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Broken Home - scene one



Upstage centre is the exterior of a rickety, typically working-class house on a hill with large fabric patches seemingly sewn into the roof and walls, tape holding some windows in place and a red X marked in graffiti on the brickwork.  In front, a lounge and kitchen are set out where MUM is slumped in a nightgown at the breakfast table.  AMBER, her 16-year old daughter, sits next to her in her school uniform with a bowl of porridge.  A young boy’s school bag is in a corner and there are bowls, glasses and plates waiting to be washed at the sink.




AMBER: (Mother-like) Come on, eat up.  It’ll get cold.  You need to eat something, now open wide.


MUM: Nnuuuhh.




Please mum, just one more spoonful.


MUM: Nnnuuuhhh.


AMBER: You can’t take your tablets on an empty stomach.  (MUM opens mouth reluctantly and AMBER feeds her a few spoonfuls of porridge)  There, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?  (She walks to a cupboard and gets out a glass)


[ENTER HARRY, Amber’s eleven-year old brother, in a different school uniform]


            (Filling glass with water) Morning Harry.  Did you sleep well?


HARRY: (Shrugs) Have you seen my pencil case?


AMBER: (Getting out a combination of tablets) It’s on the coffee table.  Do you want cereal or toast?


HARRY: (Putting pencil case in school bag) Cereal. (AMBER pours him a bowl which he takes and sits at the other end of the table to MUM) Morning mummy.


MUM: (Lying head on hands) Mmmmmm.


AMBER: There you go. (Puts down four tablets and a glass of water in front of MUM, then gives a glass of juice to HARRY) Harry, hurry up, Tim and his mum will be here soon.


HARRY: Got five minutes yet.  Can you grab my shoes? 


AMBER: (Getting his shoes from by the door, tying them quickly for him)  Got everything? (Puts some bread in the toaster)


HARRY: One second, my maths book is still upstairs.  (Takes bowl and glass over to sink, then runs up stairs)


AMBER: (Taking Harry’s coat from its hook)


[FX car horn]


(Shouting) Tim’s mum is here!


MUM: (Groans at the noise) Some of us are trying to sleep.


HARRY: (Putting on winter coat and putting maths book in bag) Thanks. (AMBER opens door) Bye Amber.  (Quietly)  Bye mummy.


AMBER: (Hugs Harry) See you tonight.


[HARRY exits]


            Mum, you can’t go back to sleep.  You haven’t even taken your tablets yet.  (Sits her up and hands her the glass from the table) Come on, I want to see you take them before I leave.  (Watches as she does, slowly)  Thank you. (Gets toast) Do you need anything else? (Mum shakes head) Right, well I’ve got to be off then.  (Pause)  I’ll just clear up the table before I leave though.  I’ve got time.


MUM:  (Head on arms)  Shhhhhh.


AMBER:  (Not paying attention, tidying up)  Harry’s got a part in the school play, did he tell you?  It’s not a major role, just one of the shepherds and in the chorus, but he seems dead excited all the same.  Tim’s mum says Tim’s been cast as ‘Head Alien.’  “What’s the world coming to?”  She said.


MUM:  (Louder)  Shhhhhhh!


AMBER:  Oh, I’d better just hang those towels on the radiator.  Otherwise they’ll never dry.  (Gets towels from wash basket and does so) Gran was on the phone last week, said there was no heating in her house because of the cold weather.  It’s always worse in the north though, isn’t it?  Mind you, I’ve taken to wearing two pairs of socks and --


MUM:  (Slamming hands on table)  SHUT UP!


AMBER:  (Shocked pause, then, quietly)  I’ll be off to school now then, mum.  If there’s nothing else you need - ?


MUM:  Sofa.  (When Amber looks confused, points)  SOFA!


AMBER: Okay, alright. Come here then. (Takes Mum’s arm and leads her to the sofa.  Mum lies down and Amber drapes a blanket over her)  I’m going now.  See you in a bit.  (Leans down to kiss Mum, who moves away.  She pats Mum’s shoulder instead then puts on scarf and coat, picks up school bag)  Bye.  (Waits for reply – there’s none)




MUM:  (Sitting up) Bloody nuisance. I need a fag.  (Gets out a cigarette and sits on sofa smoking)


-    CURTAIN -


~ by Effy, (c) 2011 x