Chase the Lady

Stuart Beveridge

CAST OF CHARACTERS:
IAN MCGREGGOR- LATE 50s, ONCE FAMOUS CELEBRITY MAGICIAN, CAMP
SOPHIE (SOPH)- 18, STEREOTYPICAL MAGICIAN’S ASSISTANT
GAVIN (GAV)- MID 30S, SENSITIVE BUT STRONG WILLED
KAREN (KAZ)- EARLY 30S, SELFISH, A BIT OF A BITCH
PC DANIELS: FEMALE, AMBITIOUS, MID20S

Scene: 1 int. Small changing room

SOUND: A 90S BOY BAND PLAYLIST CAN JUST BE HEARD FROM THE AUDITORIUM AS AUDIENCE MEMBERS TAKE THEIR SEATS.

IAN
Hold that Soph.

SOUND: IAN IS PREPARING FOR THE SHOW, TESTING LOCKS AND CATCHES.

IAN
Give it a tug.

SOUND: THE CHAIN CLATTERS TO THE FLOOR.

IAN
That’s it. Perfect.

SOUND: THE CURTAIN CALL BELL RINGS.

IAN
Right, you ready for this?

SOPH
Yeah.

IAN
And you’re happy with the finale?

SOPH
Yeah.

IAN
Sure?
(PATRONISINGLY)
It needs to be perfect tonight.

SOPH
(SARCASTICALLY)
Yes, Ian, I know what I’m doing!

IAN
That’s ‘Magic Ian’ to you.
Now.

IAN CLAPS HIS HANDS TOGETHER, ONCE.

Showtime!

SOUND: IAN AND SOPH (IN HIGH HEELS) WALK TO THE STAGE SIDE, THE MUSIC AND THE MURMUR FROM THE AUDITORIUM GETS LOUDER. THE MUSIC STOPS. THERE IS A SQUEAL AND A CRACKLE WHEN IAN TURNS THE MIC ON AND BEGINS STARTS TO TALK.

IAN
(INTRODUCING HIMSELF)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that we are able to welcome a world star back to The Bridge Theatre, where it all began. Here to mesmerise and astound you with his magical powers.

The man who put the razzamatazz in La Paz, the Zing in Helsinki and the Great in Great Yarmouth.

The one. The only. MAGIC IAN.

SOUND: THE CROWD ROARS WILDLY AS CREAKY CURTAINS OPEN.

Scene: 2 Int. Police interview room

SOUND: SHUFFLING OF SOME PAPERS.

PC DANIELS
Can I stop you there Mr McGreggor, our investigations tell us that there were only around 40 people present on the night in question. 50 max.

IAN
(SHEEPISHLY)
Well… I…

PC DANIELS
And, I don’t think we need to go through the whole evening. If you could just concentrate on the events we are interested in. Your… er…

SOUND: PC DANIELS SHUFFLES SOME MORE PAPERS.

The ‘grand finale’ as you put it. And, please, stick to the facts.

IAN
(STILL SHEEPISH)
Sorry… I… I was just trying to give you a sense of occasion.

SOUND: IAN CLEARS HIS THROAT.

IAN
(CONFIDENT ONCE MORE)
I had just finished sawing Soph in half…

Scene: 3 Int. On stage

SOUND: CHEESY STAGE MUSIC PLAYS ACCOMPANIED BY A SMATTERING OF APPLAUSE. A COUGH AND A SNIFF FROM THE AUDIENCE. SOPH TOTTERS OFF STAGE.

IAN
Thank you. Right.

SOUND: IAN CLAPS HIS HANDS TOGETHER, ONCE.

IAN
Ladies and Gentlemen, while Sophie’s off letting the glue set, I’m going to need a new ‘beautiful’ assistant to help me out.

SOUND: A MURMUR GOES AROUND THE AUDIENCE AS THEY SHUFFLE AWKWARDLY IN THEIR SEATS.

IAN
Anyone?

