Monday, 30 January 2012


The deadline for the 2012 submissions for this competition will be upon us soon, so I thought I would share with you a sample of my play 'Bottle' that was shortlisted in the top ten of this competition last year.

Bottle is a play for adults in four acts.  It centres on Will and Dave, two men with an agenda - to rid the world of sinners.  They believe they are on a mission from God to realise his creation as it was envisaged originally; to borrow a much-used political phrase of today 'to create a big society.'  It tells the ill-fated story of a man with a drinking problem (Adam) and the trouble it gets him into when he finds himself on their radar and the consequences of this on his wife Carol.

Below is a short extract:

BOTTLE by Karen Naylor  3 sample pages     Act four

WILL:     Maybe this is a blessing; the state of the World is not conducive to bringing another life into the world.

DAVE:     Yes brother.  Take, for instance, the gang culture that has spread like a disease across our world. 

DAVE:     Youths with knives and guns ready to kill each other for little more than not belonging to the same gang.  What can we do about this as God’s children?

Carol turns off the vacuum cleaner and puts it away. 

WILL:     I remember the image of Michael Jackson separating those two gang members from a fight in the music video for Beat it, it is not that simple is it my child?

CAROL:    He is hardly going to solve the gang problem in his piano pyjamas!  Well, I mean to say, I can’t see anyone taking Michael Jackson seriously anymore let alone letting him loose on gang culture.

WILL:     We as God’s children could help in the fight against evil.  As true believers we could turn this around.

Carol tries to sit, but the photo album and the watchtower are on the middle seat of the sofa.  She picks them up and thrusts them toward Dave, cutting him off mid flow.

DAVE:     We believe we were chosen to do this.  Herod heard the beating heart of the divine and we-

CAROL:    Hold this a minute please.

Carol hands Dave the two books and sits between the two men on the sofa.

DAVE:     H-Herod heard the beating heart of the divine and we, we hear the pounding of evil within their breasts.  We need to cut off its life blood, this evil within our world.  We have to extinguish its flame.

WILL:     Yes, we have a purpose and it’s God’s will.  We can see what they are.  We alone.  We can see their faults, the aura of evil that surrounds them. 

CAROL:    Er, right.

WILL:     Sometimes we can hear the heartbeat of the Devil within them and this is how they reveal themselves to us.  We need to cleanse humanity of its cancer.  They are chipping away at the fabric of our society and it must be stopped.

Carol glances around, obviously not interested.  Will becomes even more zealous.

WILL:     Sinners expose themselves to us without mortification and therein lies their shame.  They do not bow their heads in embarrassment, nor quiver at the revelation.

Carol wanders away and we hear the loud clunk of crockery.

DAVE:     But brother, there is hope.  They could bow their heads in prayer.

WILL:     But they gloat brother, gloat of their triumphs, encouraging us to laugh along with them.  We do not.

Carol comes back with two plates of fruit cake.  She holds one

out towards Dave.

DAVE:     No we do not.  We attempt their salvation by –

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