WORKING TITLE – DECORUM MAINTAINED
As a very young man in the 1960’s, Ron House found himself in London and being short of money he made the logical decision and sold his round trip ticket to the USA. He quickly was again with no money. He found work as an underbutler (assistant to the butler) in a well appointed town house on Belgravia sq. behind Buckingham Palace. The masters of the house were KLAUS & SONNY VONBULOW
Some 18 years later when he heard about the murder trial, he was inspired by his experience and wrote a comedy based on a very young American in an eccentric upper class English household where the husband and wife are trying to kill each other by asking the young man to commit the murder.
SHORT SAMPLE OF THE SCRIPT
TIME- The Present. PLACE - LONDON Billy Jones, a young American, stands hesitantly in the library. He is dressed like a typical American college student. Mr. Balford enters from up stage library door, he is an English butler in his early sixties. He is short tempered and sarcastic. BALFORD Good Morning. BILLY Good Morning, sir. I’m happy to be here, sir. (He’s trying hard to impress.) BALFORD Hmm...You are the boy from Knightbridge Domestic Service? BILLY Yes, sir. And, I’m sure I can do the job, sir! BALFORD Do you have combat experience? BILLY What? BALFORD Have you ever been in a desperate fight where the lives of several people depended on your actions? Billy stares for a long moment at Mr. Balford. BILLY Ahh...errr yes...no...I’m not sure.... BALFORD Have you ever worked in a mental institution? BILLY Aahhh....No...well... BALFORD Do you have experience with domestic violence? BILLY I think... BALFORD Do you feel you could spend months alone, isolated and lonely, with no friends in cramped uncomfortable quarters? BILLY Maybe...I don’t know... BALFORD Are you familiar with paranormal phenomena? BILLY What’s that? BALFORD Things move about for no apparent reason. Chains dragged on the floor, screams from rooms where people have been murdered, that sort of thing. BILLY I thought this job was for a domestic servant? BALFORD It is! Can you withstand severe pain? BILLY Yes...What kind of pain? BALFORD Physical and mental? You have a peculiar accent. Do you speak English fluently? BILLY Yes, I‘m an American... BALFORD Good God... The meowing of a cat is heard. Balford looks very annoyed. BALFORD (contíd) That little bastard! He’s in here again. Balford goes under a side table. He cannot be seen by the audience. There is a good deal of cat screeching and the table shakes. We hear Balford swearing at the cat. He comes from under the table and is violently wrestling with a ball of fur. He throws it out the window. BALFORD (contíd) In this house, we maintain decorum at all times. What’s your name? BILLY Billy. He laughs awkwardly. Mr. Balford is not amused. BALFORD I will address you as William. You will address me as Mr. Balford! I will not tell you my Christian name as you will never use it. Is that understood? Do you have any questions? BILLY Ah, yeah... BALFORD Yes, sir! BILLY Sorry, yes, sir. How much is the salary and do I have a room? BALFORD 200 pounds per week. BILLY Where do I sleep? BALFORD Not with me, if that what you’re suggesting.... BILLY No,..I wasn’t.. BALFORD You will have the smallest in the servants quarters. Your title is that of “Underbutler”. You will report only to me. Do not speak to Her Ladyship or the Master without my authorization. LADY CAROLYN enters from up stage library door, she is a middle aged upper class attractive English woman. She wears an elegant bathrobe and carries a breakfast tray. BALFORD Good morning, Madame LADY CAROLYN I asked for breakfast and you served me filth! She throws the tray on the floor nearly hitting Balford. Balford tries to hide his anger. BALFORD Thank you, Milady. LADY CAROLYN Well, do you have anything to say for yourself? BALFORD I... LADY CAROLYN Or, are you struck dumb by your own incompetence? BALFORD I apologize for my incompetence, Milady. Balford indicates to Billy to pick up the dishes. LADY CAROLYN Sack the cook. BALFORD You sacked him yourself last week, Milady. LADY CAROLYN I did? BALFORD Indeed, you did! LADY CAROLYN For what? BALFORD I believe he served a nauseating, repulsive, outrage to your guests. LADY CAROLYN Quite right too! In which case I shall go out to the Ritz for breakfast. BALFORD The Ritz does not serve breakfast at half past 4:00, however, Fortnum and Mason does. LADY CAROLYN Good, tell the chauffeur, whatever his name is, to collect me. BALFORD Begging your Ladyship’s pardon, you sacked the chauffeur yesterday. LADY CAROLYN What ever for? BALFORD I believe he said to your face, that you were an unattractive example of a female canine and you should self fornicate. LADY CAROLYN And I suggested to him that perhaps he had had intercourse with his mother and was also illegitimate. Very well, Balford, you may drive me. BALFORD Unfortunately, shortly after his departure, I found the tires on the Bentley slashed. LADY CAROLYN In which case, I shall have tea in my chambers. Lady Carolyn notices Billy. LADY CAROLYN (contíd) What is that? BALFORD The new underbutler. LADY CAROLYN Does it have a name? BALFORD Its name is...his name is William. She turns and smiles broadly at Billy. LADY CAROLYN Welcome, William. (to Balford) Remember, we’re having twelve for dinner. I shall return shortly with the guest list. Lady Carolyn exits up stage library door. BALFORD Take what’s left of the tray to the kitchen.