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Past Forward

    by Carolyn Pertwee


       

Drama Play Script: 'Past Forward' by Carolyn PertweeSynopsis

Tom and Liz Fielding are about to exchange and complete the sale on their Putney house, Tom’s home for 36 years and where Liz came to rent a room as a ballet student 33 years before.  Despite a 20 year age gap they fell in lust resulting in an unexpected pregnancy and, too late for termination, they married and made it work.

Tom is recovering from Prostate cancer.  Radiation has left him temporarily (they hope) impotent.  Using the proceeds from the sale they are off on a three month recuperation cruise before retiring to Dorset.  Liz is uncertain about leaving the house; their second child Bertie’s ashes are buried in the garden.  Their firstborn, Tasha has finally landed a good job as a make-up artist filming in India.  Mother and daughter never really bonded, Liz had numerous breakdowns after Bertie’s cot death.  Tom became Tasha’s rock and she his pride and joy.

That same morning they are expecting Sam Rutland for coffee.  Sam, a friend and former tenant in Tom’s house whom they haven’t seen for 32 years when he absconded to America without paying the rent.   Liz is annoyed with Tom for inviting him back into their lives.  Sam arrives contrite and gives them all the back rent and accumulative interest.  In the midst of a tense reunion a phone call informs them that the house sale has fallen through.  Recently divorced Sam, now a wealthy man comes to the rescue offering to rent the house while they are away and show round potential buyers.   

Sam moves into their house.  Tasha turns up unexpectedly.  She was fired from the film and asks if she can move in with him.  There is an immediate attraction, and, against his better judgement he agrees.

Three months later Tom and Liz return surprised to see their high maintenance daughter transformed and shocked when she tells them she is deeply in love with Sam.  Liz is apoplectic but Tom takes a more sanguine view.

 Alone with Sam, Liz implores him to end the relationship, siting the 20 year age gap, his unsavoury past.  He assures her they are soul mates, he can’t give her up.  She raises the antes, bringing up the night she got drunk thinking that Tom, who was away filming, was about to dump her.  They had sex.   Sam dismisses this as a one night stand: no harm done, Tasha need never know.  She finally tells him that Tasha could be his daughter.  Tom had sent for her to join him the day after their liaison.  Four and a half months later she haemorrhaged, and discovered she was pregnant.  Abortion was too risky and Tom asked her to marry him.  She gave birth to Tasha along with the coil!  Sam is horrified.  Liz swears him to secrecy and suggests a DNA test. He’s not sure he wants to know. He is returning to the States for Christmas and will have to think it through.  His main concern is for Tasha.

Sam is just back in the States when Tom inadvertently opens a parcel addressed to Liz, a DNA kit.   Curious, he questions her about it, she breaks down and tells him the truth.  He is angry and heartbroken but says that he must be the one to tell Tasha.  Through tears he is adamant he is her father but will do a DNA test to prove it.

The final scene when Tom says to Tasha they must have a serious talk, she is terrified his cancer has returned and bursts into tears until he assures her he’s well. She replies that nothing could be more serious than that.  She listens without displaying any emotion when he tells her the dilemma and now they must do a DNA test.  She is resolute.  Sam is her lover, Tom is her father.  She will not do one.  Tom explains that Sam might insist.  Then she would end the relationship.  Tom cannot hold back his tears, they hug and he goes in search of Liz. Alone under a single spot, Tasha finally crumbles and starts to weep as the lights fade to blackout.


Duration

100 mins approx

Characters

(2m, 2f)

  • Liz Fielding - aged 50, she has the poise and grace of an ex ballerina. She is a petite, attractive woman with a well preserved figure who does not look her years. She comes over as reserved and a little buttoned up.
  • Tom Fielding - aged 70, a warm, humorous and uncomplicated man who has lived his life to the full. He is wise and kind. He lives a day at a time and finds joy in being alive. He is content in what he would describe as his ‘aging body.’
  • Natasha (Tasha) Fielding - Liz and Tom’s 31 year old daughter. An attractive tall girl full of insecurities and self-doubt, which she covers with a slightly manic gaiety. She has an addictive nature and has had bouts of drinking and issues with food and body shape. She is both likable and intelligent but still looking to find her way in life.
  • Samuel (Sam) Rutter – aged 54, known affectionately as ‘Sam the Rut’, and does not look his age (this part could be played by an actor in his mid to late 40’s). He is charming with an easy going persona. He has sex appeal in abundance which he has used shamelessly throughout his life to bolster his own lack of confidence and self-esteem.

       

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