007. Drama Library Stacks PS3613. O788 S4 2007.

 

Setting:  Small town Illinois, the present

Language:  Contemporary

NEELY

And Jessica’s cousin, the lesbo, she fucked Alex Scarandado, the guy with the cleft chin who was on the wrestling team, in the parking lot at 31 Flavors on Saturday and now she’s questioning her sexuality once again.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   Neely is a 19-year-old high school graduate who works at an Amoco gas station and takes care of her younger brother Nelson–a crystal meth addict who loves “Wheel of Fortune”–now that their mother has left to find herself in exotic lands.  Neely’s best friend is Alex, a small town drug addict taking care of a baby he does not want while waiting for the baby’s mama to return from college; he can’t admit to himself that she has abandoned her baby and him. Into Neely’s dead-end world comes DJ, a cop from Chicago, escaping heartbreak in his past, to challenge her to do something about her future.  The characters in the play are, as the title suggests, losers, people left behind while everyone else goes to college or joins the military or does something to get out of their particular nowheresville.  If you’re looking for an uplifting, satisfying ending, this play doesn’t provide it.  Sometimes people are so damaged they can only make incremental changes, and those changes aren’t necessarily positive.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.70-71:  Neely confesses to DJ why she began stealing things.  You can cut DJ’s lines to create the monologue.  Starts with

NEELY

Okay so ummm… Right after my mom left Mrs. Finklestein baked us a ziti… She’s one of the neighborhood ladies without husbands or children who does that, bakes for us because we have a bad situation and I thank her fer the ziti and she smiles at me like I know she’s gonna go to her Stitch n’ Bitch meeting the next day and talk about how sad we are and she turns her back and I took it.

and ends with

NEELY

No, You know, I always felt like- Naw I- I always hoped that when I died they’d open my closet and everyone’d find all their lost shit and this flood of great memories will wash over them as they remember how special these things were to them and in the midst of it they’d umm… think of me and what they have and not what I don’t have.

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.12-15: Neely confronts Nelson about taking off from school and gets him to promise not to cut back on the crystal meth and stay the entire day in school. He’s watching “Wheel of Fortune”. Starts with

NELSON

(To the television.) Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit you are such a fuckin’ dumbass Dave from Utah you shoulda guessed fuckin’ “P”…

and ends with

NELSON

Yeah, yeah promise with a big “P”. No trouble. Later. Later skater.

p.31-33: DJ and Neely go to the park after having dinner on their first date. DJ gives her a crayfish in a terrarium as a gift because he says it reminded him of her. Starts with

NEELY

Thanks fer the meal.

and ends with

DJ

Thanks.

p.66-68: Neely has lost her job at the gas station for stealing. Nelson has gotten the closet open where she hid all the things she’s stolen from neighbors. She goes up on Alex’s roof to think. She and Alex talk and she confesses that she had always thought they’d end up together. Alex shuts her down using his baby and Jessica, the baby’s mama, as an excuse and Neely strikes back. At the end of the scene Alex hears Jessica on the answering machine and goes into the house. Neely takes Sophie and leaves. Starts with

NEELY

Do you even love Sophie?

and ends with

ALEX

She apologized Neely. I told you. She said she’s comin’ tomorrow if she doesn’t have to work on a project- but I feel like tomorrow’s gonna be the day- (Realizes he is alone.) Neely!

 

The Bad Guys – Alena Smith

badguys

First performed on June 6, 2012 by the Second Stage Theatre.

Original Cast:

Noah—a filmmaker (31/32)                           James McMenamin
Paul—a bartender (23)                                 Raviv Ullman
Fink—a banker (31/32)                                 Michael Braun
Jesse—a drug dealer (31/32)                      Tobias Segal
Whit—a Marine (31/32)                                 Roe Hartrampf

Director:  Hal Brooks
Set Design:  Jason Simms
Costume Design:  Jessica Pabst
Lighting Design:  Seth Reiser
Sound Design:  Ryan Rumery
Stage Manager:  Kyle Gates

Publication:  Smith, Alena. The Bad Guys. Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 2013. Drama Library Stacks PS3619. M537 B33 2013.

