Monday, 21 July 2014

Fortune Favours Episode 1 - Fired!

Here you are; Fortune Favours, Episode 1. I know it didn't go anywhere, but I'm still happy with it. I'm sorry about the formatting - I've tried to make it as clear as possible, but the Word to Blogger interface is awkward.

Pip Mulgrue
Character list
Alex – (Female) mid 20s – Radio presenter
Paul – (Male) late 30s – Radio producer
Chris – (Male) early 40s – Sound engineer
Shelly – (Female) 19 – Workfare placement
Nicholas – (Male) 50s – Station manager
Martin – (Male) 40s – Radio presenter

ALEX:                (CLOSE) So just another reminder to all you lovely Sandyhavenites; the team and I will be at the Alder Road allotments between two and four this afternoon. Come on, guys! A little bit of hard work and we can save them from closure! Stay tuned for the traffic and weather report, but first, here’s a little Village People to get you into that Friday working mood.
CHRIS:              Is there such a thing as a Friday working mood?
ALEX:                ‘Course there is! It’s that burst of energy you get when you need to give the week just one last push.
CHRIS:              People do that?
PAUL:               Not normal people.
CHRIS:              My Friday working mood is more; try to finish the week without throttling anyone.
PAUL:               Yep – that’s the normal one.
ALEX:                We’re going to have great weather this afternoon. Not too hot, not too dry.
PAUL:               So it’s going to be cold and wet.
ALEX:                Better that when we’re doing physical labour. There’s a lot for us to clear.
PAUL:               For you to clear…
ALEX:                To be cleared. People will come and help. You’ll see.
12 FX:               DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.
SHELLY:           Tea for you, Alex.
ALEX:                Thanks, Shelly. You’re a treasure.
SHELLY:           Tea, Paul.
PAUL:               Thank you, Shelly.
SHELLY:           I might of spat in yours.
PAUL:               Much obliged, Shelly. Are you going to give me a clue as to how I’ve offended you this time?
SHELLY:           Like, you should just know!
PAUL:               Heads up; our lord and master approaches.
FX:                      DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.
NICHOLAS:    Bit busy in here, isn’t it?
SHELLY:           I’m just going.
NICHOLAS:    Why are you here… Chris, isn’t it? Shouldn’t you be in the control room?
CHRIS:              There was a static issue. I wanted to check the…
NICHOLAS:    I don’t care. I need a minute, Paul.
PAUL:               You can have five if you just wait thirty seconds…
ALEX:                (CLOSE) Well I hope that that got you all up and moving! Today’s weather; watch out for scattered showers and occasional sudden squalls, so fab news for all you gardeners, but tie everything down securely. Everything looks great on the roads so far, and today’s accident at the Church Road junction hasn’t happened yet, so well done, all you Church Road drivers! You’re listening to Radio Sandyhaven, the station that brings light to your day. Now here’s a word from our sponsors.
PAUL:               Clear. What do you need, Nicholas? We’ve got a packed show.
NICHOLAS:    Yes. Apparently it’s packed with a campaign to clean up some allotments.
ALEX:                Oh, Nicholas, will you be coming too?
NICHOLAS:    No, I will not, young lady. What’s more, you won’t be there either.
ALEX:                What do you mean? Are you threatening me with detention?          
NICHOLAS:    My dear, I’m threatening you with disciplinary action! We agreed there would be no more public campaigns! People don’t want to hear it while they’re trying to digest their cornflakes!
ALEX:                Nonsense! That’s when people get five minutes to engage with civic life.
NICHOLAS:    Alex, first thing in the morning, people want to feel that all is well with the world. Everything is tickety-boo just the way things are, and they don’t need to worry their sweet little heads about anything.
ALEX:                (BLOWS LIPS) I think you’re hugely underestimating the people of the town.
NICHOLAS:    I think you’re hugely underestimating how interested I am in discussing this. I’ve said ‘no more’ and that’s final, OK?
PAUL:               (PAUSE) She understands, Nicholas.
NICHOLAS:    Good. And I expect you to keep her under control, Paul. Oh, and no more Village People. We get complaints from listeners.
ALEX:                You get complaints from Mr Steadman of Deanary Close. One complaint from one listener. And he ought to broaden his horizons.
NICHOLAS:    Alex, I’m going to make this nice and simple for you. Mr Steadman is a…? Come on now, one of you must know!
CHRIS:              He’s a listener.
