tears_of_blood.htmTEARS OF BLOOD. (Running Time 90 minutes in two 45 minute halves.)





...is a parody of a Victorian  melodrama.  The action takes
 place in the home of Lord and Lady Marmaduke. Belle, the mill girl, is
 brought home by Algernon, Lord and Lady Marmaduke’s second oldest son.
 He plans to marry her.  Lady Marmaduke plots with Sir Darkly Threatening
 Marmaduke, to kill his senile lordship and inherit the family fortune.  She
 has Sir Darkly murder Humphrey, Lord Marmaduke’s oldest son and heir
 and Lady Marmaduke’s step son.
Belle is blamed for the murder and both she and the heroic Algernon must
struggle against Lady Marmaduke and the evil villain sir Darkly to clear their names.
CAST

SIR MARMADUKE MARMADUKE C.B.E: KCBE: DSO & 2 BARS: PHD.: FATHER. RATHER THICK

.LADY GERTRUDE MARMADUKE:  STEP-MOTHER. CUNNING RASCAL

ALGERNON MARMADUKE: 2ND OLDEST SON. PEDANTIC CLOT & ROMANTIC HERO.

BELLE STONE: ROMANTIC HEROINE.: PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW.

SIR DARKLY THREATENING:   EXTREMELY NASTY VILLAIN, BROTHER OF SIR MARMADUKE.

 

TEARS OF BLOOD was first produced by Bearly Together Co.

The first production took place at Theatre 62 in Adelaide, which was converted to Theatre / Restaurant style for the production.  TEARS OF BLOOD toured South Australia twice with Bearly Together Co.  Music for the production is available from the author on request.

Time: 1900. We are in the drawing room of the Marmaduke family home.

The setting is plush and in good taste except for a ghastly rug bearing the
head of a dead animal which is on the floor in the centre of the room.
A small grand piano is stage left. A chaise-longue to the right of the
fireplace over which a dark portrait of Queen Victoria hangs. There are

French doors to the left and a door to the right.

LIGHTS UP. THE CAST ENTER INTO THE AUDIENCE. THEY PLAY

THE AUDIENCE AT THEIR TABLES, INTRODUCING THEMSELVES,
CHATTING ABOUT THE MEAL, THEIR CHARACTERS AND THOSE
OF THE REST OF THE CAST, ETC. ONCE THEY HAVE ESTABLISHED
A RAPPORT WITH THE AUDIENCE, THEY MOUNT THE STAGE AND
FORM A TABLEAU. SIR MARMADUKE MARMADUKE BREAKS FROM
THIS TABLEAU AND COMES CENTRE STAGE. EACH CHARACTER
BREAKS FROM THE TABLEAU TO ADDRESS THE AUDIENCE AND

RETURNS TO IT ON COMPLETION OF THEIR ADDRESS.

Sir Marmaduke

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to this evening's

performance of TEARS OF BLOOD. Can we all say that together

please? TEARS OF BLOOD (he plays the audience until they 'get it right').
I'm the patriarch, Sir Marmaduke Marmaduke, she's my wife, Lady Gertrude
Marmaduke, OBE. He's my son, The Honourable Algernon, he's my brother,
Sir Darkly Threatening Marmaduke, and she's Belle, the heroine. As you will
all have gathered by now due to my position here centre stage, speaking to
you extempore and first, I am the most important character in Tears of Blood.
Gertrude
I'm the matriarch, Lady Gertrude Marmaduke, Sir Marmy's good wife. Or not so
good actually. I'm really a bit of a baddy and I'm in league with my brother-in-law,
Sir Marmaduke's brother, the villain, Sir Darkly Threatening Marmaduke. To tell
you the truth, I'm the most important character in the play.

Sir Darkly

They do talk such a lot of nonsense. I'm the villain of the piece, Sir Darkly Threatening.
You could tell by looking at me, couldn't you? Scarlet lined opera cape, moustache and
all that. You'd be pretty dim to mistake me for anything else, wouldn't you. Not exactly
cut out for the heroine, now am I? Of course, as everyone knows, the villain is the most
important part in a melodrama.
Algernon
Hang on. Hang on. Let's not get too carried away here. I'm the romantic hero and without
me there wouldn't be a show. My name is Algernon Marmaduke. I'm his son, her stepson,
his nephew and this is Belle, my true love and prospective bride. I am the most important
character and ours is the most important relationship in the play.
THERE IS A NOISY SQUABBLE FROM ALL CHARACTERS ABOUT
WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTER.
Belle 
Hang about here. Hang about. What about me? Belle the heroine from the wrong side of
the tracks. I'm the one who should get top billing here. Without a heroine how do you
have a melodrama? If it wasn't for me coming into the Marmaduke family home, nothing
would take place this evening. The heroine is the catalyst for everything that happens.

LIGHTING CHANGE AS ALL EXIT EXCEPT MARMADUKE AND GERTRUDE

 

THE FIRST FOUL ACT

 

Sir Marmaduke 

Oh, woe. Oh woe. Oh woe. Oh woe is me.

