Roma Writer's Group
The Works of F. Robert Kelly
THE LAST INNING
A three scene, one act play, written and directed by Robert Kelly.
(Note: if I (the director) cannot find enough cast members I
will probably play one of the smaller parts)
(Other note: all sounds mentioned in play should be prerecorded on tape)
Karen: a girl in her teens.
Charles: a boy who is one year younger than Karen.
Belinda/Mum: a lady in her late 30's
Brian/Dad: a man in his late 30's
Sweeper/Window cleaner/ Road worker. (Note the same person can play all these).
The curtain is closed. Karen lies on the bed facing stage left, behind the closed curtain.
There is a single bed stage right (see diagram), and next to it is a three drawer cupboard/ cabinet on this is a travel clock.
Under the bed at the far right side (IE the opposite side to the cupboard) is a pair of slippers
A door, which can be a cardboard fake, is on stage left and is closed.
At the front of the stage, with the handle facing outwards is a sign. It has two sides both with writing on them
The lights come up and in front of the stage but not on it,
a sweeper in a coverall with a thick grey, bushy moustache and thick grey hair
that covers their eyes, pushes a broom from left to right. The sweeper stops
centre-stage and rests on the broom before noticing
And then picking up the two-sided sign lying on the stage.
The sweeper looks at it, (note the sign should be so that either side is not visible by audience) then turns the first side towards the audience.
It says "THE LAST INNING" the sweeper then turns it around to the other side, it reads "Scene 1" the sweeper then carries the sign off towards the right.
The curtains open.
Karen: Uggh no! (Distressfully) NO! They're all laughing at me.
(She twists about as if fighting someone then lies still again).
Karen: Aaaaaaaauuugggh! (She sits up breathing rapidly for a moment then turns to a cabinet situated on the left side of the bed).
Karen: Ohh! (Pause) it was only a dream. Hmm since I'm awake I'd better get up.
(She turns to the left side IE same side as cabinet, and puts her feet on the floor).
(Quickly pulling her feet from the floor and hugging her knees).
Karen: (exclaims) That floor's cold!
(She looks around obviously looking for something).
Karen: Now where did I put those slippers?
(She rolls onto her stomach and looks under the bed).
Karen: Aha! (Pause) There they are, but on the other side.
(She pushes herself up and walks on her knees across the bed).
Karen: At last, got them!
(Picks up the pair of slippers from under the bed and puts them on).
Karen: (To no one in particular). What's the time anyway?
(She walks around the bed and picks up the clock).
Karen: I thought it might've been later. Sun must've came up early.
(She scratches her head in bewilderment).
Karen: Well (Pause) since I've got a few moments, I might as well update my diary.
(She goes to the drawers and opens the top one, she pulls out a book which has a contact cover on it. marking her last entry is a pen.
She goes over to the bed and folding one leg under her, she sits down.
As she speaks her thoughts she pretends to write in the book).
Karen: Well diary, it's been a week since my bratty brother returned from England.
I mean, why couldn't they have chosen me? I'm (With emphasis) MUCH MORE MATURE than he is.
He is such a dweeb.
And you know what's worse then (Emphasising) THEM choosing (Emphasising) HIM?
It's the fact that he's so popular all of a sudden. Everybody is asking about his trip.
And he's spent the (Emphasising) WEEK rubbing my face in it.
(She mimics a boy's voice with contempual sarcasm).
Karen: Oh I'm so good! I got picked for the student exchange program and you didn't!
I got better marks than you did; I got to meet the Queen.
(In her normal voice).
Karen: Hmm, well it stinks is all.
I mean when the school told us about the opportunity to go overseas as part of the program, I thought, This is it! My chance to, (Emphasises), FINALLY be recognised for eleven years of schooling excellence.
NO! But instead they choose him. Only done nine years and hasn't always done that well.
