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22 April 2024

Posted by Tabby Hayward


This week, we were inspired by Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot'. After writing short dialogues between two characters waiting for something or someone, we read the opening of the play (some great performers in the group!) and used this as inspiration to develop the initial dialogue further - what else were the characters doing as they waited? How did they react similarly/differently to the situation? Was it funny/sad? How did the place of waiting affect what they were doing/saying to each other? And what happened if/when the thing did/didn't turn up?

Here is Christopher's script:

Short Dialogue between two friends waiting for something

Author – C. S. Thomson

Scenario – Steve and Richard waiting out in a park at night, under a tree queuing to get into a club/music event of some sort. Light from nearby lampost and streetlights.

Characters – Richard could be Richard? Or Peter. Laurence maybe. Something poshish, wooster-esque. Steve is more gruff and working class, possibly Yorkshire. Thinking Sean Bean-esque accent. Ironically he can’t stand the cold or being sociable, against northern type.

Scene 1

Two characters stand on stage, in scene, underneath a tree. People are passing and there is a hubbub as they stand in line. Steve is irritable and in leather jacket and worn jeans, Richard is relaxed and dapper in a lounge suit.

Steve – (Grumpily) I don’t know why I come out to these things.

Richard – (Light and playful) Oh come on, it’ll be fun! You might even see Ariana-

Steve – Look Rich, there might be the Queen of England in there for all the good it’ll do us. It’s freezing out here. You know we won’t get in-

Richard – Oh ye of little faith my old chum, the line’s only a dozen punters long-

Steve – We’re two blocks away Richard! (Under his breath) How on earth you thought we’d get in..

Richard – It’s just a matter of patience.

Steve – (mutters) Sure.

Leaves flutter down from above, a pause for a while as characters stand in silence with just murmur of the crowd and shuffling of feet, maybe checking watch.

Steve – Well at least we have this tree for shelter I guess, otherwise we’d be soaked through.

Richard – See already looking at the positive side of things! Yes, a bit of nature’s bow to protect us (looks up fondly)

Steve – (Sniffs) Well cold, tired but not totally soaked through, I guess.

Richard – (Pats the tree affectionately) Good old oak

The two pause as they wait in silence for a few moments. The wind picks up and they remain standing.

Steve – (gloomily) The venue’s near full isn’t it? We’re never going to get in. (glances up at tree and steps left slightly) And I’m starting to get dripped on.

Richard is slightly agitated, looking at his watch. At Steve’s gloom he glances up, and draws himself up

Richard – (reprimanding tone) Well! Steve, well, I’m just disappointed in you. I thought you northern folk were made of sterner stuff. (Steve glares at him but keeps silent as Richard paces around the tree) Instead you’re being a complete pessimist and an ass to boot. A bit of waiting around in the (pause as looks around) bracing weather and you’re ready to give up! (Steve huffs and looks away) Anyway, it’s not like you have much to do on a Saturday.

Wind begins to howl louder.

Steve – (Irritated, pointing maybe) I’ll have you know that, right now, I could be wrapped up toasty and warm, (eyes get a faraway glint) with a cup of tea, feet up, watching my favourite program on the tele.

Richard – What utter rot, more like half-dressed, sprawled across that bed, doom-scrolling on that phone of yours. And feeling sorry for yourself. (Steve huffs and looks away) Look it’s time you got out and had a bit of fun.

Steve – You call this fun?! Standing out here freezing in the, the (gesticulates) this! I’m cold Richard (crosses arms, tummy growls) And hungry (looks down holds belly)

Richard – (Glances for a moment at his friends stomach before looking away) Well, I do have to say the present climate is not entirely (pause) satisfactory.

Agitated, Steve turns and walks up behind Richard, as Richard continues to look away

Steve – (Oh, not entirely satisfactory? It’s bloody minus two and we’re in a gale force wind here. (Gesticulates around) Rich, several people have blown away already! 

Punters speed by blown and buffet with umbrella inside out near lifted off the ground by wind

Steve - (Points thumb towards himself, looking back to Richard) If it weren’t for this tree I’d be one of them!

Both now shout louder as the wind picks, Richard starts to look worriedly up at tree creaking and waving

Richard – Well that just leaves fewer people in the queue right? Win win!

Wind positively howling

Steve – WHAT?

Richard – I SAID WIN WIN!

Tree creaks ominously above them

Steve – (Finally noticing the peril) Good GOD the, that tree might FALL! (Falls to knees trembling, sobbing) Oh why did I ever come out with you you... (with venom) turnip!

Richard – (Grapples with tree as a creaks and leans ominously) Oh dear. I say, could you give us a hand it appears to be leaning rather heavily.

Steve joins in to help after some other punters help steady the huge oak, and after some struggling with the tree, the wind dies down again. People mill around.

Steve – Richard I cannot believe you. This has to be one of the worst ideas you’ve ever had-

Ariana enters, looking radiant with a beaming smile

Ariana – (italian accent) Ello Reechard.

Steve turns towards her dumbstruck

Richard – Well he hello my dear! (they kiss cheeks), aren’t you a little early?

Steve turns towards Richard somehow more dumbstruck

Olivia – Well I thought I’d just pop by to meet you before I get ready. (Turns to Steve) and you are?

Richard – Ah, well this is my good friend Steve. Tell the lady a bit about yourself Steve.

Steve – erejgieowgj

Steve incomprehensible, Ariana looks confused

Ariana – Sorry?

Steve – (gurgles)

Ariana (Turns to Richard) Is he, how do you say, well?

Richard – (Richard turns and flashes a smile) Oh I’m sorry my dear, a touch excitable poor chap. Tree damn near fell on him you know.

Ariana – Oh really!

Ariana looks back at Steve in fascination

Richard – (clears his throat) Look, Ariana, my dear, ah don’t you have a show to prepare for? I promise I’ll tell you all about this tree business (pauses for a long glance at Steve) later.

Ariana – (Looks back at Richard) Oh my goodness, you are right. I must dash, it was nice seeing both of you. (starts walking away and looks over shoulder at both) Bye!

Richard smiles sheepishly as he waves her off, Steve remains stricken

Richard – You know, I think I understand what you see in her, Steve. A fine figure of a woman (Steve stares at him gobsmacked, pause slowly falls back) ...Steve? (Richard glances back)

A dull thud rings out, as Steve topples over

Steve – (groans)

Richard – (Turns back forward, pinching nose eyes closed exasperated) Oh, Steve.


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