John Waterhouse – Playwright and Author

Vampire (excerpt)

Cast Vlad (at No. 6) – 40s A gentile doctor from Romania. Jean (at No. 1) – 30s A fitness-loving marketing executive. Fay (at No. 3) – 30s A fitness-loving research chemist. Yani (at No. 9) – 40s An engineer from Bulgaria. Harry (at No. 10) – 30s An aspiring accountant. Victoria (at No. 2) – 40s A socialite from London. Erzabet (at No. 8) – 40s A socialite from London. Albert (at No. 12) – 50s An odd-job man. Scene Listing Act One Scene One. Jean’s flat. Scene Two Harry’s flat. Scene Three Vlad’s flat. Scene Four Jean’s flat. Scene Five Vlad’s flat. Act Two Scene One Harry’s flat. Scene Two……Jean’s flat. Scene Three…..Harry’s flat. Scene Four..…..Vlad’s flat. Scene Five……Jean’s flat. Act One Scene One. Jean’s flat. Jean is on-stage, dressed in Lycra shorts and tops. Loud rock music is playing whilst she exercises vigorously. Eventually, Jean goes briefly into the bathroom and after a pause, lets out a scream. Steam is emitted from the door way as she comes out towel wrapped around her. She makes a phone call and turns off the music. Jean: (on phone) Hello. Is that the plumber? You’ve been to my flat previously. It’s about my shower. It’s only letting boiling water come out of the tap. You’ve someone in the area? Great. I’m in flat 1 at Stonewall Mansions; the names Jean. Have you got that? Yes, flat 1. Thanks. Bye. Jean makes a gin & tonic, turns on the music to exercise again. The doorbell rings. Jean: Oh, hello Fay. Fay: Hi. I’m not interrupting anything, am I? Jean: No, not at all. I was about to have a shower but the water’s only coming out as hot. Come in. Fay: Thanks. I saw furniture being moved into number 6 and wondered who the new neighbour is. Jean: Really! Have you seen them? Fay: Yeah. He looks quite distinguished! Jean: So it’s a ‘he’. Young and good looking? Fay: I’d say suave. Not sure about age. Jean: Sounds interesting. Better than that boring accountant upstairs! Fay: You mean Harry? Well, that’s not all. I’ve seen furniture going into No 9 as well. Jean: Gosh. It’ll soon be a full block again. Might liven things up a bit. Fay: Not before time. I thought those other flats would never sell! Jean: We’re finally getting some men in the block. It was starting to feel like a private girls’ school dormitory living here. Fay: Or maybe a nunnery! Jean: I thought being right next to a health club, the place would be full of men. Fay: There are plenty of guys at the health club. Jean: Yeah but half of them seem sexless bodybuilding freaks! Fay: Not every one of them! Jean: No, you’ve got the odd, pot-bellied beer drinker who goes there just for the sauna. Fay: And Harry! Jean: Yea, Harry! What else do you know about our new neighbour? Fay: That’s about it! Just thought I’d keep you upto date. Catch you later. Jean: Sure. Thanks Fay. Exit Fay. The music is turned on and she starts exercising. The doorbell rings. Vlad: Good evening. I’ve not caught you at a bad time? Jean: Er, no. I just didn’t expect you so soon. Please come in. Vlad: Really? Thank you. Jean: I can’t make things cool. It’s just all hot at the moment. Vlad: Really! Jean: (opens the bathroom door) I’ll show you. I hope you can suggest something. Vlad: What did you have in mind? Jean: I want to be to cool the water. Vlad: (looks at her drink) Er. Have you tried using ice? Jean: Seriously? Vlad: It works for me. Jean: Well, do you think you can fix it? Vlad: Sure. Where is your fridge? Jean: What? What kind of a plumber are you? Vlad: I am not a plumber. I am your new neighbour. Jean: Oh, I’m sorry! I was expecting someone else. Pleased to meet you. I’m Jean. Vlad: Greetings. My name is Vlad. I just called to introduce myself. (shakes hands). Jean: I’ve just made myself a G & T. Would you like one? Vlad: That would be delightful; thankyou. Jean: Please have a seat (makes G &T). So where are you from, Vlad? Vlad: I am from Constanta. Jean: Constanta? That’s on the Black Sea, isn’t it? Vlad: Correct. In Romania. I’ve only recently arrived in England. Jean: Oh, great. What do you do, Vlad? Vlad: I am a research Doctor. Jean: That sounds cool. You work at the local hospital? Vlad: Ah, no. I have my own laboratory. Now please; what do you do? Jean: Me? Oh. I’m a marketing executive. Vlad: Interesting. And what do you market? Jean: Oh, various things. Cosmetics mainly but we get involved in bath and hair products as well. Vlad: You have a very nice flat. I think I am going to enjoy living here. I thought I would say hello. (downs drink) Now if you will excuse me, I must supervise the remainder of my furniture. Antiques requiring special care. I’m sure we will see a lot more of each other. Jean: Yes, I’m sure. Nice to meet you. Commented [JW1]: Vlad: And you. Let me give my number in case you want to call me. (hands Jean card). Jean: Thank you very much Vlad. I’ll give you mine. (writes number on notepad). Vlad: Au revoir Jean. Exit Vlad. Jean picks up her mobile and dials Fay. Jean: Fay? Guess what? I’ve just had a visit from one of the new guys and he seem pretty cool. He a Doctor; from Romania. (the doorbell rings) Sorry, got to go. The plumber’s here now.