PLAYS
...from the 'pen' of CHRIS GREGORY  
 

 

 
 

WIPE OUT
by Chris Gregory

LOCATION
A suburban living room on the outskirts of Manchester.

CHARACTERS
JEAN CALLAGHAN - wife of Terry
ANGIE GIBBS - wife of Stuart
FIRST TV SNOOKER COMMENTATOR
SECOND TV SNOOKER COMMENTATOR
HARRY CAVANAGH- Criminal Gang Boss
NEWSREADER
JAMES McBROUDIE - TV News Reporter
INSPECTOR MATSON

(CROWD NOISES , FADING FROM INTENSITY TO HUSHED EXPECTANCY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: (in whisper- sound from TV is slightly tinny) ...and the sweat is standing out on O'Kane's brow now. You can really see the desperation on his face. What a disastrous day it's been for him......(volume of voice increases a little) .... Here at the Eurosoft Guildhall Centre Preston I swear you could hear a pin drop. Should O'Kane fail to complete this break, then surely nothing can stop Brown from taking the championship.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: If O'Kane loses the next two frames we're heading for a real shock result, Alan. A winning margin of fourteen frames in a World Series final would be completely unprecedented. Not since 1975 have we seen -

FIRST COMMENTATOR: Hold it there, Keith. It looks like O'Kane is ready to make his shot now. Just one quick gulp on the spring water...

SECOND COMMENTATOR: You know, Alan, there are those who say his game's gone downhill since he gave up the whiskey...

FIRST COMMENTATOR: Yes, this is the big one...

(CLICK OF SNOOKER BALLS, FOLLOWED BY HOWL OF DISMAY FROM CROWD. FADE DOWN COMMENTARY)

ANGIE: No! I don't believe it! Cocked it up, he has, Jean… right good and proper.

JEAN: Told you so… That Jimmy Brown is so cool.

ANGIE: It ain't over 'til its over. Pass us that bottle.

JEAN: Ange, don't you think you've had enough?

ANGIE: Just have to reach it myself, won't I?

(FADE UP COMMENTARY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: ...well, you have to say that there's no way that the 'Wipeout' O'Kane of old would have fluffed a shot like that.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Hardly believable, is it, Alan? Just a simple nudge into the far pocket would have done the trick...

FIRST COMMENTATOR:... and that leaves Brown with a relatively easy break to take this frame. Here he comes now, looking as cool and confident as ever.

SECOND COMMENTATOR:Remarkable, isn't it, Alan? Not a hair out of place...

(FADE DOWN COMMENTARY)

ANGIE: Just your type, that Jimmy Brown, ain't he, Jean? Quiet, well-groomed. Got them dark broody eyes-

JEAN: Hush, Ange. He's concentrating.

ANGIE: You are soft. (laughs) Hardly going to hear us talking from here, is he? I reckon you're really struck on him.

JEAN: Don't be daft.

ANGIE: Definately your kind of feller. Smooth, kind of respectable looking. Wouldn't dream of going out the door without a crease in his trousers. Probably irons his own underpants. Tell you what, though. Bet he's different when you get him between the sheets. Them quiet blokes are all the same. Didn't you read that survey about it in Cosmopolitan? 'Repressed passion', it's called. Apparently it lurks beneath the surface, then explodes-

JEAN: (embarrassed laugh) Shut it, Ange!

ANGIE: According to that survey … (gulps on drink) … sixty-five per cent of women under fifty say that quiet blokes are the best lovers. They get an eighty per cent rating for quality of foreplay and ninety per cent for staying power. Ninety per cent! Sounds pretty good to me. I'm a decent Catholic woman, I am. But it gives me goose pimples just to think about it.

JEAN: Ange…you don't want to believe everything you read.

ANGIE: S'pose that's why you went for your Terry. Very quiet and controlled on the outside. But once those lights are out.... I expect there's no holding him back.

JEAN: Ange, put a sock in it...

ANGIE: Aye, he's a dark horse, that Brown. But I still prefer the Irishman. Tell you what, that O'Kane's got a lovely tight little bum. Bet there's no problem with 'repressed passion' there.

JEAN: Ange, you can't tell that just by-

ANGIE: (laughs) Don't be so sure. I been around a bit, I can tell you.

JEAN: Say what you like about my Terry, though. He don't mess about. Five years we been married. He's never so much as looked at another woman.

ANGIE: (long sigh) Jean, you know very well that-

JEAN: (sounding more than a little drunk) Now look, don't you go in …sin….uating… anything. My Terry…. He's …. I mean, he may have his faults (sobs)… but….

ANGIE: Yeah Jean, but-

JEAN: (Tearful) I don't want to hear it! I don't want to hear no lies about my Terry. I mean… he's just a little… he can't help himself sometimes…

ANGIE: Jean, I didn't mean-

JEAN: He's got a good heart.

ANGIE: 'Course he has, love….'course he has….

(CLICK OF SNOOKER BALLS, FOLLOWED BY GASP FROM CROWD. FOUR SUCCESSIVE CLICKS- CROWD RESPONDS WITH MORE FERVOUR EACH TIME. FINALLY CROWD ERUPTS)

FIRST COMMENTATOR:And Jimmy Brown almost allows himself a smile, as he takes his lead to seventeen frames to four. One more frame and the match is his. You can see the anguish and disappointment on O'Kane's fans' faces. Surely even they cannot give him the ghost of a chance now...

