An angel over manchester.., p.1
An angel over Manchester and a devil in Seville, p.1Gary Rostock
over Manchester and a devil in Seville
A short play by Gary Rostock
Published by Gary Rostock
Copyright 2011 Gary Rostock
Robert (early 20s)
Running time 15 mins.
Scene opens with a young man playing incredibly fast flamenco in his bedroom. Sat close by and listening intently are two well dressed men in their mid 40s. Then Robert stops playing, turns and looks around him…
Robert: I know you’re here. Why do you never say anything? Who are you? Is it you dad? I can feel you. Please don’t mess me around. I won’t be scared if you show yourself, I’d love to see you. I can play for you, I know it, but I’ll never know if you like what I’m doing or not. Do you? Please show yourself, I can’t take this anymore, it’s starting, it’s starting to kill me. Ple…
FX: sound of slight movement
Angel 1: Do I like what Robert?
Robert: Christ! W…hat, what is this?
Angel 1: Are you so surprised? You thought I was your father? Well in a way I am. So just take a deep breath and sit back.
Robert: What, who, what are you?
Angel 1: I’ve been listening to you for many years. I’ve heard your heart and soul as they’ve found a way into your guitar. We’ve all been listening to you. What a gift we gave you. Yes what a gift. Yet here we sit in the middle of your beautiful hometown with its scent of decay and dislike of the new, and you, you are the new, aren’t you? You’ve felt it for a long time, the difference? Not just the choice of an instrument that is more suited to the Sierra Nevada than the precinct of tardy shops, that hall of lost hope and fears that lie nearby. Just you, you feel there is a, a difference.
Robert: Wh..o who..o are you? What are you? I felt you. Why are you here? What do you want from me? Don’t tell me you’re, you’re not here, shut my eyes, shut my eyes, count, count count, harder, shut my eyes, harder, tighter, open and you won’t be there.
Angel 1: I’m still here Robert, don’t be afraid, it’s very tiresome and you always knew someone was close by you.
Robert: So you are…?
Angel 1: I suppose to make life easier for you you could say I`m an angel, I suppose you were expecting the wings? Well I`m sorry to disappoint you but that is just a myth, some propaganda by the other side.
Robert: The other side?
Angel 1: Well the idea of two sides is not a myth, you can consider me your angel, your guardian angel.
FX: slight movement from the other side of the room
Angel 2: No Robert he’s not your guardian, that would be me.
Robert: Oh Jesus! Jesus! What, what the…?
Angel 2: Please Robert don’t be afraid, try not to swear unnecessarily, it isn’t your way. As you’ve felt it, I’ve been with you a long time. When you closed your eyes at night and felt my wings envelop you, yes although he doesn’t have them I do, you’re your true guardian. When you saw me you felt it was just sleep, but you did see me, I was there, as I’m here.
Angel 1: Oh I’m quite surprised you did that. I thought the way these days was a non-reveal? When did that change?
Angel 2: The boy is important as you know. We felt too important for you to fool him as you’ve fooled so many in your days.
Angel 1: So finally, he knows we’re here. What now?
Angel 2: Well, I was surprised when you made your reveal so I felt that rather than let you have it all your way, we’d let him see why we spend our time here in his little bedroom and don’t feel the need to cast each other out to where each belongs.
Angel 1: I love the archaic language; you could have been made for this job you know.
Angel 2: Very well, now enough. Robert, as you can see you have two angels sat in your bedroom.
Robert: Mam!! Mam!! Jesus! Mam!
Angel 2: Please don’t shout Robert and try not to use Jesus in such a way. No one can hear you. We, that is, the two of us, have chosen to reveal ourselves to you and this moment is now locked. You are with us, we are not with you.
Angel 1: Good isn’t it Robert?
Robert: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10….oh no, no! You’re still here.
Angel 2: Yes Robert and we will continue to be so.
Angel 1: Perhaps I should begin. Here we sit, as I said before, in the middle of the land of Lowry, a land of no hope and only regrets, and yet here you are playing the music of the soul, the music of Andalusia fills you. Why do you think that is?
