Sleeping Monkeys

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  • 8/14/2019 Sleeping Monkeys


    Sleeping Monkeys


    Liam McCann

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    And I See You

    A bungalow in the sleepy English countryside, "inthe 19th century". The lights come up to see

    Stephen, dressed in a suit and tie, sitting in anarm chair, reading a thick book. His eyes penetrate the book surface, apparently seeing through it.

    A highly elaborate dinner table is set up upstageleft. The reflection of wine glasses is projected onto the back wall by the illumination of candleson the table.

    On the back wall of the set, a bookcase filled with several thick volumes of books is precariously leaned. Covers of red and green are

    further illuminated by candle light.

    Page sits at the table, also dressed in a suit and tie. He pours himself a glass of wine from thebottle on the table, and takes a small sip fromthe glass. He then adjusts his tie, beforeeventually becoming frustrated and taking it off.


    Page extinguishes the candle, placing a fireproof cloth over the top of the flame. The light in theroom becomes dim, but the two actors are stillvisible on stage.

    Stephen continues to read, otherwise motionless.He shows no interest in Pages actions.

    PAGEI say, dear chap, what time is it?

    STEPHENHold on, Ill just look at my wrist.

    PAGEDid you happen to bring it with you?

    STEPHEN(Looking at his wrist as if a watch werethere.)

    Yes, I did. Its currently seven past the hour.


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    PAGEThanks. Where are you off to on this fine night?

    STEPHENI was planning on enjoying a quiet night along with theobjects of my affection.

    PAGESuzy? You plan on spending a night with this youngblonde with whom a relationship would be highlydiscouraged?

    STEPHENIm sorry? I believe youve misinterpreted me. I intendon spending this fine twilight confined to thiscomfortable armchair, reading a fine book.


    STEPHENIm sorry? I dont understand.

    PAGEWhich book, fine sir?

    STEPHEN"In Search Of Lost Time".

    PAGEAh, yes, a personal favourite. I do like the way inwhich it builds tension over its three thousand pages.

    STEPHENFour thousand. By the way, did you see that fine blondewho was walking through here at approximately seventeenhundred hours?

    PAGE(Breaking character.)

    I mentioned her earlier, you bastard. What, didnt youread the script?

    STEPHENBut it was so boring!

    PAGEWe should probably stop breaking character.

    STEPHENYeah, but Im dying for a fag, man.


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    PAGE(Suddenly back into character.)

    Yes, I did see that fine Suzy who walked through atapproximately seventeen hundred hours. A gorgeous girl.Perhaps you could marry her.

    STEPHENI do not think my wife would approve of that motion.

    PAGEYes, but you also did not think your previous wifewould approve of you marrying her, did you?

    STEPHENShe may have. She was a somewhat more indecisivecharacter. But let us discuss this fine young blonde.

    At this point, Stephen gets up from his armchair,and takes a place at the table at which Page is

    seated. Page takes another sip from his glass of wine. Steven, wearing a suit and a top hat, entersfrom stage left. He sits in the armchair and picksup the book which Stephen was reading, reading with the same intent focus.

    STEPHENHello, Steven.

    STEVENHello, Stephen.

    STEPHENHows life, Steven?

    STEVENLife is quite alright, dear chap. How is life treatingmy favourite lord in the entire country, Stephen?

    STEPHENPage is quite good, Steven.

    STEVENNo, Stephen. Im talking about you.

    STEPHENYes, sir. Page is quite good. He seems to be infatuatedwith the flower of his desire.

    PAGE(Snapping out of his trance.)

    Yes, the flower of my desire, right. She is like acrackling wine in the sunlight of dawn. A delicatespiders web illuminated by the moonlights entrancing



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    PAGE (contd)grasp. The blonde hair flickering like a catapillar ina eucalypt tree.

    (Falls back into his trance.)

    STEVENI can see the joy which now envelopes his life like a

    fine and delicate flower.

    STEPHENHow exactly does a flower envelope something?

    STEVENWith difficulty, Id imagine?

    STEPHENWell, yes. I would guess that you were thinking morealong the lines of maybe a treasure chest?


    Yes, Stephen. By the way, do you happen to have thetime?

    STEPHENWell, yes. Ill just get my wrist out and have a lookat it, itll have the time on it.

    STEVENIs that a new model of wrist?

    STEPHENYes, I bought it in Venice when I went on a trip therewith my dearest wife.

    STEVENShe is no longer with you, is she?

    STEPHENAlas, no, Steven. She unfortunately passed away as aresult of a knife blow when my hand slipped whilepreparing dinner for her one lovingly romantic evening.

    STEVENWhat an unfortunate tragedy, really. What time is itdear fellow? You didnt get around to telling me.

    STEPHENIm sorry, I dont have my wrist on me. Page, do youhave yours?

    Silence. Page continues to stare aimlessly intothe distance. Stephen relights the candle wick,and the room suddenly becomes reilluminated.


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    STEPHENI suppose not. Oh, wait, here it is.

    (Looking at his wrist.)Its currently eleven past the hour.


    Thank you, dear chap.

    STEPHENWhat exactly are you here for?

    STEVENWell, I live here.

    STEPHENAh, yes, thats right. I had forgotten. Had youforgotten, Page?


    (Awakening from his trance.)What now?

    STEVENHad you forgotten about my continued existance, Page?

    PAGEWell, no. I did realise you were still living here.

    STEVENI see. I must ask, dear chap, what is with all of thatstaring into the distance?

    STEPHENHes fallen in love with the princess on the old hill.

    STEVENAs in one of those types who is captured by a dragonand placed in the highest keep of the tower?

    STEPHENNo, thats 14th century. This play is set in the 19thcentury.

    PAGE(Hits Stephen around the back of thehead. Quietly.)

    He doesnt know were in a play yet!

    STEPHEN(Breaking character.)

    ...were in a play?


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    PAGEShut up!


    Well, yes, I suppose you will need my advice on how to

    approach this...Im sorry, I didnt get her name.

    PAGEWell. Her name is Suzy.

    STEVENInteresting. What does she look like?

    PAGEWell, shes about this tall.

