The Musical Medium A Musical Play by Stuart Wood

01/06/2005

The Musical Medium A musical Play in two acts

Act 1 Scene 1 Peggy Trivet’s Parlour - AFTERNOON The front parlor of piano teacher Miss Peggy Trivet. A walnut baby grand piano is the centerpiece of the room, on top are busts of the great composers with piles of hand written music scores around it. The flock wallpaper carries a floral motif and there are pictures of the great composers. The carpet is moss green, there is a high backed chair. A 1930's lamp standard adds extra light to the room. There is a telephone table which doubles as a drinks cabinet, next to which is a small chair. Miss Trivet is sketching musical notes onto to manuscript paper at the piano.

SONG -

I Can hear The Music

I CAN HEAR THE MUSIC LISTEN TO THE VOICES I CAN PICK A TUNE AMONG A UNIVERSE OF NOISES I CAN HEAR THE MUSIC FROM DOWLAND TO DEBUSSY LIKE A DRAMA WITH THE GODS I PLAY THE PART OF HERMES OR AM I CRAZY? HEAVEN’S ABOVE MUSIC IS LOVE. OH BEARER OF THE HEAVENLY HARMONIES YOU GUIDE MY HANDS ACROSS THE IVORIES I BREATHE A SIGH AT MUSIC’S MYSTERY I FEEL ALIVE AS IF EURYDICE OH SILVERY SOUND SPIN ME AROUND I BELONG IN YOUR SONG I CAN HEAR THE MUSIC I’M A LITTLE PSYCHIC I CAN CATCH A SYMPHONY IN THE CACOPHONY AND WRITE IT I CAN HEAR THE MUSIC ALBINONI TO ZEMLINSKY IN A SEANCE WITH THE MASTERS MY PART IS THE SECRETARY OR AM I CRAZY? (MORE)

2. (cont'd) MUSIC IS LIGHT MUSIC IS HOPE MUSIC IS JOY WHAT BEAUTY MUSIC IS LOVE MUSIC IS LOVE At the close of the song the lighting re-adjusts to normality. PEGGY It's quite tricky the Schubert. Yes, lots of flats and accidentals. Very tricky, I don't think I've quite got it... Pausing He first visited me in 1974, Franz. I was sitting right here at the piano, it was late at night and I felt a presence. I wasn't scared, in fact quite the opposite; I felt this enormous, enormous love. I didn't even realise it was Schubert for a long time. Not without his glasses. He was just a man with beautiful hands taking over my hands like a pair of gloves, guiding them across the keyboard. Oh and the music! The music! When he dictates it’s like... making love. Not in the physical sense. Ooph no! There's none of that in the Elysian Fields, no, not sex, not with Schubert anyway! Don't know what you might catch...(laughs) No I'm only kidding. He might be listening.... Carries on playing. The lamp flickers and Peggy is a little startled. With a dramatic crescendo Schubert appears from behind the piano, his long coat and neck scarf are made of the same fabric as the wallpaper. PEGGY Oh Herr Shubert! Adjusting her hair and applying fresh lipstick. SCHUBERT Forgive me Frau Trivet. PEGGY Call me Peggy or we’re not speaking!

3. SCHUBERT Dearest, sweetest Peggy. I’m sorry to be of trouble to you. PEGGY Trouble? My dearest Franz. SCHUBERT It’s, it’s just that I, I’ve got this little tune going on in my head and i need you... PEGGY Yes and you want to transmit? I wasn’t planning a claire-audience darling. You know I’ve got a pupil at four! SCHUBERT Oh yes and that was the other thing. PEGGY What other thing? SCHUBERT Your four O’ clock pupil. PEGGY Who George Mortimer? SCHUBERT Yes the boy. PEGGY What about him? SCHUBERT Well, it’s, it’s just that those of us on the Celestial Council believe he could make a great contribution to the earth plane. Musically. PEGGY You don’t need to tell me, all my hopes are wrapped up in George. SCHUBERT But, he carries a heavy heart and at times is surrounded and influenced, by great negativity and this is causing us great concern. PEGGY Oh dear, dear. It’s his mother isn’t it.

4. SCHUBERT It is my responsibility to see to it that he fulfils his potential whilst trapped on the mortal coil. Je Vois! SCHUBERT I want to see to it that there is no unfinished business. You understand? PEGGY Oh I do Franz, but what can I do to assist?... What about his father? It’s been seven years since his departure to your side. SCHUBERT No no no, the father has tried to reach the boys mother but she has closed her heart and this is blocking him from getting through. PEGGY She hard work that woman. SCHUBERT Oh and another thing, he has been offered the place at the Julliard School of Music in New York, but he doesn’t know yet. PEGGY Oh but that’s wonderful! SCHUBERT Yes but he’s going to struggle to find the money, it’s not certain he will technically be able to afford to go. PEGGY But it’s only money. SCHUBERT It’s not only the money. No, the truth is on the earth plane you see through the glass darkly. Unless a certain amount of polishing of the glass takes place the correct path for the young man will not unravel. PEGGY Herr Schubert, what ever you need me to do, I’ll do. I was his Dad’s piano teacher too, you know. (MORE) PEGGY

5. PEGGY (cont'd) They’ve always struggled that family. SCHUBERT Everything is as it should be and all will become clear. Oh and er Peggy, there is something else... PEGGY Oh dear that doesn’t sound very good, what is it? SCHUBERT Well, I’ve just come from this meeting and the Council members have decided that the time has arrived for you to go public with the music. PEGGY Oh no you are joking. SCHUBERT No, they think that the world is ready and that you are ready. The stage is now set for the work and you must take it there. PEGGY It’s that Wagner isn’t it, he’s so pushy. I’m not ready, I mean, the press and Television people it’ll be a media circus, I need to get laminate flooring... SCHUBERT It wasn’t Richard actually, it was me. You? SCHUBERT I think you’re wonderful. Look what you’ve done for us. Our work has continued through you and you need to benefit from this. PEGGY Stop! No, it’s not about me. It’s never been about me. It’s about the music and the world needs to benefit from the music. Of course, I see where the council is coming from. I know they want to help the world form behind the veil of death but I’m merely the secretary. PEGGY

