The-Clowns

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					The Clowns

                                           1
We are on stage, backs to audience. When play begins the clowns: Jacky, Chris, Claude,
John take their places on their blocks US: CLAP/ HURRAH!/ CLAP} Roy stands up and
moves away from us, to begin........


Standing up, Roy: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.... MAY I
SPEAK?

THIS IS HOW THIS PLAY BEGINS..
WITH JUST ONE OF US COMING FORWARD TO
TALK TO YOU, OUR AUDIENCE....
I AM KNOWN AS THE PROLOGUE.
I AM ALSO KNOWN AS THE NARRATOR....I SHALL
GUIDE YOU THROUGH OUR STORY.
AT THE END I SHALL ALSO BE THE EPILOGUE

THE AUTHOR OF THIS PLAY WANTS TO USE A
WELL-KNOWN COMEDY STORY TO TELL YOU A
PIECE OF REAL LIFE. (Roy sits)

THE CLOWNS ARE HERE TO PLAY THE COMEDY.

PUNCHINELLO... the clown of all clowns                          (Chris spreads his
arms)

COLUMBINE, his wife, who makes us laugh with the
tricks she plays on her husband ... (Jacky puts her hand on her hip)

HARLEQUIN, her lover, the most romantic of all,
(Claude puts his hands to his heart)
and TONNIO, who tries it on with Columbine, and gets
nowhere. (John blows kiss to Jacky)


                                     2
But.. what of the real people who play the clowns ?
What lies behind the masks of the clowns?
( Brenda, Alex, Mike and Alan enter one at time and turn ... ).

In this way you will see what lies behind the clown's mask.
Our characters love as human beings love. You will see
what hate can do. You will see the pain of sadness.

Consider then not so much our actors' masks, but more our
hearts. For we are people of flesh and blood. People who,
like yourselves, breathe the air of this orphaned world.

US: THE CLOWNS!! (clap)
(another turn - we see clowns again)

Chris: Ladies and gentlemen...I am going to speak. I am the most famous
clown in the whole world. Punchinello....king of clowns. I have performed in
front of kings and queens and now, tonight, I bring my show to you.

Us: Hurrah! What time is the show?

Chris: Come at eleven 'o clock tonight and you will see a magnificent show.
Come and see all the clowns. My wife and I (goes to Jacky - holds her
hand) welcome you. Please come.

Us: We'll be there!

(At the same time John goes to embrace Jacky )

Chris (clownish): Get back where you belong. (takes John back to his
block/kick )
(We all laugh)

Roy: See what the clowns do
John shakes his fist at Chris / Chris shakes his finger at John.: LEAVE MY
WIFE ALONE! Jacky: Men!
                                          3
Us: Punchinello ...Keep an eye on him!
Chris: Don't worry, I will.

Roy: Now see behind the actors masks....see what the man
does.
(all clowns turn except Claude/Alex)
Alan points nastily at Chris: I'll get my own back!
Roy: Hear what the husband says.
Mike: No one, no one touches my wife. She's mine.
Roy: See the frightened wife.
Brenda: The way he talks: it frightens me. (Vanessa strums on cello)

Clowns turn to face audience

Chris: Clowns! (introduces the people sat on benches)

we move forward to face audience

 Jane: Tricksters
 Marilyn: Jokers
 Steve: Leg-pullers
 Richard: Wags
  Lyn: Teasers
  Tina: Cuckoos
  Kev: Fools
  Kathy: Comics
  Kevin: Buffoons

We are the clowns.
Vanessa do the clock chimes x7. We make a show of hearing them..then we
do tick-tock.........

Chris: (up front) Enough. Do not forget ladies and gentlemen. The show
starts at 11 o'clock tonight.
(Band starts up. Fanfare around Chris, who stays in front. Remove benches)
The band leads Chris off, stop playing, take off instruments......
Roy: Now until the show begins, the clowns become their
real selves; they no longer wear their masks
                                        4
( we start to take masks and hats off. Michelle to collect hats. All the
clowns: Chris, Jacky, John and Claude exit plus Alex, Mike, Alan leaving
just Brenda on her block.)

Roy: This is the time when the people go about their real
lives--- the woman finds a place to be quiet in.
WHEN BRENDA IS ALL ON HER OWN


ROY: She thinks back and remembers....This is her story. It
begins when she had no one.
All: No family      (Kev, Tina and Sarah make the picture of the family)
All:No friends       (Steve/Michelle, Kevin/Lyn, Marilyn/Kathy,
Jane/Richard)
All of us point at Brenda: She was alone. (we clear stage)
Brenda: I was alone (cover her face).