    (Gets up from the chair, and pantomineshow tall she is, grosslyoverexaggerating.)

    And well...shes just perfect.

    STEPHENAnd yet you never talk to her.

    STEVENMy lad, how exactly can you gain the support of a fineyoung lady such as her if you can never gain thecourage to soliloquise the feelings you have from her.


    STEPHENSteven, may we have a moment to ourselves to discusssomething private among ourselves?

    STEVENI suppose you can, Ill just sit here and have a glassof wine.

    Stephen and Page get up from their chairs and walkover to stage left. Steven pours himself a glassof wine from the now near empty bottle. Theillumination on stage becomes brighter as a resultof the bottle being near empty.

    PAGE(Whispering so that Steven cannot hear,but Stephen and the audience can.)

    Stephen, I have to ask. You know that word Steven said?

    STEPHENSuppose, my dear chap?


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    PAGEShut up, he cant hear us, why the hell are we incharacter?

    STEPHENOh, right. You mean soliloquise?

    PAGEYeah. Is that even a word?

    STEPHENWhy do you care?

    PAGEBecause. I dont want him to think Im stupid and thenpass that message onto Suzy when she comes on stage.

    STEPHENSo you basically want to outdo him so shell fall into

    your arms.


    STEPHENOkay, fine. Soliloquise is a word. Can we go back now?


    The two calmly walk back to the table, whereSteven is sipping at his wine glass. The two sitdown and both instantly start staring at Steven.

    STEVENYes, Stephen?

    STEPHENI have a minor disillusion.

    STEVENIm sorry?

    STEPHENYou seem to be enjoying myself

    STEVENOld chap, I dont seem to be able to follow.

    STEPHENYou see...


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    PAGEShut up! I can hear her coming!

    (Page ducks underneath the table,hearing footsteps coming down fromabove.)

    STEPHENPage, what shall I do?

    PAGEGo and get some tea please, Stephen.

    Unaware of one another, both Stephen and Steveninstantly get up at that point. Stephen walks off stage right, and Steven walks off stage left. Amoment of silence passes. Page peers his head outfrom under the table just as Suzy, in a red dress,walks on from stage left. An utterly gorgeousgirl, Page is transfixed, his eyes following her

    every movement. She walks on unaware of Pagesexistance, and takes the final seat at the table.Page disappears under the table again, leaving Suzy onstage alone.

    SUZYHmm. It seems that there is no wine left in the bottle.What a shame really. I was really looking forward to afine claret.

    She gets up and goes to leave off stage. Pagecomes up from under the table and quickly sits inhis chair, transfixed by the sight of her. Shewalks off stage left, as Stephen walks back onstage right, holding three cups of tea - one ineach hand, one by the skin of his teeth, his lipbeing burnt the skin. He places all three cupsdown on the table just as Steven comes in, withthree cups of tea on a tray. He places the tray onthe table, and plays a cup of tea next to whereStephen placed his cups.

    STEPHENTalk about being blown away.

    STEVENIm sorry?

    STEPHEN(Suddenly back into character.)

    It appears that Page has been struck over the craniumwith a large metal implement.


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    STEVENI hypothesise that he merely was awestruck by a veryattractive young lady who made her presence known tothis fine gentleman.


    Yes, I did realise that. I was just attempting tojustify the fluid oozing from his mouth.

    STEVENAh, but such fluid is part of lifes strange design,no?


    Fade out.

    Strange Design

    Lights go up. Still in the same room as before,but now daytime. Sunlight beams in through thewindows, leaving the silhouette of the window frames on the back wall. Stephen is reading abook, now dressed in a smart shirt and pants. Pagestarts into the empty wine bottle, tired and witha headache. He continues to stare in a mixture of fascination and disgust.

    PAGEI miss her.

    STEPHENYouve said that at least..

    (Counts on fingers. Slowly.) times in the past twentyminutes.

    PAGEBut I do.


    PAGEWhy can I not seem to be able to communicate with her?

    STEPHENCause you use alcohol as a crutch in order to build upcourage, and then never go through with your heartsdesires. Cant you just finally take the plunge and gointo the sea of uncertainty?


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    CONTINUED: 10.

    PAGEEverytime I try, I get held back.

    STEPHENAnd why is that, Page?

    PAGE Its because...ssh, hes coming.

    Both go back to their previous events as Suzy walks into the room, in a nightgown, hair messed up and tangled, without makeup, as if she justwoke up. Page looks on transfixed. Stephen doesntraise his eyes from his book as Suzy walks infront of him. She sits at the desk and staysthere, motionless. She then gets up and leaves,exiting stage left.


    Dude, I think your girlfriends a bit of a weirdo.


    STEPHEN...did you actually just say squee?


    STEPHENRight. I hear footsteps.

    PAGEDoes that mean we have to talk like Victorians again?

    STEPHENAlas, yes.


    PAGEWhy is there a period of silence put there?

    STEPHENBecause were waiting for Steven to arrive.

    PAGEYoure Stephen.

    STEPHENNo, you idiot, the other Steven.


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    CONTINUED: 11.

    PAGEOh, right. And whatll happen when that happens?

    STEPHENWell. Hes trying to steal your woman.


    ...since when?

    STEPHENI saw them talking.


    STEPHENIts more than you do to her.

    PAGENo, we have many fine conversations.

    STEPHENAbout what?

    PAGEWell...we talked about...

    At this point, Steven walks in, dressed once againin a suit, but this time without the top hat,carrying a telegram. Page and Stephen instantly go"back into character"; Stephen continues to read his book, and Page continues to stare into theempty wine bottle, somewhat more energised butstill tired. Steven sits down at the desk withPage, and starts to read his telegraph.

    STEVENI see. Chaps, apparently theres seven people dead as aresult of a factory riot in Birmingham.

    PAGE(Filling a pipe he has pulled from hispocket.)

    Is that so, sir? Im deeply shocked by this, they wereone of the few groups of peasants to take to theIndustrial Revolution.

    (Goes back into his trance.)

    STEVENYes, but perhaps the men had become disillusioned withthe ease at which their products could be produced?Perhaps they had enjoyed the minimal wages at whichthey worked fourteen hours a day for?


