29 Plays Later – Challenge 6 – OATES: THE COMPILATION MUSICAL

CHALLENGE:

Operas… musicals… revues…

love ’em or hate ’em – music has been a part of theatre since the very beginning, so why not embrace it?

Come on – let’s write something with songs!

Maybe the entire play is contained in one long song, maybe the characters are singing for a reason, or maybe… just maybe… there is no reason to anything! 

What about a soap opera? I literally mean an opera… about soap! 

Are they singing because they can’t express themselves otherwise, or perhaps they don’t want to. 

Are they aware of their singing? 

And what kind of singing is it anyway? Musical Theatre? Rock? Pop? Abstract noises?

It doesn’t really matter – because when people are singing everything is alright with the world… right? right!

And really challenge yourself. Try to write a ‘properly’ lengthed script (whatever the hell that is).

Now, those of who did this last year know that because weekends are tougher – there are no bonus points. The only bonusity is if you send something you are happy with.

Ahh, screw it! Bonus points to anyone who sends me a recording of them singing their songs!

 

“OATES: THE COMPILATION MUSICAL”

Book by Sarah Mann

Songs and lyrics by lots of famous people

 

Fade In:

THE HUT

  1. A tent on the Ross Ice shelf, South Pole. The tent is being ravaged by the weather outside. Three men, Robert Falcon Scott, Edward A. Wilson, and Henry R. Bowers are asleep in their sleeping bags. The fourth, Captain Lawrence Edward Grace “Titus” Oates, sits up in his sleeping bag. He is praying.

 

OATES

God, give me grace to accept with serenity

The things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

Which should be changed,

And the Wisdom to…

And the Wisdom to…

Damn it.

 

OATES (Sings)

Oh the weather outside is frightful

But the fire is so delightful

And since we’ve no place to go

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

 

It doesn’t show signs of stopping

And I’ve bought some corn for popping

The lights are turned way down low

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

 

 

OATES

The Antarctic is (Sings) oh. So quiet

it’a oh. so still

You’re all alone

And so peaceful until…

 

One of the other men in the tent does a massive fart.

 

OATES

And that what happens if you exist on a diet of only dog.

 

OATES

It was boredom that led me to apply to the expedition. Well, I’m not bored now am I? This poor soldier, after the war, found that hunting tigers in India and murdering elephants in Africa just didn’t cut it. Just not the same. After, all when you have been murdering people yourself and watching your soldiers get murdered in turn, it’s just not that easy to find home and contentment anymore. I wanted excitement and to feel again. Anything. So there was Scott. He found me. Just in time.

 

Scott is sitting at a table. Oates enters.

 

OATES

Mr Robert Falcon Scott?

 

SCOTT

Yes? Oh you must be the chap from the phone. The soldier.

 

 

OATES

Captain Lawrence Edward Grace “Titus” Oates, at your service.

 

SCOTT

So you want to join the expedition? Why? You’re not a scientist or an explorer.

 

OATES

No. But you need me. You need a horseman to get you good stock from Sibera. And I know my horses, Mr Scott.

 

SCOTT

And what makes you think that I would want to spend time with you?

 

OATES

Since I came back from the front, I’ve been restless. I’ve been told I am no longer fit to serve my country. Yet you can see me today, fit as a fiddle. Let me buy into this opportunity, Scott.

 

SCOTT

Well as luck would have it, you’re just in the nick of time.

 

SCOTT (Sings)

Just in time

I found you just in time

Before you came my time

Was running low

 

OATES (Sings)

I was lost

The losing dice were tossed

My bridges all were crossed

Nowhere to go

 

Now you’re here

And now I know just where I’m going

No more doubt or fear

I’ve found my way

 

SCOTT

Now you’re here

And now I know just where I’m going

No more doubt or fear

‘Cause I’ve found my way

 

BOTH

For you came just in time

You found me just in time

And changed my

Lonely life that lovely

Lonely life that lovely

Lonely life that lovely day

 

 

 

OATES

And then there was Roald Amundsen.