 

Setting:  A brick patio and the surrounding lawn outside a large house in upstate New York.  One afternoon in September.

Language:  Contemporary

FINK

(furious) He’s an ignorant Podunk tweaker with A.D.D.!

Genre/Style:  Serio-comedic

Plot:   Noah has directed an independent film exposing childhood secrets his friends and family would rather leave buried.  On the eve of his escape to LA, Noah, his stepbrother, and two childhood friends wrestle with betrayals old and new.  The play explores the meaning of and the bonds—and limits—of male friendship.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.21-22:  Jesse blows up over the losses his family has sustained due to the bursting of the housing bubble and rails against the government bailout of big banks.

JESSE    

Fuck society. I’m talkin’ about my family. You know Fink was the one who kept telling my dad to build those shitty spec houses! Oh, everyone’s doing it. Easy money. Get in the game, Glen. ‘Cause houses aren’t for living in anymore. They’re for flippin! Like burgers. But then the big burger bubble blows up. [Lines cut] An appetizer—no, an appeteaser. That’s what they call it at Applebee’s, right? And you know what they call it at KFC. (Beat.) A Double Down. Yup. That’s what we did here, America. We just doubled the fuck down on this bullshit.

p.35:  Whit recounts losing his best friend, a fellow Marine, in the Iraqi war.

WHIT

He was my best friend. Kid from Concord, Mass.—on his third tour—supposed to go home in a month—and then he got shot. And he died. And when he died, I died too. (Beat.) And then I realized—things are different when you’re dead. Things don’t hurt as much. [Lines cut] So, you know—if you want to ask me whether this is a good war—I honestly gotta tell you, I don’t know. But for me, while I was out there—that didn’t matter. What mattered was that I was doing my job. Being a good Marine, taking care of my guys. What mattered was that I was strong. So for me—this was a good war. And that’s about all I can say on the subject.

 

 

Representative Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

p. 9-11:  Noah explains to Paul that he made his movie so that he could forget about the past and escape from his childhood home.  Starts with

NOAH

(Grudging.) Okay, fine. We can have one beer. But then we have to get out of here. If my mother comes back, she’ll go into hysterics again. I don’t’ know how that woman is going to survive without me.

and ends with

NOAH

Yeah, I’m working on losing them.

p.25-27:  Fink explains that he and his friend Ash are soulmates and how Noah betrayed their friendship by snitching on Ash back when they were kids.  Fink doesn’t realize that Noah’s movie is about that very incident; Paul tries to keep it from him.   Starts with

PAUL

[Right.] (Beat.) How come nobody ever found out Ash was there?

and ends with

FINK

(Laughing.) So ridiculous! No—but I like that. Loyalty. That’s good.

 

 

Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

Isherwood, C. (2012, June 7). Boys being boys, with beers and guns. The New York Times, pp. 6.

Stasio, M. (2012, June 6). The bad guys. Daily Variety, pp. 3.

Vincetelli, E.  (2012, June 5). Unexpectedly wise ‘guys’. The New York Post, pp. 32.

 

Kurt & Sid – Roy Smiles

kurtandsid

First performed at the Trafalgar Studios by Surefire Theatrical Ltd., on September 9, 2009.

Original Cast:

Sid Vicious                             Danny Dyer
Kurt Cobain  
                        Shaun Evans

Director:  Tim Stark
Designer:  Cordelia Shisholm
Lighting Designer:
  Mark Doubleday
Sound Designer:  Mark Dunne
Stage Manager:
  Charlotte Padgham

Publication:  Smiles, Roy. Kurt & Sid. Oberon Modern Plays, 2009. Drama Library PR6119. M55 K87 2009.