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    CONTINUED: 12.

    STEPHENProust never worked fourteen hours a day.

    STEVEN(Does a doubletake.)


    STEPHENProust. What, youve never read In Search of Lost Time?

    STEVENAlas, I have not.

    PAGEYoure missing out then, Steven.

    STEPHENNo, Ive read it.

    STEVENI think he means me, chap.

    PAGEHow correct of you.

    STEVENNo, I havent read any Proust.

    PAGEI see. You should acquire a collection of his works.They will keep you occupied for the rest of yournatural lifespan. I commiserate with the person whohasnt read Proust.



    STEVENSurely you mean sympathise?

    PAGEWhy yes, you did pick up on my mistake. My intendedmistake, of course. But yes, to not have read Proust isa true shame.

    STEVENIndeed it is.


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    CONTINUED: 13.

    STEPHENIm almost finished.

    PAGEIts four thousand and five hundred pages, Stephen. Areyou telling me you have only got two hundred pages to


    STEVENWell, I havent commenced reading it yet.

    PAGEYes, I know. You did discuss this with me no more thanninety seconds ago.

    STEVENThat is correct.


    You only have two hundred pages left to go, Stephen?

    STEPHENNo, three hundred and fifty, Page.

    PAGEYoull be finished before the end of the Hundred YearsWar.

    STEPHENThat finished some four hundred and thirty years ago,Page.

    PAGEDid it?

    STEVENYes, it did. I believe you fought in it.

    PAGENo, that was Crimea.

    STEVENI am mistaken. I plead for a forgival.

    PAGEYes, you are forgiven.

    STEVENWell. It is that time of morning again. I must be off,chaps, I have to go to the local stock exchange andfind a way in which to maximise my profit margin.


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    CONTINUED: 14.

    STEPHENYoure going to find a way to foretell the future? Profit.

    STEPHENYes, a prophet is someone who foresees the comingevents of this fine land, no?

    STEVENNo, money.

    STEPHENWe have none.

    STEVENYes, that happens to be the reason why I am leavingthis place. To go and get money.

    PAGEPlease do. Were running rather short.

    Steven gets up from his chair, picks up histelegram, and leaves stage right. Page starts tosniff from the top of the wine bottle, his eyeslighting up as he does so. Stephen continues toread his book. After a few moments, he realises heis actually reading from a dictionary. He readssome random definitions, then puts the dictionary down and goes to the bookshelf at the back of thestage. Page sits motionless, staring out. Stephen pulls out a very large book from the bookshelf,and sits down in his arm chair with it. From stageleft, Scott, a rather tall blonde male enters, and takes a seat next to Page at the table.

    SCOTTBeen good so far, hasnt it?

    PAGE...Im sorry? I dont believe you are articulating theintentions of that sentence to a degree at which it canbe understood by alternative members of the human race?

    SCOTTThe play. Its been good so far, hasnt it?

    PAGE...I still dont quite understand.


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    CONTINUED: 15.

    SCOTTOh, come on. Im the director.

    PAGEWhat on earth are you on about?

    SCOTT Im the director of this thing you seemingly call life.

    PAGESo youre saying that youre the person who directs uson how we act in our daily lives.

    SCOTTExactly. This is all a facade, anyway.

    Fade out.

    Whats The Use?

    The same setting. Mid afternoon. Page is stillsitting at the desk. He hasnt moved since therevelation at the end of the last scene.

    Stephen is still reading in the armchair.Likewise, he has not moved since the end of thelast scene.


    PAGEShut up.

    STEPHENHave you come to terms with the fact that your life isentirely a lie?

    PAGECome on. What do you think?

    STEPHENYoure just fuming over the fact that you cant getSuzy, arent you?


    At that moment, Suzy comes on stage, in a slightly oversized T-shirt. She sits at the desk with Pageand grabs the empty bottle of wine. She inspectsit carefully, and then puts it down.


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    CONTINUED: 16.


    Page continues to stare aimlessly into thedistance.

    SUZY Um. Hello?

    STEPHENHes in a trance.

    SUZYUm. Okay. Why?

    STEPHENI would guess because hes thinking of a pretty girl.


    His girlfriend?

    STEPHENNah. He sees this pretty girl walking around all thetime. And never has the guts to actually say hello.Because hes one of those types who is neurotic aboutthe consequences of his actions and thus cannot findthe guts to say hello.

    SUZYOh. So hes like most guys.


    SUZYKnew it. Wheres the director, anyway?

    STEPHENOh, yeah, and I think I should tell you hes one ofthose sorts of people whos kind of a method actor. Forexample, he got introduced to the director earlier thismorning and hasnt moved from that chair since. Hes ina sort of state of shock.

    SUZYOh. Okay then. Thats normal.

    STEPHENWell. Yeah. This place is slightly unusual. I mean,were in a 19th century English manor for one.


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    CONTINUED: 17.

    SUZYI see. I came to audition for the role of the prettygirl.

    STEPHENSo thats why you were around here over the past day or



    STEPHENBut yeah. Scott will be here in a minute, I guess.

    SUZYMmkay. Ill be back then. Im sorry, I didnt catchyour name?


    Im Stephen. Not to be confused with Steven. Hes areal tart. And hes Page.

    SUZYOkay, Im going to go and find the director now. See yalater, Page and Stephen.

    Suzy walks off stage left. Page continues to stareaimlessly into the distance.

    STEPHENHey, Page, Im going now, okay? Dont kill yourself.Oh, and that girl is pretty cute, so good choice.

    Stephen gets out of his chair and starts to walkoff stage. He stops briefly to look back at Page,then walks off stage left. The lights begin to dimas Page continues to stare aimlessly into thedistance.

    PAGE(Slowly. As if coming to a realisation.A strange mixture of happiness andsadness.)

    She knows my name...

    Fade out. End Act I.

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    CONTINUED: 19.

    STEPHEN (contd)very technologically advanced town, and has taken veryquickly to the industrial advances that have beenprovided in the past seventy years, especially comparedto other towns on this island. As a result it hasbecome quite prosperous and a desirable place to live,

    despite the pollution due to the immense amounts offactories. Surely this economic and industrialadvancement rates higher in the classification of whatsort of community it is than some random number ofpeople?