NICHOLAS:    Good man! Well done. And listeners bring…?
PAUL:               Revenue.
NICHOLAS:    Precisely. Mr Steadman, brings money to the station, whereas you, Alex, are a constant drain. I need to keep him happy. Your happiness is significantly less important.
ALEX:                But if you just…
NICHOLAS:    I’ve have said no, and my word is final!
PAUL:               She understands, Nicholas No more Village People.
NICHOLAS:    Good boy. Remember, I’m relying on you, Paul.
FX                       DOOR CLOSES.
ALEX:                Mr Steadman is a bigot.
PAUL:               Be that as it may, just toe the line for a bit.
ALEX:                Only one member of Village People was gay anyway.
PAUL:               Alex, stay focussed…
ALEX:                That’s a twenty per cent gay total. There was a higher proportion of gay people in Queen. And a hundred per cent of Elton John is gay, and Candle in the Wind remains our most requested song.
CHRIS:              Really? Which version?
PAUL:               Both; the people of Sandyhaven have no taste. And that’s Nicholas’s point, Alex. They don’t want to engage or join in; they want to sit in their comfortable little homes and feel looked after. Just stay focussed and try to get through the rest of the show without annoying Nicholas. Please?
ALEX:                (CLOSE) Welcome back, guys! Now, we have a phone-in coming up sparked by a little debate we’re having in the office; how much gay is too much gay in a band? I say; who cares as long as the sound is good! But what do you think, Sandyhaven? Email, text or just call in! You’re listening to Radio Sandyhaven, where profits matter more than people!
FX                       DOOR OPENS
NICHOLAS:    Alex! You’re fired!


ATMOS:                                    NICHOLAS’ OFFICE

NICHOLAS:    You know what, Paul, in all my years as a station manager I’ve never had the pleasure of firing anyone. It was surprisingly fulfilling. I ought to send little Alex a thank you note.
PAUL:               That’s great, Nicholas, but Alex is really very sorry.
NICHOLAS:    Is she?
PAUL:               Probably. Please, give her one more chance.
NICHOLAS:    I gave her one more chance after the graffiti campaign fiasco.
PAUL:               That was an accident…
NICHOLAS:    She whitewashed over a fifteen hundred pound mural.
PAUL:               And she apologised. Now I know more than anyone that Alex is a little…
NICHOLAS:    Psychotic?
PAUL:               Highly charged, but the listeners really like her!
NICHOLAS:    We get more complaints about that woman than we do for all our other presenters combined.
PAUL:               But we also get more listeners!
NICHOLAS:    Yes! Some of them sit there with notepads, making lists of complaints. She has them reaching for the Valium!
PAUL:               Maybe a different time slot would work better? What about drive time?
NICHOLAS:    Drive time? God no! Can you imagine the accidents?
PAUL:               Tea time then?
NICHOLAS:    No. The firing of Alex was strangely satisfying, and I have no inclination to take it back. Funny how such a tiny phrase can be so deeply fulfilling to say. You’re fired.
PAUL:               You’re fired? Really? I’m not sure I’m feeling it myself. I think ‘you’re rehired’ is much better.
NICHOLAS:    That’s because you don’t understand, Paul. You’re fired.
PAUL:               So, more like you’re fired. Nope, still not getting it.
NICHOLAS:    It’s really simple, Paul. You’re fired.
PAUL:               Do I have to point too?
NICHOLAS:    No. You just have to listen.
PAUL:               Oh.

ATMOS:          Pub.
ALEX:                Hi, Paul! You wanted to see me? What’s up?
PAUL:               Nothing’s up. I’m about to get quite startlingly drunk, and I suggest that you do the same.
ALEX:                Why?
PAUL:               Well we’ve both just been fired. It’s what you do when you’ve just been fired.
ALEX:                That’s madness. Surely when you’ve been fired, you should start a campaign to get your old job back.
PAUL:               Yes! I’m glad you think so too! I didn’t think you would!
ALEX:                Of course I do. I’m sure the people of Sandyhaven want us back. I’ve started designing some fliers…
PAUL:               Oh, you meant an actual campaign.
ALEX:                Yes. What did you mean?
PAUL:               I meant going to see Nicholas and grovelling at his feet.
ALEX:                Grovelling?
PAUL:               Yes. Grovelling and apologising and possibly some begging too.
ALEX:                But he was in the wrong.