(Very Angrily) Uuuuuuuuuuggghhh! It infuriates me, I was voted most popular girl last year and school Captain the year before. And people have to line up, not that I make them, just to sign my yearbook.
And instead they choose him! "Dawky little four eyed geek!"
(She then throws the book on the floor. Then lays back down on the bed.
After a few minutes she sits up, reaches down and picks it up.
Karen: Maybe I'll just strangle him and be over and done with it.
That won't do, won't do at all.
Nope, there's only one thing to do! (Determined) I'll miss school today! And that way I won't have to face the humiliation.
(Stamping her foot down in a determined manner she continues).
Karen: And then what I'll do is run away on the weekend and (Sarcastically) find some nice quiet convent to hide away in.
(From off stage the voice of Belinda/ Mum is heard).
Mum: Karen honey, are you all right? What was that bang?
(Karen turns towards the door).
Karen: It was nothing mum, I just had a bad night's sleep that's all.
Mum: All right dear, but don't forget to get in the shower before Grandpa cause he takes ages.
Karen: Okay mum!
(Returning to the book she begins pretending to write again).
Karen: I tell you now diary, I don't know what to do.
I don't think I can stand another day of him speaking in my classes about his trip.
Of him standing there in front of my class rubbing my nose in the fact that he beat me.
I swear if he does it again (Drawn out silence follows)
(Then Angrily) I WILL KILL HIM!
(Karen closes the book and replaces it, then opens the second drawer and withdraws a towel. She exits via the door).
A window washer in the same clothes as the sweeper but with a spray container and bucket walks in front of the stage. On his back and front are paper signs.
The window washer walks to the middle of the front of the stage and turns his back on the audience as he bends down and picks up a rag out of the bucket and proceeds to mime washing the windows.
The sign on this side says "THE LAST INNING"
After a few minutes he mimes ringing the cloth out and then mimes throwing the water over the audience.
Off stage, recorded on a tape. The sound of a Kookaburra call is heard. The washer turns so he is facing the audience and pretends to look for it whilst showing the front sign which says "Scene 2".
He then exits to the right.
The curtain opens on scene 2.
At the rear of the stage are two painted cardboard boxes. One to resemble a dishwasher, the other an oven.
In between is a sink on a mobile bench, the sink has two taps.
A table (could be a plastic picnic table) and six chairs (could be fold up) sits centre-stage.
(Belinda/Mum walks in via the door. She takes three bowls and glasses (could also be plastic) from inside the sink and places them on the table.
She goes off stage and the sound of a cupboard door closing can be heard.
She comes back with cereal and milk and juice boxes and mimes pouring cereal, milk, and juice.
On the tape, soft radio music should be recorded so that it can be playing.
Belinda: Hurry up Karen, Charles, or you'll be late for school.
(Off stage Karen can be heard saying)
Karen: Do I have to go?
Belinda: Yes, you know that it's a very important term.
(A few minutes later Karen enters stage right, she sits at the table and mimes taking a sip of juice).
Karen: It's just that (Pause) well I'm not feeling well!
Belinda: Really, are you hot?
(She comes over to feel Karen's forehead)
Belinda: Hmm (Pause) you don't have a temperature.
(Karen opens her mouth)
(Belinda looks in her mouth)
Belinda: Nothing unusual there.
(She goes over to the sink, she turns on the tap and the sound of tap water running can be heard).
Belinda: So what's the real reason you don't want to go to school?
Karen: (Admitting defeat). It's Charles.
Belinda: What about him?
Karen: (Drawing out her answer) Well ever since he got back from his student exchange trip he's been so high and mighty.
Everyday of this week he has been in front of one of my classes telling about his trip.
But it's not just telling it's absolute downright bragging.
He's really enjoying the fact that he beat me.
And worse is, my "used to be friends" keep asking what it is like to live in the same house as someone so lucky.
They might just as well say "I'm a loser" to my face.
(She started sobbing).
Belinda: It can't be that bad can it?
