Act 2 Scene 1
The Virgin Woods drama school for cute and attractive children in London.
Mr Hands Miss Lookaway and Mrs Woods are both in an office talking.
Mrs Woods:They have agreed to help us by funding a scholarship for poor yet attractive children for at least ten years. Of course, they have their own requirements and stipulations. They require exclusive rights of the poor yet attractive child so (looking at Mr Hands) hands off, best you keep a reasonable distance at all times. However, Mrs Lookaway, we have particular set of instructions for you. You are to make the child feel acutely class conscious and mildly resentful of the other students. We have prepared a set of role-plays and scripts which you can use in conjunction with other members of staff.
Miss Lookaway: For what reason am I to make the child feel acutely class conscious and mildly resentful of the other students?
Mrs Woods: Is there any requirement for you to know this?
Miss Lookaway: I’ve been here five years Mrs Woods and I haven’t received a pay raise in all that time, I think at least you could reward me by initiating me into the deeper mysteries somewhat.
Mrs Woods looks at Mr Hands who crumples his face like a soiled hanky, then straightens it and imperceptibly nods assent.
Mrs Woods: Very well then Miss Lookaway, since you have served us with due diligence and discretion for the past five years as you say, I think you are ready to be admitted to a certain level of higher responsibility.
Miss Lookaway: Thankyou Mrs Woods.
Mrs Woods: The reason the child is to be treat this way is not part of our programme but is something the benefactors of the scholarship have requested as being essential to their involvement. That is the reason.
Miss Lookaway: Oh no you don’t. I want to know the reasoning behind it and what is the final goal. How can I work when I don’t know what I’m working for? It’ll just be another mix-up and end in tears like that poor girl who jumped off the roof that time.
Mr Hands: (languidly interrupting) I take your point Miss Lookaway. If I tell you why the benefactor has made this request you will have to give us something to show that you are able to be trusted with this information. After all, only myself, Mrs Woods herself and the benefactors themselves are privy to this information. Informing you would mean you were coming closer to the core of our establishment. We need to be able to trust you with sensitive client information, in this unfortunate era of industrial espionage and professional sabotage, such information, were it to fall into the wrong hands could be misconstrued a something it isn’t, putting not just mere people at risk, but the whole foundation of the entertainment industry itself. Do you understand this Miss Lookaway?
Miss Lookaway: What do you want me to do?
Mr Hands: (smiles a fruity smile which makes his cheeks red and shiny like dirty apples) We’d like you to go ‘all-in’ with us. I’d like you personally to take this young student clears his throat‘in hand’ if you get my meaning. That is, just so there is no miss understandinglaughs to himself, we used to have a teacher called Miss Understanding here you know. Very ‘understanding’ you understand….. But she misunderstood, our aims that is, some things she DID understand of course, so she handed in her resignation. Threatened to go to the papers with the story. Then she met with an accident of course. All very regrettable.Drawing himself up NOW do YOU understand Miss Lookaway? Are you one of us? You’ve looked away Miss Lookaway, don’t think we haven’t noticed, but are you ready to be one of us, to cease to be a spectator and be an agent. An agent of the ‘new-system’. You will be rewarded with whatever your heart desires, you will meet the highest of the land, the rich and famous, you can join us. Do you want to join us? Or would you rather, go the way of poor Miss Understanding. We can do anything. This is our world. It can be yours too. What do you say?
Miss Lookaway: A pay rise?
Mr Hands: laughs delightedly and suddenly contains himself and speaks very slowly and quietly: Oh, so much more than that Miss Lookaway. Much more than that. We’ll make you ‘one of us’. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to earn a lot of money and don’t seem to have to do anything to get all the luck, while others toil away their whole lives fighting to pay the bills, losing their jobs, fighting to survive, while others, just seem to bound from one golden opportunity to the next?
Miss Lookawayabout to speak
Mrs Woods: It’s a rhetorical question, there’s no need to speak my dear, just listen.
Mr Hands:Well, if you want to come in with us then you will be in the same position. You will never have to worry about your bills or rent of anyone coming after you for money ever again. You will be as one with the world. Not fighting anymore, but on the same side. The world will fall at your feet and shower you in everything you could want in a world of friendly convenience and mutual support. Tell me now, are you in?
