CLOWNSVILLE HIGH

A play by

Allen Lyne

©   Allen Lyne 1989--2007

8 Redgate Court

Moana Heights

Adelaide

South Australia 5169

Australia

8 327 4142

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Clownsville High has been produced many times.  Productions have taken place in most states in Australia as well as in South Africa, Poland and in Romania.

The original production was in Willunga, South Australia.  The production was funded by The Department of Health, Country Arts Board, Willunga Council and some local businesses in Willunga and surrounding districts.

The young actors were drawn from Willunga High School and the Steiner School in Willunga.  They were given time off school to tour the play to other schools and to Community Centres.  There were some evening performances in the mix.

CAST

Young Clowns

Bilbo

Carrot

Cali

Cambal

Flory

Hic

Horatio

Jade

Jerky

Maryanne

Percival

Sam

Sasha

Older Clowns                All of the roles below may be doubled by two actors

Teacher

Headmistress

Father

Mother

Policeperson 1

Policeperson 2

Parson

Mr. Bigshot

Miss Masters

All characters wear clown makeup, clown costumes and clown noses.  The only exception to this is toward the end of the play where Bilbo removes her clown nose as indicated.

THERE ARE TWO LARGE FREE STANDING FLATS AT THE BACK.  ON THESE FLATS ARE HUNG A GIANT SIZED SCOTCH BOTTLE, BONG, JOINT, BOTTLE OF PILLS, GLUE AND NEEDLE.  THESE BRIGHTLY COLOURED PROPS ARE DETACHABLE AND ARE USED AND HUNG ON THE FLATS AGAIN AS REQUIRED.  TWO CARS ARE SET EITHER SIDE OF THE ACTING AREA.  THEY ARE PLYWOOD CUTOUTS WHICH HAVE ONE SIDE ONLY.  THE ACTORS HOLD THEM WHILE "DRIVING".

MUSIC. KIDS ENTER DRESSED AS CLOWNS WITH RED NOSES.  THEY DO TRICKS. SHAKE HANDS WITH THE AUDIENCE.  THEY FORM TWO LINES WHICH POINT UPSTAGE CENTRE.  DRUM ROLL.  MARY ANNE DOES A SENSATIONAL FORWARD FLIP.  OTHER CLOWNS LEAD APPLAUSE. DRUMROLL.  HIC DOES A DRUNKEN CARTWHEEL AND FALLS FLAT.  JADE LAUGHS HER TERRIBLE, HIGH PITCHED LAUGH.

JADE

This is our friend.

CARROT

He's got a problem.

SASHA

He sure has.

BILBO

Pissed again.

HIC

Hic!

FLORY

Pissed!

SAM

Disgusting.

HIC

Hic!

SASHA

Terrible.

HIC SINKS TO THE FLOOR

HORATIO

Oh dear!

ALL

Oh dear!

JADE

(laughs)   Teacher's coming.

THEY ALL ATTEMPT TO SIT.  CLOWN ROUTINE

HIC

Hic!!

THE CLOWNS REALISE HIC IS STILL LYING WHERE THEY LEFT HIM.  THEY PICK HIM UP AND SUPPORT HIM.  TEACHER ENTERS.

TEACHER

Good morning good morning good morning.  This is your first day at school so pay attention and learn something.  I am your teacher and I know everything...EVERYTHING DO YOU UNDERSTAND?  I have an amazingly retentive mind...Where was I...? Oh yes!  I continue...Lesson One...Take out your books and turn to page one. Drugs and alcohol...Drugs and alcohol are very bad for you at a young and tender age. So don't drink, smoke, use dope, pop pills, inhale dangerous substances or inject yourselves.  You must not...MUST NOT!  Do I make myself perfectly clear?  The most prevalent drug used by young people is alcohol and you are not allowed to so don't...

HIC

Hic.

TEACHER

Who said that?

HORATIO

I did.

TEACHER

You did?  How dare you say hic to me?  What have you got to say for yourself?

HIC

Hic.

TEACHER

There you go again.  Go and stand in the corner.

HORATIO GOES TO THE CORNER.

TEACHER

Where was I?