Karen: (determinedly) Mum, before he left he was the perfect brother. We'd have mock fights over who got the shower first.
We'd help each other do our homework.
Sure we'd argue, but if the either got hurt or harassed at school the other would just jump in to help.
And even when he did win he was as modest as ever.
Always playing it down, even though everybody in the school thought he was a hero.
And back then, I was proud of him, even though he beat me.
But now (pause) He's changed; he's so uppity about it.
And like (Pause) get this, on Monday I saw him in the hall and he came up to me, put his arm on my shoulder and
(Charles enters stage right).
Charles: I said "you know Karen, it's not so bad being a loser, just admit that I am better than you are!
And that maybe fate decided I was the one who should be chosen. So maybe for you, it wasn't supposed to be.
(Belinda turns her back to the sink with her arms crossed in anger).
Belinda: (Exclaims). Charles! That's no way to be, it's unfortunate that your sister did not win but you should be congratulating her for trying.
(Really angrily) Not making her feel bad about not winning.
(With sudden Fury) Now hurry up and finish your breakfast, the bus will be here soon!
(She storms off).
(Karen pokes her tongue out).
Karen: Hah! Serves yourself right!
Charles: (Sarcastically) You're just steamed because you lost! So Hah! Yourself.
Karen: You keep on going and I'm going to flatten you!
(She smacks her palm with her fist for emphasis. A beeping noise is heard).
Karen: Mum the bus is here!
(Belinda enters with two backpacks.
Karen grabs one and exits via the door.
Belinda stops Charles before he can grab the other).
Belinda: You know I'm proud of you for winning the student exchange program contest, but something your sister said before you came in made a lot of sense. And that was, that before you left you were a modest boy. But now (Pause)
(Belinda turns away from the door).
Belinda: Well anyway, just remember you might be riding a cloud of achievement but sooner or later those who are praising you will forget and it will grow old.
It can't last forever and when it ends you might just need your sister there to help pick you up again.
Charles: Your right mum it won't last forever, but I was always, under her cloud. I mean sure she didn't rub my nose in it, but even though I didn't show it I got sick of watching her bask in glory while I went unnoticed.
I needed to be someone too, and now I am!
So I am gonna ride this cloud as long as I can.
Belinda: And what about your sister? What happens when you fall, and if because of your teasing and high and mighty attitude she's not there for you?
Charles: I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
(Belinda picks up the dishes and puts them in the sink and sits down).
Belinda: (somewhat distressfully) Umm, I don't know what I'm going to do, my babies are growing up, (Excentuates) so fast.
(She gets up and pushes the chair in and exits).
Close Curtain, lights down.
The curtains open and the lights come up.
The only thing on the stage is a green hill under blue-sky backdrop.
It is painted with birds and flowers and on top of the hill is a football goal post.
Walking from left to right in front of the stage is a person in the same coveralls of the sweeper and window cleaner, this time he/she is wearing an orange road workers jacket, the person is holding a square lollipop sign.
He/she walks up to stand in front of the audience; he/she turns the sign so that the first side shows. It says "THE LAST INNING".
He/she mimes waving cars through as the noise of traffic is heard in the background.
He/she has a mobile on his/her belt, which he/she picks and mimes listening to.
He/she turns the sign so the second side shows it says "FINAL SCENE".
He/she exits to the right.
Three people walk on stage from the right stopping just before they get fully on.
They look to the left then to the right as the noise of traffic continues.
Brian/Dad: Wow this road is really busy today, we've got to make sure not too slog the ball too hard.
Charles: Yeah right dad, like (Exaggerates) I'm going to be stupid enough to do that!
Karen: No with your infallible attitude, you'd probably blame it on someone else!
Dad: (angrily) look you two, mum has been telling me about you two fighting over this stupid (Emphasises) contest, and I don't want to hear about it!
(The traffic sounds die down and Dad/Brian grabs their hands).
Dad: Let's cross before any more cars come.