6. Looking at herself in the mirror. Ooh! And I will also need a considerable personal makeover. Oh I don’t know, Franz, I suppose I don’t want our lives to change too much. SCHUBERT Dearest sweetest Peggy, I will be here with you every step of the way. That won’t change. PEGGY Will you promise? I promise PEGGY Dearest can we talk about this later young George will be here and I don’t want him to catch me dancing round the piano, again! SCHUBERT Those who danced were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. PEGGY Oh he can hear the music alright, it’s just that can’t see you! Which is his loss darling! Now be off! SCHUBERT But what about my tune? PEGGY I thought the benefit of being a spinster of this parish was that I had avoided having littl ‘uns! Come on then; pencil sharpened and ready! Schubert takes Miss Trivet's hands and guides them across the piano keys. He begins to sing. SCHUBERT (singing) SOFTLY FALLS THE WINTERY SNOW He has a slight problem with the tune. PEGGY Take it down a bit? SCHUBERT

7. SCHUBERT Er! PEGGY Yes I think so. SCHUBERT (singing) SOFTLY FALL THE WINTERY SNOW BLEAK BLOWS THE BLIZZARD THAT DRIVES IT TO AND FRO. SCHUBERT You don't like it. PEGGY No, no, I didn't say anything! SCHUBERT No but you thought it. PEGGY Well, it's just it's a little dreary, don't you think. Peggy changes tack and begins to vamp on the piano. SONG: “THE MORE I KNOW OF YOU, THE MORE I LOVE YOU” PEGGY THE MORE I KNOW YOU THE MORE I LOVE YOU THE MORE I LOVE YOU THE MORE I SEE IN YOU IF WHAT I SEE IS TRUE AND I BELIEVE IT, I DO IT’S LIKE WE’RE STARTING ANEW THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU Peggy continues to play as Schubert sings, she echoes his words with big romantic piano chords SCHUBERT THE THE THE THE They join in duet. PEGGY & SCHUBERT IF WHAT I SEE IS TRUE AND I BELIEVE IT, (YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT I DO!) (MORE) MORE MORE MORE MORE I I I I KNOW YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU SEE IN YOU

8. PEGGY & SCHUBERT (cont'd) I DO IT’S LIKE WE’RE STARTING (YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT LIKE WE’RE STARTING) ANEW THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU SCHUBERT (seeking reassurance) Do you like it? PEGGY Yes, it's really rather lovely! The music continues and they dance together around the parlour. Schubert lifts Peggy to sit on the piano. PEGGY & SCHUBERT IF WHAT I SEE IS TRUE AND I BELIEVE IT, (YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT I DO!) I DO IT’S LIKE WE’RE STARTING (YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT LIKE WE’RE STARTING) ANEW THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU

The music reaches a conclusion and they find themselves in an embrace. The doorbell rings and Schubert disappears. PEGGY (out of breath) Oh dear! That'll be my four O' clock. (Loudly) Come in George it's open! George Mortimer, a sensitive seventeen-year-old enters, takes several books of music from a soft leather case and places them in front of him, he removes his jacket and sits at the piano. Peggy sits in her chair and lights a cigarette. Hello duck. GEORGE Hi Miss Trivet. PEGGY Fancy a cigarette? No thanks. PEGGY How's your Mum? She's O.K. GEORGE GEORGE

9. PEGGY How's she coping? GEORGE Yeah, she's all right. PEGGY Mmm. Any news from the Julliard?. GEORGE No I haven’t heard yet. PEGGY Mmmm. Let's have a sherry or no, what is it you drink, vodka? GEORGE I'm fine Miss T, honest I got a Coke in my bag, PEGGY Well I'm having one. She goes over to the sideboard and finding a bottle of sherry pours herself a glass. Just a trickle. It's past the four O'clock watershed. So how are you finding the Messian? GEORGE You know there's no way I can go. Peggy Sorry dear? GEORGE The Julliard, I mean I know the audition went OK and you’ve been brilliant Miss T honest, but I can’t see how it can happen. It’s just everything. PEGGY I see, well don’t worry too much about it. I mean, do you want to go to America and study music? GEORGE I don’t know, It’s not down to me. PEGGY Hummm. What does your Mum say? GEORGE She’s not very good. She can’t work at moment and we’re a bit broke, It might be easier to forget about it for now.

10. PEGGY Easier! Is that what you want? Who said it was going to be easy! I don’t know what it is with the youth. Anne was telling me that Valerie Dickinson's daughter’s got into Cambridge to do philosophy but has now decided she wants to be a plumber! George Should I play some scales? Peggy Chromatic sixths starting on F. George begins to play Good ones are hard to come by though you see... philosophers. As George plays Now, would you sight-read this duet please? Move over duck there’s room for a small one. They sit and begin to play a duet. (Underscore.)After a few moments. George What do you remember about my dad Miss T? Peggy What ever makes you ask that? GEORGE Dunno, I just been thinking about him a lot I suppose. Peggy Well, he was terribly sensitive, and, I remember how much he loved your mother. Of Course, we all thought it was just another one of those holiday romances but no, it was true love...the course of which never did run smooth. George What about his music? Peggy Ah! Well like all the great composers, he prostituted his art. Mozart was paid to write a symphony for nobility and your Dad was paid to compose music for Andrex toilet tissue and the like.

11. George But he made a living from music and he didn’t go to college in New York. Peggy True but, he could have been brilliant, I don’t mean to sound hard but, he sold out, your Dad. Chasing money, “seeking wealth in vain”. It happens. He was under a lot of pressure I suppose, but he could have been brilliant. I remember him telling me he’d started writing again, then of course the accident. They stop playing. GEORGE Mum never talks about it. I can’t even find any of his music. PEGGY Your mother is going to have to let go, George. Her unhappiness is not your responsibility. Do you hear? She’s tough, she'll be fine. Do you think I want to see my star pupil go to America? Well the truth is, yes I do. You must go for it, for all of us. George Why does it have to be so difficult. Peggy Runways are designed to take advantage of prevailing winds. George Suppose so. Peggy And, to be a great artist one must be sensitive. People who have comfortable, placid lives are not sufficiently sensitized to be artists. You adorable darling. No why don’t we have a little look at this. Peggy takes a score from the pile on the piano. PEGGY I’ll give you a few moments to look at it.