Setting:  An attic extension, Seattle, Washington, 1994.

Language:  Contemporary. Some British slang.

KURT

I always wanted a tie-dye shirt, made from the blood of Jerry Garcia.

Genre/Style:  Serio-comedy

Plot:   The Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious, who died fifteen years before in 1979, visits Kurt Cobain, who is contemplating suicide.  Vicious may be a ghost or he may be a figment of Cobain’s imagination.  As the Nirvana frontman’s suicide is historical fact, the play deals less with “will he or won’t he” and more with “why;” although, in the end, Kurt takes his reasons with him to the grave.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.19: Sid explains why he hates England. Kurt’s lines can be cut.

SID

It’s always been Tosser Central to me:  England, a mean little country full of mean little men sitting in mean little pubs saying mean little things. The Pistols tried to blow all that way.  [Lines cut] But it’s all about trying, isn’t it?

[KURT

Oh yeah.]

SID

I’ve never got used to the pettiness of being English. Know why the Sex Pistols rose to infamy? It wasn’t their songs of anarchy and destruction. [Lines cut] No, know what it was?

[KURT

Surprise me.]

SID

They swore on prime time television; they used the ‘f’ word. A word you could hear daily in a thousand infant school playgrounds. [Lines cut] Can you think of anything more relentlessly trivial?

[KURT

Not off-hand.]

SID

For the past twenty years one of the highest rated programmes on British television is a show where a dog rounds up sheep and they time the little fucker. Twenty years; different dog, same sheep; what kind of country watches shit like that for twenty years? Easy:  mine.

p.43-44:  Sid recounts the litany of rock star deaths.

SID

Every time; this whole rock and roll casualty crap is absurd don’t you think? Particularly for a young man of your intelligence; look at your predecessors. Buddy Holly? Only died in a plane crash because he wanted to do his laundry, that’s why he hopped a flight in a rainstorm. [Lines cut] Jim Morrison? Passed out and suffocated in the tub after drinking Paris dry of Jack Daniels. What made Milwaukee famous made a bloated corpse out of him. Janis ‘pug ugly’ Joplin only died of smack ’cause she’d been laying off it. She misjudged the dosage.

p. 47:  Kurt talks about how he used to pretend to be gay just to piss people off. Sid’s line can be cut.  

KURT

I really fought against all that macho crap. Once I was arrested for spraying ‘God is Gay’ and ‘Homo Sex Rules’ on cars. I was given a thirty-day suspended sentence; my family never lived it down. [Lines cut] He looked like Brezhnev. He got colon cancer. He deserved it.

[SID

Mr. Compassion.]

KURT

He should have died sooner, as far as I’m concerned death is just a pit stop for the afterlife. It’s really selfish to live to ninety years old unless you have something to offer, you’ve got to live on the edge.

p.56:  Sid tries to convince Kurt of the value in living. Kurt’s line and part of Sid’s can be cut.

SID

Your music’s like a collective howl for the dispossessed. for those who know that life shouldn’t come out of cash-point machines, but who don’t know what else there is. Only that everything stinks, TV stinks, politics stinks, organized religion stinks; but there has to be something.   [Lines cut] Find the answer, find the question:  live.

[KURT

‘Fade away don’t burn out’?

SID

Forget that fucking song, not even the bloke who wrote it believes it.] This is not a romantic end. There’s no romance in what you’re doing. [Lines cut] Your head will explode like an over-ripe melon. Live, maybe be unhappy but there’s worse things.

p.69:  Sid makes a last ditch effort to save Kurt. This is a really long monologue that can be cut.

SID

Look—I wish I could tell you it’s a beautiful world but it’s not. You want me to believe in all things bright and beautiful? I can’t. Like I said I don’t believe in any of it. Sunsets, just some shit you can’t touch over there; flowers, get in the way of the pavement; the birds in the sky, winged wankers that crap on my shoulder.  [Lines cut] Live and get to other people. Fight. Fight the good fight. Tear it down—whatever ‘it’ is. Fight the jocks and the cheerleaders and the vacuous and the dull; show them there’s more than the drab, grey limits to their tedious imaginations:  please.

