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Better This Way
by M Gavas (laufeyson88@hotmail.co.uk)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review:

A coming-of-age story of unrequited love, self-acceptance and the joy of life as a Drama student.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


A car pulls up to this house which is audibly playing host
to some sort of party. SAM (19, androgynous-looking) exits
the house with a cup still in his hand. He calls back into
the house to whoever may be listening.
Until tomorrow, hoes!
Sam almost trips over a couple furiously making out on the
                       SAM (contd.)
Shit! Iím so sorry...
The couple glare up at him. Sam recognises them and cringes.
                       SAM (contd.)
Oh. It's just you.
Sam resumes walking. He heads in the direction of the
waiting car.
Sam climbs into the passenger seat next to TERRY (20,
average-looking in every way) in the driverís. Sam doesnít
close the door behind him, instead looking back wistfully at
the house.
You found me this time. Gold star
for you.
House parties, man. Truly a lost
I'll take your never unreliable
word for it.
The you from two years ago would
be passionately agreeing with me.


The Terry from two years ago would
have been passed out on either the
lawn or the sofa or both by now.
Deffo. Fun times.
Terry starts the car.
I don't suppose you feel like
shutting that door, do you?
Not at all. But just because I
love you so much...
Sam closes the door. Terry nods at him in thanks.
Terryís car slowly pulls away from the kerb and drives away
from the party house.
                       SAM (o.s.)
Do you have any idea which way
youíre meant to be going?
I never do.
As we follow the car driving away we fade into:
The same car driving through the suburban streets on a grey
and miserable day.
Terryís car parks up in the almost full parking area in
front of the old building. A stream of students all aged
around 16-18 make their way inside.


Sam looks the worse for wear leaning against the wall
sipping an energy drink. He doesnít notice as Terry appears
behind him.
How many of those Jaeger-Bombs are
you regretting this morning?
Sam raises his middle finger. They both start walking.
Don't even start. I'd be fine-ish
right now if bloody Freddie hadn't
have started blowing up my phone
trying for a drunk booty-call when
I got in. Iíve literally slept for
about twenty minutes.
Which oneís Freddie?
Young Antonio Banderas with a
Sorry, you know I can't keep track
of all of them.
Yeah, don't try.
Sam pushes open a set of double doors.
Terry and Sam enter an archetypal "performance spaceĒ with
black curtains covering the windows and a basic lighting
rig. Several rows of chairs all face in one direction with a
large desk in front of them. Twenty or so students of a
similar age to Sam populate the room, all looking exhausted
already. A few of them nod or wave to Sam as he walks in and
takes a seat with Terry.

Sam yawns.
Fuck me, I thought artists were
meant to sleep until late. Thatís
in the job description.


None of us are artists quite yet.
With one notable exception.
The door slams open and a short, slight man enters: MAGNUS
WEIGHTMAN. He calls out to the class as he reaches his desk,
his voice carrying like thunder.
How did you spend your weekend,
Mr. Weightman? Why, Iím glad you
asked, folks. As it happens, I had
a very long, hard think followed
by an even longer, even harder
cry. If weíre going to get this
show on its feet in just seven
days, some serious fingers need to
be pulled out and kept out. Come
the after-party you can put them
wherever you like. You may or may
not be aware that the general
populace assumes that performing
arts students are nothing more
than a bunch of lazy layabouts who
only chose said educational path
because they were too inept at all
other subjects. For all our sakes,
please donít prove those people
From where we left off on Friday.
Letís go!
The students scatter in various directions as they prepare
to rehearse. Terry moves to sit next to Weightman's desk and
takes a file out of his bag.
Oh, Terry, I always hate this part
of the day.
The early morning?
No, the part between getting out
of bed in the morning and going to
bed at night.
Terry chuckles and hands Weightman a few papers from within
his file.


Never change, sir.
A tall, red-haired female student (BECK WARREN) stands in
the performance area along with a couple of other
performers. She projects her lines with gusto, however at
the end of every sentence she pauses and surreptitiously
peers down at her hand. We just about see that clumsily
scribbled across her palms are her lines.

Watching from his desk, Weightman raises a hand, halting the
rehearsal. Beck frowns quizzically... until she notices that
on Weightmanís hand are written the words "LEARN YOUR LINES
BECK!Ē Sitting next to him, Terry stifles a laugh.
A sunken-eyed male student (JONATHAN) now stands in the
performance area being barked at by Weightman.
The word is "bequeathedĒ,
Jonathan. Bequeathed. Rhymes with
"seethedĒ. What you are saying
doesnít sound like anything I want
in this particular production.
Again, from the top.
"I am glad to have been
"be-queefedĒ with such an honour,
good doctor.Ē
Weightman rubs his temples.
A dozen or so students rehearse a movement/dance sequence.
None of the performers are in time with each other or the


Another student now stands in the performance area reciting
his lines. This is KIERON BRIDGLEY; extremely conventionally
attractive Ė complete with impossibly styled hair Ė yet his
performance is completely lifeless.
"From the first moment I saw you
sitting across the waiting room
from me, I thought that you could
be my destiny. And then the moment
you laughed and waved at me, I
knew you were.Ē
Packet of crisps, packet of
crisps, cheese and onion, salt and
Youíre meant to be bearing your
soul to this woman, Kieron. At
least try to sound more passionate
than a middle aged plumber
ordering snacks on a Sunday
Sure, sure.
Kieron clears his throat then repeats his "heartfelt speechĒ
with the same monotone as before.
Wonderful, that was just what I
want to see.
Weightman leans in closer to Terry as Kieron continues his
      (to Terry)
In the beginning, if God had
foreseen the state of this play he
would never have created the
Should I write that down?


The majority of the students we saw in the rehearsal room
are sat around tables eating, drinking and/or reciting
lines. Terry sits by himself at a table picking at a small
pot of pasta.

A FEMALE STUDENT gingerly sits opposite him. Terry looks up
to see the girl just staring at him in curiosity.
                       FEMALE STUDENT
Terry, right? Can I ask you
Why not.
The Girl leans closer to Terry and lowers her voice.
                       FEMALE STUDENT
Is it true Weightman asks you to
come sit near us students during
our breaks and, you know, keep
tabs on us and stuff?
Our Director has asked me to do
some strange things before but
never that, so donít fret.
The Girl smiles slightly but looks unconvinced as she slides
further away from Terry.

Terry shakes his head and places the rest of his lunch back
in the bag. He stands and heads for the door but is
intercepted by another girl, one we have seen previously on
stage and is rather striking with her jet black hair and
dark make-up. This is NATASHA.
Please, take my sex cake.
I thought I could eat it all but I
know if I do Iím going to have the
biggest sugar crash in the middle
of the bathroom scene.


I...am confused. Whatís a-
Sex cake?
      (holds out a
       half-eaten slice
       of a gooey
       chocolate cake)
So tasty that itís undeniably
better than getting laid. Youíve
seriously never heard of it?
Regrettably I havenít.
Then take! Get back to me on your
first impression, Iíve got to go
and squeeze into that onesie.
Terry stays on the spot watches as Natasha glides out of the
cafeteria. He then finally takes a bite of the cake.
Instantly his eyes widen.
Yeah, there it is.
A collection of four identical stone-grey blocks of flats.
We close in on one of these in particular
The front door opens and Terry enters the modest living
space which looks like it hasnít been redecorated since the
We hear a voice call from one of the adjoining rooms; PATSY,
Terryís Grandmother.
                       PATSY (o.s.)
You watch out, love. One of those
squirrels jumped in through the
back window and I think he's still
in here somewhere.


But it might be a rat, I didnít
see properly.
This is why we need a cat, Nanna.
Patsy appears finally in one of the doorways, holding a
slipper ready to strike any rogue squirrels or rats.
No, no, I've been there before.
That cat just ate, slept and stunk
It would be like having another
teenager around here.
I'm twenty years old, dearest. Iím
officially no longer a teenager.
Terry gives Patsy a quick peck on the cheek and proceeds to
sit on the sofa.
You bring a nice girl home to me
and then we can say that youíre
not a teen any more.
Patsy and her slipper disappear around the doorway again.
Terry calls after her.
Iíll do that. Then we can all go
out for dinner on the back of one
of those flying pigs.
                       PATSY (o.s.)
Speaking of miracles, any of those
kids learn their lines yet?
Itís like watching baby giraffes
learn to walk but they are getting
there. Some of them are, some of
them clearly just donít give a sh-
                       PATSY (o.s.)
Language, Terry!


Poop, Nanna. They just don't give
a poop.
                       PATSY (o.s.)
Mmm. Well they sound like a load
of lazy little fucks.
The aftermath of a meal in front of the television, Patsy is
reclined on the sofa napping and gently snoring. On the
small coffee table in front of her are a few mostly empty
plates which Terry is in the process of stacking.
Terry brings in the dirty dishes and begins to wash them up.
On the wall next to the sink we can see a collection of
photographs showing Terry in his younger years along with a
young woman who has a clear resemblance to him.
Many students are seen leaving the building, indicating the
end of the working day.
A compact circular space with about a dozen tall bookcases
and about as many people sat around various small desks. On
one of these just happens to be Terry, who is engrossed in
writing something inside his open file.

A familiar voice talking at a volume a little too high for a
library makes Terry look up from his work. He peers over his
shoulder to see Natasha standing at the Librarianís desk
talking to a LIBRARIAN who clearly hates her job.
Sorry, I donít remember who itís
by either. Something beginning
with "LĒ I think? I do know what
the front cover looks like, itís
an extreme close-up of a bald dude
with a mole and a lazy left eye.
Does that narrow it down?


Terry swiftly rises from his seat and approaches the
librarianís desk.
She should be asking for The Art
of the Stage I believe. I hope.
Thank you! Thatís the one-
Natasha turns round to see who the helpful stranger is. Upon
seeing Terry her face brightens.
Sex Cake Boy!
      (notices Librarian
Sorry, inside voice now.
Iíll be right back with your "bald
dude with a mole and a lazy left
eyeĒ book.
Terry and Natasha smile awkwardly at the Librarian as she
wanders off in search of the book.
Making a head-start on coursework,
I take it?
Yup. Anyone who says that being a
drama student is all just prancing
about on stage with no painful
essays deserves to be smacked in
whatever body part would hurt them
the most.
Yes, that is one stereotype that
desperately needs to die.
Or be chopped to pieces with a
rusty chainsaw in front of
everyone it cares about.
Too dark?


Not at all.
Terry and Natasha walk down a corridor now mostly devoid of
life. Their conversation hasnít seemed to slow.
Iíve been meaning to ask Ė and
donít take this the wrong way Ė is
there a reason why Iíve never seen
you before the start of this term?
Yeah. Iím a ghost, obviously.
Obviously. The Casper type or the
Gozer the Gozerian type?
Depends on whether or not Iíve had
caffeine yet.
You ever hear of this posh-twat
college called Royal Mangosteen
School of Performance?
I have.
So I started there last year and
thoroughly hated it. Turns out
they hated me just as much so I
very gladly dropped out and just
happened to find a certain other
college which was running the
exact same course. And thank
Beelzebub there was a spare place
going on their second year. And
voila, here I am.
I see. Is this certain other
college an improvement?
Absolutely. I only have a
stress-cry once a week now.


You know, I used to be a student
I know.
You do?
Everyone does.
Maybe not everyone but enough
people for me to use "everyoneĒ as
This is some amazing new
information to me. I would ask
what else people say about me but
Iím not entirely sure I want to
Honestly, the amount of bullshit
that comes out of most peopleís
mouths here means there are
probably at least three idiots
that are going around saying that
youíre secretly half alpaca.
Truly, drama students never
You know, I do remember you.
Student you.
How? Ghost powers?
I came here on one of those open
days and we all got to watch your
yearís dress rehearsal. Midsummer
Nightís Dream. You were totally up
there playing Peter Quince.
Iím actually touched. I guess I
must have been memorable, then,
which means it was either very


                       TERRY (cont'd)
good or very bad.
Terry and Natasha exit the building and stop walking just a
few paces away from the doors.
And I may even tell you which one
of those it was if youíre good.
Just not right now because I
definitely need to run.
You're going to leave me in
suspense like that?
Well then maybe if you're good we
can continue this conversation
Cool. Later as in at rehearsals on
Later as in tonight.
Natasha holds out her hand for a few beats. Terry
misinterprets the gesture and shakes the hand. Natasha
                       NATASHA (contd.)
No! Pass me your phone, you butt.
I knew that.
Terry sheepishly reaches into his pocket and retrieves his
phone, handing it to Natasha. She begins to input her
Maybe wait until like eight,
half-eight if you want to call. My
Mum is dead-set on me making tacos
tonight and, believe me, that
always leaves a nightmare of a
clean-up job.


