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June 15, 2010

Sermon on the Mount: Harrow–on–the–hill

Radio Play: The Revolution

Luke – teenage boy, fairly well-spoken
Eve – teenage girl, strong London accent
Teenage preacher – London accent
Matt – teenage boy

[Background laughter and screaming of teenage kids]

[Luke, panting slightly as he is walking]:
We could all feel the movement coming; perhaps it was the knock-off cider diluting our blood, making every step up the hill just slightly more purposeful, or that just one week before a kid from Whitmore had been stabbed outside the bus station. I could see Matt, eagerly trying to make it to the top first, in all his intoxicated glory, tripping over tree stumps and abandoned wine bottles.

[Sound of glass smashing and boy yelling OW!]

The sun was flickering into nothingness, like a cigarette being feverishly puffed, lungs determined not to miss a single dose of nicotine.

[Sound of lighter being flicked numerous times until cigarette is lit and voice inhales]

We all anticipated the blue lights of the law illuminating Hillspur Road soon, to take the underage stoners back home. I was surprised to see such an impressive crowd forming, a hundred flies on a carcass. I immediately wanted to leave, made anxious by the presence of some of the Whitmore kids who were a little more rough and ready that the Queensmead and Field End lot.

[Eve]:
I dunt even know why we came though yeah!? Look at these freaks. It’s like some kind of juvenile asylums broke loose yeah.

[Luke]:
Yet something made me stay. Something was in the air, something of a revolution. I so badly didn’t want to be part of it, not another sheep in that crowd of blurred faces... but I stayed. That’s when I heard him speaking.

[Teen Preacher]:
Don’t hate on the poor, for their currency is the air we breathe, their pennies are experience and they will not succumb to the dictator that is capitalism.

Bless those whose brothers have fallen, they did not hold the knife but it cut them the deepest, and we will do all we can to prevent such reckless violence. Our respect goes out to the Whitmore crowd that is here tonight.

[3 Seconds silence]

[Luke]:
Everyone bowed their heads, some even took off their baseball caps and a few of the girls could be seen crying. There was some laughter, at the ridiculousness of it all, but a few of the more intimidating lads shot vicious looks at those of us who dared to mock them.

[Teenage Preacher]:
Celebrate the sober, for their livers are probably in a fitter state that our Father’s, and theirs are the paths we follow home (in the back of Ford KAs that have no road tax).

Thank God for the peacemakers, who endeavour to make sure we only return home with one black eye and not two, and prevent us from jumping to ludicrous conclusions (sorry John, could have sworn I saw you getting off with my ex Mary that time).

[Luke]:
The tension broke, and we dared to laugh, some of us even called out in agreement.

[Teenage Preacher]:
And what would we do without those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, who take bullets for us in the court because they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and “owed us one.”

[Eve]:
Yeah like James man! Stabbed just cos of his postcode yeah? It ain’t right man.

[Teenage Preacher]:
I hear you sister! And it’s people like James we owe our lives to. They are the light of our world, the matches that ignite our cigarettes, the flame that burnt down the science block.

[Cheers from the Field End crowd]

So forgive each other your wrong-doings, forgive the boy who stole your girlfriend, forgive the friend who never answers your texts, forgive the parents who didn’t send you to private school and have thus dashed your hopes of a future, forgive the drunk Uncle and the mentally ill Aunt.

[Matt]:
Don’t forget my slag of a sister!

[Laughter]

[Teenage Preacher]:
And your slag of a sister of course Matt, we all know here well.

[Matt]:
Oi! Too far!

[Teenage Preacher]:
And do not be led into a life of temptation; resist the evils of this world. We shall not fight with knives or guns; we shall fight with words, with the sacred dictionary.
[Cheering]
Do not judge or you shall be judged in return, and we’re all self-medicated or slipped anxiety pills by our Mothers.

[The sound of police sirens begin quietly in the background, growing louder]

And we will not be jealous of each other! You can also get a girl as hot as your mate! Girls, you are worthy of a boy with brains and brawn (I’m single by the way ladies), and you can get that job, you will buy those Topshop jeans, because you are incredibly special and no one has such impeccable taste as you.

Turn the other cheek, but if you can’t, outwit them with your words and not your fists.

And love your neighbour! Enough of the postcode wars yeah guys?!

[Cheering and applause, sirens very loud now]

[Luke]:
That’s when we ran, free into the night, knowing we had heard it first, that we were the revolution. Some got arrested, others beaten by their Mother’s for being home late but we all knew it had been worth it. It had begun


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