(FADE OUT COMMENTARY)

ANGIE: Stop looking so flaming cheerful. I had a tenner on O'Kane to win. Honestly, he's such a prat, that Brown. Look at him, the smug git. So bloody cocky. Thinks he's got it all planned out.

JEAN: (offended) Doing a little better than your Irishman, though, isn't he?

ANGIE: (laughs) Pour us another drink.

(CLINKING OF GLASSES)

JEAN: At least that Jimmy Brown looks after his family. He was in Hello, showing us his …sumptuous residence in Provence. Designed by… that French bloke, it was… you know, that… architect … Got this gorgeous wife, he has. Arabella Montague-something or other. Two lovely nippers. Beautiful, hand made furniture. On This Is Your Life, he was. With that Terry Wogan.

ANGIE: Michael Aspel.

JEAN: One of those Irishmen. Say what you like about Jimmy Brown, he's a class act. That O'Kane, he's got five kids by three different women. It was in The News Of The World. Said he was two-timing his wife something rotten. Went off with that super model... What's her name? Cala… Cara…something... That one that looks like she needs a damn good feed.

ANGIE: Carmine Hunter.

JEAN: It said in the paper they had 'torrid nights of passion'. Apparently (lowers tone of voice, slightly breathless) they'd snort a load of cocaine, then she'd tie him up....(in whisper)... you know, to the bedpost, like…. with these purple silk ropes.

ANGIE: Tell you what, (laughs) I wouldn't mind tying him up myself, if you know what I mean.

JEAN: Ange, you're wicked, you are...

(FADE UP COMMENTARY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: ...If you've just joined us, we're live at the Eurosoft Guildhall Centre, Preston, for the Final of the Eurosoft World Series... believe it or not, this could well be the final frame of the night. Brown looks set to repeat his three previous World Series triumphs. Never has he looked more comfortable.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Well, Alan... some have said that O'Kane's game has been affected by recent media attention surrounding his private life...

(FADE DOWN COMMENTARY)

ANGIE: Reminds me of my Stu, that O'Kane. Got that same... glint... in his eyes.

JEAN: According to that article, all he has to do is look at a woman and she goes for him. (dreamily) 'I was his willing slave'... that's what that Cara Hunter said.. .. 'His wish was my command'......

ANGIE: 'Spect he's got women scattered all around the country, just waiting for him to call...

JEAN: Six times in one night, it said….

ANGIE: Ha! You don't want to believe that!

JEAN: Ange.... what time is it?

ANGIE: Stop fretting, will you.

JEAN: Please, Ange...

ANGIE: (sharply) There's a clock on the video. You blind or what?

JEAN: Twenty two... forty six... What time is that, Ange?

ANGIE: (sighs) Didn't they teach you nothing at school?

JEAN: Terry always translates it for me.... ... Ange...

ANGIE: (agitated) Just watch the match, will you.

JEAN: Ange... (sobs) you think I'm dumb, don't you?

ANGIE: (sighs) Look, I didn't mean -

JEAN: Just like everybody else…you always thought I was thick.

ANGIE: Jean, no…. I'm your best mate., ain't I?-

JEAN: (getting maudlin) All the teachers at school thought I was a dumbo. They always put you in the top set with all the posh kids and I was in with all the bloody numbskulls. Didn't stand a chance there. If they'd taught me more stuff I'd have understood it. But once you were in with the dimwits they thought you were beyond hope. Best they expected of me was that I might end up on some supermarket checkout.

ANGIE: I remember I used to help you with your equations.

JEAN: It wasn't that I couldn't do them. They just never gave me enough time to finish them…

ANGIE: Of course, love-

JEAN: Then you did that … management course, or whatever it was. Got all them credits, didn't you. So you got that job as a manager at British Home Stores. And I just got pregnant and got married to Terry….. (defensively) He did the decent thing. Offered to marry me straight away.

ANGIE: 'Course…

JEAN: Terry thinks I'm thick. I said to him, just the other week, I said when little Billy gets to go to school next year, I want to study sociology. At the Adult Ed place, you know, where Maggie and Sue do that yoga class. You know what he did? He just laughed at me. Told me to get the bloody tea on. "You think I'm going to let a wife of mine waste her time on stuff like that?" he said. "You've got another thing coming", he said.

ANGIE: He probably doesn't even know what sociology is.

JEAN: See, Ange, I weren't like you. I was what they call a … late developer. I saw this documentary about it on BBC 2. With that Jonathan…

ANGIE: Dimbleby?

JEAN: No… Milton…. Yeah, Jonathan Milton, it were. Really nice kind eyes, he's got. Anyway he had all these diagrams and that. He said that Einstein… when he was at school, they all thought he was thick. He were just like me. Crap at maths. He said that some people just… develop at different rates… That's nature, ain't it? I mean, you can't change nature, can you?

ANGIE: People don't change…

JEAN: Like at school, when we were about fourteen, all the boys used to fancy you. You had the pick of the whole year. I used to get your sloppy seconds. You were just … more developed….

ANGIE: Look, Jean, love, you're just a bit anxious at the moment. It's to be expected.

JEAN: Ange, you must know what time it's supposed to be all over. Stu… he lets you in on things, don't he? Like I said, Terry never tells me a thing. Not like that with you and Stu, is it?

ANGIE: (sighs) Will you stop fretting!

(FADE UP COMMENTARY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: What an amazing break by O'Kane. He's left Brown in an almost impossible position...

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Unbelievable, Alan.... Unbelievable...

(FADE DOWN COMMENTARY)

ANGIE: Ha! Completely snookered! See, I told you. That Irishman's got a bit of lead in his pencil.