Roy: Loneliness is a frightening thing
To be on your own in silence.
No-one to talk to
No comfort from anybody
No feelings from anybody
You look for company anywhere
You want to hear somebody else's voice
To stop the isolation
You must find someone
Loneliness is life
It is a time and a place for everyone.
Enter Sarah. (Kev and Steve go round Sarah. )
Steve and Kev: She lived on the streets
Begging from the gutter (Sarah slaps sides in anger. Sits down.
Crouches/rocks/begs.)



                                              5
All: She begged for her life.

Roy: Then she met this man (Mike enters). He had everything
he needed.
Us, behind Sarah, with fists clenched: Everything. Money. A home. A job.
Everything.

Roy: They met. He, the wealthy clown. She, the beggar.
He wanted her, he needed her. She was beautiful.
He took her home with him.He gave her clothes, food,
money, took her into his bed.
(Tina and Sarah exit, we move to the sides)

Us: he asked her: marry me.

Roy: The man thought: I have everything I need except a
wife. I want a wife. I want her and she will say yes because
I have helped her. She has to be grateful.
6 people come to front (Marilyn,Lyn,Kev,JoanTina, Kevin...kneel/hand on
head etc
Roy: She always has to say thankyou.
Us: Thankyou.
Roy:He gave but he took away.
He gave her a home, his bed, the things that money can
buy.
But he took her rights and her powers.
He used her because he only gave her one choice
To be his wife
He did not help her to be a person in her own right
She always has to say thankyou
Us: Thankyou.
The only way to change things when you are not equal
is to get some power
To get support from other people
                          6
But she is alone and she only has him
There is not enough love and the man has all the power
She always has to say thankyou
Us: Thankyou.
When you rely on someone too much it becomes a bind
that controls you. It is another sort of begging.
You always have to say thankyou
Us: Thankyou. (people lift their partners and lead them off)

Roy: The man knew that the woman had no choice. She
could not say no.
Jane: Will you marry him?
Brenda: What if I say no....

Kev:..You will be back in the gutter.
Us: Crying, Cold.

Roy: You must take the chance that is offered you.
Jane: If you say no....
Roy: He will not help you, he will walk away. He may be
angry.
Us: Angry

Roy: Hurt you.

Us: Hurt you.

Roy: On the street they say
Us: Dirty, slut, whore.

Roy: If you get married, you will be respectable. People
will think you are a proper woman. You have no choice.....
                                               7
Jane: So she said .......Brenda: Yes.
Roy: It was as if the man owned her. As if she was one of
his possessions. (Tina leads Sarah up front, puts ring on.)
He could treat her how he wanted because having no choice
is like throwing away who you really are.
( A cello note. Tina then puts Sarah into 3 positions. After each position there is a cello
note. Then the necklace...leads off)
It put the woman into the sort of person that the man
wanted her to be, not the person she really was.

She had no strength. She was full of fear. Trapped. No
power. She could not be what she wanted to be.
Brenda: I want to be free.
Lyn/Steve bird sounds. Marilyn/Joan enter by B. look up to the sky/cello
starts
BRENDA; SONG:            I want to be free
                        Like a bird that flies
                        Following its dream
                        Nothing stops its flight
JOAN; BIRD DANCE . wings/Kev and Steve take wings from Joan/Joan
cries, we take up cry. Then Brenda and I sing as I walk on with rope, bind
Joan, give other end to Marilyn.
Music stops.
Brenda: I am tied to the ground.
Wait until Joan, Jane and Marilyn have gone off, then......

Roy: So during the time before the show begins, the
woman remembers and wishes for her freedom. Her
husband goes to the pub ( Mike is handed a beer glass, exits)

Roy: And Tonnio, Tonnio hears her song and it is beautiful
to him.
(Music stats up again. Alan dance with himself, showing love. When music
stops )


                                        8

Alan: I love you

Brenda: I laugh at you

Roy: This is how it has always been in Tonnio's life - he
has always been laughed at, never been loved.
We circle Alan, point, laugh - go through the sequence: laughter/stand alone
etc.

Roy: Loneliness is a frightening thing
To be on your own in silence.
No-one to talk to
No comfort from anybody
No feelings from anybody
You look for company anywhere
You want to hear somebody else's voice
To stop the isolation
You must find someone
Loneliness is life
It is a time and a place for everyone.
We move back to sides

Roy: That is how it has always been in Tonio's life.....
always laughed at, never loved. Now the woman's words
hurt him.
Brenda: I do not love you. I laugh at you. You clown.

Alan: I love you.

(Alan goes to embrace Brenda, she turns her back)

Us:See his pain /his anger/his hate. We make go away sign.

( Movement from Alan.... )
                                            9
Brenda: Go away.

Alan: I'll pay you back.


(Alan leave/Brenda cover face with hands. ).