Kurt says nothing.

You can’t hear me, can you?

 

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.18-21:  Sid and Kurt bitch about their respective countries.  Sid’s last line can be cut. Starts with

SID

Maybe this is the Hotel California, you can check in but you can never leave.

and ends with

SID

Good question; looks like they’ve gone down the crapper.

[Sid glances out of the window.

Put me out of my misery, where am I? Bromley this ain’t.]

p.35-37:  Sid reads Kurt’s suicide note and challenges him.  Starts with

SID

You’ve signed it with your surname.

and ends with

KURT

(Sneer.) And I thought that was you.

p.48-50:  Sid forces Kurt to talk about his daughter and how he’s abandoning her; scene ends with Kurt shooting Sid. Part of Sid’s first line can be cut.  Starts with

SID

[Good. (Beat.)] So let’s discuss the girl.

and ends with

SID

(In darkness.) You bastard.

p.54-57:  Sid gives Kurt ten reasons to live.  Starts with

KURT

Who cares what you look like when you’re dead?

and ends with

KURT

                (Johnny Rotten voice.)  Ever get the feeling you’ve been conned?

 

 

Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism(Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

(2009, September 22). Sid vicious’s second chance. The Daily Telegraph.

Coveney, Michael. (2009, September 15). Kurt & sid. [open access] What’s On Stage.

Gardner, Lyn. (2009, September 16). Kurt and sid. [open access] The Guardian.

Koenig, Rhoda. (2009, September 16). Kurt and sid, trafalgar studios, london. Independent Extra.

Marlowe, Sam.  (2009, September 16). Kurt & sid; arts first night theatre. The Times.

Sweeting, Adam. (2009, September 15). Kurt & sid. [open access]. The Arts Desk.

Rx – Kate Fodor

rx

Received its world premiere at 59E59 Theater in New York City on February 7, 2012.

Original Cast:

Meena Pierotti                                                  Marin Hinkle
Phil Gray                                                            Stephen Kunken
Allison                                                                 Elizabeth Rich
Simon                                                                 Michael Bakkensen
Frances                                                              Marylouise Burke
Richard/Ed                                                         Paul Niebanck

Director:  Ethan McSweeny
Set Design:  Lee Savage
Costume Design:  Andrea Lauer
Lighting Design:  Matthew Richards
Music and Sound Design:
  Lindsay Jones
Stage Manager:  Jennifer Rae Moore

Meena Pierotti:  Managing Editor, Piggeries, American Cattle & Swine Magazine
Phil Gray:  Schmidt Pharma researcher
Allison Hardy:  Phil’s boss
Simon:  Meena’s boss
Frances:  A widow in need of new underwear
Richard:
  Marketing executive
Ed:
  Schmidt Pharma researcher

Publication:  Fodor, Kate. Rx. Dramatists Play Service, 2012. Drama Library PS3606. O36 R8 2012.

Setting:  A Midwestern city; the present

Language:  Contemporary

ALLISON

You know how I know that people don’t hate their jobs because of corporate crap? Because I have been through every piece of corporate crap there is. I could pull a mile of red tape out of my ass and use it to tie a bow around all the forms I have to fill out today, but I love my job, Phil. And that’s just in my blood—

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:  The Managing Editor, Piggeries, of American Cattle & Swine Magazine signs up for the clinical trial of a drug to treat workplace depression.  A funny and pointed stab at Big Pharmacy and our drug-dependent culture and its quest for happiness in the form of a pill.  And, surprise, surprise, this play actually made me laugh out loud.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p. 10:  Allison addresses the annual Schmidt Pharma stockholders meeting.  

