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[29 Sep 2004|11:42pm]

opels

Scene Nine

 

(The Hulmes’ lounge.)

 

Hilda:              (calling out to Bridget who is in the kitchen) Bridget? Bridget, can you come here for a moment?

 

Bridget:          (calling) I’m up to my elbows in soapy water. I won’t be a tick. (She enters, wiping her hands on her apron.)

 

Hilda:              Sit down, please.

 

Bridget:          Don’t mind if I do. I always get a crick in my back bending over that sink. (Silence) Is there something wrong?

 

Hilda:              No.

 

Bridget:          What are you looking at me like that for?

 

Hilda:              Bridget. Mrs. O’Malley. You’ve given us very good service over the past…

 

Bridget:          One and a half years.

 

Hilda:              One and a half years. You’re making this very difficult for me, wringing your hands like that.

 

Bridget:          I’m drying them. If it’s about the roast it’s not my fault. The oven’s playing up again.

 

Hilda:              The roast is not an issue.

 

Bridget:          You’d never have known it the way the boss was carrying on.

 

Hilda:              We’re not entertaining as much as I thought and-

 

Bridget:          I can’t cook properly unless you get the oven seen to. It’s as simple as that.

 

Hilda:              It’s not the cooking.

 

Bridget:          Well then?

 

Hilda:              I’ve noticed a few things aren’t where they usually are. The shepherdess on the mantelpiece, the pewter case in my bedroom…

 

Bridget:          Are you accusing me of stealing?

 

Hilda:              They are missing.

 

Bridget:          Have you looked in Juliet’s bedroom?

 

Hilda:              No. Juliet’s locket’s gone too.

 

Bridget:          Try the bottom drawer of her wardrobe.

 

Hilda:              Oh? Well… maybe she borrowed…

 

Bridget:          I’d never touch anything that wasn’t mine.

 

Hilda:              Yes. I’m not suggesting that. That’s why I hadn’t said anything. I knew there was some mistake.

 

Bridget:          A prank more likely.

 

Hilda:              I must speak to Juliet.

 

Bridget:          You must. And to Pauline.

 

Hilda:              I don’t appreciate that tone of voice, Bridget.

 

Bridget:          What tone?

 

Hilda:              You seem to take it upon yourself to pass judgement-

 

Bridget:          I never said-

 

Hilda:              All right then, it’s the way you radiate disapproval. At me.

 

Bridget:          You want the flat.

 

Hilda:              As a matter of fact I do.

 

Bridget:          For Mr. Perry.

 

Hilda:              Mr. Perry is a very dear friend and it’s most uncomfortable for him to be living semi-permanently in a hotel room.

 

Bridget:          Aye.

 

Hilda:              Dr. Hulme and I have decided to offer him the flat. I’m sorry. I don’t wish to discuss it any further.

 

Bridget:          You’re firing me?

 

Hilda:              I’m very sorry, Mrs. O’Malley. Circumstances have changed somewhat. Good afternoon.

 

(Hilda leaves.)

 

Bridget:          All that talk – you must call me Hilda. She didn’t have any qualms about ditching me. She wanted the flat for purposes of fornication, pure and simple.

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[28 Sep 2004|09:13pm]

opels

Scene Eight


 


(The courtroom)


 


Brown:            Pauline Parker’s mother was known as Mrs. Rieper, having lived for more than twenty years as the wife of Mr. Herbert Rieper who unfortunately was unable to marry her. No one had any inkling of this, least of all the accused Parker. Please put the relationship of the father and the mother out of your mind. I emphasise that, although they were not legally married, they were thoroughly good decent people, good parents and devoted to their children.


 


(1954. The Riepers’ lounge, evening. Mrs. Rieper is knitting, Mr. Rieper is cleaning the canary’s cage, and Pauline is writing in her diary.)


 


Pauline:           As usual I woke up and managed to write a considerable amount. I felt depressed at the thought of the day. There seems to be no possibility of Mother relenting and allowing me to go out and see Deborah tomorrow. She is most-


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Did you put the kettle on Pauline? It should be whistling by now. (silence) Pauline, I’m talking to you.


 


Pauline:           I’m in the middle of a sentence.


 


Mr. Rieper:    It’s all right mum. I’m up. (He goes into the kitchen)


 


Pauline:           -she is most unreasonable. Why could not Mother die? Dozens of people are dying. Thousands are dying every day so why not Mother, and Father too?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Your father’s been on his feet all day. I wish, just once, you’d offer to lend a hand without making a fuss.


 


Pauline:           Who’s making a fuss?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Don’t give me cheek.


 


Pauline:           I’m not. I’m trying to concentrate.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Then go upstairs. You’re putting a damper on things.


 


Pauline:           Thank you very much.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I don’t like to see your father waiting on you.


 


Pauline:           Oh all right! (calling) Dad! Come sit down. Mother thinks you’re too decrepit to be in the kitchen.


 


(Mr. Rieper appears with food for the canary.)


 


Mr. Rieper:    How’s that?


 


(Pauline storms into the kitchen.)


 


Pauline:           I said I’d make the tea.


 


Mr. Rieper:    What was that all about?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Her Majesty objects to lending a hand. Juliet never lifts a finger, so why should she?


 


Mr. Rieper:    Not Juliet again.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  She didn’t say Juliet but I know that’s what she was thinking. What’s that in your hand?


 


Mr. Rieper:    Lettuce. A lovely bit of lettuce for Billy.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  You’re not wasting the heart on him are you?


 


Mr. Rieper:    Wasting! Nothing but the best for my Billy Boy. Who’s a pretty boy then? Come on, sing for your supper.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  You’ll spoil him.


 


Mr. Rieper:    You can’t spoil a bird.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  He’ll pop. He already looks like a little yellow balloon.


 


Mr. Rieper:    Billy, did you hear that? Mother’ll be putting you on a diet next.


 


(Loud thumps and bangs are heard from the kitchen.)


 


Mrs. Rieper:  What’s that girl doing? You’d think I asked her to clean Buckingham Palace. Pauline!


 


(Pauline appears with a tea tray.)