    STEVENOh yes, this economic prosperity is surely an argumentin your favour. However, could not any town erect a fewlarge buildings and therefore become a city?

    STEPHENI disagree. This argument is absurd. Lets stop now.


    Page walks on stage, carrying a cup and saucer. Hesits at the table, and takes a sip from the cup.He then looks at the cup confused, as if an alienhad just been dropped into the cup.

    STEVENYou look slightly confused, Page.

    PAGEI have no idea why Im drinking this. It justmaterialised like an unexpected Crimean cavalry charge.

    STEVENThere was one of those actually, happened a few daysago. Some horsemen ran down and got themselves killed.

    PAGEDid they come to any harm, Steven?

    STEPHENNo, Swanns Way was the first volume.

    PAGEI was referring to the man sitting at the desk with me.

    STEPHENOh, my apologies.


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    CONTINUED: 20.

    STEVENYes, apparently some of them lost their heads.

    PAGEThey couldnt handle the stress of the Russiansthrowing halberds at them?

    STEVENA flying halberd usually makes somebody lose theirhead, no?

    PAGEI suppose so.

    (Pause.)How would a flying halberd make someone lose theirhead?

    STEVENA halberd has a large blade, yes? all makes sense now.

    STEVENYouve grasped the concept of decapitation?

    PAGEI believe so.

    STEPHENOh, this is a joyous occasion.

    PAGEIm sorry, Stephen, chap?

    STEVENI didnt say anything.

    PAGENo, not you - the Proust nerd.

    Stephen, enraged, gets up from his chair, dropping his book at his feet. He goes to attack Page, whorises from his chair and backs away. Stephen thenstarts to chase Page around the table. The twomake a few circuits of the table, and eventually Page runs off stage left, Stephen following.Steven is left on stage, confused.



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    CONTINUED: 21.

    STEVEN(To himself.)

    I must inquire. Would Page be inconsolable if he wereto have lost the acquisition of this cup of tea.


    STEVENIf there is any objection to my fine self consumingthis elegantly made cup of tea, let it be known now.

    STEPHEN(Heard from backstage.)


    STEVENIt seems that Stephen is in a slightly irritable moodat this present point in time. I will have to sate my

    thirst while he continues in his irritable rage.

    PAGE(Also from backstage.)


    STEVENI dont see any over sized mosquito out here. PerhapsPage is discussing some other "out there?"

    From stage left, Suzy, wearing the same oversized T-shirt as before. She rubs her eyes. Stevenglances at her once and is instantly smitten. Shesits in Stephens armchair for a brief moment, and picks up the very large book he was reading earlier, with some difficulty. She opens the front page and begins to read. Steven stares at her during this, something she doesnt notice.

    SUZYWho is this Proust chap anyways?


    SUZYI mean, this book is so damn heavy, I can barely liftit. And its so thick! Its even thicker than myex-boyfriends head! Oh, he was a wildcard in lifesdeck. Didnt fit in with the rest of the cards. When hewent on his inane little discussions about how he wasgoing to climb this hill using only his left big toe,it drove me insane! Oh, and the way he gave me



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    CONTINUED: 22.

    SUZY (contd)patronising and disgusted looks. He never treated mewith the respect other people seem to give me.


    SUZY I might read the last page of this. See if its anygood.

    Suzy attempts to turn the book to the last page.However, due to the weight, this is impossible inone motion.

    SUZYBloody Proust, always making life difficult.

    Suzy walks back off, stage right, leaving the bookon the armchair as she does. Steven continues to

    stare at where she was.

    PAGE(Coming onstage from stage right.Stephen follows.)

    And so you see, Im totally infatuated with her becauseof the way her toenails reflect the light of a Riverasunset.

    STEPHENI see. Why is Steven drooling?

    PAGEYoure not drooling.


    PAGEYoure not drooling.

    STEPHENOkay, that was just silly. It was such a case of "fivesir? No, three!".

    PAGEShut up, thats not meant to have been written yet.

    STEPHENOh, bugger, have we ruined the facade of being onstage?


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    CONTINUED: 23.

    PAGEYep. Ah well. Stevenll be pissed.

    STEPHENI think hes in a trance.

    PAGE What a shame. Does that mean we wont have to talk tohim?

    STEPHENThis is a disappointing prospect.

    STEVEN(Breaking from his trance.)

    Yarr, me mateys! I saw a fine wee lass on this heredeck and I be decided that we are going to raid herbooty!

    PAGESteven, why exactly are you talking in pirate speak?

    STEPHENIm not.

    PAGEMan, will you stop doing that? Its becoming a clichedjoke.

    STEPHENWell, Im sorry. What do you suggest we do to preventconfusion in the future?

    PAGEI dunno. How about we give you guys a number or anickname or something? Like, he can be Pirate Steve andyou can be normal Steve.


    STEVENYarr, what do you be wantin?

    STEPHENShut up or Ill make you walk the plank.

    STEVEN(Cowering in fear.)



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    CONTINUED: 24.

    STEPHENNo, Page. It has to be Stephen.

    PAGE(In disbelief.)


    STEPHENIt has to be Stephen.

    STEVENYarr, what do you be wantin?

    STEPHENShut up or Ill make you walk the plank.

    PAGEYou already said that.



    PAGEYou already had that exchange. Someone says Stephen-

    STEVENYarr, what do you be wantin?

    PAGEShut up or Ill make you walk the plank.

    STEPHENYou already said that.

    STEVEN(Enthusiastically, as if he justrealised the trick.)

    Yarr, I do be saying, lads...what?

    PAGE AND STEPHEN(Disbelief.)



    STEVENWell, yarr. I be excited because I saw a pretty lassfrom the top of the mast.

    (Page does a doubletake. Stephencontinues staring.)

    And when be a young pirate be seeing a purty younglass, his plank tends to get long and hard much like behis wooden leg.


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    CONTINUED: 25.

    PAGE...lets get rid of this pirate problem first.

    (Fade out.)

