Friday, October 3, 2014

Edward II by Christopher Marlowe, Venture Wolf Productions, London Theatre.


"All they that love not Tobacco and Boys are fools". 

Gay is the word. Christopher Marlowe found a muse in man's love for man, and infused it in much of his work - particularly in the erotic epyllion, Hero and Leander. Turning over the weighty pages of Holinshed's Chronicles, the twenty something Christopher Marlowe chose Edward II's charged relationship with low-born Gaveston for dramatisation into one of England's first fully realised History plays - a genre that Shakespeare would adopt and make his own. 

Edward II is a pacy, racy, roller coaster of a ride, which establishes its theme in Gaveston's first delighted words - of male love and loyalty taken to such heights that it causes civil war, and the eventual downfall of a king. 

As with his earlier play, the Massacre at Paris, here is a drama in which plot takes precedence over language, without the psychological investigations and existential hand-wringing characteristic of Marlowe's illustrious contemporary. From the clearly chipped characters and fast paced plot, you get the feeling that Marlowe was an excitable, direct sort of character - just the type to get himself embroiled in a squabble in Deptford in May 1593. He never saw his thirties. 

Edward II was his final drama, published shortly after his death. It's a moody, antagonistic work - a play looking for trouble - a libertine fuck you to mainstream, respectable, puritan England. 

Shakespeare may have watched the play with mixed feelings. Marlowe had been the darling of the Oxbridge literati classes - the insider's outsider. Shakespeare meanwhile had no university education - he wanted to be an outsider, accepted by the insiders. How could he out-radical Marlowe, while keeping the punters packed in?  The anything-goes Edward II freed things up for Shakespeare, and encouraged the bard to push boundaries just as far. Richard II, penned shortly afterwards, resonated with variations on Marlowe's sexual politics. 

Edward II is a serious, adult work, and I feared the worst as I entered the subterranean London Theatre in New Cross. to be greeted by enthusiastic young actors in 1920s gear, doing the flap, the Charleston and getting up to the kind of pre-show japes one encounters in undergrad productions. My fears, however, couldn't have been more misplaced. Once the silliness had subsided, Venture Wolf  put on an earnest and thoughtfully wrought production that allowed the darker ambiguities of the play to surface. Imaginatively directed by Paul Vitty, this was a fast paced, creative rendering which was hugely entertaining. 

Henry Winterbottom played the demanding role of the King, as petulant, spoilt and inflexible. It was a fine rendering of an unappealing character, which showed scope and promise. Ramzi Dehani played the King's lover and ruin, Gaveston, with a sly coolness - except where it came to his encounters with the King, when Dehani displayed a warmth and commitment that glowed. Emma Gonella played a pitch perfect Queen Isabella, with grace, beauty and wit. All queens should be like that. Turan Duncan was terrific as the heroic usurper, quickly corrupted by power. 

Of the other performances, James Chadurn played a marvellously entertaining, Churchillian Warwick - a commendably restrained performance, in that the Stentorian lines could easily have crossed into parody or irony. Will Barrett was convincing as the young  schoolboy prince, who quickly grows up to be an avenging successor; and Pippa Caddick was a joy to behold, playing the complex Baldock with charisma and subtlety. There were 17 people involved in the cast, however, and all played their parts well. 

Bravo to Venture Wolf for treating Marlowe's moody masterpiece with the seriousness it deserves. There are laughs aplenty to be had in the punnery and ironies of other Early Modern plays. Not Edward II, however. Marlowe meant this one - and so did this marvellous troupe of actors. Hats off to you all. 


Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Woman in the Moon, by John Lyly. Rose Theatre, Bankside, London.



Do yourself a favour, and grab the last remaining tickets to the Dolphin's Back production of John Lyly's comic masterpiece. Last Thursday, a sell-out audience grinned, cackled, and glowed with admiration as this talented troupe brought the long-forgotten 16th century gem to life.

John Lyly deserves to be much better known. A bright Kentish Lad, born in 1553 in cosmopolitan Canterbury (which also also spawned Christopher Marlowe eleven years later), Lyly excelled at Magdalen College, Oxford before bursting onto the London literary scene with the publication of Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit (1578), and Euphues and His England (1580). In these prose works, Lyly introduced nothing less than a revolution in the English language, which - in his work at least - made it sparkle with style, irony and wit. By the age of 30, Lyly was widely feted as England's greatest writer, and this reputation did not diminish until well after his death. Indeed, (as James Wallace, director, writes), in his introduction to Shakespeare's First Folio, Ben Jonson places Lyly among the pantheon of England's greatest writers.

The Woman in the Moon is radical - feminising and paganising the origins of the universe; exploring the nature of female character and actions. Dissatisfied with Mother Nature's generation of a perfection to rival their own, the planets decide to derail Pandora's transition into the world. Beginning with Jupiter, and depressive, moody Saturn, each planet's undermining of woman is a chapter itself. We encounter the despondency of Saturnine woman, the belligerence of Martian female,  the allure of Venutian temptress. Each planetary influence is an orchestral movement in its own right, and each somehow brings the person of Pandora to a complex, multivalent completion.

Men in the play are easily-duped, unilinear and comic; wholly dependent upon the mood or whim of womankind. It is interesting, then, that this was a play written with Elizabeth in mind - indeed it is documented that she attended a performance of it by the Paul's Boys. Like Shakespeare's later playwriting for James I, John Lyly was not precious, or consistent in towing a party or royal line; and Lyly's exploration of womanhood was ambiguous and provocative. At the end of the play, Mother Nature asks Pandora to choose the planetary influence she wishes to make permanent; she selects Cynthia (or the Moon) under whose spell she is mad, capricious, indecisive and self-contradictory.

Elizabeth, at the height of her powers in the 1580s, was none of these things; indeed, she would have been disdainful of the character Pandora chooses for women. This raises interesting questions about Elizabeth (whom Lyly would have known well). Was she disdainful of other women, or the modes of femininity approved of in the late 16th century? Which of the planetary influences upon offer would she have recognised in herself - if any? In raising such fundamental questions about female personalities, and doing so so publicly in front of Queen and audience, John Lyly shows a provocative confidence - cockiness even.

Though the themes of the play run deep, the script is light, funny, fast-moving. The Dolphin's Back troupe did a wonderful job balancing deep, dangerous themes with light, saucy gags, and the result was ninety minutes of theatrical bliss. As Pandora, Bella Heesom took us on a dazzling journey through conflicting expressions of womanhood - a bravura performance, which showed amazing adaptability and inventiveness. Those playing the hapless men in the play worked to great comic effect, with James Askill again a joy to behold, and a name to watch out for. The great male foil in this was the crafty but appealing Gunophilus, who was entertainingly played by James Thorne. This was very much an ensemble production, however, and in a way it is unfair to mention particular names. Bravo to all.

The Dolphin's Back is a superb group of creatives, who have skill, wit and depth - from James Wallace's direction, to the quick, fun-loving cast, to inventive stage design and lighting. The DB are committed to resurrecting neglected scripts, and bringing them to life for modern audiences - and they do it with authority and a great sense of fun. As such, Dolphin's Back are my favourite troupe - and I can't wait to see them again in the Massacre at Paris. (Spoiler alert - it's brilliant.)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Julius Caesar at the Globe: Why Tony Blair should Give This a Miss.


Julius Caesar was a high-stakes venture for Shakespeare. He had invested heavily in the new Globe Theatre, and this was its opener in 1599. Shareholder, playwright, actor . . here was the collision of business and art in one man. The business-savvy Bard would have been nervous as the first customers arrived. With its smell of freshly sawed wood and whitewash, those entering the Globe were testing an untried hi-tech virtual reality environment. With London reverberating with globalisation and scientific revolution, here among the groundlings one was at the very peak of modernity.

So what was the focus of this 4D sensurround - this leap into the unknown? The downfall of dictators. The first drums resounding around the Globe introduced the themes of power, order, revolution and chaos to the Elizabethan masses. Shakespeare had a knack of identifying themes that would forever remain current, and Julius Caesar speaks volumes to us in this age of political disenchantment. One of the most macabre but accurate pronouncements on political change is Jacques Mallet du Pan's statement "a revolution devours its children." Looking back on the fall of the Berlin wall, and the prematurely named Arab Spring, we see a horrible pattern, as though carved in stone: the stagnation of rule; the toppling of the tyrant; the chaotic aftermath; and the reestablishment of order through tyranny 2.0.

Shakespeare understood this.

The play examines these stages with great insight, showing Cassius steering alpha male Brutus to spearhead the toppling of a burned-out Caesar. In this production, Cassius was played by Anthony Howell (of Foyle's War), who portrayed him less as a thin skinned Iago, and more like the bluff soldier he probably was. Tom McKay's Brutus was a well-adjusted, well-meaning man whose political and moral certainties break down in his failed attempt at justifying what he has done. I hope Tony Blair doesn't go to see this production, as parallels with his noble crusading would be obvious to all around him.

Initially, I was irritated by George Irving's insipid portrayal of Caesar, but then I realised that this was the point. Caesar was 56 and a husk of the man he once was. Referring to himself in the third person (even to his wife), Caesar believes in his own greatness and infallibility; and his once brilliant mind has now become blurred and paranoiac. Here then, we have Saddam, Gaddafi, Ben Ali . . . Caesar is all rulers who have lost the plot. His despotic apotheosis encompasses them all.

With these major themes being shouldered by key characters, it is amazing how Shakespeare rendered them human and sympathetic - all except the morphined Caesar. Christopher Logan camped up Casca beautifully, rendering a waspish survivor in dangerous tides. Luke Thompson highlighted Mark Antony's humane greatness - in contrast to the lovestruck middle aged has-been he is to be in the sequel, Antony and Cleopatra.

As I was watching the play, I was immediately struck by the playing of Caesar's wife, Calpurnia. I focused in, and realised that here was one of my favourite actresses, Katy Stephens. I last saw Ms Stephens as an unforgettable Tamora  in Michael Fentiman's production of Titus Andronicus at the RSC. And here she was now as Calpurnia, pleading with the vague, bloated Caesar to stay away from politics for a day. Katy Stephens is a superb actress who brings roles to life with insight and wit. Later in the play, she reappeared as a pleb ringleader who tore off the genitals of the mild poet, Cinna. You don't mess with Katy Stephens.

From the off, this production was fresh, invigorating and had great momentum. This owes much to Dominic Dromgoole's energetic direction, and the overall play was greater than the individual parts - a true ensemble production.

As I left, with my hands glowing, I thought of that original audience at its first showing, walking towards the Thames and muttering about what they had seen. Did it make them think of the declining Elizabeth? Did they feel anxious about order breaking down into chaos? Among them, Shakespeare himself would have drifted, and listened, and, no doubt heaved a huge sigh of relief. The first show at the Globe was over, his investments were safe, and his message to the world was out. Revolutions eat their children. If only Tony Blair had listened. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kicking Against the Pricks: The Roaring Girl and Arden of Faversham


Two plays in a day. Always a good idea. All day drinking, and double the fun. Not much to dislike there.

The two plays I saw at the RSC in Stratford this Wednesday worked really well together. Both were analyses of women out of sync. Both were based on real people, who flouted convention in Renaissance England. Both productions were imaginatively directed . . . and both were performed by the same hard working troupe.

Following a theatre’s work day like this was enlightening. Putting on plays is hard work, and the troupe worked their socks offs. Everybody from the stage hands, to the lighting and sound crew, put in a long demanding day. As time went on I amazed at the stamina of the performers -  their ability to remember so much material, and deliver it with such verve and wit. From the first words of Geoffrey Freshwater at 1.30, through to the last smiling sentence by Lisa Dillon at 10.45 that evening, the players were in make-up, onstage or waiting in the wings. Some of the actors had highly demanding parts in each play. Keir Charles, for instance, was rarely off stage in both productions.

Had I not seen both plays in the same day, I would have missed this - and the stamina of these remarkable performers. Had I seen only one production, I would have missed the transformation of the theatre, from Arden’s warehouse to London’s cobbled streets. As I sat down to the evening show I literally couldn’t believe I was in the same theatre.

Arden of Faversham centres on a real life scandal, which happened 41 years before the play was published. Arden was a self made business-man who acquired the former lands of Faversham Abbey, which had been dissolved by serial killer Henry VIII. Though legally owned by the Church, much of the pasture had been common to local farmers, and Arden’s enclosure marked the dispossession of the villagers. Arden’s wife, Alice, was rich, spoiled and bored, and embarked upon an affair with a low born local, Mosby. Together they plotted to kill rich hubby to gain control of his wealth. They were, however, rather incautious in their plans, involving Arden’s servants, an aggrieved villager and two memorable London hoodlums, Will and Shakebags.

Yes, Will and Shake-bags. Conventionally the play is listed as anonymous, however, there has long been speculation that it was written by Shakespeare. Others have claimed that it was penned by Thomas Kyd, or Kentish lad Christopher Marlowe. I don’t buy the Bard claim - to me, the writing seems too direct, with little of the thorough soul seeking that marks out the Swan of Avon. Marlowe and Kyd are more likely candidates. Indeed, the somewhat modern plain-speak, reminds me of the text of the Massacre at Paris ("Come. Let's go". Exeunt).

That said . . . Will and Shakebags? For some, this is as clear an allusion to the Bard as Rupert Greene’s denouncement of the upstart Shake-Scene. So, if Shakespeare wrote Arden, how likely is it that he secreted his name into his own play? Mmmm . . . well he was prone to overuse the word Will, wasn’t he? OK, how likely is it that the established superstar Marlowe would take a swipe at the new kid on the block? Shakebags was a common term for a thief at the time, so perhaps the name is not quite the shibboleth conspiracy theorists claim it is. The date of the play, pre 1592 is very early for Shakespeare, and late for Marlowe or Kyd. My money’s on Marlowe . .  or maybe a Marlowe/ Kyd production.


At the psychological/ philosophical level the play concerns material greed and lust. Such themes are embedded in wider social/ economic realities, such as the after-effects of the dissolution of the monasteries, the new commerce and commodification, and the brash nouveau riche - of which Arden and his wife were sour embodiments. The other harsh contextual reality, was the oppression of women. Whereas Alice Arden’s accomplices in the murder received death sentences, the judge reserved the worst punishment for her. Burning. At the time, for a wife to murder her husband shook the foundations of the social order, and doing so was the civil equivalent of regicide. It was, in other words, an unthinkable act . . hence the nationwide scandal when this crime was perpetrated; and the episode was deemed important enough to be included in Holinshed’s Chronicles, the historical source for many plays of the English renaissance. Unlike most of these works, however, Arden of Faversham concerned common people - traders, butchers and thieves - and this marks out the work as historically significant in its own right. Here was a revolutionary play on a shocking episode in recent history.

With these tabloid themes, and a script by Marlowe/Kyd/ Shakespeare, this was a sure fire hit, and indeed the play was performed by Shakespeare’s own troupe, the Chamberlain’s Men in the 1590s - perhaps at The Theatre, Shoreditch.  The themes, and the tight modern script resonate today in an England wracked by social change and the commodification of everything. To reflect this money-obsessed spiritual wasteland, director Polly Findlay set the reptilian parvenus in a chavtown in Kent cum Essex. I think Sittingbourne fits the bill beautifully - so close to (now posh) Faversham, but a microcosm of cultureless new millenium entitlement.


Arden is a cold hearted trader, who thinks only of money and his trophy wife Alice. Ian Redford plays the saturnine businessmen as a hollow man, a hungry ghost, who has everything but is never satisfied. As he is musing about his spouse’s indiscretions, she enters the stage - and what a sight that is. Actress Sharon Small totters into the narrative, and never really leaves it, entrancing with her lack of taste, her shallow lusts and problem-page philosophies on life. She is a mesmerising creature, witty and amusing, in a frothy kind of way, but depressingly vacuous - indeed, the embodiment of modern have-it-all celebrity culture. With her husband drifting off stage, Alice talks dreamily about her boyfriend, Mosby, a bit of rough from the wrong end of town. Then in he strides, the uber-chav - cocky, stupid and cultureless, and brilliantly played by Keir Charles - the first of two huge roles he played that day. What a charismatic performer - I feel like I know Mosby, in the same way as I knew, and avoided, Dogsy in the school yard.