ALLISON

Wow, great presentation. Thanks, Carl. It’s always good to hear about what’s going on in the Cardiology Business Unit. They’ve got a lot of heart over there. For those of you who haven’t heard me speak at a shareholders’ meeting before, I’m Allison Hardy, MBA, team leader of the Neurology Business Unit here at Schmidt Pharma. [Lines cut] I assure you that Intend to personally see to it that all goes well. Now ask me some questions so I can stay up here a little longer. I love it up here.

p. 25:  Phil tells Meena he had a dream inspired by reading her published prose poem on feet.

PHIL

Actually, I had a dream after I read it. I was back in Chicago, in the emergency room at Hartnett Hospital, which is where I did my internship. And I walked out into the waiting area and I looked at all the people.  [Lines cut] But in this dream I was back at Hartnett and the waiting room was really crowded, and everyone in there was barefoot. Like in your prose poem. And somehow seeing their feet, it made me feel some compassion again. It made me want to be of service to them.

p.40-41:  Allison explains why they’re pulling the plug on a heartbreak pill study and how they’re already planning the long-term revenue stream for the workplace depression pill.

ALLISON

Anyway, they’re going to pull the plug on that study and I’ll tell you why: because there’s no long-term revenue stream. Ed Morgan has no foresight. [Lines cut] Oh my God, Phil, are you crying? Stop. Who broke your heart? I’ll wring her neck. Aw, Phil. C’mere. Buck up. (Allison gives Phil a hug with a few good slaps on the back. She notices the vial in his hand.) What’s that?

 

Representative Scenes:  

p. 13-14:  Allison explains to Phil why he can’t take his document hutch (shelf) off his work module (desk).  Starts with

ALLISON

Hey! Phil!

and ends with

ALLISON

I took it off. (She shrugs.) I’m management. My life isn’t easy, Phil, but it really has its satisfactions.

p. 42-44:  Ed accidentally gives Phil a potentially fatal drug they’re developing to cure heartbreak.  Starts with

ED

I’m late.

and ends with

ED

I’m going to call an ambulance. I think that’s the right thing to do.

p.46-48:  Allison tells Phil that the company is pulling the plug on the workplace depression drug and that he’s fired.  Starts with

ALLISON

Oh look. You didn’t die.

and ends with

PHIL

              OK.

 

Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

DZIEMIANOWICZ, J. (2012, Feb 08). Looking for a fix: Two atires send up pill-popping & beauty-chopping. New York Daily News.

Feingold, M. (2012, Feb 15). Rx: A prescription for laughter. [open access] The Village Voice.

Isherwood, C. (2012, Feb 08). Dr. feelgood isn’t feeling quite like himself. New York Times.

Vincentelli, E. (2012, Feb 09). Just what doctor ordered. New York Post.

Mercury Fur – Philip Ridley

First produced at the Drum Theatre, Plymouth, England, February 10, 2005; transferred to the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, on March 2, 2005.

Original Cast:

Elliot (19 year-old man with a bad knee)                 Ben Whishaw
Darren (16 year-old boy; a little slow)                      Robert Boulter
Naz (young looking 15 year-old boy)                        Shan Zaza
Party Piece (10 year-old boy)                                  Neet Mohan                                                                                     (Plymouth)
Party Piece (10 year-old boy)                                  Prem and Previ Gami (London)
Lola (19 year-old boy who lives as a girl)                Harry Kent
Spinx (21 year-old man)                                          Fraser Ayres
Duchess (38 years-old woman and blind)              Sophia Stanton
Party Guest (23 year-old man)                               Dominic Hall

Director:  John Tiffany
Designer:  Laura Hopkins
Lighting:  Natasha Chivers
Original Music and Sound:  Nick Powell
Fight Director:  Terry King


Publicatio
n:  in Ridley, Phillip. Plays, v. 2. Methuan Drama. 1997. p.71-202.  Drama Library, PR6068. I292 A6 1997 v.2
ridley


Setting: 
A derelict flat in a derelict council estate in the East End of London, after a biological plague has devastated England; a future gone horribly awry

Language:  Poetic but profane

ELLIOT

You’ve been acting like a kitten after a twirl in the microwave all afternoon and this microwave feline behaviour is eating up time faster than a peckish piranha on a freshly aborted foetus. Do I make myself cunting clear?