PAUL:               Be that as it may; you need to apologise.
ALEX:                I don’t want to apologise.
PAUL:               Neither do I, but I do want my old job back.
ALEX:                Which brings us back to my fliers.
PAUL:               No. Sorry, Alex, but no. There will be no fliers this time. No banners, no placards, no marching bands. Now, what’ll you have?
ALEX:                A lemonade if you must.
PAUL:               You have to have a proper drink. An alcoholic drink.
ALEX:                But I don’t drink.
PAUL:               Well that explains a lot. What sounds nice to you? Pick something.
ALEX:                I’ve always wondered about absinth. Is it minty?
PAUL:               One pint of bitter please, and a glass of wine for the lady.
FX:                      GLASSES PUT DOWN.
PAUL:               Cheers, Alex. For what it’s worth, it’s been really interesting working with you.
ALEX:                Thanks, Paul.
FX:                      GLASSES CHINKING.
ALEX:                (GULPING) Oo, it’s quite a lot sharper than I imagined. Not bad though.
PAUL:               Yeah, maybe slow down just a touch…

ALEX:                But the thing is, Paul, the thing… the thing is, and I never, ever told you this, but the thing is, that you always looked after me. You’re lovely for that!
PAUL:               Of course, you would be a happy drunk. Can’t you just try being depressed?
ALEX:                Oh, Paul. You don’t mean that you cheeky boy.
SHELLY:           Hiya.
PAUL:               Shelly? What are you doing here?
SHELLY:           Chris said you’d probably be here. I wanted to tell you that I quit too. In solidarity.
PAUL:               With me?
SHELLY:           No, ‘course not. With Alex.
ALEX:                Oh, Shelly! Oh you’re such a generous, amazing woman! Didn’t I always say, Paul, didn’t I say that she’s a peach! Such a gorgeous, pink and fluffy little peach!
PAUL:               Er, Shelly, aren’t you on workfair?
SHELLY:           Yeah. So?
PAUL:               I don’t think you’re allowed to just walk out. They’ll stop your benefits.
SHELLY:           What, so I’ve just got to turn up every day, and put up with anything that Old Nick says?
PAUL:               Yes.
SHELLY:           That’s just slavery, that is!
PAUL:               Pretty much.
SHELLY:           Well that sucks. Lend us a fiver for a drink.
CHRIS:              Evening. I thought I’d see what you were all up to.
ALEX:                And it’s Steve too!
CHRIS:              Chris.
ALEX:                Oh Chris! I never told you but…
CHRIS:              Yeah?
ALEX:                You’re just the best… the best… you’re so good at doing that thing that you do!
CHRIS:              I’m a sound engineer.
ALEX:                And you’re amazing at it! Such an important… important part of the team! You, you, you made the show, Steve!
CHRIS:              Chris.
ALEX:                Chris.
CHRIS:              I’ll get a round in. What are you all having?
PAUL:               Bitter.
SHELLY:           Wicked.
ALEX:                This wine, Chris, this wine here, is the most beautiful drink in the world.
PAUL:               But I really don’t think she needs any more.
CHRIS:              How many has she had?
PAUL:               That’s her first.
ALEX:                Oh, Paul, you’re doing it again! You’re looking after my best… best… best interesting. I love you.
PAUL:               (MUFFLED) Get off me!
CHRIS:              Er, I really care for you too, Alex.
ALEX:                Oh, Steve!
CHRIS:              It’s still Chris.
ALEX:                Chris.
CHRIS:              Yes?
ALEX:                Chris.
CHRIS:              Yes?
ALEX:                (VOMITS) Oh, Chris!
CHRIS:              It’s fine, Alex.
ALEX:                Your shoes are beautiful!
PAUL:               Right, I’m going to walk her home. Come on Alex, up you come.
CHRIS:              Shall I get you a pint in?
PAUL:               Yeah. Actually no. After I drop her off, I’m going to pop round and see Old Nick.

ATMOS:                  STREET. EVENING.
ALEX:                The thing is… the thing is… it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. My whole life. I just wanted to show the people of Sandyhaven how amazing they all are! I think that, so many of them are tired out with life and they look at each other with sus… sus…
PAUL:               (PANTING) Suspicion?
ALEX:                Yeah, suspension, and I just wanted to get them all to see that they’re actually amazing, and Sandyhaven’s amazing. That’s all I ever wanted. For my town to work. Isn’t that everyone’s ambition? Really deep down?