 

SCOTT

Anything you can do, I can do better!

I can do anything better than you!

 

AMUNDSEN No you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can, Yes, I can!

 

AMUNDSEN

Anything you can be, I can be greater!

Sooner or later I’m greater than you!

 

SCOTT No, you’re not!

AMUNDSEN Yes, I am!

SCOTT No, you’re not!

AMUNDSEN Yes, I am!

SCOTT No, you’re not!

AMUNDSEN Yes, I am, Yes, I am!

 

AMUNDSEN I can shoot a partridge, with a single cartridge!

SCOTT I can get a sparrow, with a bow and arrow!

AMUNDSEN I can live on bread and cheese!

SCOTT And only on that?

AMUNDSEN Yes!

SCOTT So can a rat!

 

AMUNDSEN Any note you can reach, I can go higher!

SCOTT I can sing anything higher than you!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (High)

SCOTT Yes, I can. (Higher)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Higher)

SCOTT Yes, I can. (Higher)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Higher)

SCOTT Yes, I can. (Higher)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Higher)

SCOTT Yes, I can. (Higher)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Higher)

SCOTT Yes, I can'(Highest)

 

SCOTT

Anything you can buy, I can buy cheaper!

I can buy anything cheaper than you!

 

AMUNDSEN Fifty cents?

SCOTT Forty cents!

AMUNDSEN Thirty cents?

SCOTT Twenty cents!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can!

AMUNDSEN Yes, I can!

 

AMUNDSEN Anything you can say, I can say softer

SCOTT I can say anything softer than you

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Softly)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Softer)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Softer)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Softer)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Softer)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Softer)

AMUNDSEN Yes, I can (Full volume)

 

AMUNDSEN I can drink my liquor faster than a flicker!

SCOTT I can drink it quicker and get even sicker!

AMUNDSEN I can open any safe!

SCOTT Without bein’ caught?

AMUNDSEN Yes!

SCOTT That’s what I thought…, you crook!

 

AMUNDSEN Any note you can hold, I can hold longer!

SCOTT I can hold any note longer than you!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can…, yes, Iiiiii caaaaan!

AMUNDSEN Yes, you caaaan!

 

SCOTT

Anything you can wear, I can wear better!

In what you wear I’d look better than you!

 

AMUNDSEN In my coat?

SCOTT In your vest!

AMUNDSEN In my shoes?

SCOTT In your hat!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

SCOTT Yes, I can…, yes, I can!

 

AMUNDSEN Anything you can say, I can say faster!

SCOTT I can say anything faster than you!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Fast)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Faster)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Faster)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Faster)

AMUNDSEN No,you can’t! (Faster)

SCOTT YesIcan! (Fastest)

 

AMUNDSEN I can jump a hurdle!

SCOTT I can wear a girdle!

AMUNDSEN I can knit a sweater!

SCOTT I can fill it better!

AMUNDSEN I can do most anything!

SCOTT Can you bake a pie?

AMUNDSEN No.!

SCOTT Neither can I!

 

AMUNDSEN Anything you can sing, I can sing sweeter!

SCOTT I can sing anything sweeter than you!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Sweetly)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Sweeter)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Sweeter)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Sweeter)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t! (Sweeter)

SCOTT Yes, I can! (Sweeter)

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t, can’t, can’t! (Sweeter)

SCOTT Yes, I can, can, can! (Sugary)

SCOTT (Spoken) I will go to the South Pole!

AMUNDSEN (Spoken) And I to the North!

SCOTT Yes, I can!

AMUNDSEN No, you can’t!

Both shake hands and exit.

OATES

If we had know that the rivalry between them would drive Scott into such acts of desperation then maybe we would not have been so quick to commit our money, and our lives, to his insanity.

Scott enters in great agitation, brandishing a newspaper.

SCOTT

Wilson! Bowers! Evans!! Oates! Where are you when I need you.

