And Juliet

October 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

ACT I

Scene one

A rather bare stage. Two women — later revealed to be the NURSE and LADY CAPULET — enter.

They stand downstage centre and speak to the audience, almost as a chorus.

LADY CAPULET: In fair Verona.

NURSE: We lay our scene.

Lights up on a bedroom, it’s empty, it belongs to a young woman.

The two women look at each other.

Pause

LADY CAPULET: Where is my daughter?

Pause

The NURSE shrugs.

LADY CAPULET: Call her!

Pause.

NURSE: JULIET!

Pause

Finally: enter JULIET 

JULIET: Who calls?

NURSE: Your mother.

The two exchange a look — ’of course is is’

She turns to her mother and curtsies

JULIET: I’m here.

Ignoring JULET, speaking to the NURSE

LADY CAPULET: Nurse, leave awhile. We must talk in secret.

The NURSE looks at her. Then at JULIET — who smiles

The NURSE curtsies to JULIET 

Then to LADY CAPULET

LADY CAPULET smiles

The NURSE smiles

Then she turns to leave

She walks towards an exit (far away): it is drawn
out

The other two smile and watch

Just before the NURSE exits:

LADY CAPULET: Nurse, come back again.

Pause

The NURSE takes a big breath

She turns

She smiles

She walks back to the other two

LADY CAPULET: I have remember’d me, thou’s hear our council.
Thou know’st my daughter’s age?

JULIET goes to the bed.

NURSE: I can tell her age unto an hour.

LADY CAPULET: She’s fourteen?

NURSE: She’s not (yet) fourteen…

An awkward pause

They look at JULIET

JULIET looks at them

She rolls her eyes and goes back to doing whatever

she was doing

LADY CAPULET goes over to her gently

The NURSE watches

LADY CAPULET: How stands your disposition to be married?

A long pause, in which everyone processes the
information

LADY CAPULET smiles a lot.

Finally:

JULIET: I dream not of it.

NURSE: I would say thou hadst wisdom!

LADY CAPULET
Well…think of marriage!

They think

LADT CAPULET: Here in Verona, ladies of esteem are made mothers
younger than you!

She nods to them both and smiles

LADY CAPULET: Thus, in brief: LOVE!

A pause

The NURSE and JULIET are a little disgusted

LADY CAPULET continues smiling. 

LADY CAPULET: What say you?

NURSE: No!

LADY CAPULET glares at her. 
Then, to JULIET:

LADY CAPULET: Speak!

Pauses, looks at the two of them…

JULIET: I’ll look to like…but no more deep will I endart mine
eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

She goes back to doing whatever the NURSE is a little revolted Lady Capulet SMILES!

NURSE: Go girl.

LADY CAPULET glares at her.

Black out

Scene two

A party

A disco ball

A balloon

A snacks table

JULIET is alone

‘Love is a Battlefield’ plays

Silence

Finally:

JULIET: Saints do not move.

Silence

The NURSE enters

She eats some snacks

The two stand

JULIET takes a drink

The NURSE eats some more snacks

Finally:

NURSE: Your mother craves a word.

JULIET slumps somewhat, finishes her drink and leaves

The NURSE eats some more The song gets louder

Blackout

Scene three

A balcony

The NURSE and LADY CAPULET enter again as chorus downstage and centre

NURSE: Now,—

LADY CAPULET: Tender Juliet—

NURSE: Being held—

LADY CAPULET: Means less—

NURSE: Power—

LADY CAPULET: To her.

JULIET enters

They watch

She is pained and close to tears

She looks out at nothing

JULIET: Wherefore (marriage)?

There is silence

JULIET: The mask of night is on my face to-night.

She climbs over the balcony and stands at the edge

JULIET: And therefore, farewell…

She teeters

She can’t do it

JULIET: I should have been more strange! The dark night hath so
discovered.

She climbs back over

LADY CAPULET: Juliet!

JULIET: Thy purpose: marriage.

NURSE: Madam!

JULIET: I come, anon.

(To self:)
JULIET: Such sorrow…

She withdraws as the lights fade to black

Scene four

JULIET in her room

Silence

She does whatever

Enter The NURSE

(Sickly sweet to the Nurse:)

JULIET: O honey, what’s news?

NURSE: I am weary.

(Mock incredulity:)

JULIET Nay.

NURSE: I am out of breath!

JULIET: How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath

To say to me that thou art out of breath?!

NURSE: Wench!

(And proud of it:)

JULIET: This did I know before!

NURSE: Lord how my head aches.

JULIET: I am sorry that thou art not well.

NURSE: Where is your mother?

JULIET: Where she should be.

A sassy pause

NURSE
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?

JULIET
I have.

JULIET
O God, she comes.

NURSE
Then hie you hence to church!

JULIET is not happy about this

NURSE: I am the drudge and toil in your delight,

But you shall bear the burden soon at night.

JULIET does not leave

NURSE: Go! I’ll to dinner; hie you to the cell!

