...is a parody of a Victorian melodrama. The action takesplace in the home of Lord and Lady Marmaduke. Belle, the mill girl, isbrought home by Algernon, Lord and Lady Marmaduke’s second oldest son.He plans to marry her. Lady Marmaduke plots with Sir Darkly ThreateningMarmaduke, to kill his senile lordship and inherit the family fortune. Shehas Sir Darkly murder Humphrey, Lord Marmaduke’s oldest son and heirand Lady Marmaduke’s step son.Belle is blamed for the murder and both she and the heroic Algernon muststruggle against Lady Marmaduke and the evil villain sir Darkly to clear their names.CAST
SIR MARMADUKE MARMADUKE C.B.E: KCBE: DSO & 2 BARS: PHD.: FATHER. RATHER THICK
.LADY GERTRUDE MARMADUKE: STEP-MOTHER. CUNNING RASCAL
ALGERNON MARMADUKE: 2ND OLDEST SON. PEDANTIC CLOT & ROMANTIC HERO.
BELLE STONE: ROMANTIC HEROINE.: PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW.
SIR DARKLY THREATENING: EXTREMELY NASTY VILLAIN, BROTHER OF SIR MARMADUKE.
TEARS OF BLOOD was first produced by Bearly Together Co.
The first production took place at Theatre 62 in Adelaide, which was converted to Theatre / Restaurant style for the production. TEARS OF BLOOD toured South Australia twice with Bearly Together Co. Music for the production is available from the author on request.
Time: 1900. We are in the drawing room of the Marmaduke family home.The setting is plush and in good taste except for a ghastly rug bearing thehead of a dead animal which is on the floor in the centre of the room.A small grand piano is stage left. A chaise-longue to the right of thefireplace over which a dark portrait of Queen Victoria hangs. There are
French doors to the left and a door to the right.
LIGHTS UP. THE CAST ENTER INTO THE AUDIENCE. THEY PLAYTHE AUDIENCE AT THEIR TABLES, INTRODUCING THEMSELVES,CHATTING ABOUT THE MEAL, THEIR CHARACTERS AND THOSEOF THE REST OF THE CAST, ETC. ONCE THEY HAVE ESTABLISHEDA RAPPORT WITH THE AUDIENCE, THEY MOUNT THE STAGE ANDFORM A TABLEAU. SIR MARMADUKE MARMADUKE BREAKS FROMTHIS TABLEAU AND COMES CENTRE STAGE. EACH CHARACTERBREAKS FROM THE TABLEAU TO ADDRESS THE AUDIENCE AND
RETURNS TO IT ON COMPLETION OF THEIR ADDRESS.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to this evening's
performance of TEARS OF BLOOD. Can we all say that togetherplease? TEARS OF BLOOD (he plays the audience until they 'get it right').I'm the patriarch, Sir Marmaduke Marmaduke, she's my wife, Lady GertrudeMarmaduke, OBE. He's my son, The Honourable Algernon, he's my brother,Sir Darkly Threatening Marmaduke, and she's Belle, the heroine. As you willall have gathered by now due to my position here centre stage, speaking toyou extempore and first, I am the most important character in Tears of Blood.GertrudeI'm the matriarch, Lady Gertrude Marmaduke, Sir Marmy's good wife. Or not sogood actually. I'm really a bit of a baddy and I'm in league with my brother-in-law,Sir Marmaduke's brother, the villain, Sir Darkly Threatening Marmaduke. To tellyou the truth, I'm the most important character in the play.
Sir DarklyThey do talk such a lot of nonsense. I'm the villain of the piece, Sir Darkly Threatening.You could tell by looking at me, couldn't you? Scarlet lined opera cape, moustache andall that. You'd be pretty dim to mistake me for anything else, wouldn't you. Not exactlycut out for the heroine, now am I? Of course, as everyone knows, the villain is the mostimportant part in a melodrama.AlgernonHang on. Hang on. Let's not get too carried away here. I'm the romantic hero and withoutme there wouldn't be a show. My name is Algernon Marmaduke. I'm his son, her stepson,his nephew and this is Belle, my true love and prospective bride. I am the most importantcharacter and ours is the most important relationship in the play.THERE IS A NOISY SQUABBLE FROM ALL CHARACTERS ABOUTWHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTER.BelleHang about here. Hang about. What about me? Belle the heroine from the wrong side ofthe tracks. I'm the one who should get top billing here. Without a heroine how do youhave a melodrama? If it wasn't for me coming into the Marmaduke family home, nothingwould take place this evening. The heroine is the catalyst for everything that happens.