Miss Lookaway: That’s the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make: You bet I am!
Mrs Woods: Well we have a special club which helps us. You’ll need to come along and join.
Miss Lookaway: But I’m already in a special club. Miss Lookaway offers Mrs Woods her hand to shake who takes it and gives it a special squeeze.
Mrs Woods: Ahh! I see you’re already one of us after all. Ok Hands, fill her in. She’s on the level.
Mr Hands: surprised Oh I see, well fancy that! I suppose that’s why you’re here with us. I must say I am perpetually surprised at the way in which our great Tailor in the sky arranges things.
Miss Lookaway: You mean the Goddess of the golden lake?
Mr Hands: Well, what’s a little miss translation between brother and sister eh? Miss Translation….have we ever had a Miss Translation on the payroll Mrs Woods?
Mrs Woods: Not that I recall.
Mr Hands laughs indulgently to himself.
Mr Hands: That settles it. You will come along this evening to our lodgement where you will receive further illumination of the path you are on and we will be able to adjudge how far your path might stretch out before you and perhaps new pathways will be opened to you.
Miss Lookaway: Thankyou. I think this is just what I have been waiting for.
Mr Hands: Yes it probably is. And just to encourage you fervour somewhat, I think we WILL start with a pay-rise. What do you think about an extra counts on his fingersfive thousand.
Miss Lookaway:How did you guess?
Mr Hands: Miss Lookaway?
Miss Lookaway: Five-thousand! That’s my lucky number!
Mr Hands and Miss Lookaway laugh indulgently.
Mrs Woods: So Miss Lookaway, we have looked through applications from the poor yet attractive applicants and Mr Hands and I have decided that this student holding up an application letter with photo attached should be the student to receive the scholarship.Reading Cecillia Green. Hobbies: singing, dancing and playing hockey. Favourite TV shows: Inspector Blood’s Brutal-Murder mystery, Hyper-girls sugar-rush dance time, Carnage Ward and Backstreets.
Mr Hands: Good! 100 percent hit-rate.All our shows and all our people. She already has the ethos!
Miss Lookaway: As long as they don’t want to do Shakespeare or Chekov we’re on the same page.
Mrs Woods: continuing to read aloud favourite singer: Player Attitude. Ambition: wants to be a soap-star and pop singer. Yep, she was one of ours too. God what a fruitcake she was: Naomi Spence.
Miss Lookaway: Amazed she isn’t a junkie by now. It’s probably only her blind vanity that’s stopping her, worried she’d lose her looks I expect.
Mrs Woods: Well, we did have a hand in it… or rather you did, right Mr Hands? You’re still involved with here aren’t you? Keeping her on the right square.
Mr Hands:Well someone has to handle her. Just doing what I’m paid for, though I should get extra for the trauma of having listen to her sing. She was quite pretty when she came to us, she’s too old for me now, that kind of thing doesn’t appeal to me at all. As you shall see tonight Miss Lookaway.
Act 2 scene 2
Warden: Has his shirt been properly stolen and the buttons from his trousers duly removed?
Senior warden: Aye It has all taken place as so ordained.
Senior officer: And the shirt has been duly sacrificed?
Warden: It has.
Senior Officer: And the buttons thus scattered to the four corners of the globe?
Warden: (throws the buttons which he was holding behind his back into a corner of the room) Yes.
Senior Officer: It is well done. (addressing the man with the plastic bag on his head) You are here of your own free will are you not?
Man with the bag on his head (muffled): Yes.
Senior Officer: And it is your fervent desire to join the trouser knights?
Man with the bag on his head: Yes.
Senior Officer: Do you swear to uphold the majesty of the order of the trousers in all you say and do and to always be willing to give up your trousers if a brother knight is found in greater need of trousers than yourself?
Man with the bag on his head: I am.
Senior officer: What has happened to your own trousers? Why are you wearing them at half mast?
Warden whispers the words to the Man with the bag on his head who then repeats them: In mourning for the death of the master-tailor.
Senior officer: Why was the master tailor killed?