BILBO

You were telling us about your wonderful memory, sir.

TEACHER

Was I?  So I was.

HIC

Hic.

TEACHER

Who said that?

WHOLE CLASS

Hic!

TEACHER

You can all go and stand in the corner.

THEY DO

HORATIO

Party!

TEACHER

Anyone would think you'd all been drinking. If it weren't for the fact that I've warned you not to, I'd say it could be the case.  I continue...(takes scotch bottle and joint )   Alcohol and drugs.  Well, alcohol is a drug really.  Adults are allowed to drink because we're much more sensible than young people.  The law recognises that.  We make the laws, so that's right!  Right?  Now, the day you turn eighteen something magical happens.  You suddenly become an adult in the eyes of the law and legally able to drunk ... err ... drink. However, you are not allowed to use these things   (drags on joint), these things   (sniffs glue)   or these things.   (injects)   This is the type of thing that happens if you do.

TEACHER FALLS.  HE CHUNDERS.  KIDS GATHER AROUND EXCEPT FOR HIC WHO REMAINS SEPARATE.

CLASS

OoooooohPoor teacher.

THEY PICK TEACHER UP AND CARRY HIM TO THE SIDE OF THE STAGE AND LAY HIM DOWN.  HIC COMES CENTRE.  HE TAKES THE SCOTCH BOTTLE AND SWIGS.

HIC

Hic!

THE OTHERS NOTICE HIM.

SASHA

Stop doing that!

SASHA TAKES THE BOTTLE FROM HIC WHO ATTEMPTS TO GET IT BACK.  ROUTINE, 'KEEPING THE BOTTLE FROM HIC'.  EVENTUALLY HORATIO GETS IT.

HORATIO

Give it to him.

HE GIVES THE BOTTLE TO HIC WHO DRINKS. JADE LAUGHS.  BILBO WINCES.

BILBO

Don't do that.

JADE

(indicating Hic)   That's not nice.

SAM

You're a burke, Hic.  What are you?

HIC

Hic.

BILBO

Ah, leave him alone.

PERCIVAL

Yeah, leave him alone.

HORATIO

What's wrong with a bit of booze?

PERCIVAL

Nothing

CARROT

Plenty...That's right...Plenty.

JERKY

Booze heads.

BILBO DRINKS. MARY ANNE SNATCHES THE BOTTLE.

BILBO

I drink more than him

MARYANNE

Yeah, but you can handle it, Bilbo.

SASHA

We have to stop you from drinking, Hic.

HIC

Hic...Why?

FLORY

Because you're a mess.

SAM

We don't want you to hurt yourself.

HIC

I like drinking.

CARROT

It's not good for you.

FLORY

Not good at all.

MARYANNE

No!

SASHA

We need to find a way to stop Hic drinking.

JERKY

Think!

ALL CLOWNS THINK.  FX CLOCK TICKING.

SAM

I can't think of anything.

JADE LAUGHS

BILBO

Stop it...Don't do that.

JADE

I've got it!

SAM

What?

JADE

The answer the answer.

ALL

Jade's got the answer Jade's got the answer

THEY DANCE AROUND AS THEY CHANT THE ABOVE.  THEY STOP.

MARY ANNE

What's the answer?

JADE

We use this tape, see?

SAM

Oh, right.

CARROT

We use the tape!

MARY ANNE

Of course.

FLORY

The tape.

JERKY

Yes, the tape.

SASHA

Why didn't we think of that?

PERCIVAL

How?

JADE

(Indian)   How!

PERCIVAL

How!  No!  I mean how do we use the tape?

JADE

(laughs)   Like this...See?  We tape up Hic's mouth so he can't drink.

ALL

oooooooooooooooh!

HIC IS TRYING TO SPEAK.  ALL CLOWNS ADOPT LISTENING POSES

FLORY

What's he saying?

CARROT

Something about...He can't breathe

THEY RIP THE TAPE OFF.

HIC

I like drinking.

SASHA

You're not allowed to.  We'll show you what could happen.

PARTY SCENE.  ALL DANCE.

BILBO

Dig that music. Oh wow.

CARROT

Far out...I said...Far out.