(opens door) Hi, Please come in. Yani: Thank you. I saw you just had a visitor. Jean: Oh, that was the new neighbour. Did they tell you what the problem is? Yani: I did not know there was a problem. Has he upset you? Jean: Not the neighbour; my bath. The taps will only give out hot water. Yani: Oh; I am sorry to hear that. Jean: Do you think you can fix it? Yani: Well, I can have a go. I normally do pest control. Jean: Oh, really? Well you’re here now. It’s through there. (points to door) Yani: Very well. (Yani goes over to the bathroom). I think it might be an electrical problem. I’ll have a look. (Yani enters the bathroom). It might be this! Jean: Are you sure? Yani: I’ll try connecting a wire. (There is a loud bang and Yani yells loudly, before coming back into the lounge; his hair is suddenly in punk style). No, it’s not what I thought. I think you need a plumber! Jean: What are you then? Yani: I am a….pest controller. Jean: Oh, no! Why didn’t they send a plumber? Yani: No one sent me. I just called round to say hello. Jean: You did? Yani: My name is Yani. I am your new neighbour. Jean: Oh, I see. You’ve moved into flat…. Yani: Number 9. How do you do? (holds out hand) Jean: (shakes hand) Pleased to meet you. I just had another new neighbour call round. Yani: Ah yes. I saw him moving in. These are very nice flats. I think I am going to be very happy here. Jean: Yes, nice flats and it’s a friendly area. So what kind of pests do you control, Yani? Yani: Oh, the usual. Rat, Wasps, Bats. Jean: Bats? Yani: Da. They can be a problem. Jean: Really? Yani: Have you ever been bitten by one? Jean: No, I don’t think so. Yani: A bat bite can have strange effects. Jean: I’ve never heard of anything like that. Yani: You are not from Bulgaria. We have vampire bats. Jean: Ah, so you’re talking about a particular type of bat. Jean: But you have them here now! They attack you in your sleep. Jean: Really! Here let me offer you a G & T to welcome you here. (pours large amount of gin). Oh, I’ve poured a bit too much gin. Yani: No, no. That perfect. (takes glass). Jean: But you need tonic! Yani: No tonic. How you say? Cheers! Jean: Oh well. (raises glass) Cheers Yani: (downs gin in one).Thank you. So now we have met, please call round to number 9 sometime. I leave now. Jean: Yes, I certainly will. (the doorbell rings) Yani: Ah. I think you have another visitor. (Yani opens the door and Albert steps in). I see you soon, Jean. (exits) Jean: Hello, please come in. Albert: Thank you. Jean: Are you from Eastern Europe as well? Albert: No, I’m from Luton. Jean: Ah. Can I offer you a G & T? Albert: Oh, that’s very kind. Jean: So how long have you been here? Albert: I’ve just arrived. Jean: Yes, of course. Cheers (they clink glasses). Albert: Cheers. Nice flat, this! Jean: Yes; I’m sure you’ll be very happy here. Albert: Well, I hope I won’t be here that long. I’ve got other places to go to. Jean: Really? What do you do? Albert: I’m a plumber. Jean: Are you? Oh, you really are a plumber! Albert: Why, don’t I look like one? Jean: Oh, yes. Of course. You’ve come about the shower? Albert: Isn’t that the problem? Just hot water coming through? Jean: Yes. I’ll show you. Please, take your drink with you. Albert is shown into the bathroom. Albert: (from inside bathroom) Ok, leave me to it. The doorbell rings. Jean: Oh, hello Fay. Fay: Hi, Guess what? One of them just called round. Jean: One? I’ve had two of them. Fay: Really? (sound of banging in bathroom). Jean: That’s just the plumber. Fay: Oh, he’s round is he? Jean: Yeah. One of the new arrivals had a go fixing it and didn’t get very far. Fay: You let someone you’d only just met fix your plumbing? Jean: I thought he was the plumber! Fay: Ah. I see. (a loud bang followed by a fizz then a pop comes from the bathroom followed by yell from Albert). Enter Albert. Albert: Has someone else been trying to fix this? Jean: Er, no. A man from another flat did have just a very quick look at it. Albert: It looks like he left a loose wire hanging! I could have been frazzled. Fay: Oh, I am sorry. Albert: I need to get some fuses. Don’t let anyone else go into the bathroom! Jean: We certainly won’t. Exit Albert. Fay: Remind me not to let him fiddle about in my bathroom! Jean: That’s not all. You should have