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THREE WISHES
Script Extract


THIS FIRST EXTRACT BEGINS IN A PLANETARIUM WHERE GEORGE MATTHEWS IS CONTEMPLATING A GLOBE

GEORGE TURNS TOWARDS THE AUDIENCE AND ADDRESSES US

GEORGE
I'm looking at a model of the Earth and I'm enthralled. It hangs without any visible means of support. Forces of attraction and repulsion and inertia and spin keep it there in space defined by enormous emptiness. A tear of blue in the universal night, lit by a Sun that is slowly burning up its fuel and destroying itself to shine on us, orbited by a loyal moon who worries and waxes and wanes, populated by the strangest 6 billion souls that ever existed. Strong, loving, amazing.

After everything that happened last April, the best thing to come out of it is this greater realisation that whatever happens in our lifetime, this whole world is on a long, long journey and we're just passengers for while we're here. Wherever it takes us, we might as well enjoy the ride. Cause getting there is half the fun.

A lot of things have been written about those weeks when the world went mad. The period that was the best part of April and a little bit of May. As everyone knows what happened anyway (I mean how can you not know?) I'll just mention the big facts in passing and concentrate on the little story that concerned me and Flip. But suffice it to say that those four weeks when everyone in the world got 3 wishes were possibly the most fun, the most exciting and the most, well most most weeks of my life.

Oh, this isn't a story of magic and wonder and all that, it's a story of what happened to two normal people when they had the chance to have it all. And how much they end up with.

GEORGE TAKES OFF HIS COAT TO REVEAL A SUIT. HE PICKS UP A CHAMPAGNE GLASS. THE LIGHTS CHANGE, THE SOUND AMBIENCE LIFTS AND SUDDENLY WE ARE AT HIS ENGAGEMENT PARTY

SCENE 1 THE PARTY STAGE

ATMOS: PARTY

FLIP (PLAYED BY THE SAME ACTRESS WHO WAS JUST THE GUIDE) RUNS ON IN A PARTY DRESS

FLIP
I had been running late all day but when I came into the party I was looking fabulous I had to say. I had to say it you see as George so totally didn't. Instead he, predictably, said this:

GEORGE TIMES HIS CHANGE OF CLOTHES, HIS POURING OF THE CHAMPAGNE AND HIS TURN TO HIT THIS LINE EXACTLY

GEORGE
You're late.

AND WE ARE IN THE SCENE

FLIP
I'm always late.

GEORGE
I like your watch by the way. But tonight? Late tonight? Flip!

FLIP
Well, tonight, yes. Sorry. Look how it flashes all blue.

SHE SHOWS HIM HOW IT FLASHES
GEORGE IS FAIRLY IMPRESSED, BUT HIS FACE RETURNS TO BEING SCOWLY.

FLIP
Didn't stop me being late though. Some watch. Bad thing. But, oh, blue.

SHE SHOWS IT TO HIM AGAIN

GEORGE LAUGHS. HE HAS FORGIVEN HER

GEORGE
Honestly Flip. You'll be late for your own funeral.

FLIP
Well of course I would be.

GEORGE
Well, that's what I mean. You're always late Flip.

FLIP
No. I mean at my own funeral I'll be the late Flip Lemmon or Matthews if you get to marry me. So of course I'll be late for my own funeral. Everyone always is late for their own funeral. It's kind of a necessity.

GEORGE Oh. I see. I never worked out that's what that means. Funny. Haha. But don't make me stop being annoyed with you for being so late, OK?

FLIP SHOWS HIM THE WATCH AGAIN

FLIP
Blue!

GEORGE
No, I -

FLIP
So what's my punishment? Marrying you? When? Better check my watch. . . Blue!!

SHE KISSES HIM AND TURNS INTO THE PARTY

GEORGE TURNS TO TALK TO US

GEORGE
It was typical of her to be late for her own engagement party, but what can you do? It's kind of why I was in love with her. Love is a constant state of exasperation with the one you love and with yourself. Am I right? This is blissful exasperation.

HE NOW TURNS INTO THE PARTY
FLIP COMES OVER TO TALK TO US. IT'S KIND OF LUCK WE'RE AN INVISIBLE GUEST AT THE PARTY. THIS CONTINUES FOR THE NEXT FEW SPEECHES

FLIP
I know it exasperates him when I'm late, but he doesn't understand. I don't mean to be. Like I'm sure he doesn't mean to be so cute. He can't help it. Ooh. He's talking to Mum. Needs saving. Or does he? Let's let him suffer a little.

GEORGE
She's going on about how her niece has come off the pill to try and get pregnant without her husband knowing. Oh what a wicked web we weave when first we practice to conceive. Ah, ha, yes Anne

FLIP
Oh, there's thingy. Hi, Janie! Uck! She's his ex-girlfriend. I call her the Stewardess cos she's so neat and she's always smiling. I bet she knows where the loos are as well. Oh, and I know why else. She always has some nuts when she has a drink. I don't exactly hate her, but let's say while I might not want to set the world on fire, I wouldn't mind if it was just her.

GEORGE
That's Flip's old boyfriend, Peter. He's in TV. He makes a show called the Fidel Castro Mysteries - whodunnits set in revolutionary Cuba where Castro and Guevara solve the case in the last five minutes of every show. We talk, and he does the decent thing of saying that he knows I make her happy. I appreciate it.

