Theatre poster of the week, Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh.
No Shame Theatre post of the week.
Performer – A young woman unafraid to take the bull by the horns.
Ringer – A young man who’s world is about to be shaken.
A Confederate – Someone who can quietly phone Ringer, covering up the receiver to make sure nobody hears “the other end” of the call, and hanging up when Ringer answers.
The Audience – Unpredictable. Watch out for them.
Props – One of Performer’s journal and a cell phone “hidden” in a bag or jacket.
Lighting: Performer asks for a center spotlight, with very low lighting on the audience. Tell the lightboard operator to go to blackout when you mention “Cigars”.
Direction – Fast – I cannot stress this enough, rehearsed and realistic. If you are too slow, the stage manager, or others might intervene, and that would be bad. Too unrehearsed and the crowd will get that it’s an act. So please be yourselves. If you feel these lines sound unnatural coming out of your mouths, feel free to emend them in rehearsal. This should be an unprecedented scene, and a lot of good clean fun, but remember to have the courage of your convictions and don’t let anyone interrupt you.
(Performer starts out under a spotlight – reading from a journal – the more involving and personal the journal, the better. Ringer’s cell phone rings after approximately 30 seconds, ideally in the middle of a long and intriguing passage. Performer stops reading and furrows her brow as she shields her eyes from the spotlight, and looks into the crowd to see who has the cell phone. Ringer tries – a bit frantically, and maybe with a little quiet swearing – to get to the phone, but he has difficulty as the phone is in a bag or coat, or lunchbag. Just as he finds it, the phone rings again.
Ringer: (answers it in a self-conscious whisper halfway through the second ring, looking around defensively in embarrassment) Hello? (short pause) Who? (short pause) Oh… (blushes, stammers.)
Performer: (to Ringer, pissed off) Hey! What the hell are you doing?
Ringer: (meekly to Performer) Talking.
Performer: (to Ringer) Talking? (Sarcastic) Ooookay.
Ringer: (covers receiver) Well, I had to answer it.
Performer: (to audience and Ringer at once) No, you didn’t. Hang up on them.
Ringer: No I ca… (trails off, distracted by the voice on the phone)
Performer: I would.
Ringer: (quietly into phone) Can I call you back? Please? (pause) What time is it there?
Performer: (walks toward Ringer) Give me the damned the phone. Here.
(Performer grabs the phone away from Ringer and quickly moves back to the center of the stage. Speaks crossly into it, moving in and out of the spotlight) This is a performance you are interrupting! Look, (pause to listen) Look Lady, I don’t care where you’re from…
(Longer pause to listen. Looks surprised) You’re kidding me.
No…uh–huh. (Performer looks around the audience and starts to smile evilly.)
Hey everybody, he’s (points to ringer) gonna be a daddy! (Ringer faints as noisily as possible.)
Cigars for everyone!