Friends of Friends of Friends of Friends of Friends of Friends of Friends

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A short play about friends, friends of friends, acquaintances and strangers

Suitable for radio broadcast or theatre production

Havamal

(an excerpt)

One must be a friend

To one’s friend,

And give present for present;

One must have

Laughter for laughter

And sorrow for lies


You know, if you have a friend

In whom you have confidence

And if you wish to get good results

Your soul must blend in with his

And you must exchange presents

And frequently pay him visits


But if you have another person

Whom you mistrust

And if you wish to get good results

You must speak fine words to him

But your thoughts must be false

And you must lament in lies.


(from Havamal by Edda, cited Mauss, 1925, pp. 1-3)



The Set

The set is roughly laid into three showing the cross-section of a hair salon; the first and smallest section is the street, a fairly wide pavement with street lighting and trees dotted intermittently into the distance. The centre section is the salon itself, accessed from the street by a glass door accompanied by a quiet bell to inconspicuously announce the arrival of customers. The salon itself is contemporary and stylish, the walls are white with a rustic pine floor. It is sleekly furnished, with silver and white fittings and brown leather salon chairs. However it does not have the anonymity of a chain and gives away it’s family heritage through a few too many potted ferns and pink orchids, a very comfortable green sofa with a jumbled selection of throw cushions and a couple of family photos on the counter to the right of the stage. The final section, separated from the salon by a heavy green velvet curtain, is a little store room-cum-staff room with just enough space for a couple of mismatched chairs and a small table stacked with old copies of Glamour magazine and Cosmopolitan, below high shelves full of hair dyes, shampoos, conditioner and other styling products.

Main Characters

In order of appearance


Charity
A middle-aged woman, slightly eccentric and very friendly, owns the salon. The mother of Sarah and good friends with Beatrix and Cara, a popular woman who has brought up Sarah on her own an run her own business for ten years
Sarah
Charity’s daughter, around 18-25 years old, sweet and shy but stubborn and works for Charity in the family salon
Beatrix (Bea)
A woman in her early thirties, neat but shockingly bleached blonde hair, very confident and is often mistaken for the owner as she is so assertive and sometimes a bit too lippy, Beatrix works for Charity but previously had attempted to open her own salon
Customer 1
Well to do looking business lady, has just got her hair done and is very pleased
Cara
A lady in her late twenties, in the salon for a hairdye and cut off Beatrix, obviously a regular and seems on good terms especially with Beatrix, very friendly and obviously very fit, may have just bought running clothes or a gym bag
Solita
A young woman the same age as Sarah and from the same school. Solita is a wealthy heiress and sporting a fair amount of gold jewellery, her coat and bag are clearly designer but not over the top ‘bling’, she is outwardly extremely confident and is known for being very elitist



Act One

At the rise of the curtain there are five women on the stage, three of them are clearly hairdressers due to their smart black tunics and neat hair all in matching pony tails. The eldest of them is the owner and is mid way through taking a payment from a happy customer, whilst next to her a young woman of similar appearance is leaning heavily on the desk behind the counter, scrutinising the appointment diary. Towards the back of the stage the other woman is with a customer, and they are quietly chatting and in the process of dyeing her hair.



CHARITY: Ok, that’s £40 today.


CUSTOMER 1 [Happy and animated]: [Fishes about in her designer handbag for her purse]

Brilliant, you know I really am so pleased I found you.

[Can’t stop flicking and playing with her hair]

You know my head office is just round the corner, and I really had been having such a rubbish day like I said, with that hopeless solicitor rescheduling again … and then Felicity in the office had mentioned you, and I just thought … and I really am so pleased!

[hands over her debit card with Charity takes payment from]


CHARITY: Well you know where you are for next time, and it has been lovely chatting to you too!

[Gives a big smile and hands over the customer’s debit card and also gives her one of the business cards from the counter]


CUSTOMER 1: Oh, actually, let me book in with you again now before I forget.

[Pulls mobile phone out of pocket and flicks through the screen looking at her mobile calendar]

Can you do Monday the 27th at 4pm?