12. GEORGE What is it? PEGGY It’s a piece called Etude on a theme of B. GEORGE You mean in B PEGGY Young man, I know what I mean GEORGE Where’s it from? PEGGY Oh it’s just something one of my former pupils wrote. I’ll count you in...2,3,4 Song PEGGY MUSIC STARTS IN SOMEONE’S HEART FROM YEARS AGO OR MILES AWAY BUT IF DECIPHERED FROM THE PAGE THAT MUSIC CAN BE HERE TODAY LET’S START WITH BACH AS BACH’S A DECENT SORT OF PLACE TO START HE’S AFTER BILL BYRD BUT BEFORE BRUMEL AND BRAHMS. BELLINI, BRUCH, BERIO, BARBER, BERG AND BERLIOZ, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, BENJAMIN BRITTEN THEY MADE THE MUSIC BECAUSE THE MUSIC IS A PHYSICAL PHENOMENA IT’S MADE OF AIR VIBRATING ORGANISED AND REGULAR THE RESULTING FORCE APPEARS AS IF A KIND OF MIRACLE SO TAKE THE PHYSICAL COMBINE IT WITH THE SPIRITUAL YOU MAKE THE MUSIC GEORGE BEND IT, SHAPE IT, GROOVE AND SHAKE IT EARS VIBRATING IN SYMPATHY CUT AND PASTE IT MOVE AND GRATE IT MELODY HARMONY RHYTHM IN SYMPHONY (MORE)

13. GEORGE (cont'd) WELL THERE IS IRVIN BERLIN, BERNSTEIN, BIZET, BIRTWHISTLE, BOCHARINI, BOULEZ, BARRY, BORODIN. THE BEATLES, THE BEACH BOYS, THE BEE GEES BURT BACHARACH BOWIE BONEY M AND CILLA BLACK BJORN AND BENNY THEY MADE THE MUSIC BECAUSE THE MUSIC IS A PHYSICAL PHENOMENA IT’S MADE OF AIR VIBRATING ORGANISED AND REGULAR THE RESULTING FORCE APPEARS AS IF A KIND OF MIRACLE SO TAKE THE PHYSICAL COMBINE IT WITH THE SPIRITUAL AND MAKE THE MUSIC George continues to play as Peggy is joined by Schubert who dances with her round the piano. GEORGE Hey Miss T, who’s your partner? PEGGY Oh Nobody.....special. GEORGE MUSIC CAN BE OUR GREATEST WEAPON FOR PEACE IT’S WHERE OUR DIFFERENCES CEASE BRINGS US TOGETHER PEGGY & GEORGE TRANSCENDING TIME AND SPACE IT CUTS ACROSS WORLDS AND RACE IT OPEN OUR HEARTS AND LASTS FOREVER. WE MAKE THE MUSIC BECAUSE THE MUSIC IS A PHYSICAL PHENOMENA IT’S MADE OF AIR VIBRATING ORGANISED AND REGULAR THE RESULTING FORCE APPEARS AS IF A KIND OF MIRACLE SO TAKE THE PHYSICAL COMBINE IT WITH THE SPIRITUAL YOU MAKE THE MUSIC Schubert vanishes. George Putting on his coat. That was fab Miss T. I feel so much better, as always.

14. PEGGY Me too dear! GEORGE See you Saturday. Peggy You shall. Hope your Mum's feeling a bit better. George exits and Peggy closes the door and sits at the piano. lights fade Scene Two - The Mortimer Home - Kitchen -LATER Despina Mortimer, George's mother, sits at the kitchen table with her head in her hands. On the table is a pile of unopened letters. A radio/cassette player is playing Classic FM. Announcer. “Classic fm, the home of smooth classics at 7. The perfect evening chill out. The ultimate evening wind down....

Despina I must make dinner my baby will be home. If I peel the potatoes. She goes over to the kitchen drawer to look for the potato peeler. The drawer crashes to the floor. She falls to the floor Despina (sobbing) Jesus Christ help me! For Christ’s sake help me, The radio begins to play “Mon. Coeur s’ouvre a voix” from Saint Saens ‘Samson and Delilah’. DESPINA How cruel! My love, our song. She remains on the floor listening for a moment and then sings. Song SOMEWHERE

DESPINA PLEASE FORGIVE ME IF I FAILED YOU BUT BELIEVE ME I TRIED I WEAR THIS CROSS THAT I’M NAILED TO THOUGH I’M LIVING I HAVE DIED I WAS MORTAL (MORE)

15. DESPINA (cont'd) I WAS FLESH AND BONE NOW MY HEART IS MADE OF STONE I’M SOMEWHERE LOST BETWEEN YOUR HEAVEN AND MY HELL HERE I’M SOMEWHERE ORPHEUS KNEW WELL DELIVER ME AN ORACLE AND PLAY THE MAGIC LYRE RECLAIM ME FROM THE UNDERWORLD RELEASE FROM MEDUSA’S SPELL AND SHOW ME THERE IS HEAVEN IN MY HELL IT’S A MIRACLE I NEED

The music from the radio blends with Despina’s aria. George arrives home to find his mother on the floor sobbing. George Mum! What's happened? Despina Yorgos, my baby. George picks her up and helps her to a chair. George Mum what the hell’s going on...? Despina I'm so sorry Yorgos, I pulled that bloody drawer and... I just wanted to make dinner... George Momma, don't worry, it's OK. Despina So sorry baby, you know I have the Greek madness! George Don't Mum, I'll make some tea. I don’t think anything’s broken. George puts the kettle on, picks the drawer up and puts it back in the cupboard. He picks up the cutlery. Look why don’t we just order a pizza eh? Pizza? Despina