A messy food indeed.
But completely worth it. Here!
Natasha hands Terry back his phone.
                       NATASHA (contd.)
See you soon, Sex Cake Boy.
Right back at you, Ghost Girl.
      (points to self)
Natasha, actually.
      (points to self)
Terry. Get home safe.
Thanks! Iíll try not to die again.
Terry glances down and sees she has saved her number in it.
You know, if you need a ride I
actually do have a-
Terry looks up but sees that Natasha has already walked too
far away to hear him. She heads in the direction of a
waiting car and climbs into the passenger seat. We recognise
the girl in the driver seat as Beck, the girl who has a
penchant for reading her lines off her hands.

Terry watches as this car drives away. He walks in the
opposite direction.
A rather cramped space that is in desperate need of a proper
tidy. Terry sits on the bed reading from a script while Sam
paces, reciting his lines from that same text.
"Better to risk everything than to
just settle for a life filled with
darkness and desperation.Ē


Desolation. Not desperation.
What's the difference?
One word is in the script, one
Details, details. You ever notice
how that the way this play is
written is kind of shit?
Itís an acquired taste.
No, I am an acquired taste. This
is just shit. I just feel sorry
for you having to sit through it
all twenty times.
Last year I had to watch that lot
murder Pinter over and over again.
I got through that, I can get
through anything.
Last year was an interesting time.
      (beat. Sam notices
       something on
       Terryís bedside
Speaking of which, hereís a cray
Oh, God.
Why do you still have pictures of
Olivia lying around?
I don't.
Sam grabs a book from the bedside desk. He tips it and a
bundle of photographs fall out. Terry barely reacts.


                       TERRY (contd.)
Oh, those old things.
Terry reaches out to take the photos back but Sam grabs them
and inspects them with distaste. We see that the photos all
show a younger Terry in various embraces with an attractive
girl of the same age, obviously his ex-girlfriend.
This is just sad, darling.
It most definitely is. But can
anyone blame me for wanting to be
reminded of a time when I thought
that someone could look past the
fact that I had the animal
magnetism of a bowl of cold
Lots of people like cold porridge.
Name one.
I know a lot of people, I'm sure
at least one of them does.
You do more than just know a lot
of people, Sam.
Sam raises an eyebrow and then throws the photos across the
And yes I know youíre going to
just pick those up later.
I'll wait until you leave if that
makes you feel better.
Can we try and lay off this lost
cause and maybe try and focus on a
slightly more pressing matter?
Terry picks up the script again. Sam groans.


      (reading from
"This is a foolís errand, Antoine.
I shanít be here to pick up the
pieces again. Now hand me that
damn scalpel.Ē
Seriously, fuck this play.
Much later on that same night. Terry lies on his bed with
his phone on his chest. Eventually he picks it up and types
out a message:
He sends it to Natasha. A few mere seconds later he gets a
reply from her:
Terry laughs. His phone buzzes again as he receives another
message from Natasha:
Terry hesitates, then types and sends his reply:

And one last reply from Natasha:

Terry sits behind the wheel trying to not look as on-edge as
he is feeling as he drives.
Terry leans against his car looking out amongst the stream
of foot-traffic for Natasha. A small group of teens pass in
front of him and after they do Terry spots her standing on
the opposite side of the street, almost as if she had been


there all the time.

Natasha waves to Terry. Terry waves back. They both walk
towards one another.
Patsy sits on the sofa looking miserable. Terry brings her a
large mug of tea and sits opposite.
I know that look, Nanna. I
perfected that look.
Oh, you mean this look of
dejection? Iíve no idea why that
is there. Iím definitely not upset
that my Grandson had his first
date in nearly a year yet didnít
think to tell me. I donít feel
like Iíve been kicked off the
team, not at all.
Nanna! It wasnít a proper date.
Patsy begrudgingly picks up her tea.
Oh, an improper date?
A completely platonic date. A
"plateĒ, one might say.
No one might say that.
All we did was have a nosey round
the market admiring all the smells
and then looking for a very
specific kind of mushroom that her
Mum needs to stick in her Baba
In her what?!
Itís a dish, Nanna.


Hmm. Well that doesnít sound very
romantic but what the hell do I
know about kids these days?
You see? Completely one hundred
percent just-friends vegetable
Mushrooms arenít vegetables.
Do you like her?
Sheís a nice girl, yeah.
Okay. But do you like her?
Terry chuckles.
Trust me, Nanna, Iím not going to
fall blindly and stupidly in love
with her or anything like that.
An extreme close-up of Terry and Natasha standing with their
faces mere inches apart, almost as if they were about to
Are you sure youíre ready?
So ready.
It isnít too late to back out now,
I swear I wonít-
Zip it, let's go.
The two turn their backs on each other and pace in opposite
direction and we pull back to see that the pair are in fact
playing a "pistols at dawnĒ scenario in the middle of the
toy shop with a pair of toy guns.


In unison, they both turn and start firing at each other.
Other shoppers look on incredulously at the "firefightĒ.

Natasha runs for cover in an empty aisle and crouches behind
a stack of dolls. After a few seconds she hears a cry of
anguish from Terry.
                       TERRY (o.s.)
Oh, no!
Natasha, concerned, emerges from her hiding place to follow
Terryís voice. She finds him on his knees in front of a
display of toy robots, looking horrified.
                       TERRY (contd.)
Oh, Mechanizer, what have they
done to you?
You donít understand, Mechanizer
has always transformed into a
tank. Now look, heís been turned
into a Segway! RIP my childhood.
Aw, thatís just too bad. I win, by
the way.
Natasha fires her toy gun and the foam bullet hits Terry
right in the back of the head. A SECURITY GUARD immediately
charges up to the pair.
Cheap shot.
                       SECURITY GUARD
Excuse me, madam! This behaviour
is not-
Yeah, yeah. Weíre leaving now.
Natasha hands the Guard the toy guns then starts dragging
Terry away from the display.
Let's go, soldier.


Youíll always be a tank to me,
A small crowd are gathered around a young BUSKER playing on
a ukulele. Towards the back of this crowd we see Terry and
Natasha, looking somewhat impressed by the Buskerís
performance. Natasha displays zero self-consciousness and
begins to dance to the song. She indicates for Terry to join
in and after some hesitation he does so, albeit much more
awkwardly than her.
Terry and Natasha sit on some stone steps leading up to a
large fountain in the middle of the piazza which is lit up
with a small army of attractive lights. Both friends sip
from large paper coffee cups.
You ever notice that Weightman
always has that one gigantic cup
of coffee that he constantly sips
from yet always seems to stay
There is very rarely just coffee
in there, by the way.
Oh, shit, heís not my teacher
anymore. I have to be civil to him
now and that includes not making
catty remarks to current students.
I have an inkling that he's not
any less of a irritable
cock-womble as a work boss than he
is as a teacher.
Don't be mean, child.


Iíve been genuinely curious about
this, how exactly does one secure
a job as Weightmanís right-hand
man? Who did you have to kill?
It was a very simple formula,
actually. Never answer back, never
show up late and always, always,
always know your lines.
Bull. No-one can never be late.
Oh I was late many times.
Thankfully I was quiet enough for
nobody to notice my sneaking in.
Natasha sits back and looks at Terry with curiosity.
You must miss performing
That's a resounding no.
I donít miss performing sometimes;
I miss it all of the time. Every
bloody day.
Then do it! Whatís stopping you?
I have a list of reasons.
A list. Jesus, he really is a
stage manager. Fine, give me the
short version and I bet you my
next slice of sex-cake that I can
prove you wrong on whether itís
Terry sighs, takes a sip of coffee.
At the risk of sounding like some
jaded old man, which I know I
often do... I just canít afford to
deal with the very high chances


                       TERRY (cont'd)
that it wonít work out for me.
When youíre young itís perfectly
fine to quote-unquote dream big
and believe that you can do
anything. But then you suddenly
become and adult and youíve got
bills and rent and the price of
Freddo bars going up by a pound
every other day. When youíre faced
with all that... Itís better the
devil you know, or however that
saying goes. And then I...
Terry stops himself mid-sentence. A beat.
You what?
I did have this one interview for
some fancy drama school, obviously
I didnít get it but even if I did
Iíd have to auction off half my
organs to even afford a place
there. And that was when Weightman
offered me this placement and it
just made too much sense to not
take it.
I canít complain, really. I still
get to be part of that world, just
the specific part that I love the
I do get why you might feel that
way. But itís definitely still a
load of bollocks. Having a "real
jobĒ doesnít mean you have to stop
performing. Thatís the greatest
thing about it; it can be
anything, anywhere. I could give a
performance right now.
Right now?
Want me to prove it?
No, I-


Too late. Challenge accepted,
Natasha begins climbing the steps to the top of the
Oh, no. This is really going to
Natasha stands next to the statue at the very peak of the
fountain and begins to sing the very same ballad the Busker
in the previous scene was singing. She motions for Terry to
join her. After a moment's hesitation he does so.

The pair burst into laughter.
Oh, shit, we are actual weirdos.
Weíre artists!
Natasha starts descending the steps and loses her footing.
She stumbles but is steadied by Terry who is right behind
her. She just laughs at the whole affair.
Have you been secretly slipping
something into your coffee, too?
Buddy, you wish you could see
drunk Natasha! None of you
lightweights at Chestertonís would
have been able to handle her. But,
alas, the only buzz I allow myself
to feel now comes from energy
drinks. My Smirnoff Ice and red
wine days are well and truly
behind me.
Got sick of the hangovers?
If only it were that simple. Most
people when theyíre intoxicated do
things they regret the morning
after. Me? I do things I regret
every morning after.


Terry raises his cup.
In that case, cheers to sobriety.
Terry and Natasha both drink.
                       TERRY (contd.)
Let us just hope we can keep it up
to the end of this showís run.
How hard could it be?
A pair of students try with little success to hang up a
banner across the large front gate. The large banner
announces the imminent show; "LAMBERT-CHESTERTON PERFORMING
Students sit at the tables, all of them "speed-runningĒ
their lines to each other resulting in an almost hypnotic
Weightman stands in front of the stage sipping from an
enormous coffee cup as he watches the final touches be made
to the set by a couple of stagehands. As he eventually turns
away from the stage he is approached by two young men
wearing all black: TOM and EDDIE, the "Tech GuysĒ.
Gentlemen, always a semi-pleasure.
Howís it looking so far, boss?


Well... Remember when we did
Threepenny Opera back in
Tom and Eddie both wince.
That bad, huh?
Youíll see for yourselves. Iíve
given them half an hour so you
just get your shit set up ASAP.
Weíre just about done, actually.
Yeah, weíve synced everything to
our phones so they are all we
need! Itís a pretty sweet set-up,
like we can be cuing the show
whilst checking footie scores
without even missing a beat.
Tom and Eddie laugh. Weightman does not.
Please donít ever do that.
No, of course not.
Weightman glares at Tom and Eddie for a few seconds then
retreats to his desk. Eddie looks down and his phone and
reacts to what he sees on it.
Yes! Get in, my son!
A large group of the students (Natasha, Kieron and Beck
among them) sit dressed in full costume for the show, all of
them sipping from cans of various energy drinks.