    Silent in the Morning

    Once again in the living room of the bungalow.Morning. Steven is lying slumped over a chair,still dressed in his suit, unconscious, torsolying on the floor, legs hanging in the air.

    Stephen is still reading the over sized book frombefore. He is now wearing glasses, but retains thetidy shirt and pants look of before.

    Sunlights reflection bounces off the back wall.

    STEPHENHmm. Only three hundred and twenty pages left to go. At

    this rate Ill be done before the end of the week.



    Silence. Page walks onstage. He takes a seat nextto Stevens comatose body.

    PAGEHe been drinking?

    STEPHENNaw, he was acting like a pirate, remember? That stufftakes it out of you.

    PAGEIm sure it does. All the swashbuckling.

    Steven starts to stir from his unconscious state.He falls off the chair, his legs hitting theground. He lies on the ground for a few seconds,and then struggles to his feet. He sits at thetable and brushes himself off. Page stares at him.Stephen continues to read.

    STEVENHello chaps.



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    CONTINUED: 26.

    STEVENTis a fine morn, is it not?

    PAGEWhy, yes, it is, my lord. I must inquire about oneaspect of yesteryear, though. If that inquisition is

    approved by you.

    STEVENWell. I suppose it would be incredibly rude andprotective of myself to decline your kind invitation,so be as interrogative as you please.

    PAGEMy chap, I do have fine reason to believe that you wereenunciating like one of those horrible barbarians whohave found their ways onto the fine shores of Britainfor the sole reason of illegal acquisition of treasureand valuables?

    STEVENIm sorry, lad, I dont understand.

    PAGEI do believe that you are one of the few who take partin the practice those a part of the cult call"swashbuckling".

    STEVENYoure talking hogwash, my fine chap.



    STEVENNo I wasnt.

    PAGEIm definite, chap, you were.

    STEVENI believe youre mistaken.

    PAGEI do have persons who were witness to this event.

    STEVENAre you referring to the gentleman sitting in thearmchair?


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    CONTINUED: 27.

    PAGEHis name just so happens to be Stephen.

    STEVENNo, Im the one youre arguing with.

    PAGE ...what?

    STEVENIm Steven.

    PAGENo, the other one.

    STEVENOh, you mean the one whos constantly reading thatpiece of literature you heathens call Proust?



    STEVENOh no, he definitely didnt see it. You didnt see metalking like a pirate, did you Stephen?

    PAGEStop talking to yourself.

    STEVENIm sorry, old chap?

    PAGEYoure talking to yourself., I was discussing the matter with the man readingthat awfully long book in the armchair to the otherside of the room. If I were to articulate my words tomyself, Id say "Was I talking in a timbre reminiscentof a pirate, Steven?"

    PAGE...I dont see the difference.

    STEVENIts from the dialect of the Napoleonic veterans.

    PAGEPerhaps you intended the Crimean veterans?


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    CONTINUED: 28.

    STEVENYes, youre right, old chap.



    I forget what we were having a tea party for sixhundred pages over.

    STEPHENThree hundred and seventeen.

    PAGEIm sorry?

    STEPHENThree hundred and seventeen.


    STEVENOld chap, three hundred and seventeen elephants? Threehundred and seventeen lobotomies?

    PAGE(Aside, to the audience. Totallybreaking character. The other two areunaware of this, and continue theirdiscussion about three hundred andseventeen while this happens.)

    I wish someone would give him a lobotomy. I mean, comeon. This whole "Im going to talk in different andincreasingly strange dialects" joke is really gettingold. First a Victorian male, then a pirate, whatsnext, a stoner?

    At this point, Scott comes on, in casual dress,holding a clipboard. The two Stevens continue onin their discussion about three hundred and seventeen, unaware, as he takes a seat next toPage.

    PAGEErm. Hello.

    SCOTTAllo. Been good so far, hasnt it?

    PAGEWhat has?


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    CONTINUED: 29.

    SCOTTThe play.

    PAGEOh, right. Um, yeah, aside from the fact that theresone character whos constantly reading Proust, which

    gets slightly annoying and makes it kinda hard to makenew and inventive jokes.

    SCOTTErm. Ill see what I can do about that.

    (Flips through the clipboard.)Which page are we up to?

    PAGEI think this is page 29?

    SCOTTPage 29, eh?

    PAGEYeah, page 29.

    SCOTT(Flips through the clipboard.)

    Sorry, mate, dont have that page handy with me. I onlyhave the page where Plankie attacks Suzy.

    All instantly stop what theyre doing at that point and stare at Scott. An uncomfortable silencegoes on for a few moments. And then a few more.And then suddenly, the two Stephens go back totheir argument much like before.

    SCOTTMan, youve got to explain that one. Who exactly isthis Suzy chick?

    PAGE...arent you the director?

    SCOTTSo? You say that as if it means I have ANY control over"my" actors or "my" production.


    SCOTTBut no, I dont know how I can fix the Proust problem,but no, Steven doesnt become a stoner.


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    CONTINUED: 30.

    PAGEAlso, can you tell me why he started talking like apirate?

    SCOTTSure can.

    Long silence.

    PAGE...are you going to?

    At this point, Scott is borderline comatose -dribble is coming out of his mouth, and he issnoring. The two Stevens are now offstage, their argument having escalated to the point of threatened physical violence.





    SCOTT(Waking from his doze.)


    PAGEAre you going to tell me why Stephen is talking like apirate?

    SCOTTHes not, hes obsessed with Proust.

    PAGENo, I was talking about the other one.

    SCOTTNo, the script says you were talking about him. Look,its spelled with a ph.

    PAGE...fine. Are you going to tell me why STEVEN is talkinglike a pirate?




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    CONTINUED: 31.



    PAGE Are you going to tell me now?

    SCOTTHahah, no.

    PAGEWhy not?

    SCOTTCause. Cant you see Im deriving some sick enjoymentfrom this?

    PAGE...touche. Hey, where did Proustboy and the landlubbergo?

    SCOTTIts the twist. Theyre actually going to forment inthe Rivera sunset.

    PAGEThat would be kinda hot. Being under the sun and all.