 


Pauline:           What?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Is it that hard to make a quiet cup of tea?


 


Pauline:           Yes.


 


Mr. Rieper:    Set the tray down before you drop it. I’ll pour.


 


Pauline:           Ta.


 


Mr. Rieper:    What’s this one about?


 


Pauline:           Roland and Carmelita. There’s also a horse called Vendetta.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Sounds a bit far-fetched to me.


 


Pauline:           But you don’t read much, Mother.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I’ve read enough to know what far-fetched is. What was the name of the film we saw where everyone was called something impossible? All Spanishy… Guadalupe and Mirandella…


 


Mr. Rieper:    You’ve got me. Something Rio.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Rio Rita? It was far-fetched anyway but it did have some lovely tunes.


 


(Mr. Rieper begins whistling.)


 


Pauline:           Dad! Don’t start Billy up again. His twittering drives me mad.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Then may I suggest Her Majesty retires to her own chambers?


 


Mr. Rieper:    Leave her be Mum. It’s nice to have her working downstairs for a change.


 


Pauline:           It would suit us all if I went away with the Hulmes. Then I’d be out of your life for good.


 


Mr. Rieper:    Let’s not go through all this again.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  You’re too young to be leaving home. You’ve got no way of keeping yourself. If you think the world’s going to pay you to write about some Italian horse you’ve got another thing coming. You’ll end up washing dishes in some hotel unless you finish at Digby’s.


 


Pauline:           I don’t want to be a secretary.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  It’s only for a few years until you have a family.


 


Pauline:           I don’t want a bloody family!


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Pauline!


 


Pauline:           Sorry.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  You might be able to travel and even meet up with Juliet one day. But you can’t tag around the world after her.


 


Pauline:           I’ve already explained a hundred times the Hulmes would help me out until I found a job.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Mrs. Hulme told me they couldn’t keep you. She said it as plain as day.


 


Pauline:           When?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I talked to her. On the phone last week. And I saw Dr. Hulme before that.


 


Pauline:           You went to Ilam?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  No. He came here.


 


Pauline:           You’ve got no right!


 


Mrs. Rieper:  This is my house and I’ll see who I like.


 


Pauline:           You’re hateful! I hate you.


 


Mr. Rieper:    Now Pauline, there’s no reason to be upset-


 


Pauline:           Stop trying to interfere with my life! I was getting on perfectly well with the Hulmes and now you’ve spoilt it.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Mrs. Hulme told me she has never encouraged you or Juliet to think you could stay together. Juliet’s going away with her family partly to get away from you.


 


Pauline:           She’s not! It’s a lie!


 


Mrs. Rieper:  The Hulmes don’t like you and Juliet spending so much time together and neither-


 


Pauline:           (Screaming) It’s a bloody filthy lie! I’m one of the family! They want me! (She runs out of the room)


 


Mrs. Rieper:  If I thought it would do any good to take the back of my hand to her, I would. Put the cover back over Billy. He’s seen enough for one night.


 


Mr. Rieper:    You know what they say Mum.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Do I?


 

Mr. Rieper:    This too shall pass, eh? This too shall pass.
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[28 Sep 2004|09:12pm]

opels

(Part Two)


 


(Bridget enters.)


 


Bridget:          It’s me. I’m collectin’ the dirty dishes and the washin’. (she tidies the room)


 


Juliet:              If only we had money. We need at least a hundred pounds. What about… prostitution?


 


(Bridget crosses herself)


 


Pauline:           Brilliant!


 


Juliet:              We could solicit in the Square.


 


Pauline:           How much do you think we’d get?


 


Juliet:              Ten pounds a pop for me, maybe eight for you. Oh, for God’s sake Bridget, don’t look so Catholic. This is a theoretical discussion only, isn’t it Gina?


 


Pauline:           Completely theoretical.


 


Bridget:          I shouldn’t need to be collecting these dirty cups and plates every afternoon. You’ve both got two good legs to walk on.


 


Juliet:              Bridget approves of our legs!


 


Pauline:           Oooh!


 


Bridget:          Cut your filthy talk and give me a hand.


 


Juliet:              We’ll tidy up in a minute.


 


Bridget:          If I don’t do it myself it’ll never get done.


 


Juliet:              Suit yourself.


 


Bridget:          Humph.


 


Juliet:              Are you going to town this afternoon?


 


Bridget:          You’ve run out of favours from me.


 


Juliet:              My library books are overdue.


 


Bridget:          Let Pauline drop them off.


 


Juliet:              Pauline’s busy.


 


Bridget:          So am I.


 


Juliet:              Come on Bridget. I’ll get a fine otherwise.


 


Bridget:          You should have thought of that before.


 


Juliet:              It wouldn’t be any trouble.


 


Bridget:          Not for you it wouldn’t.


 


Juliet:              I’m ill Bridget. You have to coddle me a little (she coughs pathetically)


 


Bridget:          Where are they?


 


Juliet:              You’re a darling.


 


Bridget:          I haven’t said ‘yes’ yet.


 


Juliet:              But you’re going to. Aren’t you?


 


Bridget:          Put them in a neat pile on the sideboard downstairs and wipe that smirk off your face.


 


Juliet:              Thank you very much.


 


Bridget:          And just watch yourself. You’re getting out of hand lately. Both of you. (she goes)


 


Pauline:           (mocking her) You’re getting out of hand!


 


Juliet:              Did you see the way I did it? Twisted her right round my little finger?


 


Pauline:           What if she tells your mother about our discussion?


 


Juliet:              Mummy won’t listen. She knows Bridget’s a religious maniac.


 


Pauline:           She’s a busy-body of the first order.


 


Juliet:              Maybe a little rearranging of the truth is necessary.


 


Pauline:           She doesn’t know her place anymore.


 


Juliet:              Perhaps it’s time to take action.


 


Pauline:           I think so.


 


(The girls assume their mock voices)


 


Juliet:              The china shepherdess was one thing, but my gold locket! Our housekeeper is a thief.


 


Pauline:           She can’t be trusted, Mrs. Hulme. It’s sad but true.


 


Juliet:              My pearl earrings are gone too.


 


Pauline:           Not your pearls!