Weightman sits at his desk with Terry next to him and Tom
and Eddie slightly behind at their own desk. The stage is
now fully set up.
First cue, please!
Some lights fade up on the stage and a pair of students walk
onto it through a door in the set and begin reciting lines.

We turn to see Weightman watching this and in a sort of
time-lapse we see his reactions as the rehearsal progresses,
each expression fading into the other (intensity, anger,
concern, disappointment).
The whole cast are lined up on stage, all set to give their
And after three you all bow. Now
just do all of what you did today
with twice the energy and half the
mistakes and you might just get
some real applause to bow to on
Thursday night.
The cast on stage bow. Eddie starts clapping for them.
                       WEIGHTMAN (contd.)
Eddie stops.
Terry is crouched comfortably on his bed, speaking on the
phone to Natasha.
So, two days to go.
                       NATASHA (filtered)
Forty-eight hours.


Two hundred and fifty six thousand
                       NATASHA (filtered)
For real, that many?
No, I made that up. I hate maths.
Natasha grumbles.
                       NATASHA (filtered)
Sorry, thereís no way to put how
terrified, frustrated and tired I
am into words so I just have to
make noises.
As an ex Lambert-Chesterton
student I thought your groan
perfectly summed up that feeling.
Natasha groans again.
Hey, listen, want to come by here
tomorrow? We could run lines and
do a few of those super speed
runs. Obviously if youíve got no
plans and don't mind spending
another day with this old man,
                       NATASHA (filtered)
Obviously. I have no plans. I
donít plan when Iím stressed, just
causes more stress. That sounds
like an incredibly great idea,
though, thanks buddy! You sure
your Gran will be okay with it?
Sheíll be more than okay, she
loves any type of company. Except
for squirrels.
                       NATASHA (filtered)
Iím not a squirrel, Terry.


That's perfect then!
I should warn you, though. You
know how Grandparents do that
thing where theyíll offer you
copious amounts of food and act
personally offended if you donít
take it? My dear Nanna does this
You had me at "foodĒ.
True to Terryís warnings, Patricia piles up a liberal
helping of assorted biscuits onto a plate. Once the plate is
full she stops and regards it for a moment, then reaches
into the cupboard for another plate. She places even more
biscuits on that.
                       TERRY (o.s.)
Once this is done I promise weíll
run lines again.
                       NATASHA (o.s.)
Oh, I definitely believe you.
Terry and Natasha lie on the bed watching a movie on the
television mounted on the wall. Terry is mouthing along to
the dialogue spoken by the actors in the film.
Jesus, how many times have you
seen this?
I donít know, I lost count
somewhere in the thirties. Donít
you like it?
I kind of lost track of what was
going on during that sushi-bar
sword fight. Sorry.


Five year old Terry had the same
They continue watching the movie in silence for a few beats.
Eventually Natasha yawns and rests her head on Terryís
Sorry, Iím starting to check out.
Studenting is freaking exhausting.
Also I am incredibly boring, so
thereís that.
Natasha groans and closes her eyes. Within seconds she is
clearly napping.

Terry has now stopped watching the movie and instead looks
at his sleeping friend. We hear an echo of the words he said
to his Grandmother previously.
                       TERRY (v.o.)
Trust me, Nanna, Iím not going to
fall blindly and stupidly in love
with her or anything like that.
Terry closes his eyes and sighs.
Oh shit, Iím in trouble.
The sounds of the movie Terry is watching can be heard
loudly from within.
                                         FADE TO:
The next day. Now what we hear coming from inside is Terry
and Patsy fussing over something.
Terry, dressed in a smart black shirt and trousers, stands
in front of the mirror adjusting his buttons. Patsy stands
behind him trying to get a proper look.


Here, let me make sure you look
smart enough.
Nanna, Iím not meant to look good
tonight; Iím mean to look
invisible. More invisible than
usual, obviously.
Oi! Donít make me come up there.
Terry turns and presents himself to Patsy. She claps.
                       PATSY (contd.)
They're lucky to have such a
handsome stage manager.
Iím still a bit gutted that Iím
not going to get to see it after
Don't be. This play really isnít
your cup of tea, Nanna. Lots of
emotionally charged speeches and
songs with flutes and violins.
Yes, youíre right there. I hate
that kind of bullshit.
Donít stay up too late.
Terry kisses Patsy on the cheek and heads for the door.
You canít stop me. Have a good
one, Choccy-Orange. Make them all
We can see the sign for the performance has indeed finally
been put up however it looks in danger of toppling at any


The rows of seats are now full of audience members of all
types fidgeting as they wait for the show to begin. At the
very back at the room we see Terry, Tom and Eddie at the
production desks with an empty seat for Weightman.

Weightman appears with the stoniest of faces from a side
door leading to the dressing room and takes his seat.
How are they all-
Donít say anything, letís just do
      (to Tom and Eddie)
Lose the house lights.
Tom types something into his phone and the lights in the
auditorium fade out. The crowd falls silent.
                       TERRY (contd.)
And Cue number one.
The lights come up on the stage.
The immediate aftermath of the opening night performance.
All the students talk excitedly while still in their
costumes. The door opens and Terry enters, suddenly all the
studentsí eyes fall on him.
Message from Weightman! "As far as
first nights go, that wasnít
completely irredeemable.Ē
The students all cheer and applaud.
Fuck yeah, weíre not irredeemable!
The unmistakable "POPĒ of a bottle opening. Sam jumps on one
of the chairs holding an erupting bottle of sparkling wine
and becomes the new focus of all the students. Music begins
blasting from somewhere.


Terry leans against the wall and watches in amusement as the
students celebrate. From the crowd Natasha emerges looking
happy but not quite as boisterous as the others. She leans
on the wall next to Terry.
So this is happening.
Hey, well done! And thatís from me
not Weightman.
Thank you! I would drink to that
but you know.
Honestly I am so unbelievably
tempted to grab a glass. But the
good kind of tempted, I think.
I can imagine.
Actually Iím probably going to
step out to somewhere with less
awful music, wanna join?
I was literally about to ask you
Terry and Natasha step out into the corridor and wander away
from the festivities.
You must have seen your fair share
of first nights in this place. Do
they always end like this?
If itís a good first night by
Weightmanís standard. Not always
with champagne, mind you, but
thatís Sam for you.
And if itís not a good one?


You really are better off not
knowing. But thankfully you were
great! I mean, you as a collective
were great but you in particular
were very great.
Terry and Natasha enter the now empty and dark auditorium.
Youíre my friend, though. Youíre
supposed to say that even if I was
completely shite. How do I know
whatís actually true?
The pair sit on the edge of the stage. Natasha gasps.
Look at that, Terry Merton is back
on stage again!
So he is.
Natasha applauds.
Sorry, I had to do that.
Terry chuckles and looks nervously away.
This is nice.
Natasha moves closer to Terry and leans her head on his
shoulder. She closes her eyes.
I feel like I could legitimately
go to sleep right now. Look at


                       NATASHA (cont'd)
that, party-animal Natasha really
is retired.
Terry looks down at the peaceful Natasha. He opens his mouth
to say something a number of times but no words come out.
                       NATASHA (contd.)
Is everything okay?
Yeah, of course! Why wouldnít it
I can feel your heart pumping
about a thousand miles per hour
through your shoulder. Have you
been sipping Weightmanís magic
No, no, itís...
So here is a crazy thing that has
occurred to me recently.
Natasha sits up straight and looks Terry in the eyes.
I like crazy! Whatís the tea?
Right, okay, so weíre both here
right now.
More or less, sure.
And thatís good! Because... Okay,
this might be an unforgivably
terrible thing for me to say
Goddamn it.
I could give you a cue line if
thatíll help?


Okay, okay, if someone very much
like me were to hypothetically
tell a person very much like you
that he really, really liked them
and asked if there could be any
chance of the two of them being
together what might the person
very much like you say?
Natasha laughs, slightly embarrassed.
Aw, bless you, Terry.
      (long awkward
That's cool.
It is?
Then Iím glad you do think itís
Another long pause.
You know I was speaking to Sam
earlier as it happens, apparently-
Sorry, Terry, I think Iím going to
have to...
      (points to door)
Natasha is already up and heading towards the door.
Yeah, Iím getting a ride home and
I think itís probably outside now
and itís late and I feel like a


                       NATASHA (cont'd)
zombie. So...
Of course, I get you. See you
tomorrow then?
Yes! Iíll message you or something
when I get home if I donít crash
out straight away.
Terry smiles and waves goodbye. Natasha returns the wave and
leaves the auditorium.

Terry sits alone.
The mini-party has wound down and only six or so students
remain as well as Terry. Terry picks up a half-empty glass
of champagne and begins to drink from it. Sam approaches
Hey, there you are! Is everything
Yeah, of course. Never better.
Iím impressed you were able to say
that with a straight face.
Anyways, Iím gonna head off before
I start seriously considering
going home with one of this lot.
See you tomorrow, dearest.
Terry gulps down the last of the champagne.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and
Terry leaves the room. Sam watches him go, looking mildly
Once a drama student, always a
drama student.


Terry appears to have not slept a wink the previous night.
He is steadily working his way through eating a large stack
of dry toast stacked on the table in front of him.
Patsy walks out of the kitchen and eyes Terry with
If youíre that hungry I could make
you some bacon, love. No trouble.
Thanks but I think I just need all
the carbs right now.
Terry continues eating almost mechanically. Patsy watches
him for a few beats.
Just donít leave crumbs, okay?
Patsy returns to the kitchen.

Terry pauses for a moment then resumes his feast, obviously
not caring about the prodigious crumbs dropping onto the
A couple of the students hang around just outside the foyer
having a quick cigarette.
In a rather chilled atmosphere, most of the students hang
around the auditorium chatting amongst themselves. At their
desk, Tom and Eddie play some music over the speakers to
help with the vibe.

Terry enters takes his seat in front of Tom and Eddie.
Evening, fella.
Yes, I suppose it is.


Terry glances around the room and spots Sam lying across two
chairs napping. Terry shakes his head and stops suddenly as
something else gets his attention.

Terry sees Natasha leaning against the stage talking to Beck
and another girl. She looks happy. After a little while
turns and notices Terry Ė who instantly tries to make it
look as though he hadnít been staring the whole time.

Natasha gives Terry an awkward wave and he returns it even
more awkwardly. She then points at him and raises a thumb as
if to ask "are you good?Ē Terry nods then gestures back to
Natasha as if posing the same question to her. Natasha puts
on an exaggerated "tired faceĒ and rests her head on her
hands. Terry laughs.

Behind Terry still, Tom and Eddie exchange a knowing glance.
You good there, Ter?
Absolutely great, thanks.
                       WEIGHTMAN (o.s.)
Well isnít this all precious.
The room suddenly goes silent. Everyone looks up to the
stage and sees Weightman standing there, arms folded.
We were all just about to do a
warm-up, sir.
You saying that with a straight
face was your best performance
yet, Rebecca.
The students in the room all organise themselves as
Weightman descends the stage.
                       WEIGHTMAN (contd.)
So, a little word about last
night. All of you, your work in
our second performance night was
very, very acceptable. Could it
have been better? Oh yes, it had
better get better. As you may or
may not have noticed, Iím the kind
of creative who thinks one can
never have too much rehearsal
time. However I also am well aware
of how much downtime you teenagers


                       WEIGHTMAN (cont'd)
seem to need to function. And so,
barring the event of something
going disastrously wrong in
tonightís performance, at the end
of the night you shall all be
dismissed until Friday.
Every student cheers raucously. Even Tom and Eddie start
joining in.
                       WEIGHTMAN (contd.)
Thank you, I didnít need my
eardrums anyway. Now let us get
set up immediately.
Applause continues, however now from an audience that has
just finished watching the nightís performance. The students
all take their bows onstage.
And... Blackout.
Terry fastens his jacket as he walks. He opens a door and
steps into:
Terry continues walking towards the main exit but stops as
he sees a small group of students standing outside,
including Natasha, Beck and Kieron. The sound of the
conversation is muffled through the windows but it is
obvious that they are having a good time.

