King of Bangor: A One Act Play

Lee Gambin

THE KING OF BANGOR

A One Act Play

Kindle Edition

A Writer’s Gratitude…

A lot of people made this play possible—both in its creation on paper and then in its first run here in Melbourne, Australia… First and foremost I dedicate this play to Stephen King who first got me hooked with his New England working class vampires in Salem’s Lot. To my mother Grace who was always there for support. To my lovely friends involved in the first readings: Alice MacNamara, Matthew Hickey, Louise Galofaro, Hande Noyan and Lisa Rae Bartolomei, and to those who got it off the ground, Georgina Tullett, Anthony Biancofiore and Dione Jospeh. And special thanks to the gang at MKA Theatre who requested this play initially. To Chris Alexander and everyone else at Fangoria for such awesome support. And to Molly the wonder dog, who sat waiting for me to finish writing so she could go for walkies.

Thank you

x x x

— | — | —

Cast of Characters:

STEPHEN KING: Male, white, middle aged, tall and with a grandiose presence, with burning intelligence.

QUEENIE: Female, white, middle aged, homely, portly build, nurturing but can be overpowering.

MR KNIGHT: Male, white, middle aged, stocky build, possibly balding, worn out.

PRINCESS: Female, white, young, small town beauty, lithe, vulnerable but with worldly intelligence.

PRINCETON: Male, white, young, lean muscular build, simple and unassuming, actively interested.

— | — | —

“The King of Bangor”

A one act play written by Lee Gambin

In oppressive darkness we hear the sound of a typewriter’s keys being punched. At first it is slow; the keys painfully pounded out in aggressive spurts then for a moment the rhythms become more constant and consistent. There is a flow. But it is short lived. Stunted in an instant as the lights come up

We are introduced to STEPHEN KING; the famous prolific horror novelist. Dressed in a loose shirt with sleeves rolled up; the top few buttons undone and a pair of well worn jeans and sneakers; he sits at the typewriter scrutinizing it with both great admiration and utter resentment. By his side are bottles of booze; whiskey, beer, wine, gin. He also has a round mirror lying upon the table which is home to a few lines of cocaine. Bottles of pills are scattered around; some are open, ready for devouring while others look as though they have been set up in eager anticipation for a special occasion

KING: (reading from his work) The writer sat at his desk; his typewriter like a demanding metallic god longing to be worshipped. He looked over its broad little body and gently danced his fingertips across the keys.

Lights expose dark looming figures that stand behind King. The first shadowy figure is revealed: She is a middle aged woman with a rosy regal presence. She is a moderately attractive brunette, broad and sensible looking. She wears a white blouse with a lacey fringed collar, a snug black knee length skirt and a pair of black shoes with a slight heel and buckle. We will call her QUEENIE

KING: (reading) He noticed pieces of paper scattered by the deity and something caught his eye. A doodle. A foreign doodle. There was no way he sketched that.

The next figure is a young man in his early twenties. He is very tall, lightly muscled with strong facial features. He is statuesque and handsome; attentive like a soldier. He wears dark blue Levi’s, slightly soiled sneakers and a clean small white t shirt. This is PRINCETON

KING: (still reading) That doodle didn’t belong to him. (in his protagonist’s voice) Ah belong! What the hell does that mean anymore? (as storyteller) The word ‘belong’ seemed to amuse the jaded writer.

A painfully sexual young girl appears. She is the closest to King. She is dripping with raw sensuality and seems to be completely unaware of that fact. She has strawberry blonde hair that elegantly frames her angelic features. Her arms are long and lithe like a dancer’s and her legs seem to go on forever. She was once an innocent but now completely a creature in servitude of the flesh. She wears a summer dress with a light floral print. It hugs at her body; there is something slightly juvenile about her appeal, as though any man who lusted after her could be accused of pederasty. We can call her PRINCESS

KING: (reading) When a writer hands over his work to someone its suddenly owned by that person and then passed on readily available to be re-read by someone else. The work of a writer is like nobody’s whore. (frustrated) Nobody’s whore? What the fuck is that all about for Chrissake?

