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31 Plays in 31 Days, #17 - "Lord Seacourse"

One thing that's made this 31P31D difficult is the fact that I've been using it complete my draft of Base Instruments-- of which I now have a complete version 1, woooooooo! But while it has accomplished its intended goal of making me work on it every day, at that stage of the process I was writing the last few scenes. I find myself not wanting to post these scenes as they spoil the mystery, so I don't want anyone reading them without reading the entire piece.

So instead I find myself posting pieces I wrote at other times. I like having something to post, it makes me feel good and makes the challenge feel more tangible and complete, but it also kind of feels like cheating on the terms even though I AM actually writing new things.

Oh, well. The challenge doesn't mean anything in and of itself. The writing is what counts. And that is happening the way I wanted it to.

This scene is from Nathaniel's part in the investigation-- where he uses his burgeoning faceman abilities to befriend a target into giving him information. Except his wife and brother are present as well, so he can't operate as freely as he'd hoped to.

Day #17 - "Lord Seacourse
from Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

NATHANIEL HAWKING, Mrs. Hawking's nephew and assistant
Nicholas Cavil, LORD SEACOURSE, the target of Nathaniel's information gathering
JUSTIN HAWKING, Nathaniel's rakish elder brother
CLARA HAWKING, Nanthaniel's wife
YULIA SHERBA, a dancer with the Mariinsky and Justin's conquest

(NATHANIEL and SEACOURSE come over in conversation.)

SEACOURSE: Do you know much of the ballet?

NATHANIEL: I’m rather new to it yet.

SEACOURSE: I highly recommend taking it all in. It’s got everything— drama, music, spectacle, and beauty, of course. Believe you me, of all the varied kinds of beautiful women in the world, there’s none quite like a ballerina.

NATHANIEL: You sound as if you know whereof you speak.

SEACOURSE: Well! I have been a patron for some time. I’ve come to make a few friends among their ranks. I don’t suppose you had the chance to see La Bayadere before all this trouble?

NATHANIEL: Wasn’t so lucky!

SEACOURSE: If you had, you’d know. Thirty-six sylph women, pale as milk and light as air, each exactly the same as the last. It’s exquisite.


(NATHANIEL is put off but conceals it. SEACOURSE takes out a cigarette and NATHANIEL lights it for him.)

SEACOURSE: Thank you. There’s a few here tonight, if you’d care to see what I mean.

NATHANIEL: Perhaps when I’m sure my wife isn’t looking. It is a shame about their leading lady, though, isn’t it?

SEACOURSE: More than a shame, my friend.

NATHANIEL: So it’s true what they say?

SEACOURSE: What do they say?

NATHANIEL: That Miss Sergeyeva was head over heels for you.

SEACOURSE: My goodness. One can’t hide anything in London.

NATHANIEL: Why, you scoundrel!

SEACOURSE: Be kind, my heart is quite broken, it truly is.

NATHANIEL: Of course, of course. But there was something between you?

SEACOURSE: We were mad for each other. But she wanted to keep things quiet.

NATHANIEL: Whatever for?

SEACOURSE: Raisa was the only girl they had with international draw. The company wouldn’t have looked kindly on if someone was trying to… steal her away.

NATHANIEL: And now you’ve all lost her. Quite a tragedy.

SEACOURSE: Well. These things are sent to try us.

(NATHANIEL conceals his reaction with effort.)

SEACOURSE: I’ve heard from the manager, this Chernovsky fellow, that they might fold without her name on the marquee. I’m afraid ballet has rather fallen out of fashion in Europe, but I mean to see that change.

NATHANIEL: How do you mean?

SEACOURSE: Now that’s a secret I can’t give away. Must protect one’s brainchild and all that.

NATHANIEL: Naturally. Besides, I’m far more interested in hearing about these dancers of yours. What do you say to your telling me over a drink?

SEACOURSE: A fine idea. I would introduce you to some of the girls, but it seems someone’s beaten you to it.

(JUSTIN approaches with the dancer YULIA SHERBA on his arm.)

NATHANIEL: Story of my life. Lord Seacourse, may I introduce you to my brother and business partner, Mr. Justin Hawking?

(SEACOURSE and JUSTIN shake hands.)

SEACOURSE: Nicholas Cavil, pleased to meet you. And you, dear, must be one Mr. Petipa’s sylphs.

JUSTIN: This is Miss Yulia Sherba, of the Kingdom of Shades.

NATHANIEL: I say, miss, have we met?

MISS SHERBA: I think not, sir. This is first time in London.

SEACOURSE: An easy mistake to make. Well, Nathaniel and I were about to find a snifter of something. Care to join?

NATHANIEL: Oh, I think Justin’s quite occupied already.

JUSTIN: Indeed. Perhaps later. After Miss Sherba’s told me the rest of her fascinating history.

SEACOURSE: An easy choice. Well, Nathaniel, let’s leave him to it, and you and I find a quiet corner.

JUSTIN: Slipping away? And have you cleared that with Clara, then?

(CLARA approaches.)

CLARA: Cleared what with me, dears?

SEACOURSE: Is this the wife you mentioned, Nathaniel?

CLARA: I’m pleased he hasn’t forgotten me entirely.

SEACOURSE: Lovely as you are, madam, no man ever could.

CLARA: You’d be surprised, given how much time I’ve spent alone tonight.

NATHANIEL: Darling, Lord Seacourse and I still have much to discuss—

SEACOURSE: Madam, forgive me, but would you be so kind as to grant me a private word with your husband? I’d be ever so grateful.

CLARA: Oh, I fully understand, my lord. Later, I shall be having one with him myself.

(With a meaningful glance at NATHANIEL, CLARA exits. JUSTIN laughs as he leads YULIA off with him. NATHANIEL rallies.)

NATHANIEL: Well. I can’t speak for you, sir, but I could certainly use that drink.

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About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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