Terry watches as they all walk away in the same direction,
Kieronís arm very clearly around Natasha.
Terry looks stone-faced as he drives home. A song plays on
the radio; the very same one the Busker sang in the earlier
Piss off.


Terry promptly switches off the radio.
Terry lies on his bed, eyes wide open and deep in thought.

He types a message;


It is sent to Natasha. Terry waits for a few seconds, just
staring at the phone screen. A pair of ticks pops up next to
the message indicating that Natasha has read it.

But there is no reply.
The homely pub is mostly empty at this early hour of the
day, Terry and Sam sat around a small table being the most
obvious exception. A small television above the bar plays in
the background.

A member of the Bar Staff approaches Terry and Samís table
and sets a pair of drinks in front of them.
Thank you.
The staff member leaves. Sam takes a sip immediately then
nudges Terry.
This oneís on me. And donít you
tell me itís too early, everyone
knows that time absolutely doesnít
count on your day off.
Honestly, you spoil me.
Terry takes a big gulp of his drink. Sam looks up at the
television and scoffs as an incredibly cheesy intro to a
programme titled "Love Is a Four Letter WordĒ begins to
Fuckís sake! How is this bollocks
still being produced? Who actually
hates themselves enough to sit
down and watch it?


You used to.
Yeah, used to! Before it turned to
Sorry to break it to you but it
was always shit.
Are you joking? Everything up to
season thirteen was God-tier
television. Then there was that
bullshit "Allana falls in love
with her cousinĒ storyline and it
all took a major nosedive.
Sam picks up a nut from the open bag on the table and aims
it at the television.
I wouldnít do that.
You say that to me a lot.
And you donít listen to me a lot.
Sam flicks the nut. It misses the television completely and
lands in someone elseís drink.

Sam quickly tries to act inconspicuous and takes a large
gulp of his drink. Terry sips his.
Are you going to even try to keep
up with me?
Sorry, man, Iím just tired. And
Shut up with that "Iím so oldĒ
shite, half my year are only a
year younger than you, some even
less than that. Including Natasha.
Terry reacts to the mention of her name and Sam instantly
notices. Sam giggles and taps his nose.


How do you do that?
Do what?
Know things.
A load of people "know thingsĒ.
Actually, for a little while quite
a few of the guys really shipped
you and her.
Really? That... is wonderful. I
hate to disappoint them, though;
weíre just friends.
Is that her decision or yours?
Terry looks away from Sam. A beat.
I did a thing, Sam.
Who did you kill?
Itís much worse than that. I told
her how I feel.
Terry drinks. Sam looks at him and for the first time
appears to not know what to say.
You might want to finish that
drink. And then maybe have another
Are you trying to corrupt me,
I wish. That would be much more
fun. No, thereís just something
that I should probably tell you
before we all go back tomorrow.


Who did you kill?
Sam chuckles nervously.
You remember that party at Lloydís
I told you about the other night?
The one you didnít feel up to
coming to.
You called me about it at 2AM,
Yeah thatís on me. Sorry. Anyway,
it turned out Natasha was there as
well. She came with Beck and
Christa a little before me.
She arrived with them but she left
with someone else. With them.
A pause. Terry nods.
Itís Kieron isnít it?
Of course. I mean, why not?
I donít suppose my impression of
him is completely wrong and that
he is really a lovely and
wholesome guy, huh?
Heís a total dick. I kind of sort
of used to fancy the pants off him
in the first year... We all did,
he plays bass.
Obviously! But, no, I soon found
out he is a massive dick. A dick
who doesnít like dick.


Terry nods mechanically and drinks. Sam moves closer to him.
                       SAM (contd.)
Iím sorry, Terry. Are you okay?
Terry smiles but his eyes betray it.
Me? Yeah Iím fine. Or I will be.
Itís just one of those things,
isnít it?
I'll get you that other drink.
Sam pats Terry on the shoulder and proceeds to the bar.
Terry stares through the remainder of his drink.
Terry walks in and closes the door. Almost immediately he
flops down on his bed, emotionally spent. After a moment he
reaches into his pocket and takes out his phone. Unlocks it.

Still no messages.
Natasha and Kieron stand by the main entrance sharing a few
kisses. Students walk by and react in various ways.
A grim Terry pulls into a parking space outside the college,
a space that just happens to be in full view of Natasha and
Kieron smooching. Terryís face drops even further as he
notices them. He then glances out of his window at a car
that has just pulled up next to him. It is Beck, who shoots
him a disapproving look.


A small group of students are congregated, most of them
smoking. Kieron is among them, his unlit cigarette behind
his ear and looking generally as if he is posing for a
magazine cover.

Standing slightly behind his group we see Sam chatting to a
girl. He glances over at Kieron and immediately scowls. To
his companionís amusement, Sam changes his posture to mimic
Kieron. He swiftly stops as the door opens and Natasha walks
past, giving him a quizzical look.
Terry crosses off two more dates in his diary.
Natasha and Kieron sit opposite each other with a large
slice of "Sex CakeĒ on a plate between them. They take turns
taking bites of the decadent dessert with a single fork they
are sharing.
The cast take their bows on stage while the half-full
audience applauds. As the cast finishes and turn to leave
the stage, Kieron (standing next to Natasha, of course)
gives her a very noticeable smack on the butt.

Sitting at the production desk, Terry reacts to this and
takes a sip of coffee from Weightmanís large cup.
Quick cut of another date being crossed of in the diary.


Natasha and Kieron walk holding hands. They pass Terry and
Natasha gives him a quick smile.

Terry continues walking towards the dressing room looking
peeved. Sam quickly appears from behind him and takes his
hand similar to the way Natasha held Kieronís. Terry
initially moves to resist this but after a moment just rolls
his eyes and goes with it.
Terry crosses off yet another date in his diary then
immediately collapses on his bed. The door creaks open
slowly and Patsy enters with a plate piled with toast. She
leaves it on the desk.
Tom and Eddie sit at their desk while the room full of
students are in the midst of a warm-up. The music heard in
the montage now comes from their speakers.

Terry sits down at his desk and looks thoroughly unamused.
After a beat he swivels round to Tom and Eddie.
You guys know I hate that song.
Why do you always play it?
Tom and Eddie exchange an amused look and change the music
Students file out for the night. Through the large glass
windows framing the door, we see Natasha in Kieron in a
heated exchange. Natasha appears angry while Kieron seems
dismissive. We donít hear exactly what they are talking
about however each time a student opens the door on the way
out we can just about catch a word or two of what is being
said; "Supposed to feelĒ. "Donít understand.Ē "Fucking
annoying.Ē etc.

Eventually Kieron throws his hands up in a gesture of
surrender and turns his back on Natasha, walking away with a
small group of boys. Natasha flips him the middle finger and


storms inside the foyer.

Terry enters from the doorway leading to the college proper
and stops in his tracks as he sees Natasha breathing deeply
with her eyes closed in an attempt to calm herself.
Everything okay there?
Natasha jumps with a start. Once she sees Terry is her
company she tries her best to appear calm and casual.
Oh, hi. Yeah, yeah, Iím very okay.
Why, do I not look it?
As okay as anyone whoís had to
play a Jazz musicianís lustful
ex-girlfriend five times this week
can look.
You flatter me.
Iím just standing here all alone
gathering enough motivation to
step outside into this wonderful
sub-zero evening and walk all the
way home. My usual ride left for
the Spoons already so she could
catch the tail-end of Happy Hour.
Oh, youíre not going with that lot
I wanted to but I just... Life you
I think I know.
They share an exhausted laugh followed by an awkward pause.
                       TERRY (contd.)
I was going to say if youíd like a
ride Iíd be more than happy to...
Thatís sweet! But Iím probably so
far out of your way.


Iíd rather drive so far out of my
way than explain to Weightman why
I let you freeze to death.
Natasha laughs.
Terry drives with Natasha beside him in the passenger seat.
Music plays faintly on the radio.
He actually said that to you?
Yep, Iím not even paraphrasing. I
mean for Christís sake, all I did
was bring up spending Valentineís
Day together. From his reaction
youíd think I asked him to carve
my name into his back while
bathing in a pool of our own blood
and swearing an undying allegiance
to the demon lord Pazuzu. I donít
know, maybe he thinks that is what
people normally do on Valentineís.
Maybe that is what some people do.
But can you see where Iím coming
from? Itís not just me completely
overreacting, right?
Iím no expert but to me you sound
completely rational.
First time for everything.
I swear part of me thinks heís
just been bullshitting the whole
time and doesnít really like me,
then thereís this part of me
thinks he just has this massive
phobia of anything that seems like
commitment. Beck told me she
thinks that it may all be a test,
like heís playing it all coy to
see if Iíll keep chasing after


                       NATASHA (cont'd)
him. Thatís an interesting thought
but, bless him, I donít think
Kieron has the sort of brain power
to be so crafty.
Iíd say that sums him up pretty
I just donít know. I think Iím
just going to give it a day or two
so that everything cools off and
then just calmly talk to him about
it. Or is that a terrible idea?
Talking is always good or at least
thatís what people say. Just lay
it out for him and then see if he
steps up. And he should step up
because if he doesnít... that
really doesnít sound like the
makings of a guy who is going to
make you happy. And thatís what is
most important here; you have to
be happy.
Youíre probably right.
Like you said, thereís a first
time for everything.
Natasha chuckles.
Oh yeah, itís a left at the end of
this road.
So, Terry, who is Olivia?
Where did you hear that name?
You know, just "aroundĒ.


Got it in one.
What are we going to do with that
Sheís... sheís no-one. A no-one
who used to be a big someone to
One of those, I get it.
What happened? If thatís not a
grossly personal question because
if it is please just tell me to
shut up.
Youíre good. Honestly, thereís
nothing to tell. It just ended. I
kind of wish there was some
cataclysmic event that drove us
apart so that Iíd have something
to blame. But, no, she just said
it was over one day. And then a
week later got serious with a guy
who looked like a chunkier version
of that annoying dude from One
You can probably forget I said all
that. Thatís all past shit, itís
done. As dead as MySpace.
She sounds like a bitch.
I couldnít possibly confirm or
deny that.
Youíre a great dude, Terry. Weíll
find you someone much, much better
soon. Just maybe not a drama
student, those are always trouble.
Thatís sweet of you. You just
concentrate on finishing these
next two terms in one piece and
donít you worry about the


                       TERRY (cont'd)
wasteland that is the romantic
endeavours of this old man.
Shush, you arenít that old.
Twenty-one in two months. Iím
practically a Dinosaur.
Right, a dinosaur. A Terry-Dactyl!
Natasha laughs and Terry tries to keep a straight face.
How long have you been waiting to
come out with that one?
Way too long.
      (glances out
Oh, this is me! Next to that one
with that terrifying gnome sitting
on the windowsill.
Terryís car pulls over beside a house that does indeed have
a gruesome looking gnome on display.
Terry pulls up the handbrake and the car stops moving.
Et voila.
Thank you so much for this! And
Iím sorry if all my whining has
been annoying you.
Not annoying in and way, shape or


But again, you are my friend so
you probably wouldnít tell me if
it had been.
Aha! I knew it.
If you had been annoying Iíd very
politely try to change the
subject. But honestly, scouts
honour, Iím here anytime if you
need to vent. Unless Iím already
being vented to by Weightman, of
course. Itís in my contract that I
have to listen and make detailed
notes about his misfortunes.
I shall remember that.
      (Gets out of car)
Until tomorrow, Terry-dactyl!
Night night.
Terry watches Natasha enter her house before driving away.
He allows himself to smile.
A grey, cubic stone building on an equally grey day. The
pleasant looking signage ahead of the main entrance seems at
odds with the rest of the building.

Terryís car pulls into a vacant parking space and he
hurriedly climbs out, looking in desperate need of caffeine.
He jogs towards the main entrance. A Security Guard standing
by the door waves at him in recognition.
Patsy paces the room as if looking for something with a
broom in her hand. The telephone rings and immediately she
answers it.