JEAN: Ange….

ANGIE: There's no way Brown's going to get out of that.

JEAN: Ange… d'you s'pose we'll run into the Beesleys in Benidorm?

ANGIE: You what?

JEAN: You know. Ernie and Paula. Ernie used to be in Harry Cavanagh's firm. Terry says they've got a villa out there.

ANGIE: (disinterestedly) Oh yeah.

JEAN: (lowers voice) They had to skip the country. Big Inland Revenue scam they were running. Harry got them out. He rigged up false passports. The lot.

ANGIE: I thought you said Terry never told you anything.

JEAN: They even got false names. Terry wouldn't tell me about it at first. But eventually he let on that Harry's got contacts. Big time. High up. In the Home Office, he says. And the Government, even.

ANGIE: Harry certainly knows a few people.

JEAN: Ernie and Paula got a complete new start. Kids go to this posh International School. They've got it made.

ANGIE: You treat Harry right, he won't let you down.

JEAN: That's how it's gonna be, ain't it? For you and me and Terry and Stu. Once this last job's over. Terry swore to me this was the last job. I mean, he didn't tell me much about it, but… I'm not as thick as he seems to think.

ANGIE: 'Course…. Everything will be taken care of. You can trust Harry Cavanagh. Harry's all right.

JEAN: It's not for me…. All this luxury, I mean…. I mean, I'm not used to it. It's for little Billy. A better life for little Billy. I mean, he didn't see much of his dad 'til he was three. I didn't like to take him for visits to… that place…. Thought it might upset him…. I mean, I know he's only little. You probably think I'm daft, but….

ANGIE: Hey, Jean, remember those two waiters at the Esplanada last year? Kept coming over to us asking us if there was 'anything special we wanted'. What were they called? (dreamily) Ooh, yeah... Julius and Luis. Didn't take them long to work out that we were bored stupid sitting around the pool all day, what with Terry and Stu always off at those 'business meetings' with Harry and the boys. Me, I fancied the tall one with the designer stubble and the six pack.

JEAN: That was Julio... Julius..

ANGIE: No, that was Luis. Julius was the one you had the hots for.

JEAN: I did not!

(FADE UP TV NOISE. CLICK OF BALL AND CROWD REACTION)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: Remarkable….

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Not quite what we expected at this stage, Alan.

FIRST COMMENTATOR: Here at the Eurosoft Guildhall Centre, Preston, O'Kane has finally the broken the deadlock and has won his first frame. Unfortunately he has a nigh on impossible task on his hands. But at least he's given his wife, who we can see in the front row of the audience, something to look more cheerful about.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: You have to give Marcie O'Kane a lot of credit. Despite all the adverse publicity, she's always stuck by him.

FIRST COMMENTATOR: Yes, Keith. A very elegant lady. Now, Jimmy Brown just has to keep his cool a little longer.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Well, he barely raised an eyebrow when he lost that game. I'm sure he's still supremely confident.

(FADE DOWN TV)

ANGIE: I knew it. I tell you, Jean, we're in for a comeback now.

JEAN: Not a chance.

ANGIE: You should see Wipeout when he gets riled.

JEAN: That Marcie's a brave woman… just showing her face. It said in the News Of The World that he when he has one too many he can lose it completely.

ANGIE: He's going to surprise us yet.

JEAN: She's had plastic surgery on her face. You wouldn't think it, would you?

(FADE UP TV - CLICK OF BALLS AND CROWD APPLAUSE)

ANGIE: What a shot! I told you, Jean. Wipeout's not finished yet.

JEAN: Ange…

ANGIE: Set that one up beautifully, he did.

JEAN: Terry says it's better that he doesn't tell me the details of his work. Fewer people who know about it the better, he says. What you don't know, you can't tell, he says.

ANGIE: Jean, just watch the game will you?

JEAN: He always says that… security … is the most important thing….

ANGIE: That O'Kane looks so sexy when he leans over that table.

JEAN: The thing is... Ange... I ...kind of ..couldn't help overhearing him… the other day…. in the back room... talking to Stu.... they were going on about... 'Group...' something or other. I couldn't understand half of what they were saying. I mean, I know I shouldn't… I know it's a sin, listening in like that. I told Father Casey, you know, that I was… eavesdropping…. I didn't tell him what I heard. Maybe that's a sin, too.

ANGIE: Jean, right now it's best if you put that all out of your mind. You think Terry would want you to fret like this?

JEAN: Ange… it's just that … look, I swear I haven't told anyone about this. Not even Father Casey. It's just that … I could swear Terry said... they were going to need...(gulps) ... a piece...

ANGIE: (snaps) You must have heard wrong.

JEAN: Ange, I told you, I'm not stupid. He was whispering, like. But…. Oh, this is terrible , Ange….I had my ear pressed right up against the door.

ANGIE: Jean, you know full well that Harry Cavanagh's firm don't use shooters.

JEAN: That's exactly what's been worrying me. You don't think ... they're planning to... go it alone, do you?

ANGIE: (hesitates) 'Course not.....

JEAN: They wouldn't be that stupid, would they, Ange? My Terry, he's got brains, he has. He knows what would happen if Harry discovered they were operating on his patch. You know, treading on his toes. That Harry, he's a powerful man. What with all them high up contacts of his. He wouldn't like it if…

ANGIE: Jean, don't fuss. Your Terry'll have every second planned. Stu... he... gets a bit wild sometimes, but... Terry'll keep him in check.