    (Pause.)Do you have ANY idea what youre on about.

    SCOTTIm a director, what do you think?

    PAGE...touche. Tell me the ending then.


    PAGETell me the ending. Do I get the girl or not?

    SCOTTIve already said it.

    PAGESaid what?

    SCOTTWhat I would answer that with.


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    CONTINUED: 32.

    PAGE"Im a director, Im incompetent, I do nothing and yetgrab all the glory, like Kubrick?"

    SCOTT...touche. Anywho, Ive got to go. Girls to smell,

    wines to have interesting conversations with.

    PAGE(Does a doubletake.)

    Dont you mean-

    SCOTTNo, lad. I know what I mean. Theres nothing you needto correct me about. Ill be off then. See ya around.

    Scott gets up from the table and walks off stageleft, leaving Page alone onstage.

    A moment of silence.

    Suzy comes on from stage left. Walking slowly, shecarries a cup of coffee. She is dressed once againin the oversized T-shirt from before, her hair isonce again messed up. Page looks at her briefly and then takes a swig from the empty wine bottle.He is so transfixed on Suzy that in doing so, hemanages to throw himself off of his chair. Suzy giggles. Page regains his composure and gets up,sitting back on the chair.

    PAGE(Extremely nervously.)

    Um. Hi.


    PAGEUm. Uh. Would you like a pineapple?

    (Page pulls a pineapple from hispocket.)

    SUZYWhy, Im flattered. Im sorry, I cant take it though.I already have a pineapple.

    (Suzy also pulls a pineapple from herpocket.)

    PAGE(Stunned silence.)


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    CONTINUED: 33. sorry, but I really have to go. Its beennice to meet you, and Ill see ya around, okay?

    Suzy gets up and walks off, stage right. Page putshis head in his hands, and stares out at the


    Fade out.

    The Wet Whistler

    In the kitchen of the bungalow. There is thetypical kitchen appliances balanced on thecounters that line the perimetre of the set. Inthe middle is a large table, designed for serving and eating.

    Running on from stage left is Steven, carrying the

    extremely large book of Proust. He runs across thestage. Stephen then runs onstage, chases Stevenoffstage right.


    Steven then runs back onstage, tripping over as hedoes. The book crashes into the table as it does,a thunderous thud as it does. Steven quickly regains his composure, and regains possession of the book. He hides behind the table as Stephenruns across the stage, wielding a pineapple.Stephen runs offstage, screaming.

    Steven emerges from behind the table just asStephen runs back onstage, still wielding the pineapple. Steven screams in terror, stillcarrying the book. He runs back offstage right.Stephen, instead of running offstage, has an idea.He stands by the entrance at stage right, wielding his pineapple like a knife, stalking the shadowslike a jaguar stalking a Siberian hamster.

    Several seconds pass. The moment gets longer and longer.

    Rustling is heard backstage. A door being slammed shut.

    Finally, after what must seem like an eternity,Steven runs on from stage left, still carrying thebook.


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    CONTINUED: 34.

    He comes to a sudden, screeching halt when herealises that Stephen is stalking the stage rightentrance.

    The momentum is such that when Steven stopsrunning, the weight of the book hits him so hard

    that he is knocked off his feet, the book coming down on his chest.

    Stephen screams.

    And again, this time louder.

    Steven quickly regains himself, and runs back off stage left.

    Stephen throws the pineapple at him as he does,then opens the fridge door.

    He pulls out a selection of fruit and runsoffstage, screaming hysterically.

    Fade out.

    Swept Away

    A continuation from the previous scene. Stevenruns on stage left, and drops the book on thearmchair.

    (He then runs off stage left.)

    Scott walks on stage, picks up the book, places itgently on the floor, and opens the book.

    He begins to read, starting at the first page.After a few sentences, he notices the bookmarknear the end of the book.

    SCOTTHmm...someone elses bookmark. I wonder what its therefor.

    (Pause.)Well. Its useless to me, and as you all know, if itsuseless to me, its useless to everybody.

    (Pause.)Wait, whos you? Am I even talking to anyone? Man,those pills make me see people outside that wall. Hmm.

    (Pause.)Well. This bookmark is useless, isnt it? I mean, itsnot like this is a long book or anything. Whoeversbook this is can probably find their page in a coupleof seconds anyway, its not like the book is in perfectcondition or anything. Nobody will notice if I just



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    CONTINUED: 35.

    SCOTT (contd)read it for a little while, get a grasp of the storyand then just leave it here for the unsuspecting ownerto continue, all things considered.

    (Pause.)Oh, wait, yes it is.

    (Pause.)Wait. Someone could dust this book for like,fingerprints or something. I have to take precautions.Be right back, my dear audience.

    (Pause.)Audience? Am I being watched? Are there securitycameras in here? Is there some world famous directorlike Kubrick watching me as I make my debut performanceon stage? Oh, that would be a diaster, wouldnt it?Someone watching me direct this ever-more confusingoperatic aria.

    (Pause.)Wait. An aria is a song, usually the highlight of any

    given opera. Why exactly would I be directing it? WouldI not be better off directing the physicality of kabukitheatre?

    (Pause.)Anyway. I must go and get gloves so I can read this.

    Scott goes off stage left.


    A few moments later, he comes back on stage,wearing a bright pair of gloves.

    SCOTTAnd now to dig into...Proust. But first, to remove thisbookmark. Its starting to annoy me.

    In a highly stylised moment, he goes to remove thebookmark from the book, dramatically. Stephensprints on stage, tears the book from his hands,beats Scott around the head with it, and runs off the opposite side of stage.

    Scott is dazed for a brief moment, and then looksat the direction in which Stephen ran off in amixture of awe and confusion.

    Page casually walks on stage, still dressed in hissmart clothes. Hes carrying a clipboard of thescript in one hand, and a sandwich in the other.He takes a seat at the desk and begins to read.

    Scott continues to stare at where Stephen ran off stage.


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    CONTINUED: 36.

    Steven runs on, completely out of breath, sweaty,with hair messed up. He collapses centre stage and heavily breathes.

    STEVENMy dear chap, I must ask. Is that barbaric soul gone?

