© 2017 by Ian Buckley

Extract From Tainted Love

Tainted Love was presented at the Young Actors Theatre March 2008. It was directed by Hal Iggulden & Ricky Dukes.

CAST:
Mitchell Housman, 21 - son of Gil and Isobel, half-brother to Lisannne
Lisanne Housman, 18 - daughter of Gil and Carrie, half-sister to Mitchell

LISANNE: ...It’s Dad.

MITCHELL: What about him?

LISANNE: Well he’s... in trouble.

MITCHELL: I’m listening.

LISANNE: He’s being questioned.

MITCHELL: Questioned? By who?

LISANNE: The police.

MITCHELL: The police? About what for god sake?

LISANNE: We’re not sure.

MITCHELL: Is this a joke?

LISANNE: It’s probably nothing...

MITCHELL: The police are questioning him about nothing?

LISANNE: Something about...oh ask him yourself Mitch. I’ll give you the number.

MITCHELL: Don’t hide it if you know Lis’.

LISANNE: I’m not hiding anything!

MITCHELL: Why would the police question Dad?

LISANNE: ...It’s a long story.

MITCHELL: So tell me.

LISANNE: ...Mum taped him. 

MITCHELL: I’m none the wiser.

LISANNE: A few weeks ago, she asked Dad to come home to pick up his things. And um...she taped him. While he was here. She didn’t mean to. She didn’t know it had happened till after he’d gone.

MITCHELL: You’re not making sense.

LISANNE: The answerphone tape was running. While they were talking. It does that... if the phone’s not put back. They talked about old times. About your mother. Her accident. After dad had gone Mum went to pick up the phone. ‘Record’ was on. She played it back. It had...well stuff on it. 

MITCHELL: What stuff?

LISANNE: She thought she could use it to get Dad back. That’s all she wanted. She phoned Dad and told him she’d send it to the police if he didn’t come back to her. He said he wouldn’t do that. So she...well she...sent it. 

MITCHELL: She did what!

LISANNE: You can’t believe how she is Mitchell. She’s all over the place. She’s not the Mum she was six months ago. She’s a total mess.

MITCH: What’s Dad saying on the tape?

LISANNE: Saying he...ask him yourself Mitchell.

MITCHELL: Tell me.

LISANNE: I can’t.

MITCHELL: Please Lis’. If you know.

LISANNE: Well that he...that he...don’t ask me.

MITCHELL: You have to tell me!

LISANNE: To do with your mum.

MITCHELL: What to do with my mum?

LISANNE: Well that he...pushed her.

MITCHELL: Pushed her?

LISANNE: Yes.

MITCHELL: You mean on purpose?

LISANNE: I don’t know.

MITCHELL: If he pushed her then he killed her.

LISANNE: Well...he didn’t! I know he didn’t! (NO ANSWER) It’s some sort of game they play - him and Mum. He’ll tell us the truth. (SILENCE) I’m livid with Mum. About sending the tape. We had a fight. I scratched her. Across the face. She says she doesn’t know why she did it and she wishes she hadn’t but it’s too late. She says she went totally mad when Dad told her he’d found another woman.

MITCHELL: Another woman? 

LISANNE: That’s what he told us. The reason he moved out. 

MITCHELL: ...No I think you’ve got it...it’s Isobel.

LISANNE: Sorry?

MITCHELL: The woman Dad’s left Carrie for. He means my Mum.

LISANNE: But she’s...

MITCHELL: He told me. He feels guilty about Mum dying. He wants to make it up to her. Living on his own is the first step because it makes him suffer and then he feels he’s paying. 

LISANNE: They’re mad. The pair of them!


SWITCH TO SR, MITCHELL 

MITCHELL: I went to see Dad. In his flat. The police weren’t keeping him in - he knew them all anyway - they’re work-mates. ‘Dad? Lisanne says you killed Mum?’ ‘I did not say that.’ ‘What then?’ ‘I never said that!’ ‘Has Carrie taped you saying you pushed Mum?’ Silence. ‘Dad?’ ‘I may’ve said words to that effect.’ ‘That you pushed her on purpose? If you did that then you killed her. Did you?’ 

‘Dad, you did, you did, you did! How could you? Fucking, fucking...hell!’ 

‘Mitchell, listen! I didn’t push your mother on purpose.’ ‘But you told Carrie you did! Why’d’you tell her that if it’s not true?’ ‘I told Carrie the same thing twenty years ago when your mother was dying in hospital.’ ‘I didn’t ask you WHAT you told her I asked you WHY!’

END OF EXTRACT