16. George There was a leaflet from that new place they're doing a really cheap offer... Yorgos?? George leafs through the papers and letters on the table. GEORGE You've got to open these they might be important. There might be a letter from the Julliard.... Perfect Pizza, two for one and free delivery. Yes? Despina I wanted to cook. George picks up the phone and dials. George Hi, yes can I order 2 pizzas to be delivered... Despina (to herself) Useless person. George Yes, flat b, 165 Kendleton Road. Can we have 2 of the specials, please? Yes it's 08 674 4756. Forty minutes!! OK no that's fine. Thanks. Oh how much will it be. OK thanks. (to his Mother)Three ninety nine. Meanwhile the kettle has boiled and Despina is making tea. Despina Let me at least make some tea? George Let's open some of these letters now. Despina No darling! I'm not very good today, they're all bills. George They're not all bills. Universal Music. Despina

17. Despina Who's that? George The biggest music company in the world. I'm opening it. Despina I can't handle any stress baby...what does it say? George Dear Mrs Mortimer We are the publishers of your late husband. Since obtaining the rights of North Star Music in 1998. DESPINA Go On GEORGE We have received an urgent request from an international recording artist to record one of your late husband’s songs. We can only find a catalogue listing for the title of the song but have no recording or score in the archive. The song is called “You’ve got to let go”. The artist heard the song 7 years ago during a rehearsal for his concert in London where your husband was playing keyboards and is insistent to use it as the title song of his forthcoming movie. Do you have a copy? A generous share of the publishing is yours if the song can be found. Please contact me as soon as you receive this letter. Yours sincerely Sam Zimmerman Universal Music Los Angeles Despina It must be a mistake your father never wrote songs. GEORGE Yes he did.

18. DESPINA All the music's lost anyway. There is nothing left. Give it to me. Despina snatches the letter. GEORGE Mum! This is really important. We need to find the song. DESPINA There is no song. I don’t remember any songs... GEORGE You never talk about his music, or let me hear it, I need to hear it. He was my Dad. Tearing up the letter DESPINA Jesus help me no! I’m telling you, the songs were lost they were destroyed. Great! DESPINA Oh I don’t know, after the funeral it was a very confusing time, it's been seven years darling. I can’t remember. GEORGE I can, you sang his songs. You must remember. DESPINA Yorgos! I went through it all with your father. Putting my life on hold for his music, always the promises of riches but never having any, still never having any. I can’t go through it with you. What about my dreams? Who gives a shit about me! GEORGE How selfish. I’m not responsible for your unhappiness. DESPINA What did you say? GEORGE

19. GEORGE Miss Trivet says. I’m not responsible for your unhappiness. DESPINA Oh really! And what else does the witch say..heh? Filling your head with crap! GEORGE She said that Dad sold out he didn’t stick to his dream, that’s why we’ve got nothing. Despina Stupid woman what does she know? What does she know about my unhappiness heh? What does anybody know? Responsible for my... I never said you were. GEORGE Sorry Mum. It’s just DESPINA I’m going to bed GEORGE We need to eat. DESPINA She was the same with him, giving him all these ideas about how wonderful he was, and where did it get him. Dead! Despina exits. George sits at the table with the letter. Song IF I SHOULD LOSE MY MUSIC. WHAT’S THE POINT OF A DREAM IF IT CAN’T COME TRUE IS IT OVER AT SEVENTEEN NO IT CAN’T BE I WON’T GIVE UP MY HOPES AND DREAMS THAT SUNNY SIDE OF ME (GIVE UP IT) COZ IF I LOSE IT I’LL LOSE MUSIC FOR THE DREAM NEVER DIES IT BREATHES IT LIVES IN ME WON’T GIVE IT UP SO I’LL USE IT FOR I HAVE MUSIC LIKE THE GATES OF THE DREAMS (MORE)

20. DESPINA (cont'd) THAT WE MUST PASS THROUGH MADE OF IVORY AND HORN ONE I HAVE TO CHOOSE THROUGH THE GATE MADE OF HORN I’LL ACCOMPLISH ALL THAT I HOPE FOR THROUGH THE DREAM GATE OF IVORY THERE IS NOTHING SO I’LL GIVE UP MY DREAM MY HOPE IT’S GOOD ENOUGH JUST TO COPE AND ANYWAY I’M USELESS IT’S AND I CAN’T DO THIS YEAH MAYBE THIS DREAM DELUDES IT’S FALSE UNTRUE I SHOULD GIVE IT UP FOR IF I CHOOSE IT THEN I WILL LOSE IT. Schubert appears unnoticed by George who picks up the letter from the Publisher. I WON’T GIVE UP MY HOPES AND DREAMS THAT SUNNY SIDE OF ME (GIVE IT UP) COZ IF I LOSE IT I’LL LOSE MUSIC FOR THE DREAM NEVER DIES IT BREATHES IT LIVES IN ME WON’T GIVE IT UP SO I’LL USE IT FOR I HAVE MUSIC Scene 3 Miss Trivet sitting room. Miss Trivet is sitting in her armchair. With a glass of wine. PEGGY About five'O clock I usually like to settle with a tea, the Evening Standard - and a Crunchie. Well, after a steady stream of badly rehearsed pupils plus the constant demands from the dead, I need a quiet five minutes. I use the term 'dead' loosely, you understand, for I often think it is we who are dead, not they.. I used to believe it had messed me up, seeing things; hearing voices. When I was a child I assumed everyone could see them, Mother said it was a gift though Dad said I was daft. I’d feel an abysmal loneliness because of it. Now I believe it’s a gift. If I can create value with it. (MORE)

21. PEGGY (cont'd) There's always someone hovering, There’s been Wagner, demanding that I take a look at his Ring - the sequel. Very rude man, I told him 'Sorry can't do anything on that scale at the moment', and from what I could make out it seemed to be terribly messy. Beethoven's Tenth was the same though one is more inclined to say Ja! to Ludwig. Then, of course, I happened to say something rather insensitive about his bald patch forgetting that he’s no longer deaf in the spirit world and I didn’t see him for 18 months. I did have a lot on that week. Then there’s Schubert's Unfinished. Now that, I will get round to....Although I suppose the romance would be lost. I do love our little Schubetiads, as I call them, pure joy! I've got it all here, everything noted down and ready to go public...or not. I’m not really looking forward to it. Schubert had always said he'd tell me when the time is right... Naturally, I wouldn't go to the grave and not tell anyone. They're masterpieces. No, I am the messenger and I shall bequeath them to the Nation. The lamp standard flickers, and Schubert appears. PEGGY Herr Schubert! SCHUBERT Frau Trivet. I have important information. PEGGY I was just having my break.. SCHUBERT You remember my lost work of 1825? PEGGY The Gastein Symphony! Don’t say you remembered where you put it?? SCHUBERT No, no I still can’t remember.

