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When You're Ready

by Valerie Goodwin

24 short speeches expressly written for use in examinations and auditions for students aged between 13 and 18. They are all original, and have never appeared in print before. In some cases they are adapted from the author's own recently published plays, but these too have been especially extended or rewritten for this collection.

The intention was to provide a resource for use by today's Drama student, and to offer a range of accents, dialects, moods, themes, emotions and historical periods, as well as being gender non-specific in several of the speeches. Many are written in the modern teenage style of thinking and speaking, addressing topics familiar and topical to students in school.
The first two paragraphs from No 3 - Sophie ...
  Trace? Can I borrow your lip gloss? Tracy? Are you in there? What you doing all this time? I've been waiting to get in there for an hour, you cow! I'm wetting meself out here! Trace? Are you in the bath? Don't use up all my bloody Body Shop Papaya bath oil! And leave some hot water for someone else, you bitch!

I can hear you- stop running the hot tap! Trace? Zak was on the phone for you just now. I told him to piss off. (She laughs) Not really. I mean not really on the phone. I would've told him to piss off though. He's a dope-head. A smack-head. He is. He is, Trace. You could have anyone, honest. What'd'you see in him? And he doesn't care about you, Trace. I saw him, his tongue down Becci's neck at the youth club on Friday night, lashed up of course. Her I mean.
The author is a Drama teacher herself and has 25 years experience to call on. It is hoped that as well as being useful for solo work, the pieces will also spark devised work, character studies, hot seating, further research and stimulation. The speeches are all approximately 600-900 words in length, and some work together, in pairs or in four's, to tell a story from several perspectives.
An extract from No 10 - Bill ...
  See this? It's an aileron. Know what that is? It's a moveable surface on the plane's wing, that enables it to bank. This is from a Dornier 17. I've got part of an engine from a Messerschmidt too. Smashing, aint it? Last week when the siren went, we nipped off down the brickyards, and hid in the reeds by the canal. Then we watched where the bombs come down, and got there pretty smartish. Neil said his Mother give him a right royal roasting over it. But my Ma, she didn't hardly notice, on account she had that awful Mrs Timpson jawing in her ear all night, on about knitting and fashion, and her new siren suit.
Students may well recognise the fictional or historical characters drawn on. Again, hopefully this will lead to an interest in the source material.

Of the 24 titles, 11 are for male students, 9 are for female students and 4 are gender neutral.

List Of Contents
 1) Ghost of Katie MacDonald in Mary Kings Close, Edinburgh. 667 words
 2) Anne Catherick from 'The Woman in White'. 752 words
 3) Sophie, a girl, in love with her sister's ex boyfriend. 774 words
 4) Zak, Tracy's new boyfriend. 835 words
 5) Ben, Tracy's ex- boyfriend. 851 words
 6) Louise, Tracy's best friend. 797 words
 7) Harry/Harriet: Boy/Girl with Autistic brother. 765 words
 8) Jesse. On the frontier, USA, 1860. 938 words
 9) Maggie, Servant girl in 1890's Dorset. 930 words
10) Bill, a boy in the Blitz collecting shrapnel. 746 words
11) Boy actor, backstage at the Globe. 695 words
12) Victim of Dorian Gray. 722 words
13) Dorian Gray speaks (1) 621 words
14) Dorian Gray speaks (2) 653 words
15) The Dionne Family. Quintuplets born in 1937. 896 words
16) Girl novice nun, 1918. 707 words
17) Mary's Baby. 714words
18) Thomas Culpepper, lover of the young Queen Katherine (Howard). 682words
19) Artful Dodger. 625 words
20) Danni/Danny from Stevenage, modern day. 693 words
21) Hepzibah. A slave on a plantation, 1820. 730 words
22) Samuel. A slave on the same plantation. 859 words
23) Justine. A gypsy girl accused of murdering Dr Frankenstein's brother. 646 words
24) Welsh Boy. A powder monkey at the battle of Trafalgar. 672 words

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