    PAGE(Munching on his sandwich.)

    Depends. Did you steal his Proust?

    STEVENMy gosh, I was only attempting to understand thesophisication of his writing!

    PAGEDidnt answer the question, Steven.


    No, hes the one running after my innocent soul.

    PAGENo, not him, you. Did you illegally acquire his belovedbook?


    PAGEDo you still have possession of it, lad?

    STEVENAlas, no. I left it on that damned armchair for him tofind. If only he werent so gosh darn barbaric. My toeshurt from what he did to me!

    PAGEAnd its not in the armchair.

    STEVENWell. No.

    PAGEThen he must have it, no? chap...yes.

    PAGEExactly. So you can run off now. Hes not here, so hessure to be somewhere else. And so you can now leave,because he wont be back. That I can assure you.


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    CONTINUED: 37.

    STEVEN(In resignation.)

    ...fine, chap. Ill go. But I expect compensation if hekills me.



    Steven slowly limps offstage, exhausted.

    Scott has not moved. He continues staring at whereStephen ran off stage.

    Page continues to eat his sandwich in silence.

    Scott finally awakes from his trance, but is stillin shock from it.


    ...what just happened?

    Page finishes his sandwich. He gets up, picks uphis clipboard walks over to Scott. He drops theclipboard in Scotts arms.

    PAGEPage thirty seven. Get reading. Maybe youll have someidea about actually happened in the production youremeant to be directing. Have fun.

    Page walks off stage. Scott stares in disbelief ashe does. He then takes a look through the script.

    SCOTTAt least I wont need a bookmark.

    Fade out.


    Back in the room. Nighttime. The silhouette of thelight of the night bounces against the stage.

    Suzy, dressed in the oversized T-shirt, is sitting at the table with a glass of wine. She takes along, slow sip from it.

    Stephen walks on stage, in shirt and long pants,and starts to read. He reads for a few momentsbefore realising that his corner of the stage of dark.


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    CONTINUED: 38.

    He gets up and turns a lamp on. The light thatenates from this lamp eradicates the stage in abright wash.

    Suzy takes another sip from her glass of wine,licks her lips, and then gets up from her chair.

    SUZYStephen, its late. Why dont you go to bed?

    STEPHENBecause youll get attacked by bears.


    STEPHENHey, that shit happens.

    SUZYIm...sure it does.

    STEPHENSo no, I cant go to bed. I have to stay up here andprotect you from the psychotic bears.

    SUZYWhy do you keep reading that book anyway, and yourethe fourth person to offer to protect me from thebears.

    STEPHENBecause. I keep losing my page. And its four and ahalf thousand pages long. It takes a LONG time to readback through.

    SUZYI mean, its not like Im that hot.

    STEPHENEspecially Swanns Way. Being the longest of thevolumes, if you lose your page in say, volume five, ittakes AGES to go through the book to get back to yourpage.

    SUZYIs it the hair?

    STEPHENI mean, Proust is an amazing writer, nobody canrealistically deny his literary skills, but he does geton ones nerves on occasion. The way in which a wholesentence can take up paragraphs in Kafkaesque fashion



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    CONTINUED: 39.

    STEPHEN (contd)can be annoying. However, he is still a writer of greatprowess and so I DO believe that he is the greatestwriter of our time.


    SUZYNobody cares about Proust.

    STEPHENYeah, its fundamentally because youre hot.


    SUZYWell, this sure is an awkward moment.


    I think we need someone else around. I wonder what Pageis doing.

    SUZYProbably sleeping?


    Or pining over you.



    At that moment, a large character in a bear suit pokes his head out from the stage left entrance.Stephens eyes open wide, and he suddenly becomesdesperately afraid.

    SUZYWhat did you say about Page abo-why are you scared?


    SUZYStop stuttering.

    At that point, Steven, in a bear outfit, runs onfrom stage right, and spear tackles Stephen down.Stephen screams like a little girl, and then runsoffstage.


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    CONTINUED: 40.


    Stephen then runs onstage, quickly grabs his book,and then runs off stage. Steven briefly chases himoffstage, and then crawls back on. He stands ontwo feet, and removes the head from his costume.

    Suzy looks at him, shocked.

    STEVENYarr, how do be you?

    SUZYErm. Hello?

    STEVENYar. How be ye, lass?

    SUZYUhm. Im okay. Why are you talking like that?

    STEVENYaargh, you landlubber makes me plank rise.

    SUZY(Warming to this.)

    Hehe, Im sure.

    STEVENYou can go on top of be my mast any be day.

    SUZY(Hysterical laughter.)

    Hehe, youre funny.

    STEVENHow bout we be going below deck?

    SUZYHeh, maybe. Well see.

    STEVENYar, I dont actually care about you, I just be usingye for ye body and for ye cheapest thrill.

    SUZYHahah, youre really funny!

    STEVENI be seeing ye fine lass later.

    Steven hobbles off stage right, miming walking like a pirate, hobbling and favouring one leg.


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    CONTINUED: 41.

    SUZYWhat a strange odd fellow.

    Page quietly slinks onstage, and sits at Suzysseat. He takes a sip from her bottle of wine.

    SUZY Well, I guess he is kinda sexy. And the pirate stick iskinda cool. I dont understand it though. Why peopleare constantly falling for me.

    Page takes a huge swig from the wine as she saysthis.

    SUZYHmm. I better go and get dressed for bed.

    Suzy walks off stage left, not having noticed Pageis onstage. She turns off the lamp in the process,

    leaving Page in the dark. He sits there,illuminated by the moonlight, dejected.


    Fade out.

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    Starship Troopers

    The room. Mid afternoon. Scott is standing on theedge of the table, silhouetted by a spotlight. He

    carries with him a telescope, and is wearing a pirate hat.

    As the full lights come up, it is shown that he isalso wearing a full pirate outfit, complete withblue jacket and paper parrot on his shoulder.

    The parrot falls off his shoulder. He madly rushesto pick the parrot up. In doing so, he falls off the table.

    He gets up, brushes himself off, and picks up the parrot. He staggers back onto the table, and puts

    the paper parrot back on his shoulder

    He looks out into the audience as if he iswatching the waves ebb and flow.