CHARITY: [Who has pulled the appointments diary away from Sarah, turns to the correct page and checks]

Yes, I can, same again? Wash, cut and blow-dry?


CUSTOMER 1: Yes, perfect, you know I am really so glad I found you, it’s such a rare thing you know to find a really good hairdresser who really knows what you want. Just goes to show you should always go to places on recommendations.

[Charity comes from behind the counter and walks the customer to the door, Sarah pulls back the diary and presses her finger alongside an appointment on today’s page]


CHARITY: Well I’m just really glad I’ve cheered you up, and I do think you look so much better with that extra two inches off the bottom, even if I do say so myself! And do feel free to pop in if you do just want a chat, often mid-week it can be a bit quiet and I could factor in a coffee break.


CUSTOMER 1: [In the doorway and half speaking over her shoulder]

Definitely, see you soon then, bye!


CHARITY: Thanks, bye!

[Turns round and walks over to the counter with a slightly concerned face and a raised eyebrow]

Ok, what have you seen?


SARAH [Exasperated and uncomfortable] : Well I just saw the name S. Leigh in there as one of my bookings, but it’s just dawned on me that it’s probably Solita Leigh


CHARITY: Yes, I think that is her first name, why do you ask, do you know her? She’s not been here before, this is her first appointment.


SARAH [looks even more uneasy] : Well kind of, look I know this is going to sound childish


BEATRIX: [who has been clearly eavesdropping] This sounds promising!


SARAH: Ergh, I know, I just really don’t want to cut her hair, can I swap, I saw in the diary that you were free Mum, please!


CHARITY: [raises an eyebrow] Oh god, trying ‘Mum please’ are we, even at work. God Sarah, why on earth can’t you possibly bear to cut this girls hair, it’s only going to take 45minutes!


BEATRIX: I don’t blame her, I’ve heard she’s a right madam, I've seen her flashing about with her parents money and hanging about with B-List celebrities thinking she is too big-time for everyone around here

[Beatrix confers continues to confer with Cara who appears to agree with Bea’s assessment of Solita]


SARAH [Looking pleadingly at her mother] : Look, we were friendly for a little while but then she was the cause of all that drama between Charlotte and Rob, and to be honest Charlotte really isn’t over it, you saw her last night at ours’. And, I just think that if Charlotte thought I had taken Solita on as a client, she would definitely take it the wrong way and kick off … I know it sounds really school-girl but I don’t want to upset my friend


CHARITY [Expression softening] : Oh ok, well do you just want to take your lunch break now and then you can come out once she is here and I’m washing her hair. She didn’t book in with one of us particularly and I just put you down because I know you prefer a later lunch.


SARAH [Looking visibly relieved] : Thanks Mum, I know it’s stupid, but it’s one of those things that could be seriously taken the wrong way and cause even more trouble.

[Checks her watch]

Right I’ll go out and grab a sandwich now so I’m not here when she arrives, does anyone else want anything?


CHARITY: It’s ok love, and no I’m fine ta.


BEATRIX: I’d kill for a diet coke, there’s some change in my coat pocket in the back.


SARAH: It’s ok, I think I can stretch to treating you to a diet coke. Cara, can I get you anything?


CARA: Oh that’s sweet of you, but I’m alright for now, I’m content sitting here being transformed into a blonde bombshell!!! … On second thoughts, get us a packet of Malteasers. Bea will have to find my money for me in my handbag whilst I’m stuck on this chair.


SARAH [laughs] : Will do.

[Beatrix rummages for some chain from Cara’s handbag on the floor and then continues to work on Cara’s hair, whilst Charity starts setting up for Solita to arrive, Charity works mostly to the centre and centre right of the stage]


CHARITY: So Cara, are you still in training, I see you've bought some new trainers or something?

[Charity nods at the bags next to Cara's seat]


BEATRIX: You are so good doing them, and I've no idea how you get through the training, I always liked the idea of doing one but I'm just not fit enough so I never dare sign up. Are you doing the half marathon again this year or the Great North Run, or both? Oh and were you doing the Race For Life?