Hiya, love! Is everything okay?
Terry holds his phone to his ear talking to Patsy while
walking from the entrance back to his car.
Yeah, just thought Iíd tell you
that Iím apparently needed at work
ASAP so I wonít be home until
                       PATSY (filtered)
Mmm. How did it go?
Okay, I think. She wanted me to
give her a scene-by-scene
breakdown of the play and that
made me realise that I have no
idea what is going on in half of
it. So we just talked about
penguins instead.
                       PATSY (filtered)
She loves her flightless birds.
So do you.
You know, you should really think
about coming with me next time.
Patsy reacts to what Terry has just said. Her eyes show a
sadness but she doesnít let it carry into her voice.
Oh, honey. She doesnít want to see
this old woman.
                       TERRY (filtered)
Of course she does.
No, she made that very clear.


A lot changes in seven years,
                       PATSY (filtered)
Why, did she ask after me today?
No, but-
                       PATSY (filtered)
Has she ever?
Terry opens his mouth but canít answer. He stops walking.
Patsy tries to smile but her heart doesnít seem to be in it.
Look, it is a lovely notion,
Terry. It really is. Maybe in
another reality we are all sitting
together talking about flightless
birds as if nothing else matters.
But we have to deal with this
reality, as sad as it may be
sometimes. And then we have to
move on. We have to.
Pause. Terry can be heard sighing through the phone.
                       TERRY (filtered)
Yeah. I get it.
You're definitely sure you wonít
have time to swing by for
something to eat before work? I
could make some of that carrot and
habanero soup you love and I
Terry climbs into his car.


No can do, sadly. A couple of
major mess-ups last night so weíve
all got a lot to get through
before curtain-up.
                       PATSY (filtered)
I see. In that case make sure you
keep hydrated and caffeinated.
Of course. See you tonight.
Terry pockets his phone and starts the carís engine.
Patsy hangs up the phone and sits deep in thought. After a
beat, a crash is heard from somewhere within the flat. Patsy
leaps to her feet in anger.
Fucking squirrels!
Terry hurriedly enters to find all the cast already present
and talking amongst themselves. He walks further into the
space and spots Natasha walking straight for him. As she
gets near, Terry waves.
So youíll never guess what I-
Natasha walks straight past Terry as if he were completely
invisible. Terry reacts, looking back at Natasha but clearly
too embarrassed to go after her as she seats herself next to

Weightman calls out from his desk, breaking the moment.
Everyone in this room had better
hurry up and put themselves
somewhere they can see and hear
me, there are a depressing amount
of notes to get through.
The students quieten down. Terry sighs and hurries over to
the desk.


A couple of students are finishing hanging up their costumes
and collecting their belongings. Most notably Kieron stands
leaning against a wall while engrossed in his phone.

Terry walks in carrying a box of props, pauses for a second
at the sight of Keiron and shoots him a disapproving glare,
then moves to place the box on a table.

The door opens again and Natasha walks in with purpose.
Without breaking stride, she moves past Kieron, grabs her
bag and coat and storms out of the room. Like with Terry
earlier, she acts as if Kieron isnít even there.

We pull back to see that Terry has observed this all. He
promptly picks up his own coat and makes for the door.
Terry steps out into the hallway and immediately finds his
path blocked by Beck. Very intentionally blocked by Beck.
Definitely donít do that, yeah?
Sorry, what?
Youíre heading after Tasha, right?
She isnít in the mood for you
right now so if I were you Iíd
turn around.
Can I ask why or...?
Does it matter? Do the right
thing. Stay away. Yeah?
A beat. Terry forces his frown into a faux-friendly smile.
Fine by me.
So glad we had this chat!


Beck walks away. Terry stews on the spot for a few moments.
His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Tom and
Dude! Coming to The Joinerís?
Everyoneís going, itíll be lit.
Right now.
Ah. Sounds great but Iím going to
pass on this one. Iíd like to try
and not feel anything for a while.
Fairs. Although you know the best
way to deal with that is to drown
it with enough booze to-
Come on, man. That Uber driver
isnít going to stick around all
Eddie shrugs and waves farewell to Terry as he and Tom
continue along the corridor.
Have fun, fellas.
Terry sighs once the pair are out of sight.
Most of the students from Lambert-Chesterton are partying in
the very loud and very cramped bar. Sam sits in a chair with
both arms around girls sitting on each side of him.

A cheer amongst the rest of the group and we see the Natasha
is up and dancing to the pumping music with a carefree
attitude, a drink in her hand. We see Sam react to this with
mild concern before his attention is taken by the girl on
his right wanting a kiss.

As the song finishes playing, Natasha stumbles backwards and
sits herself next to a scruffy-looking man who appears to be
in his mid-twenties and cosies up to him. She takes her


phone out of her pocket and finds that she has a new

A message from Terry.


Natashaís smiling face promptly turns sour.
Terry is lying on his bed with his phone on his chest and a
plate piled with toast beside him. His phone vibrates and he
immediately grabs it. He has received a message back from
Natasha. He opens it.



Terry lets his phone drop, bouncing off his chest and
falling on the floor. The colour drains from his face as he
just stares up at the ceiling.
Natasha is still looking down at her phone, her expression
blank. Beck promptly sits next to her.
Hey, you! I thought we promised no
phones tonight.
Oh, yeah.
      (pockets phone)
Itís like it was never here.
Who was it, anyway?
Just... no-one. Absolutely no-one.
Natasha picks up a drink and knocks it back. Beck joins her.


Terry opens the front door to find a smiling Sam greeting
him. He holds a laptop.
Is this like an intervention or
No! I just thought it would be
nice to spend Valentineís Day with
my bestie for once.
Terry motions Sam inside. Sam obliges and closes the door
behind him.
Arenít there at least three people
from that long list of guys and
girls of yours whoíd be itching to
be with you today?
Oh, yeah. But they all wanted to
do cutesy couple things and I
canít be arsed for all that. I
have a better idea for you and I.
Sam starts heading towards Terryís bedroom.
Should I be concerned?
Sam lets out an exaggerated "evil laughĒ.
                       TERRY (contd.)
I should definitely be concerned.
Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Terry gags as he follows Sam into his bedroom.


Sam sits cross-legged on Terryís bed with his laptop open
while Terry paces and generally looks uncomfortable. Sam
holds up his phone to Terry.
Terry fake-smiles and Sam snaps a photo.
                       SAM (contd.)
Now try and look like you donít
want to murder the guy behind the
Terry puts on a more convincing smile this time. Sam
captures it and goes back to typing.
I hope you know that I disagree
with this plan with all of my
heart and soul.
We move to see what Sam is doing on his laptop; he is
setting up an online dating profile for Terry.
Of course you do. Luckily Iím a
good friend and am willing to put
up with all your complaining. And
then once weíve set you up with
someone thatíll stop you moping
over Natasha you can feel free to
thank me in whatever way you like.
Why, are you offering?
Sorry, love. Youíre not really my
No? I do have a pulse. I may not
have looked like Iíve had one over
the past few days...
                       PATSY (o.s.)
Is that my grandson being negative


Iím afraid it is, Ms. Tierney.
                       PATSY (o.s.)
Tell him that heís never too old
for a slap, will you?
With pleasure!
      (continues typing)
"Never too old for a slap.Ē Shall
I put that on here?
Terry is staring at the window, not even listening.
Do you want to know the funniest
and/or saddest thing about all
Pray tell.
It has made me start thinking
about Olivia again.
Sam stops typing and looks up from the computer. He looks
So, hold up, who the hell are we
trying to make you get over right
now? Natasha or Olivia?
See, not so simple, is it?
Look, whenever I was around
Natasha I felt like Iíd completely
forgotten what sad felt like. And
if I did just happen to think back
on all those days I felt like
crap... well, they were all worth
it because it was part of the
journey leading up to meeting her.
But then that all went to shit
pretty fast and so now Iím just
here wishing I was back at a time
where I thought I really meant
something to someone. And the only
time that happened was when I was


                       TERRY (cont'd)
Queen Bitch Olivia.
Donít call her that. "QueenĒ is
such a noble title. I just... I
was happy back then ergo my brain
tells me if we were still together
I would be happy now. Happy and
not overthinking about someone who
apparently never wants to speak to
me again for reasons I may never
find out.
) I just wish this whole human
interaction thing wasnít so damn
complicated. All these rules, you
know? Text first but only after X
number of hours, donít say this
until the third date, donít feed
them after midnight... Sometimes I
wish there was a script that would
tell me exactly what to say and
We write our own scripts, Ter.
Of course if you ask me no-oneís
script should include any type of
monogamous relationship as they
are all just an organised way of
indulging in an unhealthy
lifestyle that idealises the toxic
traits of attachment and jealousy.
But what do I know? Iím here to
help not to judge.
You and I are quite different
people, Sam.
I noticed. Itís no wonder so many
people ask me how the frick you
and I even became friends to begin


And what do you tell them?
I donít lie. I just tell them that
way back when you were the only
person who didnít look at me and
see an attention seeking emo drama
Even though in those days I was a
pretty big attention seeking emo
drama queen. Thank Christ that
phase is over, right?
I donít know, that fringe really
did suit you.
A chime from the laptop. Samís eyes light up.
Aha! A match already. Come see.
      (beckons Terry
She looks nice, right? Right?
Terry looks at the screen and his face drops.
Exactly my type.
Sam cheers and types excitedly. Terry just stares ahead,
clearly worried.
Terry sits at a table looking very uncomfortable. Opposite
him sits CAITY, his date for the night who doesnít appear to
have an "inside voiceĒ.
Donít get me wrong, it isnít like
I hate her. That would make me a
proper bitch. I let her off for
hooking up with my brother but I
just couldnít find a way to
forgive her after what happened
with the straighteners. "Bye
Felicia! Take your wonky eyebrow
piercing with you.Ē


A waiter brings a pair of drinks to the table. Caity grabs
                       CAITY (contd.)
Finally! Shall we?
Caity gulps down the green liquid from her glass.
Cheers, I guess.
Terry sips the same liquid and clearly doesnít enjoy it.
Not like that, you pussy.
Caity practically pours the drink down his throat.
                       CAITY (contd.)
Thatís so dirty, isnít it?
Yes, unbearable. Why are we
drinking this again?
Youíll see, it gets you completely
fucked so quickly. It was my ex
that introduced me to this, you
know. Bastard, only good thing he
ever did.
Is this the one who stole your
No, that was Paul. He was a
bastard too but a different kind
of bastard, obviously I seem to
attract them!
Oh dear.
Jokeís on them, they all had
really tiny dicks.
So why did you click on me, just
out of curiosity?


You seemed... nice?
Thatís it? You donít talk much do
you? I clicked on you when I saw
you used to do acting. My ex said
Iíd be good at it, apparently I
have a magnetic presence. You
think so?
I donít know enough about magnets
to answer that.
He also said that heíd love me
forever and that weíd move into
his parentsí attic and grow old
there together. Donít you hate it
when people just constantly
bullshit you and youíre stupid
enough to believe them?
Sure, being lied to is never a
bundle of laughs. Once I knew this
guy who-
Hold on a sec.
Caity picks up her phone and takes a couple of selfies of
                       CAITY (contd.)
Fabulous. What was I saying again?
Terry takes another sip of his drink and winces.
Terry drives with Sam in the passenger seat wearing a
similar pained expression as Terry had in the previous
That bad, huh?


Iím pretty out of the loop when it
comes to the dos and doníts of
dating but itís definitely not
normal to talk about what youíd
name your kids an hour after
meeting someone, right?
Iím going to say no... But at the
same time I know that if I ever
met Rami Malek Iíd immediately
offer to have his babies.
And then she kept on sending
not-so-subtle hints that she
wanted to come back to my place
after weíd done with the meal.
Shit, son.
You did turn her down I assume.
I very gladly and very quickly
turned her down, Samuel. Iím not
ready to be a father just yet.
Aw, well, call all that a practice
run. The next date is absolutely
definitely going to be a step up.
I donít think so. Iíve had my fill
of trying to force connections
with people.
Really, just like that, no more
dates? Now whoís being a drama
queen? Itís not like you almost
died last night or anything.
I didnít almost die on that flight
back from Portugal sitting next to
a baby with explosive diarrhoea,
doesnít mean I ever want to do
that again either.


