A PLAY BY
© Roger Woodcock 2014
Approx running time 15 minutes
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A ONE-ACT PLAY
The scene is set in a side room of a hospital ward. In the bed is an elderly, grey-haired man and sitting on a chair beside the bed is a dark-haired man in his mid-forties, the old man`s son. On the bedside table there is a jug of water and a glass.
Father: Is your Ma with you son?
Son: Mammy`s dead dad..don`t you remember.
Father: Was it the bombs.
Son: No dad it was her heart.
Father: Scared stiff a` the bombs she is.
Son: (Handing his father some magazines) I`ve brought you some of your favourite railway magazines to read dad.
Father: Railway you say?
Son: That`s right dad.
Father: What do I want with railway magazines?
Son: You were a fireman on the GNER for forty years dad..remember all that coal you had to shovel.
Father: Shovel you say.
Son: Yes. I came with you once..you sneaked me onto the footplate and we went to Newcastle.
Father: Will your mother be coming to see me.
Son: Not today dad.
Father: Newcastle you say.
Son: That`s right. I helped you shovel the coal until I got a bit of clinker in my eye.
Father: You always was a clumsy little sod.
Son: No that was Brian dad.
Son: My brother…went to live in New Zealand
Father: (Shifting uneasily in his bed) I could murder a pint.
Son: Best I can do is a glass of water.(Pours his father a glass from the bedside jug)
Father: Will ya` mother be comin` to see me?.
Son: No dad, mum`s dead, remember.
Father: Dead you say.
Son: Two years ago..you went to the funeral with me and Brian and then we went to the Legion for a cup of tea and a sandwich with family and all your old friends.
Father: I remember the trains now. Bloody hard work that was, but we had some good times. Was I there long.
Son: Until the diesels took over. Nearly forty years.
Father: Your mother loves going on trains. Took her to Brighton last week you know. Lovely day it was. We had a photo took on the prom. Red jacket the bloke had got on, with white stripes. Said we could collect the photo from the end of the pier in an hour. She hates havin` her photo took, says she never smiles proper. Have I shown it you son.
Son: Yes it`s a nice one dad, `specially of mum.
Father: Bet she says it`s `orrible doesn`t she
Son: ( smiling) She once told me it was the best photo she`d got of the pair of you.
Father: We had an ice cream in the pleasure gardens and listened to the band playin` on the bandstand. Ya` mother loves a good brass band.
Son: Look dad, I`ve got some papers I need you to sign.
Father: I`m tired lad, can`t ya` mother do it?
Son: Not at the moment dad..Look, It`s just to say you agree to me dealing with the sale of the house and everything.
- End of Extract
© Roger Woodcock 2014