JEAN: Ange.... remember George Blaine?

ANGIE: George….. who?

JEAN: Ange, you must remember George. Used to go out playing pool with my Terry. Small, dark feller. Lived in Salford.

ANGIE: George…. Yeah, I s'pose…

JEAN: One day I says to Terry, 'Going out with your mate George tonight?' And he looks at me like I just blasphemed or summat. Like I'd mentioned the Devil himself. Or smashed up a photo of the Holy Father. 'We don't talk about George any more' he says. Then he gets really hard faced. You know how he can be. 'Listen to me', he says. 'You never heard of him. Got it ?' Well, I was reading the local paper a few days later, and I come across this obituary column. 'Accidental death', it said.

ANGIE: Jean, what's all this about? I'm trying to watch the match.

JEAN: Ange, you know something, don't you...

ANGIE: Don't know what you mean…

JEAN: I've seen that look on your face before.

ANGIE: Ooh! D'you know, I'd have thought that shot was impossible.

JEAN: That George…. Harry had him…. rubbed out, didn't he?

ANGIE: (laughs) I think you're being a bit melodramatic, love.

JEAN: Ange, I know that Stu… he lets you in on what they're doing, don't he?

ANGIE: Maybe he does…But you don't want to know. What you don't know-

JEAN: Ange, it's a security firm job, ain't it ?

ANGIE: (sharply) So what if it is? I told you, Jean, leave it. You don't need to worry. I told you, everything's going to be taken care of.

(FADE UP BURST OF APPLAUSE FROM TV, THEN FADE DOWN)

ANGIE: Wow! Seventeen-six. I tell you, Jean, Wipeout's making a comeback.

JEAN: Ange… what do you mean, everything's going to be taken care of ?

ANGIE: I'd fancy Wipeout for the next frame too, with an opening shot like that. There again, (forced laugh) I'd fancy him any time...

JEAN: The other night, when Terry and Stu were out at the dogs, we were were watching that programme… Panorama…you remember… whilst we were waiting for that movie to come on, What was the name of that movie?

ANGIE: Good Fellas.

JEAN: That was the one. Where that creepy horrible gangster just turns around and shoots that bloke… just 'cos he were feeling a bit twitchy…didn't seem like a good fella to me. There was something on Panorama about security firms... Apparently, there are all these new laws... to do with merging the police and security firms. I couldn't really make head nor tail of it. Something to do with 'infernal markets'....

ANGIE: (laughs) Internal markets, Jean…internal markets. Jean, the point is, Stu and Terry are professionals. They know what they're doing.

JEAN: Do you remember that bloke going on about the new security police being armed...'in exceptional circumstances', he said..... Ange, what d'you think he meant by 'exceptional'?

ANGIE: Look… it's probably all over by now. There ain't nothing we can do..

JEAN: I'm going to call Terry … on his portaphone. I've got to warn him, Ange…

ANGIE: (sharply) No! You know he wouldn't like that. You know he always tells you not to interfere You never know what he might do if -

JEAN: You DO know what the job is, don't you, Ange? Your Stu, he tells you everything... I know Terry thinks I'm too thick. Reckons I won't understand or I'll blow the gaffe to someone. But I wouldn't do that, would I, Ange?..... (distressed) If only he trusted me a bit more... I know.... he's a bit ... hard on me... sometimes.... but he does love me.... (sniffs)...

ANGIE: (sharply) He's got a bloody funny way of showing it.

JEAN: What happened last week was.... just a one-off.

ANGIE: Oh yeah....'course....

JEAN: He said he was sorry.... he did...

ANGIE: Naturally. Bought you those roses as well,didn't he?

JEAN: (sniffs) He's a good bloke, my Terry.

ANGIE: Took you out for a posh meal, didn't he?

JEAN: I told you, he's-

ANGIE: That was after he picked you up from casualty, wasn't it?

(JEAN DISSOLVES INTO SOBS)

ANGIE: Jean, love, I didn't mean to-

JEAN: (angrily) You can bloody talk! Your Stu's had more women than that Wipeout O'Kane. What do you think he gets up to when he's down in London with Harry's boys?

ANGIE: Best not to ask. That's the way it's always been with Stu.

JEAN: Sometimes… I overhear things…

ANGIE: I thought you said that was a sin.

JEAN: It is. But I overheard them talking about some chicks they picked up. One was this tall black woman. The other -

ANGIE: (tense) Jean, I don't think I want to hear this.

JEAN: You don't care?

ANGIE: I never said that.

JEAN: Always forgive him, don't you? I wish I could do the same for Terry. After all… men… they can't help it. It's the …hormones… ain't it?

ANGIE: Jean, you know what I said, about everything being taken care of…

JEAN: Ange, I'm scared. Ange…..

(TELEPHONE RINGS)

JEAN: (a little shakily) Prestwich 56792.

CAVANAGH: (cockney accent, voice tinny on telephone) Jean, darlin'... you sound as lovely as ever... even on the end of a phone. Lucky bloke, I always say, that Terry. Your wife, I always say to him, she's a cracker, she is. Quiet ones always get the best deal, don't they? (laughs)

JEAN: (affected pleasant voice) You're too kind, Harry. So good to us, you been ..... (hisses in whisper to Angie) It's Harry Cavanagh... (affects pleasant voice again) ... Harry, we did thank you for that Eurosoft Playmodule you bought for little Billy on his birthday, didn't we?