Other superb performances stood out. Jay Simpson played the thief Will Black as a thin skinned assassin. Christopher Middleton portrayed the poisoner Clarke as a disgusting sexual predator, eliciting repulsed reactions from the audience. Not the kind of person one would like to encounter - even at a distance. Lizzie Hopley played an aggrieved villager who pursues the dismissive Arden about his appropriation of her land, eventually delivering a memorable curse, that momentarily pierces Arden’s thick skin. Hopley played two memorable parts that day, and they couldn’t have been more different - as you shall see.

On the whole, then, this was a highly creative and powerful performance of a play that speaks volumes to us today. As wealth becomes the only measure of success, and morality, education and spirituality are marginalised or lampooned, the reptiles of Faversham are in the ascendent. This play warns us all, that we should be worried.

Lots to think about there, then - and I did so during a couple of pints before the next play, The Roaring Girl. I returned and entered the transformed theatre, amazing at the industry of the stage hands. Very impressive!

The Roaring Girl was written a couple of decades after Arden, but it too was based on real events. The focus of the play is Moll Cutpurse, actually Mary Frith (1584 – 26 July 1659) who became famous for dressing like a man, publically smoking tobacco and hanging out with street ruffians. She was done on several occasions for minor transgressions, but later, turned into an informant and unlikely celebrity. A very interesting figure amidst Jacobean London, she became the subject of public interest and gained the attention of the entertainments industry. In 1610 John Day wrote The Madde Pranckes of Mery Mall of the Bankside. Unfortunately, this play is lost in the midst of time, but isn’t it amazing that an eccentric 26 year old woman was having major plays written about her in the midst of Jacobean witch hunting?


Thomas Middleton and Thomas Decker were a little late off the mark producing their own play, The Roaring Girl, a year later in 1611. They were obviously fans of the gender bending reprobate, but unlike Day, who dramatised her life, they weaved her into an urban rom com. Incidentally, Thomas Dekker wrote the heartbreaking The Witch of Edmonton a decade later in 1621. He was obviously fascinated by, and sympathetic to, rebellious women such as Mary.

The Roaring Girl  was highly unusual in that it focused on an existing person who was defying convention.  What would the modern equivalents be? Joe Orton writing a play about Quentin Crisp in the 1960s? Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell?

The plot is complex and ludicrous. Sir Alexander Wengrave is dissatisfied with his son’s choice of a bride, because of her lack of an adequate dowry. The emotionally intelligent Sebastian thus hatches a plot to make his father suspect him of having an affair with the infamous Moll Cutpurse. He calculates that papa would be so horrified by this, that he would change his mind and welcome his marriage to the respectable Mary Fitzallard (superbly played by Faye Castelow). So far so simple, except that the narrative then splits into several subplots about marital intrigue among Sebastian’s acquaintances, most notably that involving Mrs Gallipot and the spivvy Laxton; and Mrs Openwork and Goshawk, who whispers that her hubbie has been keeping a whore.

At the centre of this domestic maelstrom is Moll, who dominates, manipulates, mentors and massages the various personalities.  She is quite quite wonderful. At the start of the play, the lights go up to reveal her, slouching cockily on a chair, lustily drawing on a cigarette and surveying the audience with confident, mocking eye. Lisa Dillon’s portrayal of Moll is fresh and energetic. She is in charge. She is the focus, and that’s the way she likes it.  Whereas the original Moll was damned for transgressing gender boundaries, Lisa Dillon transcends them - her Moll, is above all, true to herself. Like everyone else in the audience, I fell in love with this self-actualised being, and towards the end she lasered me with an amused look, took my hand and kissed it. “Thank you, darling” she said, retreating, mockingly mopping her brow. I almost swooned.

She mocked, carped, plotted and flirted. She sang, played electric guitar, acoustic bass, climbed the stage and danced. How could anybody else get a look in?

Surprisingly, perhaps, they did. Although Moll dominated, this was a tight ensemble performance and other characters were brought to life brilliantly. The other scene-stealer of the night was Lizzie Hopley’s portrayal of Mistress Gallipot. You may remember, that Hopley earlier played the decent, timid Mrs Reede, who placed a curse on Arden. Her portrayal of Mistress Gallipot couldn’t have been more different - knowing, flirtatious, mischievous, she toyed with her lines, sparking off and involving the audience. It was a thrilling performance.

Many of her lines concerned her beau, Laxton, played by Keir Charles - who thereby played two major cads in one day. Both were a joy to behold, slightly different in personality, but as manipulative and shallow as each other. Timothy Speyer was terrific as the aggrieved but understanding husband, Mr Gallipot - a very likeable character. Indeed, one of the differences between this play and Arden was that here in London there were streams of goodness, charity, and benign humour - while leafy Faversham resembled a crocodile pit.

Another fine performance was put in by Tony Jayawardena as the slandered Mr Openwork, who loved his wife, and beamed good will throughout. The contrast between this role and that of the brutal Shakebag couldn’t have been greater. Ian Bonar also put in an amazing double shift, with sharply different characters. Likewise, Ken Nwosu did double time in eye catching fashion, stepping in at the last minute to take on the role of the aggrieved Gull.

Of course, as all rom coms do, the couple get married and live happily ever after. At the end, we are left with Mol, who reflects on the events, and announces the appearance of the real Mary Frith on stage at the theatre in the near future. No doubt Mary would have been in the audience at the original play, and may have stood up at this point to receive the applause of the audience. That I would love to have seen.

Leaving the theatre I slipped into a pub to catch the tail end of the Argentina-Holland game. At the table in front of me, I spotted Peter M. Smith, who had played the cross-dressing Bawd in the Shakespeare Institute’s fine production of Pericles last year.  What a wonderful place Stratford is.

Later, as I cleaned my teeth and reflected upon the day’s events. I looked down to my hand. Kissed by Moll Cutpurse. The soap sat by the sink, begging a question.

Monday, June 9, 2014

My favourite books, #30: To a God Unknown, by John Steinbeck


Steinbeck took five years to write this short novel, and it was a flop commercially. It is, however, an ambitious, serious and successful work. As the title suggests, the book examines the pagan urges and yearnings concealed by modernity. Steinbeck, who had a lifelong interest in Eastern religions, highlights the power of nature over over our self-obsessed species; and the narrative pivots on the paradoxical conflict between the desire to control nature, and our yearning to worship it. Here we meet real, breathing characters in a setting you can feel and smell. This is literature of the first order.

I put the book down, wiser and more alive. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Great Russian Movies. No. 1: The Geographer Drank His Globe Away



The splendidly titled The Geographer Drank His Globe Away, directed by Aleksandr Veledinsky, with Konstantin Khabensky as the hapless drunk, is one of those films where each member of the cast is brilliant. Set in a savage Winter in the grim riverside port of Perm in Russia, a biologist who has recently been sacked from his job desperately takes up a geography teaching post in a rough run-down school. He knows nothing about geography and finds it impossible to keep order in the classroom. Through his alcoholism he abandons any sense of self worth or seriousness and thereby finds a kind of karmic enlightenment. This, then, is very much a Buddhist movie about the dissembling of self and the achievement of a kind of unattached happiness.The beautiful Elena Lyadova plays the geographer's despairing wife with engaging intensity. Anfisa Chernykh as the loyal student, Masha, is also brilliant in playing a spirited girl in a brutal material world. A charming movie about how people find meaning and fun in grim, unchanging circumstances. Lovely film. Very funny. Totally recommended.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Swing Low, by Mark Neal



CHARACTERS In order of appearance.

FATHER MALONE. Irish Priest, St. Winefride’s Church, Neston, Merseyside.

UNCLE TIM. Mike’s middle class uncle, on his father’s side.

BETTY. Mike’s Mother.

MIKE. Middle class university lecturer from Anglo-Irish family, living in Twickenham. Betty’s son. 32.

COLIN. Mike’s scouse, rugby-loving cousin.

LYNN. Colin’s scouse wife.

SEAN. Mike’s younger brother. 20s.

UNCLE PADDY. Mike’s uncle on the scouse side. Colin’s father.

MARTIN. Colin’s younger brother. Mike’s scouse cousin.

SARAH. Mike’s longstanding live-in girlfriend. Educated, eloquent and attractive blonde.

PROFESSOR DAVIES. Mike’s academic boss and mentor at Strawberry Hill Uni.

KEN. Colin’s co-worker at Liverpool docks. His best mate and a fellow rugby player with Bootle Rugby Union Football Club. Well-adjusted, sanguine scouser.

AL. Good looking player for Bootle Rugby Union Football Club.

PSYCHO. Violent, unstable, young player for Bootle Rugby Union Football Club.

WILL CARLING. Captain of England Rugby Team. A man with a reputation.

MICKEY. Good humoured leader of the Irish fans.

GARY LINEKER. Famous sports personality and broadcaster.

DAWN. Posh, intelligent, fun-loving young woman.

MANDY. Estuary English, crimped blonde. Attractive and sharp young woman.


1. EXT. AUGUST 1995. OUTSIDE CHURCH, NESTON, MERSEYSIDE.

Liverpool skyline. Crossroads seen from above. Church on the crossroads.

Funeral cortege snakes its way towards the church. Lone male voice, singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

Cortege stops. Four family coffin-bearers assemble uneasily outside the hearse. Scouse undertaker gives instructions and passes the coffin on to their shoulders. Face-shot of one of the bearers - MIKE - grimacing under the weight. At the doorway, coffin wobbles and has to be steadied. Music dies out. Having seen them in, undertaker's assistant turns back and lights up a cigarette. Birdsong.

2. INT. INSIDE THE CHURCH, NESTON, MERSEYSIDE.

FATHER MALONE gives animated homily. Leprechaun of a man with high voice:

FATHER MALONE
Now although Paul reached the top of his profession, he was not a proud man. Sure, he was proud of his family, Betty and the boys. Ha! “The boys” . . .

Shot of BETTY and three full-figured young men on the front row.

FATHER MALONE (CONT’D)
. . Have you seen the size of them? You wouldn't want to spill their pints! (Pauses.) Anyway, no, Paul was a modest man. I'll always remember him saying to me towards the end, “You know, Father, my greatest gift was that I lacked ambition.” You see, he knew that people are never satisfied. He knew that no matter how much they get, they always want more and more. It drives a man mad. Look at Adolf Hitler . . (He struggles for words.) Well, Paul was no Hitler, no. He was a modest man and remains so to this day, although he lies here, dead . . . (Struggles again.) Of course, he is not really dead. No, Paul is looking down on us thinking why does this priest keep rattling on? Why doesn't he just shut up! (Pause.) Why not indeed? You see, Paul was above all a patient man who was never in a hurry . . .

Speech fades. View down on the priest and the assembled. . .

FATHER MALONE (CONT’D)
No, indeed - the last time he broke out into a trot was in 1974 . . .

3. EXT. RECEPTION IN CHURCH GARDEN.

Sunny day. Laughter. Uncle TIM talks to the widow, BETTY. Both middle class and eating.

UNCLE TIM
I didn't know my brother was a saint.

BETTY
I know, I should have bottled his bathwater.

UNCLE TIM
I suppose now he must be the patron saint of something. (Ponders.) Doing crosswords? Homebrewing?

BETTY
Watching football on the telly.

MIKE approaches.

MIKE
(Mock Irish accent.) “Arr to be sure he was the holiest man in the country.”

BETTY
(Looking alarmed.) Sshsh! (She fusses and straightens his tie.) Oh honestly, you'd think he'd make an effort at his own father's funeral.

MIKE
Well, how d'you think Dad would have dressed today? He wore sandals when he met the Duke of Edinburgh.

UNCLE TIM
Sandals, eh? See, he was a saint.

They look on at the grave.

UNCLE TIM
He was an atheist at university. It's funny how he became religious.

BETTY
It was a pain in the arse. (Imitates deep voice.) “Calm down, Betty. You can't say things like that. You have to see the other side.”

MIKE
(Imitates deep voice.) “To understand all is to forgive all.”

BETTY
Always so reasonable. I wasn't allowed to be nasty. And I am nasty. (Sighs.) Now I can be as nasty as I like.

UNCLE TIM
Oh, you're not nasty.

BETTY
Yes, I am. I am aren't I, Mike?

MIKE
She is you know.

BETTY
See, Mike should know. I'm nasty to you all the time, aren't I, dear?

MIKE
You certainly are.

BETTY
(Arranges his hair.) Good boy. Always agree with your mother. And stop smiling. This is a funeral. (Looks on at someone. Sighs.) Oh I'd better go and mingle. You boys enjoy yourselves. (Makes for an old woman) Aah, Margaret. You came. We were wondering if you'd turn up . .

UNCLE TIM and MIKE look on.

UNCLE TIM
Oh dear.

MIKE
Oh dear.

BETTY
We haven't seen much of you over the last few months. Not that I blame you of course. Suffering can be very upsetting.

UNCLE TIM and MIKE continue talking.

UNCLE TIM
(Coming to.) So, how are things? I hear you're living in London now.

MIKE
Yeh. Twickenham.

UNCLE TIM
Sounds posh.

MIKE
Well it beats living on Merseyside.

They look on as BETTY's companion dissolves into convulsive sobs.

UNCLE TIM
She really is quite nasty, isn't she?

MIKE
I told you she was.

UNCLE TIM
(Notices someone approaching.) Aah look, here's one of the other lot.

COLIN
(Liverpool accent.) Alright Mikey boy. How's tricks? (Shakes hands.)

MIKE
Not as bad as they could be, thanks. Have you met Dad's brother, Uncle Tim?

COLIN
Of course. Nice to see you again.

UNCLE TIM
Yes that's right, you're umm . . .

COLIN
Colin. Paddy's son.

UNCLE TIM
Of course you are. Sorry, the old memory's going.

COLIN
Well, we only meet up at funerals.

UNCLE TIM.
Sad, but true. (Pauses.) You're the electrician aren't you?

COLIN
No, that's Billy. I work on the docks.

UNCLE TIM
The docks? Well I never.

COLIN.
We shift coal. Australian coal mainly.

UNCLE TIM
We import Australian coal now do we?

COLIN
That and Polish stuff, yeh.

UNCLE TIM
How times change. You would have been castigated for doing that a few years ago.

COLIN
I was. I had a lot of trouble when I first started. My dad said I was putting our boys out of jobs. Didn't speak to me for a year.

This sounds incredible so UNCLE TIM and MIKE laugh easily.

COLIN
(Straightfaced.) No, really. He didn't.

UNCLE TIM
(Suddenly serious.) Ah.

COLIN
He only broke the silence when he found out about Jilly's hysterectomy.

UNCLE TIM
Ahh, yes, Jilly. Your wife.

COLIN
My daughter.

UNCLE TIM
(Shock.) My goodness, how old is she?

COLIN
Now? Fourteen.

UNCLE TIM
And . . and she's alright now?

COLIN
Oh yeh. Right as rain. It's a funny thing the appendix. It can flare up anytime.

UNCLE TIM
Ah, yes. We should err . . We should all be thankful.

FATHER MALONE
(Joins the group.) Ahh indeed we should. (Looks on at the grave.) Thankful for knowing such a fine man as Paul. (Sighs.) You know, the last thing he said to me was about that pop group, Oasis . .

4. EXT. PATIO AT THE OF BACK SUBURBAN HOUSE. THE FAMILY RECEPTION. 

BETTY brings sandwiches out onto the patio.