 


Juliet:              Mummy, you’ve simply got to do something.


 


Pauline:           I completely agree with Deborah.


 


Juliet:              (in her normal voice) That’s solved then.


 


Pauline:           You always know what has to be done.


 


Juliet:              Yes, I do.


 


Pauline:           How many commandments have we broken now?


 


Juliet:              Let me get my diary. We’re making good progress. Lying, stealing, false gods… coveting your neighbour’s wife – we’ll have to let Mr. Perry be our stand-in for that one.


 


Pauline:           Do you have any proof yet?


 


Juliet:              No. But my instincts tell me it won’t be long.


 


Pauline:           Good. What about…?


 


Juliet:              The ultimate?


 


Pauline:           Portrait of a Murderer.


 


Juliet:              I was wondering when you would ask.


 


Pauline:           I’m asking.


 


Juliet:              I can read you like a book Gina (She puts her hands on Pauline) A presence is troubling you.


 


Pauline:           Yes.


 


Juliet:              Someone is standing in your way. Someone very close and very, very loathsome.


 


Pauline:           Yes.


 


Juliet:              You cannot become what you are meant to be in the face of this obstacle.


 


Pauline:           Yes. Yes.


 


Juliet:              Something has to be done.


 


Pauline:           She’s taking me out of school and sending me to secretarial college.


 


Juliet:              She can’t! What about your exams?


 


Pauline:           Mother has my life planned. Death by degree at Digby’s.


 


Juliet:              Fight it. Fight her. You must.


 


Pauline:           (bowing) My Lord.

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[28 Sep 2004|09:09pm]

opels

Scene Seven


 (Part One)


(The courtroom.)


 


Brown:            While at Ilam the girls were often left alone. They spent their time locked away in Juliet Hulme’s bedroom, scribbling in exercise books various effusions they called novels and making plans for their life together in the future.


 


Bridget:          They were courting Lucifer and nobody knew – or cared.


 


(Juliet’s bedroom. Pauline and Juliet are dressed in black outfits and hats pinched from Hilda’s wardrobe. A shrine to Mario Lanza is set up with Plasticine figures of all the saints. The girls move ceremoniously around the room as a recording of Mario Lanza singing ‘I’ll walk with God’ from The Student Prince plays. Juliet proposes a toast.)


 


Juliet:              To ‘HE’.


 


Pauline:           Mario Lanza.


 


Juliet:              Happy birthday and many happy returns.


 


(They drink)


 


Pauline:           May I propose another toast?


 


Juliet:              You may.


 


Pauline:           To all our saints. Our one true family.


 


Juliet:              To the saints!


 


(They drink again.)


 


Pauline:           Do you think Mario would be terribly jealous if we elevated James to the gods right now?


 


Juliet:              I don’t think he would object – would you, Mario mio? (she kisses his face on a record cover) He says no. Begin the ascent.


 


(Pauline brings a photo of James Mason to Juliet)


 


Pauline:           Fair goddess, I bring ‘HIM’ before you that he may ascend from the ranks of the saints to dwell in the temple of the gods and live for evermore in our hearts.


 


(The girls intone)


 


Juliet:              James Mason.


 


Pauline:           Born Huddersfield, England, 5 May 1909.


 


Juliet:              Discovered by Al Parker who became his agent it…


 


Pauline:           1938.


 


Juliet:              Don’t tell me! I do know. (pause) Films.


 


Pauline:           Late Extra.


 


Juliet:              Troubled Waters.


 


Pauline:           The Man in Grey.


 


Juliet:              Fanny by Gaslight.


 


Pauline:           The Seventh Veil.


 


Juliet:              Caught.


 


Pauline:           Madame Bovary.


 


Juliet:              East Side-


 


Pauline:           West Side.


 


Juliet:              Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.


 


Pauline:           You forgot The Restless Moment!


 


Juliet:              I did not. I hate Joan Bennett. I left it out on purpose.


 


Pauline:           Sorry.


 


Juliet:              James will have to horsewhip you for that. (Juliet playfully lashes out at Pauline, speeding up her litany and erotically tickling her. Pauline shrieks.) Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, The Desert Fox, Lady Possessed, Prisoner of Zenda.


 


Pauline:           (Breathless) Secret Sharer, Wicked Lady, Juliet, Portrait of a Murderer!


 


Juliet:              Go on.


 


Pauline:           I can’t. You know I’m ticklish.


 


Juliet:              What will James say? You’re putting him in a very foul temper.


 


Pauline:           Oh James darling. Don’t be cruel.


 


Juliet:              There is only one way to silence such foolishness.


 


Pauline:           (coyly) Yes? (Juliet kisses Pauline passionately a la James Mason) My Darling. (they disentangle themselves)


 


Juliet:              I can see your little brain whirling. Tell me.


 


Pauline:           We’ve got to do something if our quest for James is going to amount to anything.


 


Juliet:              If only we had some money.


 


Pauline:           You could find a publisher in New York.


 


Juliet:              And an agent in Hollywood.


 


Pauline:           Vendetta Rides Again! James would be so perfect as Roland.


 


Juliet:              But who would play Carmelita?


 


Pauline:           You!


 


Juliet:              Do you think?


 


Pauline:           You’re exactly right for the part. An icy blonde-


 


Juliet:              -with a heart of fire.


 


Pauline:           You’d have to make love to James on the beach.


 


Juliet:              I’d use a double.


 


Pauline:           Ooh, I wouldn’t.


 


Juliet:              Can you see my lying in the nuddy on the sand?


 


Pauline:           A crab might walk up and bite your bum!


 


Juliet:              Or Jamesy’s you-know-what!


 


Pauline:           Ooh, disgusting!

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[27 Sep 2004|03:05pm]

opels

Scene Six


 


(The Hulmes’ dining room. Bridget lays the table and lights the candles. Henry Hulme enters.)


 


Henry:            Good evening, Mrs. O’Malley.


 


Bridget:          Evening, Dr. Hulme.


 


Henry:            What’s the occasion?


 


Bridget:          Mrs. Hulme said se wished to dine alone with you. She’s putting the little one to bed.


