Thursday, March 17, 2005

Monty Python's Flying Circus
Working Class Playwright

A sitting room straight out of DH Lawrence. Mum, wiping her hands on her apron, is ushering in a young man in a suit. They are a Northern couple.

Mum: Oh dad... look who's come to see us... it's our Ken.
Dad: (without looking up) Aye, and about bloody time if you ask me.
Ken: Aren't you pleased to see me, father?
Mum: (squeezing his arm) Of course he's pleased to see you, Ken, he...
Dad: All right, woman, all right I've got a tongue in my head - I'll do 'talkin'. (looks at Ken distastefully) Aye ... I like yer fancy suit. Is that what they're wearing up in Yorkshire now?
Ken: It's just an ordinary suit, father... it's all I've got apart from the overalls.
(Dad turns away with an expression of scornful disgust.)
Mum: How are you liking it down the mine, Ken?
Ken: Oh it's not too bad, mum... we're using some new tungsten carbide drills for the preliminary coal-face scouring operations.
Mum: Oh that sounds nice, dear...
Dad: Tungsten carbide drills! What the bloody hell's tungsten carbide drills?
Ken: It's something they use in coal-mining, father.
Dad: (mimicking) 'It's something they use in coal-mining, father'. You're all bloody fancy talk since you left London.
Ken: Oh not that again.
Mum: He's had a hard day dear... his new play opens at the National Theatre tomorrow.
Ken: Oh that's good.
Dad: Good! good? What do you know about it? What do you know about getting up at five o'clock in t'morning to fly to Paris... back at the Old Vic for drinks at twelve, sweating the day through press interviews, television interviews and getting back here at ten to wrestle with the problem of a homosexual nymphomaniac drug-addict involved in the ritual murder of a well known Scottish footballer· That's a full working day, lad, and don't you forget it!
Mum: Oh, don't shout at the boy, father.
Dad: Aye, Hampstead wasn't good enough for you, was it? ... you had to go poncing off to Barnsley, you and yer coal-mining friends. (spits)
Ken: Coal-mining is a wonderful thing father, but it's something you'll never understand. Just look at you!
Mum: Oh Ken! Be careful! You know what he's like after a few novels.
Dad: Oh come on lad! Come on, out wi' it! What's wrong wi' me?
Ken: I'll tell you what's wrong with you. Your head's addled with novels and poems, you come home every evening reeking of Chateau La Tour...
Mum: Oh don't, don't.
Ken: And look what you've done to mother! She's worn out with meeting film stars, attending premieres and giving gala luncheons...
Dad: There's nowt wrong wi' gala luncheons, lad! I've had more gala luncheons than you've had hot dinners!
Mum: Oh please!
Dad: Aaaaaaagh! (clutches hands and sinks to knees)
Mum: Oh no!
Ken: What is it?
Mum: Oh, it's his writer's cramp! ...

Monty Python