JULIET reluctantly leaves

The NURSE follows, happy to be able to control her

Darkness

Scene five

A religious cell

It is dark, gloomy

JULIET is alone wandering

She finds a space to stop in partial light

JULIET: My ghostly confessor

She kneels in prayer

Silence

Darkness

Scene six

JULIET in her room doing whatever

After a time the NURSE comes in and begins cleaning up

Neither looks at the other

They do not speak

After a time the NURSE leaves JULIET continues doing whatever

Darkness

Scene seven

Early Morning

JULIET’s room

She has not slept

She is alone, awake and melancholy

JULIET: It is not yet near day! Yon Light is not day-light!

She looks out at the upcoming sun

More light and light it grows!

She continues to sit

The NURSE enters

NURSE: Madam.

JULIET: Nurse.

NURSE: Your mother is coming to your chamber.

JULIET: O fortune!

LADY CAPULET, entering:

LADY CAPULET: Ho, are you up?

She sees that she is

LADY CAPULET: How now, Juliet?

JULIET: Not well.

(Disbelieving:)

LADY CAPULET: Fear thou not! I’ll tell thee joyful tidings.

JULIET: What are they?

LADY CAPULET: Marry, my child! Early next Thursday morn! At Saint
Peter’s Church – thee a joyful bride!

Beat

JULIET: I wonder at this haste.

Pause

JULIET: I will not marry.

Pause

LADY CAPULET’s relentless smile finally falls. 

LADY CAPULET: Are you mad?

JULIET: Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

NURSE: May not one speak?

LADY CAPULET: Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word.
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.

She leaves

JULIET: O God, O Nurse! Council me.

Silence

JULIET: Not a word of joy?

Silence

JULIET: Thou hast comforted me marvellous. Go in: and tell my
lady that I am gone.

NURSE: I will.

The NURSE exits.

JULIET: I long to die.

O, Bid me leap, From off the battlements
Of yonder tower rather than marry;
Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk
Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;
Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house,
O’er-cover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones,
With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;

Or bid me go into a new-made grave
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble;
And I will do it, without fear or doubt,
Rather than marry.

Blackout

Scene eight

JULIET on the street.

She goes to an apothecary window 

She purchases poison

She leaves

Scene nine

JULIET’s room the next night

The NURSE is cleaning up LADY CAPULET is watching

JULIET enters

The other two watch her

She curtsies and smiles

JULIET: I have learn’d me to repent the sin of disobedient
opposition, I beg your pardon and am henceforth ever
ruled by you.

The NURSE and LADY CAPULET look at each other

The NURSE shrugs — ‘don’t look at me’
Pause
LADY CAPULET smiles again

LADY CAPULET and JULIET hug

JULIET: Nurse, will you go with me into my closet, to help me sort such needful ornaments as you think fit to furnish me tomorrow?

LADY CAPULET: No; there is time enough.

JULIET nods compliantly

JULIET: Nurse, leave me to myself tonight.

The NURSE nods and leaves

LADY CAPULET: Need you my help?

JULIET: No, madam.

LADY CAPULET: Good night: get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast
need.

The NURSE and LADY CAPULET leave

JULIET: Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,

That almost freezes up the heat of life:

I’ll call them back again to comfort me:

Nurse!

Beat

JULIET: What should she do here?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
Come, vial.

Pause

JULIET: If it be poison — this I do drink!

She drinks

She puts the vial in her pocket

She falls

Darkness

Scene ten

JULIET’s room, the next morning

The NURSE enters to wake JULIET

NURSE: You slug-a-bed!

Tries to wake her

No response

NURSE: Madam?

She checks her vital signs — dead

NURSE: Alas, alas! Help, help! my lady’s dead!
O, well-a-day, that ever I was born!
Some aqua vitae, ho! My lord! my lady!

Enter LADY CAPULET

LADY CAPULET: What noise is here?

NURSE: O lamentable day!

LADY CAPULET: What’s the matter?

NURSE: Look!

She does

LADY CAPULET: O me, O me! My child, my only life,

Revive, look up, or I will die with thee!

Help, help! Call help.

NURSE: She’s dead, deceased, she’s dead; alack the day!

LADY CAPULET
Alack the day, she’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead!

NURSE: O lamentable day!

LADY CAPULET: O woful time!

NURSE: O woe! O woful, woful, woful day!

Most lamentable day, most woful day,
That ever, ever, I did yet behold!
O day! O day! O day! O hateful day!
Never was seen so black a day as this:
O woful day, O woful day!

LADY CAPULET: Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!

Most miserable hour that e’er time saw
In lasting labour of his pilgrimage!
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,
But one thing to rejoice and solace in,
And cruel death hath catch’d it from my sight!

The two hold each other
Darkness

Scene eleven

A tomb

JULIET lies dead

Silence

Finally, she wakes

She looks around, surprised to be in a tomb, and,

indeed, alive

JULIET: What?

She searches for the vial, still in her pocket

JULIET: No friendly drop to help me die!

A noise

JULIET: Yea, noise? then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger!

She was, fortunately for all, buried with a dagger

JULIET: Let me die!

She stabs herself and dies — for reals this time.

LADY CAPULET and the NURSE enter as chorus

LADY CAPULET: Never was there a story of more woe.

NURSE: Than that of Juliet.

Silence
Blackout
End

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