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Peter W. Griffiths

Extract from Peter's play "What's Phillip Jenkins Got To Do With It"

Act One. Scene One.
The kitchen. Modern and smartly furnished with new appliances.

Husband and wife GLYN and JANET JONES stand near the sink. Dressed casually in an open neck shirt and slacks, GLYN is late 30's, handsome, disheveled and drunk.

JANET is early 30's, petite and sexy. Having just come in, she is still wearing her overcoat.

The atmosphere is charged with electricity.


GLYN: (Shouting) I know you've been at PHILLIP's. I can smell him on you!

JANET: Oh grow up. Try acting like a man!

GLYN : I'm more of a man than that PHILLIP Jenkins!

JANET: (scoffs) At least he understands a woman's needs.

GLYN: How would you know?

JANET: (callously) Because I slept with him!

GLYN: (controlled rage) I knew it! I knew it!

JANET: (as before) And who do you think fathered out children!

GLYN: No! You Bitch! You dirty bitch, I'm going to kill you!

JANET: You haven't the guts, you spineless wimp!

GLYN: Wimp! Wimp! How dare you!

JANET: Oh I dare! I dare!

GLYN picks up and throws a carton of milk onto the floor. Milk spills everywhere.

GLYN: Next time it'll be your blood!

JANET laughs into his face.

JANET: To think that I married you! You're so pathetic. A real wimp!

GLYN boils with rage.

GLYN I will kill you. You see if I don't. But first...
He picks up a large knife.

JANET: What?

GLYN: I'm going to kill PHILLIP: Jenkins!

JANET: (laughs) You're no match for PHILLIP: ! He's studied Karate!

GLYN has second thoughts. Then thrusts the knife into the table.

GLYN: (with venom) I'm going down the pub!
He exits slamming the door.

JANET slumps into a chair.

Blackout.


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Scene Two.

PHILLIP Jenkins House. The living room. A typical bachelor's pad. Some very laid back jazz funk plays on the CD player.

PHILLIP enters the room wearing a white bathrobe having just had a shower. He dries his hair with a bath towel.

He is in her mid-thirties. Very good looking. He goes over to the drinks cabinet and mixes himself a Vodka Martini.

There is a knock at the door.


PHILLIP: (slight smile) Ah, that'll be Caroline.

The door opens. We hear PHILLIP cry out in alarm.

PHILLIP: JANET! What are you doing here.

JANET obviously in a state, enters.

JANET: He knows!

PHILLIP: Who does?

JANET: Glyn, my husband.
Pause.

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PHILLIP: You mean about us?

JANET: Yes, PHILLIP

PHILLIP: How?

JANET: He recognised your after-shave.

PHILLIP: That's ridiculous! I'm not the only man who wears this after-shave.

JANET: (flaring up) No, but you're the only man I'm having an affair with!
She flops into an armchair in tears.

JANET: What is it with you men! You're all just so stupid and insensitive sometimes.

PHILLIP realises what a stupid thing he's just said.

PHILLIP: I'm sorry, JANET, you're right. It was stupid and insensitive.

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They stare at each other.

JANET: No, I'm sorry, PHILLIP! It's me. It's all been such a strain recently. The lies. The deceit. I don't know whether I can go on like this.

PHILLIP: Perhaps you're right. Maybe we should stop seeing each other.. just for a while.

JANET's face boils with anger.

JANET: I meant I want to leave Glyn.

PHILLIP: Of course, of course!

PHILLIP tries to laugh off his mistake, but realises he has betrayed himself.

PHILLIP: (stumbling) And . . that's what I want too.

JANET: Is it, is it really?

PHILLIP: Yes, you know it is.

He sits next to her, taking her hand.

PHILLIP: JANET, JANET, JANET..

JANET: Oh PHILLIP!
They kiss.

JANET: So, are you going to fix me one of those vodka Martini's you're so famous for.

PHILLIP: I would, JANET . . it's just . . I'm expecting someone.

JANET: It's Caroline, your agent from London isn't it? I knew it! I knew it!

PHILLIP: It isn't what you think . .

