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Fate

    by James Johnson



Synopsis

Drama Play Script: 'Fate' by James JohnsonThis play by James Johnson, is a complex look at the intersecting lives of nine people - how relationships between two people often cut across and interfere with the lives of others. Being a complex play, the synopsis that follows is, of necessity, complex also.

In Fate, live the Zarvich and Alexia families. Fate has been at war with a neighbouring city for a number of years; a war fought mainly through urban terrorism, and during which, many innocent lives have been lost. In the Zarvich family, both Cassius and his brother Xavier have lost their wives.

The Alexia family has though, been hardest hit. They have lost almost everything - the father, his land and all their wealth. Celise, who married into the family a few years earlier, becoming a step-mother to Theo and Jude, has now lost her marital connection to them, and has decided to marry Cassius Zarvich. Although Cassius and Celise have been initially attracted to one another, to Celise, the marriage has more to do with money and retaining the comforts of life, than with any thoughts about a deep and stable loving relationship. Cassius though has a dark secret which looms over them - he is a physical abuser of women, something Celise is soon to discover.

Xavier Zarvich is a priest in the city's church, whose religious practices are closely allied to those of Roman Catholicism, and is tolerant of priests who marry. With his wife dead, he has befriended his brother's daughter Zara, a hard-headed, no-nonsense young woman, and, verging on incest, they are now lovers. His daughter Eliza, rebelling against her father's attitudes, has turned to prostitution.

Jude, a womaniser, discovers that Eliza is a whore and uses her services. He is later persuaded by Zara to bed Sasha, her recently blinded sister, to ensure that she has doesn't 'miss out' on a full relationship through her affliction.

Zara sees a bruise on Celise and, knowing of Cassius' past activities, confronts him. He solemnly promises her that, once married, he will never hit Celise. Theo, and the recently bruised Celise, discover that they are physically attracted to one another, and despite them being step-mother and step-son, they spend the night together. Theo, who has always yearned after Celise, wants to make more of this than she does, and despite everything, she still wants to marry Cassius for his money. Theo pleads with her to marry him instead. She rejects him, and he starts to get at first angry, and then mentally unstable, as his long-held secret desires slip away from him.

Zara wants more from Xavier than he can give, resulting in her blackmailing him. He refuses to give in, so she pretends he has raped her and acts the part of an emotionally scarred victim. Cassius, outraged by the alleged rape of his daughter, goes to Xavier and kills him.

Theo decides to openly declare his love for Celise by leaving a note for Cassius to 'find', which he does with predictable results for Celise.

Eliza, having collapsed in the street, confesses to a horrified Jude, that she is pregnant. She gives Jude her diary, before he performs an amateur abortion on her. Being unsure of exactly what he is doing, he botches the job, and she bleeds to death in front of his eyes. Cassius and Theo fight, during which Cassius realizes that he is becoming an animal, and confesses to killing Xavier. He stops the fight and goes away to reflect, leaving Theo alone with Celise. She forcefully rejects him and, now quite deranged, he strangles her to make sure she can never belong to another man.

Cassius is suspected of killing Celise, and Zara cannot forgive him. She loads three bullets into a six-shooter gun, alternating a bullet and an empty chamber. She gives Cassius the gun and tells him to do the first masculine thing he has ever done - to kill himself. Cassius is by now distraught, and so he commits suicide.

Some weeks later, Sasha tells Jude she is pregnant. He is, this time delighted, as he has fallen in love with her, and she with him. Zara though, reveals that it was her that originally brought them together, much to Sasha's annoyance.

Theo who has secreted himself away with the body of Celise, is tracked down and discovered by Jude. By this time though, Theo is completely mad, and Jude has to knock him out in order to get him home for some medical attention.

Zara now takes the time to read Eliza's diary - an activity that reveals the planned abortion of Eliza's baby. Sasha discovers Cassius' body. Zara confronts Jude, who realizing she means to kill him, goads her on. The mysterious Marcia, who up to now has simply narrated elements of the action, now takes an active role. For her own reasons, she doesn't want Jude to be shot in the head, but in his crotch. She causes him to die by killing the part of his body he used to ultimately kill her. Marcia is revealed in the last few lines as Sasha's daughter by Jude, infected with the AIDS virus he passed on from his fling with Eliza.

This is a play about intersecting lives and intertwining loves. Greed, lust, incest and blackmail are the precursors to the devastation of murder, madness … and Marcia.


Characters

(4m, 5f)
Cassius Zarvich - 44, head of the Zarvich household
Zara Zarvich - 22, daughter of Cassius
Sasha Zarvich - 22, blind, daughter of Cassius
Marcia - 15, daughter of Sasha
Xavier Zarvich - 46, a priest, brother of Cassius
Eliza Zarvich - 17, daughter of Xavier
Celise Alexia - 41, the widowed step-mother to Theo and Jude, now engaged to Cassius
Theo Alexia - 25-35, a passionate young man
Jude Alexia - 25, a womaniser



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