© 2017 by Ian Buckley

Extract from James Bonney MP

RedNeedle Productions presents Realife TV

Written & produced by Ian Buckley

PLOT SYNOPSIS:
The life and loves of a sitting Labour M.P. as he comes under attack from a young militant.

CAST:
James Bonney............M.P. Midlands Constituency (Labour)
Christine Bonney.........His wife. A teacher.
Jennifer Allen.............Bonney's Secretary.


EXTRACT:
Bonney makes a real effort to mend his ways and end his affair with his Secretary. Unfortunately temptation arrives in the form of a threat and a promise…


SCENE SIXTEEN

PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE OF BONNEY
BONNEY IS SITTING AT DESK WORKING. DOOR OPENS, ENTER JENNIFER, WITH CARRIER.
BONNEY DOESN'T MOVE.

PAUSE.

JENNIFER: I will sit down. (SHE SITS)

Saw you on telly. You were good. Just right in fact. Confident without arrogance. Articulate but not beyond the common man.

BONNEY: Jen'.

JENNIFER: Brought back memories. I know that person. We have business unfinished.

BONNEY: You shouldn't've come.

JENNIFER: (HANDING OVER CARRIER) I scratched round for an excuse and...your things. Some of them anyway.

BONNEY: I can't see you!

JENNIFER: The rest are rotting at home.

BONNEY: Christine's paranoid. My position's changed.

JENNIFER: So has mine! And not to my liking! You haven't phoned, haven't written, nothing. I kept thinking he'll get in touch soon, it must be soon. I know you've got a plan!

BONNEY: How can I explain?

SHORT PAUSE

Imagine I'm a climber. There above me lies the summit. It takes effort, and guts, and luck to reach it, but if I persevere, one day I might. The way is full of danger. At any stage I could lose my footing through lack of judgement. I could shout too loud and start an avalanche that'd bury me for good. I could rush ahead and find I'm exposed to the elements with no back-up team to get me out. And then the inner temptations. When the going gets tough, and the summit’s obscured in mist; the voices that tempt you to let go, relax, fall into the next crevass. I did fall once, but stuck out a foot and halted my slide. Next time I might not be so lucky.

JENNIFER: You've never climbed a mountain in your life. You can't climb a chair without vertigo.

BONNEY: An extended metaphor, Jen’. For my life.

JENNIFER: I'll extend it further. D’you want a back-up team that is young and fit and full of daring, or one
that sits comfortably at base-camp advising you to come down before dinner gets cold?

BONNEY: Switching teams half-way up could lead to disaster.

JENNIFER: Switching metaphors would put me out of my misery. It’s rubbish.

BONNEY FEELS IN HIS TROUSER POCKET. HE TAKES OUT SOME MONEY IN NOTES

BONNEY: Please. Take it. Three months wages in advance. Pathetic I know but what else can I do?

JENNIFER DOESN'T TAKE IT SO HE STUFFS IT INTO HER SHOULDER-BAG.

JENNIFER: I could get hooked on this.

BONNEY: You'll have to leave. I'll have to leave.

SHE TAKES OFF HER COAT, CROSSES HER LEGS

No temptation. I'll show you out.

BONNEY WALKS ROUND TO HER SIDE OF TABLE

While in control.

HE PICKS HER COAT OFF BACK OF CHAIR. RAISES HER WITH ONE ARM. FUMBLES HER COAT ON. THEY END UP BY DOOR, CLOSE TO EACH OTHER

That bloody perfume.

JENNIFER: I thought you liked it.

BONNEY: I do.

JENNIFER: Well then. Will you come for your things? (BONNEY NODS SLOWLY IN NEGATIVE). I'll dump them! (BONNEY PUTS HIS ARMS ROUND HER. SHE PUSHES HIM OFF). I mean it - the papers you left. The briefs...the classified information. Send it sailing into the street.

BONNEY: When? Christ, I shouldn't! We know I shouldn’t.

JENNIFER: I'll be in all night, tonight.

BONNEY: If you have it ready. I'll just pop in...

JENNIFER: As quick as you like.

THEY EMBRACE.

DOOR OPENS, ENTER CHRISTINE.

CHRISTINE: I was just... my god!

SHE SEES THEM. STOPS SHORT

Oh my god!


LIGHTS DOWN


END OF EXTRACT

JAMES BONNEY M.P. - short-listed, Verity Bargate award (1989) - rehearsed public reading Soho Theatre. 1 hr 45 mins | 3M 3F. Thoroughly revised and updated Jan-June 2016