22. PEGGY Oh darling I’m sure it will turn up. SCHUBERT No, it’s not about the Gastein but another missing work. I have received a message. Oh? SCHUBERT “The song is not lost, but unseen” PEGGY Who sent the message dear? SCHUBERT It’s not clear who but I believe it refers to a song written by Perry Mortimer and it’s discovery will change the fortunes of his son and the wife he left behind. My George. SCHUBERT A man is not taken away before he has said all he has to say. The brilliant hopes of the Mortimers will not perish, they will flourish. PEGGY Oh dearest. So where is it? SCHUBERT Please, the piano, I need your hands. PEGGY Oh I love it when you’re forceful. PEGGY PEGGY

He guides Peggy’s hands across the keyboard. When the accompaniment is to his satisfaction he begins to sing. SCHUBERT (sung) YOU'LL FIND A TAPE OF THE MISSING SONG IN THE LOFT BEHIND A TURKISH BONG THE TAPE IS LABELED THIRTY-ONE THIS SHOULD AVOID A CONTRETEMPS Peggy adds her own bit on the piano.

23. SCHUBERT What are you doing? PEGGY Just you carry on. SCHUBERT TO GIVE TO YOU ANOTHER CLUE THE FOLIO IS GREEN AND BLUE IT’S HIDDEN IN A SEALED BOX WHICH ONCE YOU’VE FOUND THE KEY UNLOCKS THE HEART AND SOUL OF SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES IN YOU The tempo doubles HIS DULCID TONES WILL SING THE SONG SO MAKE NO BONES YOU HAVEN'T LONG THE PAST IS PAST, WHAT'S DONE IS DONE THE FUTURE'S THEIR AND MUST BE WON END SONG Peggy is somewhat confused. PEGGY But Franz, what shall we do? SCHUBERT George, the Mortimer boy, you must give him this message immediately! PEGGY George?! But who shall I say sent it? Schubert There is no time for the boundaries of your human ego, you must use the voice transporter, it is a matter of great urgency. You must trust me. PEGGY Oh but Franz I do, I do. Peggy pauses unsure exactly what she's supposed to say. Schubert points towards the telephone on the sideboard. All right all right, (under her breath) Fusspot! SCHUBERT I heard that! She has looked up the Mortimer's phone number and dialed.

24. The lights go up on the Mortimer kitchen and we see George answer the phone. Both scenes merge. Hello? Peggy gesticulates to Schubert as if to say "I don't know what to say!" Hello-o? Is that Perfect Pizza? PEGGY George, this is Miss Trivet, can you hear me? GEORGE Oh hi Miss T, sorry I thought you.... PEGGY Now listen carefully I have an important message. OK?? At this moment Despina comes into the kitchen. DESPINA I need to take a couple of Nytol. George waves her as if to say "Sush! I'm on the phone" PEGGY Do you have something to write with? DESPINA Who are you on the phone to? GEORGE Mum pass me that pen. DESPINA It’s that bloody woman...here give me the phone. A 'Quartet' ensues between the two settings based around the message. Schubert moves between both locations. SONG PEGGY YOU'LL FIND A TAPE OF THE MISSING SONG IN THE LOFT BEHIND A TURKISH BONG THE TAPE IS LABELLED THIRTY ONE THIS SHOULD AVOID A CONTRETEMPS GEORGE GEORGE

25. DESPINA What? PEGGY TO GIVE TO YOU ANOTHER CLUE THE FOLIO IS GREEN AND BLUE IT’S HIDDEN IN A SEALED BOX WHICH ONCE YOU’VE FOUND THE KEY UNLOCKS THE HEART AND SOUL OF SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES IN YOU DESPINA AND OTHERS WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHO IS IT FROM HOW CAN SHE KNOW ABOUT THE SONG CAN SOMEONE PLEASE WHAT'S GOING ON THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG (X 2) THE SONG, NOT LOST, NOT LOST BUT UNSEEN ALL HOPE’S NOT LOST, IT’S UNSEEN THIS COULD MEAN EVERYTHING EVERYTHING MEANS SOMETHING THIS COULD SOLVE EVERYTHING LISTEN TO THE CLUE ETC... The phone has been passed between the characters. George after singing part of the quartet takes the torch from the kitchen drawer and goes upstairs to the loft, while Despina, Schubert and Miss Trivet continue singing. He returns after a few moments with the box. Placing it on the kitchen table. DESPINA Jesus! Where did you find that? GEORGE It's locked, Where's the key? Where's the key mum? DESPINA I swear I never seen it before. GEORGE (picking up the phone) Miss T, where's the key? PEGGY The key. Hold on a minute darling. (putting her hand over the receiver) Franz, dear, where's... SCHUBERT The key is in the boy's belief. If his belief is pure the box will open and by opening the near, the distant will be revealed.