Man with the bag on his head: For keeping the secret of the sacred stitches.
Senior officer: And how will you recognise a true brother knight?
Man with the bag on his head: By examining his trousers.
Senior officer: And you will be on your guard in the company of the profane, namely: men who wear shorts, gentlemen of a female persuasion and the Scottish. You must never reveal the secrets of our order. The penalty for doing so will be to have your bobbins removed, your piping unstitched, your gusset hewn out and your cloth and trimmings burnt as off-cuts unworthy of the Master draper. Do you thus swear to protect the secrets of the order and accept the just penalties?
Man with the bag on his head: I do.
Senior officer (to assistant tailor): You may remove the bag of ignorance.
The bag is removed from the man’s head, as the bag is removed he is presented with a new pair of trousers.
Senior officer: These are the trousers of a true knight of our order. You will be known to your brothers in them and likewise your brothers will be known to you. Put them on and join us as a fully initiated Knight of the trouser!
The men line up to form a human tunnel. Cheers and clapping as The Man wriggles free of his old trousers smiling and puts on the new trousers.
Senior officer: Now you are ready to be tested as a knight of our order. All Knights undergo hardships and trials in their pursuit of the true knowledge of the Great Tailor in the sky. Your first trail as an apprentice tailor will be the pressings!
The man is led through the human tunnel and his face changes to uncertainty and then terror as he is beaten roughly on the bottom as he goes through the human tunnel.
Senior officer: Now we shall begin the business of the lodge as we welcome our newest Tailor to take his place in your ranks. The man takes a seat which is shown to him while nursing his bottom.
The Grand-Master stands up.
Grand-Master: Gentlemen, we are faced with a deadly danger to our noble profession.
Murmurs There are people out there members of the poorly tailored profane rabble, who would come between us and our ultimate work: The tailoring of mankind. I say this to all the gentlemen here and I say this also to all the invisible amorphous ageless beings who have watched and helped us with our great work for the past 5 thousand years, I say this, we have never been closer to achieving our goal than as we are right now! Never before have so many people been so easily reachable by our instruments and never before have these people been under the illusion that it is their free-will which directs them to do as we bid them.
Never before has there been so little resistance to us and never before has there been so much dependence on us. The time of ripeness is at hand, and we shall soon harvest the fruit of this Earth for out masters of a bounty and richness never before known. Our Great-Dressmaker in the sky will measure us all out our due rewards if we succeed. But should we fail. I need not tell you of the instruments which our even handed and fair minded master has at his disposal. The needle, the seam-ripper and the pinking shears await each and every one of us in the great haberdashery in the sky when we will be called to account for measuring up short.
Imagine a pin-cushion, each pin a prick of the conscience for everything we could have done better for his and our plan to succeed. So think of the pin-cushion gentlemen. This will be your fate should you in any way fall short in your zeal to conclude our business on Earth for our Master. The eternal stabbing on and on, relentless thrusting into your very soul.
But enough, let us not clog our spirits with fear of the consequences of our failure when we are so close to success, and that is a testimony to your ceaseless efforts in your diverse fields of endeavour. The Grand Master gestures to a particular group of people in the chamber.
You scientists for instance. Your work has been seamless, on the one hand you have managed to control even reality itself for these untailored people. What they think they know about this world, WE have told them. Yet what we have not told them and what they may suspect may exist of the spirit world, we have told them squarely DOES NOT EXIST. This includes the very existence of our Master and his amorphous ageless eternal servants themselves, so they are assailed at all sides by us. By the spiritual warriors of our Master who daily plague them with a thousand suspicions, terrors and uncertainties by their subtle arts of temporary possession, and by our scientists who tell them there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark, when indeed THERE IS.
And for that matter, also tells them that there is no one who can save them in the light, when indeed, again THERE IS. We have totally disarmed the population of the one weapon we cannot fight against, and in fact, we have mostly turned them against their very benefactor.
