Latest News - The Silver Sting - Out Now!

Playwrights - The Prize

SETTING

The play takes place in a Travel Agency. There are posters all over the walls and racks of brochures of exotic places. One desk (three chairs – one for the agent and two for clients opposite) is located stage left. There is a computer on the desk.

A sofa is centre back stage. There is a small side table with a coffee making machine, cups, saucers, biscuits etc.

A second desk with three chairs and computer is stage right.

CHARACTERS

Jean Bolls (Travel Agent 1, aged about 21)

Arthur Page (Client and Prize winner, aged late sixties, wrapped up in warm coat and scarf)

Millicent Page (Mr Page’s wife, aged late sixties, wrapped up in warm coat, scarf and hat).

Bernie Carter (Travel Agent 2, aged about 21)

Trev (Client aged about 30, wearing T shirt and jeans)

Tricia (Client’s wife also aged about 30, T shirt and jeans).

Jean (Stands up from her desk)

Mr Page, Mrs Page. Brilliant to meet you both. My name’s Jean. Well, aren’t you the lucky ones! May I call you Arthur and Millicent? Much friendlier, isn’t it? I’m made up you won this prize, Couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple. Come on in. Take a seat and we’ll sort everything out.

Arthur There’s no-one more surprised than us, is there Millicent? Won a tenner on the lottery once, but to win a holiday – well! We’re over the moon, aren’t we Millicent?

Millicent I am so, so excited. Didn’t sleep a wink last night just thinking about it. Always wanted to go on a cruise. Haven’t I always said that Arthur? Watched every one of those cruise programmes on the box but never for one moment dreamed we’d ever get to go on one.

Jean You’ll be there in no time. Two weeks’ time, isn’t it? Better start packing now! I love cruising. Food to die for, entertainment every night, booze till it comes out of your ears. Bet you can’t eat five meals a day! Some of them do, you know. You should see the size of them. Hop on and hop off at your favourite ports. Watch the sun go down at the end of the day and those sailing away parties – you can really let your hair down, let it all hang out. Please take a seat and we’ll sort the details out in a jiffy. Coffee? We brew fresh and there’s plenty of chocolate biscuits. Get you in the mood for that cruise.

Arthur We do like a nice cup of coffee, don’t we Millicent?

Millicent Yes, we do. That’s where you’ll find us an eleven o’clock, regular as clockwork – in the sitting room with our coffee and biscuits, so this is just perfect timing.

Jean brings coffee and biscuits to the table.

Jean So, now let’s just look. Lovely ship – Independence of the Seas – takes 3000 people. You won’t be short of company. Yes, I see you’re off to Cherbourg, Vigo, and Lisbon. Seven days – won’t that be nice? Should be okay on the Bay of Biscay at this time of year, although it can be a bit bumpy. Keep my fingers crossed for you. Look.

Jean shows them layout of the ship.

Nice interior room we’ve got for you. Right down at sea level. Waves crash right past the porthole.

Millicent recoils.

We can do you an upgrade to a room with a proper view and a decent window, if you like – higher up in the ship.

Millicent That’s good of you. I do like a nice view to look out on when I wake up in the mornings. It all sounds wonderful. Wait til I tell the neighbours where we’re going!

Jean taps the details into her computer

I can just see myself with feet up on that balcony with my pina colada.

Jean A balcony? Yes … I think we can do that for you as well.

Jean taps the details into her computer

Millicent Are the beds comfy? I don’t sleep that well at night.

Jean Oh, ever so comfy. But you’ll be a bit close to the engine room. Those engines don’t half drum at night when they’re motoring along. I can move move you to midships if you like. Much quieter there.

Arthur You’d like that, wouldn’t you dear_?_

Millicent nods. Jean taps the details into her computer.

Jean Now how much luggage are we taking with us? Don’t forget there’s a formal night – DJs for the men and cocktail frocks for the ladies.

Millicent We always take a suitcase each. I reckon we’ll have two big ones.

Jean No problem at all, Millicent. You take whatever you want.

Jean taps the details into her computer.

Now would you like the onboard drinks package. You can have free wine, beer, spirits all day long if you like. If you want anything special like brandy after your dinner you still have to pay for it.

Arthur A like my pint and Millicent likes her wine with her dinner and a sherry before dinner. Would sherry be included?

Jean Oh yes. So you’d like that as well?

Arthur and Millicent nod.

Jean taps the details into her computer.

Any birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions while you are away?

Millicent It my birthday that week. I won’t tell you how old I’ll be!

Jean As old as your nose and a bit younger than your teeth! We can arrange for flowers and chocolates to be sent to your room, if you like?

Arthur That’s kind of you. What a nice touch.

Jean taps the details into her computer.

Jean Oh, I almost forgot! What about the coffee, tea and soft beverage package. Limitless drinks all day long.

Arthur Millicent likes her tea and coffee, so that would be very nice indeed.

Jean taps the details into her computer.

Jean Now, how are you going to get to Southampton? You can just drive up to the ferry port and get out of the car. A nice porter takes your bags and a man whisks your car away for you. Same when you get back. Easy as falling off a log! Sound good?

Arthur Very good. Never thought it would be this easy. I think, Millicent, that we will drive to the port. Easier than a coach.

Millicent nods.

Jean taps the details into her computer.

Jean There’s some lovely trips out of the ports. You’ll want to do some of those,won’t you? These are really good.

Jean opens the brochure and points to some pictures.

Millicent It’d be a shame not to see a few things while we are there. We don’t do the continent often so organised trips like those are right up our street.Those do look good.

Jean They do, Millicent. Shall I count you both in?

Millicent Yes, dear.

Jean taps the details into her computer.

Jean Well that’s about it.Why don’t you both take a seat on that nice sofa. Take your coffee with you I’ll do the paperwork. Won’t be a tickety-boo.

Arthur and Millicent sit back and drink their coffee, chatting animatedly. Jean taps away at her computer.

The door opens and a young couple enter.

Bernie Good morning. How can I help you?

Trev Got a week off work in a couple of weeks time so we thought we might do a cruise. What have you got? I’m Trev. This is Tricia.

Bernie Nice to meet you both. Take a seat and I’ll have a quick look. Always a good choice to do a last minute job. Coffee?

Tricia No ta. Got an appointment for nails in fifteen minutes time.

Bernie taps away at her computer.

Arthur and Millicent smile at the younger couple and are clearly listening into the conversation.

Bernie Now what have we got here? Just the jobby, if I am not mistaken. One week cruise, departing in two weeks time stopping off at Cherbourg, Vigo and Lisbon. Independent of the Seas. How does that sound?

Trev Cool.

Tricia Cool.

Bernie And because it’s last minute there’s even a special offer on.You’ll never believe how much. Cheaper than staying at home. Just £499 each. Balcony room, drinks package, parking at Southampton, and three free trips thrown in for good measure!

Trev Cool.

Tricia Cool.

Bernie So shall I book it for you?

Trev Cool.

Tricia Cool.

Bernie taps away at her computer.

Bernie All done? Mastercard? Thank you.

Trev and Tric pick up their documents and leave.

Jean beckons Arthur and Millicent back to the visitors chairs by her desk.

Jean All done. Got it all reserved for you. Just as you wanted. Come on over and we’ll finish off.

Arthur and Millicent go back to the visitors chairs opposite Jean.

Now this is how it works out. I’ve added all the extras up so you just owe me £699 each.

Arthur (startled) But I thought it all came in with the prize?

Jean Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t I explain that you had to pay for the extras?

Arthur No, young lady you did not, and that sounds like an awful lot of money to me. We will not be accepting your prize after all. It’s a swindle!

Millicent (Almost in tears) Oh, Arthur, please don’t tell me that we can’t go. I was so looking forward to it. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Please, please, Arthur.

Arthur Button your coat up Millicent. We’re leaving.

Arthur and Millicent leave the Travel Agency. The door bangs behind them

Jean shrugs her shoulders.

Jean Win some, lose some…

Jean clears the coffee cups away.

The doorbell sounds. Arthur and Millicent re-enter and make a beeline for Bernie’s desk and sit down in the visitors’ chairs.

Bernie Looks confused.

How can I help you?

Arthur We want a 7 day cruise going to Cherbourg,Vigo and Lisbon leaving in two weeks time on the Independence of the Seas. That’s the all in late booking one. How much will that be?

Bernie Just give me a mo.

Bernie taps away at her computer.

We’ve got a special all inclusive offer with a balcony room for £499 each.

Arthur We’ll take it. Mastercard?

Millicent Thank you, Arthur. You are a dear.

Arthur For you Millicent – anything.

Bernie prints off the details and hands the documents to Arthur.

Arthur and Millicent leave hand in hand.

Come in

Why not get in contact with me?

I hope you find everything that you need in my website but if not, why not send me a message? I try to answer as quickly as possible, but as a part-time carer, I’m away from my home quite a lot, so bear with me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Read my short stories and plays for free

Just sign up to my mailing list…