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Like Us

    by Stephen Bean


     

Winner - BEST ORIGINAL PLAY
All England Theatre Festival
(North East Heats) 2006

Synopsis

Black Comedy Play Script: 'Like Us' by Stephen BeanIn a doctor’s waiting room in a rough part of town along with a few other people sits Tracey, together with husband and wife Carl and Monica. Tracey and Monica are ‘rough diamonds’ and have known each other for a very long time and are able to trade insults as banter, particularly about Monica’s last partner, who ‘bashed her about a bit’ so she ‘booted him out’. Carl, the father of Monica’s ten children, is devoted to Monica, and has just been the recipient of a much needed vasectomy.

During their loud conversation whilst waiting, another patient (Pippa), who is well-spoken and obviously not from this part of town, not realising their long-standing friendship, complains to them that they are too noisy, too brash and too intrusive into each other’s affairs. Tracey and Monica bristle at this, and try to find out where Pippa is from, why she’s at this particular surgery and what gives her the right to be judgemental. Pippa is extremely evasive and refuses to answer, stimulating a quizzical interest in her.

Once Carl has been seen by the nurse practitioner, he and Monica go home, leaving Tracey and Pippa alone. When Pippa stands up, the reason for her visit to the doctor’s causes her to stumble, being saved from falling by Tracey. This is the catalyst that allows Pippa to reveal that she is the subject of severe physical and mental abuse by her lawyer husband over a 25 year period; abuse that culminated in him deliberately slicing her leg with a knife after which she left him, and moved 100 miles away to the local women’s refuge.

Although Tracey and Pippa are from vastly different backgrounds they immediately form a bond that transcends their social standing and throws them together in hope and harmony.


Duration

40 mins approx

Characters

(2m, 5f)

Tracey - mid/late 40's; calls a spade a spade; despite a hard shell exterior she is capable of great compassion
Monica - mid/lat 40's; very much a foil to Tracey; have been friends for many years; she knows that he lot in life could be better but does her best to keep the status quo
Carl - early 40's; Monica’s husband, has just had a vasectomy; very much a ‘lad’; regards Monica as not only a wife but also a mother figure
Pippa - early 50's; a well-to-do woman; comes across as very confident, perhaps a result of her previously wealthy background; beneath the surface she is a very vulnerable and damaged victim
Sharon - 18-25; the doctor's receptionist; of the nail-filing and gum-chewing variety
 
Nurse - 25-40; professional with a wry sense of humour.
Mr Barton - a patient (brief appearance, non speaking)
Other Patients - 3 or 4 patients (non speaking roles)

     

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