CAVANAGH: (unctuous) Don't even mention it. My love. Got to do the best we can for our trusty employees, ain't we? And their families. Who knows, maybe one day the little feller'll join our family business... (laughs)... Listen, love, I don't suppose Angie is there...

JEAN: Me and Ange... we're watching the snooker final. O'Kane was down by eighteen-four and now it's eighteen-seven. (Whispers) He wants to speak to you.

ANGIE: Pass it over, then..……. Harry... so good of you to call.

CAVANAGH: Hello, babe. I been thinking about you. 'Specially since the other night. To tell you the truth, I ain't been thinking about much else.

ANGIE: Harry… (whispers)… it's difficult…

CAVANAGH: I got you babe. She's listening. But I tell you, honey, you were really something else. It won't be long before we'll be together again…. When I see you, you be sure to be wearing that little blue number I got you.

ANGIE: Sure, Harry…

CAVANAGH: Listen, you sure she hasn't wised up yet?

ANGIE: Oh, yeah. Quite sure, Harry.

CAVANAGH: You'd better be right. You know what she's like. Slightest thing and she'll blub. Remember, she musn't know a thing 'til the last minute. She'll panic. Probably try to call Terry on his mobile. She could blow the whole operation. Frankly, babe, she's a risk. You could still change your mind, y'know. Drop her. Then there'd just be the two of us…. It would be so much simpler. But you won't be persuaded, will you?

ANGIE: You're right, Harry.

CAVAVANAGH: I've gotta say something, Angie baby. I'm counting on you, Angie. Not to let me down. Right now everything is going very smoothly. If you let me down I'd be so… disappointed. Not that you'd ever…

ANGIE: Of course, Harry.

CAVANAGH:Now according to the information you gave me, the hit's scheduled for eleven.

ANGIE: Yeah... that's right, Harry...

CAVANAGH: I'll get my on the blower to Group Seventeen. They'll be waiting.... I'll call you when I've got your transport set up.

ANGIE: O.K.... Harry... that's just fine.

CAVANAGH: Angie... I have to say how much I appreciate your ...loyalty.... You know how important it is to me that my boys stick to the rules... I mean, private enterprise is all very well, but.... I must admit, I was surprised, being as you're his wife... but after what you told me about what happened when you caught him the other day...with that Sally Ensum… I reckon he'll deserve what's coming to him.

ANGIE: (grimly) Too right, Harry.

HARRY: Oh, Angie, my love.... don't forget to.... pack your suntan oil. (wry laugh) And your cap.

ANGIE: Sure thing, Harry.

(DING AS TELEPHONE RECEIVER REPLACED)

JEAN: (anxious) Ange... what did Cavanagh want?

ANGIE: (takes deep breath) He said not to worry, everything is sorted. Said we'd be sunning ourselves in Benidorm by tomorrow.

JEAN: I've got everything packed. Except the telly. No point Taking the telly, is there? (forced laugh) Couldn't really fit in in our luggage for the plane now, could we? I mean, they have telly in Spain, don't they?

(FADE UP COMMENTARY AND CROWD CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: This is truly amazing. One of the most incredible recoveries I've ever seen. O'Kane has now taken the last four frames. The score now stands at seventeen frames to nine.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Absolutely stupendous, Alan. I can hardly believe it. Especially that deep screw O'Kane pulled off to win the last frame but one. This man Brown is so cool, so composed. But who could stand up to the kind of form that O'Kane has suddenly hit?...

(FADE OUT COMMENTARY)

ANGIE: (forced laugh) He could try a deep screw on me anytime.

JEAN: Ange .... what time is it now?

ANGIE: I told you before, there's a clock on the video. Looks like Wipeout's got another frame sewn up.

JEAN: Twenty three....oh five... Ange, d'you think it's.... all over... yet?

ANGIE: (barely suppressed anger) ... Jean...

JEAN: Ange... I'm getting really scared.... Ange...

ANGIE: (angry and tense) For Christ's sake, Jean, shut it!

(FADE UP COMMENTARY AND EXCITED CROWD IN BACKGROUND)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: ... And you could cut the tension in here with a knife. If O'Kane can pot this black he's fought back from eighteen- four down to eighteen-ten and in this form, you could almost believe he'll take it all the way. Here he comes, now, for the vital shot.....

(CLICK FOLLOWED BY UPROAR FROM CROWD)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: He's done it!

SECOND COMMENTATOR:Unbelievable, Alan. Truly unbelievable. They do say, Alan, that O'Kane can be like a man possessed when he gets onto a roll like this.

FIRST COMMENTATOR: It's not been an easy year for him, of course.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Certainly he's had a lot of personal problems, Alan...

(FADE COMMENTARY)

JEAN: Ange....

ANGIE: Don't start again.

JEAN: Ange...

ANGIE: What is it?

JEAN: Pass that bottle over here, will you... ... Ange.... It's the Natwest Bank, isn't it? Off Picadilly. I'm sure I heard Terry say something about 'Natwest'.

ANGIE: (sighs) You don't give up, do you?

JEAN: It's quarter past eleven. Maybe they've made the hit already. (panics) They could be here any minute.

(FOOTSTEPS, CURTAINS BEING PULLED)

ANGIE: For God's sake, sit down. You won't get them back any quicker like that.

JEAN: (little further away from mic) But Ange...anything could be happening out there. And Ange... what would I tell little Billy if-

ANGIE: (exasperated) Jean... I told you, it will be all right. It'll be just like Terry told you. In a couple of days we'll be on the Costa Blanca.

JEAN: (now closer to mic again) Ange...