Genre/Style:  Serio-comedic and very, very dark in the vein of Martin McDonagh’s work.  If you like The Lieutenant of Inishmaan or A Behanding in Spokane, or Blasted by Sarah Kane, you’ll like this play–I love all of those (plus Pillowman) and I love this play.  Warning:  graphic violence and disturbing imagery; Farber and Farber refused to publish it when it was first produced, if that gives you any indication of its effect.

Plot:  Two brothers, Elliot and Darren, are getting ready to put on a party for a mysterious guest.


Representative Monologues:  
(Monologues contain the first few lines and the last few lines; please consult the published text for the monologue in its entirety.)

p.86-87:  Elliot talks about murdering his younger brother, Darren, in a bathtub full of acid, because he’s annoyed by Darren who has eaten a butterfly (which acts like a drug) and is dragging him down as they prepare for a ‘party’. 

ELLIOTT

Know what I’m gonna do? One night, I’m gonna fill the fucking bath with sulphuric acid. I’m gonna say, ‘Fuck me, you’re a bit whiffy tonight, brov. Why don’t you give ya bollocks a good soak.’ And you’ll jump in the tub and—oh, ya might think ‘Ooo, this is a bit hot,’  but, like the bloody remedial shit for brains you are, you’ll happily lay back for a soapy wank or something. [Lines deleted] You’ll cause the poor cunt so much fucking grief it’ll deliberately beach itself. Do-gooders’ll come rushing down to save it and the whale will say, ‘Fuck off! I’m better off dead! I’ve got Darren inside me like a million miles of Paki afterbirth!’ Jesus!

p.88:  Darren reminisces about watching The Sound of Music with his Mom and Dad and Elliott and eating pizza in the days before the disaster.  Elliot’s line can be deleted.

DARREN

Know what I liked the best? Watching telly late at night. That musical Mum and Dad liked.  The mountains and all those kids going, ‘Do, re, mi.’ Running up and down mountains and going, ‘Do, re, mi.’ Remember that, Ell?  [Lines deleted] Dad made sure each part had the same number of sausage bits so we wouldn’t argue. That’s right, ain’t it, Ell?

[ELLIOT

Yeah, that’s right.]

DARREN

We’d eat it with our hands. Really greasy. Mum would say, ‘Don’t wipe your hands on the sofa.’ Mum gave us a tea towel each. I loved the way the whole room was lit by just the light of the telly. [Lines deleted] And Mum on this side and Dad on that and—Where’re you, Ell?

p.109:  Naz recounts how his mom and little sister were killed in a supermarket by a gang with machetes.

NAZ

Yeah! Mum grabs me by the hair. Mum pulls Stace by the hand. We try to get out through the back of the supermarket. But some of the gang are already there. We rung back down the aisles. I slip in something. It’s red. Blood. There’s blood pouring from under the shelves. I look through the packets of cornflakes. I see a machete goin’ up and down. And someone’s hand goin’ up and down. Then no hand. Then no machete. But more blood. [Lines deleted] They all drink Coke. They fuck Stace and they drink Coke. I think Stace must be dead now. She ain’t moving. I get right to the back of the shelf. I stay there for ages.

Slight pause.

Is the ice-cream van and stuff yours?


Representative Scenes:

p.88-91:  Darren and Elliot pretend to be an outlaw in a shootout with a lawman. Starts with

DARREN

Bang!

Slight pause.