CARA [mock fear] : You trying to kill me woman! [Smiles] Yes I am in training again, I can never decide if I love running or hate it! But I’m just doing the Great North Run this year, I have done different ones in the past but I only do one a year


CHARITY: Still for the Alzheimers’s Society?


CARA: Yep, still Alzheimer’s, people are really fantastic with the support but I think that’s because they know what we went through with Dad, but to be honest I think people are generous because I don’t push my luck and do millions of things and continuously ask, I don’t want to burn out my supporters, a woman in my office was like that last year and I ended up saying no to her, she seemed to be going a new run or sky diving or whatever every bloody week!


BEATRIX: Oh that’s just cheeky!


CARA: I know, of course I want to support her, but equally I’m trying to do my own charity work it was starting to feel like I was just pouring money into her charities


CHARITY: Did you hear about that poor lad that died of cancer, Stephen something who fund raised over a million, when he knew he was terminal he put it on his bucket list and his online campaign went viral


BEATRIX: It was Stephen Sutton wasn’t it, yes I donated a couple of quid when I saw someone share that


CARA: Same, I think they raised over four million pounds


CHARITY: See I miss out on these things because I’m not on Tweeting or Facebook or whatever


BEATRIX: I’ve been telling you this for ages! You need to get the salon a Facebook page, then people could tag themselves in when they’re here and post pictures of their amazing hair…


CARA: I have a love/hate relationship with all social media, it is such a pain and such an invasion but equally so useful for staying in touch with people that you wouldn’t normally. I sorted out my sister’s wedding cake through Facebook actually


CHARITY: Really?!


CARA: Well a girl I was actually at primary school with added me years ago and she now has her own cake business and posts photos of what she is making sometimes, she actually gave me mates rates which was really sweet of her

[Charity is clearly mulling over the benefits]


BEATRIX: When’s this girl due anyway?


CHARITY: What? Oh Solita, erm [checks watch] hmmm she is five minutes late, how do you know of her anyway Bea?


BEATRIX: Oh just through the grapevine really, I’ve seen her at things and she does seem to have a very high opinion of herself. She was the organiser of that absolute flop of a Summer Ball last year, it was supposed to be for Breast Cancer Awareness which was daft because the ball was in June and Breast Cancer awareness month was October, and it was so poorly attended I heard that she actually lost money… well her parents lost money… But it just didn't seem well thought through


CHARITY: Oh that was ridiculously over priced, we didn’t go


CARA: I didn’t bother with it because it didn’t seem to know what exactly it was trying to be, was it a family event, was it trying to be black tie and over 18s only. I didn't feel entirely sure of what it was in aid of either, I think especially with charity or just any situation where you are directly asking someone for money you need to be really honest, be really clear on exactly what you will be spending the money. Oh and her marketing seemed to be an exercise in name dropping, I know that’s probably a bit mean of me but I felt like it was very little to do with actually raising money for charity and more about trying to look popular


BEATRIX: Yes, but that’s the thing, she doesn’t really know these people, they’re her parents friends. Her parents are lovely


CHARITY: Well they’ve obviously had their eye off the ball if she is such a madam


CARA: I heard she was starting a crowd funding campaign to restore the old methodist chapel and turn it into an art gallery, I do quite like the idea, but I don’t know why she wants to start such a huge project when the art gallery in town could do with some more support and wouldn’t need to raise as much as she will with this project


BEATRIX: Sounds like an exercise in self-publicity if you ask me…


CHARITY: Bea, you are so cynical! Hmmm, I do like the idea, but I know what you mean Cara, ... well, I’m sure we will hear all about it whenever she arrives

[checks watch again looking irritated]

Which better be soon or she will lose her appointment


[Just at that moment a tall, tanned, brown haired girl enters the salon abruptly, she is tapping away on her smart phone and without looking up nearly walks into Charity as she walks over to the counter. Finally looking up from her phone she realises there is no one behind the counter and turns round. Beatrix is openly unimpressed]


SOLITA: Hi, I’ve got an appointment today


CHARITY [Concealing irritation, Charity hates lateness]: Yes, was it Solita?