26. PEGGY Oh right? DESPINA This is crazy Jorgos, I tell you that woman’s a witch. GEORGE No Mum, this is what I've been looking for. The box unlocks itself. (To Miss Trivet on phone) It's OK Miss T, it's open, it's open! I'll call you later. Scene 4 - CONTINUOUS Peggy's sitting room goes dark and Schubert disappears. George and Despina sit at the table with the open box in front of them. George starts to take papers and cassettes out of the box. DESPINA Flack and Strong were Perry's accountants. I still get letters from them about the tax. GEORGE Green and blue file, here it is. DESPINA Oh my love. George opens the file which contains a cassette '31'. GEORGE Thirty-one, this is it. DESPINA It's his hand-writing. George sets up the portable cassette player on the table and put the cassette in the cartridge. GEORGE Mum,, what did the letter say the song was called? DESPINA "You’ve got to let go" OK (PAUSE) GEORGE labeled

27. DESPINA OK. But Jorgos, don’t get too excited (PAUSE) Play it! Yeah George presses play, Despina gasps and stops herself from crying. After four bars the telephone rings. DESPINA Don't answer it! GEORGE It might be Miss T. Just stop it for a second. Despina stops the tape and George answers the phone. GEORGE Hello...who? Pizza?! Oh yeah... yes, one hundred and sixty-five. Top bell. Oh is he, thanks. Oh no worries, I'd forgot all about it, yeah that's fine. OK bye. (To Despina) ) Pizza man is outside, didn't know which bell.. DESPINA Oh God, where's my purse? She gives him a five pound note. George exits to answer the door. Despina get plates from the kitchen cupboard. DESPINA I can’t eat now? Looking at items in the box she then raises her eyes and head to the ceiling. DESPINA Oh Perry, Perry! George re-enters with the Pizzas. GEORGE (Kissing his mother on the forehead) It's going to be OK mum. DESPINA I hope so, baby. GEORGE

28. George puts the pizza boxes on the side and returns to the table. GEORGE OK rewind it let's start again. And if the phone rings this time we'll ignore it. DESPINA I did say ignore it. Despina presses rewind as George sits. GEORGE Yeah but the pizza man was outside. DESPINA How can you be hungry? GEORGE I’m not! (pause) Dad's watching out for us Mum, perhaps this means I can go to college and you are going to get well. DESPINA I want to believe that baby. I really do. The tape finishes rewinding. Ready? Yep! Despina presses play and again the tape rolls hissing and cracking for a few seconds before the first notes begin to play. After four bars of introduction, the music is interrupted by the sound of Georges voice recorded on the tape: GEORGE DESPINA

Sfx Hello... pizza?! Oh yeah... yes, one hundred and sixty-five. Flat b. Top bell. Oh is he..... Despina What's happened? No! Despina What's happened darling? George

29. George You must have pressed 'Record' instead of stop! Despina Oh no! I haven’t. Jesus no. George fast-forwards the tape and we hear the previous few minutes of conversation speeded up ending it silence. George It's gone. It's all gone. Despina No it can't have, I didn't mean to, (crying) I wanted to hear the song as much as you did. GEORGE You taped over it. George reaches across to his mother's hand and grasps it. The lights go down on the Mortimer kitchen.

Interval Act 2 Scene 1 Peggy Trivet’s Parlour - MORNING SONG I Can hear The Music (part reprise) I CAN HEAR THE MUSIC LISTEN TO THE VOICES I CAN PICK A TUNE AMONG A UNIVERSE OF NOISES I CAN HEAR THE MUSIC THOMAS TALLIS TO TCHAIKOVSKY LIKE TUNING IN A WIRELESS I’M AT THE DIAL’S MERCY OR AM I CRAZY? HEAVEN’S ABOVE MUSIC IS LOVE MUSIC IS LOVE

30. PEGGY I’ve been thinking ‘why me’? ‘why me’? I asked Chopin once during a tea break; he has me sit at the table to write because he doesn’t think much of my playing. ‘Why me Frederick? I asked ‘por qua moi’. He said “because you volunteered yourself long before you were born.” Sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for, I suppose. Ann’s son, Roderick is in PR and has already been on the phone this morning about my debut. I was thinking the United Reformed on the High Street but he’s insisting on the Wigmore Hall. I’m already planning footwear, although i don’t think it’ll be appreciated on Woman’s Hour. I’m really the most unlikely candidate for fame; it’s a terrifying prospect. I’d much prefer to carrying on living a unnoticed, modest, simple life. The composers are very excited, of course. Clara Schumann said that Liszt had told her to tell me that he wanted me to have a tight curley knit perm and wear a dirndal and goodness knows what else for the concert! She doesn’t half try it on! As long as my Schubert’s with me I can do it. That’s what I keep thinking. They need me and I‘m willing to help. But I need him. That’s the deal. INTERIM SCENE SCHUBERT Oh my attractive star! The deal. The deal is, if I help the Mortimers, I move onto my next life. Again I will have a body and I am ready. For, I have learned that to wander is the romantic condition and that more often than not happiness is but the surface of despair. I deserve true happiness, don’t I? But, how will I be able to tell her. Not being very good at words. (MORE)

31. SCHUBERT (cont'd) I remember receiving a letter from my brother Ferdi, telling me he had been drinking at the Inn at Ungarischen, when a musical clock played several of my waltzes and hearing them he sat and wept. Must be the drink. It was the music. But for Peggy music will not surfice, I need words. Everything is as it should be.

Scene Two - The Mortimer Home - Kitchen George is having breakfast listening to Radio 1. Despina enters in dressing-gown with the post. GEORGE Morning mum. Cup of tea? Despina shakes her head looking anxious. GEORGE I didn’t sleep much did you. Despina is pre-occupied GEORGE Do you want me to call Universal later and tell them what happened. DESPINA No, I’ll do that. GEORGE You won’t though. She switches off the radio and places a letter on the table. GEORGE I was listening that! Oh, It’s from the Julliard. I knew this would arrive today. Do you want to open it? DESPINA No darling, it has your name on it. GEORGE My hands are shaking! DESPINA Mine too baby George opens the letter and reads.