Turning to another group in the room. And you, representing the forces of the media have been our very voice. Whispering calamity, incessantly, constantly. Befuddling and vexing the profane masses until they are nothing but reflex machines which can be controlled and studied at will with a perfect degree of accurate prediction. You indulge them in unattainable dreams and fantasies on one hand, then bring them their penance with daily murder and violence. You have taught the world to dream the nightmares we bring them. You drug them into a stupor of despair by six o’clock, and then you enroll them in our vision of the world. The brutality, the death, theft avarice. THE DRAMA! What a word! How hungrily the sheep chomp down the poisoned herbage with relish. We give them drama, turmoil, confusion, and ultimately, pain. You have brought their minds low with pain and misery which they internalise as their own and they are ready for us now to take to the final stage.
Man at the back: Whispering to another man What’s all this got to do with tailoring? I only joined because I thought this was some kind of dress-making hobby club. I wanted to learn to make clothes.
Other man at the back: It’s only a metaphor!
Man at the back: If I’d known it was only a metaphor I would have stayed at home the evenings instead of getting involved in all this world domination stuff.
Other man at the back: Well it’s a bit late for that now isn’t it? Didn’t you cotton on that that’s what this was all really about?
Man at the back: Well, I just kind of tuned it out and hoped one week we’d all start learning to make clothes. Besides, the dinners are nice.
Other man at the back: Well you’re in now to the bitter end.
Man at the back: Oh come on, it’s not that serious.
Other man at the back: It IS, it’s deadly serious. Did you not remember the penalties you agreed to if you neglected your fellow tailors?
Man at the back: That was the only bit I really enjoyed, all the talk of stitches and gussets, I thought we were getting somewhere at last.
Other man at the back: Shh, he’s looking this way, better keep it to yourself.
Man at the back: No why should I? I have a right to express myself, I don’t care if he calls himself Master Whatsit, I’ve never feared no man.
Master Tailor: Gesturing to the men at the back You men at the back! No doubt planning fresh intrigues to help us on our way. I do not recall your professions at present, tell the assembly what activity you have recently been doing that we may share and compare.
Other man at the back whispering: Now you’ve done it!
Man at the back: I’m not scared standing up Er, well, I was just discussing with my friend here how I’d wish we learned more about clothes making than all this other stuff we always talk about every week.
Other man at the back quickly standing up: No, that’s not true your Master, it was him who was discussing it and I was telling him to shut up. It’s nothing to do with me sir, it’s all his idea.
Man at the back: Yeah, that’s right. I only joined because I like clothes and thought that you’d teach me how to make them. And dinners too of course. I like the dinners. Nervous Laughter
Master tailor: Ahh, you like clothes and dinners indeed. Well, what is your name?
Man at the back: James Snippet.
Master tailor: And what is your trade?
Trevor: I work for the DailyBaiter newspaper.
Master tailor: Well ‘Brother Snippet’, so I expect you’d like me to personally teach you how to make clothes is that it? (laughter)
Trevor: If it isn’t too much trouble your Master.
Master tailor suppressing a grin: I think we may have a little job for you to do, after which I will personally teach you all there is to know about making clothes. Does this appeal to you?
Master Tailor slyly: Goooood!
John Hampton: Thank you Master Tailor.