WE HEAR THE FOLLOWING IN THE DISTANCE FROM THE P.O.V. OF THE STAGE

KAREN
(SHOUTING TO THE STAGE)
‘Ere! This fat lump’ll do it.

GAVIN
Eh?!

KAREN
Yeah, do what you like with him. Hopefully, it will be one of those tricks with knives or something.

GAVIN
All right then. Anything to get a break from you for a minute.

SOUND: GAVIN’S CHAIR FLIPS UP AS HE STANDS.

IAN
Oooh, it looks like we have a ‘willing’ volunteer.
What’s your name?

GAVIN
Gavin!

IAN
Gavin. Thank you, please join me on stage. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give Gavin a hand.

SOUND: THE AUDIENCE CLAP AS CHEESY EUROPOP MUSIC STARTS UP.

IAN
It looks like you need one. He’s a big boy isn’t he ladies and gentlemen?

SOUND: GAVIN CLIMBS THE STEPS AT THE SIDE OF THE STAGE AND JOINS IAN.

IAN
I should’ve brought a bigger box. I’ve never had anyone quite as big as you before.

SOUND: SNIGGERING FROM THE AUDIENCE.

GAVIN
(WHISPERING TO IAN)
Easy on the fat boy gags, Ian.

IAN
Gavin, could you examine my box?
Completely solid? No hidden panels? No false walls?
Yes?

GAVIN
Looks legit to me.

IAN
Lovely.
Now, I’m going to invite you inside.

SOUND: IAN COLLECTS THE CHAINS.

But before that, I’m going to tie you up in these.

SOUND: IAN LETS GO OF ONE END OF THE CHAIN. IT HITS THE FLOOR.

Bet it’s not your first time?

SOUND: GIGGLES FROM THE AUDIENCE AS THE CHAINS ARE WRAPPED AROUND GAVIN AND A PADLOCK SNAPS SHUT.

GAVIN
(SHOCKED)
EH!?

IAN
(WHISPERING REASSURINGLY TO GAVIN) Stay still and you’ll be fine hon.

GAVIN
(WHISPERING BACK)
Ok, see you soon.

IAN
(STILL WHISPERING)
Soon enough, Gav.

SOUND: THE BOX DOOR CLOSES AND THREE BOLTS SLIDE AND ARE PADLOCKED SHUT.

IAN
(ADDRESSING THE AUDIENCE AGAIN) Right, where’s Gavin’s other half?

Now he’s locked up do you fancy joining me for a drink in the bar.
(PHONEY LAUGH)
Only joking of course.

SOUND: THE MUSIC SUDDENLY TURNS DARK AND DRAMATIC AND THERE IS WHOOSH OF A DRY ICE MACHINE.

IAN
(IN A SERIOUS VOICE)

In order to make this work, I need total silence from the audience.

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER
(HECKLING)
Shouldn’t be hard!

IAN
I am going to call upon my deepest darkest mystical, magical powers.

SOUND: THE MUSIC GROWS LOUDER AND MORE INTENSE.

IAN
With a whirl of the box and the magic words…

SOUND: THE BOX ROTATES.
IAN
BANANARAMA

SOUND: THE MUSIC STOPS WITH A CRASH OF SYMBOLS, A WHOOSH OF DRY ICE AND A CLATTER AS THE CHAINS AND PADLOCKS FALL TO THE FLOOR. THE DOOR SLAMS OPEN. FOLLOWED BY A GASP FROM THE AUDIENCE.

SOPH
TA-DAH!

SOUND: APPLAUSE AND WHISTLES FROM THE CROWD.

Scene: 4 INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM

IAN
(SMUGLY)
Sophie and I bowed, the curtains drew and we left the stage. The crowd were going wild. It was the best we’ve ever done it. Better than I could have imagined.

PC DANIELS

That’s all very well Mr McGreggor, but that still doesn’t answer the question at hand. Where on earth is Gavin Hepworth now?

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