32. GEORGE I got in, I got in! Good baby GEORGE Well don’t sound so pleased DESPINA You got in Yorgos, I’m happy for you. Ok? GEORGE No you’re not. I’ve got to go to rehearsal. DESPINA I’m your mother Yorgos, I’m not your friend. GEORGE Yeah tell me about it. DESPINA And where are we going to get the money? Heh? I was working when I was your age. GEORGE Mum this isn’t about money, you can’t see what it is I want. DESPINA That’s not true. I honestly don’t know how you can go and spend three years in America with no money. I am saying it how it is. GEORGE Well I don’t want to know. I got a place at the Julliard. This is so mental! This what I worked for. Pissing on my dreams. I’m going. DESPINA You talk to me as if I’m a piece of shit. I’m your flesh and blood and I love you. I don’t want to lose you. GEORGE I’m not dying, I'm going to college, like everybody else. DESPINA You’re not everybody else, you’re my baby DESPINA

33. GEORGE I’m not mum, that’s just it I'm not. George exits Song My Son DESPINA WHEN MY SON WAS YOUNG I CARRIED HIM HE BROKE MY ARMS AND NOW HE’S GROWN INTO A MAN HE BREAKS MY HEART ALL OF MY DREAMS ARE WRAPPED UP IN HIM ALL OF THEM ALL OF MY HOPES CAN BE WON IN MY SON MY SON, IF I LOSE MY FEAR OF LOSING YOU THEN ALL WILL BE WON SPREAD YOUR WINGS OF COURAGE AND FLY FOR STUBBORN AS I AM I CAN’T HOLD BACK THIS MAN I CAN’T HOLD BACK THE CHANGING TIDE IN HIS HEART I PRAY HE CARRIES ME EVERY DAY HE’S GONE AND I WILL TRUST I TAUGHT HIM RIGHT FROM WRONG I MUST BE STRONG ALL OF MY ANGER RESULTS IN CONFRONTING HIM I CAN SEE SO MUCH OF ME IN MY SON MY SON IF I LOSE MY FEAR OF LOSING YOU THEN ALL WILL BE WON SPREAD YOUR WINGS OF COURAGE AND FLY FOR STUBBORN AS I AM I CAN’T HOLD BACK THIS MAN I CAN’T HOLD BACK THE CHANGING TIDE Symbolically Despina goes to the piano and plays a short duet with George. FOR WORRY AS I DO I STILL BELIEVE IN YOU I WON’T HOLD BACK THE CHANGING TIDE. Despina clutches the letter from the Julliard with resolve. George enters with package. Mum? GEORGE

34. DESPINA I’m so sorry Jorgos, I want to do everything I can to help. I’ll do anything. GEORGE Mum this was pushed through the door. There must be thousands of pounds. DESPINA What? Who from? GEORGE I don’t know, there’s no note... Oh God i think it’s from Miss Trivit you know. It’s her handwriting. DESPINA How dare she! Thinks I’m bad mother. No Mum! DESPINA Forget rehearsals today darling. Give me 5 minutes. She thinks I’m useless. She knows nothing. Scene 3 Peggy Trivet's parlor Peggy I don't have a problem falling asleep, it is waking up that I find difficult. Particularly this morning. I was having a lovely half dream where Handel’s was showing me his organ works. In my semiconscious state I could see a woman hovering above me. It was Fanny Mendelssohn! What with next door hoovering and Fanny hovering, I thought ‘Oh it’s going to be one of those days.’ Anything to draw attention to herself that one. So there’s Fanny mouthing something to me. ‘Miss Trivet, Miss Trivet,’ she’s saying. ‘Here we go’ I thought, keeping one eye closed. Now, the spirit world is supposed to have nothing to do with monetary gain, but there she is giving me a tip on ‘Tinkers Wharf’ running at the 10.30 at Epsom. Now I’ve never been into a bookies in my life, my father was a methodist! (MORE) GEORGE

35. Peggy (cont'd) But Frau Mendelssohn was so emphatic that I found myself in William Hills on the High Street handing over my pension. I’d forgotten Stacey Clegg works in there on a Saturday, she kindly helped me fill out the chit. “How’s the Poulanc coming along dear” I asked, as if everything was normal, “It sounds the same whether I play it wrong or not Miss Trivet, she replied, chewing.” I have a tendency to agree with her on that one! Anyway afterwards I popped into Dolces for the shoes and I must have been in there for about twenty minutes when in comes Stacy Clegg on her break, ‘your horse came in then’, she announced, loud enough for Irene Phelps and Janice Proctor to hear at the counter . So there I was, moments later, with £4537 in used notes. Pouring a glass of wine for herself. I’ve sent it round to the Mortimers. Schubert said that I shouldn’t but, well, I decided, they need it far more than I do. It’ll go towards young George’s college fees. Schubert appears. PEGGY Oh Herr Schubert! Where have you been? I’m getting a rather worrying itinerary thanks to you. We need to practice, oh and my new shoes, I got them. SCHUBERT Oh sweetest Peggy. PEGGY What is it? Oh you’re not cross with me about sending that money round to the Mortimers are you. SCHUBERT What? Oh no, no What then. The Doorbell Rings PEGGY

36. In bursts Despina followed by George. PEGGY Oh, Mrs. Mortimer! DESPINA I don’t know what your game is. Sorry? DESPINA What are you playing at PEGGY Er Despina dear.. DESPINA We don’t need your charity! GEORGE Mum, stop for God’s sake DESPINA Here take your money, we don’t need it. Despina throws the envelope with the money in on the floor. And I don’t need you filling my son’s head with rubbish, you hear? GEORGE Mum, please PEGGY It’s OK George, Look I really am very sorry. DESPINA I have my pride you know. I am capable of caring for my son. PEGGY Yes of course dear I didn’t think. DESPINA (Tearful) I may have nothing but him but I have my pride. PEGGY Yes, Oh Despina dear, I am so very sorry. I feel most dreadful. GEORGE Come on Mum let’s go home. I’m sorry Miss Trivet.. PEGGY

37. PEGGY No, I’m sorry. Look, let me get you a drink I think we all need to calm down? DESPINA No! I don’t want to calm down, you fill my son’s head with false dreams and fancy ideas. PEGGY Um, excuse me.. DESPINA When you know how much we struggle and how it won’t come to nothing. PEGGY You have a very talented son. You are very fortunate. DESPINA Don’t tell me about my son. PEGGY You really make me out to be the devil but I can promise you there’s no hidden agenda. I want to help... with his education. DESPINA Who do you think pays for his piano lessons? And for what! My husband had nothing. I want my son to have a better life. PEGGY Your husband had hope and we must put our hope into George. DESPINA Yes but false hope! I had faith once and I do have hope in him but look at us, we are not lucky people. Perry sold out, you said it yourself! There, we agree. But he sold out for what? NOTHING, nothing! Despina breaks down and kneels on the floor. GEORGE Mum, please Peggy puts her arms around her