    SCOTTYar, look at how the waves bounce! Its like they be ona trampoline! Copernicus, how do you like these waves?Do you be wanting to get your feathers wet?

    Scott jumps off the table with great passion and vigour. He parades around for a bit, limping as if he has a wooden leg before looking out to theaudience.


    He limps away, "running". He falls over as hedoes, and his parrot goes flying.


    The parrot becomes crumpled as it falls. Scottbegins to melodramatically cry as he realises hiscomrade has "died".



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    CONTINUED: 43.

    Scott curls into the foetal position, rocking backand forth. The parrot continues to remainmotionless.

    SCOTT(Suddenly coming out of mourning for a

    moment.)Its not working, bugger.(Going back into mourning.)


    (Out of mourning.)I wonder how convincing this really is.

    (Back in mourning.)OH WHAT A SAD DAY BE THIS.

    Scott picks up the parrot from the stage floor and begins to walk. He goes to walk off stage, butinstead goes off an exit that leads into the


    He walks slowly, head bowed, mournfully, like a procession. He walks through the rows, disturbing as many patrons as possible.

    Eventually Scott comes to a stop at a random seatin the amphitheatre.

    SCOTTYar, we be gathered here today to say good day to besaying fare ye well to me fine lass, Copernicus RebaBeckett Singingforth HEY LOOK A SHINY THING DrinkerReba Reba Capslock Reba Reba Reba Copernicus.

    (He sheds a tear.)Yar, she be a fine lass. She tore up all thelandlubbers that she be ever encountering. She scaredbe the treasure with me. She even be sharing metreasure!

    (He looks up for approval from theaudience. Upon getting none, he goesback to mourning.)

    Alas, she be deceased, carked it, an ex-parrot, late.And so, Copernicus Reba Beckett Singingforth HEY LOOK ASHINY THING Drinker Reba Reba Capslock Reba Reba RebaCopernicus, I guess Ill be waving you a sweet goodbyefrom the galley of life, my friend.

    Scott then apathetically throws the parrot over his shoulder, into the crowd. He walks back fromwhence he came and appears back on stage.


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    CONTINUED: 44.

    SCOTTDamnit. This whole acting like a pirate thing totallyisnt working. I havent got a hot broad in the fullfive minutes Ive been doing it. :( Whats he doingthats so special and what am I missing? Is it theeyepatch? Must be.

    Scott then pulls out an eyepatch from a pocket inhis costume. He attaches it to his head,backwards.

    SCOTT...still not working. :( Where are all the pretty girlstoday? In the bleeding audience? Well thats no good.Arent I meant to be some world-known household namedirector? Arent I meant to be on the level of someonelike Kubrick? But no, people just laugh at me in thestreet. I get mocked for my inability to keep a holdover my actors. And why? Its not my fault I have the

    most megalomaniacal actors in my cast.

    Scott gets up, puts his eyepatch on the right way,and stands on the table once again. He goes backto looking at the audience through the telescope.

    SCOTTOh, how I moan for the loss of my dear Copernicus.

    Page walks on stage, carrying a clipboard. Eating a sandwich, he sits at the table. He notes Scottstanding on the desk and stands up.

    PAGE...did you said how you moan for the loss of your dearCopernicus?

    SCOTTArr, me matey.

    PAGE...right. What page is this again?

    SCOTTArr, this be page fourty five, landlubber.

    PAGEUm, the lines actually "Oh, how I moan for be the lossof my dear Copernicus."



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    CONTINUED: 45.

    PAGEYeah, it is.

    SCOTTArr, well, I be saying the line like this for be now.


    Fine. Its not like Im the director.

    SCOTTGah, Ill be firing a cannonball at ye scurvy hide,landlubber!

    PAGEGo ahead.


    PAGEGo ahead. Fire a cannonball at me. I dare you to.

    SCOTTAargh, you scurvy dog!

    PAGEIm going to go now. I cant STAND pirates.

    SCOTT(Breaks character.)

    Me neither. Im just doing this to pull women.

    At this point, Page snaps. He jumps from his chair and tackles Scott off the table. Scott falls hard and rolls away.

    PAGE(In the coldest, angriest, yet calmestvoice possible.)

    Touch Suzy and I will make sure you wont have a leg towalk on.

    Page then walks offstage, furious. Scott lies onthe ground for a short period of time, then getsup, brushing himself off. He slowly gets back up

    onto the table, and pulls the now bent telescopeup with him. With some difficulty and awkward positioning, he angles the lense towards theaudience.

    Steven walks on stage, dressed in a suit and tophat, as before. He notices Scott standing on thetable and looks on in a mixture of horror and confusion.


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    CONTINUED: 46.

    Scott continues to look through his telescope, notnoticing Stevens presence.

    SCOTTYar, the landlubbersll be sunk with this cannonball!Aargh! ABANDON SHIP! Get me treasure be! Scrawl the

    diary entry! SAVE BE THE TREASURE!

    STEVEN...ahem. What exactly are you doing, my fine chap?

    SCOTTYar, I be protecting me dubloons from the ravagers ofthe Nordes?

    STEVENI must say, my lad, isnt it "ravagers of the Nordic?"


    Ill be pulling out be my cutlass if ye dont shut upabout your poncy little grammar.

    STEVENWell, fine, dear chap. I may request that you dont beso loud.

    SCOTTBe away, landlubber!

    STEVENUm. My fine you happen to have the time?

    SCOTTNar, I lost be me watch in the fine waters of theGibraltar Straits.

    STEVENCould you not just look at your wrist?


    (Scott looks at his wrist, as if he islooking at a watch.)

    It be seven past the hour, you scurvy blunderbuss!

    STEVENWhy, thank you my fine lad. Ill be off now.

    SCOTTYar, you landlubber.


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    CONTINUED: 47.

    Steven walks off stage, dignified. Scott continuesto look through his telescope for a few moments,then realises that Steven was the one who wasacting like a pirate earlier.


    (Breaking character.)...wait a minute...wasnt he...DAMNIT.

    Scott jumps off the table, and walks off stage infrustration.