FLIP
George's Dad is such a snob. I overhear him saying:

GEORGE VENTRILOQUISES HIS FATHER'S VOICE

GEORGE'S DAD
Digital watches are terrible. I wouldn't give a digital watch wearer the time of day!

FLIP
Umm. Ahahaha!

SHE TWISTS AWAY FROM WHERE THE VOICE COMES FROM

FLIP
Finally George frees himself.

THE PARTY HUBBUB DROPS FOR A WHILE

GEORGE
Having fun?

FLIP
You betcha. (SINGS) It's my party and I'll sigh if I want to

GEORGE
Flip. You're singing again. Nervous?

FLIP
No. Tell me that you love me.

GEORGE
My heart yearns for you like a plaintive kazoo.

FLIP
Mmm. Mine too. See you in a minute.

THE HUBBUB INCREASES AGAIN

FLIP
His sister is telling me how her current boyfriend likes to party. I say, so it's a noun and a verb, why not make it an adjective too, why not say 'he's so party.' I swear I hear the cogs clunk inside her brain.

GEORGE
Over in the corner my nieces are starting a game of vertical limbo, squeezing past a bar held near a wall. Please let this be over soon. I wish it was.

FLIP
Please let this be over soon. I wish it was nearly over.

GEORGE
And almost suddenly, not quite, but quickly, the speeches are got through, the half life of the party is reached now fifty percent of the guests have gone. When can you leave your own engagement party? At the end? Or just before?

FLIP
Should we call Dorothy? [click click click]

THEY SPEAK AT THE SAME TIME

GEORGE
Hey Flip, did Dorothy make it? [click click click]

FLIP
Oh, it's our code. We found out that the Wizard of Oz was both of our favourite films, so now whenever we're somewhere and we want to go home, but you can't say it out loud, we mention Dorothy and click our shoes together three times.

THE LIGHTS CHANGE. WE ARE OUT OF THE PARTY ENVIRONMENT

GEORGE
We go home and we've done it. Our engagement is official. It's nice being on this bridal train. I watch her sleep and I know who my driver is and where she's taking me. The trouble was. No wait, there was no trouble then. None at all. The trouble was just about to come.


THIS NEXT EXTRACT IS THEIR FALLING IN LOVE

GEORGE
Our love went through the normal stages.

FLIP
We went through the taste this it's horrible stage.

THEY ARE SITTING ON THE SOFA. FLIP HAS GOT SOMETHING IN A BOWL.

FLIP
Urgh! Taste this. It's horrible!

GEORGE
What's wrong with it?

FLIP
Taste it.

GEORGE
No.

FLIP
Go on. Taste it.

GEORGE
I really don't want to.

FLIP
Please?

GEORGE
No. You said it's horrible. Why would I want to taste it? I trust you.

FLIP
No, you don't understand George. When someone says taste this, it's horrible, they are telling the other person they love them. They're saying they want the other person to experience everything they do, the bitterness as well as the bliss. I know you trust me, it's not a question of trust. I just want you to share this with me.

GEORGE
Oh.

FLIP
Taste it?

HE DOES.

GEORGE
Uch. Yuck. It's horrible.

FLIP
See. I told you it was.

GEORGE
But I knew it would be. You said it was. Flip, why are we arguing about this?

FLIP
We have to argue. That's what couples do. Isn't it?

GEORGE
Can't we be the couple that doesn't argue. The couple that gets on?

FLIP
Why would we be that? People would fear us. They'd wonder what was up. They'd think we wer the Stepford couple.

GEORGE
You'd rather be the Steptoe Couple?

FLIP
Oh yes - 'Arold!!!

GEORGE [TO US]
We went through the what are you thinking stage:

FLIP
What are you thinking?

GEORGE
Hmm? Nothing.

FLIP
Really? What is it.

GEORGE
What. Nothing.

FLIP
Come on. What are you thinking?

GEORGE
Who said I was thinking? I'm not always thinking.

FLIP
Aren't you?

GEORGE
No. Not always.

FLIP
Why not?

GEORGE
I'm a man. We don't think. What? That annoys you?

FLIP Y
ou're meant to be always thinking about me.

GEORGE
I'm not thinking about anything.

FLIP
But if you were, you'd be thinking about me?

GEORGE
You are my default thought, Flip.

FLIP
Good.

FLIP [TO US]
We even did the hour of looking into each others eyes stage.

THEY LOOK INTO EACH OTHERS EYES FOR MAYBE A COUPLE OF SECONDS. AND THEN TURN AWAY.

FLIP [TO US]
I mean that was just the end of the hour you saw there.
Things moved on, we moved on. I moved in. He moved me in ways I hadn't thought myself movable in. And the next step, well it was more a leap into the sunshine, he asked me to marry him. Well he didn't so much ask, he said. . .

GEORGE ENTERS

GEORGE
Flip, would I be wrong to say you wouldn't not be thinking we'd be worse off not getting married and therefore you won't have me?

FLIP
Um.

GEORGE
Think carefully.

FLIP
Um.

GEORGE
Come on. I can't actually believe you need time to think about this.

FLIP
Er. No?

GEORGE
Marvellous. You don't know how happy you've made me.

FLIP
Oh. What exactly have I just agreed to?

GEORGE
When shall I speak to your father?

GEORGE [TO US]
And then came the party, and before we knew it, everyone in the world had their 3 wishes coming true and that's the point where things changed. When what had been a fairy tale became a cautionary tale. Because once you knew your wish was going to come true you have to be even more careful what you wished for.