PAUL:               It was my ambition to have a job that paid the rent, the car repayments, and the golf-course fees.
ALEX:                Oh, you don’t mean that.
PAUL:               I really do. Why do you have to live all the way at the top of the hill? And where are your keys.
ALEX:                Keys?
PAUL:               Got them.
FX                       DOOR UNLOCKING AND OPENING.
PAUL:               Good lord, your flat’s horrible.
ALEX:                No, it’s amazing.
PAUL:               Your salary wasn’t that bad! Why on earth do you live in this dump?
ALEX:                I’ll show you.
FX:                      CURTAINS OPENING.
ALEX:                See? This is the only house in Sandyhaven where you can look out and see the whole town. All of it, just lying there in the valley.
PAUL:               God, what a sight.
ALEX:                I know! See there? There’s the harbour. It’s not so busy now. And further on, the beach. And all the houses, all of them, with all the amazing people.
PAUL:               Is that the primary school on fire?
ALEX:                What day is it?
PAUL:               Tuesday.
ALEX:                Then yes. Pass me the phone.

ATMOS:          PAUL’S FLAT.
PAUL:               Just coming! Just coming! Pipe down!
FX                                                 DOOR OPENING
PAUL:               Oh. Hello, Alex. What the hell are you doing here? What time is it?
ALEX:                It’s six thirty.
PAUL:               Why are you here at this ungodly hour in the morning?
ALEX:                Oh, pish! We were up earlier than this for the show!
PAUL:               But the thing is you don’t work on the show any more. So six thirty is for sleeping now.
ALEX:                Don’t be a slugabed! Time’s getting on, and we need to strike when the inspiration is pouring through our veins!
PAUL:               How are you not hungover?
ALEX:                I had a bit of a headache earlier.
PAUL:               There was an earlier?
ALEX:                Focus now, Paul, are we both on the same page?
PAUL:               There’s a page?
ALEX:                Yes there’s a page! There’s a whole book! Remember, last night in the pub, we agreed about our new radio station!
PAUL:               About what?
ALEX:                The new radio station. The one we’re going to build. The four of us.
PAUL:               What pub were you in? Because that didn’t happen in my pub.
ALEX:                Yes it did! Look, I even wrote out our manifesto when I got home…
FX:                      PAGES TURNING.
PAUL:               Your writing is suspiciously neat given the state you were in.
ALEX:                That’s not important. What’s important is that we’re going to build a radio station that’s for the town; not just for the money.
PAUL:               Are you sure you wrote this last night?
ALEX:                What? Yes, of course I did.
PAUL:               It’s just; this is an exercise book from school…
ALEX:                So, what does it matter? The important point is…
PAUL:               Your fourth year science book, to be exact…
ALEX:                It really doesn’t matter when it was written.
PAUL:               You’ve been planning to create a community radio station since you were fourteen?
ALEX:                Yes! Doesn’t everyone? Listen, Paul, you need to focus now. The radio station – the manifesto; what do you think?
PAUL:               I think you're mad! Genuinely, honestly, really think you should get a doctor involved, mad. There’s already a radio station here, remember? You worked there until yesterday.
ALEX:                There's more than enough room in this town for two radio stations!
PAUL:               This is Sandyhaven! There are only about 12 people here!
ALEX:                There are 10,232 people here. And at least half the fifth form girls are pregnant.
PAUL:               Well Mrs Baker downstairs looks like she's on her last legs!
ALEX:                Lindsay Brown is expecting twins.
PAUL:               How do you even know this stuff?
ALEX:                It's my town! I care!
PAUL:               You care about Lindsay Brown's twins?
ALEX:                Yes! Someone has to! You should too. You should be stepping in to help Mrs Baker downstairs. Not standing by idly, waiting to cross her off the census.
PAUL:               I’m not! I just…
ALEX:                What?
PAUL:               I really like her flat. She has the garden.
ALEX:                Come on now, Paul, I need to know what you think. Are you in, or are you out? Quickly, before the others get here.
PAUL:               What others?
ALEX:                Chris and Shelly of course! They’re founder members!
PAUL:               You invited other people to my flat, at 6:30 in the morning? What the hell are you?
FX:                      Doorbell. Door opens.
SHELLY:           Hi Paul. Wow. I mean, hello Paul.
PAUL:               Shelly. Come in if you must.
CHRIS:              Hi, Paul.