(As the sound of a car rapidly passing a horn beeps and Dad does an "Up yours" gesture with his arms.
He then takes out of the bag he has over his shoulder, a cricket bat and ball and a set of plastic stumps.
He sets them up).
Dad: Who wants to bowl?
Charles: I'll field.
(He exits through the door).
Dad: (To Karen). Well then, it's between you and me, let's flip for it.
(He gets a coin out of his pocket and flips it).
Karen: I call heads.
(Dad raises his hand from where the coin landed on his arm).
Dad: Sorry tails.
(Karen picks up the bat from the ground and stands in front of the wicket.
Off stage Charles is heard).
Charles: Can you hurry up? I don't want to bat at midnight!
(Dad picks up the ball in good Aussie fashion rubs it against his pants.
He bowls the ball and Karen hits it off the stage.
From off stage Charles is heard saying).
Charles: Ohh good on ya! Make me run for it!
(He mumbles incoherently)
Charles: Ya Cow!
(A few seconds later Charles throws the ball on stage to Brian/Dad.
Dad picks up the ball and bowls again this time getting Karen out).
Karen: Wow good shot dad.
(Charles can be heard mimicking Karen).
Charles: (sarcastically). Wow good shot dad!
(Brian picks up the phone hanging from his belt while Karen goes searching for the ball).
Brian/Dad: Yes hello, uhuh, yes, uhuh, really? Uhuh, okay then, bye.
(He puts the phone back on his belt just as Karen comes back with the ball).
Brian: (Relieved) Arrggghh, there you are. Listen when your brother gets back in from the field can you tell him I had to run, important business!
Karen: (whining pleadingly). But dad
Brian: You'll be fine, let him bat.
(Charles enters stage left).
Charles: Where did dad go?
Karen: He had business to take care of.
Charles: (with contempt). So I suppose your still in bat are you?
(Karen hands the bat to him, or rather throws and forces it upon him).
Karen: Nope, yours.
Charles: Why should I have to bat?
Karen: (defiantly). Because super mega dweeboid, when I was in bat dad got me out. (Angrily) if you had been paying attention.
And beside he thought you might like to bat, stupid!
(She mutters to herself)
Karen: Where did that boy's brains go?
Charles: What if I don't want to bat?
Karen: (running short of patience). Well that's just too bad, because I'm going to bowl. (Angrily) whether you like it or not!
Charles: (Impatiently). Okay, okay I'll bat. But I'm only doing it to shut you up!
(Karen bowls the ball over arm and mutters to herself)
Karen: Bet the egghead, lamebrain misses it.
(Charles swings the bat and tips the ball)
Charles: Ha! (Mockingly), stuff that where it fits you overripe fruit loop!
Karen: I'll stuff it in your big, fat, ugly mouth, (angrily) if you don't shut up!
Charles: (mockingly). Ooohh I'm sooo afraid, sis' is threatening me, ohh help!
(Karen furiously pitches ball towards Charles' head).
Charles: You're going to have to do better than that.
(Charles swings the bat, hitting ball off stage).
Karen: (Sarcastically). Well, that was bright wasn't it?
Charles: (a little stunned). W.. W.. Wow, I didn't know I had hit it so hard.
Karen: (Angrily). Maybe if you had been using that fruit bowl of a head of yours you wouldn't have.
Charles: Well gee Mother Mary, no bodies perfect!
Karen: (angrily). Yeah well.., you can just go and get it, and now!
(Charles walks off stage grumpily).
Karen: You found it yet drip?
Charles: (after a pause). No, not yet, but this is a big field.
Karen: (Impatiently). Just hurry up and get back here!
Karen: Come on, what are you..
(There is a mute silence and then a screech of tyres and a dull thud.
Karen's face shows sudden horror as the realisation hits.
Karen: (Worried tone). Charles Charles, are you all right?
(Almost hysterical Karen runs off stage).
© F R Kelly 2001