Roy: Look at how we wound each other; how we hurt each
other. But we search for hope....someone to comfort us.
The woman has a secret love.
(music starts) Enter Alex - centre stage, hand on heart.
Roy: Sweetheart
Darling love
I have come to you
My darling, oh my love.

You are so sweet
Together we are right
I will always
Hold you close to me

Let me hold you close
feel you close to me
You are my love
Together we must be.
(Brenda and Alex embrace)

Roy: This is the woman's lover. She can talk to him; tell
him what frightens her, what is in her heart. They support
each other, they are honest with each other, they share their
power;

                         10
together they are equal, they help each other. Their love is
deep. It feels so right.
They love, they make promises, they arrange to run away,
to be together, to fly away together.
But Tonnio sees them (Alan comes in, stays in.)
Tonnio hears them and now he knows a way to pay back
the woman.
Alan beckons to Mike.
ROY: This is what the husband hears.
Jane: What time?
Kev: Midnight.

Jane:Where.
Kev: Near the tree.

Us: I love you.

Brenda and Alex: I love you.
Kev and Jane and Brenda: Till tonight.

Alan and everyone point: Look

Mike: My wife (turns full of hate and grief)

Jane and Kev and Brenda: Fly! My love, fly!
(Alex backs out....exits)

Mike Walks to face Brenda: I hate you. Tell me his name?

Brenda: No.

Mike: Tell me his name or I shall kill you. (Knife.)
(Us: Stop! - hold Mike back, hold Brenda) all still.




                                  11
Sound of a bell - ten strikes. (Vanessa and Michelle)

Roy: It is ten o'clock. Remember, at eleven o'clock the
comedy begins. The people must become clowns again,
forget their sorrows, their pain, their loves, their hates, their
anger, their loneliness. They have a show to put on.

Enter Chris - in front of make-up mirror held by Jane, head in hands.
Chris looks up into mirror. Chris: I am a clown.
Roy: Put on your costume and powdered face.
The people pay and come here to laugh.
If Harlequin steals your Columbine, Laugh.
Change your pain and tears into joking.
Change your sobbing and your sorrow into a funny face.
Chris: I am a clown.

Bury face into hands. (END OF ACT ONE)




                                     12



ACT     II

Opens with Clowns on 'blocks'; all other clowns are on stage, asleep. Vanessa chimes ll
pm;
Chris wakes Steve...gets him to bang on drum, wake people up.
Chris: Wake up. The show begins. ( clowns wake up...band plays fanfare. When
stopped...)
Chris: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. The show begins. Let me introduce ....Ricardo. A
big hand, ladies and gentlemen......a big hand.

Richard.......(steps out on stage, indicating with his hands) : A sitting room.

A chair (Marilyn steps forward, places a chair).

Another chair. (Kev steps forward, places a chair).

And a table. ( Steve, brings table).

Put it there

And a picture (Jane brings up an empty frame - Chris moves forward to become the
picture.)

Richard: Here you have... a sitting room!
(Bows and exits).

Roy: It is a warm, romantic evening, and Columbine dusts
her cosy little parlour. (Jacky steps off her block and enters 'sitting
room' - she is handed a feather duster by Rich - she begins to dust. Richard
exits)
She is not dusting for her husband, he is away with some
friends drinking at the local inn. (Jacky dusting round the picture).
Jacky: As bloody usual!

Roy: She does not mind though, for she waits for her lover,
Harlequin.
(Jacky turns the picture round... ie turns Chris around). Jacky: What the eye doesn't see...
Roy: Columbine cleans her parlour. She wants a special
cake made to share with her lover. She calls to Tonnio.

                                             13
Jacky: Tonnio! Get me a nice cake made!

John (stays on block): Yes, madam. Cake makers, bake me a cake.

( Menu on board ie black board. Rich; mortar board and pointer. Marilyn has a big
mixing-bowl and a wooden spoon. Everyone else to do ingredients. 4 cups of sugar/ a bit
of margarine..Lyn: My name is Marjorie/ 1 pint of milk ...sound of =cow/milk; 1 bag of
flour/flower; 3 eggs Alan/Jane= hen /eggs; Cream    ......not shaving cream) Go through
the whole process of making the cake. Vanessa on slide whistle Etc. etc.When finished
Richard exits.

(Marilyn take cake to John ) - the cake! ( bow or curtsey - EXIT).
(John takes cake to Jacky)

John: Here's the cake, madam. Do you fancy a bit?

Jacky: I fancy the cake, but I don't fancy you!

John: It's nice and creamy.

(Jacky slaps John's face - sound effect).

John: I think she likes me.

(Music is heard : Steve- the plucking of a guitar, and Jane on tambourine).