seen how quickly he downed a large measure of neat gin! Fay: That wasn’t the suave one, was it? Jean: No. The rough and ready one. Fay: Oh, well you can have him. I’ll have the other. Jean: Er, I seem to recollect he came round to see me first. Fay: Who was that plumber who just walked out? Jean: I didn’t catch his name. I just called the usual plumbers and that’s who they sent! I must say, he got here very quickly. Fay: I’m not surprised. He’s called Albert and he was in my flat fixing the alarm. He told me was an electrician. Jean: That explains it but how come the plumbers sent him to me? Fay: (the doorbell rings) Why don’t you ask him? Jean: (opens door). Come in. Did you find the fuses you needed? Albert: Certainly did. Jean: Can I just ask; are you on the books of Burstings Plumbers? Albert: Yes I am. Fay: But you came to my flat through Shockers Electricians! Albert: Ah, yes. Well you see, I’m on the books with a few firms because I’m something of a jack of various trades. Jean: Lucky you were in the area! Albert: Well, not really. I’ve recently moved into the small flat at the top. Fay: So you’re a new neighbour as well. Albert: In a manner of speaking, yes I am. (goes into bathroom). Fay: Just like buses isn’t it? You live in what seems like a female-only block and then three men move in at once! Jean: You said it. (her mobile rings) Hello? Oh, hi Vlad. A drink to night? Yes I’d be delighted. Eight o’clock. Yes, that would be perfect. See you later. (puts down phone and points to the bathroom.) I saw him first Fay! Enter Albert Albert: You should find that’s sorted. You’ll get a bill from Burstings. Jean: Ok, thank you. Albert: You’re welcome. Exit Albert Fay: Well, I hope you enjoy your drink with Vlad. I’ll be interested to hear what you make of him! Jean: You don’t think I accepted his invitation too easily? Fay: You said you wanted to get to know him; here’s your opportunity. Jean: He’s from Romania. They might have a different way of doing things! Fay: Maybe. What’s Romania famous for? Dracula came from there, didn’t he? Jean: Look; just because he’s from Romania doesn’t make him some sort of vampire! I wonder what I should wear. Fay: He’s shown courage in inviting you out. Why not be daring? Jean: Yes; you’re right. I think it’s what those east European types expect. Fay: Hmm. Maybe I should check out Yani. I mean; he’s good looking and quite charming. Jean: Yes, but he seems to have a curious line of work. Have you ever heard of bats being a problem? Fay: Bats? I don’t think so. I’ve heard of vampire bats biting people but that’s only in hot countries, isn’t it? Jean: According to Yani, we’ve got them in this country now! Act One Scene Two. Harry’s flat. Harry is at his desk and on the telephone. Harry: I can get the report to you for Thursday but the VAT return will have to wait a little longer. (the doorbell rings). There’s someone at the door; I’ll call you right back. (opens door). Hello? Ah. You’ve just moved in, haven’t you? Yani: That is so. I’m just checking everything is alright. Harry: Yes, of course. Welcome to Stonewall Mansions. Yani: Thank you. I’m just having a look around. Harry: I’ve seen you a few times around the block but we’ve never really spoken. So you’ve decided to meet the neighbours, eh? Yani: And any other creatures living here. Harry: Other creatures? What do you mean? Yani: I should explain. I am a pest controller. Harry: Oh, you mean wasps’ nests and the like? Yani: Amongst other flying pests. Harry: You don’t tend to get many insects in here. Yani: What about larger things; like bats, example? Harry: Bats? In a block of flats? Yani: You never know these days. They hover whilst you’re asleep. Have you found any strange bite marks, anywhere? Harry: Anywhere? I don’t think so. Yani: Let me know if you do. Pest control is my business. Harry: You’re not..er…in need of an accountant are you? Yani: I will be. Harry: Allow me to present my card (hands Yani a business card). Yani: Oh, thank you. I’ll be in touch. Harry: Nice to meet you. Yani: Just keep an eye open for bats! Harry: (closes door and dials number on phone) Bats? Oh, hello; sorry about that. Now where was I? Ah, yes; I’ve allowed for depreciation on all plant and capital items and by writing off the old stock items, I can show a considerable reduction in the taxable net profit. (the doorbell rings). Ok, got to go now. Anyway, you get the gist. Bye. (opens door). Hello, can I help you? Victoria: (with thick Russian accent). Oh, hello. Are you the accountant? Harry: I am an accountant. Who were you looking for? Victoria: I was told by that man who just left that in you work. Harry: Ah. You’re looking for some assistance? Victoria: Yes, I certainly am