The whole cast of students (except Natasha) stand on stage
in the midst of singing a scale for vocal warm-up. Weightman
watches from his desk, Terry beside him and Tom and Eddie

The cast completes the warm-up.
And again, please.
How many more times are we going
to do this, sir?
My record of "Bella SenoraísĒ
before a performance is
two-hundred and twelve, Rebecca.
Do not try and top that number.
The auditorium door swings open and Natasha bursts in
accompanied by the same guy she was cosying up to in the
club; weíll call him GEE.
I know, I know, Iím stupid late,
Iím sorry. But...
Natasha shrugs sheepishly and giggles. Every student on the
stage glares over at her with varying levels of anger.

Weightman rises to his feet and points at the stage.
You. There. Now.
Natasha giggles again and gives Gee a hug and a kiss before
making her way to the stage.
And the rest of you, set for the
top of page fifty-one.


The students disperse, some climbing off the stage and
others moving into position to begin rehearsing the scene.
Natasha is amongst those on stage, along with Beck and
CHRISTA, an annoyed student.
Whatís up, bitches?
Thanks, Nat. You put him in a
stinking mood and now we all have
to deal with it.
Oh, Christa, youíre always a gift.
Iíll tell you what, just for you I
make sure to never enjoy myself
ever again. Howís that?
      (under breath)
Fucking skank.
The aggravated student mutters angrily to herself and moves
away from Natasha, looking all set to strangle her.
Ignore her. How was the rest of
last night?
Up to about half one it was great.
After that itís anyoneís guess.
Weightman slumps down at his desk and rubs his temples as
Natasha and Beck get into their starting positions.
You know that feeling when you
wish that a hole the earth would
just open and-
And swallow you up? Of course.
No! Swallow them up.
A chuckle from behind the desk. Weightman and Terry turn and
see Gee standing there, grinning and snapping photos of the
room on his phone.


Weightman rises to his feet once again and steps towards the
All good, boss?
Who are you, may I ask?
Oh, sorry, hello. Call me Gee,
pleasure to meet you.
Gee extends his hand for a handshake. Weightman obliges and
leans close to Gee.
Get out.
Gee scoffs and heads towards the door. Terryís eyes follow
him all the way until he is out of sight.
                       WEIGHTMAN (contd.)
Absolutely ghastly.
      (to Students)
Right, letís run this damn scene
if that isnít too much trouble for
      (to Tom and Eddie)
LX cue thirty, dears.
The nightís performance is underway, the scene on stage
involving Natasha. As she speaks it is evident that she is
still on the come-down from her previous festivities, her
words quiet and sometimes slurred and her movements shaky. A
number of the performers on stage with her look
understandably annoyed at this.

At the production desk we see Weightman and Terry exchange a
concerned look Ė although Weightmanís eyes appear more angry
than worried.


Christa and Natasha are in the midst of a heated argument
about the performance, Beck standing between them to try and
diffuse the situation. Around them a handful of students try
and pretend like they are minding their own business.

Sam quickly puts his hand on Terryís shoulder and turns him
away from Natasha.
Nothing to see here, man. Letís
Sam quickly puts his hand on Terryís shoulder and leads him
away from the ruckus and towards the door.
Sam exits the shop with a bag full of drinks and walks over
to Terryís parked car.
Sam climbs into the passengerís seat and closes the door.
Immediately he reaches into his bag and produces a can of
Did you manage to find any-
Sam opens the can and takes a big gulp.
                       TERRY (contd.)
Wow, straight in there.
Always. You know Iíd offer you
some if you werenít driving.
No you wouldnít.
Rude! And after I bought this for
you out of the goodness of my
Sam takes a small carton of juice with a happy cartoon
mascot on the front and offers it to Terry.


Aw, you shouldn't have.
Terry takes the juice.
And now to make a toast!
Whatís the occasion? Shit, Iím
going to regret asking that...
Sam takes his phone out of his pocket and fiddles with it.
He then holds the screen up to Terryís face.
Aha! You, mister, have another
Oh, Sam...
Would you just look at her!
Terry glances at the phone for a second.
Okay, sheís cute. But-
Sheís perfect for you.
You said that last time.
I know but this time I actually
mean it. Listen to this.
      (reads from phone)
She loves horror anime, hates
mushrooms, knows the lyrics to
every song in Book of Mormon by
Terry opens his carton of juice and starts downing it,
clearly not paying attention to Sam.
                       SAM (contd.)
And, oh my God! She has two cats
named Ripley and Newt! That is
goals right there. Look how cute
they are!


Sam holds the screen of his phone up to Terryís face. Terry
just nods as he finishes the last of his drink.
Sam frowns and lowers the phone.
And you werenít listening
Sure i was. Every word.
Then what did I just say?
      (mimicking Sam)
"Look how cute they are!Ē
Sam frowns harder and takes an angry sip from his can.
                       TERRY (contd.)
Sam, buddy, I know what youíre
trying to do here and, honestly, I
really appreciate that you want to
Terrible impression, by the way. I
do not sound like that.
But this is not what I want right
now. Eventually, yeah, Iíll try
and meet new people, just not
right now.
I donít know. Soon. Maybe.
Procrastination 101. You sound
exactly like I did last year when
I was supposed to be writing that
Brecht coursework.


And? You managed to get it in on
I managed to leave it to literally
the night before. And then I spent
all of said night panicking while
I frantically typed out five
thousand words to the point where
for the next week my hands were
cramped like this.
Sam twists his fingers into a gross display of extreme hand
cramps and waves them in Terryís face.
                       SAM (contd.)
Is this what you want for your
future, Terry? Grandpa hands?
Iíll take my chances.
Thatís the thing, you never do
take any.
Sam takes a drink. Terry finally starts the car.
                       SAM (contd.)
Itís like youíve learned nothing
from that whole LAMDA business.
Terry freezes. After a beat he looks over at Sam.
Youíre not supposed to know about
that, mister.
Nothing is ever "supposed" to
You know I still havenít forgiven
you over that.
Yeah? You and me both.
Terryís car pulls away from the kerb.


Terry drives in silence for some long moments.
You do know that there was no
realistic way things could have
played out other than the way they
Thatís some bullshit.
I mean it. My Nana, my Mum, was I
just supposed to leave them to it?
And this was still August so I was
still technically with-
I swear to God, if you dare say
Oliviaís fucking name right now...
And look, youíve made me say it
and now I hate myself.
Sam takes a sip of his drinks and gargles it as if "washing
his mouth outĒ after saying Oliviaís name.
Of course there is the most
important reason of all. We never
would have become friends.
Samís expression softens slightly.
Okay, thatís one. One. But other
than that, you think your
"reasonsĒ are legit?
Probably not, no. I just have to
keep telling myself they are.
Sam nods. Again they ride in silence for a few moments.
                       TERRY (contd.)
I think this is just me, Sam. Just
the way I am. What can I do about


Natasha stands outside the entrance, visibly shivering in
the bitter cold night. A few yards away from her stands a
couple smiling and giggling amongst themselves as they
smoke, very much in love. Natasha shoots them a look.

The door to the bar swings open and Gee steps out. He spots
Natasha and cosies up next to her.
Everything good, babe?
Come on.
Gee takes Natashaís hand and leads her back inside. Her
hesitation is obvious but she allows herself to follow him.
Another exceptionally grey day over the grey building.
                       LYSETTE (o.s.)
Eggs. Everything is bloody eggs
now and I hate it.
A somewhat sterile white room at odds with the various
leisure apparatus dotted around it. There is a ping-pong
table, a dart board, stacks of books and magazines and a
television hanging on one of the walls as well as a sofa and
a few tables. A dozen or so plainly dressed people populate
the room, also a couple of people in medical uniforms.

Terry sits at one of the tables nearest the windows along
with a woman of around forty who was previously seen in the
photo with Terry and Patsy; his mother LYSETTE.
Theyíre still trying to get all
those chocolate hearts and pink
gin from Valentineís Day off the
shelves but because weíre all


                       LYSETTE (cont'd)
meant to make a big wow over the
next big holiday everything has to
revolve around eggs.
Even though St. Patrickís Day
comes before Easter.
Imagine this place celebrating a
holiday that mainly involves
shoving booze into every orifice.
Christ, what Iíd do for a Guinness
some nights.
I definitely didnít inherit your
taste for Guinness.
No, it tastes horrible, make no
mistake. But with that itís the
destination that is important not
the journey.
Lysette starts to chuckle but this soon transitions into a
I hope youíre sleeping, Mum.
Eh, a few hours here, a few hours
there. Not that Iím not trying!
Getting a kip eight hours while
Philbin across the hall has his
night terrors ainít an easy task.
A blank-faced middle-aged man wearing a floral t-shirt
shuffles past Terry and Lysette. The aforementioned PHILBIN.
                       LYSETTE (contd.)
Hiya, Philbin!
Philbin continues his shuffle towards the television.


Anyway, forget about this old
woman. I hope youíre bloody
I am but to my great
disappointment it never seems to
do the trick.
Itís that show of yours, isnít it?
Yeah, itís the show. Just the
show. But that is nearly all done
Bless. Are you going to miss it
once itís all over?
I certainly hope not.
A loud ruckus amidst the dozen or so people congregated
around the television. An older man grabs the remote control
and flicks through channels.

Lysette watches and shakes her head.
Honestly, itís like living with
children sometimes.
A channel is finally settled on and it just happens to show
the opening credits of the show Sam detested so much - "Love
Is a Four Letter WordĒ. The people around the television
calm down and watch intently.
                       LYSETTE (contd.)
That bloody show, you ever seen
any of it?
Once or twice. It wasnít a nice
I know, absolute complete trash!
Just my luck that all can agree on
watching is this and the news.


                       LYSETTE (cont'd)
Sometimes Blue Planet.
Blue Planet isnít so bad. Dave
Attenboroughís voice can make
everything magic.
Even that?
Lysette nods over to the TV where the group watch a terribly
acted and written scene between two actors in their
underwear. Terry shudders.
Want me to try and smuggle you in
some DVDís next time? Something
with loads of gratuitous sex and
You really think weíve got DVD
players here? Best we have is a
ratty old VHS player that must
have been made in the year dot.
I donít suppose you know anyone
who still has a few VHS tapes
lying around, do you?
I donít know that many people.
Lysette reaches into her bag and takes out a pack of
cigarettes and a lighter. She and Terry slip through the
glass doors and into;
Lysette lights her cigarette and stares out past the fences
surrounding the entire garden and into the mass of woodland
in the near distance. Terry perches himself on a small wall
next to her, notices her air of sadness.
Youíre sure everythingís okay,
Yeah, of course. Donít you worry
about me.


                       LYSETTE (cont'd)
I just want Spring to move itís
arse and get here. All these grey,
cold, depressing days... anyone
that says they like them seriously
belongs in here with us lot.
December I can understand because
itís Christmas and everything is
festive and magical and all that
shit. But after that? When I was
younger I called it The Graveyard
That title fits it rather well,
Iíd say.
Your Grandma didnít agree. Soon as
February rolled around sheíd be
bursting into my room at the crack
of dawn to make a start on her
bloody spring cleaning.
Yeah, she still does that.
Of course she does.
      (long pause)
How has the old dragon been
keeping, anyway?
Sheís good.
Lysette nods.
Lysette takes a long drag of her cigarette. Terry nods, a
hint of hope in his eye as he too looks out into the
greenery ahead.
The door bursts open and Natasha rushes in, script in hand
and already apologising for her lateness.


