Coming of Age
(A play in collaboration with Gaynor WInstanley)
It’s a large dining room typical of any in the Edwardian terraces built at the start of the twentieth century. It’s been carefully redecorated in the style of the times. We are in or around the later 1960s. There‘s an old fashioned sideboard which like the oval 1940s table has been painted white. The back wall is painted orange. On that wall there’s a large mirror over the sideboard with a white frame. The dining table with its chairs also painted white, stands in front of the sideboard but there’s plenty of space to walk through.
Over the mirror there‘s a long silver key. At either end of the mirror there’s a picture…one of Marylyn Monroe and the other of James Dean…both in matching white frames. The table is covered by a white sheet over which there’s an orange runner. There’s numbers of un-matching glasses, tumblers, wine glasses, sherry glasses. There are cups and saucers from a plain white service. Then another floral tea set with its own teapot. There two stacks of orange and white serviettes at either end of the table. There are stacks of plates some paper some china. There’s a two tier cake in the middle of the table…and it has another silver key on its top. There are numerous ashtrays and several arrangements of twigs and sticks painted white and orange and gold in old fashioned earthenware jars.
To the far left there a single window that’s recently been turned into a French door but with single panes of glass in each door. The curtains are on a white pole. They are made from beige curtain lining that’s trimmed with orange fabric. There’s a venetian blind half down. Beyond is a garden…A whitewashed wall to one side…and a path leading up on to a lawn in the distance….along the wall there are troughs of flowers…trailing blue lobelia and white alyssum.
In the centre of the room there is a very large white paper Habitat style lampshade over the centre-light in the room. There are side tables, a sofa re-covered with beige curtain lining. The other walls are white. There‘s a standard lamp and two table lamps made out of the ‘Mateus Rosé’ bottles one is painted white the other covered with shells. The lampshades are beige with an orange trim. Behind the sofa there’s a large picture unframed of swirling pattern of orange white, gold and brown. It’s been made from ‘Polyfilla’ on board and spray painted. Beside the sofa there’s a stand for magazines and newspapers. There are several magazines over the sofa. There are a couple of orange cushions on the floor. The floor is carpeted with rush-style floor covering. There’s a G-Plan style teak table on which stands a portable record player. There are LP’s in piles underneath it and there are smaller 45s stacked in neat piles on the table beside the record player. On the other side of the sofa are two more of the nest of tables, also teak G-Plan. A cream telephone stands o together with an ashtray.
A middle aged woman in a lemon quilted housecoat with mules and a lemon hairnet enters from the right. She carries a newspaper and a cup and saucer. She’s humming to herself…perhaps ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’ from Oklahoma… she puts down her cup and saucer on the table and her newspaper. She adjusts the key on the cake and stands back and smiles…She sighs approvingly…before resuming her humming…
She rummages in the pocket of her housecoat and retrieves a packet of menthol cigarettes. Then she looks around for a lighter with the cigarette in her mouth before disappearing into the kitchen….located in the rear right of the stage…it can also be seen by the audience.
At the back of the kitchen there’s another door. The kitchen is decorated in lemon and white with which the woman blends as perfectly as a chameleon….the door at the far end of the kitchen is painted lemon with a white architrave…it’s the entrance to the bathroom…
The phone rings…. The woman re-enters smoking