PAUL:               Chris. The psycho’s through there.
ALEX:                Good, now we’re all here, we should get started right away.
SHELLY:           Is there coffee? I was told there’d be breakfast.
ALEX:                Coffee can wait.
PAUL:               I’m not sure it can.
CHRIS:              Perhaps we should give Paul a chance to get dressed.
ALEX:                Oh he’s fine.
SHELLY:           He’s certainly a lot finer than I thought he would be.
PAUL:               Thanks.
SHELLY:           Nice boxers, by the way. Black silk, red hearts, very tasteful.
PAUL:               Really, thanks.
SHELLY:           Gift from your girlfriend, was it?
PAUL:               Please stop talking. Why don’t we all just listen to what Alex has to say, and then you can all get the hell out of my flat.
CHRIS:              I really, really need coffee. Shelly, don’t you usually make the coffee?
SHELLY:           Yeah, all right. Can I snoop around your kitchen, Paul?
PAUL:               Go right ahead. Why don’t you all just move in and have done? I’m going back to bed.
ALEX:                No, you’re going for a shower and to get dressed and we’ll reconvene at the kitchen table in ten minutes.
PAUL:               Argh!

PAUL:               (SIGH) Look, Alex, this just isn’t going to work.
ALEX:                So you keep saying! But you haven’t explained why!
PAUL:               Because nobody will listen. Nobody will pay for advertising. Nobody, to be frank, cares.
SHELLY:           Head’s up; I’ve made everyone bacon sarnies.
FX:                      PLATES BEING PUT DOWN.
CHRIS:              Cheer’s Shelly!
PAUL:               Is that all my bacon?
ALEX:                People will listen. I did a survey yesterday….
PAUL:               When?
ALEX:                Yesterday afternoon.
PAUL:               When yesterday afternoon?
ALEX:                Yesterday afternoon, when we were clearing the allotments.
PAUL:               That actually happened?
ALEX:                Of course it did! While I had people there, I sounded them out, and they all said that they’d listen to my radio station. So there you go. Listeners.
CHRIS:              Good sarnie, Shelly.
SHELLY:           Ta. There’s more if you want.
CHRIS:              Don’t mind if I do.
PAUL:               I mind! It’s my food you’re eating!
ALEX:                You need to learn how to share, Paul.
PAUL:               No I don’t! I don’t need to share my food, and I don’t need to look after Mrs Baker, and I don’t need to listen to you!
SHELLY:           Who’s Mrs Baker?
PAUL:               She’s not important.
ALEX:                She’s his downstairs neighbour.
SHELLY:           What, the one who looks like a corpse?
ALEX:                It’s more polite to say ‘frail’, Shelly.
PAUL:               She is not relevant to this discussion. OK then Alex, how many.
ALEX:                How many what?
PAUL:               How many people turned up to help?
ALEX:                I didn’t do a headcount.
PAUL:               Give me an estimate.
ALEX:                OK then, I’d say around… three.
PAUL:               Three!
ALEX:                But we’ve got to start somewhere!
PAUL:               Yes, but not in my flat!
ALEX:                Well that nicely brings us into he next point on the agenda.
SHELLY:           Is it about Paul’s pants? Because I don’t think we’ve sufficiently covered Paul’s pants.
ALEX:                No, Item two is; where should we record?
SHELLY:           So not, where did Paul get his pants?
PAUL:               I already told you; they were a gift. Now, and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but let’s get on with Alex’s agenda. So, where should this insane radio station record?
SHELLY:           What about Studio 3.
ALEX:                Studio 3?
SHELLY:           Yeah. I mean, I’ve not been in there, but there’s definitely a door in the basement of Radio Sandyhaven with ‘Studio 3’ written on it. I saw it on a cigarette break once.
PAUL:               You can’t smoke in the basement, Shelly!
SHELLY:           What do you care? You don’t even work there no more.
ALEX:                There’s a third studio?
CHRIS:              ‘Course there is. It’s been locked since the two new ones were opened ten years ago.
ALEX:                A phantom studio!
PAUL:               No, it’s more like a place that they keep forgetting to refurbish.
ALEX:                A lone studio, standing empty and unloved, buried deeply beneath the commercial surface that we see today...
PAUL:               Once again, it's just a studio. But you can’t use it; Nicholas won’t let you.
ALEX:                The building doesn’t belong to Nicholas. He’s just a manager.