Robert: Oh Christ! Alright, I’ll talk and then maybe you’ll just float away. I wish you would float away.
Angel 1: Don’t be like that Robert, we’ve been here for a long time. Sat staring at each other, listening to you has kept us from our usual process of up, down, down, up…cast me out, no keep me in, and so on and so on.
Robert: I ask, father in heaven please help me.
Angel 2: But Robert we are helping you. We are right here to help you.
Angel 1: As am I. As am I.
Robert: Help me with what?
Angel 1: Your choice.
Robert: My choice? Of what?
Angel 2: The light or the dark?
Angel 1: Always so dramatic. What he means is the choice of success or years of the same, an eternity of the same.
Robert: I hope I’m not being thick, or going mad talking to two, two I don’t know what’s, but what, what the hell are both of you talking about?
Angel 2: Perhaps we should both give you an outline of why we’ve sat here by your side for so many years. Each time you’ve picked up your guitar both of us have been here. We cannot afford for you to fall to him and he also cannot afford for you not to fall to him.
Robert: What do you mean to fall?
Angel 2: To fall into despair, into loss, into pain, into hopelessness, to leave all love behind you.
Angel 1: What he means is to have the life you’ve always dreamt of, to play as you’ve never played before. We heard you before you even played, we knew what you would be, your music is our music, we are your people, we want you for eternity to play for us. You could consider me an agent, only I’m not only offering success in this world: money, women, all that you want; that is nothing compared to what we can offer you; and that is all these things forever. You must only consent to always direct your playing, your soul to us and to him and never to them.
Angel 2: Robert. I hope you heard the word `him`. You do know who he means don’t you?
Robert: But you’re both angels, right?
Angel 1: Yes but without getting too wearisome about it, I represent the true one and he represents the lie.
Angel 2: By that he means I represent God, and he represents the fallen one: Lucifer.
Robert: I’m going to wake up, I’m going to wake up. Chriiiiist. Wake me up. Angels from heaven and Hell, no, no, no, please go away!
Angel 1: Your eyes are open Robert, can’t you see we’re both right here. Much as I’d prefer it if he were not, we are, and will be, here. We have both revealed to you and that means a conclusion must be made. I cannot leave without some form of contract; that all that you are will be ours. No more busking to people who just think you’re some asylum seeker grafting for a few coppers, while the drizzle works its way into your clothes. The soul. When we heard Sabicas we knew he would be ours, this is our music Robert. Do you think he could even come close to what we feel? Despair, not joy is the engine of your soul. The gypsies who danced away their lives, no looking back, only looking to tomorrow they knew it. We’d been waiting for you for such a long time, the purity of worthlessness, the loss of hope. We, he heard it in your mot
Angel 2: But what he forgot to tell you Robert is that Sabicas chose us.
Angel 1: Not true. But I suppose you’ll have to decide. All the insipid, dull, monotonous wailing that he has provided us with, do you think the soul of flamenco could come from him? No. I thought not.
Robert: I can be the best? The very best?
Angel 2: I can’t offer you that Robert. Your heart is that of an Andalusian but even you were not born there but born here, you’ve never lived close to El Torcal and seen the hawks circling above you. You are most interesting, it must be admitted to both of us, but the heart of it all is the worship of my master. It is a question of who you will choose to worship with your gift.
Angel 1: Robert, take a look into your soul. Where does this music come from? From the darkness within you? You were born in this, in this nothingness and yet you decided to play, of all instruments, the flamenco guitar. Why? Do you remember why?
Angel 2: You do remember Robert. I know you do. Tell us.
Robert: My dad…
Angel 2: Your father, yes your father, what did your father do?
Robert: He and mam took me to Spain when I was a little boy. Malaga. It was so, just so different, I could feel the life, I was nine but I could feel the hairs rise on my neck just to be there. I loved it and my dad loved it too.
Angel 2: Do you remember why your dad loved it?
Robert: We never spoke about it, but I could see he had this rotten life here of never ending misery, rotten jobs, just nothing, except mam and me. For some reason he always wanted to go to Spain, he didn’t really know why? Maybe, a postcard from a friend with
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