Saturday, April 01, 2006

Play outline

This will be a two-act play.

Act One.

The play opens at a funeral of the main character, Alex.

It is an open coffin affair, with Alex at rest in the center of the room, tilted up slightly making him visible to the audience.

The room is filled with approximately 10 mourners all of whom are either in small groups chatting, or standing alone deep in thought. There is general chitchat amongst the mourner’s predominately on the subject of how Alex died?

It is quickly established that Alex potentially took his own life, although due the circumstances of his death, this is far from clear.

Other talking points are of family matters and reminisce.

The chatter slowly builds up the character of who Alex was to each person and fleshes out who is in attendance and what their particular relationship was to the deceased.

This part of the play will include both sad and funny conversations which revealing how we each individually deal with death.

After approx 20 mins of this everything suddenly stops - mid conversations. The lights are slowly lowered and the main light focus to stage left.

Then, just as suddenly Alex the deceased literally screams back into life. A horrific wretched scream of horror and pain as he propels himself from the coffin, crashing to the stage floor. Panicked and confused he scrambles to where the light is, clinging desperately to the stage curtain.

His monologue starts as he recalls the last few moments of his life, which are incomplete and confused with his own current terror. He slowly gets back to his feet and examines his surroundings.

Realizing where he is and potentially what is happening he begs the mourners to speak to him but they remain silent. Alex again beings to fall apart.

As he falls back to the ground, sobbing a man enters the room, walks up to the coffin and beings to talk to the where Alex had been lying.

Alex immediately recognises the man as his father.

The father starts to ask Alex questions as to why he did what he did, and why he had lived such a questionable life.

Alex tries to answer back, and gradually the non-sequiturs from Father and son form a broken conversation.

The father asks why Alex did what he did. Alex tries to explain, but the explanation is hollow try as he does to blame those in the room.

He addresses those he blames directly and is shocked when they respond – but only in a direct way, yes/ no without elaboration, like asking someone who is asleep – Alex starts asking everyone in the room questions. The Father asks his Son if he has yet got a satisfactory answer for his actions – there are none. The Son asks what happens next and the Father says they need to go back.

End of Act one.

This act opens at the wedding of the deceased.

8 comments:

Sniffy said...

I think the lighting on the set could be used to highlight each of the conversations between the mourners, with the stage in darkness bar the sotlighted deceased and whoever is talking or reminiscing.

Sort of similar to in Dogville?

Rowan said...

Wow, ,this is certainly different, it's not the sort of thing we see in Canada much I'm afraid, but it is definiately something i'd be interested in seeing...macabre and the opening leaves you with a hook.

garfer said...

Can I do a one liner?

cali said...

Keeping the audience's interest and attention for 20 mins while listening to conversations about a dead guy will be a challenge. The less popular the deceased was, the easier it would be to make the conversations darkly interesting and funny.

Rainypete said...

Nothing liek a good bit of writing that is character driven. A good antidote to the explosions, toplessness and general dross that adorns our movie screens for the most part these days.

Simon said...

I don't think the talking will work. I think it will put people off. Then again, they may quite like it and listen.

I think this is key to the success of you play.

Glad to be of help.

Ship Creak said...

Do you relate to any of these characters, Herge?

DrMax said...

And when do the Daleks show up?