PAUL:               But it’d cost money; we’d have to pay rent to the building landlords.
ALEX:                Blast! It was too perfect.
CHRIS:              Not as I remember it. It was old, damp, and the buttons kept jamming.
SHELLY:           The thing is, right, you haven’t ever mentioned a girlfriend, Paul.
PAUL:               What?
SHELLY:           Someone who might buy you silk boxer shorts.
PAUL:               Oh for heaven’s sake! Why on earth do you think I would chat about my love life with you! Now focus on the agenda, please!
ALEX:                Yes indeed! So where to record?
CHRIS:              There’s always my garage.
ALEX:                You can broadcast radio from a garage?
CHRIS:              Yeah. Now everything’s digital, you can record pretty much anywhere. You just need a sound desk and a server.
ALEX:                That’s amazing!
PAUL:               I’ll say! You own a garage?
CHRIS:              Well, own is a bit strong...
PAUL:               You rent one?
CHRIS:              Eeeehh.
PAUL:               You have access to a garage?
CHRIS:              Yeah. Go with that.
PAUL:               It has a lock?
CHRIS:              'Course it has a lock. I put one on it after I moved the sound desk in. Don't want that nicked.
PAUL:               Where exactly did you get a sound desk?
CHRIS:              Well, you know Studio 3…?
SHELLY:           We can’t broadcast from a garage.
CHRIS:              Why not?
SHELLY:           Where would we make the tea? Or go to the loo.
CHRIS:              I’ve got a bottle.
SHELLY:           For which?
PAUL:               I don’t want to know!
SHELLY:           Let’s not use Chris’s garage.
ALEX:                No. We’ll just have to rent studio three. There is no other way.
PAUL:               There’s possibly not even that way. Alex, you do understand that this is never going to happen, don’t you?
ALEX:                It will if we make it. Fortune favours the brave, Paul, and we’re that!
SHELLY:           I’m not sure I am.
CHRIS:              I know I’m not.
ALEX:                So we’re all agreed then? The four of us starting up radio… something.
PAUL:               It’s like there’s a whole world happening out here that you’re just not aware of!
SHELLY:           You know what? I'm in. ‘Specially if you tell the job centre that I’m working for you now.
CHRIS:              I’m happy to do a bit too, if you want me to, Alex.
ALEX:                Of course I do. What about you, Paul?
PAUL:               I just…
ALEX:                You have literally nothing better to do.
PAUL:               Actually, Alex, I sort of do.
ALEX:                What do you mean?
PAUL:               I had a conversation with Nicholas yesterday.
ALEX:                Oh really. Was there grovelling? And apologies?
PAUL:               I’m focussing on the fact that I still have a job. I’m on a week’s unpaid suspension, but I’m hoping to do a bit more grovelling and change that too.
ALEX:                So you won’t help us.
PAUL:               It’s not that I don’t want to…
ALEX:                Good then! Until you’re back to work, you can help us! Oh! I’ve just had a thought! You could be our man on the inside, advocating on our behalf!
PAUL:               Alex….
ALEX:                Fantastic! I’m going to get supplies, and I’ll meet you all at Studio 3 in an hour. See you then!
FX:                      DOOR CLOSES.
PAUL:               This is all going to end very badly, isn’t it?
CHRIS:              Here. Have the last sandwich.

ATMOS:          STUDIO 3
ALEX:                Right, are you all ready?
PAUL:               We’re on tenterhooks.
ALEX:                OK, let’s go.
FX                       DOOR UNLOCKING
ALEX:                Ta da! The new home of Radio… something.
PAUL:               Good God.
SHELLY:           (COUGHING) it’s a bit… a bit…
ALEX:                It’s perfect. Come on, guys; it’ll only ever be what we make of it.
PAUL:               I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to make anything of this.
ALEX:                A lick of paint, a bit of polish…
SHELLY:           Are those things rat droppings?
ALEX:                … and a vacuum, and it’ll be wonderful!
PAUL:               And who’s going to do all this work?
ALEX:                We are.
PAUL:               Yes. I was afraid of that.
ALEX:                I said we would in exchange for paying half rent for our first year.
PAUL:               So you said we’d pay rent for our first year?
ALEX:                Half rent.
PAUL:               Yes. Which still means some rent. And you still have no money.
ALEX:                Pish, that’s an easy problem to solve.
PAUL:               Yes, you can just go and gather some from the money tree in the courtyard.
ALEX:                Right, I bought polish and cloths. Here catch.
PAUL:               How does this work then?
ALEX:                It’s easy-peasy. Just spray like this…
FX:                      AEROSOL
ALEX:                (COUGH) then polish like this.
SHELLY:           I think someone spilled something here. Ew.
ALEX:                Now, while we’re working, let’s think about what we’re going to call our new radio station?
PAUL:               Isn’t it written in your science book?
ALEX:                No, I was more about ideals. Besides, it belongs to all of us, so it should be a group decision.
PAUL:               How about, Radio This Hasn't Got a Cat In Hell's Chance of Surviving?
SHELLY:           Catchy.
ALEX:                No. Come on people. We need something that reflects who we are...
PAUL:               Radio These are a Bunch of Nutters with a Bankruptcy Wish?
ALEX:                No, something more... something that reflects our passion for civic life.
SHELLY:           Civitas?
PAUL:               Civitas is a quango.
SHELLY:           Is that like a kangaroo?
PAUL:               No.
ALEX:                Something that reflects the dignity of the people...
SHELLY:           Dignitas?
PAUL:               Dignitas is an organisation that euthanizes people.
CHRIS:              There's a company that euthanizes people?
PAUL:               Yes. It’s in Switzerland.
CHRIS:              So one would have to travel to Switzerland, hypothetically?
PAUL:               Yes.
CHRIS:              Interesting.
PAUL:               I think you can only ask to have yourself euthanized. You can't ask for someone else.
CHRIS:              Oh. Forget it then.
PAUL:               Good-o. But perhaps not a good name for a radio station.
SHELLY:           I’m out of polish. I’m going to raid the supply cupboard.
PAUL:               It’s not our supply cupboard!
SHELLY:           Yeah. I don’t care.
FX                       DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
ALEX:                We want something with heart.
PAUL:               That’s taken.
ALEX:                Something magical.
PAUL:               Taken.
ALEX:                Something classic.
PAUL:               Taken.
ALEX:                Something timeless, like gold.
PAUL:               Oh God. I’m cleaning rat droppings from a studio that’s never, ever going to be used, aren’t I?
ALEX:                But it will! You’ll see! It really will!
PAUL:               I’m going to go and help Shelly with the supplies.
FX                       DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.
CHRIS:              And then there were two.
ALEX:                They’ll be back in a bit.
CHRIS:              Yeah. Alex?
ALEX:                Mm?
CHRIS:              Do you really, truly think this is going to work?
ALEX:                Of course. Don’t you?
CHRIS:              Well, yeah. It’s just that sometimes, just because you really want something to work, that doesn’t mean that it will actually work. It’s like people. You might fancy the pants off someone amazing, someone so beautiful and vibrant and vivacious, but somewhere, deep in the bottom of your heart, you know that you’re just a middle-aged, balding man with a bit of a kleptomania problem. You might really want it, but it wouldn’t work.
ALEX:                But how do you know if you don’t at least ask her? If you decide in advance that it won’t work, then it never will.
CHRIS:              Yeah. The thing is, Alex…
ALEX:                Whoever it is, I promise we’ll work on it later for you. There’s no reason for you to sell yourself short, just because you’re old and grey and a bit… criminally minded.
CHRIS:              Yeah, look…
ALEX:                But let’s just do one thing at once, hey? Let’s get this going, and then you can tell her you’re on the board of Radio Whatever We’re Called. That’s something!
CHRIS:              Yeah, I suppose.
ALEX:                Actually, where are the other two? They can’t both have got lost.

CHRIS:              Sh. Stay where you are! Get behind that plant!
ALEX:                (WHISPERS) Why?
CHRIS:              Nicholas is in the foyer. He’s talking to Paul.
ALEX:                Let’s see! Oh, well there you are! Paul’s clearly explaining the whole situation to him. I told you he’d be our advocate.
CHRIS:              Old Nick looks surprisingly happy that there’s a rival radio station about to start broadcasting from the basement.
ALEX:                Well he’s a reasonable man.
CHRIS:              Is he? Who’s he with?
ALEX:                I Don’t know. Shall I go and see?
CHRIS:              No. Stay out of sight.
ALEX:                Whoever he is, he seems very engaging. Look at Paul’s smile.
CHRIS:              Yep. That’s totally genuine.
ALEX:                And now they’re all shaking hands! This is perfect! I’m going to see who it is.
CHRIS:              No! Alex, stay down…. Alex!
ALEX:                Good morning, Nicholas! I see Paul’s squared everything away with you!
PAUL:               Er, Alex…
ALEX:                Hello! I’m pleased to meet you! I’m Alex, the breakfast show presenter.
MARTIN:        I’m Martin. The breakfast show presenter.
NICHOLAS:    Paul’s going to start working with him tomorrow. That’s such good news, don’t you think, Alex!
ALEX:                (PAUSE) Yes. Yes of course it is.
NICHOLAS:    Come on now, boys. Why don’t we all go for a celebratory lunch?
PAUL:               I’ll see you later, Alex.
ALEX:                Right.
CHRIS:              Alex, I’m so sorry…
ALEX:                No! It’s a good thing! Paul wanted to work for Radio Sandyhaven, and now he does. And he’s my friend. So I’m happy.
CHRIS:              Oh, Alex. There’s something else I need to tell you.
ALEX:                Mm? What is it?
CHRIS:              Well, I never left my old job.
ALEX:                What?
CHRIS:              I didn’t leave and I wasn’t fired. I was just helping you out in my spare time, but I’ve got to go back to work now.
ALEX:                Oh, of course. Well, have a good day, Chris.

MARTIN:        (CLOSE) So, all you lovely people; let’s all get moving and shaking with a bit of… Coldplay.
MARTIN:        (CONT.) Phew! Was that OK?
PAUL:               Yes, you were great.
MARTIN:        But do you think they’ll like me? Was that too full on in the morning? Maybe I should be a bit more… (BBC VOICE) Good morning to all our listeners…
PAUL:               Really, you just need to relax. Be yourself.
MARTIN:        Oh yes, of course. But which myself should I be? I have a whole heap of myselfs I’ve been trying out.
FX:                                               DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
SHELLY:           Tea for you, Paul.
PAUL:               (CLEARS THOAT) Thank you, Shelly.
SHELLY:           Yeah. Right. And for you this…
MARTIN:        Hot chocolate? Did you follow my instructions?
SHELLY:           Pretty much.
MARTIN:        Thank you, sweetheart.
SHELLY:           Whatever.
PAUL:               Shelly?
SHELLY:           Mm?
PAUL:               They were a Christmas present from Mrs Baker downstairs.
SHELLY:           Mrs Baker! (LAUGHS)
FX:                      DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.
MARTIN:        Mrs Baker?
PAUL:               Sorry. Private joke.
MARTIN:        Do you know that girl?
PAUL:               We’re quite informal here.
MARTIN:        Yes, but surely not with the tea-girl.
PAUL:               You’re back in three, two…
MARTIN:        (CLOSE) Oh! Er, the time is currently… er, quarter to eight-ish, and… hang on, I wasn’t ready. Er, oh yes, adverts. Here are some things you might want to, er… buy.
MARTIN:        (CONT.) I think it’s probably better if I concentrate on the show between segments. Keep things a bit quiet in here.
PAUL:               Fine. Actually, I need a quick word with Nicholas. You’ll be OK for a second?
MARTIN:        No!
FX:                      DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
NICHOLAS:    Ah, Paul, how is young Martin getting along?
PAUL:               Where on earth did you find him?
NICHOLAS:    In the usual place. He might need you to take him under your wing a bit, but I’m sure you’re not above a spot of babysitting.
PAUL:               What previous experience does he have?
NICHOLAS:    Oh, loads. He was responsible for the privatisation of all the playgrounds in Elmswood. They turn over a hundred thousand pounds profit per annum now! If he does the same here, you’ll be back on your old salary in no time.
PAUL:               Right. But what experience does he have in radio?
NICHOLAS:    Not so much there. But experience in radio doesn’t always get you where you need, Paul. Surely that silly little girl Alex is living testament of that! Anyhow, Martin’s a great little chap. You just need to guide his way.
FX:                      DOOR OPENS
MARTIN:        Uncle Nicky? I think I’ve done something bad.
NICHOLAS:    Off you go, Paul. Clean up all the little messes.
PAUL:               Just a second, Martin. Nicholas, remember we were discussing phrases the other day, and the ones that can make you feel really good?
NICHOLAS:    Er, vaguely, vaguely..
PAUL:               I’ve got another one you might like.
NICHOLAS:    Really? Out with it then, man! Time is money!
PAUL:               I quit!