 


Henry:            Sounds ominous. Where’s Juliet?


 


Bridget:          Upstairs with Pauline.


 


Henry:            Doesn’t that girl ever go home?


 


Bridget:          If you’ll excuse me I’ll see to the roast.


 


Henry:            Please don’t let me stand in the way of your rendezvous with the roast. But what about slipping me a water biscuit on the sly? I’m famished.


 


Bridget:          Certainly, Dr. Hulme.


 


(Bridget goes out. Henry amuses himself passing his finger through the candle flame. Hilda enters.)


 


Hilda:              Hello, Henry.


 


Henry:            I must teach Juliet how to do this one day. Pass through the flames without getting burnt.


 


Hilda:              (sitting down) Did you have a pleasant day?


 


Henry:            Not particularly. (Bridget enters with a packet of water biscuits. Henry scoops up a handful.) Thank you, Mrs. O’Malley. I’m indebted to you eternally.


 


Hilda:              Bridget. The soup please.


 


(Bridget goes out)


 


Henry:            (eating the crackers) Blame me if you must blame someone. Hunger won out over protocol.


 


Hilda:              Quite.


 


Henry:            I’ve been thinking…


 


(Bridget brings out the soup.)


 


Hilda:              Thank you.


 


Henry:            … If you could learn to shave with both hands using two razors you could halve your shaving time.


 


Hilda:              Henry.


 


Henry:            Mm?


 


Hilda:              I’m in love with Walter Perry.


 


Henry:            Lathering apart, shaving takes about two and a half minutes so, theoretically, one could save seven hours and four minutes of valuable time per year.


 


Hilda:              I haven’t slept with him yet but I intend to do so tomorrow night.


 


Henry:            Is that so? I wish you’d tell Bridget not to serve the soup cold.


 


Hilda:              I think we should… we must finish.


 


Henry:            I really don’t know whether I could learn to shave with two hands this late in the piece.


 


Hilda:              Stop it! Stop playing this childish game.


 


Henry:            Might I suggest I prefer my game to yours?


 


Hilda:              I want him to live in the flat.


 


Henry:            No. Not in the flat. Bad idea.


 


Hilda:              Why?


 


Henry:            My dear, you amaze me. People will talk.


 


Hilda:              There’ll be no proof.


 


Henry:            Think of your reputation – and mine.


 


Hilda:              I didn’t think you cared about that kind of thing.


 


Henry:            Your timing is abysmal.


 


Hilda:              I’m sorry to do this to you Henry. I’ve tried to make you happy.


 


Henry:            A lovely speech my dear. First prize.


 


Hilda:              We don’t bring out the best in each other.


 


Henry:            A rather sad summation of our years together don’t you think?


 


Hilda:              Yes.


 


Henry:            It’s a point of view one could argue with.


 


Hilda:              But one won’t.


 


Henry:            You seem to have made up your mind.


 


Hilda:              I simply can’t bear it any longer.


 


(The moment of reconciliation passes.)


 


Henry:            Are you going to eat something?


 


Hilda:              I’m not hungry.


 


Henry:            You look disappointed somehow. What did you want me to do? Challenge Sir Walter to a duel?


 


Hilda:              No.


 


Henry:            I’m giving you what you want. It is what you want, isn’t it?


 


Hilda:              Yes.


 


Henry:            I’m prepared to be civilised. Help yourself, Walter. Eat my roast beef. Roger my wife-


 


(Hilda storms out. Henry breaks down once she is gone.)

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[27 Sep 2004|02:43pm]

opels

Scene Five


 


(The courtroom)


 


Brown:            Early this year Dr. Hulme decided to resign from his position as Rector of Canterbury College.


 


Bridget:          He was forced to resign. Let’s keep the record straight.


 


Brown:            For professional and domestic reasons he decided to return to England, taking his daughter to South Africa on the way. Circumstances in his home were not too happy.


 


(The Hulmes’ lounge. Bridget observes Walter Perry kissing Hilda)


 


Bridget:          She met Mister Perry at Marriage Guidance – which just goes to show, doesn’t it? (she goes out)


 


Perry:              I can’t stay.


 


Hilda:              Why not? Henry won’t be home for an hour.


 


Perry:              I think we should wait until you’ve talked to him.


 


Hilda:              Oh, for God’s sake, Walter.


 


Perry:              I think he suspects.


 


Hilda:              Henry wouldn’t know if the house was on fire.


 


Perry:              You said you’d tell him.


 


Hilda:              I’m trying to! He avoids me. He comes home late, he leaves early.


 


Perry:              Just tell him.


 


Hilda:              It’s all very well for you to say. (they kiss again) You could live in the flat you know.


 


Perry:              Bridget lives in the flat.


 


Hilda:              I’ll give her notice. It’s perfectly natural we should offer you hospitality. After all, we’ve got an empty flat and no one likes being in a hotel room.


 


Perry:              You don’t have an empty flat.


 


Hilda:              But I could have one.


 


Perry:              What about Henry? He trusts me.


 


Hilda:              Henry! He runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds.


 


Perry:              What a fiasco.


 


Hilda:              Don’t worry about him. He’ll find another job.


 


Perry:              The loyal wife.


 


Hilda:              I’ve done my best.


 


Perry:              Maybe we should wait. Let things settle down.


 


Hilda:              Fine. If that’s what you want.


 


Perry:              I want what’s best for all of us.


 


Hilda:              There is no best for all of us. Somebody’s got to lose and, by God, this time it’s not going to be me.


 


Perry:              He is a friend of mine Hilda. Be reasonable.


 


Hilda:              I’m past reason. How do you think I feel, stuck here in this God-forsaken country while you two whitter on, business as usual? I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t think-


 


Perry:              I’m only saying we owe it to him to-


 


Hilda:              Make up your mind! Choose! Choose now, and if you don’t choose me, then push off!


 


(Bridget enters the room, then backs away before the lovers see her)


 


Perry:              Darling, don’t. I’ll take care of everything. I promise I will. But tell him the truth first. For me.