ANGIE: What?

JEAN: Ange, we don't have any secrets from each other, do we?

ANGIE: (almost falters) 'Course not...(nervous laugh)

JEAN: Ange, there are times.... when... I just want to scream at him.... at Terry... There are things I haven't told you…. Please don't get mad with me…I know we're supposed to share everything, but…. I mean, he can't help it. His dad were an alcoholic. Used to beat the crap out of him regularly. I mean, he's always so sorry… I've told him …no more… I have. Told him I'd leave him if….. he threatens me again…. He said he'd break my legs to stop me running away…. He don't mean it. He's just messed up, Ange. You should see him with Billy. Really loves that boy, he does. You should see that garage he got him for his birthday. Real model custom cars.

ANGIE: Pass that bottle over...

JEAN: He just keeps it all in, you see. Repression, that's what it is. See, I'm not thick, am 1, Ange?

ANGIE: No, love…

JEAN: If it wasn't for the repression…

(FADE UP COMMENTARY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR:...and we must apologise to viewers who have just tuned in who were hoping to see the late movie classic, Apocalypse Now. Our schedules are now running approximately half an hour late. There has been a spectacular comeback by the mercurial Declan 'Wipeout' O'Kane, which threatens to make this the longest final for many years.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: ...since 1982, I believe, Alan. A match featuring Canada's Roy Clarke and our own Stan Chapman, which was decided in the thirty third game when Chapman hit a glorious triple on his final break.

FIRST COMMENTATOR:I remember it well, Keith. Looks to me like there's every chance of O'Kane taking it up to the wire now. For those of you who've just joined us, O'Kane has cut back Brown's lead from seventeen - four to seventeen - thirteen. Keith, I wonder of there is any precedent for...

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Well, Alan, in 1963, in the semi-final-

FIRST COMMENTATOR: I'm... so sorry... Keith... I'm going to have to cut you off there. And I'm afraid that we'll have to leave the Eursosoft Guildhall Centre Preston for a few moments. A voice in my ear says we have to go over to the newsroom for a News Flash.

(TRUNKATED VERSION OF DRAMATIC 'NEWS' INTRODUCTION THEME MUSIC)

NEWSREADER: This Newsflash is brought to you by International PowerGen. Reports are coming in of a major robbery in Manchester city centre tonight...

(QUICK FADE DOWN OF COMMENTARY)

JEAN: Oh my God! Ange!

(QUICK FADE UP OF COMMENTARY)

NEWSREADER: ...as yet we have been unable to obtain live pictures but we understand that there has been gunfire and that a number of people have been injured. Our correspondent James McBroudie is on the line, live from Manchester.

McBROUDIE: (over crackly phone line)... It's very hard to work out exactly what has happened here tonight. There seem to be a number of conflicting accounts at the moment. What is certain is that there have been casualties, serious ones we believe, and that some of those casualties were passers-by who may have picked up stray bullets. We believe that a Group Seventeen Security Van carrying cash shipments was attacked by masked men with guns at approximately ten- thirty this evening.

NEWSREADER: Do we have any indication as to whether the raid was successful, or as to whether the raiders have been apprehended?

McBROUDIE: Very difficult to say, I'm afraid. The impression I got when I spoke to the Group Seventeen officer who has been brought in to deal with the emergency is that the raiders have been cornered and may be under fire from his men.

NEWSREADER: Thank you, James McBroudie. We'll get back to you, James, when we can get some live pictures through. In the meantime we'll return you to Alan Bradshaw in Preston. This newsflash has been brought to you by International PowerGen. 'Serving The World'.

(REPEAT OF TRUNKATED NEWS THEME)

FIRST COMMENTATOR:Welcome back to the Guildhall, where 'Wipeout' O'Kane has now pulled back to eighteen-seventeen...

(FADE DOWN COMMENTARY)

JEAN: Ange... oh my God.... Ange (breaks down) What are we going to do, Ange?

ANGIE: (icily) There's nothing we can do.

JEAN: (tearful) But.... Ange.... Terry and Stu… they might be…

ANGIE: Just forget it.... watch the match.

JEAN: But Ange….

ANGIE: Listen to me, Jean. I told you, everything's been taken care of. We'll be in Benidorm by tomorrow morning.

JEAN: Ange, I was right, wasn't I?

ANGIE: Jean, look-

JEAN: So much for us having no secrets. You're just like Terry. You think I'm a security risk.

ANGIE: Jean, I told you, you're safe with me.

JEAN: They've been working for themselves, haven't they, Ange? Harry's shopped them, hasn't he? (panics) I'm going to call Terry -

ANGIE: No!

JEAN: But I've got to do something. If I talk to him, he'll listen. He'll surrender. Maybe they'll only give him a few years, and -

ANGIE: It's no use, Jean-

(SOUNDS OF BRIEF STRUGGLE)

JEAN: Ange, you've got to let me…

ANGIE: It's too late, Jean. There's nothing you can do now.

JEAN: (tearful) But Ange-

ANGIE: I told you, it's all over.

(FADE DOWN CONVERSATION) (FADE UP COMMENTARY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: And so O'Kane has pulled the score back from seventeen frames to four to seventeen frames to fifteen. What an amazing comeback this has been.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: He's got that old glint in his eyes, Alan...

(CLICK OF SNOOKER BALL, THEN ANOTHER. THEN ANOTHER. THEN CROWD CLAPS LOUDLY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: Well, with a start like that, Brown's going to need all his resources to win this frame.