COLIN
Ta, Bet. Listen, you shouldn't be doing that. You sit down and let Lynn do the work.

LYNN
(Putting out cigarette.) Yes, Bet - you sit here and I'll get you a drink.

BETTY
Oh, I'm alright thanks. I've put one down somewhere.

LYNN
Well, I'll get you another one. What is it?

BETTY
No, really.

COLIN
Get her a large gin and tonic. And be a darling and get us another lager will you, luv?

LYNN
(To MIKE.) Listen to him will you? D'you want another, luv?

MIKE
Oh, yes. A can of Guinness please. Thanks.

Two of them left alone on patio

COLIN
So, Mikey boy, you're living in Twickenham now, eh?

MIKE
That's right.

COLIN
Pretty convenient for the old rugby that, isn't it?

MIKE
Yeh. We've been to see the Harlequins a couple of times.

COLIN
You don't play yourself though?

MIKE
Nah. Not since school.

COLIN
You should do. You're a big lad. How old are you now?

MIKE
Thirty two.

COLIN
Thirty two? You've got another ten years playing inside you. It's a good laugh you know.

MIKE
I'm sure it is. (Takes a drink.) You still play every week then?

COLIN
Haven't missed a Saturday for fifteen years. (Lights a cigar. Inhales luxuriously.) Twickenham, eh? It's nice down there, isn't it? D'you ever go to the Bull and Bush?

MIKE
(Surprised.) Yeh. I go there quite a lot. How do you know the Bull then?

COLIN
Well, me and the boys . . . We come down to Twickenham every year to see England play.

MIKE
Really? How on earth do you get tickets? D'you get a club allocation or something?

COLIN
Yeh. We got three tickets last year. Brilliant it was.

MIKE
I bet it was. God, I'd love to see an International. The atmosphere must be fantastic.

COLIN
Oh, it is, mate. It is. (Takes another puff on his cigar.) I err could arrange to get you a ticket if you like.

MIKE
(Impressed.) Could you?

COLIN
I could. You see errm . . Well me and the boys are coming down to Twickenham in March for the England-Ireland game . . .

MIKE
(Realises) . . . and you . . . want a place to stay.

COLIN
Well, if you've got a place in Twickenham it seems silly to pay for B&B . . .

MIKE
How many of you are there?

COLIN
Oh. Just a couple. And meself.

MIKE
Three of you . . . (Considers).

COLIN
Yes, certainly no more than that.

MIKE
(Thinks.) OK. You get me a ticket to the match and I'll put you up.

COLIN.
(Slaps his thigh.) Done! Well done, Mikey boy. You won't regret this you know.

LYNN
(Put beers on the table) Oh aye, regret what?

COLIN
(Picking up drink.) Oh, nothing.

LYNN
Regret what?

MIKE
Oh, we're just talking about tickets for Twickenham.

LYNN
Oh, he hasn't talked you into letting the boys stay has he? (Colin winces.) He has! I knew he was up to something.

MIKE
Well, I do get a ticket . .

LYNN
Big deal. It's not worth it. He exploits people, you know. You'll end up with a gang of scallies up to all sorts. They'll wreck the place!

COLIN
Eh, hang on. No we won't.

MIKE
Yes you will. You wrecked Jimmy's place.

COLIN
Oh come on. That was different. That was a stag night. (To Mike.) Don't take any notice of her. We'll be alright.

LYNN
Just will!

COLIN
No, we will. Look. It'll be civilised.

LYNN
My arse it will.


5. INT. DINING ROOM INSIDE THE FAMILY HOUSE.

MIKE’s younger brother, SEAN, enters room where MIKE sits writing. Sense of calm.

SEAN
Wotcha bro.

MIKE
Wotcha.

SEAN
What's happening?

MIKE
Oh, Mum's got me to write the family vote of thanks to Father Bunloaf.

SEAN
(Mock scouse.) “You are the best priest in the world.”

MIKE
(Mock Irish.) “Better than Jesus himself.”

SEAN
(Mock pathetic.) “You saved us from a universe of grief.”

MIKE
Good one. I'll use that.

MIKE resumes writing.

SEAN
Have you really told cousin Colin he can stay at your place?

MIKE
Well, yes. I was drunk.

SEAN
Colin, and how many?

MIKE
Two. He says.

SEAN
“He says.” (Pause.) You're going to die, you know. Remember what happened last time?

MIKE
Come on, that was years ago.

SEAN
Oh yeh. And things have changed?


6. EXT. AT THE FRONT DOOR OF THE FAMILY HOUSE.

Scene fifteen years before when COLIN's side of the family visited.

BETTY
You're taking him where?

UNCLE PADDY
It's his birthday, isn't it?

BETTY
But he's only just seventeen.

MIKE
(Extra middle class.) Oh Mum, I'll be all right. I've been in pubs before.


7. INT. DOWN THE PUB.

MIKE, already drunk, sitting with his scouse relatives at a table.

MARTIN (other cousin) standing, sorting out drinks. Points to each person in turn.

MARTIN
Right, that's a brown, a brown, a brown, a chinese and . . . what are you on there, Mike?

UNCLE PADDY
Mike, lad. What you having?

MIKE
No, Uncle Paddy it's . . . .

UNCLE PADDY
A brown for Mike.

MARTIN
And a brown for Mike. (Disappears.)

COLIN
(To UNCLE PADDY.) Now you're not telling me that the managers are blameless

UNCLE PADDY
No, but their position is understandable.

COLIN
Oh, my arse. They've just got their snouts in the trough.

UNCLE PADDY
Look, son, if you're going to fight these types, you've got to understand them. You've got to understand what makes them tick. They've got different aims to the workers.

COLIN
You can say that again.

UNCLE PADDY
They are only concerned with profit. It's their job, and . . . as Marx rightly points out . . . this concern conflicts with the interests of workers.

MIKE downs more brown over bitter. Conversation fades out.

8. INT. DOWN THE PUB.

Several pints later.

COLIN
(Calls to the bar.) And a brown over bitter for Mikey boy. Look, the law's been changed. All we have now is work to rule and even then they can sack you. They've got the whole thing sewn up.

UNCLE PADDY
So, what do you suggest we do?

COLIN
Direct action. Demonstration. General strike.

UNCLE PADDY
Oh grow up, lad.

MIKE hiccups.

UNCLE PADDY
You alright there, lad?

MIKE
(Blotto.) Yes thanks.

UNCLE PADDY
(Calls to the bar.) And a scotch for the birthday boy.

COLIN
(Starts singing.) Happy birthday to you . . .


9. EXT. AT THE FRONT DOOR OF THE FAMILY HOUSE

MIKE, swaying, looking ghastly.

UNCLE PADDY
‘Right Betty

BETTY
My god, what have you done with him!?

UNCLE PADDY
Oh, he'll be alright.

COLIN
You're alright there lad, aren't you?

MIKE enters and staggers towards the toilet.

UNCLE PADDY
(Watching on. To BETTY.) He's had the time of his life.

COLIN
Any chance of a cup of tea there, Auntie Betty?

BETTY
Well, I'll see what I can do.

Sound of violent vomiting. Embarrassed silence.

MIKE
(Overheard from toilet.) Communist bastards!!

10. INT. STRAWBERRY HILL UNIVERSITY.

Students going about their business. MIKE lecturing to a large class of students.

MIKE
. . . the question of whether a working class exists is therefore complicated. Certainly, economically, some of the former proletariat are now richer than many middle class professionals. Compare for instance car workers with social workers. Electricians with teachers. And believe me, if class be determined by income, university lecturers' credentials are impeccable. (Pauses.) What then is left of class? One can't determine it by income. (Mocking.) Certainly one can't determine it by conflict of interests. No. I would therefore put the following to you. That class is determined by one thing, and one thing only. Culture.

11. Int. UNIVERSITY CORRIDOR.

MIKE walks away from lecture. Joined by PROFESSOR DAVIES.

PROFESSOR DAVIES
Ah. There you are.

MIKE
Hi Christie.

PROFESSOR DAVIES
I've read that paper of yours and put a few comments on it.

MIKE
Polite comments?

PROFESSOR DAVIES
Polite enough. But . . . Oh I don't know. This idea about working class culture. Isn't it a bit passé? I mean, I agree that once upon a time there was working class culture. It had to do with flat caps and going on strike. Pigeon fancying, that kind of thing. But now. What's working class? Reading The Sun? Satellite TV? We all do that nowadays. Does that make us all working class?

MIKE
No.

PROFESSOR DAVIES
Well, why not?

MIKE
Because we do it with a sense of irony.

PROFESSOR DAVIES
(Laughs.) Ah. Yes. Very good.

12. EXT. MERSEY DOCKS.

COLIN and KEN walk out of the work gates.

KEN
What's the name of the horse again?

COLIN
Larry's Lord. It's been pulled both times this season, and, and I can only quote . . . “This time they're going to let it go.”

KEN
Who gave you the tip again?

COLIN
Just a mate. He's got a mate who's got a mate in the trainers' yard.

KEN
So, you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows right?

COLIN
That's just about right.

KEN
And the info's reliable?

COLIN
Solid as a rock mate.

13. INT. INSIDE A BOOKIE’S

COLIN
(Points to the board.) I'll take fifty to one.

WOMAN
Fifties? (Sighs.) We can but dream. Eh, I hope that's not the housekeeping you're putting on there.

Returns to KEN.

KEN
How much did you put on there?

COLIN
Twenty each way.

KEN
You're joking, aren't you? Lynn's not going to be pleased.

COLIN
Lynn's not going to find out. Anyway, Larry's Lord will piss it.

COMMENTATOR
And they're off in the Carlisle Toyota handicap. The running is taken up by Red Dwarf followed by Happy Mark and Flighty Gong. Coming up to the first and a good jump by Red Dwarf . . and we have a faller. Larry's Lord is down . . .

COLIN
I don't believe it!

KEN
I do.

COLIN.
Shit. Shit. Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!!

WOMAN
Eh, you calm down over there.

KEN
Come on, Colin. (Leads him outside.)

14. EXT. STREET LEADING BACK TO THE DOCKS

Walking back to work.

COLIN
They're one of the most pernicious instruments of capitalism.

KEN
Who are?

COLIN
Book-makers.

KEN
Oh, come on, Colin. Just 'cos you lost.

COLIN
No, I'd say the same thing if I'd won. They're evil. I mean, how do they make their money?

KEN
I'm not getting into this.

COLIN
How do they make their money?

KEN
(Sighs.) From punters.

COLIN
And who make up the punters?

KEN
Surprise me.

COLIN
The workers, that's who! As if we didn't have enough on our plate with crap wages and the poll tax, they lure us into a state of false consciousness and force us to hand over our money to a bunch of . . . of fascist criminals.

KEN
Oh, come on Colin. They don't force us.

COLIN
Yes they do. But it's subconscious you see. They bombard you with advertisements, and pictures of wealth . . .

They enter the work gates.

WORKER
‘Right Colin.

COLIN
‘Right, Jacko. (Resumes.) They feed you with a dream . . . And the only way you can get that dream is through gambling. I mean. You're not going to get the dream working here, are you? (Pauses. Takes Stock.) Anyway, Kenny boy. See you later. (KEN wanders off. COLIN gets back to work. Shouts.) Eh, Mick! Tell maintenance to get Pit C read for that Ozzy coal.

MICK
Right boss.

COLIN
Now! Shift your fucking arse!!

15. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE. UNTIDY.

MIKE types away at his computer. There is a knock on the door.

MIKE
Come in.

Female student in miniskirt appears at the door. Chewing gum.

FEMALE STUDENT
Can I have a word, please?

MIKE
Sure, sit down. What's the problem?

She sits.

FEMALE STUDENT
I can't work. I've got finals coming up, and I can't work.

MIKE
Why's that then?

FEMALE STUDENT
Cos I'm always knackered.

MIKE
Aah. Have you been to the Health Centre?

FEMALE STUDENT
No, it's not that. I know why I'm tired.

MIKE
Right. Why is that then?

FEMALE STUDENT
Cos I'm clubbing every night.

MIKE
(Considers.) Well, can't you go easy on the clubbing until the finals are over?

FEMALE STUDENT
But I don't want to. I'm having an utterly brilliant time.

MIKE
I'm glad to hear it, but if you carry on like this you'll fail your exams.

FEMALE STUDENT
Yeh, but exams are so boring. I just can't get worked up about them. Anyway I think you learn as much at raves as you do from reading. I mean, books are so dry, so wooden. Raves are kind of like an opening up . . . of experience. And it's all so positive. People just dance and there's a feeling of .
. . I don't know. Fellowship, and and love, and . . .

MIKE
Aha. So you’ve been taking E.

FEMALE STUDENT
(Defensive.) E? What if I have? I mean I may as well ask you if you have been taking alcohol. And anyway. What the Hell, you know. Everyone's off their heads . . .

MIKE
Karen, look. Come and seen me next Monday and we'll plan a revision timetable. OK?

FEMALE STUDENT
(Gets up.) Sounds yukky.

MIKE
It is yukky, but we've simply got to do it. OK? Next Monday. And, Karen . . .

FEMALE STUDENT
What?

MIKE
No drugs.

FEMALE STUDENT
No drugs. Right. Definitely.

She leaves. MIKE sighs and returns to his work. Writes chapter heading, Broken Class: The Transformation of Working Class Culture.

16. EXT. DOCKYARDS.

COLIN talking to three men. Noise.

COLIN
Well if Brian's off sick, who's going to operate the transporter?

KEN
Huwie.

COLIN
Huwie? You're jokin’ aren't you? I'll do it meself.

MICK appears with portable phone.

MICK
Colin, it's the missus.

COLIN
Oh Jesus. That's all I need.

Darts into prefab office, with phone.

COLIN (CONT’D)
Err, hello.

LYNN
Colin, luv - how are you?

COLIN
Alright. Busy.

LYNN
Alright, I'll be quick. I was thinking. How's about going to the flicks after work?

COLIN
The flicks?

LYNN
Yeh. Sister Act Two's on at the Odeon. How about meeting at the Coach at seven o clock?

COLIN
Umm. Yes, OK luv.

LYNN
Great. And you're payin'. I want to be wined and dined tonight.

COLIN
Err. Right you are. Sister Act Two, eh? Looking forward to it.

LYNN
Right. The Coach. Seven o clock. Don't forget, or you're dead.

COLIN
Don't worry, luv. I won't.

LYNN
See you.

COLIN
Tara luv.

Looks concerned. Returns to the group.

COLIN (CONT’D)
OK, Huwie, you want to operate the transporter?

HUWIE
Yeh.

COLIN
OK, here's the deal. You lend us twenty quid till next week and the job's yours.

HUWIE
Twenty quid? Err, right. (Reaches into his pocket.) There you go.

COLIN
(Walks away folding the money.) Heaven help us.

17. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE.

Male student sits with MIKE in his office.

MALE STUDENT
Yes, but surely the economic forces of globalisation mean that the income of unskilled and semi-skilled workers will decline, while those of professionals will rise.

MIKE
Absolutely. So, what's your problem?

MALE STUDENT
If that's the case then instead of there being a homogenisation of the classes, there is actually a polarisation.

MIKE
That makes sense.

MALE STUDENT
So instead of getting better off, the traditional working classes are actually getting poorer.

MIKE
They have to, in order for Britain to compete. If there weren't a decline in workers' wages then companies would exploit low wages elsewhere.

MALE STUDENT
But surely this is wrong!!

MIKE
It's not necessarily right or wrong. It just is. We live in a capitalist world, and this is how capitalism works.

MALE STUDENT
Then capitalism's wrong!!

MIKE
Oh dear. (Phone rings.) Hang on. Yeh?

SARAH
Hello, cherub.

MIKE
Hi. How you doing?

SARAH
Fine. You busy?

MIKE
(Considers student.) No.

SARAH.
Good. What's happening tonight?

MIKE
Nothing. I was just going to come home.

SARAH
You big puff. Let's go out.

MIKE
Where?

SARAH
Town.

MIKE
Whereabouts in town?

SARAH
Oh I don't know. How about the Coach and Horses? Then we can go and get a Chinese.

MIKE
Okeydokey.

SARAH
Seven thirty?

MIKE
Rock and roll. OK. Better go.

SARAH
Alright, see you.

MIKE.
Bye. (Puts phone down and thinks for a while. Turns around with an efficient smile.) Right, so you've reached the position where capitalism's wrong. So, from first principles you've reached the same position as Karl Marx.

MALE STUDENT
Karl Marx? Oh. That's no good.

MIKE
What? Why d'you say that?

MALE STUDENT
Because . . .

MIKE
Because what?

MALE STUDENT
Because I'm a Young Conservative.

18. EXT. SOHO STREET. EARLY EVENING.

SARAH - well-dressed attractive blonde, bob hair cut - walks past market stalls, sex shops. Music (Return of the Mac).

Reaches the Coach and Horses.

19. INT. COACH AND HORSES, SOHO.

SARAH orders a gin and tonic. Pulls up a stool and reads Time Out.

MIKE arrives.

MIKE
Hello, noodle. (Kisses her on the cheek.)

SARAH
Hi.

MIKE
What you having?

SARAH
Oh, G&T.

MIKE
(Orders the drinks.) So what we doing tonight?

SARAH
Getting pissed.

MIKE
Sounds good. Anything in Time Out?

SARAH
Nothing much. There's Il Postino.

MIKE
No. Please. No subtitles.

SARAH flicks through the magazine.

SARAH
If we're staying in the West End, we've got a choice between Seven, Land and Glory . . . or Sister Act Two.

MIKE
(Sarcastically.) Well, Sister Act Two it is.

SARAH
(Takes a sip of her drink. Ponders.) Who d'you think goes to see a film like that?


20. EXT. OUTSIDE A MERSEYSIDE CINEMA. NIGHT. SIGN FOR SISTER ACT TWO.

COLIN and LYNN spill out.

COLIN
(Enthusing.) That was the funniest film I've ever seen!

LYNN
(Clutches Colin) Oh, that bit with the Mother Superior!!

COLIN
Yes she reminded me of you when were courting.

LYNN
What d'you mean?

COLIN
Well, your knickers were up and down so often you had scorch marks on your legs.

LYNN
(Hits him.) Stop it. You'll make me ashamed.

21. EXT. OUTSIDE CINEMA, LEICESTER SQUARE.

MIKE and SARAH leave the cinema. Pass a poster of Land and Glory.

SARAH
Oh for God's sake it was so fucking passé.

MIKE
Well it was set in 1937.

SARAH
Yes, but the sentiments were stale. Why should we get nostalgic about a bunch of uncultured non-achievers?

MIKE
Well. Because they tried to change things.

SARAH
To what? A society run by the uneducated? Why should peasants rule the country? They know nothing.

MIKE
So the country should be run by an elite.

SARAH
An educated elite. I don't want it to be run by dullards.

MIKE
So you didn't like the film?

SARAH
Guardian-reading shite. A badly written fairy tale for the hand-wringing classes. (Stops at the crossroads.) Right. Where to? Poons or Al Fresco.

22. INT. ANDREW AND LYNN’S BEDROOM. MORNING.

Alarm clock rings. COLIN groans and knocks it off the bedside table. It keeps ringing.

LYNN
Oh for God's sake, turn the bloody thing off will you?

COLIN
OK, luv.

Noise stops.

LYNN
(Yawns). Who you playing today?

COLIN
Heswall.

LYNN
I didn't know they had a rugby club.

COLIN
Oh aye, yeh. They're quite good actually.

LYNN
Which means they're going to win.

COLIN
No way. Today's the day we turn it around.

23. EXT. RUGBY MATCH. AFTERNOON.

COLIN running after an opposing player who has just broken ranks and run for the line. COLIN flies at his feet – misses, and belly flops into a puddle, as his quarry scores a magnificent try. COLIN is pulled out of the mud by KEN.

COLIN
How many's that now?

KEN
Fifty two nil.

They jog back behind the line as an opposing player lines up the conversion kick.

COLIN
Don't worry, lads. He'll never get it from there. Right - when I say now, charge.

Player takes run up for conversion.

COLIN
Now!!

Team charge. Ball flies over their heads for a perfect conversion.

AL
(Good looking scally.) Oh, this is getting ridiculous

COLIN
Eh, come on lads - pick yourself up! We can still win it!

AL
(To another team mate.) As if. It’s 52 nil!

COLIN
I heard that. You've got a bad attitude lad. It's the game that matters, not the result. Show a bit of self discipline.

Scrum. Faces seen from below.

OPPOSING TEAM PROP
(Posh.) Come on boys! One last push. They've got no spine.

COLIN
Excuse me? What did you say there, lad?

OPPOSING TEAM PROP
Oh, they talk as well.

OTHER FORWARD
Yes, it's not English through is it?

OPPOSING TEAM PROP
Oh no. Actually it sounded more like a fart.

COLIN
Right boys. I think its time for the Bootle welcome!

KEN
OK boss.

COLIN
Go!!!

Bootle boys grab the opposing front row by the balls. Meanwhile COLIN and the front row bite their ears, and beat them in the face. High pitched squeals.

COLIN
Posh twats!!!

BOOTLE WINGER looks on from afar.

BOOTLE WINGER
What's going on there?

AL
It's just Colin showing a bit of self-discipline.

COLIN flattens enemy forward.

24. EXT. RUGBY MATCH. AFTERNOON.

The match ends. Bootle RUFC clap their opponents off the pitch. The enemy team file through very much the worse for wear, most with cuts and bruises.

COLIN
(Enthusing.) Well done, lads. You beat us fair and square. Didn't they, boys? (Team members agree.) OK lads. Three cheers for Heswall. Hip hip . . .

The other team do the same in posher accents. However, they look and sound shaky and traumatised.

25. INT. CLUB BAR: BOOTLE RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL CLUB

Dressed in team blazers and ties, Bootle RUFC descend upon the club bar. COLIN, the centre of attention, rubs his hands as he approaches the bar.

COLIN
Good game that. I can't believe we got twenty points back on them.

KEN
I can. They were all crippled.

COLIN
Eh. That had nothing to do with it. We dug in, persevered, and . . .

KEN
Lost.

BARMAN
Another glorious defeat then was it, lads?

COLIN
A moral victory.

BARMAN
Aah. No change there then. That's the tenth moral victory we've had this season. Oh yes, before I forget. Barry's got our ticket allocation for the England-Ireland match.

COLIN
Where? Barry!! (Approaches old man sitting at a table.) You've got the tickets? How many?

BARRY
Five. They're in this. (Produces envelope from inside pocket and pushes it back again.)

COLIN
(Can hardly contain himself.) Eh lads, we've got five tickets for England-Ireland!

AL
Two up on last year, eh? Hey, it's my turn to go this year. It's my turn to go. Eh, Colin.

COLIN
Alright. Shut it!

BARRY
Yes, shut it everyone! I've put everybody's name into this hat - apart from Colin's, cos he goes anyway. So that's four tickets.

COLIN
Not so fast, Barry. Another ticket's allocated to my cousin.

Uproar.

COLIN (CONT’D).
No, listen. He's offered to put us all up in Twickenham for two nights. Now the way I see it, we're all skint, and this'll save each of us about seventy quid. Between the four of us that's . . . two hundred and eighty quid. 140 pints. Which one of you would pour 140 pints down the drain?

AL
Well, who is he?

COLIN
All you need to know is that he's got a place in

Twickenham and he's offered to put us up.

KEN
For a ticket.

COLIN
For a ticket. That's fair. Is there anybody arguing with that?! (Silence.) Right. Barry, where's the hat? Here we go boys here's the draw for the tickets. The first one is . . Well, would you believe it? Al.

AL
(Punches the air.) Yes!!

MEMBER
Oh aye, Twickenham's going to be full of bandy birds.

COLIN
Eh, yeh. You've got to behave when you're away. No coppin' off.

AL
No problem, boss. I don't like southern birds anyway.

COLIN
The second one is . . . Ken. (Cheer goes up.) Well done, lad.

BARMAN
That's a waste of a ticket. He'll fall asleep during the game.

KEN
Eh, behave.

COLIN
Shut it boys. And, the last ticket goes to . . . Oh God, can I draw this again? I'm drawing this one again.

Uproar.

MEMBER
If you're drawing that one again, you can draw them all again.

COLIN
(Resigned.) Alright. Alright. I regret to announce that the last ticket goes to . . . Psycho.

ALL
(Chant.) Psycho! Psycho! Psycho! Psycho . . . .

KEN
(Turns to Colin.) Eh, I hope your cousin's the long suffering type.

COLIN
(Looks preoccupied.) So do I Ken. So do I.

Rumpus around PSYCHO. Table gets overturned. Smashing glasses.

KEN
Oh, your cousin'll be alright. After all, he's one of us, isn't he?

COLIN
Ken, he's a university lecturer.

KEN
A what!?

COLIN
You know. Like a professor.

KEN
You are joking. How can you have a professor in the family? You're all thick you.

COLIN
My Auntie Betty married a vet and got all posh.

KEN
So, you're going to let Psycho stay at a professor's place?

COLIN
(Sighs.) Oh, well. Maybe he'll behave himself.

Rumpus around PSYCHO intensifies.

PSYCHO
Just fuck off!! Fuck off!!!

26. INT. APARTMENT BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE THAMES.

SARAH in dressing gown with towel turban. MIKE reading.

SARAH
Cherub?

MIKE
Yes, noodle.

SARAH.
When are we going to get married?

MIKE
(Looks up.) Oh . . oh soon.

SARAH
How soon is soon?

MIKE
Oh, I don't know. This year probably.

SARAH
Eight years it’s been. I think that's just about long enough to make up your mind. Don't you?

MIKE
(Lowers his paper.) Oh for God's sake, do we have to talk about this now?

SARAH
What do you mean? It's Saturday. We've done the shopping. You're reading an article on . . . (Snatches his paper away) . . . Will Carling. If we can't talk about this now, when can we?

MIKE
(Irritated.) Look, it's a nice evening. The birds are singing. We're drinking a bottle of Fleurie. Why do you have to bring in all this life long commitment crap? Life is a long time you know. It means until you're dead.

SARAH
I do it because I'm 31 and we've been going out for eight years. I'm doing it because its getting embarrassing. Three months ago, my secretary went on holiday and met a bloke called Kev. She is now Mrs. Kev!!

MIKE
And you want to be Mrs. Me.

SARAH
You do seem to be the obvious choice.

MIKE
OK. OK. Look. Give it till the end of the year. If we're not married by the end of the year you can dump me.

SARAH
Oh, you're just a coward.

MIKE
What do you mean?

SARAH
You're scared of responsibility.

MIKE
By responsibility you mean children, right?

SARAH
Yes, children. That's what we're designed for. Your knob, my tits - children!

MIKE
Other people have children.

SARAH
Why other people?

MIKE
Because they're stupid. That's why!!

27. INT. COLIN’S KITCHEN.

COLIN drinking a can of lager, preparing roast chicken. Son (14) appears at the door.

SON
Dad?

COLIN
Yes, son. What is it?

SON
There's a copper to see you.

COLIN
A what!? (Scurries to the door.) Yes, can I help you?

CONSTABLE
Mr. Rochford?

COLIN
Yes. What's going on?

CONSTABLE
I've been told you're president of Bootle rugby club.

COLIN
Yeh?

CONSTABLE
We've had a number of complaints about noise caused by your lads leaving the clubhouse at night. I've just come along to advise you that if this continues neighbours are willing to press charges.

COLIN
What charges are those?

CONSTABLE
Drunk and disorderly. Affray. Indecent exposure.

COLIN
Indecent exposure!?

CONSTABLE
Yes, an elderly woman called us last night saying that two naked men were running around her garden.

COLIN
Well, I'm sorry to hear that. But that could have been anybody. They didn't necessarily come from the club . . .

CONSTABLE
They were playing with a rugby ball.

COLIN
Aah.

CONSTABLE
Unfortunately they ran off before we arrived.

COLIN
Oh, right, so you've got no err clues to their identity . .

CONSTABLE
Nothing much. Apart from this. (Produces T shirt with the word PSYCHO emblazoned across it.) You wouldn't happen to know who this belongs to, would you?

COLIN
No, sorry. But if I find out whose it is, you can be sure they'll be barred from the club.

CONSTABLE
Right, Sir. We understand each other. I think we'll leave it there. You have been warned.

COLIN
Right.

CONSTABLE
Right. (Turns and leaves.)

COLIN
Goodbye. (Closes the door.) I'll kill him.

SON
What's all that about Dad?

COLIN
Never you mind, son.

28. INT. COLIN’S KITCHEN.

LYNN
Psycho?

COLIN
Psycho.

COLIN resumes cooking and opens a can of lager.

LYNN
I cannot believe you're taking Psycho down to see that posh cousin of yours.

COLIN
Look, what can I do? He won the ticket fair and square.

LYNN
Yes, but letting him stay at your cousin's place. It's looking for trouble.

COLIN
Oh yeh, so I'm to say “sorry, son, you're staying in a B&B while the rest of us stay in a posh flat.” Anyway, it's better if I keep an eye on him. He's bound to get into trouble on his own.

LYNN
Well. It's your own fault if this causes a family rift. (Lights a fag.) Anyway, hadn't you better phone him and tell him when you're coming? It's only two weeks away.

COLIN
Yeh. Yeh. Tomorrow.

LYNN
No. Look, if you leave it any longer he might have something else planned. Do it now.

COLIN
Oh come on. I've got to make the gravy.

LYNN
Now!!

29. INT. COLIN’S HALLWAY.

COLIN picks up the phone and takes a deep breath.

LYNN
You're nervous.

COLIN
Behave.

LYNN
Yes you are. Look, you're all flustered.

COLIN
I am not flustered. I just . . . Look, go and make the gravy. (Picks up the phone.) Please?

30. INT. MIKE AND SARAH’S BEDROOM

SARAH dances in her underwear to some top forty groove. Phone rings. Turns music down and skips to the phone.

SARAH
Helloo . . .

COLIN
Oh, hello. Can I speak to Mike?

SARAH
Oh, yes, hang on. (Puts hand over the receiver. Mock scouse accent.) I think it's someone from Brookside.

MIKE
Hello?

COLIN
Ah. Right there, Mike. It's your cousin Colin here. How you doin’?

MIKE
I umm . . . yes fine. Good to umm . .

COLIN
Well, I've got you a ticket for the England-Ireland match.

MIKE
Oh . . oh great!

COLIN
And we'll be down on Friday the 19th if that's OK.

MIKE
(Thinks.) Yes that should be fine. So you'll be staying two nights then?

COLIN
Yeh Friday and Saturday nights

MIKE
And there are three of you, is that right?

COLIN
That's right. Three of us. And me.

MIKE
Ah, right. Four.

COLIN
Tops.

MIKE
OK then. How about meeting up? You've been down here before, haven't you?

COLIN
Yeh umm . . .

MIKE
D'you know Richmond?

COLIN
Oh yeh, we go there every time. What's that pub where the Rolling Stones started out - the Bull and Bush.

MIKE
That's the one, yeh. How about there at - oh, I don't know - Five o clock?

COLIN
(Writes it down.) Five o clock, Bull and Bush, Richmond. OK, Mikey boy. We've got you your ticket. All you need are some drinking vouchers.

MIKE
Fine. Looking forward to it. OK then Colin, see you then.

COLIN
Bye. (Puts down phone.) Sorted!

LYNN
He bought it?

COLIN
Oh yes . .

LYNN
Poor sod.