HIC

Give us another drink.

HE OFFERS THE BOTTLE TO JADE.

JADE

(laughs)   No thanks.

PERCIVAL

Go on.  Get it into you.

JADE

Don't need it to have a good time.

BILBO

Helps.

JERKY

Why do you drink all the time?

HIC

You can talk.

JERKY

A bit!  Not all the time.

HIC

My business.

SAM

Jeez hic, you're pissed.

HIC

And stoned.

CARROT

Why do you write yourself off?

HIC

Feels great.

HORATIO LEAPS DOWNSTAGE.

HORATIO

Let's steal a car!

BILBO

Far out.

HORATIO

I feel like driving. Fast.

HIC

Nah. Stay here and get pissed.

JERKY

Pisseder.

HORATIO

I feel like driving. Real fast!

BILBO

You can't drive.

HORATIO

Who can't?

BILBO

You can't.

HIC

I can.

MARYANNE

Couldn't drive a nail.

JADE

Where's your licence?

HIC

I can drive.

BILBO

I can hot wire cars.

HORATIO

Let's go.

HIC

Yeah.

FLORY

Oh no.

CARROT

Don't be silly.

MARYANNE

Stay right where you are.

SASHA

You're not allowed to.

HIC, BILBO AND HORATIO ATTEMPT TO LEAVE.  THE OTHERS ATTEMPT TO STOP THEM.  THERE IS GENERAL NOISE AND MAYHEM DURING THE NEXT PART OF THIS SCENE WITH LOTS OF PUSHING AND SHOVING.  LINES ARE A GUIDE ONLY.

JERKY

You're too pissed.

PERCIVAL

Don't be stupid.

HORATIO

Let go.

HIC WANDERS AWAY FROM THE MELEE AND PICKS UP THE CAR STAGE LEFT.

SASHA

You're not going.

BILBO

Rack off.

JADE

Drive like that, you'll kill yourself.

HORATIO

Get out of the way.

FLORY

Oh please don't....

SAM

Don't be stupid.

HIC

I know exactly what I'm doing.

HORATIO AND BILBO BREAK FREE OF THE GROUP AND JOIN HIC IN THE CAR.  THE REST OF THE CAST FORMS UP IN THREE GROUPS.  THE POLICE CAR ENTERS AND GIVES CHASE ON THE LINE "THEN IT'S A NEW SOUND THEY'RE A HEARIN...."  DIALOGUE IS SPLIT BETWEEN GROUPS LEFT, RIGHT AND CENTRE.

GROUPS

SO THEY'RE SCREAMING DOWN THE HIGHWAY

DOING A HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE

IN A STOLEN JAG. WITH LEATHER SEATS

HIC, BILBO& HORATIO

WE REALLY FEEL ALIVE

GROUPS

THE RADIO IS BLARING

PLAYING A REAL GOOD SONG

THEY'RE PISSED AND FEELING PRETTY GOOD.

HIC ETC

SOMEONE PASS THE BONG

GROUPS

SO THEY'RE SCREAMING DOWN THE FREEWAY

DOING A HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE

AND THE RADIO IS BLARING

HIC ETC

AND WE REALLY FEEL ALIVE

GROUPS

WHEN IT'S A NEW SOUND THEY'RE A HEARING

AND A LIGHT IS FLASHING BLUE

AND HIC HE CORNERS QUICKLY

HORATIO& BILBO

AND THEN HE HAS A SPEW

GROUP

THE BLUE LIGHT'S GETTING CLOSER

HORATIO

WE THROW THE BONG AWAY

GROUPS

BUT THE STINK OF BOOZE AND DOPE AND SPEW

IS IN THE CAR TO STAY

NOW THE BLUE LIGHT'S RIGHT UP WITH THEM

THEY'RE DOING TWO TON AND MORE

WHEN HIC LOSES HER ON A CORNER

WITH THE PEDAL TO THE FLOOR

AND THEY SKID THEY'RE GOING SIDEWAYS

HIC FIGHTS HER FOR CONTROL

THE JAG IS SLEWING SIDEWAYS

AND THEY KNOW

HIC ETC

SHE'S GOING TO ROLL.