SECOND COMMENTATOR:Yes, Alan. I've never seen him look more worried. Maybe it's premature to say this, but the Irishman may well have broken his spirit-

FIRST COMMENTATOR: So sorry to cut you off, Keith. But I'm afraid we'll have to leave the Preston Guildhall for a few minutes and go directly live to the Newsroom for an Update on that Newsflash.

(FADE UP NEWS THEME MUSIC)

NEWSREADER: We can now go to James McBroudie in Manchester, where I believe we now have live pictures.

(FADE TV)

JEAN: Ange, look… I told you… it's Picadilly. The Natwest…

(FADE UP TV)

McBROUDIE: As you can see here we have witnessed a scene of devastation tonight. Latest estimates suggest that there may be up to six dead and seven wounded. What is a mystery is how the Group Seventeen command had got wind of the raid. We have heard rumours that a tip-off may well have been received and that they were, therefore, prepared to deal with it.... For a while, the raiders held eight Group Seventeen men hostage in the security van itself. But just a few minutes ago a crack squad of Group Seventeen commandos led a daring raid and we now understand that the two masked raiders have been killed.

NEWSREADER: What about the hostages, James?

McBROUDIE: Well, latest reports indicate that three or four of them may have survived.

NEWSREADER: James, what would you say might be the political implications of what has happened tonight?

McBROUDIE: I would say they may be considerable. This is the first time that Group Seventeen has used firearms on this scale since the National Government passed the controversial Police and Security Forces Privatisation Bill last year. According to our sources, already the opposition leader Michael Stone has demanded a special sitting of Parliament in order to debate the issue. But our poll of polls last month suggested considerable public support for the new Security Police being fully armed. I would guess that the Government supporters will count this as a propaganda victory for their policies.

NEWSREADER: Thanks again, James. We will bring you more pictures as we get them. And more analysis, all live as it happens. This newsflash has been brought to you by International PowerGen….

(FADE TV)

JEAN: (hysterical) Ange... my Terry...

ANGIE: (harshly) Stop blubbering.

JEAN: But Ange... Terry and Stu.... they've...

ANGIE: Come on, Jean. You can forget the hysterics. We've both been hoping this might happen one day.

JEAN: (Shocked) Ange!

ANGIE: Cut the crap, Jean. You know very well you wanted rid of him. How many times have you told me about Terry's little 'punishments'. How he rations out those smacks around the face he gives you when you break his little 'rules'. You don't really think that the make-up hides the bruises, do you? .....

JEAN: (sobs) He always promised that, if I was good-

ANGIE: Christ, Jean, did it never occur to you that he ENJOYED it? .... I've seen you in your swimming costume often enough. You think I'm stupid? You think I haven't noticed those marks on your back and your thighs?

JEAN: Ange... how I am I going to explain it to Billy when he's older? He's lost his dad, Ange...

ANGIE: Oh yeah.... Couple of weeks ago you kept him out of nursery, didn't you?

JEAN: It was.... chicken pox...

ANGIE: Like hell it was. I looked after him when you went out shopping, didn't I? Too polite to mention it, wasn't I? Wouldn't want to rock the boat, would we, Jean?.... You don't get bruises like that from chicken pox, Jean... bruises on the back, the arms, the back of the head...

JEAN: But he… he couldn't help it…

ANGIE: Of course. Just like that Wipeout O'Kane. What was it that Carmine Hunter said about him?

JEAN: (Through sobs) She said 'he couldn't control himself … he was like a wild animal…'

ANGIE: I told you he reminded me of Stu. 'Course, Stu really impressed me at first. So flash. So full of promises. I didn't even mind waiting for him when he did that two year stretch. And I was faithful to him, all that time, no matter how randy I got. I used to write him these long letters telling him how the sun shone out of his arse. You know, I used to go to confession and tell the Father about my temptations. I must have said a million bloody hail marys. After he came out I turned a blind eye to everything. Forgave him every time he came in at four in the morning, Roaring drunk and smelling of some slut. One day last month he came in late with a few of his mates from Harry's firm. They'd been down at some club. About three thirty, it was. So I come down in my dressing gown. 'Been worried sick about you', I tell him. Then he leans over me and starts touching me up, running his great sweaty hands up me leg, in front of his mates. They thought it were a great laugh. Then he starts saying 'Hey, lads, who wants a piece of this?'

JEAN: Ange, you didn't…

ANGIE: 'A piece of this'! I ask you. I says to him, you been watching too many of them gangster movies. I can't tell you what I said to him next. I'm a decent Catholic woman. It don't bear repeating. Then last Tuesday …. I caught him at it with that cheap slag from the garage down the road, that Sally Ensom. I'd only popped in home for ten minutes in me lunch hour. When I let myself in the house, I thought I could hear some pretty funny noises, from upstairs. Sounded like rhinoceroses on heat, it did. (short, unemotional laugh)

JEAN: Ange, you don't need to -

ANGIE: (getting increasingly angry) ….I rushed upstairs and there they were. On our bed. The one I'd stripped down and changed the sheets on before getting the bus to work. There's a picture of the Holy Mother there... above the bed. That's the first thing I saw, Jean, that picture of the blessed Mary... shaking it was, shaking... Then he looks up at me, and he just laughs. Tells me to go put the kettle on. 'Not finished yet', he says. 'Bring us a cuppa after', he tells me. Can you credit that, Jean?… He said 'Bring us a cuppa after'!

(TELEPHONE RINGS)

ANGIE: Harry...