Sorry guys, you must hate me even
more now but this time it really
wasnít my...
She stops in her tracks. Clearly she was expecting a room
full of people mid-rehearsal but instead is greeted by
Weightman sitting alone at his desk with a complete
Where are the others?
Their call was two-thirty so
theyíll be getting here soon I
Oh. But I thought the call was for
Your call was for two.
A long pause. Natasha shifts on the spot.
Have a seat, you look tired.
Weightman gestures to a lone chair opposite him. Natasha
gingerly complies.
Iím in trouble, arenít I, sir?
Who am I to answer that? You tell
me, have you done anything or said
anything that might lead to your
getting in trouble?
Donít answer that now, just think
on it.


Were you meaning to ask if I
specifically called you here alone
so that I could reprimand you for
something you may or may not have
That's the one.
Weightman nods and takes a long sip of coffee. Finally, his
blank slate of a face shows a glimmer or something; concern.
No. Not yet.
Natasha exhales in relief yet still looks uncomfortable.
Weightman notices.
Iíve spent half of my teaching
years in this job and in every
instance of those I have found
this final term to be the most
interesting one. Stressful,
absolutely, but something more
than that. I have to spend
literally hours each day just
watching each one of my students.
No, scratch that. "WatchingĒ
sounds like I do it for fun.
Instead letís say...
Observing! Thank you. And when one
has been observing as long as I
have, one becomes wise to certain
patterns of behaviour. Certain
You do always remind us of the
importance of learning cues.
Weightman chuckles for a split second.


Very good, yes.
I understand people have troubles,
young people especially. Young
drama students apparently most of
all, or so youíd be led to
believe. Anyone who claims to have
a path with no cracks in life is
either lying or the most fortunate
bastard on the planet. We all are
allowed to feel like we need help
and one should always allow
oneself to ask for that help. And
I am talking about real help, not
the kind that comes in the form of
unemployed twenty-six year olds
who has yet to discover the joys
of manners and/or deodorant.
How is Gee, by the way?
I honestly have no idea.
My heart aches to hear this.
Nevertheless, I have come to
consider you as one of most mature
out of your year. I know you have
had to deal with things none of
them could even dream of coping
with. And that is precisely why I
believed that if you were having
any sort of real trouble you would
reach out for help from the many
who do care for you. Iíd still
like to believe that.
Are you going to be okay to
perform tonight?
Iíll be fine. No, Iíll be great!
Iíll try and be great.
Great would be great.
Go and give yourself fifteen, I
think we both deserve it.


Cheers, sir.
Natasha springs up to leave. She barely gets to the door
before Weightman calls after her, stopping her in her
And Natasha? If you decide to turn
up even remotely wrecked to a
performance again and I promise
that you will not ever be
permitted on my stage again. Even
if I have to dress in drag and
play your part for these last two
performances. Okeydokey?
Natasha struggles to find the rights words to respond.
Weightman waves her out of the room. She quickly exits.
Natasha, looking pale, stands just left of the doors
finishing a cigarette. Nobody else appears to be around
until Beck exits the building and immediately approaches
You definitely sure youíre not up
to coming, babe?
Natasha nods.
I think Iím done for a while. You
guys enjoy.
Stay safe, you hear?
Beck and Natasha hug before Beck hurries towards the parking

Terry now exits the college. Almost immediately Terry
notices Natasha standing alone and it makes him slow his
pace. She either doesnít see him or pretends not to.

Terry stops walking. We see the dilemma on his face as he
looks as though he is about to turn right around and
approach Natasha. But he doesnít. He readjusts his bag and
continues walking. Natasha quickly glances at Terry as he
moves away, then turns her eyes elsewhere.


As he nears his car, Terry notices Beck is leaning against
the door of his car, waiting for him.
Oh, God. Why?
Terry reaches the car. He and Beck stare each other down for
a few seconds.
                       TERRY (contd.)
Hi, Beck.
Someoneís here late.
This someone always is.
Terry takes his keys out of his pocket but Beck still
doesnít move away from his door.
                       TERRY (contd.)
Can I help you?
Nah, just waiting for Christa and
Ashe to come out. Weíre all
heading to that new club on Firth
Street, Christa says itís
That wasnít an invitation to join
us, by the way.
No, no. Perish the thought.
      (gestures towards
       his car)
Do you mind?
I don't get you.
Oh, we're doing this now.
You go for that "nice guyĒ vibe
and act like the concerned,
responsible adult but I see what
youíre doing. Iíve dealt with
enough bullshitters in my time so
now I can always see right through


                       BECK (cont'd)
that. I might be nearly young
enough to be your daughter but Iím
not that naive.
And it never crossed your mind
that maybe I really am concerned?
Never. All I see is some guy
sticking his nose where it donít
belong. She has real friends
looking out for her. Just accept
the fact that Natasha is happy
without you in her life and get
the fuck over it.
Iíd love to. But she is not happy.
Well what the fuck do you know?
Christ, the nerve of this man.
Okay, Iím only going to say it
once so you can go and write it
down in your little notepad if you
need help remembering. You and her
were barely even friends. You went
shopping twice and watched some
shitty action movie in you Granís
back room, big deal. She was happy
before she started speaking to you
and sheís happy now sheís stopped.
Donít have to be a genius to
figure out what that means, eh?
A beat. The pair just glare at each other until another car
pulls up nearby, tooting its horn. The driverís window rolls
down and Christa sticks her head out.
Beck! Letís go, babe!
Beck finally moves from Terryís path and walks towards
Christaís car.
Have a wonderful night, Beck.


Fuck yeah I will.
Terry watches Beck climb into the car and it tears away.
Terry and Patsy sit on the sofa watching something on the
TV. Terry has a plate full of toast in front of him but is
clearly not interested in it. Patsy doesnít appear to
notice, instead she is fixated on the television.
Shit, Iíve seen this one before.
The fella with the beard who was
in Bonanza is the killer in the
Isnít that just always the way.
Patsy finally looks away from the screen and at Terry. She
reaches and takes one of his leftover pieces of toast and
starts nibbling on it.
You havenít made any comments on
the terrible sound mix, love. Do
you want to tell me whatís
bothering you?
It's nothing exciting.
I can pretend it is. Iím good at
pretending, your grandfather could
have told you as much if he were
still here.
Disturbing implications there.
Honestly, Iím just regular
tired-slash-bored-slash cranky. It
feels like I havenít seen the sun
in about a century, every day has
been grey since forever.
Aha. Now youíre sounding like your
Mother. She bloody hated these
weeks at the beginning of the
year, the ones when everyone just


                       PATSY (cont'd)
complains about how fat theyíve
got from Christmas. What was it
she called it?
The Graveyard Season. She told me
all about that.
Ah. Of course she did.
A pause. Terry sighs and stands up.
I'll just clear these up and then
I'm going to head to bed.
Terry stands and starts picking up the empty plates to take
into the kitchen.
You know who I havenít seen around
here in a while? That nice girl
Natasha. Do you two still...?
We see each other, yeah. But sheís
busy and Iím busy and we donít
really get a chance to have any
proper friend moments.
Shame. Well then, seeing as this
show is nearly done and dusted
maybe you can invite her over for
dinner next weekend. That way we
can all catch up.
I donít know about that.
Terry begins carrying the plates to the kitchen. He stops in
his tracks, closes his eyes for a moment and then turns back
to Patsy.
                       TERRY (contd.)
I fucked up, Nanna. Big time. Iím
such an idiot.


Those are some serious charges,
honey. How exactly have you fucked
Thatís the kicker; Iím not even
sure I know. I just tried to be
honest but then I think I might
have been too honest or possibly
not honest enough. Maybe I should
have opened my mouth earlier,
maybe I should have kept it shut
for good. Itís all just a big mess
and I have no idea what to do
except feel like crap about it.
Listen, you have every right to
feel like crap. That is
unfortunately how it goes when
something so close to your heart
goes pear-shaped. Today, tomorrow,
maybe even months from now, nobody
can blame you for feeling like
crap. That is the easy part. The
difficult part is to remember this
one thing. Take it from an
experienced old lady, one day
probably much sooner than you
think, you are going to look back
on this whole ordeal and you are
not going to give a shit. So
youíve got to just go on marching
through life how you want to and
not let this temporary pain stop
Iím not going to give a shit about
I promise. Not a single solitary
shit. Case in point; remember how
upset you were when you found out
that you didnít get into that
drama school you had your heart
set on?
Terry somehow looks ever more drained all of a sudden.


LAMDA, yeah.
Thatís the one. You were blue
about that for a good few weeks
but once that nice Mister
Weightman asked you back to work
for him you were happy as-
A beat. Terry sighs and sits down next to Patsy, placing the
plates back on the table.
Nanna, I think I need tell you
something that I should have told
you long ago.
That day I had my interview for
LAMDA, that interview I spent
months preparing and practicing
for... I woke up, dosed up on as
much coffee as I could and then
got the train all fifteen stops
into central. I even walked right
up to the massive front doors to
the building. But I didnít go in.
A few last minute jitters, I
thought. But the longer I stood
outside those doors the more I
wished I had never left my bedroom
that morning. There was no best
case scenario of me walking
through that door. I mess up the
interview and donít get in and Iím
faced with weeks of feeling like a
failure. Sure thatís bad but if it
were just that I was afraid of I
could have still mustered up just
enough courage to walk in. But it
wasnít just that. No, I was more
terrified that the interview would
go well. That they would offer me
a place.
Patsy looks visibly shocked and confused. Terry stands and
begins to pace.


                       TERRY (contd.)
Yes, I know how ridiculous that
all sounds. I just... The people
that I watched walking in and out
of that building, they all seemed
so calm, so sure of themselves,
obviously with more talent in
their little fingers than I could
ever hope to have in my entire
being. If I did get in Iíd be
surrounded by these people every
day, a constant reminder of
everything I could never hope to
be. My fear was that I would spend
those next two years never
measuring up, no matter how hard I
tried. So... I didnít try. And I
On the way back home, that
shameful train ride, I tried to
rationalise my decision. I told
myself that I chose not to go in
some selfless act so I could stay
here and look after you and Mum.
That I couldnít justify spending
so much money on myself while you
were struggling to pay to keep
goddamn squirrels out of this
place. Blah, blah, blah. I could
tell myself that all I wanted Ė
and oh, how I did every day Ė but
they werenít the reason I didnít
get into LAMDA. I didnít get in
simply because I was Ė I am Ė just
a coward.
Patsy rises, takes the plates from the table. A beat.
I think that was a very brave
thing you just did.
Patsy carries the plates into the kitchen, leaving Terry
alone with his thoughts and the closing credits of the TV
show they were just watching.
A dull sunrise over the blocks. From within we hear the
tones of an alarm clock follow moments later by Terry


Terry finishes buttoning his shirt. He leans over his desk
and opens his diary to the page labelled Nineteenth of
February. Written in bold and underlined are the words
"FINAL PERFORMANCE!!!Ē. Terry picks up a pen and circles
these words.
Here we go...
Patsy, dressed elegantly, adjusts herself in front of the
mirror. Terry appears from his bedroom dressed in his usual
blacks and reacts to his grandmotherís look.
Look at you all glammed up! Donít
tell me, youíve got another date
with that silver fox from the
No, no, this is far more exciting.
Patsy reaches into her pocket and proudly takes out a ticket
to "The Dermatologistís Daughter.Ē Terry reacts.
You're not!
I am! I know you kept on about how
much Iíd loathe it but I thought,
what the hell? Iíll go support my
grandson and maybe get a laugh out
of the dialogue. I hear itís
Thatís an understatement. But how
did you even get a seat? We sold
out weeks ago.
Well... we all have our
Would this connection happen to be
Sam's granddad?


Reginald! Nice man, shame about
his casual racism.
You really do think of everything,
Everything. And so after the show
Reggie can give me a lift home so
you can go straight out to that
end-of-show party with the rest of
You know, Iím not sure if anyone
has actually arranged any-
They have, Sam told me.
Good ol' Sam.
You are planning to go, arenít
Well, there is a very large part
of me that wants to just come
straight home after the final
curtain and sleep for a week...
      (Notes Patsyís
But I know that I should probably
go and try to have a good time so
it looks like thatís what Iím
going to do.
That's my boy!
You see? This is my attempt at
trying to be brave.
And letting yourself be happy?


