October 13, 2015 § Leave a comment
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.
LADY CAPULET: Where is my daughter?
The NURSE shrugs.
LADY CAPULET: Call her!
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
The other two smile and watch
Just before the NURSE exits:
LADY CAPULET: Nurse, come back again.
The NURSE takes a big breath
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
LADY CAPULET smiles a lot.
JULIET: I dream not of it.
NURSE: I would say thou hadst wisdom!
Well…think of marriage!
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!
The NURSE and JULIET are a little disgusted
LADY CAPULET continues smiling.
LADY CAPULET: What say you?
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
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.
A disco ball
A snacks table
JULIET is alone
‘Love is a Battlefield’ plays
JULIET: Saints do not move.
The NURSE enters
She eats some snacks
The two stand
JULIET takes a drink
The NURSE eats some more snacks
NURSE: Your mother craves a word.
JULIET slumps somewhat, finishes her drink and leaves
The NURSE eats some more The song gets louder
The NURSE and LADY CAPULET enter again as chorus downstage and centre
LADY CAPULET: Tender Juliet—
NURSE: Being held—
LADY CAPULET: Means less—
LADY CAPULET: To her.
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 can’t do it
JULIET: I should have been more strange! The dark night hath so
She climbs back over
LADY CAPULET: Juliet!
JULIET: Thy purpose: marriage.
JULIET: I come, anon.
JULIET: Such sorrow…
She withdraws as the lights fade to black
JULIET in her room
She does whatever
Enter The NURSE
(Sickly sweet to the Nurse:)
JULIET: O honey, what’s news?
NURSE: I am weary.
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?!
(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
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?
O God, she comes.
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
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
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
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: 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.
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!
JULIET: I wonder at this haste.
JULIET: I will not marry.
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.
JULIET: O God, O Nurse! Council me.
JULIET: Not a word of joy?
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.
JULIET on the street.
She goes to an apothecary window
She purchases poison
JULIET’s room the next night
The NURSE is cleaning up LADY CAPULET is watching
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’
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
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:
JULIET: What should she do here?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
JULIET: If it be poison — this I do drink!
She puts the vial in her pocket
JULIET’s room, the next morning
The NURSE enters to wake JULIET
NURSE: You slug-a-bed!
Tries to wake her
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?
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!
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
JULIET lies dead
Finally, she wakes
She looks around, surprised to be in a tomb, and,
She searches for the vial, still in her pocket
JULIET: No friendly drop to help me die!
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.