The men come running to Scott.

WILSON

What is it old chap?

SCOTT

That Norwegian nincompoop has changed his mind! He’s no longer going to the North pole. Now he has changed course and is heading to the SOUTH!

EVANS

The bounder.

BOWERS

That means he has the jump on us.

WILSON

But we are nearly ready to leave, are we not gentleman?

SCOTT

All we need now is the money. And quickly. Amundsen has got the wind at his back, and we can’t let the blagard reach the pole before us!

OATES

I could secure the last of the funds.

SCOTT

Really? Then welcome to the expedition, Captain!

SCOTT (Sings)

If you got it you don’t need it

OATES (Sings)

If you need it you don’t got it

You don’t get shame on you

BOTH (Sings)

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

 

SCOTT

Them that have it get more of it

Less they need it the more they love it

And it sticks to them like glue

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

 

OATES

Ask the rich man he’ll confess

Money can’t buy happiness

Ask the poor man he don’t doubt

But he’d rather be miserable with than without

 

Scott picks up the phone.

 

SCOTT (spoken)

Let’s just get any old nags. For about a fiver. And dogs, Lots and lots of dogs!

 

OATES (Sings)

If you spend it please be wiser

 

SCOTT (Sings)

If you save it you’re a miser

You don’t want it you’re cuckoo

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

If I do not need it badly

Folks will give it to you gladly

But I need it

Nuts to you

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

 

OATES

If I am lucky and I make it

 

SCOTT

You’ll be frightened

But who can take it

 

BOTH

The Internal Reveno

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

 

Birds don’t got it still they sing

Eating winds up on the wing

Ideal lives some folks affirm

So okay you’re a bird but suppose you’re a woman

 

It’s a bad thing, oh yes very

For the germs and sanitary

Will you have some? Oh, thank you

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

 

If I got it

Who’s got it?

I don’t need it

But I need it

 

If you need it

And I need it

You don’t got it

But I want it

 

You can’t get it, shame on you

What can I do?

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

 

Them that have it

Where’d they get it

Get more of it

Can they keep it?

 

The less they need it

Who don’t need it?

The more they love it

And how they love it

And it sticks to them like glue

Boo hoo

 

Funny, funny, funny what money can do?

Money, money we love you

Funny, funny, funny you can do

SCOTT

And we are finally ready to go.

 

WILSON

15 men.

 

OATES

A small heard of decrepit horses.

 

EVANS

Packs and packs of dogs.

 

WILSON

And one awfully creaky ship, the Terra Nove.

 

BOWERS

And lashings of…

 

SCOTT (Sings)

Snow,

 

OATES (Sings)

Snow,

 

WILSON(Sings)

snow,

 

BOWERS(Sings)

snow,

 

EVANS(Sings)

Snow

 

ALL

It won’t be long before we’ll all be there with snow

Snow, snow, I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

Snow, I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow

Snow, oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow, snow

 

OATES (Spoken)

God, we were so excited… And so naieve.

 

ALL

Where it’s snowing, all winter through

That’s where I want to be

Snowball throwing, that’s what I’ll do

How I’m longing to ski, through the snow

Those glistening houses that seem to be built of snow

 

Snow, oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

What is Christmas with no snow

No white Christmas with no snow, snow

I’ll soon be there with snow, I’ll wash my hair with snow

And with a spade of snow, I’ll build a man that’s made of snow

I’d love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye

Go to sleep and dream of snow, snow, snow, snow

 

OATES

And look at them all still dreaming. Well Scotty. It’s like we were supposed to be together here ah… As you said to me a couple of nights ago

 

OATES (Sings)

Long ago and far away

I dreamed a dream one day

And now that dream is here beside me

 

Lights fade up and show Scott sitting with Oates’ head in his lap, stroking his ice-strewn beard.