[Solita smiles and nods]


CHARITY [Indicating the chair]: We have been waiting for you


[Oblivious to the atmosphere of disapproval, Solita unceremoniously dumps her jacket and handbag on the counter, then goes and stands with her arms out evidently expecting to have the robe put on her. There is a brief stand-off where Charity had clearly expected to help Solita get into the robe rather than dress her in it entirely, after a second Charity concedes and then goes to the counter to remove Solita’s bag and coat and place it on the coat rail by the door]


CHARITY: So what can I do for you today?


SOLITA: Well I’m having a massive party this weekend, it’s for my crowd funding campaign actually, and I need to look really glamorous so I was thinking of just getting a trim but getting some more layers put in so I can style it with a bit more volume for the do.


CHARITY [Surveying Solita’s hair now and putting together the bits and pieces she will need] : No problem, the party sounds exciting, is it in aid of anything?


SOLITA: You might of heard about the project actually, it’s quite a big deal


[In the background Bea rolls her eyes and Cara suddenly becomes very interested in the Cosmopolitan magazine that was on the sill in front of her mirror]


CHARITY [feigning ignorance]: Oh really, what is it?


SOLITA: Well, I’m actually founding a new art gallery, it’s going to be called The Leigh Institute of Contemporary Art and it’s going to be in the old Methodist church. Alternative art spaces are so in right now, and so I’m actually running a Kickstarter campaign right now, it’s literally only been a couple of weeks and apparently there is always a slump in the middle, so I’m having a crowd funding party to re-energise the project. I hired Dorian Grey Enterprise’s ‘Gold Package’…


CHARITY: Who?


SOLITA [Looking a bit annoyed at Charity’s ignorance] : Dorian Grey Enterprises?! They are this elite marketing company that specialises in marketing for crowd funding campaigns. The Gold Package is amazing, we’re having this huge poker themed party at the Masonic Temple in town, Daddy’s a member..


BEATRIX [under her breath] : Of course he is…


SOLITA [Still oblivious to the growing animosity towards her] : …and there’s going to be loads of celebrities, Tracey Emin is coming, and Penelope Strangé is going to give a speech about her campaign’s success, and all Mummy and Daddy’s friends are going to come


BEATRIX [under her breath] : Nepotism much...


CHARITY [clearly more interested in Solita’s hair than what she is saying] : Hmmm, sounds good! Sorry who is Penelope Strangé?


SOLITA [getting excited from talking about her project] : She's the lady that crowd funded to produce that amazing Abstract Expressionist Paint Gun thing, it’s brilliant! I bought one last year actually, and I heard the party that Dorian Grey organised for her was amazing and soooooo well attended!


BEATRIX [slightly louder than before]: Well you can’t afford another flop…


[Charity throws Bea a disparaging look]


SOLITA [clearly a little hurt] : I beg your pardon! I think you’ll find that was because we lacked marketing and publicity, this won’t be like that because we are using D&G Enterprises so they are doing all the marketing, they are all over social media right now


BEATRIX [casually, though clearly enjoying ruffling Solita’s feathers] : Well Beyonce released her last album without any publicity without it being a fail, didn’t she, and everybody loved it an loved her for doing it


SOLITA [looking a little flustered] : That’s a ridiculous comparison, I’m not Beyonce clearly! It's just not the same situation


CHARITY [very uncomfortable and very unimpressed with Bea] : But Tracey Emin is coming, isn’t that exciting! Any other names I might of heard of?


SOLITA [obviously choosing to ignore Beatrix and rise above her baiting, she is aloof] : They really are big names in the art world, so you probably wouldn’t know… Anthony D’Offay, Godfrey Worsdale, Pipilotti Rist…


BEATRIX [with no intention of letting the subject go] : Well Charity doesn’t advertise, do you Charity, it’s all on word of mouth, and she has a huge client base, you know you have to book at least six weeks in advance to get an appointment here


CHARITY [looking embarrassed by Bea] : Well no I don’t, but we were just talking about Facebook this morning and I probably do need to get into the twenty-first century sometime soon and get the salon on there, it clearly is important


SOLITA [evidently choosing to ignore Beatrix] : Social media is huge, Beyonce knew she had her fans already there to catch her, there’s no question that you have to have your own base of support and social media totally consolidates that


BEATRIX : Though I suppose you have just bought your support with this Grey Enterprises thing, isn’t that just like cheating, like those people that buy Instagram followers or Facebook friends, how much money have you raised so far anyway, what is your target? I heard it was £30,000, you are never going to make that, Tracey Emin or no Tracey Emin


[Cara looks up from her magazine, she has been uncomfortably listening all along, and bats Bea with the rolled up Cosmopolitan]


CHARITY [squirming a little at how uncomfortable the situation is becoming] : Thanks for your thoughts Bea, I think that’s enough now


SOLITA [starting to look annoyed] : ‘’Actually’’ Dorian Grey Enterprises are a professional company who are highly experienced in delivering these sorts of events. And ‘’actually’’ we will reach our target I am sure of it, we might have only got £5000 so far, but it’s early days and this weekend is going to be huge. Anyway, I already have over a thousand friends on Facebook so I don’t need too much help I’ll have you know


CHARITY [impressed] : Over a thousand! Maybe I do need to join!


BEATRIX [beginning to lose it a little bit, and no longer attending to Cara’s hair, wagging her scissors every time she makes a point] : Yes a thousand ‘’Facebook Friends’’, that doesn’t mean anything! How many people actually out of that thousand will come to the party really, none of us are going!


CARA [meekly over the top of her Cosmopolitan] : Well actually I thought it sounded quite good and I thought…


BEATRIX [interrupting Cara abruptly] : Well even so, it’s one thing to have Facebook Friends and have a big party but it’s another thing for people to actually reach into their pockets, you clearly haven’t reached out to people personally enough, you can’t just cast a wide net and cross your fingers and hope to go viral, realistically people do want things off you and what are you actually giving them back, you are just asking! And anyway, I heard that if you have to reach a third of your target in the first week in order to succeed and you aren’t anywhere near that.


CHARITY [Very cross with Beatrix] : That really is enough on this subject, Bea, if you don’t take those wraps of Cara’s hair she is going to go bald, pay attention to your own customer!


[Cara looks alarmed and Bea suddenly looks embarrassed, aware of how much thing have escalated suddenly]


SOLITA [Extremely riled, pulling away from Charity despite having wet, half-cut hair, to turn and face Bea] : Well actually I don’t think I’m about to take business advice from you, didn’t you try to leave this salon a year ago and set up your own business, but you’re client base wasn’t strong enough was it, and you nearly bankrupted yourself!! You’re lucky that Charity had you back, if you ask me, I wouldn’t have let you back after you burnt that bridge! So if I overestimated the number of people that I really know well then you certainly did!!


BEATRIX [has flushed bright red and is looking very upset at the mention of her failed business venture] : Some of us can’t fall back on our parents!


CHARITY [desperately trying to end the argument] : There was no need for that, Bea is an excellent hair dresser and has loyal clients, but she has only lived round here a couple of years, it was too soon and the location wasn’t great.


CARA [attempting to change the subject] : Oh no, that poor homeless man is outside again, I hate it when he approaches me for money, I’ve stopped giving him any since he practically ran into the Co-op for a litre of wine after I gave him a couple of pounds


BEATRIX [looking out the window and then getting back to Cara’s hair] : Poor man, though I’d rather give him money than that rubbish busker!


CHARITY: Oh don’t be daft Bea, at least the busker is doing something for money


BEATRIX: I would pay him to stop his awful renditions of Bob Dylan songs! Anyway he goes and spends it all in the bookies at the end of the day, I’ve seen him, and when he’s not there he’s on the fruit machines in the pub


CHARITY [playfully chiding] : How people spent their money is up to them, I’m sure he doesn’t think your fake tan is a good use of money


BEATRIX [smiling again and looking calmer] : Or all the beauty treatments that you get for that dog of yours! It must be the most well-groomed animal in England!


