Yay, stereotypes and subordination! A first draft extract of the first couple of chapters of A Game of Murder turned into a stageplay. I mentioned this idea in my previous post, and, as I have no time to create a post on Thursdays, I thought I’d give a little insight into my style of scripting. With no personae dramatis and starting mid-scene, it is a little random, but I like this bit for characterisation. Plus, I’m doing jolly well so far shifting my exterior scenes into the one central room of the guesthouse.
Newton: Is that the housemaid, then?
Christophe: Indeed, sir.
Newton: Hmph. And you’re the butler, evidently.
Christophe: Yes, sir. If there is anything you require, short of a valet, I can provide my services.
Newton: Yes, yes, all right. (Pause). There any pretty birds around the Coventry area?
Christophe: I wouldn’t know, sir. Aren’t you engaged?
Newton: A man can have some fun, can he not? To live free of rules until one is tied down. Hurrah and all that.
Christophe: Yes, sir…
Cynthia (off-stage): Yes, I have checked. My invitation, which I have right here, says ‘12.30, Winters’ Estate, Coventry. Yours, Mrs. Annabelle Winters.’ Look here yourself, if you daren’t believe me.
Azura (off-stage): Perhaps they mistyped your character’s name?
Cynthia (off-stage): I have a friend who was also invited. He is playing the ‘ill son’ to my Mrs. Foster, with the same genuine invitation. The problem is he doesn’t seem to have turned up yet…
Azura: Oh, how very terrible for you.
Alexandra leads in Miss Cynthia Glass and Ms. Azura Peterson, the latter furious to the former’s bridled anger.
Azura: That’s enough, girl; I can walk to my seat from here. Where’s the lord of the house?
Christophe: Mr. Winters is currently absent. However, I am their butler. May I myself be of assistance?
Azura: No. It can wait.
Cynthia: We think there has been some mistake with the invitations. We two seem to have been given the same character to play.
Azura: Who invited this dithering fool?
Alexandra: That would be Miss Daphne, ma’am.
Cynthia spots Mr. Newton, who has just returned from having his smoke.
Cynthia: Oh, Josh!
Newton (less than pleased): Ah, Cynthia.
Cynthia: Joshua, darling, I thought you were going to wait for me at the train station.
They greet each other with a kiss.
Newton: I’m terribly sorry, sweetheart. My train came in early, the bad hat, and there was a carriage just waiting. It wouldn’t hold for anyone.
Cynthia: Oh, ruddy bad luck! I had to walk here. No doubt Kensington will hold back their new season shoes and I’ll have to wait months for a new pair.
Newton: Now, now. I’m sure mummy will buy you a new pair.
Cynthia: Don’t joke, Josh. Not here.
She pulls away from his teasing leer, embarrassed.
Christophe: If you’d all like to take your places, placards already on the table, then I’m sure that the Winters will be down to see you in a moment.