Bang!

and ends with

DARREN

I love you so much I could burst into flames.

p.96-98:  Naz appears and he and Darren get to know each other. Starts with

NAZ

Wotchya.

and ends with

NAZ

Cut me neck right now, me blood’ll spurt right across the room, I reckon.

p.115-117:  Darren tells Naz how he got a dent in his head. Starts with

NAZ

That’s horny.

and ends with

DARREN

I remember…Mum was hurt. She’s been hit with a hammer too. She’s on the floor and she ain’t moving. I drag myself over to her. I put my hand on her chest. I can feel her heart beating. I think, She’s alive. So long as I can feel that heart beating…everything is okay. I’m safe.


Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism:
(Note:  article title links are to the online versions, mostly UW-only restricted unless designated as open access.)

Bassett, K. (2005). Mercury Fur. Theatre Record, 25(5), 281-282. (Review of the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Mercury Fur)

Chappell, H. (2005). State of Confusion. New Statesman, 134(4732), 42. (Review of the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Mercury Fur)

Gardner, L. (2010). Guardian. Theatre Record, 30(4), 180. (Review of London revival at Picton Place)

Gross, J. (2005). Mercury Fur. Theatre Record, 25(5), 280-281. (Review of the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Mercury Fur

Harpin, A. (2011). Intolerable Acts. Performance Research, 16(1), 102-111.

Jette, D.  (2009). Mercury Fur at Imaged Life.  LA Theatre Review. [open access] (Review of LA production at Imaged Life Theater)

Logan, B. (2005). Mercury Fur. Theatre Record, 25(5), 279-280. (Review of London production at the Menier Chocolate Factory)

Lukowski, A. (2010). Time Out London. Theatre Record, 30(4), 180. (Review of London revival at Picton Place)

Malone, R. (2005). Mercury Fur. Stage, (6463), 12. [open access] (Review of original production at the Drum Theater in Plymouth)

Marchese, E. (2007). Mercury Fur Back Stage West, 14(11), 14. (Review of Rude Guerilla Company in Santa Ana, California)

Margolies, D. (2009). Mercury Fur. Back Stage (19305966), 50(24), 23-24. (Review of LA production at Imaged Life Theater)

More on Previous Productions. (2012). Theatre Record, 32(8), 429-430. (Review of London production at Trafalgar Studios)

Ridley, P., & Sierz, A. (2009). ‘Putting a New Lens on the World’: the Art of Theatrical Alchemy. New Theatre Quarterly, 25(2), 109-117. (Interview with Philip Ridley)

Shuttleworth, I. (2005). Prompt Corner. Theatre Record, 25(5), 265-266. (Review of London production at the Menier Chocolate Factory)

Smith, P. (2012, June 7). Mercury Fur, Trafalgar Studios, Review.  Daily Telegraph, p. 30. [open access] (Review of London production at Trafalgar Studios)

Spencer, C. (2005, March 5). A Vicious Kick in the Guts. Daily Telegraph, p. 24. (Review of London production at the Menier Chocolate Factory)

Stuff of Nightmares:  Mercury Fur @ The Ringwald. (2011, April 9). The Ferndale One-Fifteen News. [open access] (Review of Ferndale, Michigan production at The Ringwald)

Tripney, N. (2012). Mercury Fur. Stage, (6829), 18-19. [open access] (Review of production at Old Red Lion in London, England from March 27 to April 14, 2012)

Trueman, M. (2012). Mercury Fur: Time Out London. Theatre Record, 32(7), 346. (Review of London production at the Old Red Lion Theatre)

Sierz, A. (2010). Tribune. Theatre Record, 30(5), 273. (Review of London revival at Picton Place)

Wyllie, A. (2013). Philip Rridley and memory. Studies In Theatre & Performance, 33(1), 65-75.

Additional Information:

James Turner Designs:  Directed by Ned Bennett, Produced by Greenhouse Theatre, Old Red Lion Theatre, March 2012 and Trafalgar Studios, May 2012, Off-West-End Award 2013 winner, Best Set Design (Images of award-winning set design)