Extract from Love Babe
Church bells begin ringing out the three-quarters of an hour sound. Lights up stage right (SR), indicating midday on a street in Verona, Italy. JULIET HULME enters (13 years old in 1952), wearing a frock and sunglasses, and carrying a camera, guidebook and little rucksack. She stops, looks around, consults a map in her guidebook, walks SR in front of the SR table, does a 90 degree turn and heads downstage, checks the map again, walks across the front of the stage – as the lighting comes up there, turns and fixes on the SL table and runs towards it.
|JULIET H||Oh, this is it!|
JULIET H strikes a dramatic pose
|JULIET H||“O Romeo, Romeo!|
JULIET CAPULET – as the ghost of herself with a horribly pale face and lots of blood from her fatal stab wound staining the front of her nightdress – glides on to her balcony) behind JULIET H.
|JULIET H||carrying straight on – wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse / thy name …”
|JULIET C||Forswear! I get so sick of hearing that paltry crap|
JULIET H jumps and looks around. She is gob-smacked to see JULIET C and waves her hand in front of her eyes, as if to brush the illusion away, but it won’t go. JULIET C is surprised that JULIET H can see her, and pulls a face to check the reaction. JULIET H takes a few steps back before her curiosity moves her forward again.
|JULIET H||Are you …are you Juliet?|
JULIET C rolls her eyes.
|JULIET H||I’m Juliet too, Juliet Hulme.|
|JULIET C||Really? You won’t believe how many silly little Juliets turn up here, wanting to have their photo taken under my balcony.|
JULIET H hides her camera behind her back.
|JULIET C||Then there’s the busloads after busloads of tourists and hundreds of thousands of lovers. As for the shrieks of joy from women who’ve just been proposed to – I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep for 564 years.|
|JULIET H||Don’t you get tired?|
|JULIET C||I’m supposed to be tired and miserable.|
|JULIET H||But you’re Juliet, the famous, greatest girl lover. Everyone wants to be you.|
|JULIET C||There wasn’t much being about it.|
|JULIET H||I beg your pardon?|
|JULIET C||Romeo and I died almost before we began. Should never have listened to the Friar – God won’t forgive me for killing myself in the name of Love instead of trusting Him. That’s why he stuck me on this Hell of a balcony with non-stop bloody tourists forever. I’d throw myself over the edge, if I wasn’t dead already.|
A couple of beats
|JULIET H||Would you like some chocolate? It always cheers Mummy up when she’s down in the dumps.|
|JULIET C||Chock – ?|
JULIET H gets the chocolate out of her rucksack and shows JULIET C.
|JULIET C||Oh I know – the tourists stuff their faces with it while the guides drone on. No one’s ever offered me any before. Mind you, no one’s ever seen me before. Why you?|
|JULIET H||Shrugs Shall I bring it up?|
|JULIET C||If you desire – indicating there’s a staircase behind.|
JULIET H steps up on the table via a chair. She sits down on the edge of the table to take the wrapper off and break up the chocolate. JULIET C sits next to her. They eat chocolate during the next bit – JULIET C scoffing lots – talking with their mouths full.
|JULIET C||You’re English – what are you doing in Verona?|
|JULIET H||We’re on holiday on the way to live in New Zealand.|
|JULIET C||New Ze – ?|
|JULIET H||Zealand. Daddy’s got a new job at a university there.|
|JULIET C||Oh. About the chocolate You’re right – I feel better already.|
|JULIET H||That’s something. It must be ghastly having no hope. Are you really doomed forever?|
|JULIET C||Yes. Well … oh, God gave me one chance for redemption, but that’s impossible.|
|JULIET H||A chance?|
|JULIET C||God said that I can go back to life and try again for a place in heaven if … Tch She waves her hand in dismissal|
|JULIET C||If I can save one human life. And how am I going to do that – a ghost on a balcony. No-one’s even been up here since I died – except for you. Sigh You don’t want to end up like me. Very seriously Juliet, even if you’re really really desperate, promise that you’ll think things through.|
|JULIET C||Urgently Promise?|
|JULIET H||Absently Promise.|
|JULIET C||Very urgently Really?|
|JULIET H||Seriously Cross my heart and hope to die.|
The church bell rings twice, ie two o’clock. JULIET C jumps up.
|JULIET C||The caretaker‘ll be back from siesta any minute – better leave or you’ll be in trouble.|
JULIET H scrambles to her feet, kisses JULIET C, runs down the steps and out into the courtyard. They wave. JULIET H walks away, back the way she came.
|JULIET C||Calling Oh, Juliet.|
|JULIET C||Would you bring me more chocolate before you leave town?|
JULIET H nods.
|JULIET C||Lots and lots. To herself – enough for eternity.|
JULIET H nods, waves, walks away, and exits as the lights fade to blackout.