Roy: It's Harlequin, listen. Harlequin is coming.
John: Oh blast! Harlequin will ruin my chances. And she was nearly mine.

(Claude is on his block, we give him flowers - Steve , Kathy and Jane lead Claude off
block. From now on we animate the singers ie the do not start singing until we stand by
them.)
Claude kneels and then

Roy: My love, my darling, I love you
     With love in my heart so tender and true
     My love, my darling, I come to you.
(Kevin and Tina make window - Jacky looks out.)

Musicians move to Chris



                                          14
Chris (turn picture) sings:   This is my wife
                              So tender and true    (Repeat).

Chris turns back. Musicians go to John.
John with Roy... the same song: Squeeze me
                               Please me
                               Tease me

Musicians go to Claude again, with Claude miming.
Roy: My love, my darling, I love you
     With love in my heart so tender and true
     My love, my darling, I come to you.
Jacky: Come on in, my love. Come in.
Claude pass flowers through the window.
Window goes. Enter Claude. Embraces Jacky.....sees John, points at him. Jacky takes
John by the spoon, drags him off. Claude sits down.

John: She thrills me.
Roy: And Columbine entertains Harlequin with slices of
love cake and passionate embraces.
( Marilyn produces two plates/ cake slices and hand to Jacky and Claude. Two of us hold
up a table-cloth to hide embraces and kisses.
Mike makes strong entrance. Stands opp.Chris who holds the picture frame between
them. Chris steps out of the picture frame and Mike takes over- Chris goes to front of
stage...... we whisper: Punchinello,Punchinello. When we stop:

John: Oh Columbine, your husband is coming home. Stop that hanky-panky.

(Kev and Marilyn fold table cloth, make a cupboard door).


Jacky and Claude come out of embrace

Jacky: Oh, my god. Hide in the cupboard, my love. (Open doors, sound effects. Claude
gets in).

Enter Chris: (Turns his picture round - Mike and Chris both look at her). You've had a
man here!

Jacky: Are you drunk?

                                         15
Chris (picks up the 2 plates, holds them in front of Jacky): Two plates... two plates?
(Goes to the front of the audience: Two plates, two plates)
Jacky: (opens cupboard door - mock whisper) I love you. Until tonight, my love.

Roy: And the man forgets how to play the clown. He hears
the same words that he heard earlier when he saw his wife
with her lover.
Us (whisper): I love you. Until tonight.

(Chris smashes the plates)

Chris and Mike stand side by side.

Chris and Mike: Tell me his name.

Together: Tell me his name. (they hold the picture frame in between them.

Roy: The man forgets how to play the clown.
Us: Punchinello play the clown.
Jacky: Punchinello, play the clown.
Chris: I am a famous clown. I must play my part.
Brenda comes in behind Jacky: Please. Please.
Mike and Chris: No. I can't. Chris: You've got another man.
(Chris takes the picture frame)
Mike: A man.
Jacky faces Mike: What's your problem?... do you mean this man?...(She opens the
cupboard doors.)

Claude: I'm only mending cupboard.
Us: He's only mending the cupboard.

Mike: Enough. Enough of this clowning. (Kevin, Marilyn, Claude, Jacky, John, Chris and
anyone else ....all exit.)

Mike and Brenda face each other: Brenda: Please. No.

Mike: His name or your life. ( Freeze.)




                                             16
Roy: There will always be clowns to make us laugh, to
make light of our sorrows, to make a comedy of our human
tragedies.
(Wait for the clowns to go back to their places)
And behind the masks, US .... ( we take off masks. Face the audience)
Kev: When we feel
Jacky:....let down

Roy: We get upset, angry, cry.
But we try to forgive
Kev: When we feel
Kev:... shame

Roy: We are disappointed with ourselves. We try to get
control to put it right.
Kev: When we feel
Alan: hate

Roy: It works us up, leaves us lost and weak
We have to find our own friends and get on with our lives.
We try to forget.
Jane: When our hearts break....

Roy: We feel lonely
Dark everywhere, lost
We just sit down to cry every single day
But we must never lose hope.

Sometimes, though, people can go too far
They have no control over their lives
And then....
All: What do they do?
                                             17

Mike: His name.
Brenda: No (turns to walk away. Mike stabs her in back)
Brenda - scream/fall: Love.
Alex just walks forward, bends to Brenda - Mike stabs. Stabs. Stabs. The two bodies lie
together.

Mike drops knife. Looks at what he has done. Covers his face with his hands. Alan steps
up, looks at bodies, covers his face. We cover our faces.

Music starts. Plays one verse only, then......


Roy: Loneliness is a frightening thing
     To be on your own in silence.
     Loneliness is life
     It is a time and a place for everyone.
The stage goes dark.

Roy:The comedy is ended.

				
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