CAVANAGH: (crackly telephone voice) You've probably heard the news. Everything's gone just hunky dory. A word in the right ear always does the trick. Listen, your transport's arriving in five minutes. Prestwick…. 3.20. First flight to Benidorm. First class.... no expense spared. And there'll be private swimming pools for you both.

ANGIE: Harry, you do spoil us so.

CAVANAGH: Couple of days and I'll join you. One or two things to sort out first. I'll have to have a little word with a few friends of mine. You see, Angie my love, we have a few little agreements in place. A word in the right place at the right time can be very… lucrative… especially… for someone in my position… You might say that I operate as a kind of …consultant… for Group Seventeen . … If I can supply them with the right information at the right time they'll Get some very… favourable publicity.

ANGIE: You're a clever man, Harry.

CAVANAGH: If I say it myself. Now, you remember what I said 'bout that little blue number.

(DING AS TELEPHONE RECEIVER REPLACED)

ANGIE: Harry sends his… condolences. He's booked us into the Esplandada. Only he says we need to get going fast. Otherwise the Plain Clothes lot from Group Seventeen will be round here in no time bothering us, asking awkward questions. Harry says that awkward questions are the last thing we need right now. He says everything will be laid on when we get there. Passports, the lot. He says a car will be here to pick us up in a few minutes. Now, you go and get Billy. You know Billy, he won't wake up. I'll help you carry him into the car if you like...

(SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS, DOORS SHUTTING, CAR ENGINE TURNING OVER IN DISTANCE)

ANGIE: Right. Told you the boy wouldn't wake up. He's going to get the shock of his life when he comes to. Not every day you get a surprise holiday, is it?

JEAN: I can't believe we're just.... going...We ought to switch the lights off.

ANGIE: Leave 'em on. Least it will delay Group Seventeen when they come round.

JEAN: What about the telly?

ANGIE: Might as well leave that on as well. Make 'em think we're in. Delay them a few minutes.

(HOUSE DOORS SLAMMING, THEN CAR DOORS SLAMMING.THEN CAR DRIVING AWAY- FADE INTO DISTANCE. FADE UP TELEVISION SOUND)

FIRST COMMENTATOR:... and so O'Kane and Brown are face to face at last. O'Kane has brought the score back to seventeen frames apiece. Now he's faced with a simple pot to clinch the entire match, and with it this year's World Series Championship.

SECOND COMMENTATOR: I must say, Alan... looking at Jimmy Brown now, he really does look rattled.

FIRST COMMENTATOR: And O'Kane leans forward...... Oh No!

(LOUD RINGING ON DOORBELL)

SECOND COMMENTATOR: Could you credit it, Alan. Could you credit it?

(FADE COMMENTARY. FADE UP MORE RINGS ON DOORBELL)

INSP. MATSON: This is Inspector Matson of Group Seventeen North West. I have a warrant to enter these premises.

(BANGING ON DOOR)

INSP. MATSON:I must warn you that, under the Powers invested in me by the Police and Security Services Privatisation Act I have the right to use forcible entry to gain access.

(SMASHING OF GLASS. FADE UP COMMENTARY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR: Unbelievable scenes at the Preston Guildhall tonight. Would you believe that O'Kane has missed an absolute sitter and has virtually given the frame to Brown... And Brown strides up. He's not messing about here....

(SERIES OF CLICKS OF SNOOKER BALL FOLLOWED BY CROWD ERUPTION)

INSP.MATSON: Hello…. All the lights are on. And the telly. Looks like they got going in a hurry.

CONSTABLE: Shall I search the house, sir?

INSP. MATSON: Yes, constable. Start on the top rooms. I want a full inventory.

CONSTABLE: Yes, sir.

(SOUND OF ASCENDING FOOTSTEPS, GETTING FURTHER AWAY FROM MIC)

INSP. MATSON (crackly voice, on phone) Harry?

CAVANAGH: (Jovial) John, my old mate. Thought you'd never call.

INSP. MATSON: (hisses tersely) You said they'd be here. You swore to me-

CAVANAGH: Now, John boy, don't get so excited. Everything has gone just as we planned. All sewed up, mate.

INSP. MATSON: Group Seventeen will have my arse for this.

CAVANAGH: (chuckles) I wouldn't worry, my old son. You wouldn't have got much out of those two anyway. I give you my personal guarantee thast it'll all blow over in no time.

INSP. MATSON: They'll fire me. You know the new rules. Zero tolerance for failure. And no pension rights. I stand to lose the house, the car, everything.

CAVANAGH: Matty, my old pal, it just so happens that I've put a word in for you with one or two top people in Group Seventeen. Let's just say they owe me a few favours. I have it on the highest authority that in a couple of years from now you'll be Chief Superintendent. Take my word for it. A little bit of investment in the right place, at the right time, never does anyone any harm. That's what I say. Now, when this happens, no doubt you'll want to express your… gratitude…

INSP. MATSON: (relieved) Harry… I misjudged you… I really don't know what to say.

CAVANAGH: Don't mention it. I always make sure that my friends in any organisation are… well rewarded… Then when you make Chief Superintendent.. even Regional Commander…then we'll really get the ball rolling. (Laughs broadly) Know what I mean?

(FADE UP COMMENTARY)

FIRST COMMENTATOR:And it's all over... At the last possible moment Jimmy Brown has recovered and has taken the Eurosoft World Series championship for the third successive year. What a fantastic achievement.... and what an incredible, unexpected ending to a dramatic night of surprises....

(FADE COMMENTARY)


END

 

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