People, Places & Things
eBook - ePub

People, Places & Things

Duncan Macmillan

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  1. 136 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

People, Places & Things

Duncan Macmillan

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About This Book

Emma was having the time of her life. Now she's in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn't with Emma, it's with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she's smart enough to know that there's no such thing. Emma is an actress with addictions to drugs and alcohol, who checks herself into a rehabilitation centre. She is resistant at first, and does not want to enter into the honesty and trust needed to recover. As she gradually submits to the programme, we experience her complete unwinding, as she detoxes and faces reality.

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Oberon Books
As the lights fade, the sounds of a theatre auditorium increase. Mobile phones, coughing, chattering and general sounds of anticipation. It builds to a cacophony.
Darkness. Chaos.
Suddenly the lights snap up and the sounds cease. We are in the same theatre, but at a different time. A play is in progress, the final act of Chekhov’s The Seagull. A Naturalistic, period set of a study which was once a drawing-room. Doors left and right. A French window opens onto a terrace. It is raining.
Evening. One shaded lamp is alight. It is dark. Trees rustle outside and wind howls softly in the chimneys.
EMMA is playing Nina Zarechny. Her hair is wet. She has been crying. She sits on an ottoman in the centre of the stage next to KONSTANTIN GAVRILOVICH TREPLEV. The lights snap up mid-sentence.
KONSTANTIN:for ninety years on this earth. My youth robbed from me.
I’ve cursed you Nina. Ripped up your photographs and letters. But it’s no use. I see your face everywhere. I say your name. I kiss the ground you walk on. I’m bound to you forever. And now you’re here.
NINA:What is he talking about? Why is he talking like this?
KONSTANTIN:I’m sad. Lonely. Utterly alone and cold as if I’ve been imprisoned underground. And everything I write is so bleak.
KONSTANTIN takes EMMA’s hand.
Nina. Stay here. I beg you. Stay here or let me go with you.
For a moment, EMMA looks into KONSTANTIN’s eyes. She looks down at their interlocked hands.
Suddenly, EMMA stands and quickly prepares to leave, grabbing her coat and putting it on.
Nina, for God’s sake, Nina.
EMMA:My carriage is waiting. Don’t walk me out. Can I have some water?
KONSTANTIN:Where will you go?
He pours some water.
EMMA:Is Irina Arkadin here?
KONSTANTIN:Yes. Uncle was taken ill and we telegraphed / for her.
EMMA advances to KONSTANTIN angrily, interrupting him.
EMMA:Why did you say you worship the ground I walk on? Death. Death is what I deserve.
EMMA doubles-over. KONSTANTIN doesn’t know what to do. He stands still, holding the water. He looks off into the wings.
I’m so tired. I need to sleep. I’m a seagull. No that’s not right. I’m an actress.
Laughter in the wings. EMMA looks up.
He’s here too isn’t he?
EMMA laughs.
Of course. It doesn’t matter.
She walks to KONSTANTIN and takes the water from him.
He didn’t believe in the stage. He laughed at me. I don’t believe in it either. Not now.
As EMMA talks her acting becomes more genuine. She is talking less in character and more as herself.
Not now that I’ve had real problems. Real things have happened. My heart is broken. I don’t know what to do with my hands when I’m onstage. I’m not real. I’m a seagull. No, that’s wrong.
The lamp flickers. EMMA notices it. KONSTANTIN doesn’t.
You shot a seagull. Do you remember? Earlier in the play?
EMMA laughs.
I mean the story, I mean
long ago you shot a
that’s wrong too. Not you. What was I saying? I was talking about the theatre. I love acting. I’m a real actress. I was a real actress. Will you come and see me when I’m a real actress? I’m different now. And I feel better and better every day. You don’t need to worry about me anymore. I have
EMMA hears something. She is twitchy.
EMMA:things don’t hurt me so much anymore. I’m not afraid. I’m
The lights fade around her slightly. The Naturalistic sounds fade and for a moment there’s something more ominous and subjective. A low rumble. A whine of tinnitus.
I’m a
EMMA looks up as if she’s been daydreaming and just coming-to. The sounds have returned to normal.
She looks around, seemingly unaware of where she is.
EMMA’s physicality changes. She drops the water without realising it.
EMMA looks into the auditorium. She walks towards the edge of the stage and peers into the darkness at the audience. She moves out of her light. She pulls her wig off. She has very different hair underneath.
The lights flicker. Her nose sta...

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