HIC, BILBO AND HORATIO TUMBLE IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. THE CARS ARE TAKEN OFF. THE TWO POLICEMEN RUN TO HORATIO DOWNSTAGE CENTRE AND BILBO UPSTAGE LEFT

POLICEMAN 1

Dead.

POLICEMAN 2

Head smashed in.

POLICEMAN 1

The blood.

POLICEMAN 2

Brain damage.

POLICEMAN 1 GOES TO HIC UPSTAGE RIGHT.

POLICEMAN 1

Still alive.

POLICEMAN 2

Still alive? Why did you chase so close?

POLICEMAN 1

I didn't know.

POLICEMAN 2

Only kids.

POLICEMAN 1

I didn't know.

POLICEMAN 2

Kids!

THE THREE GROUPS MOVE TO HORATIO'S CORPSE.  THEY LIFT HIM UP AND MOVE AROUND THE SPACE TO THE DEAD MARCH.  POLICEMAN 2 DONS THE PARSONS ROBE AND READS THE "BURIAL SERVICE".  POLICEMAN 1 AND HIC STAND DOWNSTAGE RIGHT.  BILBO SITS DOWNSTAGE LEFT IN HER SMASHED HEAD MASK.

PARSON

We are gathered here today to bury one of our young.  Horatio, who we held so very dear, was foolish enough to get into a car with a drunken driver. Horatio, therefore, must take some responsibility for his death, but the blame mostly lies there, there with Hic. For it was he who drove the car. Hic who murdered his friend Horatio and turned poor Bilbo into a brain damaged vegetable. Poor Horatio is dead. Driven to his death. Poor Horatio.

MOVEMENT SEQUENCE.

ASHES TO ASHES DUST TO DUST

IF THE BOOZE DON'T GET YOU THEN TOBACCO MUST

THERE'S BOOZE AND SMOKES AND THEN WHAT'S MORE

THERE'S DRUGS AND PILLS AND GLUE AND MORE

YOU GO TO A PARTY YOU STAY OUT LATE

STEAL A CAR YOU MEET YOUR FATE

DRIVE LIKE A DEMON DRIVE REAL FAST

NEXT BREATH YOU TAKE MAY BE YOUR LAST

YOU CAN GO TO A PARTY YOU CAN STAY OUT LATE

IF YOU DRIVE A CAR BETTER BE REAL STRAIGHT

CLOWNS FINISH IN SAME POSITION AS BEFORE MOVEMENT SEQUENCE.

PARSON

Not only will young Hic forever have Horatio's death on his conscience, when he gets out of jail he will have to face Bilbo and she, poor Bilbo, brain damaged with a face that would frighten Frankenstein.

ALL EXCEPT BILBO MOVE TO A SEMI-CIRCLE AROUND HIC. CHANT BEGINS SOFTLY AT FIRST THEN BUILDS UNTIL HIC'S SCREAM CUTS IT OFF.

ALL

Fault fault fault...etc.

HIC

(soft) Nothing like that's going to happen

THE FAULT CHANT CONTINUES.

HIC

(scream)...Nothing like that's going to happen.

MARYANNE

Don't be too sure.

SASHA

Everyone reckons "it can't happen to me".

SAM

But it does.

TEACHER

Get back to your seats. All of you...Now, where was I?

JADE LAUGHS. BILBO GROANS.

JADE

You were telling us about your memory, sir.

TEACHER

Was I? Was I really? Was I? Well I shouldn't be doing that sort of thing in school time. Take out your books and turn to Lesson Two.  What is Lesson Two...? No, that's not right. Have we finished Lesson One? What is Lesson One? Answer me...You, girl...Answer...

CALI GRUNTS.

WILL CALI GET IT TOGETHER?

CAN HIC'S FRIENDS SAVE HIM FROM BOOZE AND DRUGS?

WILL THE TEACHER REMAIN EMPLOYED?

FOR THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS AND TO READ THE ENTIRE SCRIPT, SEND ME AN EMAIL TELLING ME YOU WANT TO PRODUCE THIS TRAGI-COMIC PLAY ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE.