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by Michael Pearcy

Angus and Brigit, a mid-thirties couple.
Colin and new girlfriend Denise, similar age.

The stage is set with two dressing tables as if in two different houses. Brigit is at one of the dressing tables sorting out make up and earrings. She is wearing jeans. Angus enters wearing a smart jacket and slacks carrying a large amount of sweets.

Angus: Your mother! She knows we don't allow the kids to have sweets. Look at this, Look! (He dumps the sweets on the dressing table) Why can't she just respect our wishes? I damn well nearly brought the kids straight back home.

Brigit: I'm glad you didn't.

Angus: Louisa started crying - all over a few sweets. Your mother doesn't realise the trouble she's causing.

Brigit: All Grandparents spoil their grandchildren - it's expected. Maybe you were a bit heavy handed?

Angus: Me! I'm not causing the problem. We have rules when it comes to bringing up our children and they should be respected. (He looks at his watch) What's happening?

Brigit: Don't worry about me.

Angus: It's half past and your not dressed yet.

Brigit: I thought this top was… (she notices his jacket and slacks). Oh. You're a bit formal aren't you?

Angus: Not really. Well, I thought we agreed to make a bit of an effort.

Brigit: Are you trying to impress Colin's new girl friend?

Angus: Don’t be daft.

Brigit: I thought it we'd be informal - we don't want her to feel intimidated.

Angus: It is a dinner party. (She stands and Angus notices her very trendy bejewelled denims) What's this?

Brigit: They're not the ones I wear in the garden. What do you think?

Angus: Nice but, well… I thought we agreed about getting back to our old ways - a bit of style in our lives. Now the kids are getting older…

Brigit: Angus, they're four and six years old. It's not as if we've packed them of to Uni and we've got the rest of our lives alone together.

Angus: You can't say alone together.

Brigit: Tomorrow I'll be back downstairs facing a pile of washing, Louisa wanting constant entertainment, school runs with Tamsin, cooking your bloody dinner…

Angus: That's the point. That's why I thought we'd agreed to start acting like grown-ups once a week.

Brigit: Once a week?

Angus: Well, every now and again if that's all you can manage. But make a start on getting some fun back in our lives - like we used to. It would give us a chance to be a couple again - just you and me…

Brigit: …And Colin and what's her name.

Angus: Denise.

Brigit: Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to tonight but I've had to do all the shopping, prepare the meal sort the kids out…

Angus: Don’t worry about all that – this is just a dry run. We haven't held a dinner party for over six years - you're bound to be a bit rusty.

Brigit: Rusty! This head isn't just stuffed with baby rusks and porridge. I've still got all my faculties you know.

Angus: Of course you have but if this goes wrong it doesn't matter - it's only Colin after all. When we invite somebody that matters we can pull out all the stops.

Brigit: Colin is your oldest friend.

Angus: That's why I'm sure he'd understand.

Brigit: Are you two still good mates? It’s just a bit funny that he’s kept this knew woman a secret from you.

Angus: So?

(Denise enters wearing jeans and a smart top and sits at the other dressing table finishing her preparations.)

Brigit: Here we are expecting best friend Colin and his new girlfriend any minute …

Angus: Are you really keeping those jeans on?

Brigit: …and you know nothing about her. In fact they are coming here to celebrate moving in together and still you only know her name.

Angus: So?

Brigit: So you knew all about his first two wives, in fact one of them was an ex flame of yours if I remember correctly.

Angus: So?

Brigit: So why has he kept her a secret?

Angus: I know about her, of course I do.

Brigit: You know of her.

Angus: Of her, about her – what’s the problem?

Brigit: On the other hand poor old Colin has got to be thirty-six and racked up two failed marriages and umpteen passing girlfriends all of whom were well known to you - some you even road tested for God's sake. Maybe the guy thinks you're a bit of a jinx.

Angus: Come off it Brigit, it was obvious from the start that both those women he married were hopeless cases. He only knew the second one for two weeks before we all got dragged to the registry office. You can't blame me for any of it. Remember the last girlfriend he came up with: look at the state she was in.

Brigit: Oh yes, she was terrible wasn't she.

Angus: Exactly. It was hard but I was doing him a favour pointing out exactly what was wrong with her.

Brigit: Angus, you are a masterpiece.

Angus: I was right though. I was.

Brigit: In that case I have to say you were. Do you remember that awful corsage she wore?

(Colin enters near the other dressing table. Denise takes up a previously unseen huge corsage and holds it against her examining the effect)

Angus: Oh yes, the first sign of unsuitability.

Brigit: It was bigger than she was. (Exit Brigit and Angus.)

Colin: That looks lovely.

Denise: Do you think so?

Colin: There's something about a woman wearing a corsage that is so feminine. It just sets you off.

Denise: Yes. I know what you mean. (She puts down the corsage and stands up revealing her jeans to Colin.)

Colin: It's getting a bit late, you should get changed don't you think?

Denise: Changed? This is it honey-bunch. What you see is what you get.

Colin: I've put my trousers on.

Denise: And so have I. From what you've told me about Brigit and Angus they sound just the sort for a casual evening.

Colin: But what about the lovely corsage I bought you?

Denise: It was a beautiful surprise honey-bunch and it won't go to waste. (She picks a small part of the corsage and inserts it between her breasts in the neckline of her top.) There. And later, you can be the one to retrieve it.

(Denise and Colin exit.) This extract offers six pages out of a total of twenty-four pages. Please contact me if you are interested in producing Brigit's Stew and I will send a copy of the full script.