A Mayfest New Writing Commission and on tour May - August 1994
Directed by Paula McGee
Component Parts are writer-performers: Janet Paisley and Graham McKenzie.
As thirtysomethings couple, Frank and Cara, prepare for a day at the races, both back the wrong hunches and comic misunderstanding gallops into deep dark territory.
To mark International Year of Literature, the writers have incorporated poetry by new and established poets into the drama.
<box 80% round prose | Extract - For Want of a Nail> (A BLACK ROOM WHERE CARA SITS AT THE TABLE SMOKING. TWO CHAIRS REPRESENT A SOFA. THE FURNITURE IS ALSO BLACK. CARA WEARS A TOUCH OF RED BUT THE ONLY REAL COLOUR IS THE JACKET. FRANK HAS JUST COME IN TO THE ROOM)
CARA: You wonder what they're putting in cigarettes these days.
FRANK: Have you seen my blue jacket?
CARA: Last about five minutes. That if you're lucky.
FRANK: I'm sure I left it in here.
CARA: They used to last at least ten.
FRANK: Things move about in this house.
CARA: Could time your break with them. One - ten minutes. Two - twenty minutes.
FRANK: All by themselves. Have you?
FRANK: Seen my blue jacket.
CARA: Yes. Now you could get through four - at least.
FRANK: One would do.
CARA: No chance. Must be to keep the profits up. Nobody smokes anymore but they sell just as many cigarettes.
FRANK: You said you'd seen my jacket.
CARA: Course I've seen it. They've fixed them so they burn quicker, you know. We, the faithful, are being forced to smoke two, three times as many.
CARA: Where what?
FRANK: (PATIENT) Where did you see my jacket?
CARA: Everywhere. Everywhere you go - blue jacket goes. For all I know you were born in it. Oh, congratulations Mrs Edwards, you've just had a jacket.
FRANK: So had I.
CARA: A jacket. Well fancy that. I always wanted a blue jacket.
FRANK: (SHOUTS) Where is it?
CARA: How the fuck should I know.
FRANK: You said you'd seen it.
CARA: So I did. On your back. Last time we went out.
FRANK: I don't believe you.
CARA: But I did. Kath's Party, remember? I particularly noticed what you were wearing that night. Cause you never wear anything else.
FRANK: You've done something to my jacket.
CARA: Have I?
FRANK: What have you done?
CARA: My nails. No?
FRANK: If I find…
CARA: Laddered my stockings?
FRANK: One mark, just one mark…
CARA: That's not it?
FRANK: On my … (FINDS JACKET BEHIND SOFA)
CARA: Oh, I like this game. Em, forgot my underwear.
FRANK: Did you?
CARA: So that's it.
FRANK: I can find out.
CARA: Touch me before we get to the track and you're dead.
FRANK: Maybe we're not going to the track. Maybe that's why you forgot your underwear. Maybe that's why you hid my jacket.
CARA: Maybe - not.
FRANK: So you hid it for some other reason then?
CARA: Too obvious. I win.
FRANK: Must be your lucky day.
CARA: Oh hey, what do you reckon? - Lucky Lady in the 3 o'clock.
FRANK: Too obvious. How about Under the Weather. Two thirty.
CARA: Under - och, you're not.
FRANK: You hid my jacket.
CARA: Don't be ridiculous.
FRANK: We're not going till you confess.
CARA: All right, all right. I confess…
FRANK: I knew it.
CARA: I confess I never touched your bloody jacket.
FRANK: Then how did it get down behind the sofa?
CARA: Hang gliding from the lampshade? Passed out shampooing the carpet? Suffered an embolism, thought it was a dog, needed a little pick-me-up?
FRANK: This isn't a game.
CARA: Good. Cause I don't want to play.