Act 2 Scene3
Act 2 Scene 4Naomi Spence in trance and the ‘beings’. Mr Hands: Songbird, may I introduce one of our new friends, this is Miss Lookaway. A demented and terror struck Miss Lookaway says a conspiratorial ‘hello’ to Naomi Spence who is still in the guise of the Songbird alter. Naomi: Smiles withal the sweetness of her escort/demon being channeling alter How do you do? Very pleased to meet you! Mr Hands: to Miss Lookaway who almost seems to jump as Mr Hands addresses her We find she is far more personable as Songbird than Platitude, personally I couldn’t stand more than 30 seconds in the company of that young lady, too many rough edges, but then, I suspect the feeling is mutual. Mr Hands looks Miss Lookaway up and down. Don’t worry Miss Lookaway, you’ll get used to your new condition eventually. I might be able to give you something to take the edge off. In the meantime try to sharpen up eh? Anyway, Songbird is the name we use to activate her mind control. Every one of our famous friends have their own triggers which only we know, the word has to be unusual enough that they don’t get accidentally activated and lapse into a trance half way through doing their shopping for instance, but it has happened at times, no doubt you’ve heard of Wembley Sparrs? There is a special coded knock at the door. Mr Hands: Addresses the door The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must destroy a world. The bird flies to God. What is his name? John Hampton: Abraxas Mr Hands: Come! John Hampton enters the room. Mr Hands: Brother Hampton of the Knights of the sacred trousers I presume? I am Brother Hands, as for the name of the organisation which vouches for me you need not concern yourself John Hampton looks around and notices both Tommy Sugarspoon and Naomi Spence. Mr Hands: Yes, I am sure you are familiar with our two special friends here from the ignoble world of the television set and the compact disk player. They are in their special places right now, I am assured that you are familiar with our methods? John Hampton: Of course. Mr Hands: Oh dear me, where are my manners? Turning to Miss LookawayMay I introduce you to one of our old friends from the far-east, John Hampton, one of our trusted friends from the tailoring brotherhood. Brother Hampton this is Miss Lookaway a freshly born Mother of darkness. She will help you in this evening’s operations. John Hampton gives a particular handshake which Miss Lookaway answers. Mr Hands addressing John soto voce : The thing is with these two people is that they are rather effective spirit mediums but of late their efficacy seems to be diminishing so we will need new blood. This is why Miss Lookaway is here to help us. She is about to acquire a new student under the auspices of your own good brotherhood, and this young lady, a Miss Cecilia Green, has been chosen to help us establish contact with our other ‘friends’. Brother Hampton, you are to work closely with Miss Lookaway here in an elaborate role-play which will secure for us the services of the young Miss Green.
Act 2 Scene 5
The Fay Sucka Vudras Community school East London.
Miss Neways, the English teacher is addressing a student at the back who is sexually molesting a fellow student who is screaming for help.
Miss Neways : Now I’m going to give you a choice, if you don’t stop raping that girl, I’ll have to send you to the time-out room. It’s your choice! I’m going to leave you to think about it!There’s a knock at the door and the headmaster Mr Hideaway enter the room. Good morning students. His words and his presence are totally ignored by the class.
Mr Hideaway: Sorry to disturb your lesson Miss Neways. I’ve just received some important news relating to Cecilia Green, I hope it won’t inconvenience you to much to release her to my car, I mean my ‘care’.
Miss Neways: Cecelia, somebody wants to speak to you, would you go with the headmaster please.
Quietly addressing Mr Hideaway, Headmaster, I’m having a spot of bother with Simon here, as I’m a new teacher, could you give me a bit of help?
Mr Hideaway: Of course Miss Neways always willing to help new staff deal with behaviour difficulties. What you have to do is complete the correct form and submit it to the weekly behaviour committee. You can find the correct discipline form outside the school office. Miss Neways seems a bit disappointed. On second thoughts, don’t worry about it Miss Neways, I’ll take care of everything. Miss Neways smiles and is visibly encouraged.Turns to look at SimonWhat I’ll do is I’ll send a student courier along with the correct form.
Miss Neways bemused and returns to her early disappointment:Oh…Er….
Mr Hideway: A pleasure, that’s what I’m here for. Turning to Cecila Green. Come with me young lady, I’ve got some good news for you! Your ticket out of here!
Cecelia leaves the room with Mr Hideaway. Miss Neways looks watches them as they leave the room. She then turns to the back of the class again and with a sigh addresses Simon at the back of the class.
Miss Neways: So you’re still raping that girl. I thought I’d made myself clear about your choices. You had the choice to continue raping the girl and go to the time out room, or stop raping the girl and stay in the classroom. I am disappointed that you have chosen to continue to rape the girl, therefore you have chosen to be sent to the time out room to cool off for five minutes. Now Simon, I would like you to go to the time-out room, remember that was your choice.Simon: Suck my dick Miss!
Miss Neways: Now Simon, I’m disappointed that you have chosen to speak to me like that so I’m going to have to give you another choice…..