JANET: Oh really, isn't it? You in a bath robe, the same jazz funk you played for me that night . .

PHILLIP: It's business . . it just business with me and Caroline.

JANET: You mean you're going to pay her for tonight! Because that's what she is, PHILLIP: . She's just a slut!

PHILLIP: Now you're being unreasonable.

JANET: Am I, am I?

PHILLIP: Yes. We're just talking about my new novel.

JANET: Really?

PHILLIP: Yes.

JANET: Oh PHILLIP, I feel such a fool.

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PHILLIP: It's alright.

They kiss.

JANET: I should go.

PHILLIP: I'll call you tomorrow.

JANET: Yes.

Pause. The door bell rings.

JANET: I'll leave the back way.

PHILLIP: That might be best.

JANET gets to her feet.

JANET: I do love you PHILLIP .

PHILLIP: And I love you too, JANET. Until tomorrow.

JANET: Tomorrow.

JANET exits stage right. PHILLIP takes a deep breath and exits left. A moment later he and CAROLINE appear. She is astonishingly beautiful, mid 30's, dressed very smartly.

They stand and look at each other for a moment the atmosphere is electric they kiss passionately.

Blackout.


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Scene Three. The Pub.

GLYN, very drunk, drinking whiskey. He sits by a roaring fire talking to the landlord's dog, FITZ, who lays at his feet


GLYN: Where did it all go wrong, Fitz? Between me and JANET? We were great when we met at college all those years ago. Her studying to be an archeologist, me an engineer. I first saw her in the bar. I thought she looked radiant.

Oh sure she was wearing jeans and an old T-shirt, and yet I still thought she was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen.

I didn't have the confidence to ask her out until the second year. She said yes. I later found out that she fancied me all the time. We often laughed about that, that we could have had a whole extra year together if only we'd been more sure of ourselves. I'd give anything for that extra year now because it looks like I'm losing her to that bastard PHILLIP Jenkins!

Why did he have to move into the area? People from the city make me sick! They move into rural areas with their cocky ways and they destroy the lives of ordinary people.

He finishes his drink.

Well he's not going to destroy this one! Not my life, Fitz! Oh he might try, but I'll kill him first!

4. PHILLIP is at home with CAROLINE.

PHILLIP seems irritated, his mind elsewhere.


CAROLINE: You could get the Booker Prize for your new novel, darling?

PHILLIP: Whatever..

CAROLINE: Are you ok PHILLIP, you seem agitated.

PHILLIP: It's just this bloody village. It's suffocating me. It's full of narrow minded farmer types with petty problems. How can I concentrate on my art in this constricting atmosphere.

CAROLINE: I know, darling. I understand. The countryside is full of cheap, ghastly people.

PHILLIP: Maybe I should sell up and move back to London.

CAROLINE: Darling, that's impossible. I couldn't resist seeing you every day if you were in town. And besides my husband would soon find out. The tabloids would have a field day. They could destroy us both. Especially you.

PHILLIP: You're right, darling. I couldn't afford to see me name dragged through yet another messy divorce case.
He leans forward and kisses her.

CAROLINE: Oh darling you are wonderful.

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5. The Pub.

GLYN sits in the nook with two locals, SLIM and BIG PETE.

BIG PETE: correct me if I'm wrong, you want us to give this London ponce a beating.

GLYN: (very drunk): Yeah.

SLIM: I'm up for it. I'd be right annoyed if I discovered my kids weren't mine.

BIG PETE: He looked my Brenda up and down the other night. Real dirty, like.

GLYN: He really is a love rat.

SLIM: And you know what we do to rats round here.

THEY ALL LAUGH

BIG PETE: They destroy ordinary folk's lives, people from the city.

GLYN: Aye, not to mention buying up all the houses so youngsters can't get on the property ladder.

SLIM: I have to rent from the council because I can't afford an house.

BIG PETE: It's a scandal. Something ought to be done about it.

GLYN: Something is being done about it, Big Pete.

They all laugh

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Peter W Griffiths
Peter and wife, Marina, do a scene from 'What's PHILLIP: Jenkins got to do with it?'











Peter working on his new novel
Peter working on his new novel


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