Opening Scene - part seven

 Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

 Jabberwocky Home

 Opening Scene  

                                     (At this point Ned's grip slips and he flies upwards and backwards, crashing into the         tray his mother is holding. Ned is left lying flat  on his back and for a moment there is         silence.)

Ned                      I think my nose is bleeding again.

Mother                   (Turning on her husband) Gilbert Hydes, what do you think you're doing to my son        with this wicked instrument of torture?

Father                    It's only a barbell! It's for his own good.

Mother                   Then why is he lying on his back with a broken nose?

Father                   His nose isnítÖ

Mother                   What will you do tomorrow 'for his own good*? Break his arm!

Father                    Ooooohh! (He turns his back on the situation in frustration.)

Mother                    (Going to the recovering Ned.) Come here angel, let mummy see.

Ned                        It was my own fault mum.

Mother                  Don't make excuses for him; he should have known better. He just doesn't understand       you like I do. He can't see that you're different from other children; he doesn't       appreciate your talents. He simply wants you to be stupid and muscle bound - like he       is!

Ned                        I don't think that you ought ...

Mother                  But I know the real you. You are tender, compassionate, discriminating bright and alert;       you have an inner dignity and manner that I'm afraid seem totally out of place in our       present surroundings - and you love your mother! (Ned is looking rather embarrassed        by now.) I can still remember the first poem you wrote;  

Oh how I love you mummy dear,

And I hope you'll always be near.

You're the best there will ever be,

You're the only one for me.

     That's so beautiful!

Father                   (Under his breath) Help him with that one did you?

Ned                        I was only seven at the time!

Mother                    But even then I recognised your gift, didn't I. Some day, Edmund, when you're older,        you will be known throughout the land. You will be the greatest poet that there has        ever been.

Ned                        I don't really like writing poetry anymore.

Mother                   It's just a phase dear. You'll grow out of it. Always remember that mummy knows best.

Father                  He'll have great difficulty forgetting won't he - you remind him often enough!

Mother                  There's no need to start ...

Father                   (He has been quietly fuming for some time.) You fuss over him all the time; you won't       let  him do anything that isn't  'respectable' or 'refined'! All that you're doing is turning       him  into a right mother's boy.

Mother                   Better that than a crude brute!

Father                    Well I'm not going to stand for it any longer. (Taking hold of Ned and talking directly          to  him.) Ned - you can put all your mother's notions of being a poet or some fool        minstrel out of your head. You're going to practise every day with that barbell until        you're good  and strong so that you will be fit to take my place as the next village        Dragonslayer -  and that's an end to it!

Mother                   He will do no such thing! (Taking Ned and directing him towards her.) I will not       stand  by and see my son ruined. Edmund - every day you must practise your        writing; remember, practise makes perfect. You will also begin having singing and        elocution lessons. You will have to be well spoken if you are to present your songs        and poems at  court one day.

Father                   He is not going to be a poet: he will be a Dragonslayer! (Seizes Ned)

Mother                   He will be a poet! (Snatches Ned back. In the following speeches Ned is pulled back          and  forth.)

Father                    A Dragonslayer!

Mother                    A poet!

Father                    A Dragonslayer!

Mother                   Poet!

Father                   Dragonslayer!

Mother                  Poet!

Father                  Dragon slayer!

 Mother                 Po ... !

      (Ned, who has been getting increasingly annoyed at his treatment suddenly can take no       more and interrupts.)

Ned                      Stop it! Stop it, both of you! (His parents are quite taken aback by what follows.) I can't      stand this anymore - all this arguing and bickering about what I'm going to do.      Why don't  you ask me what I want to do? All you care about is what you want. You      don't  care about  me at all - neither of you! I don't want to be a Dragonslayer and I      don't want   to be a poet!  All that I want is... is... ( He is searching for the words.) is      the chance to be me. ( Pause.)    But you won't let me! I'm going out! (Exit running.)

Mother                  ( Calling) Edmund, Edmund! What about your dinner?

Father                   Ned!

                            (They look accusingly at each other.)

Mother &Father    Now see what you've done!

( Lights fade.)


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