That Iíll have to get back to you
about. And Mum too, she said she
wants to know all about it. And
there I was planning to concoct
some elaborate fib to her about my
going. I even convinced Sam to
pose in some "drunk photosĒ with
me so I can really sell it to her.
Terry grabs his bag from the table and heads for the door.
It wouldnít have worked. A Mother
always knows, Terry!
Terry blows Patsy and kiss and leaves the flat. After a beat
we see Patsyís smile fade a fraction.
                       PATSY (contd.)
A Mother always knows.
All of the students in the cast occupy the room with an air
of nervousness about them. Terry, Tom and Eddie are at their
usual posts, Terry writing notes and the latter pair
chatting excitedly.
Look at that. The final
performance and there wasnít even
a single casualty along the way.
Shame about that.
But you know what final
performance means?
Final epic Weightman rant, of
Last year he sent three students
crying from the room, imagine if
he tops that tonight. Camera


Livestream is all set.
Terry looks up from his notes and finds, for the first time
in too long, his and Natashaís eyes meeting. Natashaís
expression doesnít change at all and within a fleeting
moment she looks back towards Beck and her friends.

Weightman enters the space and all is suddenly quiet. He
slowly and deliberately walks into the centre of the
auditorium and glances around at the whole assembled cast.
Here we go!
Ladies. Gentlemen. Others.
Have a good show.
Tom and Eddie exchange a look of disappointment while the
students all look relieved as they disperse.

Weightman sits heavily next to Terry at the production desk.
Everything good?
Peachy. Let us just do this,
Jonathan stands alone on stage delivering the final line
from the final scene of the play.
"I can truly say that after all is
said and done, the dermatologistís
daughter has shown me that beauty
really is more than just
The lights go down and the audience start their applause.

Lights back up again and for the final time the entire cast
of students take their bows to the enthusiastic applause of
the audience. Seated a few rows from the front, Patsy turns
and directs her applause to Terry at the production desk.


At the desk itself Terry also applauds towards the stage. As
for Weightman, though, his eyes are welling up with tears
which he quickly dabs away with a handkerchief. Terry reacts
with surprise.
Tell anyone about this and Iíll
end you all.
Terry holds in laughter and turns to see that Tom and Eddie
are surreptitiously recording Weightmanís emotional moment
on their phones.
Now letís go and get wrecked.
A large detached house with obviously very well-off owners.
The front door is wide open and music can be heard pumping
from inside.
One hell of a party is underway. Nearly all the
Lambert-Chesterton students are present as well as a number
of similar aged people weíve never seen before, all with
drinks in hand and clearly having a good time.

Terry and Sam enter, their coats still on as if they have
just arrived. Terry looks around the place with a hint of
Behold, Casa-del-Ashe.
So which one is Ashe again?
You know Ashe! She played the
drunk Aunt.
Sam nods over to a tall girl across the room, the ASHE in


Ah yes, girl who had no sense of
prop etiquette. Of course.
Sam waves at Ashe to get her attention.
Hiya, Ashe!
Ashe violently raises her middle finger at Sam and storms
      (to Terry)
Aw, yeah she kind of hates me at
the moment. We had a... a "thingĒ
a few months back. I told her what
it was and she was like, "yeah,
non-exclusive is cool with meĒ but
after a week it was clear that it
was not cool with her. So...
      (mimes washing
You get me?
By now I wouldnít expect anything
Terry continues to looks around. Sam notices.
You wouldnít happen to be glancing
around hoping to see anyone in
particular, would you?
Of course not. What a ridiculous
Sam squeals with delight at the sight of a bucket full of
beer bottles and grabs two, handing one to Terry.
                       SAM (contd.)
Just like old times, eh?
Terry smiles. He and Sam open the bottles in unison and


A little later on in the party and we see the attendees all
enjoying themselves to various degree. Kieron can be seen
making the moves on a girl in the corner of the room. On a
sofa against one of the walls Eddie sits next to a TIPSY
GIRL, gradually edging closer to her as they talk. Tom sits
on the other side of her, more invested in his phone than
the party.
You know that pretty much every
major chart song of the last
twenty-five years was written by
the same group of four people.
                       TIPSY GIRL
No way!
Google it if you donít believe me.
Tom waves his phone around as if looking for a good signal.
Donít google it. Asheís Wi-Fi is
And you know something else? All
of their songs are designed to
have a killer intro thatíll make
everyone listening shout "Woooo!Ē
and go mad dancing. That way
no-one notices how derivative the
track actually is.
                       TIPSY GIRL
Get a load of this.
Eddie whips out his phone and presses a few buttons. The
music track changes and instantly the room erupts with
                       EDDIE (contd.)
See? So will you be giving me your
number now or...
Eddie looks up from his phone to see that the Tipsy Girl is
no longer next to him. He whirls his head around to the


makeshift dance floor and sees she is dancing her heart out
along with the others.

Without even looking up from his phone, Tom snickers.
                       EDDIE (contd.)
Piss off, as if you could do
Elsewhere in the room, we see Terry crouched talking with a
trio of students.
                       STUDENT 1
Terry, youíd know this if anyone
would; Weightman used to work for
MI5, yeah? Thatís how he knows
everything about everyone.
                       STUDENT 2
I heard he fully keeps a loaded
gun in his desk drawer, is that
                       STUDENT 3
Nah, apparently itís a hip flask
shaped like a gun and itís loaded
with scotch.
                       STUDENT 2
Either one would make sense.
Officially I am going to have to
deny all of that. For the purpose
of having fun tonight... you guys
can pretend I said yes.
A beat. The three students look at each other then back at
                       STUDENT 1
Works for me!
                       STUDENT 2
Aha! I knew it.
                       STUDENT 3
I have no idea what he just said
but I am also excited!


Now if you will excuse me for a
Terry stands up and leaves the trio talking amongst
themselves. He finishes the last of his drink and disposes
of the plastic cup in an overflowing trash bag hanging from
a chair.

Terry scans the room in search of someone to talk to... and
suddenly freezes. His expression barely changes but it is
evident that something has affected him.

Moving through the crowd towards Terry is an immaculately
dressed young woman, someone weíve never met but whose face
we have seen before. OLIVIA.

Time seems to slow down the closer she moves to Terry. For a
moment it is as if she is actually approaching him
specifically. But... without so much as a hint of
acknowledgement from either person, she brushes past him.

After a beat, Terry glances over his shoulder and sees
Olivia talking merrily with Ashe. Still, Terryís expression
doesnít change.

Terry faces front again and is met with the sight of Sam
barrelling towards him, eyes wide in shock and fear. The two
drinks he is holding slosh their contents all over him as he
practically parkours over and around the fellow partygoers
and eventually reaches Terry.
Oh my fucking God! Iím so sorry,
Terry, I should have remembered
that Olivia and Asheís brother
were besties.
      (bangs head
       against wall)
Idiot! Are you okay?
I'm good.
Are you really okay?
Terry considers. He smiles.
You know what? I am. I saw her
there and was fully expecting my
heart and brain to explode
simultaneously but... I felt


                       TERRY (cont'd)
A beat. Sam still looks concerned.
                       TERRY (contd.)
Not nothing as in, "Oh woe is me,
my soul is dead and I have to
stick my hand in an open flame
just to feel something.Ē Nothing
as in, "Huh. There goes my ex. Oh
well. Next?Ē
Sam grins ear to ear.
You did it! Youíre over her! Ah,
didnít I tell you all along you
would reach this moment? Letís
drink to this!
      (hands Terry the
       half-empty cup)
Sorry I may have spilled a teensy
drop on my way over here.
The pair drink. Terry places his arm around Sam.
I couldnít have done this without
you, buddy.
I know. So now weíve got to get
you to do that one other thing I
said would happen all along;
finding that girl for you who
happens to be one million times
better than Olivia in every way!
Ah, forget that. I would only
be... what was it you said?
"Indulging in an unhealthy
lifestyle that idealises the toxic
traits of attachment and
Itís not like that! Okay, it is
like that for me but that doesnít
It's like Jack Daniels, you know?


I don't.
The pair begin walking towards the kitchen.
Terry and Sam step into the cramped kitchen which is nearly
as full of people enjoying themselves as the living room.
Sam immediately strides to the table on which scores of
bottles and cups are ready for use. Terry follows.
Remember that one night I got so
drunk on JD that I thought I could
see through time and was
bed-ridden for three days
Aha! Well...
Sam grabs a bottle of what looks like Jack Daniels off the
table on closer inspection it is an obvious off-brand
imitation. Sam scoffs.
                       SAM (contd.)
Just pretend thatís JD. After that
night just the smell of it, the
thought of it made me gag.
Whenever I saw someone ordering
one I had to resist grabbing them
and asking what the hell they were
doing with their life to willing
subject themselves to such
torture. But...
But then I would remember just how
much you liked it. I remembered
that whenever youíd pour yourself
some of that devil juice youíd be
happy, always happy. Even when
Olivia was being a bitch and
hitting on Richard Spirrino so as
to make you jealous. And so, even
though every fibre of me being was


                       SAM (cont'd)
repulsed by the stuff and always
will be, I was glad it was around
because Iíd get to see my bestie
living his best life.
A DRUNK LAD reaches for the bottle in Samís hand.
                       DRUNK LAD
Mind if I take some of that?
Please do take it away from me.
Sam practically shoves the bottle into the Ladís hand. Terry
smiles and shakes his head in amusement.
Youíre pretty damn sweet, Sam.
Again, I know. Now letís do some
fucking shots.
The party is still in full swing. A load of the students are
still dancing energetically while a couple can be seen
sitting or lying at the edge of consciousness around the
room. Kieron is making the moves on a different girl from
the one before.
Terry and Sam walk out of the house and into the huge and
well-kept garden, drinks in hand.
Iím not going to imagine that,
Sam. I refuse.
Only because you know Iím right!
Theyíre just good friends. Your
Grandad dropped my Grandmother off
home, gave her a respectful peck
on the cheek and then went
straight home, thatís it.


You sure about that? Even
pensioners need a little "fun
timeĒ, you know what I mean?
Terry cringes and laughs. Samís phone beeps and he glances
down at it. His eyes widen.
                       SAM (contd.)
Oh, sweet Jesus.
Spence is here with the Prossecco
keg. You mind if I...?
I wouldnít dream of minding. Go
Sam gives Terry a quick peck on the cheek.
Love you! Back in a flash.
Sam enters and closes the door behind him... And bumps right
into Olivia. She recognises him instantly, smiling widely as
though she genuinely happy to see him and affectionately
places her arm around his shoulders.
Sam Field, it is you! Oh my God
itís been too long. How the hell
have you been?
Not missing a beat, Sam brushes Oliviaís hand away.
I donít know you, lady.
Sam proceeds to the crowd of dancers, leaving Olivia looking
equally embarrassed and confused.
Terry hears the door open again.


That was quick, buddy.
Terry turns to see that it is not Sam that has come through
the door, instead a couple passionately (and drunkenly)
kissing each other. Terry cringes and moves away.
                       NATASHA (o.s.)
Terry looks in the direction of the voice. He sees Natasha
crouching on one of the garden chairs, almost camouflaged by
her all-black clothes. She stares straight ahead, not
looking directly at Terry.
                       NATASHA (contd.)
Ashe has five bedrooms, youíd
figure they could pick one.
I agree.
So... hi.
Natasha nods in acknowledgement yet still doesnít look at
                       TERRY (contd.)
I can go back inside if you-
Nah, youíre good. Iím going to
head off in a minute anyway.
Oh. Already?
Iím too tired for all this. Iíd
rather go sit in bed, eat crap and
binge on eighties horror flicks.
Sounds like heaven.
Heaven has nothing on young Bruce
The door from the house opens and Beck comes charging out.


Tasha! There you are! Okay so I
know you werenít going to drink
tonight, right, but this guy
Laurence brought with him has...
Beck trails off as she notices Terry. Her eyes narrow and
she generally looks as though she could lunge for him at any
Itís fine, Beck. Weíre all good