LIGHTING CHANGE AS ALL EXIT EXCEPT MARMADUKE AND GERTRUDE
THE FIRST FOUL ACT
Oh, woe. Oh woe. Oh woe. Oh woe is me.
Whatever is the matter, Marmaduke?Sir MarmadukeListen to this telegram I have just this moment received. Arriving back frommy seaside holiday. Stop. Have met the love of my life. Stop. Am bringing herwith me. Stop. Signed Algernon. Your second oldest son.
He always did have a strange way of expressing himself.Sir MarmadukeIt is not the expression which is of concern at this moment. It is the contentof the missive The love of his life indeed and he a mere child of thirty-two.GertrudeThirty-two is not too young to fall in love. Why, do you not remember, thatwas precisely my age when you begged poor dear dead papa for my hand in marriage.
You were far more mature than Algernon. Why, he is a mere child.GertrudePerhaps you should give him more responsibility. Let him work in one ofyour business concerns.Sir MarmadukeOh, it's my fault that Algernon is far younger than his age is it?After you have kept him tied to your apron strings all these years.
I do not wear aprons.
Do not play the pedant...Gertrude
You understand my meaning perfectly well.Gertrude
Let us not quarrel, Marmaduke my dear.Sir MarmadukeThen again, I suppose one should not prejudge. This young lady Algernonhas met and is bringing home to us may well turn out to be perfectly acceptable.Gertrude
And she may not.Sir MarmadukeShe may turn out to be eminently suitable. A young gal of breeding and distinction.GertrudeMore likely a fortune hunter haunting the seaside resorts looking for a likely mark.Sir MarmadukeDo you think my second oldest son would bring home a fortune hunter.(Aside) Under my roof! Under my roof. Oh! It's enough to make an old manweep tears of blood. Tears of blood.GertrudeMarmaduke my dear, you do get yourself so worked up. . The doctor said...Sir Marmaduke
Oh, to blazes with the doctor.Gertrude
He warned you to watch your blood pressure. Have another port.Sir Marmaduke
Perhaps we should reserve judgement until we have met the young damsel?GertrudeProper young ladies do not go to the seaside and if they do, theycertainly do not meet young men there. Does the telegram tell uswhat time to expect them?Sir MarmadukeNo it doesn't. Let me see, it was sent at ten am. They would catch the11 o'clock train which means they should arrive at any moment.
THERE IS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR, ALGERNON ENTERS FOLLOWED BY BELLE.
AlgernonFather, it is I, Algernon, your second oldest son.
Sir MarmadukeI thought it might be.
AlgernonAnd this is the love of my life, Belle.
AlgernonYes isn't it a pretty name? Oh, isn't she just too, too divine?
Sir MarmadukeIs your name really Belle, child?
Do you know her, Marmaduke?Sir Marmaduke
Her name has a familiar ring.Belle
Oh, Algernon, what a lovely dear old papa you have.Sir Marmaduke
Do you really think so, m'dear.BelleWhy yes, you are exactly as Algernon described you. A high, noble forehead,wise, kind eyes, a strong, determined jaw, noble carriage. In short, a gentlemanof manly maneAlgernon
Mien... Obviously springing from noble linage.Sir MarmadukeEgad, it seems Algernon, that you have chosen a young gal of exquisitetaste and discrimination. Come, my dear, sit on my knee and let us become acquainted.GertrudeOne moment, dear husband. Should we not quiz this young lady further upon herbackground before becoming so... familiar?Sir MarmadukeIt is as plain as the nose on your face that here we have a young lady ofdistinction. I've a good mind to take her up to my chambers and show hermy... private things.Algernon
Oh father, how very kind.Gertrude
You must be hungry after your long journey from the seaside.
Oh yes, I have had nothing since breakfast.
Sir MarmadukeNothing since breakfast?
AlgernonThree hours ago.
Sir MarmadukeAlgernon, take Belle to the kitchen and tell cook to make her a sandwich.Algernon
BELLE AND ALGERNON EXIT.
Sir MarmadukeAnd Algernon...
Yes, father?Sir Marmaduke
Tell cook to go easy on the butter.Algernon
Sir MarmadukeAnd Algernon…
Yes, father?Sir Marmaduke
Have one yourself.LIGHTS DOWN AND THEN UPGertrude