[Since things escalated Solita has been quite and looking a bit nervous]

SOLITA [quietly to Charity] : You don’t think it’s true do you, that if I haven’t already raised a third then I won’t be successful


CHARITY [in a mothering tone] : I’m sure it will be fine, Bea has never crowd funded before so I don’t know where she has heard that


SOLITA [worried] : I hadn’t thought of it but I do wonder if I… well like Bea said about Facebook friends… I wonder if I have been too optimistic


CHARITY: I’m sure it will be a great success, I’m sure people will come, you must have some friends that are keen to support you, I always ask my closest friends to come a little early to parties to support me so that there’s people there


SOLITA: Well I had asked my friend Charlotte to come earlier, do you know her, she’s friends with your daughter?… Though I think I might have really mucked that up, oh god…


[At this moment Sarah comes back into the shop with a carrier bag of bits and bobs, she acknowledges Solita but more for her Mum’s sake and is rather cold. She then sets about distributing the bits she has bought for people whilst she was out]


SARAH [cooly looking briefly at Solita]: Hi. There’s your diet coke Bea, I got you a bottle because there weren’t any cans in the fridge … there’s your Malteasers Cara …. and there’s your change

[Sarah walks over to the counter and leaves a chocolate bar on it]

And I got you a dark chocolate bounty bar Mum because I know you like them and you don’t always see them…. Right I’m going to have my lunch in the staff room, give me a shout if you need me.


[There is a brief silence, Solita looks particularly uncomfortable]


CARA [raising her voice to break the silence] : So does anyone fancy doing the Great North Run with me, it isn’t too late to sign up?


CHARITY: Oh god I think I’d have a heart attack


BEATRIX: I might do you know, could I come training with you next week for a bit and see whether I can hack it?


SOLITA [sounding deflated] : Are you running for charity again, I heard you do a few?


CARA: Once a year for Alzheimers, I’m always very aware I’m asking for money for nothing. And yes sure Bea, you'd be more than welcome to join me training, it will be fun!


SOLITA [meekly]: You will have to let me know when you properly start fund-raising and I will sponsor you, I know I should’ve done in the past, but I have always been so busy and forgetful and things have been a bit mad recently


BEATRIX [mutters, she has nearly finished Cara’s hair] : How convenient


CARA [purposefully ignoring Beatrix] : Yes that would be amazing, I will try and get a group of girls together to come along this weekend if you give me the details, it sounds like it’s going to be a much do!


SOLITA [brightening up a little] : Really? That would be great! It would be lovely to see you there, and I could tell Daddy about your running, his company might be interested in sponsoring you. It would be really nice to have a few people there I actually knew other than Mummy and Daddy’s friends


[Cara pokes Beatrix with her rolled up magazine, Beatrix looks exasperated and clearly feels cornered]


BEATRIX: Oh well if Cara is going to come I may as well, don’t want to miss out, don’t think I’m going to spend anymore than the ticket price though!

[Cara’s hair is now finished and Cara and Beatrix walk over to the counter where Cara pays and then they both walk to the door, hugging quickly before Cara leaves]


CARA: Well I will see you this weekend then! Bye ladies!


BEATRIX: I’m going to have my lunch in the staff room with Sarah.


CHARITY: Sure, remind her when I’ve finished Solita’s hair I’m going to want my lunch too so she will have to come out front and mind the counter


[Solita looks uneasy at the mention of Sarah’s name. Beatrix disappears into the staff room to join Sarah where they proceed to chat and flick through magazines]


SOLITA [quietly]: Oh god I am really nervous about this weekend now.


CHARITY: Don’t fret pet, it will be fine, you girls can be so competitive, you need to realise that you can achieve much more when you support each other! It does sound like an interesting project, but if you don’t take time with people to get them excited about it too then it would be successful, you know even though I’m not that clued up with social media it is still a huge personal effort to keep people interested in my business.