He tears the sheet of paper from his typewriter and bashes it into a ball. He tosses it to the final figure who comes into light:

The final figure is at polar opposite of King. He catches the ball of paper and unfolds it, straightening it out. This figure is a distinguished older man; at least reaching the end of his forties. He is solidly built with a thick mass of black hair. His face is tortured, a map of creases and indentations bought on from years of struggle. He wears a light blue shirt that is in desperate need of ironing, rolled up to the elbows and his light brown corduroy pants are sagging and not a good fit. His comfortable shoes ready to be devoured by moths. This sad, damaged oaf is known as MR. KNIGHT.

MR. KNIGHT: (unwrapping the ball of paper and examining it) How about a slightly successful writer who comes back to his hometown to work on a new book? You know, someone who’s had two or three published doosies and one best seller and now he’s on the road to writing a real personal novel… something that takes him back to his childhood…

The others begin to offer suggestions to the struggling writer:

PRINCESS: How about a tortured teenager who is constantly picked on by her peers…

PRINCETON: What about a creep who buys something that takes over his life.

QUEENIE: You know a woman who commits adultery is left out in the storm; that’s one of the rules in literature. You should use it.

PRINCETON: …And then it’s a case of who owns who…

MR KNIGHT: What would happen if Dracula visited a small coastal town in the modern age?

PRINCESS: And the girl they pick on is some kind of genius. Or she’s got some kind of hidden talent.

MR. KNIGHT: I’ve always liked “Peyton Place” by Grace Metalious. What a great book…

QUEENIE: The storm can be anything you want it to be. It could be terrorists, a virus, a swarm of bees…

MR KNIGHT: A ghost story. How’s bout a good old fashioned ghost story?

PRINCETON: An assassin who’s hired to kill a little kid. Maybe like a little girl who can destroy cities. I ain’t too sure on how she can destroy whole cities just yet but she can.

PRINCESS: You could write about the imaginary fears and anxieties of a troubled young family going out the window when they’re faced with a quote unquote real threat…

QUEENIE: And the monster is actually just a lonely middle aged woman with delusions and obsessive needs which turn ugly.

MR. KNIGHT: A love story. Even better, a love triangle. The third party isn’t exactly human.

PRINCESS: An Indian burial ground.

PRINCETON: A rabid dog.

PRINCESS: A religious zealot.

MR. KNIGHT: (slightly warning) All work and no play…

QUEENIE: An Angel of Mercy nurse who has run out of patients… so she has to improvise…

MR. KNIGHT: How about a writer who has run out of ideas?

KING: I need a drink.

MR. KNIGHT: Like I said: All work and no play…

King pours himself a drink as Queenie comes to “life.”

The scene shifts and we are now in a tangible reality of some kind; Queenie has become some kind of secretary to King:

QUEENIE: How was the interview Stephen?

STEPHEN: Not as daunting as I expected. My answers seemed to ooze out.

QUEENIE: See? I told you it wouldn’t be so bad.

Queenie walks over to a filing cabinet (a phone sits on the top) and goes through a mammoth amount of paper work. She fishes something out:

STEPHEN: It still wasn’t the easiest thing to get through though, I’d rather try rehab again to be totally honest.

QUEENIE: (re: his drinking) Well keep this up and you might be on your way.

KING: Don’t hound me, just let me be; I’m way on top of it.

QUEENIE: As you’ve always said.

KING: If you had a drink with me you wouldn’t think it was such a bad pass time.

QUEENIE: Oh so now drinking has become a hobby of sorts?

KING: Absolutely. Now join me. At least have a glass of wine for Chrissake. You’ll probably surprise yourself and have a good time. Come on, have a good time would ya? What are you afraid of?

QUEENIE: Shouldn’t you of all people know how to answer that question? You make a living out of giving folk a good scare.

KING: Well I’m pretty stuck at the moment.

QUEENIE: You’ll plough through the thicke ...

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