 

SCOTT (Sings)

Long the skies were overcast

But now the clouds have passed

You’re here at last

 

Chills run up and down my spine

Aladdin’s lamp is mine

The dream I dreamed was not denied me

 

Just one look and then I knew

That all I longed for long ago was you

 

Chills run up and down my spine

Aladdin’s lamp is mine

The dream I dreamed was not denied me

 

Just one look and then I knew

That all I longed for long ago was you

 

OATES

And no matter what happened. No matter how many people died. Or that we ran out of food and had to eat the animals. Even when we reached the pole and found Amundsen’s flag in the ground, Scott somehow kept chipper…

All the men are looking at Amundsen’s flag. They are dejected and broken. Apart from Scott who decides to sing!

 

SCOTT (Sings)

Next time your found, with your chin on the ground

There a lot to be learned, so look around

 

Just what makes that little old ant

Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant

Anyone knows an ant, can’t

Move a rubber tree plant

 

But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes

He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

 

So any time your gettin’ low

‘Stead of lettin’ go

Just remember that ant

Oops there goes another rubber tree plant

 

When troubles call, and your back’s to the wall

There a lot to be learned, that wall could fall

 

Once there was a silly old ram

Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam

No one could make that ram, scram

He kept buttin’ that dam

 

Scott gets the remaining team to join him in the song and dance.

 

‘Cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes

He had high apple pie, in the sky hopes

 

So any time your feelin’ bad

‘stead of feelin’ sad

Just remember that ram

Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam

 

All problems just a toy balloon

They’ll be bursted soon

They’re just bound to go pop

Oops there goes another problem kerplop

 

All the men fall backwards into the snow, save Scott who is left victorious in the middle.

 

OATES

My, what a silly, silly man Scott can be. Well… Better see what the damage is.

 

He gets out his foot, unwrapping it from layers of bandages and socks. It’s hugely swollen. Then we see his toes. They are black.

 

OATES

Ah, that would explain the yellowing complexion. My old friend, gangrene…

 

OATES (Sings)

I’ve got you under my skin

I’ve got you deep in the heart of me

So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me

I’ve got you under my skin

 

I’d tried so not to give in

I said to myself this affair never will go so well

But why should I try to resist when baby I know so well

I’ve got you under my skin

 

Oates proceeds to snap off his toes under the song.

 

I would sacrifice anything come what might

For the sake of having you near

In spite of the warning voice that comes in the night

And repeats how it yells in my ear

Don’t you know little fool

You never can win

Why not use your mentality

Step up, wake up to reality

And each time I do just the thought of you

Makes me stop just before I begin

Because I’ve got you under my skin

Yes I got you under my skin

 

OATES

Gangrene, literally under my skin. In wet gangrene like this, the tissue is infected which causes tissue to swell and emit a fetid smell. Wet gangrene usually develops rapidly due to blockage of venous and arterial blood flow. The affected part is saturated with stagnant blood, which promotes the rapid growth of bacteria. The toxic products formed by bacteria are absorbed, causing systemic manifestation of sepsis and finally death. The affected part is edematous, soft, putrid, rotten and dark. The infected blood circulates around the body. I saw it. In the trenches. Horrible way to go. Death is the only prognosis. We all know that. Just everyone is too damn coward to say it out loud. Poor soldier. What a way to go Oates. Survived the Great War only to die fannying about for no ones good but your own. You know, sometimes, I can almost hear the scorn in Amundsen’s voice if he could see us. If he were here.

 

AMUNDSEN (Sings)

Who’s sorry now

Who’s sorry now

Who’s heart is aching for breaking each vow

Who’s sad and blue

Who’s crying too

Just like I cried over you

 

Right to the end

Just like a friend

I tried to warn you somehow

You had your way

Now you must pay

I’m glad that you’re sorry now

 

Right to the end

Just like a friend

I tried to warn you somehow

You had your way

Now you must pay

I’m glad that you’re sorry now

 

OATES

And we are all sorry now. I realized pretty soon that I wasn’t going to make it. That I was going to kill the whole party. That’s when I tried to leave.