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[27 Sep 2004|02:40pm]

opels

Scene Four


 


(The courtroom)


 


Brown:            The girl’s main object in life was to be together, to share each other’s thoughts and activities, secrets and plans. The girl Parker visited the Hulme’s residence at Ilam regularly, on occasion staying for days at a time. Mrs. Parker became perturbed over their unhealthy relationship and tried to break it up. This interference was resented by the girls and gradually grew into hatred.


 


(1953. The two girls’ bedrooms. Pauline is in her underclothes writing in her diary. She is listening to ‘E lucevan le stelle’ from Tosca)


 


Pauline:           Yesterday Mother was out so I went to Deborah’s. No one was home so we bathed together… However, I felt thoroughly depressed afterwards…


 


(In her own bedroom, Juliet is writing in her diary. The music continues as both girls write, their voices overlapping.)


 


Juliet:              We bathed for some time. Gina was very depressed. She talked about suicide. Of course, her circumstances are almost intolerable.


 


Pauline:           Life seemed so much not worth living and death such an easy way out.


 


Juliet:              … such an easy way out.


 


Pauline:           Anger against Mother boils up inside me. It is she who is one of the main obstacles in my path.


 


Juliet:              … our path is strewn with obstacles…


 


(the music swells. Pauline is overcome by it. She hardly hears Mrs. Rieper knocking at the door.)


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Pauline! We’re going to be late. (Pauline ignores her) You’ve been locked up there an hour and a half.


 


Pauline:           In a moment.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I’m opening the door right now.


 


Pauline:           Philistine.


 


(Mrs. Rieper enters with freshly ironed skirt and blouse.)


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Please turn that music off. (Pauline turns it off.) Well?


 


Pauline:           Well what?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Thank you for ironing my clothes, Mother. I know I promised to do it myself but I forgot.


 


Pauline:           Thank you. Don’t watch me!


 


(Pauline zips up her skirt)


 


Mrs. Rieper:  That skirt’s hanging on you.


 


Pauline:           It is not.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  You could be anaemic.


 


Pauline:           I feel fine.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Your hair looks limp.


 


Pauline:           I like it straight.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  It was the Hulmes who recommended Dr Bennett so stop sulking.


 


Pauline:           Only because you went on and on.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I did no such thing.


 


Pauline:           Mrs. Hulme said-


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Said what?


 


Pauline:           Nothing.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Don’t you ‘nothing’ me.


 


Pauline:           That you’re a worrier.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  She said that, did she?


 


Pauline:           Yes.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  If you ask me, Lady Muck should worry herself a little bit more. Don’t slouch. You’ll compress your innards. You really could be a lovely girl if you set your mind to it.


 


Pauline:           Deborah likes me the way I am.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Why you can’t call Juliet by her proper Christian name I’ll never know. Deborah and Gina.


 


Pauline:           There’s no need to harp on about it.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  You’re not pining over that fellow Nicholas are you?


 


Pauline:           (scornfully) Nicholas!


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I thought he was rather fond of you.


 


Pauline:           Maybe.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I know you’d never do anything to disappoint me.


 


Pauline:           I wouldn’t touch Nicholas with a barge pole.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I wasn’t suggesting-


 


Pauline:           If you think there was ever anything between Nicholas and me-


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Now Pauline, I’ve never said-


 


Pauline:           The thought disgusts me.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Sometimes young people do things they regret later on.


 


Pauline:           Not me.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Even you Dad’s worried.


 


Pauline:           There’s nothing wrong with me!


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Maybe you need a tonic.


 


Pauline:           You don’t like the Hulmes, do you?


 


Mrs. Rieper:  There is such a thing as overstaying your welcome. You practically live there.


 


Pauline:           I’m one of the family. Mrs. Hulme said so.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I’m your mother, Pauline, not Lady Muck.


 


Pauline:           I’m to come out as often as I like.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  And I say no more going to Ilam until you’re more cheerful around the house, and you eat properly.


 


Pauline:           That’s not fair.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  No potatoes, no Juliet. (Bridget rings at the Riepers’ front door. She has a Mario Lanza record) Finish getting dressed. We’re leaving in five minutes. (she opens the door) Yes?


 


Bridget:          Mrs. Rieper? Bridget O’Malley.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Oh yes. Come in.


 


Bridget:          Thank you. Juliet asked me to drop this record off for Pauline.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  I don’t like her accepting gifts she can’t repay.


 


Bridget:          I think it’s a loan.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  A loan. Well then.


 


Bridget:          There’s a note too.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  We’ve a doctor’s appointment to keep-


 


Bridget:          Nothing serious I hope.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Pauline’s not looking herself lately. She’s off her food.


 


Bridget:          She eats like a horse at Ilam. Everything on her plate.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  False expectations is what hurts people.


 


Bridget:          Isn’t that the truth.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  She doesn’t seem to realize.


 


Bridget:          You don’t at that age. (she gives Mrs. Rieper an envelope) You can rip it up if you like. It’s only schoolgirl drivel.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Thank you.


 


Bridget:          I won’t keep you then. Afternoon.


 


Mrs. Rieper:  Good afternoon.


 


(Bridget goes out. Mrs. Rieper looks at the envelope debating whether to open it. Pauline and Juliet continue writing in their diaries.)


 


Pauline:           Suddenly the means of ridding myself of the obstacle occurs to me.


 


Juliet:              … I see the faint shadow of a solution… the faintest of shadows, there on the horizon.


 


Pauline:           I will not tell Deborah of my plans – yet.


 


Juliet:              I will not say anything to Gina – yet. She must come to see its inevitability herself.


 


Pauline:           The last fate I wish to meet is one in Borstal.


 


(Mrs. Rieper hands Pauline the envelope and the record)

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[26 Sep 2004|09:17pm]

opels

(Part Three)


 


Juliet:              Well done! Gina gets her revenge.


 


Pauline:           If she thinks she can order me around she’s got another thing coming.


 


Juliet:              Bravo! Bravissimo!


 


Pauline:           Your mother is so beautiful.


 


Juliet:              She dyes her hair.


 


Pauline:           You look like her.


 


Juliet:              (touching Pauline’s face) You don’t look all that much like your mother. Truly.


 


Pauline:           I think I might be adopted.


 


Juliet:              You’re very different people inside.


 


Pauline:           Yes. We are.


 


Juliet:              Oh God. I have a headache. The coronation was going so well until Bridget poked her ugly face in.


 


Pauline:           Diello was crowned. That’s the main thing. Shall I? (she massages Juliet’s neck and head)


 


Juliet:              She was threatening me again with hellfire and damnation. She said she saw us at the temple.


 


Pauline:           When?


 


Juliet:              Last week. When we sent Mario up to the gods.


 


Pauline:           But you can’t see the temple from the house. Not even from the upstairs window.


 


Juliet:              She must have been spying on us. Ooh, that’s lovely… I think we should get rid of her. She’s beginning to get on my nerves.


 


Pauline:           As Diello commands.


 


Juliet:              Why don’t we blackmail her?


 


Pauline:           Yes, good.


 


Juliet:              Mother’s china ornaments, I think.


 


(the girls assume mock-innocent voices)


 


Pauline:           The shepherdess? No, Mrs. Hulme, I haven’t seen it.


 


Juliet:              Wasn’t Mrs. O’Malley the last person in the room?


 


Pauline:           My ring’s gone missing too but I didn’t want to say.


 


Juliet:              I know it’s difficult to let her go, Mother, but we can’t have a thief in the house.


 


(they burst into giggles)


 


Pauline:           You’re disgustingly clever.


 


Juliet:              Thank you darling. (pause) Mummy’s giving a party on Saturday. I thought we might try getting drunk.


 


Pauline:           Yes.


 


Juliet:              We’ll have to do it discreetly though or Mummy will have a fit. Can you vomit into the azaleas discreetly?


 


Pauline:           On your command, my Lord.


 


Juliet:              Thou good and faithful servant. Let me reward you.


 


Pauline:           As is pleases you, my Lord.


 


(Pauline kneels. Juliet undresses Pauline. Both girls are in their underclothes. They


assume the voices of film characters. Juliet is James Mason, Pauline is Margaret


Lockwood)


 


Juliet:              My darling, don’t hide your face.


 


Pauline:           I’m ashamed.


 


Juliet:              Ashamed of what, my angel?


 


Pauline:           My past. My sordid, sordid past.


 


Juliet:              Nothing you tell me can make any difference.


 


Pauline:           I’m no longer… pure.


 


Juliet:              (abruptly becoming herself) Truly? Did you finally do it with Nicholas?


 


Pauline:           It hurt.


 


Juliet:              You need Vaseline. I read it in Mummy’s Family Planning Manual. We’ll pinch it from the chemist’s… that can be next week’s project.


 


Pauline:           I don’t really fancy him any more.


 


Juliet:              But you must try it again. I want you to.


 


Pauline:           Mario’s much better.


 


Juliet:              (becoming Mario Lanza) Yes, of course.


 


Pauline:           Mario.


 


Juliet:              Gina.


 


Pauline:           Mario mio.


 


(they kiss. Juliet begins to stroke Pauline, then notices her slip.)


 


Juliet:              It’s gone a bit grey and slimy hasn’t it?


 


Pauline:           I do have a nicer one at home.


 


Juliet:              I didn’t mean – Gina, I’m sorry…


 


(Pauline is suddenly enraged. She rips her slip off.)


 


Pauline:           No, you’re absolutely right. It’s a filthy rag! (she tears it into shreds)


 


Juliet:              Pauline!


 


Pauline:           I hate, hate, hate wearing my sister’s hand-me-downs! Everything I own has my sister’s smell on it. The least Mother could do is buy me some decent underwear, stupid bitch!


 


(Pauline is trembling. Juliet strokes her.)


 


Juliet:              Poor Gina.


 


Pauline:           She even tried to make me wear one of her old bras.


 


Juliet:              Poor, poor Gina.


 


(Juliet takes her locket off and gives it to Pauline)


 


Pauline:           Oh Deborah, I’m so happy when I’m with you.


 


Juliet:              You’re an idiot. It’s only an old locket.


 


Pauline:           I love it. I love you.


 


Juliet:              Don’t ever leave me.


 


Pauline:           Never.


 


Juliet:              Promise?


 


Pauline:           Promise.


 


Juliet:              Cross your heart?


 


Pauline:           And hope to die.

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[26 Sep 2004|09:15pm]

opels

(Part Two)


 


Hilda:              (off) Juliet! (she enters, beautifully dressed) Hello darling. I’m off.


 


Juliet:              You look sumptuous.


 


Hilda:              I’m meeting Daddy at the Bennetts’ in half an hour.


 


Juliet:              Will Mr. Perry be there?


 


Hilda:              Maybe.


 


Juliet:              How divine.


 


Hilda:              Where’s Pauline?


 


Juliet:              Bridget sent her to the wash house.


 


Bridget:          The girls are set on ruining the furniture.


 


Juliet:              We dripped one tiny bit of wax.


 


Hilda:              You mustn’t annoy Mrs. O’Malley, darling. We couldn’t manage without her.


 


Juliet:              I could.


 


Hilda:              Juliet. Don’t. (she strokes Juliet’s brow) You’re hot.


 


Bridget:          I’ve told her – get some fresh air, I said. Lying about all afternoon with the drapes drawn. It’s like a furnace in here.


 


Hilda:              Have you taken your medicine?


 


Bridget:          If I’ve told her once I’ve told her a hundred times-


 


Juliet:              I hate the taste. I’d rather have a cocktail.


 


Hilda:              So would I.


 


Pauline:           (entering) I’m sorry, Mrs. O’Malley. I couldn’t find the- oh, good afternoon, Mrs. Hulme.


 


Hilda:              Hello Pauline.


 


Pauline:           You look very nice.


 


Hilda:              Thank you. That tunic suits you too.


 


Pauline:           It’s a costume. We were doing a scene.


 


Hilda:              Really.


 


Juliet:              From one of our books.


 


Bridget:          She was flinging dead leaves about here, there and everywhere.


 


Juliet:              It was a symbolic action, Bridget.


 


Bridget:          I’m just putting your mother in the picture.


 


Hilda:              Using one’s imagination is so important at this age. (kissing Juliet) Now be a good darling and don’t stay up too late.


 


Juliet:              You smell so… delicious!


 


Hilda:              (stopping at the door) Oh! I almost forgot – your mother rang.


 


Pauline:           Yes?


 


Hilda:              She said – could you pick up a pound of sausages of your way home. Bon soir. (she goes out)


 


Bridget:          What a pity. Pauline will miss my nice roast chicken.


 


Juliet:              See you anon, Bridget.


 


Bridget:          When Miss here gives me the Tan-ol like I asked.


 


Pauline:           It’s gone missing. I told you.


 


Bridget:          What do you mean it’s gone missing? I put it in the wash house not ten minutes ago.


 


Pauline:           There is no Tan-ol.


 


Bridget:          Don’t be daft. Did you look on the shelf above the laundry tub?


 


Pauline:           I looked everywhere.


 


Bridget:          All right then. Let the furniture fall to pieces. It’s all the same to me. (she goes out)


 


Juliet:              Bloody busybody. Could you really not find the Tan-ol?


 


Pauline:           Oh, I found it. But I threw it out the wash house window.


 


(the girls laugh gleefully)

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[26 Sep 2004|09:11pm]

opels

Scene Three


 (Part One)


(1953. Juliet’s bedroom, late afternoon. Coronation music: Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’.


Pauline is dressed as Lancelot Trelawney, a soldier of fortune. She ritualistically lights candles then scatters dried leaves and weeds. Juliet is dressed as Emperor Diello, evil ruler of their imaginary kingdom of Borovnia and Volumnia)


 


Pauline:           Fennel, dock and wandering Jew, take root. Convolvulus and periwinkle, flourish throughout the land. Prickly gorse and deadly belladonna, entwine together to pierce the hearts of our enemies. Poison, plague and pestilence, ready yourselves to strike on command of the dreaded Diello. We bow before you Diello, son of the Emperor Charles II and his Mistress Deborah.


 


Juliet:              Rise and utter the challenge.


 


Pauline:           (throwing one of Hilda’s evening gloves to the ground) If any person of high or low degree shall deny our Sovereign Lord Diello, heir to the Imperial Crown of Borovnia and Volumnia, here is his champion who sayeth he lyeth and is a false traitor. I stand ready in person to combat in this quarrel and adventure with my life.


 


Juliet:              (holding up a chalice) To the health and long life of my champion!(she drinks then gives the chalice to Pauline) Craven masses, hear the words of the mighty Diello. He has toppled his ancient father from the throne and vows to rule according to the law of a new generation. There will be no mercy to those who disobey me. Neither to the snotty-nosed orphan or the simpering sibling; nor to the fish-fingered housewife or the hunch-backed academic. All must cower before me and obey the wisdom of the Royal Law. The lively oracles of God are mine alone.


 


Pauline:           (putting Hilda’s fur stole around Juliet’s shoulders) The mantle of greatness descends upon you.


 


Juliet:              Vivat Borovnia!


 


Pauline:           (Putting a ring on Juliet’s finger) The Ring of Fortitude. Given to you by Lancelot Trelawny your true and faithful liege man. He will live and die in thy earthly worship.


 


Juliet:              Vivat Volumnia!


 


Pauline:           (Placing a crown on Juliet’s head) The Crown of Desire. For the weak shall never enter the Kingdom of Love.


 


Juliet:              Vivat Diello! Anoint me.


 


Pauline:           (anointing Juliet with oil and intoning) And as Solomon was anointed by Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet be thou anointed Emperor of Borovnia and Volumnia.


 


(Juliet tilts her face to be kissed on the lips. Bridget O’Malley calls out.)


 


Bridget:          Juliet? Juliet!


 


Juliet:              Bloody hell. Blow out the candles, quick! (she calls) Hold on a moment!


 


(Juliet throws the coronation regalia into a corner. Pauline quickly dresses, blowing out


candles at the same time.)


 


Bridget:          (coming closer) What are you doing in there?


 


Juliet:              Nothing.


 


(Bridget raps on the door. Pauline opens it on Juliet’s signal)


 


Pauline:           Hello, Mrs. O’Malley.


 


Bridget:          What in God’s Holy Name is that stink? I smelled it right down in the kitchen.


 


Pauline:           It’s incense.


 


Bridget:          You’ve been smoking again, haven’t you.


 


Pauline:           No, Mrs. O’Malley.


 


Bridget:          I smell fags underneath that stink.


 


Pauline:           It’s candles. We were playing a game.


 


Bridget:          You’ll be back in the sanatorium if you don’t watch out. You should be resting.


 


Juliet:              I am resting.


 


Bridget:          Wallowing’s more like it. Look at this room. It’s not fit for a pig. (she starts to tidy up)


 


Juliet:              I thought it was your day off.


 


Bridget:          It’s not.


 


Juliet:              But I thought-


 


Bridget:          Thought stuck a feather in the ground and thought it would grow it a hen. God help us. There’s much all over the carpet. (she holds up a weed) Well?


 


Juliet:              It’s a weed.


 


Bridget:          I do have eyes.


 


Pauline:           We’ll tidy everything up.


 


Bridget:          I should say so. I don’t get paid to hoover weeds. (she notices wax from the candles) What’s this? (she picks at the wax then looks at Pauline) Don’t stand there gaping like a fish. Fetch a rag and some Tan-ol from the wash house.


 


Juliet:              I’ll come with you.


 


Bridget:          You’ll do no such thing.


 


(Juliet reluctantly stays. Pauline goes out.)


 


Bridget:          I’ve a mind to tell your father about your pranks.


 


Juliet:              He doesn’t care.


 


Bridget:          He cares about smoking in the bedroom.


 


Juliet:              We were not smoking.


 


Bridget:          O, aye.


 


Juliet:              Do you mind, Bridget? I’ve got a headache.


 


Bridget:          Aren’t we the little actress.


 


Juliet:              I don’t feel well.


 


Bridget:          I’m not surprised. Cooped up in your bedroom all day talking rubbish and scribbling it down like it was the holy writ.


 


Juliet:              For your information, Gina and I are writing a novel.


 


Bridget:          Ooh, a novel?


 


Juliet:              Yes.


 


Bridget:          And what’s the novel about?


 


Juliet:              Nothing you’d be interested in. Philosophy. Love. Higher things.


 


Bridget:          Don’t you go putting on airs with me. I saw you two running around in the garden in your knickers last week.


 


Juliet:              It was hot.


 


Bridget:          Very hot I’m sure.


 


Juliet:              We were sunbathing.


 


Bridget:          I know mischief when I see it.


 


Juliet:              Some people are so narrow minded.


 


Bridget:          Some people had better say why they were thrashing about in the ferns shouting mumbo jumbo or I’ll be forced to tell their Mam.


 


Juliet:              We were burying religion.


 


Bridget:          Holy Mother of God.


 


Juliet:              First we sent Mario Lanza up to the Gods and then we sacrificed a mouse at the temple of Minerva. We baptized him ‘Randolph’.


 


Bridget:          You’re making yourself an easy target for the devil. Mark my words.


 


Juliet:              Isn’t it strange about names? You’ve got Bridget imprinted on your forehead but there’s no way on earth Pauline is a Pauline or I’m a Juliet. Our mothers made a terrible mistake. That’s why we had to re-christen ourselves Deborah and Gina.


 


Bridget:          In my humble opinion you’re both headed straight for the fires of Hell.


 


Juliet:              Thank you for your concern, Bridget. I’ll bear that in mind.

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[26 Sep 2004|05:29pm]

opels

Scene Two


 


Bridget:          (addressing the audience) The ‘domestic tragedy’ was how Mrs. Hulme referred to it after. That and ‘Juliet’s illness’, as if wickedness was something you caught from breathing bad air. But I didn’t blame her. Not much. In the beginning we were pals.


 


(The Hulmes’ house. Hilda enters.)


 


Hilda:              I do hope you’ll be happy here.


 


Bridget:          It looks like a very nice situation.


 


Hilda:              You like the flat?


 


Bridget:          It’s lovely, thank you.


 


Hilda:              Feel free to borrow anything from our kitchen until you get settled – plates, cups, saucepans-


 


Bridget:          You’re too kind, Mrs. Hulme, really.


 


Hilda:              No, Hilda. Please. You must call me Hilda. We don’t stand on ceremony in this house.


 


Bridget:          In that case please call me Bridget.


 


Hilda:              Lovely. Bridget.


 


Bridget:          Thank you, Hilda.


 


Hilda:              I’ll leave it to you then. Bridget.


 


Bridget:          Right. Hilda. (Hilda goes out) Bridget, Hilda. Hilda, Bridget. We sounded like a couple of chooks at the back gate. Her husband Henry was Cambridge educated. Couldn’t understand a word he said.


 


(Henry enters)


 


Henry:            Mrs. O’Malley. It appears I shall be unavoidably incarcerated in the Ivory Tower past dinner time. Would you mind terribly keeping whatever delectable morsel you conjure up warm for me until I return? (He leaves)


 


Bridget:          Still, he was a gentleman. Not like some of those other university types buggering each other behind closed doors calling it research. He wasn’t like that. Hilda was the one you had to watch out for. I soon discovered that. She talked equal, but she acted like a Queen Bee – until her daughter was arrested for murder.


 


(The courtroom. Brown, the Crown Prosecutor, is addressing the jury)


 


Brown:            Most of you will have read in the newspapers, and no doubt have discussed among your friends, the story of the crime. One of my duties is to ask you to endeavour to forget all you have read or heard about the case, and indeed it is your duty to do so. You are here to decide the case on the evidence and on the evidence alone.


                        You may pity the dead woman, the mother of the girl Parker, who was brutally done to death, or you may feel pity for the accused in the dreadful situation they find themselves in today. These things have nothing to do with this trial at all. Sentiment and emotionalism have no part in British justice.


 


Bridget:          British justice. Hah! There isn’t a person in this courtroom – or in the whole of Christchurch – who isn’t salivating over every detail.


 


Brown:            Before hearing the evidence of the killing of Mrs. Parker it is important you should know something of the accused and their families. Let us begin with the girls themselves. After meeting at Christchurch Girl’s High School two years ago, their friendship developed rapidly into what may be called an intense devotion for each other.


 


Bridget:          Aye, the girls were devoted, I’ll give you that. Pauline was devoted to Juliet and Juliet was devoted to herself.

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[26 Sep 2004|05:27pm]

opels

Act One


Scene One


 


(New Zealand, 1959. The action is divided between Pauline’s prison cell in Christchurch and Juliet’s prison cell in Wellington, where the girls have been transferred in preparation for their release. They have been in prison, separately, since October 1954)


 


Pauline:           O my God, I am heartily sorry-


 


Juliet:              My dear one. I am dictating this to you through the spirits of the Fourth World, per usual.


 


Pauline:           -I am heartily sorry for having offended thee and I detest sin above every other evil because it offends thee my God who art worthy of all my love-


 


Juliet:              I want you to remember Paradise. It was ours once. We created our own map of Heaven. Haven’t I learned the hard way in this shit-hole of a place that that is all there is? Our heaven and the two of us?


 


Pauline:           -and I firmly resolve, by thy holy Grace, never more to offend thee and to amend my life.


 


Juliet:              Now that I have been brought to my knees I see my own star brighter than ever. I will never give in. I will never look back. I will never regret. It is our fate.


 


Pauline:           Amen.

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[25 Sep 2004|04:57pm]

opels
The whole idea for starting this community was to post up parts of the Michelanne Forster play (Daughters of Heaven) scene by scene, so that a copy would finally be available over the internet to people interested in the Parker/Hulme murder case.

My friend and I were able to photocopy the play from a library only yesterday, and we're very anxious to start writing it all out. I realise that somebody else has tried this once (see http://www.livejournal.com/community/22_06_1954/ ) but couldn't finish the work because their copy was lost. Hopefully this won't happen here!

It's a fantastic play with a chilling plot line. Hope you really enjoy it. Thanks go out to el_hombre who gave up time to deliver the first 4 scenes of the play.
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