Novels, Short Stories, Articles & Plays

Jowett’s Last Stand – a two act black comedy

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(A box-set – an elegant 18th century second-floor room overlooking Parliament Square, London, is the scene for
both acts.

Upstage left and right, two pairs of french windows,covered by plain net curtains,each pair opening inwards and leading to a small, stone balcony.

Backstage, behind the two balconies, a cyclorama portrays an evening sky. There should be room between set
and cyclorama for a Fire Brigade Automatic Platform (which can be flown so that it can ‘rise’ to second floor level) and also for two or three off-stage voices and some simple sound-equipment.

The Stage-left wall, elegantly wall-papered, contains a grand fireplace with a mantelshelf and a small door leading to a toilet(unseen), similarly wall-papered,from which we should be able to hear a flush-lavatory. Several framed photographs stand on the mantelshelf.

The Stage-right wall contains an ornate door, opening inwards and leading to an unseen outer office.

All the furnishings should be 18th c. in style.

Centre-stage left, a heavy, ornate table that serves as the Home Secretary’s desk. Behind it, his chair – an upholstered upright chair with arms. Facing it on the other side of the table, a smaller chair.

Two more upright chairs on each side of the fireplace.
On the table, an intercom,a telephone, a file of papers and a pile of the day’s newspapers.
Between the two pairs of french windows, a small table.

The Home Secretary sits at his table reading ‘The Times’. (The intercom buzzes furiously and Sarah’s voice is heard, somewhat distorted, through the machine.)

Sarah: There’s a gentleman to see you, Home Secretary. He’s waiting downstairs with Security.

H.S.(pressing various buttons on the intercom): Sarah? Can you hear me? …