 

Oates is with the group. He is at the back of the line as they struggle against the wind and snow.

 

OATES

Scott. I need to talk to you. It is imperative that you leave me here with a sleeping bag and go on without me.

 

SCOTT

What tosh. We are all going home together, soldier.

 

OATES

But Scott…

 

OATES (Sings) I really can’t stay

SCOTT (Sings) Baby it’s cold outside

OATES I’ve got to go away

SCOTT Baby it’s cold outside

OATES This expedition’s been So very nice

SCOTT I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice

 

OATES The neighbors might think

SCOTT Baby, it’s bad out there

OATES Say, what’s in this drink?

SCOTT No cabs to be had out there

OATES I wish I knew how

SCOTT Your eyes are like starlight now

OATES To break this spell

SCOTT I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell

 

OATES I ought to say no, no, no

SCOTT Mind if I move in closer?

OATES At least I’m gonna say that I tried

SCOTT What’s the sense in hurting my pride?

OATES I really can’t stay

SCOTT Baby don’t hold out

BOTH Ah, but it’s cold outside

 

OATES I’ve got to get home

SCOTT Oh, baby, you’ll freeze out there

OATES Say, lend me your coat

SCOTT It’s up to your knees out there

OATES You’ve really been grand

SCOTT Thrill when you touch my hand

OATES Why don’t you see

SCOTT How can you do this thing to me?

OATES There’s bound to be talk tomorrow

SCOTT Think of my life long sorrow

OATES At least there will be plenty implied

SCOTT If you caught pneumonia and died

OATES I really can’t stay – Get over that hold out

BOTH Ah, but it’s cold outside

Oh, baby, it’s cold outside

Oh, baby, it’s cold outside

 

The team nod and all walk on. Oates struggling along behind the rest of the team. The music drifts away on the wind. Oates sits staring into the lamp in the tent. The darkness creeps around him so that only his face is lit.

 

OATES

God, give me grace to accept with serenity

The things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

Which should be changed,

And the Wisdom to distinguish

The one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

 

When I was seventeen, it was a very good year

It was a very good year for small town girls

And soft summer nights

We’d hide from the lights

On the village green

When I was seventeen

 

When I was twenty-one, it was a very good year

It was a very good year for city girls

Who lived up the stairs

With all that perfumed hair

That came undone

When I was twenty-one

 

When I was twenty-five, it was a very good year

It was a very good year for blue-blooded girls

Of independent means

We’d ride in limousines

Their chauffeurs would drive

When I was thirty-five

 

But now the days are short, I’m at the end of my days

And now I think of my life as vintage wine

From fine old kegs

From the brim to the dregs

It poured sweet and clear

It was a very good year

 

Scott stirs in his sleeping bag. Looks up.

 

SCOTT

Old chap, having trouble sleeping.

OATES

It’s this damned foot you see, Scott. I was thinking about taking a little walk.

SCOTT

Good one, Oates.

OATES

This is no jesting, Scott.

 

oates (sings):

And now, the end is near

And so I face the final curtain

My friend, I’ll say it clear

I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

I’ve lived a life that’s full

I traveled each and every highway

And more, much more than this, I did it my way

 

Regrets, I’ve had a few

But then again, too few to mention

I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption

I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway

And more, much more than this, I did it my way

 

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew

When I bit off more than I could chew

But through it all, when there was doubt

I ate it up and spit it out

I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

 

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried

I’ve had my fill, my share of losing

And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing

To think I did all that

And may I say, not in a shy way

Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

 

For what is a man, what has he got?

If not himself, then he has naught

To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels

The record shows I took the blows and did it my way

(Spoken) I am just going outside and may be some time.

 

Instrumental. Oates walks to the door. His feet are bare. He gives a curt nod to the remaining four men. He opens the door and crawls out. And walks out into the darkness.

black Out:

The End

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Lyn Mann says:

    OMG – just brilliant.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

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