(Courtroom. NARRATOR, ANGEL, and JACK. SFX. Wind, hellfire, lighting effects. The following shouted as though on the deck of a ship during a storm.)NARRATOR: Angel, you know something
that might work in your defence:
if the hand of those who condemn you
is caught in the till,
things will be easier.
ANGEL: I see a lot of things,
NARRATOR: Election promises are made,
(PROSTITUTES enter with tables, CLIENT with chair. After placing they take up positions in 'court'.)JACK: Listen to her, Angel,
she's been there before.
ANGEL: Do you want me about, Jack?
JACK: It's not that, it's just
ANGEL: You're a romantic, Jack.
(MAGISTRATE enters, with COPS and MRS WALPURGIS and MR CLIPBOARD. SFX cease. ANGEL stands before MAGISTRATE)MAGISTRATE: Do you like publicity, young lady?
ANGEL: I didn't ask to be photographed.
MAGISTRATE: You're embarrassing your family,
ANGEL: You're making my problems
MAGISTRATE: I see that you've been
ANGEL: 'Done doesn't work for me.
MAGISTRATE: It's bad art or jail.
JACK (yelling out): Mitigating circumstances!
ANGEL (as if in tongues. SFX under):
(SFX cease.)JACK: Tell her, Angel, tell her
what you saw! Angel sees things,
your Honour. And she can
get inside people's dreams.
But she's discreet,
and only goes where she's wanted.
MAGISTRATE: Enough from you.
Now, Angel, what's
ANGEL: I see things, your Honour,
MAGISTRATE: Well, you're under oath
ANGEL: I'm not sure
(PROSTITUTES giggle)MAGISTRATE: That sounds vaguely contemptuous,
but I'll let it go.
Don't forget you need a few
grains of sand
in your favour.
ANGEL: What I see is nothing, really.
MAGISTRATE: If offered a jail sentence
JACK (yelling out): Watch those preferences
MAGISTRATE: One more time, and that's it!
(ANGEL shifts across to MAGISTRATE. Wooing him/her.)ANGEL: Jack is right, your Honour.
The people you've driven out
from the city, the concrete
blurring their meeting places
and the by-laws moving them on.
The preferences go to those
who'd make their lives harder.
The blood that flows through my cunt
grows louder and louder.
My clients ask me if I practise yoga.
(MAGISTRATE has moved to be near ANGEL Intimately.)MAGISTRATE: Don't think I don't know a spell
when I hear it! We do in-service
courses for things like this.
I am an amateur photographer
don't you love that word...
amateur amateur amateur...
(ALL repeat 'amateur' several times, descending into sotto voce.)know how to capture the moment.
Carpe diem. But I'm not ready
to make a martyr of you yet.
And watch the language,
your vocab's pushing the envelope.
Do you believe in fate.
As flies to wanton... girls?
ANGEL: Sometimes I feel like the whole street
MAGISTRATE: Sometimes I get that feeling up here.
(pause)ANGEL: It is, your honour.
(pause)NARRATOR: There's a link been forged here.
He feels for her. The sentence
will be harsh.
(MAGISTRATE moves back behind table.)MAGISTRATE: Six months.
(ALL gasp. For some it's too long, for others, it is not long enough.)Suspended.
(ALL sigh, some with relief some with exasperation.)But only because
something's in the air.
NARRATOR: Could it be
(ALL express surprise, then exit other than PROSTITUTES.)PROSTITUTES (sharing the following lines perhaps while shifting tables etc. off stage):
The street plays the game
It always looks the same
It stretches to the north
It is so very strange
I stand here with my hands and my mouth
With my hands and my mouth.
I left home
I left home
I left home
(Rhythm change. CLIENT enters. PROSTITUTES share lines.)CLIENT: Where's the place that I can score?
PROSTITUTES: Where's the hit?
Where's the store?
CLIENT: Where's the man?
PROSTITUTES: I'm waiting ...
Where's the hand?
I'm waiting ...
Where's the mouth?
I'm waiting ...
And, where's the hole?
(PROSTITUTES seize CLIENT and lift him up.)CLIENT: Where's the way out of here?
JACK (voice off): Who wants out?
(PROSTITUTES exit, carrying CLIENT.)
Smith Street | Mudlark No. 19
Contents | Act 3, Scene One