Act 2 Scene 6
Mr Hideaway’s office. The walls are soundproofed and the windows triple glazed to protect Mr Hideaway from the sounds and noises, and any general inconvenience of a large secondary school, which might otherwise disturb his rest. In addition a ferociously unpleasant and uncooperative personal security is stationed in a small room outside Mr Hideaway’s office to ensure nobody gets to speak to Mr Hideaway unless he specifically wants to which is very rare.
Mr Hideaway: Sit down please Miss Green.
Mr Hideaway gestures to the chair in front of his desk and Cecilia silently takes a seat.
Mr Hideaway: Do you remember making an application to join the Virgin Wood’s drama school?
Cecilia: Yes sir.
Mr Hideaway: Well. I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted. That’s good news isn’t it?
Cecilia: smiles with surprised pleasure Yes sir. It’s fantastic. Wow, I can’t believe it.
Mr Hideway: Why not? You’re just what they’re looking for. A pretty, well mannered, pleasant and eager little girl.Just what they’re looking for.Mr Hideaway looks long and hard at Cecilia I used to tread the boards as a younger man you know.
Cecilia: successfully feigning interest Oh?
Mr Hideaway: Indeed. Before all this.gestures around him.Yes. Lost in thought.Remembering himself. In fact it appears we have a mutual friend Miss Green and it is to him that you owe your good fortune. He is a special friend of mine with whom I share a common bond. He is a member of my local club. Mr Hands!
From out of a shadow in the corner of the room a tall thin grey man with long fingered hands emerges towards Cecilia with his hands outstretched. Cecelia visibly jumps with surprise but maintains her composure and raises to shake hands with Mr Hands. Cecilia smiles wanly visibly creeped out by the sepulchral Mr Hands.
Mr Hands: So pleased to meet you at last Miss Green. My friend Mr Hideaway has told me so much about you. It is to him you owe your acceptance to our special school. He spoke of you in such glowing terms and made it quite clear that you are just the type of fresh young person we are looking for.
Cecelia proffers her hand to Mr Hands who instead reaches out with his arms and takes Cecelia by the shoulders.
Mr Hands: Poo-poo Miss Green. You’re going to be an actress now. You can dispense with such formality among fellow acting friends. He kisses her on both cheeks. There we are.Lovely and fresh.
Cecilia raises an eyebrow and scarcely perceptibly, gives him and Mr Hideaway a satirical look which clearly shows that she understands what kind of common bond these two ‘gentlemen’ share.
Cecilia: Thank you Mr Hands for giving me this wonderful opportunity turning to Mr Hideaway and thank you sir for….pauses while she struggles to think of something…
Mr Hideaway: Think nothing of it Cecilia dear. It’s my job it’s what I’m here for.
Cecilia: smiling Absolutely.
Mr Hideaway: Mr Hands thinks you could probably join before the end of term. That way you’ll be settled in before next term starts.
Cecilia: Confused But what about my exams Sir? I need to sit my exams.
Mr Hideaway: Oh don’t bother yourself about that Cecilia, the education you’ll get with Mr Woods is a hundred times better than the worthless runaround you’ll get here. Count yourself lucky Cecilia,gives a conspiratorial wink and speaks soto voceget out of here while you can. Suddenly becoming grave and serious. There’s nothing for you here.
Mr Hands rubbing his hands: What do you think Cecilia? Would you like to join us straightaway? The sooner we get started the sooner we can work on making you a star and we can put all this with a gesture which not only encompassed the school, but the whole district behind us.
Cecilia: Appealing to Mr Hideaway But what about my friends Sir, I must say goodbye to all my friends.
Mr Hands: grinning Come come Miss Green. There’s no need to be concerned. After all, you’ll soon have something much much better than ‘friends’.
Cecilia: considering I think I would like to start next week, that way I can say good bye to my friends and tell them what’s happening. They’ll be so pleased. But it’s a shame they can’t come with me though.
Mr Hands: Very well Miss Green, we can accommodate you. But next week you must be ready to start with us so we can get you into the right condition and get you used to…..our ‘system’. Don’t worry about missing your friends Cecilia. We’re you’re friends now.
Cecilia gives a wide eyed satirical look which she times so the two men wouldn’t notice, more for her own amusement and an attempt to create some mild gesture of opposition to their oily impositions.