SOLITA [panic about the weekend has suddenly set in and wave of sadness washes over her face, she looks on the verge of tears] : You know it isn’t as fairy tale as everyone thinks, I had to do this campaign because the Arts Council rejected me and I had already committed to the lease of the building, which in retrospect was so stupid but oh well. But then Daddy said he wouldn’t bail me out like he did over the summer and so I am really screwed if this doesn’t work. I hired Dorian Grey Enterprises because I had thought my campaign would go viral straight away but it hasn’t and it isn’t even sitting on the homepage of Kickstarter so god knows if anyone actually sees it. If this fails I will have to put the last of my own money into it so I don’t lose everything that I have raised so far and I have no one left that I can ask for help.


[Charity has just been finishing Solita’s hair and looks very concerned, Solita is the same age as Sarah and she can’t help but feel sorry for her, she comes round to the side of her and crouches so she is at head height]


CHARITY: Look, I know I’m not your Mum, but it sounds like you have been a little bit silly and maybe a little bit selfish lately…


[Solita looks into her lap]


But it’s not the end of the world, you have a fantastic event planned for this weekend, everyone will want to go, but you need to encourage people to come and act like you want them to come, not make people feel that they aren’t good enough to be your pal or not famous enough or not cool enough or whatever. If you’ve got all these Facebook friends, why don’t you reach out to the ones that you actually know well directly, I know it’s old fashioned, but it’s worked for me for all these years and people really appreciate it. You need to make amends with anyone you’ve upset too [raises her eye brow] people don’t forget and word does get round, but I’m sure this will be fine, hard work will pay off.


[Charity leans in and gives Solita a big motherly hug and Solita after a second hugs her back]


Look, doesn’t your hair look lovely, you’re going to look stunning at the party, people will be eager to come and you need to be an excellent host for them. I hadn’t realised that you’re Dad had cut you off, though I’m sure he thought it was for the best. How about you have this one on me to celebrate the party and next time you come we’ll make an appointment when Bea has a day off, she is a sweet heart really.


SOLITA [fighting back tears] : Thank you so much, that is so kind, you must have thought I was such a prat when I came in.


[Charity pats Solita on the shoulder and stands upright]


CHARITY: Right I’m going to finally have my lunch with that little diva in the back!


[Charity raises her voices and calls over her shoulder]


Right women’s hour is over Sarah! Stop gossiping and get out here, I’m starving!


[Charity heads behind the counter, lets Sarah through where she stops just behind the counter, clearly unwilling to go near Solita. Solita begins to gather her things and Charity disappears into the staffroom. Solita is about to leave and then turns to face Sarah, taking a couple of steps towards the counter]


SOLITA [awkward, embarrassed and stumbling over her words] : Sarah,….you know I, I, didn’t actually realise that Charlotte and Rob were still together… I swear… and I don’t know why I said all those horrid things to her …. oh god …. I know it’s awful but I, I, … I probably thought it was the cool thing to do! … God what a bitch I was being…. And now Rob doesn’t want me, I think he was after Daddy’s money when I think about it now …. and now there’s no chance of that…


SARAH [softening visibly whilst listening to Solita] : Oh god Solita why did you have to behave like such a twat! I heard what you said to Mum just then, I’m sorry about your Dad and the project and everything, I hadn’t realised you had gotten yourself into such a mess!


SOLITA [shaking her head and looking resigned] : It is what it is, I should’ve known that I couldn’t keep on asking for money and not actually doing anything or getting anywhere. It’s my own fault…


[Solita searches in her handbag and pulls out a couple of Gold envelopes which she walks over with and places on the counter in front of Sarah]


SOLITA: Here’s a couple of VIP tickets to the party for you and Charlotte, I know it’s probably the last thing you will want to do, especially Charlotte, but it’s free champagne with a VIP ticket and it will be so busy you can avoid me… it would be really nice if you can make it but don’t worry if not, I would get it…


[Solita then swings her bag onto her shoulder and leaves the salon without looking over her shoulder. Sarah is left for a second staring at the tickets, she picks them up and looks like she is considering throwing them in the bin, but then seems to change her mind suddenly and takes them into the back to put in her handbag]

CURTAIN

Research conducted and written by Zara Worth

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