New Plays

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.

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