Gertrude

Whatever is the matter, Marmaduke?

Sir Marmaduke 
Listen to this telegram I have just this moment received. Arriving back from
my seaside holiday. Stop. Have met the love of my life. Stop. Am bringing her
with me. Stop. Signed Algernon. Your second oldest son.

Gertrude

He always did have a strange way of expressing himself.

Sir Marmaduke
It is not the expression which is of concern at this moment. It is the content
of the missive  The love of his life indeed and he a mere child of thirty-two.
Gertrude 
Thirty-two is not too young to fall in love. Why, do you not remember, that
was precisely my age when you begged poor dear dead papa for my hand in marriage.

Sir Marmaduke

You were far more mature than Algernon. Why, he is a mere child.

Gertrude 
Perhaps you should give him more responsibility. Let him work in one of
your business concerns.
Sir Marmaduke
Oh, it's my fault that Algernon is far younger than his age is it?
After you have kept him tied to your apron strings all these years.

Gertrude

I do not wear aprons.

Sir Marmaduke

Do not play the pedant...

Gertrude

Peedant!

Sir Marmaduke

You understand my meaning perfectly well.

Gertrude 

Let us not quarrel, Marmaduke my dear.

Sir Marmaduke
Then again, I suppose one should not prejudge. This young lady Algernon
has met and is bringing home to us may well turn out to be perfectly acceptable.
Gertrude 

And she may not.

Sir Marmaduke
She may turn out to be eminently suitable. A young gal of breeding and distinction.
Gertrude 
More likely a fortune hunter haunting the seaside resorts looking for a likely mark.
Sir Marmaduke
Do you think my second oldest son would bring home a fortune hunter.
(Aside)   Under my roof! Under my roof.  Oh! It's enough to make an old man
weep tears of blood. Tears of blood.
Gertrude 
Marmaduke my dear, you do get yourself so worked up. . The doctor said...
Sir Marmaduke 

Oh, to blazes with the doctor.

Gertrude 

He warned you to watch your blood pressure. Have another port.

Sir Marmaduke        

Perhaps we should reserve judgement until we have met the young damsel?

Gertrude                    
Proper young ladies do not go to the seaside and if they do, they
certainly do not meet young men there. Does the telegram tell us
what time to expect them?
Sir Marmaduke        
No it doesn't. Let me see, it was sent at ten am. They would catch the
11 o'clock train which means they should arrive at any moment.

THERE IS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR, ALGERNON ENTERS FOLLOWED BY BELLE.

Algernon                    

Father, it is I, Algernon, your second oldest son.

Sir Marmaduke        

I thought it might be.

Algernon                    

And this is the love of my life, Belle.

Sir Marmaduke        

Belle?

Algernon                    

Yes isn't it a pretty name?  Oh, isn't she just too, too divine?

Sir Marmaduke        

Is your name really Belle, child?

Belle                          

Yes, sir.

Gertrude                   

Do you know her, Marmaduke?

Sir Marmaduke        

Her name has a familiar ring.

Belle                          

Oh, Algernon, what a lovely dear old papa you have.

Sir Marmaduke        

Do you really think so, m'dear.

Belle                          
Why yes, you are exactly as Algernon described you. A high, noble forehead,
wise, kind eyes, a strong, determined jaw, noble carriage. In short, a gentleman
of manly mane
Algernon                    

Miane

Gertrude                    

Mien!

Belle                          

Mien... Obviously springing from noble linage.

Sir Marmaduke        
Egad, it seems Algernon, that you have chosen a young gal of exquisite
taste and discrimination. Come, my dear, sit on my knee and let us become acquainted.
Gertrude                    
One moment, dear husband. Should we not quiz this young lady further upon her
background before becoming so... familiar?
Sir Marmaduke        
It is as plain as the nose on your face that here we have a young lady of
distinction. I've a good mind to take her up to my chambers and show her
my... private things.
Algernon                    

Oh father, how very kind.

Gertrude                    

You must be hungry after your long journey from the seaside.

Belle                          

Oh yes, I have had nothing since breakfast.

Sir Marmaduke        

Nothing since breakfast?

Algernon                    

Three hours ago.

Sir Marmaduke        

Algernon, take Belle to the kitchen and tell cook to make her a sandwich.
Algernon                    

Yes, father.

BELLE AND ALGERNON EXIT.

Sir Marmaduke        

And Algernon...

ALGERNON RE-ENTERS

Algernon                    

Yes, father?

Sir Marmaduke        

Tell cook to go easy on the butter.

Algernon                    

Yes, father.

ALGERNON EXITS

Sir Marmaduke        

And Algernon…

ALGERNON RE-ENTERS

Algernon                    

Yes, father?

Sir Marmaduke        

Have one yourself.

LIGHTS DOWN AND THEN UP
Gertrude                    

Will Belle be accused of a dastardly crime?  Will they ever

stop punning on her name?

To find out more, send me an email telling me you want

to produce this juicy, fruity melodrama.  It has had several

successful seasons.

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