31. INT. MIKE AND SARAH’S APARTMENT TWICKENHAM.

SARAH
Four?

MIKE
Yes.

SARAH
Four scousers? In our flat?

MIKE
Well, I couldn't really say no could I?

SARAH
Well, I'm away that weekend - so you can have them all to yourself. Just make sure they don't take a fancy to you. I know what rugby boys are like.

MIKE
Well . . .

SARAH
No really. If you get shagged up the arse, you're chucked.

MIKE
Pardon?

SARAH
The connection between rugby and buggery. I think it’s something to do with public school. I once worked my way through the Roehampton squad, and they were always trying to stick it up my arse. (Sighs and walks out the room.) I got to like it eventually.

MIKE
(Shocked and speechless. Gets up and pursues her out of the room.) Sarah? What's all this about . .

SARAH
(Spins round and points. Laughs.) Waaah!!!!

32. EXT. COVENT GARDEN STREETS. RUSH HOUR.

SARAH walks to her office. Pushes door open. Met by cynical middle aged secretary.

SARAH
Good morning, Olivia.

OLIVIA
Good morning to you, Sarah. You look very vital today.

SARAH
I'm demob happy. Mike's got some horrible working class cousins around tonight so I'm staying with Tara. And that means party time.

OLIVIA
Oh good. I'll stock up on analgesics then. Anyway work before pleasure. The MD from Motivation is waiting in your office.

SARAH
Who?

OLIVIA
You know. The consulting firm who want to link up with Outward Bound. A Mr. Carling's in your office.

SARAH
Rightyo. Let's see what we can do for him. Actually, to tell you the truth, I think it's a stupid idea. (Sarcastically.) Outward Bound. How passé.

Walks down the corridor and checks her face in the mirror.

33. SARAH’S OFFICE.

Man sits in office with his back to her.

SARAH
Aah. Mr. Carling. My name's Sarah Groom.

WILL CARLING stands up and holds out his hand.

CARLING
Thank you for agreeing to see me, Miss Groom.

SARAH
(In a state of shock. Shakes his hand.) Mr. Carling.

CARLING
Call me Will.

SARAH
(Preoccupied.) Will. (Comes to and smiles.) Oh please, sit down. I'll - I'll just get us some coffee.
Decaffeinated?

CARLING
Ordinary will do.

SARAH
Black?

CARLING
No, white please. Two sugars.

SARAH.
Of course, of course. I won't be two ticks.

Leaves room and runs back to the reception.

SARAH
(Glares at Olivia.) You didn't say that the MD of Motivation was Will Carling.

OLIVIA
(Unflustered.) Oh, I thought you knew.

SARAH
(Jumping up and down.) Will Carling!! (Leans on desk to compose herself. Head down.) Olivia, could you get two coffees please, one black no sugar, the other white two sugars. And Jaffa cakes. We definitely need Jaffa cakes.

Outside SARAH office puts on lipstick. Enters with flashing smile.

34. SARAH’S OFFICE.

SARAH
Right, I've read your report on Outward Bound and I think it's brilliant. I'm sure we can negotiate a package that will meet everyone's interests . . .

Later.

SARAH sits on her desk, carried away with the project.

SARAH
. . . so, we'll act as both broker and PR. The terms will be 11.5% and I reckon we can get this thing up and running by a week next Tuesday.

CARLING
(Obviously impressed.) Umm . . err. Fine.

SARAH
Jaffa cake?

CARLING.
(Reaches over.) Thanks.

SARAH
Any questions?

CARLING
(Finishes the Jaffa cake and licks his fingers.) Yes. There is one thing. Just occurred to me. It's a bit sensitive I'm afraid.

SARAH
(Smiles confidently.) Don't worry. You go ahead. Be as blunt as you like.

CARLING
OK. Umm. Would you come out with me tonight? You know, for a drink?

SARAH
(Face tightens). Yes . . Yes, I would. I . .

CARLING
Great. Shall I pick you up outside. Say, six?

SARAH
(On automatic pilot. Frowns.) Oh, yes.

CARLING
(Rising.) Great. Well . .Thanks very much, and I'll see you later then!

SARAH
(Shakes hands.) Yes. See you later.

CARLING leaves SARAH standing. Eventually she shakes her head and paces to her desk. Pulls out a bottle of scotch and pours herself a drink. Downs it in one and wipes her mouth with her sleeve, smearing lipstick to one side of her face.

SARAH
Well. Bugger me.

35. EXT. A BUS-STOP IN TWICKENHAM.

MIKE waits and looks at his watch. Bus arrives.

36. EXT. ON THE BUS.

MIKE
Richmond please.

Sits down. Bus crosses Richmond bridge.

Glorious view of the Riverside.

37. EXT. RICHMOND UPON THAMES STREETS

MIKE gets off bus and views the Bull and Bush. Looks at his watch again and seems to make a decision.

Walks to another pub, The Racing Post and buys a drink. Downs it in one. Walks back to the Bull and Gate, takes a deep breath and enters.


38. INT. THE BULL AND BUSH, RICHMOND.

Inside is packed with business types. Out of view there is riotous singing. MIKE picks his way through the crowd to the source of the noise - the members of COLIN’s rugby team.

The boys are dressed very smartly, with boaters, blazers and club ties. COLIN sits at the bar and sings along with the rest of them.

ALL
Wales! Wales! Fucking great fish are whales!!

COLIN spots MIKE and greets him. Singing continues.

COLIN
Alright Mike lad! How you doing!

MIKE
Fine. You got here OK then?

COLIN
No problemo. (Turns to counter.) Well, I've got you a drink of lager . . . (Passes it to him. Slops over
Mike's wrist.) . . .and I've got you a hat.

Plants boater on his head.

MIKE
What's with all the boaters?

COLIN
That was Mick's idea. I told him you were living next to the Thames, so he said we should wear something appropriate. We've got to keep them on at all times, and there's a fine of twenty pounds if you're found to be hatless. Anyway, get drinking, son. I'll introduce you.

Introductions to AL and KEN.

COLIN
(Shouts.) Eh . . eh Psycho. (PSYCHO in intense conversation with Irish boys. Turns round irritably.)

PSYCHO
What?!!

COLIN
Over here, son. Come and meet your new landlord.

PSYCHO
(Steps up amicably.) Oh, right mate.

Shakes hands.

COLIN
(To MIKE.) You've got to watch him.

PSYCHO
Yeh. Watch me. Colin told me you were a Guardian reader, so I've got you a present. (Pulls out the
Daily Sport. Cheers.) Nipple count today . . .

KEN
Twenty two.

AL
Twenty eight!

PSYCHO
Wrong! Twenty four.

Cheers.

ALL
(Singing) Tit. Tits. Glorious tits.
Better than curries that give you the shits . . .

MIKE looks on with a frozen smile.

Nearby group of Irish young men do not join in, but discuss and look over occasionally. Their leader nods, and approaches the boys. Slaps his hands together.

MICKEY
Right, lads. We've got a challenge on here.

COLIN
(Taking control.) Oh aye? Eh boys, challenge time!! (Turns to Mickey.) What's it to be then? Peanuts?

MICKEY
(Grandly.) No no. Nothing so trivial. I come to announce . . . a knob competition.

COLIN
(Aware that MIKE is at his side.) Oh, I don't know about that.

MICKEY
A small knob competition. Jimmy here has the smallest pecker in Ireland. He'll take on any of you.

PSYCHO
Come on, Colin. A challenge is a challenge.

COLIN
(Pronounced.) Definitely not. Look, Mike arrived only five minutes ago. I am not going subject him to a small knob competition.

PSYCHO
(To MIKE.) You don't mind do you?

MIKE
Err, no. Not at all.

PSYCHO
See. He doesn't mind.

MICKEY
Well, look. We'll give you two minutes to think about it. (Walks back to the group.)

PSYCHO
Go on Colin.

KEN
You'd win easily

AL
(To MIKE). Colin's the club champion. He's never lost.

KEN
He's got the smallest dick on Merseyside.

COLIN
Eh. Look, I'm not doing this with family present. No way. Finito. (Turns his back on them and resumes drinking.)

MICKEY comes over. COLIN still has his back to the boys.

MICKEY
Not up to it, eh? Right lads. Because you have refused to accept our challenge, a forfeit comes into play. And the forfeit is . . . Your hats!

Silence. Boys all look to COLIN.

COLIN groans, turns round and stands up.

COLIN
(Claps hands decisively.) Right lads. Make way. (Boys all cheer. To MIKE.) Don't tell Lynn about this for Christ's sake.

Boys all crowded around in a circle. MIKE remains at the bar.

MICKEY, the ringmaster.

MICKEY
Right, gentlemen. Do we have the judges?

KEN
(With two curious female students.) Right here boss!

MICKEY
And the yardstick?

KEN
(Waves a beermat.) In my hand.

Students enter the circle. Both increasingly mortified.

MICKEY
Are the contestants ready?

COLIN and JIMMY eyeball each other.

BOTH
We are.

MICKEY
Then when I say - present your wares. (COLIN looks as if he is about to launch himself at his opponent.
Boys egg them on.) Three-Two-One. Present arms!!

Stunned gasps. Tense hush as the girls do the measuring.

MICKEY
We have a winner. An easy winner. (Raises Jimmy's arm.)

Cheering from the Irish.

The lads return to MIKE, who has watched on from the bar throughout.

KEN
I do not believe that.

AL
That wasn't real.

COLIN
That lad didn't have a prick. He had three bollocks!

Pause as they take stock.

KEN
Oh well, what shall we get him?

COLIN
(Looks enviously at the celebrating Irishman.) I feel a glass of Top Shelf is in order.

PSYCHO
Top shelf it is. (Orders from the bar.)

MIKE
What's Top Shelf?

KEN
What d'you think it is? It's the whole top shelf of the bar.

MIKE
(Looks up at the spirit selection.) Jesus.

COLIN
Don't fancy one yourself, eh Mikey boy?

MIKE
No I bloody don't.

PSYCHO
(To the barman.) Yes, that's right. And finish off with a shot of Baileys as well.

Barman presents curdled result.

BARMAN
Nineteen pounds sixty please.

PSYCHO
(Passes over note.) Nineteen pounds sixty? God, you can get a good pint of Top Shelf for fourteen quid up in Bootle. (Receives change. Holds the glass aloft.) Oh well. To the victor the spoils. (Takes it over to Jimmy.) Enjoy.

JIMMY
(Takes glass and smiles. Downs it in one and wipes his mouth.) Thank you, Sir. You're a gent. (Passes him the empty glass and carries on talking.)

COLIN
(To MIKE.) Oh dear.

MIKE
What?

COLIN
He's holding it down. You should never do that.

39. INT. THE BULL AND BUSH, RICHMOND.

Later. Commotion. Screams. Breaking glasses. Boys look on as JIMMY reels from wall to wall and falls back onto a table.

AL
(Displaying packets of condoms he bought from the machine in the toilet.) You don't get these in Bootle. Look. Lager flavour. Sherry flavour. Curry flavour. (Takes them from the packets.)

PSYCHO
Let's have one. (Licks a condom.) Hey it does taste like curry. (Pulls the condom over his head and starts to inflate it by snorting through his nose. AL and KEN do the same.)

Girls at the table kick JIMMY who attempts to get up. He reels to another loaded table. Collapses.

Boys inflate the condoms until they resemble cone-heads.

COLIN
Eh lads, you've forgotten your hats.

Places one boater hat on each. The three cone-heads stand in line and salute.

Irish lads carry JIMMY past them

MICKEY
(Holding one of JIMMY’s legs). See you lads. And try and get us a ticket will you? I've got to get a ticket.

COLIN
(Pats him on the shoulder.) Right I'll keep me eyes open.

MICKEY
OK, see you boys down the Albany tomorrow. Eleven -o-clock!

A wild-eyed PSYCHO. Condom bursts. Hat falls to his head. Grins maniacally.

PSYCHO
(To MIKE.) This is your worst nightmare isn't it lad?


40. INT. SARAH’S WORKPLACE.

SARAH leaves reception. Checks the time. Six o clock.

SARAH
I'm dreaming. I'm dreaming. This is a dream.

Takes deep breath and opens door onto the street.


41. Ext. OUTSIDE THE OFFICE.

Looks one way. Nothing.

Looks the other. WILL CARLING sits inside an open top Aston Martin. Waves. SARAH visibly goes weak at the knees, but recovers herself and approaches with a brilliant smile. WILL opens the door from the inside.

WILL
Err, nice to see you again.

SARAH
(Gets in and sits with her hands on her knees.) Yes. Nice to see you too.

WILL
How about a drink at my club? And then maybe a meal. Lebanese OK?

SARAH
Lebanese. Yes. Fine. Car pulls off.


42. EXT. OUTSIDE PALL MALL CLUB

WILL and SARAH climb up the stairs to be met by a doorman.

DOORMAN
(Touches his cap.) Mr. Carling. How very good to see you, Sir.

WILL.
Thank you, Campbell.


43. INT. INSIDE PALL MALL CLUB.

Serene 19th century atmosphere. At the bar.

WILL
Oh well. Cheers.

SARAH
(Cheers. Pauses. Thinks.) Its a funny thing fame.

WILL
(Sighs.) Tell me about it.

SARAH
I mean, I hardly know you. Yet I know lots of things about you.

WILL
What do you know?

SARAH
Tons. I know that you did Psychology at Durham. Got a 2.2. Captain of the rugby team. You had your fair share of women. You ended up captaining England. Blah blah blah. (Frustrated.) Oh, I don't know. It's impossible to have a proper conversation with a famous person!

WILL
I know. Most people can't.

SARAH
(Put at ease by his honesty.) I met Sting once when I was in Antigua. He was just sat at the airport bar. Sting. God. Anyway, he came over and talked to me. You know he just wanted to pass the time of day until his plane arrived. Of course to him I'm a complete stranger. But I'm sitting there talking to him knowing everything about him. I mean, I know he has a mole on his dick!

WILL
Fame's like that. It makes proper relationships impossible. (Sighs.) The price you pay I suppose. (Pauses). Anyway, what about you? Tell me about yourself.

SARAH
Not much to tell really. I come from Lincoln. Did History at Bristol. Got into PR. Fairly unglamorous really.

WILL
Got a fellah?

SARAH
(Undecided whether to tell the truth.) I . . umm . . .

VOICE
Will! You ugly bastard! What the Hell are you doing here?

WILL
Oh. Hi, Gary. How are things?

GARY LINEKER appears.

GARY
Busy. I've just finished Sports Quiz, and I'm doing Match of the Day tomorrow with Des.

WILL
Ha. Des. Did you see him on that Chris Evans show last week?

GARY
Yeh. He's finally become a cult figure. Apparently they're doing Des Lynam T shirts nowadays.

WILL
Well the man is smooth. (Comes to.) Oh Gary, this is Sarah Groom my new PR. Sarah, this is Gary Lineker.

SARAH
(In a dream.) Pleased to meet you.

GARY
Nice to meet you too. (Shakes her hand. Leans in.) Watch out for this fellah. He can’t handle his drink, you know. Gets very emotional.

SARAH
(Smiles.) Yes, I’d heard that.

GARY
(Looks at both of them). Oh, by the way - careful going out the door, or you’ll end up in the News of the Screws this Sunday. I noticed that creep Simmons out there.

SARAH
(Uncertain.)

WILL
Oh right thanks. We’ll go out the back. You know I'm surprised they haven't had us in a gay relationship yet, Gary.

GARY
They will. Just as soon as they think of it. (Someone calls to Gary.) Aaargh, got to go. I'm picking up an award at 8.30.

WILL
Not another one. What's this one for?

GARY
Oh, the usual. Being a fucking saint. (They laugh.) Gary waves and disappears.

WILL
(Smiles.) Top man. Fancy another?

44. EXT. TWICKENHAM STATION.

COLIN and the boys spill out of a train onto the platform.

AL
(Pissed. Blows kisses to three girls who ignore him.) Hey you're lovely you are!! Will you marry me? I'd make a good husband! (Train pulls away. Girl cracks a smile. AL returns to the boys.) Slag.

COLIN
(Pissed.) Eh lad. Behave. (To MIKE.) Where to now commandant?

MIKE
There's a pub just up here.

PSYCHO
(Mock posh.) Oh is there? Jolly good. Tally ho!

COLIN
(Aside to PSYCHO.) Don't start.

45. INT. PACKED TWICKENHAM PUB.

KEN and AL join up with some locals singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot. MIKE, COLIN and PSYCHO sit at a table.

COLIN
(In respectful discussion with MIKE.) So where does Britain stand in the economic league then?

MIKE
Oh you don't really want to discuss this now do you?

COLIN
No really. I'm interested to get a university slant.

MIKE
(Sighs.) Well in terms of GDP we're ninth. And in terms of competitiveness we're about 25th.

PSYCHO
(Outburst.) Bollocks!! He's talking bollocks!!

MIKE
(Making light.) Well, I suppose I might be.

PSYCHO
(Working himself into a frenzy.) Why you talking to him? He knows nothing. He's talking bollocks.

COLIN
(Ignores this.) What I don't understand is why in formulating these tables they don't like take into account the quality of life of the workers. After all, it's the workers who make the wealth in the first place.

MIKE
I'm sure there are some figures like that somewhere.

PSYCHO
Bollocks! He's talking bollocks again. Listen to him.

COLIN
(To MIKE.) Excuse me.

COLIN grabs PSYCHO and whisks him into the toilet. Flings PSYCHO up against a wall.

COLIN
One more word out of you and I am confiscating your ticket.

PSYCHO
But he's a wanker

COLIN
He is your landlord. Where you going to sleep if he chucks you out? And he's quite entitled to do that after that display. I don't mind you having a pop, but you don't have a pop at him. He's my cousin and he means well, so you are going to be nice and polite now, aren't you?

PSYCHO
Even when he talks bollocks?

COLIN
He can't help it. He's a university lecturer.

PSYCHO
Right.

COLIN
So be nice.

PSYCHO
(Calms down.) Be nice.

COLIN
That's it.

PSYCHO
But I can have a pop at someone else, right?

COLIN
Anyone you like. But not him.

PSYCHO.
Alright. Be nice to the wanker. Nice to the wanker.

They leave the toilet. PSYCHO goes straight up to a group of lads.

PSYCHO
That's my pint.

MAN
Sorry, it's not. It's mine.

PSYCHO
Oh aye. Where d'you get it from?

MAN
The bar, where d'you think? Look I don't want any trouble.

PSYCHO
Why not!? You queer or something?

COLIN sits next to MIKE

COLIN
Don't you take any notice of him. He's a nutter.

MIKE
Mmm.

COLIN
Look, he's having a go at him now.

KEN
It was me last Friday at the club. I said Will Carling was a good captain. He went mad.

COLIN
Yeh, but you know he's got a thing about Will Carling.

PSYCHO
(Joins them with the other man's pint.) Carling? Who mentioned Will Carling?

COLIN
We were just saying he's not exactly your favourite player.

MIKE
What's wrong with him?

PSYCHO
(Stares wildly.) What's wrong? He's a poncy, university educated, middle class wanker. That's what!!

MIKE
Aahh.

KEN starts up with Swing Low Sweet Chariot. All join in.


46. INT. INSIDE CLASSY RESTAURANT.

WILL and SARAH sit at a table. WILL pours her some wine.

WILL
What else d'you know about me?

SARAH
Well, I know that you're retiring tomorrow.

WILL
Well. That bit's true.

SARAH
So tonight's your last night as England captain?

WILL
I suppose it is.

SARAH
Won't you miss it? The adulation? The glory?

WILL
Not really. You get a bit sick of glory. Everyone on their feet screaming that you're wonderful.

SARAH
You mean you're not looking forward to tomorrow?

WILL
No, of course I am. It's just. I don't know. It's a bit like Christmas when you're all grown up.

SARAH
But you could win the Five Nations.

WILL
We could, but . . . Oh, well. we'll see. If we win the Five Nations it would be kind of neat.

SARAH
The perfect end to the perfect career.

WILL
S'ppose so. (Struggles with himself.) The problem is that it's all become normalised. You've got the fame, the dosh, the girls - all the things that people want. You've got it. So instead of being preoccupied with striving for these things as everyone else is, you're faced with more . . . existential concerns.

WAITER appears.

WAITER
Are you ready to order, Sir?


47. INT. THE TWICKENHAM TANDOORI

The boys in a curry house. Ordering food.

COLIN
I'll have the mulligatawny soup, chicken korma with pilau rice and a sag aloo.

WAITER
Right, Sir. (Disappears.)

KEN
(Starts singing.) There's a monkey in the tree, And he's making eyes at me . . . Others join in.

COLIN
Shut up, shut up. You can't sing that in here.

KEN
Why not? Popadams arrive with relishes.

AL
(To the WAITER.) Eh, are we getting charged for this? (To the boys.) They sometimes charge for the relishes you know. You've got to watch them.

WAITER
It's 60p for the relishes.

AL
What? For each relish?

WAITER
Yes, Sir.

AL
That's ridiculous. You can take 'em back.

COLIN
Look, behave. I'll pay for the bloody relishes. Just leave it will you.

WAITER leaves. Enters the kitchen

WAITER.
We've got trouble. Table Five. Rugger buggers.

CHEF
They being rude?

WAITER
Very.

CHEF
Specials all round?

WAITER
Definitely.

CHEF
Right. (Shouts to two commis chefs.) OK, you two. Special time. Get your knobs out!

48. INT. LATER. INSIDE THE TWICKENHAM TANDOORI.

Boys round the table. COLIN tucks into his soup with relish.

COLIN
Gaw. Lovely. I love a bit of mulligatawny me. (Scoops up creamy bit in the centre.) Mmmm.

MIKE
(Drunk.) So you boys see England play every year do you?

COLIN
Yeh.

PSYCHO
It's the first time I've been.

COLIN
And the last.

PSYCHO picks up the latticed metal poppadum plate and bends it in two.

KEN begins to snore.

COLIN
So, you've got rid of the ladyfriend for the weekend?

MIKE
Yeh. She's staying with a mate of hers.

COLIN
Good. I wouldn't want her seeing this lot in their state.

AL
What's wrong with our state? Returns to eating.

PSYCHO plants a salt cellar into the relish and licks a finger.

COLIN
You've been seeing her for a while now, haven't you. How long's it been now?

MIKE
Eight years now.

COLIN
Eight years. Jesus. That's longer than most marriages. How long you been married, Psycho?

PSYCHO
Three years.

COLIN
And when's the divorce coming through?

PSYCHO
Next Thursday.

COLIN
How long've you been married, Ken?

KEN
(Coming to.) Too fucking long.

COLIN
(To MIKE) So, you going to marry her or what?

MIKE
I don't know really.

COLIN
God, how d'you manage to keep her going? My Lynn started forcing the pace after six months.

WAITER comes over to clear the table, notices the bent plate.

WAITER
Hey, what's going on here? Who did this?

PSYCHO
I did. What of it?

KEN
Oh keep your hair on, mate. It's not broken. (Straightens plate.) Look. Good as new.

WAITER takes the plate and plucks the salt cellar from the pickle.

COLIN
You see, I may be stupid, and I may be out of turn here, but what I don't understand is why that bird of yours sticks around if you're not going to marry her.

MIKE
(Fazed.) I don't know either really.

PSYCHO
God, he doesn't know much does he?

Furious WAITER enters the kitchen.

WAITER
Ahmed, Kali. Get your knobs out!!

KALI
No way. Not again. I can't.

WAITER.
Of course you can. (Picks out a copy of Escort.) Well, go on. The main course is almost ready.

49. EXT. GARDEN.

Next morning. View from bottom of large garden to a bedroom window.

Birdsong.

50. WILL CARLING’S BEDROOM.

SARAH in large double bed. Wakes up and gives a luxurious yawn. Opens her eyes, realises that she is in a strange room. Sits up. Notices that the other side of the bed has been slept in. Panics. Reaches over to the bedside table and picks up a packet of condoms. Shakes it. Empty. Notices another packet of condoms, also empty. Flings herself back on the bed.

SARAH
Oh my God.

Whistling. WILL appears fresh from the shower with just a towel around his waist. Stops. Smiles.

WILL
Morning.

SARAH
(Embarrassed.) Morning.

WILL rubs himself dry with the towel. SARAH averts her gaze.

WILL
Look. I'll have to bomb off now. I'm meant to be at the ground by eleven. (Changes into track suit.) Help yourself to breakfast - there's fresh orange juice in the fridge.

SARAH
Rightyo. Bye.

WILL
Hey, look. Say if you don't want to. But why don't you come along to the game? There's a reception on afterwards. It's all VIP stuff. I'll meet you at the reception.

SARAH
(Dignified.) Mmm. Yes, that would be nice.

WILL
Great. There are a couple of tickets on the kitchen table. (Horn beeps outside.) Oh, I'm sorry it's all so rushed. (Approaches her and gives her a passionate kiss.) Today, I play for you. See you later.

Disappears.

SARAH lies back and stares at the ceiling.

51. INT. MIKE’S LIVING ROOM. 

Morning. Snoring. Curtains drawn.

COLIN rips open curtain and covers his eyes. Protests from the boys who are sleeping on settees, and on the floor.

KEN
Arr eh, close the fucking curtains will you!!

COLIN
Rubs his hands together. No, it's time to get up lads. Can you believe this view?

COLIN looks on at riverside view.

AL
(Stands up and stares.) Fucking hell. That's the poshest view I've ever seen that.

COLIN
(Overcome with glee.) Look, there's a balcony here. (Opens the door onto the balcony. AL and
COLIN walk onto the balcony and sit down. COLIN takes a slug of whisky from his flask.) Now this is what I call living. God, imagine this every morning before you go to work.

AL
(Sitting back.) I wouldn't go to work. I'd just stay here. I'd get the dole to pay for it.


52. EXT. TWICKENHAM STREETS. LATE MORNING.

The boys in their blazers and boaters walking down Twickenham High Street.

Cars beep their horns. Children wave.

53. INT. MAGGIE’S CAFÉ – TWICKENHAM HIGH STREET

The boys in a cafe. KEN holds a sausage aloft with his fork.

KEN
Look at the size of that sausage.

AL
(To the proprietor who is outrageously camp.) We're used to bigger sausages than that up North mate.

PROPRIETOR
(Arranging the salt cellar.) Ooh, I'll pack tonight.

Leaves.

COLIN
He's a bit theatrical isn't he?

KEN
Yeh. He's put me right off me sausage. Who wants me sausage?

PSYCHO
I'll have it.

Passes it over.

COLIN turns to the back page of the Daily Mirror, where there is a picture of WILL with the caption, “Bye Bye Bumface”.

COLIN
Well there you go, Psycho. At least you'll be there to witness his last match.

PSYCHO
Good. Middle class twat.

MIKE.
Yeh, it's all change now. Rob Colin's gone as well.

PSYCHO
He was crap and all.

MIKE
Well. He was a good kicker.

PSYCHO.
Good kicker!? He couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo.

PROPRIETOR comes over

PROPRIETOR
Everything alright here, gentlemen??

COLIN
I'll have another mug of tea over here please mate.

KEN
And I'll have another breakfast.

MIKE
I'll have a portion of chips please.

AL
Chips eh? Colin said you had no culture. Hey Colin, he's got a bit of culture this fellah.

COLIN
Course he has. We're related aren't we?

AL
Does that mean you share the same err genetic mutation?

MIKE
What d'you mean?

AL
Looks down to his lap. Down there.

COLIN
Nah. They're hung like donkeys on their side of the family.

PSYCHO
I bet it's not as big as mine.

MIKE
It probably isn't.

PSYCHO
No, go on. I bet you ten quid.

COLIN
Psycho. Please. Don't get it out. Not now.

Two ladies enter the cafe. One gasps and leaves.


54. EXT. TWICKENHAM HIGH STREET.

COLIN
(Sniffs the air.) Aye, it's going to be a beautiful day.

MIKE
(Looking up.) I think it is.

COLIN
Right we're meeting the Irish lads at the, the . .

MIKE
The Albany. Up this way.

COLIN
Lead on, oh great one.


55. INT. IN THE ALBANY.

Packed full of Irish and English rugby fans.

COLIN passes pints of Guinness back to the boys.

MICKEY
Eh lads, good to see you. (Shakes hands with COLIN.) Good to see you. Any luck on the ticket front?

COLIN
Sorry lad. I've tried everyone I've met. There aren't any around.

MICKEY
Aye. Things are desperate. I got one guy willing to sell, but he wanted two hundred quid. Two hundred! That's criminal, that's what it is. Oh well. I won't give up hope.

COLIN
Don't you give up, mate. Anyway, let me get you a pint at least.

MICKEY
You're a gentleman, Sir.

COLIN
(To the other Irish boys.) Guinness?

IRISH BOYS
Fine. Good.

JIMMY
(Winner of the small knob competition, and of a pint of Top Shelf. Shakily.) Just a water if you don't mind.

COLIN
Aah. On the wagon today, eh?

JIMMY
For the rest of me life. I woke up this morning with a TV remote up me arse. Apparently, I put it there meself.

COLIN
Jesus. Yes, I'd start going easy on the old ale there, mate.

MICKEY
(Expansive. To all.) Anyway. Anyway. Listen lads. You know the new rules that came in in '88. Johnny, the coach of London Irish wants to make sure the lads understand their implication for play. So he goes to the Backs and asks them. They give a perfect answer. They 're going to adopt fluid tactics and kick the ball into touch more. Great, he thinks. Then he goes to the Second Row and asks them about the changes. (Pushes nose to one side. Looks stupid.) “What changes?” they say. So he spends an hour explaining in simple language how the game is now changed. Sorted. Then he goes to the Front Row. What d'you think about the changes to the rules, eh boys? (Distorts his face horribly.) They look at him blankly: “What rules?”

Boys laugh, and slap him on the back.

COLIN
(Benignly.) Hey, I object to that kind of stereotyping. Some front rows are knowledgeable and sensitive types.

KEN
But not you though, Colin.

COLIN
No, but not me!!

Uproar.


56. INT. IN THE ALBANY.

MICKEY hassles anyone and anyone for a ticket.

Two middle aged men in blazers approach PSYCHO, AL and MIKE. One peers at PSYCHO's badge, BRUFC.

MAN
Aah, where are you from then? Brighton?

AL
No. (Accent undetectable.)

OTHER MAN
Beaconsfield?

AL
No, mate. Bootle.

PSYCHO
Bootle on Merseyside.

MAN
(Rattled.) Mmm. Oh yes. I think my son in law went there once. (Pauses uncomfortably. Moves off.) Oh, well. Forever onwards.

PSYCHO
Twat.

57. INT. IN THE ALBANY. AT THE BAR.

MICKEY
So, lads, the bet's on is it?

COLIN
Not another bet. What's this?

MICKEY
Well, the losing country buys the pints after the match.

COLIN
What are you, a charity?

MICKEY
No, I reckon we've got a . . . a fighting chance, d'you think there, lads?

JIMMY
Fighting against the odds you mean.

MICKEY
Ah well, we're good losers though, are we not?

JIMMY
Aye. We have to be.

MICKEY
Anyway, anyway. Here's another one for you. What's the difference between a slag and a bitch?

COLIN
Mmm . .

MICKEY
A slag is a girl who shags anyone. And a bitch is a girl who shags anyone but you!

Uproar.

Singing. Swing Low. Molly Malone etc.

Mickey looks for tickets. Mickey returns to the boys.

MICKEY
(Maudlin.) Ah, I don't know. I don't think I'll get to see the game you know.

COLIN
Oh you keep plugging on.

MICKEY
No, it's a terrible thing. To come all the way to Twickenham and not to get into the match. With eighty thousand seats you think they'd have the odd spare ticket.

COLIN
No chance. It's a sell out every time. This one's even worse 'cos it's Carling's last match.

JIMMY
So it is. (Takes a swig of Guinness.) D'you rate that fellah then?

PSYCHO
He's a wanker.

JIMMY
Ha, that's what the Irish think as well. There's no doubt he's done well, but he plays like a ponce does he not?

PSYCHO
He's a wanker.

COLIN
Oh, look. You've got Psycho onto his pet subject.

MICKEY
Psycho. Why d'you call him that then?


58. EXT. STREET TOWARDS TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

The boys walking along with other fans.

COLIN
Ah, they're great lads them.

MIKE
Yes, they're a good laugh.

COLIN
Eh Ken, free drinks back at the Albany then?

KEN
Can't wait.

Two middle aged men walk past them.

MAN
Eh. I think we've got some scousers here.

AL
Too right mate

OTHER MAN
(Impersonates scouse). Eh. Eh. Watch your tickets everybody. We've got scousers here.

COLIN
Eh, at least we can talk properly.

Genial good humour.


59. EXT. OUTSIDE THE GROUND.

COLIN directs the proceedings.

COLIN
North stand? Right. Al and Psycho. Your seats are up there. (Points.)

They move off.

AL
OK see you down the Albany later.

COLIN
(Waving a flask.) And don't forget to put your flask down your bollocks before they search you.

PSYCHO
Right boss.

COLIN takes a slug and puts the flask down his pants.

COLIN
Right, boys. In we go.

In the stadium, the boys stop at a balcony overlooking London. Eating hotdogs.

COLIN
(Sighs.) This is great isn't it eh?

KEN
You're right there.

COLIN
Everything's gone like a dream. Coming down. The flat. It's better than working this, isn't it, Ken?

KEN
Certainly is boss.

COLIN
(Looks out.) Where are we looking? Is this towards town?

MIKE
I don't know to tell you the truth. That's Richmond over there, so I suppose it must be towards Central London, yeh.

COLIN
D'you like London, then?

MIKE
Love it.

COLIN
I hate London, me.

KEN
(Chewing.) So do I.

MIKE
Why's that then?

COLIN
You're not a person down here. You're a punter. Everyone's selling something. It's always like (Changes accent. Swings arm as if ushering somebody into a shop.) Step inside. Come and see my wares. Everything's so fucking expensive. Sure, you've got the shows and all that, but you know . . . when was the last time you went to see a show?

MIKE
I don't know. A couple of months ago.

COLIN
I went last Friday. Educating Rita was on at the Floral Pavilion. Great show it was. Five quid.

MIKE
Well, I don't know. Now that I'm here, I'd feel a bit out of it anywhere else. It's like you're in the thick of it. Anything that's important happens here.

COLIN
Important things happen in Bootle.

KEN
Yeh, like beating Neston last Saturday. Our first win of the season.

MIKE
Ha. Well done.

COLIN
A glorious day indeed. (Comes to.) Oh well, from one glorious day to another. Let's go.

They turn and enter the stadium proper.


60. INT. THE PLAYERS’ TUNNEL, TWICKENHAM

The two teams line up.

WILL
(At the front of his team.) Right lads, remember the drill. Hard and clean. Hard and clean.

IRISH CAPTAIN
(Mocking WILL) Right lads, remember the drill. Kick their fucking heads in.

Big cheer from the Irish team.

OFFICIAL
OK boys, on you go.

WILL
Right, come on!!

Sprints out. Both teams stay put. WILL is oblivious to this until he reaches the centre of the pitch and turns round. Standing ovation.

Close up of WILL looking around the ground.

PSYCHO, the only one in the ground not standing.

SARAH stands and looks at WILL. He spots her and grins.


61. EXT. TWICKENHAM STADIUM

Boys stand and sing the National Anthem. PSYCHO and AL do the same in the North Stand. MIKE looks aside to detect any sense of irony. There is none. At the end the boys clap and sit down. COLIN rubs his hands.

COLIN
OK boys here we go.

Picks the flask from his pants and takes a long slug. Passes it to MIKE who does the same.

Scenes from the game. Ireland go into the lead.

COLIN
Hey I don't think these boys have read the script.

WILL carries out an heroic single-man assault in the Irish half.

COLIN
That's it lad. That's it!

WILL brought down by a crunching tackle. Close up of his face.

SARAH on her feet.

SARAH
(Screams.) Get off him!!

Fellow VIPS look round.


62. STAND B, TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

Games continues.

MIKE
So let's get this right. If we win this, and Wales beat France then we've won the Five Nations.

COLIN
Not very likely though, is it? Wales haven't won a game all season.

KEN
Naah. France'll get it.

COLIN
I tell you what though. If England do win the Five Nations, Carling will go into the history books.

MIKE
Deservedly so.

COLIN
(Agrees.) Oh aye, yeh.


63. THE PITCH. TWICKENHAM.

Game continues.

WILL looks over to SARAH again. Runs towards his own line and (as really happened) collapses in agony.


64. STAND D. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

AL
Eh Carling's down. Look. What happened?

PSYCHO
He tripped over a blade of grass.


65. THE PITCH. TWICKENHAM.

Trainer runs over.

TRAINER
What is it, Will?

WILL
My knee, I've twisted my knee.

TRAINER
Hang on. I'll spray it.

Sprays.

WILL
Oww!! Bloody Hell. That's even worse.

TRAINER
(Massages his knee.) Sorry Will, you're going to have to come off.

Trainer signals to stretcher bearer.

WILL
Oh for fuck's sake.

WILL rolled onto stretcher. Stares at the sky, as the crowd give him an emotional final ovation.

66. STAND D. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

PSYCHO
(Waving.) Bye bye, wanker. (To AL.) He's gone. Forever. I can't believe it!!

67. STAND B. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

COLIN, KEN and MIKE all stand and clap.

COLIN
The end of an era that, lads.

KEN
We're witnessing history.

COLIN
(To MIKE.) Glad you came?

MIKE
It's wonderful.

Game continues.

68. STAND D. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

PSYCHO
Oh well, that's worth a drink to celebrate.

Takes a slug of whiskey. Nudges the old fellow next to him.

OLD FELLOW
I don't mind if I do. Ta. Where you boys from? Liverpool is it?

AL
Bootle

OLD FELLOW
Ah, know it well. My wife was born in Birkenhead.

PSYCHO
There's a coincidence. So was mine.


69. Stand B. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

COLIN
(Takes a slug of whiskey.) Right, we're up against it now. All hands to the pumps if we're going to win this one. Come one. Come on. (Irish player kicks a high ball which falls for a English player. Misses the catch, and is swamped by green shirts. COLIN jumps up.) You stupid twat!!

Rage subsides. Takes another slug of rum.

England start to dominate. Try.


70. STAND D. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

Massive celebrations. PSYCHO and AL on their feet.

PSYCHO
Yes. That's more like it lads. A few more of these and we'll be alright. (Conversion taken.) That's it. It's over.

OLD FELLOW
They've got over Carling. That's it. Just shows doesn't it? The team is greater than the individual.

AL
Whatever you say mate. Have another drink.

OLD FELLOW
(Drinks.) Let me introduce myself. I'm Jeff. Dean Richard's dad.

PSYCHO
What . . that Dean Richards (pointing)? You're joking, aren't you?

OLD FELLOW
No, really. Anyway, the reason I say that is not to brag, but I umm . . . I'm allowed two guests to the post match reception. How d'you fancy coming along?

AL
What, to meet the players and that?

OLD FELLOW
Oh yeh, you can meet them all. And there's free drink. There is only two of you, isn't there?

AL
Yeh. Just us.

OLD FELLOW
Right then. Stick with me after that match and I'll show you where to go.

PSYCHO
Yess. Sound.


71. PLAYERS’ BENCHES AT THE SIDE OF THE PITCH

Game continues. WILL wearing tracksuit hobbles to the reserves bench.

TRAINER
Bad news?

WILL
Ligament.

TRAINER
Oh well. C'est la vie.

WILL
Everything under control here?

TRAINER
Yeh. We're getting stronger up front. You know about the Wales France game?

WILL
No. What?

TRAINER
Wales have gone ahead.

WILL
You're joking.

TRAINER
By one point. 16-15.

WILL
Ouch. How long now?

TRAINER
Not long. (They watch on.) This could be the fairytale end for you Will. If we pull this one off, you'll be a national hero. And I think I'll puke.

WILL
Thanks boss.


72. STAND B. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

COLIN
Come on. Come on. Keep it up. Is it still 16-15 in Cardiff?

Man behind with the radio.

MAN
I think so,

MIKE
Come on. Come on.

Whistle blown. Huge cheer. Crowd get to their feet.

COLIN
Wales have won. We've won the Five Nations. Brilliant!!

WILL
Brilliant.

Hobbles onto the pitch. Claps audience in response. SARAH stands and applauds.

COLIN
Right lads, now there's real cause for celebration.

Boys follow him out.


73. STAND D. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

OLD FELLOW
(To PSYCHO and AL.) Now this should be some party. Come on boys. Follow me.


74. INT. THE OFFICIAL RECEPTION. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

Later, SARAH stands uneasily by a group of old blazered men. She sips wine and smiles. One of them turns to her.

MAN
I don't think we've met before, my dear. My name's Williams. President of the Union.

SARAH
(Shakes hands.) I'm Sarah Groom.

MAN
You're not Press, are you?

SARAH
(Smiles.) No, not Press.

MAN
With anyone then?

SARAH
Err, yes. Will . . Will Carling.

MAN
Lucky old Will. Oh yes here he is now.

All stand and clap as he enters the room. 
Acknowledges applause until he spots SARAH. Comes straight over.

MAN
Well done, Will. I suppose you redeemed yourself in the end.

WILL
Thank you, Sir. But it was a bit close for comfort.

MAN
Oh well, the punters liked it and that's what matters.

WILL
Have you met my friend, Sarah Groom?

MAN
Indeed I have.

WILL
(To SARAH.) Did you enjoy it?

SARAH
It was brilliant. How's your leg?

WILL
Oh, I'll survive. Just my luck to have it happen in my last game.

MAN
Don't be silly, Willy. It was the perfect end. The ideal denouement. The great hero falls in his last battle. He is carried off on a stretcher. No, not a stretcher. A chariot, coming forth to carry thee home. To the gods.

SARAH
And who are the gods?

MAN
(Indicates to other blazered old men.) Why, us of course.


75. INT. THE OFFICIAL RECEPTION. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

PSYCHO and AL talk to DEAN RICHARDS. They shake hands.

PSYCHO
I can't believe it. Deano. We've got a picture of you up in the clubroom.

DEAN
What club is that, boys?

AL
Bootle in Merseyside.

DEAN
Good for you. What league are you in now?

AL
Merseyside league. Division three.

DEAN
You err having a good season?

PSYCHO
Fantastic. We're bottom like, but it's been a great season hasn't it, Al. We beat Neston last Saturday.

DEANO
Well done lads. Hang on. I'll just get a drink.

Disappears.

PSYCHO
(Moved.) If he was a bird, I'd marry him.


76. INT. INSIDE THE ALBANY ARMS, TWICKENHAM.

Noisy. Packed with reveling England and Ireland fans. MICKEY passes pints of Guinness back to the boys.

MICKEY
There you go, lads. I told you we were good losers, didn't I?

COLIN
Well, you are good at losing.

MICKEY
Hey. Everyone's good at something, and we're good at losing. It's part of our culture.

COLIN
Well . . .

MICKEY
In fact you could say we're the winners at losing. The champions of defeat. Isn't that right, lads?

IRISH
(Cheer, Start singing.) In Dublin's fair city/Where the girls are so pretty . . (Molly Malone)

COLIN
(To MIKE.) Can you see the terrible twosome anywhere?

MIKE
(Looking around.) Naah.

COLIN
Mmm. I've got a bad feeling about this. If they've got into trouble, they're in even bigger trouble when they get back here. It'd be just like Psycho to get arrested or something.


77. INT. THE OFFICIAL RECEPTION. TWICKENHAM STADIUM.

Whole reception sings, Swing Low Sweet Chariot. PSYCHO and AL drink from a bottle of Chateauneuf de Pape, and cause some stares.

WILL and SARAH in a corner.

SARAH
So what happens now?

WILL
What do you mean?

SARAH
Well, do I stay or do I go?

WILL
Oh, I see. Well, there's the meal and the presentation in about an hour. I'll have to go to that. But afterwards . . . The lads are going out on the town, but I don't really fancy it to tell you the truth. How about I give you the house keys and I meet you back at mine when it's finished.

SARAH
But, I should really . . .

WILL
Please. Please.

SARAH
Oh . . umm . . .

PSYCHO
Eh, you're Will Carling aren't you?

WILL
Yes I am. Pleased to meet you.

Holds out his hand. PSYCHO ignores it.

PSYCHO
It's been a good day for you I suppose.

WILL
Well I've . . . I've had worse.

PSYCHO
Funny that, seeing you were so crap.

WILL
(Shaken.) What?

AL
Eh, Psycho . . . come on. (Tries to lead him away.)

PSYCHO.
I said you were fucking crap. You're a fucking fairy. Captain of England. Ha! I wouldn't make you captain of a netball team.

WILL
(Pushes him away.) Get this fellow out.

PSYCHO.
He pushed me! I'm not scared of you, you great nancy boy.

Swings at WILL. Cameras flash as PSYCHO lands a fist on his chin. SARAH clings on to WILL for dear life.

PSYCHO and AL get hauled away.

SARAH tends to WILL who suffers a bleeding lip.

Cameras flash.

ATTENDANT
(Struggling with PSYCHO.) Look, George. WRUFC. What club d'you belong to, boys?

AL
Errm. Windsor. Windsor Rugby club.

ATTENDANT
Well you won't belong for much longer, I can tell you. You'll never play again. Now get out of here!!

PSYCHO and AL forcibly evicted. AL picks up his hat and dusts it off.

PSYCHO
(Screams.) Middle class wankers!


78. INT. INSIDE THE ALBANY ARMS, TWICKENHAM.

COLIN
That's it. They're two hours late. I am not a happy man.

KEN
Oh, they've probably just met some birds. You know what they're like. They just follow their dicks.

COLIN
They are inconsiderate. I mean, we've been here two hours now. And these lot aren't much fun are they?

Looks to table where two of the Irish lads are asleep and MICKEY is looking on dead-eyed. Realises he has been mentioned. Looks up.

MICKEY
Hey boys. We lost the fucking match, didn't we?

COLIN
Yeh yeh, you lost Mickey.

MICKEY
Hoorray!!

Falls off the stool.

COLIN
Come on lads, let's move on. I've given up with Al and Psycho. In fact it's better for them if they don't turn up at all.


79. EXT. OUTSIDE TWICKENHAM STATION

AL
Oh God.

PSYCHO
(Jaunty.) What?

AL
We're in big trouble now, Psycho.

PSYCHO
Oh, yeh. Why?

AL
Because you just . . Oh forget it. We'll just have to pray that they don't track us down to Bootle. Look, Psycho, the story is this. We met Deano's dad, we met a few of the players and you didn't smack Will Carling in the gob.

PSYCHO
I hardly touched him!

AL
No Psycho. You didn't touch him at all.

PSYCHO
Right!


80. EXT. TWICKENHAM STREET.

COLIN, KEN and MIKE in between pubs.

KEN
(Spots AL and PSYCHO. Stops.) I do not believe it.

MIKE
Colin, they're over here.

COLIN
Right. They'd better have a good excuse.

AL
‘Right, boys. Before you lay into us . . . Guess where we ended up?

COLIN
Twickenham Police Station.

AL
Naah.

COLIN
Go on then.

AL
We got into the players' reception.

COLIN
You what!?

AL
Yeh, we were sat next to Deano's Dad and he got us in.

COLIN
Did you err. Did you meet any of the players?

AL
Yeh. Deano. Roberts. Carling . . .

MIKE
You met Will Carling?

AL
Yes.

PSYCHO
He was a wan . . .

AL
He was alright wasn't he?

PSYCHO
(Forced.) Yeh. Yeh. I was dead surprised. He's a really nice bloke.


81. INT. BAR CUM NIGHTCLUB

COLIN raises a pint.

COLIN
Well, I reckon it's been a bit of a result today, hasn't it lads? England won the Five Nations. These two get to meet the team. What d'you reckon, Mike? It's been some day, hasn't it, eh?

MIKE
It certainly has.

MIKE peers through the boys and spots two girls.

Dark-haired one looks back at him, and continues with her conversation.

KEN
What d'you reckon then, Colin. Time for the Bootle Bolero?

COLIN
It must be done. OK lads, the Bootle Bolero.

Four of them position themselves and stand still until all conversation around them stops. They then do a pastiche of the Maori Haka - all grotesque faces, grunts and pointing tongues. MIKE looks on in admiration. Dance finishes. Mixture of applause and booing.

COLIN
Nice one, lads. Err, though Ken - try to keep in time, will you? We've practised it enough.

KEN
OK, boss.

COLIN
(Downs pint.) Anyway, I'm starving me. I think it's curry time. Where's Al and Psycho? (Looks on at unwelcome sight.) Oh God.

AL and PSYCHO talk to the two girls. One takes off AL's hat and puts it on.

COLIN
(Calls.) Eh lads, we're going for a curry. Come on.

AL
(Says something to the girls, and comes over.) Eh Colin, I think we're on here. We'll give the curry a miss, alright?

COLIN
No, it's not alright.

AL
Look, you can't force us to eat curry - we'll see you back at Mike's.

COLIN
OK that's it. You're in disgrace you two. Come 'ed, Mikey boy. We'll go to the Raj.

MIKE has flashback to the previous night in the Raj when the boys burst into song:
“There's a monkey in the tree
And he's making eyes at me . . .”

MIKE looks over to the two girls. Dark-haired one gives him a meaningful stare. AL returns to them. She smiles distractedly as AL cracks a joke.

MIKE
Actually, Colin, I'll stay here. I'm not really hungry. Umm, here's the keys to my flat. I'll see you later.

COLIN
You sure?

MIKE
Yes, fine. See you later.

COLIN
Oh alright then. Come on, Ken.

MIKE sits down at a table. Music plays. Looks on as AL and PSYCHO chat up the girls. Looks down to his pint. The dark-haired girl approaches him.

DAWN
(Posh.) You with these nutters as well then?

MIKE
Yeh.

DAWN
Did you go to the match?

MIKE
Yes, it was brilliant.

DAWN
God, I'd love to go to Twickenham. It's impossible to get tickets though. How did you get a ticket?

MIKE
My cousin. He got them through the club.

DAWN
Lucky you.

Pause.

MIKE
Umm, what are you doing here then?

DAWN
Oh, we're just out for a laugh, you know.

Pause. PSYCHO returns with drinks.

PSYCHO
Here's your drink, girl.

DAWN
Ta.

PSYCHO
Oh, you've met, Mike. How you doing, Mikey boy? He's dead posh him. A professor.

DAWN
Oh yeh.

PSYCHO
No really, he is. Tell her.

MIKE
Well, I'm a lecturer at Strawberry Hill.

DAWN
Oh, what in?

MIKE
Social science.

DAWN
Ha. I did Social Psychology at Surrey.

MIKE
There are lot of us about.

PSYCHO
A psychologist? (Flirts. Looks into her eyes.) Does that mean you can understand my mind?

DAWN
Your mind? I don't think anyone could understand your mind.

PSYCHO
Like go on. You're the psychologist. What am I thinking of now?

MIKE
Something filthy.

PSYCHO
Wrong. I was thinking. Let's dance!!

Whisks her onto the dancefloor.


82. EXT. OUTSIDE THE TWICKENHAM TANDOORI

COLIN and KEN in doorway.

COLIN
What d'you mean we can't come in?

WAITER
I'm sorry sir, but it's full.

KEN
But there's a table over there.

WAITER
That's reserved, Sir.

KEN
Then what about that one there?

WAITER
That's reserved as well, Sir.

COLIN
You just don't want us here, do you? This is racism. Racism against scousers. Come on, Ken - we'll go to a less racist joint.

83. INT. BAR CUM NIGHTCLUB

MIKE sits watching PSYCHO and DAWN dancing provocatively together.

DAWN flashes the odd lingering look at MIKE.

A couple of young women stand next to his table. They giggle.

MANDY
(To MIKE.) Eh, my mate says you look like Hugh Grant.

MIKE
(Distractedly.) Oh, do I? Thank you very much.

MANDY
(Sits down. Pushes her face next to his.) What d'you think, Jane? D'you think I look like Liz Hurley?

JANE
Definitely. But you've got to look a more virginal. (MANDY looks angelic and smiles.) That's it. That's it. You look just like that perfume advert.

MANDY takes a sip of wine.

A tall man steps up.

MAN
(To Jane.) D'you want to dance?

JANE
What d'you think, Mand? Is he good looking enough for me?

MANDY
Mmm. His nose is a bit big, but he's alright.

JANE
Alright then. Your luck's in matey.

They disappear.

MANDY and MIKE look on for a moment.

MANDY
(Nodding at his hat. In jest.) You an actor or something?

MIKE
An actor? No, no. I'm not an actor.

Looks on as PSYCHO and DAWN start snogging in the middle of the dance floor.

MANDY
What are you, then?

MIKE
(In a daze.) A bricklayer.

MANDY
No you're not.

MIKE
Why not?

MANDY
You don't act like a bricklayer. They say things like, “wotcha, darlin', how about a shag then?” You don't say things like that. You're a poshy.

MIKE
How d'you know that?

MANDY
Just by the way you are. I watched you sit there like a lemon, while that bird over there got snatched up in front of your nose. You didn't do a thing about it.

MIKE
Well, I . . .

MANDY
No. You're no brickie. You're a teacher or something like that. You are, aren't you?

MIKE
I am I suppose. Well done.

MANDY
And that's another thing that singles you out. You've got no chat. See that fellah over there. He came up to me before and started on about me having a sexy dress, and very sexy legs. Oh, and how good I smelled. Oh and was it Obsession by Calvin Klein. All that stuff. You couldn't do all that stuff could you? You'd die of embarrassment. That's why the girl has to initiate things.

MIKE
(Nervous.) Oh. Right.

MANDY
So, then. D'you want a dance or what?


84. INT. RICHMOND BALTI RESTAURANT.

COLIN and KEN sit in an Indian Restaurant singing.

COLIN & KEN
There's a monkey in the tree
And he's making eyes at me . . .


85. INT. BAR CUM NIGHTCLUB

MIKE and MANDY dance. MANDY wiggles. MIKE responds with silly, ironic dance.

PSYCHO and DAWN snog at the bar.

PSYCHO
Oh go on. I haven't got anywhere to stay tonight.

DAWN
Yes you have. You can stay at his like you did last night.

PSYCHO
But I want to stay with you. It's my last night.

DAWN
You sound like a condemned man.

PSYCHO
That's what I am

They snog some more.

DAWN
Oh alright then, you can sleep on the couch.

PSYCHO
Thanks. I won't be any trouble. Hey, tell you what. I'll phone pay per view and we can watch the Tyson-Bruno fight.

DAWN
Oh. Great.


86. EXT. TWICKENHAM HIGH STREET

COLIN and KEN stagger along singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot.


87. INT. BEDROOM OF A SMALL FLAT.

MIKE and MANDY sit on the edge of a double bed watching the rugby on a small television.

MANDY
I love Will Carling. He should be a film star or something. The new James Bond.

MIKE
Yeh, I suppose he is quite good looking for a rugby player.

MANDY
Not as good looking as you, though.

MIKE
Oh yeh.

MANDY
No, really. I think you're lovely.

MIKE
Oh, thanks.

MANDY
Come on then, give us a kiss.

They kiss and fall back on the bed.


88. INT. MIKE’S APARTMENT. LIVING ROOM.

COLIN puts on the television in MIKE's lounge. The rugby comes on.

COLIN
Eh, Kenny boy. It's the game.

KEN
Ah no . . . not again. I'm all rugby'd out. Can't we have something else on?

COLIN
No, come on Kenny boy. Get yourself a drink. It's only just started.


89. INT. WILL’S HOUSE. IN THE LIVING ROOM.

SARAH sits watching the match. Key at the door. WILL appears wearing the viking trophy on his head, carrying the Five Nations Cup in the one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other. Drunk.

SARAH
Good day at the office, dear?

WILL
I've had worse. (Lies down with his head on her lap.) Champagne?

SARAH
Don't mind if I do. (She sips from the Five Nations Cup).

WILL
I'm celebrating.

SARAH
Are you now? What would that be then?

WILL.
(Smiles.) Meeting you.

SARAH
Oh, you silly man.

They kiss.


90. INT. BEDROOM OF MANDY’S FLAT.

MANDY naked astride MIKE. Grinds her pelvis furiously. Wears his boater.

MIKE lies helplessly in limbo between pleasure and pain.

TELEVISION COMMENTARY
. . . this is certainly a more energetic performance. And again Carling slips through the defence like butter. What a performer this man is . .


91. INT. WILL’S HOUSE. BEDROOM

WILL and SARAH involved in passionate love making. Resembles scene from Don't Look Now. SARAH turns WILL onto his back.

TELEVISION COMMENTARY
. . . and Carling's down. Carling's down. The game carries on but he seems helpless and in some distress . . Pained expression on his face.


92. INT. BEDROOM OF MANDY’S FLAT.

MANDY and MIKE go at it full throttle. MIKE takes control. Turns her over and thrusts wildly.


93. INT. BEDROOM OF WILL’S HOUSE.

SARAH and WILL at full tilt. SARAH on top now wearing the Viking trophy.


94. INT. BEDROOM OF MANDY’S FLAT.

MANDY and MIKE climax.


95. INT. BEDROOM OF WILL’S HOUSE.


SARAH and WILL climax.


96. Int. MIKE’S LIVING ROOM.

COLIN and KEN asleep fully clothed as the game proceeds on the television.


97. INT. BEDROOM OF MANDY’S FLAT.

MANDY and MIKE flat out.


98. INT. BEDROOM OF WILL’S HOUSE.

SARAH and WILL flat out.

Sense of peace. Night noises.


99. INT. LIVING ROOM OF DAWN’S HOUSE.

PSYCHO, naked apart from his boater has sex with DAWN vigorously as he watches the Tyson-Bruno fight on TV (loud). DAWN enjoying her bit of rough. 

PSYCHO wild-eyed as commentary gets excited.

Daybreak.

100. INT. BEDROOM OF MANDY’S FLAT.

MANDY brings in breakfast tray to corpse-like MIKE. Puts the tray down on the table and snuggles up to him.

MANDY
Morning, lover boy.

MIKE
(Obviously under impression it is SARAH.) Morning, darling. (Rolls over and hugs her. She kisses him. MIKE opens his eyes. Controls his shock.) Aah. How are you? (Sits up.)

MANDY
Better than you are by the looks of you. (Stands up and places the tray on his lap.) You look as though you need this. Now no-one can say I don't look after my men.

MIKE
Your men?

MANDY
Yes, it's all included in the service. Sexy bubble bath, executive relief and breakfast.

MIKE goes white and crunches into a piece of toast.

MANDY
A joke.

MIKE
Aah, right. (Picks up the News of the World. On the front is a photograph of PSYCHO punching WILL with SARAH hanging on.) Sarah!!!?


101. INT. MIKE'S KITCHEN

COLIN fries bacon in MIKE's kitchen. Picks up the paper.

COLIN
Psycho!!!!?


102. INT. WILL’S KITCHEN

WILL and SARAH sit at the breakfast table. He passes over the paper, and licks a finger.

SARAH
Me!!?


103. INT. DAWN’S BEDROOM.

PSYCHO in bed with Dawn. Peers over to the paper she is reading.

PSYCHO
Oh fucking hell!!

Falls back onto the bed.


104. EXT. TWICKENHAM STREET.

SARAH walks back to her (and MIKE's) riverside apartment. Nervous. Puts the key in the door and pushes slowly. Creeps in.


105. INT. THEIR APARTMENT.

MIKE sits reading a book.

SARAH
Hi.

MIKE
Hi.

SARAH
They're all gone then?

MIKE
Yes.

SARAH
(Notices the News of the World.) You've . . . You've read the papers then? Notices another with the headline, “Carling's New Girl”.

MIKE
Yes, umm. All of them.

SARAH
Aaah.

MIKE
You've become quite famous.

SARAH
It seems that way.


106. INT. THEIR APARTMENT.

SARAH and MIKE retire to bed. Both lie looking up at the ceiling.

SARAH
You're not jealous, then?

MIKE
I'm upset, but I'm not jealous. I mean, how can one be jealous of Will Carling? It's like being jealous of Superman.

SARAH
Sorry you're upset.

MIKE
Well, it happens. (Pause.) Actually, it happened to me at the weekend as well.

SARAH
What d'you mean?

MIKE
I umm slept with someone as well.

SARAH
You what!!?

MIKE
Yes, a florist called Mandy.

SARAH
A florist called Mandy? How the fuck could you sleep with a florist called Mandy!?

MIKE
I don't know. It just happened.

SARAH
How many? I mean. You had sex with her? How many times!?

MIKE
To tell the truth I can't remember. Hey, come on, that's not fair. I mean, how many times did you do it with Carling? Go on. How many?

SARAH
I, umm. Once. Hardly even that.

Silence.

MIKE
Mmm. We're in a right old state aren't we?

SARAH
I suppose we are.

Pause.

MIKE
Will you marry me?

SARAH
What?

MIKE
I said, will you marry me?

SARAH
What the . . . What are you talking about? It . . it takes this mess to get you to ask me!?

MIKE
It looks that way. (Pause.) Well?

SARAH starts kissing him. Half laughing, half crying.

SARAH
You stupid, stupid, stupid man.

Both laugh and kiss.

107. ST. WINEFRIDE’S CHURCH, NESTON, MERSEYSIDE.

Wedding scene. Father Malone tells off an altar boy.

FATHER MALONE
No you can't have a wee. Look the bride's almost here.

ALTAR BOY
(In some distress.) But I'll piss me pants.

FATHER MALONE
(Sighs heavily.) Oh go on then, but be quick.

Bridal march. Bride appears in a veil.

In the congregation, KEN, AL and PSYCHO stand in their blazers. 

COLIN, best man, stands next to MIKE

COLIN
Good luck, Mikey boy. Don't be nervous. Just remember that it's for the rest of your life.

MIKE
(Smiles.) I know. Can't wait.

Bride arrives. Handed over by her father. MIKE pulls up her veil.

The bride is MANDY.

MANDY
Wotcha.

MIKE
Wotcha, Mand.


108. EXT. DOVER.

Close up of SARAH, admiring the sea view. She sits next to WILL in the Aston Martin. Parked on spectacular cliff-top.

SARAH
It's beautiful.

WILL
So are you

SARAH
(Hits him.) You are so corny.

WILL
What's corny about that?

SARAH
Why can't you be ironic for once?

WILL
Like what? (Disparaging tones.) Oh yeh, great view.

SARAH
Will, stop. It's no use. You're no good at irony. You'll just have to be yourself.

WILL
What's that then?

SARAH
(Kisses him.) My hero.

WILL
Right you are, Ma'am.

Car screeches off.

Music.