Coming Up

The Play

A contemporary fable about loyalty, speaking up for what you believe in - and Love.

Adam is a troubled young lad who has fallen into the arms of the Law. He has committed a sin against society - done a smash and grab for some trainers in a local shopping mall - and is now due to appear in court, be judged, maybe go down.

Rose is his school teacher. She knows that Adam is bright and wants to speak up for him in court. There's only one problem - the man who apprehended Adam is Rose's bully of a husband, security guard Testy.

One hot day, Rose lays herself down in the sun to soak in its strong beams, and encounters a neighbour who lives in a flat ways above hers - a mysterious reclusive ex-punk musician called Happy. This new man in Rose's life brings it all back home to her - the importance of love, standing up for what & who you believe in, intimacy and putting your life on the line. Rose strains to prise herself away from her comfort zone - but Testy is a man capable of murderous jealousy...

   ROSE:
  The shining sun could be the image of a great eternal light,
Pouring brightly down from high to light our way;
But daylight in reality is oft when true light hides.
Dreams frozen in the stark cold light of day.
I thought I saw another world, where each step’s obvious,
Where I would easy know which road to take.
Where I’d be skipping sprightly down the lane to brand new life.
But that path’s too strewn with obstacles at daybreak.
I hang between the two worlds: Happy’s new and Testy’s old;
And the newer is too difficult. I’ll stick with what I know.
Better off with the devil what I know.

The tangled relationship between Rose and her two men, and the plight of young Adam, is enacted in council estate and school room settings writhing with vivid denizens: the tragic old couple Pork and Cabbage; the frigid and superstitious schoolmarm Miss Nice; the predatory "friend of the family" Mr. Nonsense; the drunken terrible mother of Adam, Karli; the foul mouthed mate of Testy, Snide. A light is shone on each of these characters in turn, their spiritual and moral rot exposed to view.

  SNIDE:
  Nine pints. And I say:
“God, if you really ain’t gonna give me any happiness ever,
If I’ve always got to be living this shit life,
Then kill me now. Get it over and done with.”
But He don’t. So I slope off home alone.

Will Rose settle for down, with her love kept dark and secret, or will she come up as Happy advises and learn that she can, when guided by love's vision, fly.

  HAPPY:
  I bumped into a couple of mates of mine the other day.
  ROSE:
  Who’s that, then?
HAPPY:
  Mellor and Zim. Those two really are crazy.
They’re running a stall down the market place,
Selling their old records and that.
They called out to me as I walked past.
They was going:
“Shit, Happy man, what’s happening to you?
What you been doing, you lazy bastard?”
  ROSE:
  Charming!
  HAPPY:
  More like alarming.
A well-loud clock going off
Just at the right time.
It made me realise that since I gave up public gigging I’ve been dying inside.
“You ain’t using your gifts!
“You’re forgetting all your lessons!”
Mellor and Zim were complaining saying.

Coming Up is an inspirational play for today, but with mythical roots; ancient and fresh like a rose given in Love.

Casting requirements
2 f, 3m (with doubling)