38. PEGGY You are wrong The lamp standard flickers on and off, dramatic music swells and out of the darkness Schubert appears. Peggy moves over to the piano and begins to play. DESPINA What’s that? GEORGE It’s Dad’s song! Schubert sings Perry Mortimer’s song while Peggy sits at the piano and writes it down on manuscript. Song SONG “YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO” SCHUBERT I HAVE COME TO SAY GOODBYE IT’S TIME FOR ME TO GO THERE REMAINS UNANSWERED QUESTIONS THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WE WILL NEVER MEET IN HEAVEN LIFE ITSELF KEEPS MOVING ON CHILD OF FREEDOM BE STRONG DESPINA I CAN FEEL THE ICE IS MELTING ALL AROUND MY HEART AND I SEE THE SUN IS RISING IT’S NOT THE END IT’S THE START SCHUBERT AND DESPINA WE WILL NEVER MEET IN HEAVEN LIFE ITSELF KEEPS MOVING ON DESPINA I’M A WOMAN OF REASON I’LL BE STRONG SCHUBERT CHILD OF FREEDOM BE STRONG GEORGE YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO TIME TO LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND EASE YOUR HOLD AND YOU WILL FIND THAT YOU HAVE WINGS AND YOU WILL FLY YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO GIVING UP’S NOT GIVING IN FIND A SONG THAT YOU CAN SING FOR I BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL WIN YOU’LL FIND THE RHYTHM OF LIFE IS ALL BENEVOLENT (MORE)

39. GEORGE (cont'd) AND IF THE SPIRIT IS RIGHT THEN ALL IS RELEVANT YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT BUT SO IMPERMANENT SOMETIMES IT’S HARMONY SOMETIMES IT’S DISSONANT George, Despina join in YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO PEGGY & DESPINA I LET YOU GO SCHUBERT TIME TO LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND EASE YOUR HOLD AND YOU WILL FIND THAT YOU HAVE WINGS AND YOU WILL FLY YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO PEGGY & DESPINA I LET YOU GO SCHUBERT GIVING UP’S NOT GIVING IN FIND A SONG THAT YOU CAN SING FOR I BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL WIN LET ME GO Schubert disappears and Peggy hands the manuscript of the song to Despina. PEGGY It’s all there. Complete. You’ve Got to Let go by Perry Mortimer. DESPINA The missing song. But, but I don’t... PEGGY The miracle of music goes beyond the mystery of death, dear GEORGE We need to get on the case to Universal PEGGY We’ve all got things to do young man. GEORGE Thanks Miss T. You’re amazing, how did you know?

40. PEGGY It’ll all become clear sooner rather later, George, it’ll all become clear. DESPINA Er, Miss Trivet.. PEGGY Peggy, dear, call me Peggy. DESPINA Peggy. I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye, but, these past few years we couldn’t have managed without you. PEGGY I only want to help. DESPINA You have already. More than you know. The two women embrace. GEORGE Come on then Mum. George and Despina exit. PEGGY We make a good team, you and me. SCHUBERT Our Moments Musicaux. (pause) Peggy... PEGGY Oh, you can see the shoes, I haven’t even taken them out of the bag... SCHUBERT Peggy stop please. PEGGY It’s all right for you but I may become a target for ridicule and I need to feel good, look like I know what I’m doing. SCHUBERT I don’t know how to tell you. What? PEGGY

41. SCHUBERT Oh sweet Peggy. PEGGY Franz, you’re frightening me. SCHUBERT I can let go of the earth plane, of your world, for good. There is a new life waiting for me. There is no more unfinished, it’s all done. PEGGY No, the work must continue, I’ve got all these dates and bookings and, and you promised you would be there with me. I can’t do this on my own. You need me and I need you. I need more time. SCHUBERT Time waits for no man and I must go. PEGGY But not now, no darling no. SCHUBERT I found the key but you unlocked the door. PEGGY I knew this would happen one day, but not today. SCHUBERT You look after everyone but who looks after you? PEGGY I don’t know. SCHUBERT You are ready. You have won. The piano starts to play. PEGGY Oh you know I don’t like it when the piano plays itself. Let me play it! Song I WAS LEFT WITH ONE WING SCHUBERT I WAS LEFT WITH ONE WING (MORE)

42. SCHUBERT (cont'd) I WAS HALF A MAN WHO COULDN’T FLY AWAY THEN MEETING YOU WITH ONE WING MEANT TOGETHER AND FOREVER WE WOULD STAY I PRAYED YOU WERE PERFECT IN YOUR IMPERFECTION I WAS MADE FOR YOU NOW MY LIFE WILL TAKE A NEW DIRECTION I MUST SAY ADIEU SO I GIVE MY WING TO YOU NOW YOU HAVE THE TWO FOREVER I LOVE YOU PEGGY ALWAYS I HAD TWO WINGS I’M A WOMAN AND I COULDN’T FLY AWAY THEN MEETING YOU WITH NO WINGS MADE ME THINK YOU NEEDED ME AND YOU WOULD STAY BUT HEY YOU WERE PERFECT IN YOUR IMPERFECTION I WAS MADE FOR YOU NOW MY LIFE WILL TAKE A NEW DIRECTION I MUST SAY ADIEU FOR I SHARED MY WINGS WITH YOU BUT ALWAYS YOU HAD TWO THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU they slow dance. PEGGY YOU WERE PERFECT IN YOUR IMPERFECTION I WAS MADE FOR YOU NOW MY LIFE WILL TAKE A NEW DIRECTION I MUST SAY ADIEU I SHARED MY WINGS WITH YOU SHARED THE MUSIC TOO FOREVER I LOVE YOU SCHUBERT (simultaneously) YOU WERE PERFECT IN YOUR IMPERFECTION I WAS MADE FOR YOU LIFE MUST ALWAYS CHANGE I WILL SAY ADIEU SHARED MY WINGS WITH YOU SHARED THE MUSIC TOO FOREVER I LOVE YOU At the end he leaves.

SFX Radio 4

43. “And later on Woman’s Hour I’ll be talking with Peggy Trivet, the Musical Medium and we’ll be hearing a track from her forthcoming album “Immortals at my Elbow”! Play out “I can hear the music” THE END

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful