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THREE OLD LADIES IN A PUB
© 2014 Bernard Morris
The author asserts the moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. All Rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrievable system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Cover Image by freedigitalphotos.net
Permission to perform this play is only granted for use in acting classes and auditions.
ETHEL – in her 70s
MADGE – in her 70s
DORIS – in her 80s
Time: The present.
Setting: A pub.
SCENE: PUB. ENTER ETHEL. SHE WALKS TO THE BAR.
BILL: Good evening, Ethel.
ETHEL: Evening, Bill.
BILL: The usual?
ETHEL: Yes. The usual poison.
BILL: What’s the weather like out there?
ETHEL: It’s freezing. I wouldn’t throw a cat out on a night like this.
BILL: Still. It’ll soon be summer, eh?
ETHEL: Hmm. Roll on summer.
BILL: There you go, love. Half a lager.
ETHEL: (searching in purse for money) I’m sure I had a pound coin in here somewhere. The trouble is they’re so small.
BILL: You’re all right, love. You can have this one on the house.
ETHEL: It’s here somewhere. Worst thing they ever did, getting rid of the pound note. They’re so small these pound coins. Only the other day I gave one to Mr Peterson the butcher and he said to me, “Ethel,” he said. I said, “What?” He said, “This is a pound coin.” “Oh,” I said. “I am sorry.” I thought it was a five pence piece, you see. Well, they’re so similar in size and…
BILL: Ethel, close your purse and take your drink before I pour it over your head.
ETHEL: I’ll have another look for it later. Cheers.
BILL: Your friends are sitting over there near the fire.
ETHEL: They know where it’s warm. They’re not as daft as you look. (shouting) Yoohoo! Madge!
MADGE: (shouting) Hello, Ethel! Come and sit down.
ETHEL CROSSES THE PUB TO JOIN HER TWO FRIENDS. SHE SITS DOWN WITH A HEAVY SIGH. THERE IS A CRACKLING OF LOGS ON THE OPEN FIRE.
ETHEL: Oh do you know, Madge – my feet are killing me. It’s becoming quite a chore walking to the pub these days.
MADGE: It’s worth it though. You’ll be all right after a couple of lagers down you.
ETHEL: Let’s have a warm. (rubbing hands in front of fire) Oh that’s lovely. You can’t beat the old open fire, Madge.
MADGE: True. Mind you, gas fires are much cleaner and you only have to switch them on in the morning when you get up.
ETHEL: Let’s have a sip of my lager. (She takes a sip of her lager) Lovely.
MADGE: I was wondering where you were. I thought maybe you weren’t coming out.
ETHEL: Well I thought: should I stay in or should I go out? And then I thought, well if I don’t go out I’ll only end up staying in. So I decided to go out.
MADGE: You’re better off going out. It’s better than staying in.
MADGE: Well you get so bored, don’t you, Ethel?
ETHEL: You do, Madge. You do.
MADGE: You don’t know what to do with yourself.
ETHEL: You’re right. There’s not much you can do at our age.
MADGE: I’m glad you came out, Ethel. (referring to Doris) It’s like sitting next to a zombie with her. Look at her. She doesn’t know what day it is.
ETHEL: She is 84, Madge, let’s be fair.
MADGE: She’s not all there. She’s not a full shilling. She’s living with the fairies. She hasn’t even said hello to you. She’s in another world sat there staring into space.
ETHEL: I hope we’re not like that in ten years’ time.
MADGE: I’d rather be dead.
ETHEL: It’s a shame. (to Doris) Hello, Doris
NO REACTION FROM DORIS.
MADGE: You’re wasting your time, Ethel. You’re wasting your time. I’ve been sat here for twenty minutes and she’s hardly said a word. When she does speak she makes no sense. I don’t know why I bother to bring her out.