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Alligators (NHB Modern Plays)

Alligators (NHB Modern Plays)

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Alligators (NHB Modern Plays)

188 pagine
2 ore
Jun 26, 2016


A searing thriller that asks how well we actually know those closest to us.

Daniel Turner has it all. A devoted wife, two beautiful children and a teaching job he loves. But when allegations are made about his past, his world begins to crumble around him.

Can all the good he's done be erased by one pointed finger? What will it take to restore his loved ones' faith in him? And after this, can life ever be the same again?

Andrew Keatley's play Alligators premiered at Hampstead Downstairs, London, in 2016.

Jun 26, 2016

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Alligators (NHB Modern Plays) - Andrew Keatley


Alligators was first performed at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, London, on 17 June 2016. The cast was as follows:


Simon Evans

Antony Eden

Bettrys Jones

Adam Morane Griffiths

Ali Taylor, Lisa Spirling, Caroline Steinbeis, Seb Armesto, Raff Degruttola, Philip Franks, Hugh Ross, Faye Ward, Luke Parker Bowles, Leonora Wakefield

Jez Bond

Simon Godwin

Chris Campbell and all at the Royal Court

Rose Cobbe

Simon Beresford

Matt Byam Shaw

Ed Hall, Greg Ripley-Duggan and all at Hampstead Theatre

Kara Fitzpatrick, Lisa Foster and all at Alan Brodie Representation

Sarah Liisa Wilkinson and all at Nick Hern Books

Deborah Willey

Author’s Note

The play wants to go fast. It wants to be relentless. It has to be.



DANIEL TURNER, late thirties

SALLY TURNER, mid-thirties


RACHEL HORNE, early forties

PC WORTH, late twenties

WPC CLARKE, early thirties

CATHY, early thirties

Note on Text

() signifies a pause for thought/words

( ) signifies interruption or change of thought

( / ) signifies overlapping dialogue

This ebook was created before the end of rehearsals and so may differ slightly from the play as performed.



A living room in a city apartment.

The room is divided in two distinct areas. A large TV screen on a wall bracket dominates the (downstage-right) wall, with an L-shaped sofa nestled in the (upstage-right) corner facing the screen. There are two armchairs (non-matching) – on either side of the sofa – and a shin-high rectangular coffee table in front of the sofa, with cushioned protectors on the corners.

The other part of the room (stage left) – the dining area – has a decent-sized wooden dining table (also with cushioned corner protectors). There is a highchair in the corner, and a small wooden cabinet against the wall to the side of the dining table. A PC computer – on a small table with accompanying office chair – is noticeable in the (downstage-left) corner. Children’s toys are scattered across the floor.

There are two doors; the first (upstage-right) leads out into the hallway – and is closed. The second (upstage-left) has glass panes; it is open and reveals a small kitchen. One large window unit dominates the wall by the sofa – with a second by the dining table; both have drawn curtains.

A key in the lock.

DANIEL TURNER enters from the hallway; he has a cursory look around the living room and then goes back out from where he just came.

After a moment or two he re-enters the living room with a sudden eagerness. He puts his coat down on the dining table, and then begins to frantically – but quietly – tidy all of the toys away into a large plastic container under the dining-room table.

DANIEL then goes to the small wooden cabinet and opens it. Inside there is a music system and a stack of CDs. DANIEL fumbles through the CD cases before he finds the one he is after – and he turns the music system on before surreptitiously placing the CD into the slot – glancing towards the door as he does so. He cues the CD, places the remote control in his pocket, then sits down casually at the dining table. He grabs his coat off the table and places it on the back of the chair where he is seated.

SALLY TURNER enters; she is holding a baby monitor. She sees DANIEL and – in the unexpected shock of him being there – drops the baby monitor.

SALLY. Christ!

DANIEL. Sorry.

SALLY. You scared me.

DANIEL. I know. I only just got back and…

SALLY. I didn’t hear you come in.

SALLY bends over and picks up the baby monitor; she inspects it for signs of damage before putting it to her ear.

DANIEL. I know. I was trying to be quiet. Is it broken?

SALLY. I don’t… That was such a shitty thing to do. I mean why are you even sat there? You never sit there.

DANIEL. Knackered; just went for the nearest seat.

SALLY (pointing at the dining chair nearest to the door). Surely that one’s the nearest seat.

DANIEL. Umm… yeah. If I’d sat down as soon as I came through the door. But I’m not sure if you noticed but there is a distinct absence of toys strewn across the living-room floor so…

SALLY. Oh. You didn’t have to – I was going to do that.

DANIEL. I know.

SALLY. I was waiting until Gee was in bed.

DANIEL. It’s fine. It was – is she asleep already?

SALLY. She’s reading.

DANIEL. I’ll just pop my head in quickly then.

SALLY. Just… just don’t get her all excitable.

DANIEL. I won’t. I’ll be really quick.

SALLY. And be quiet.

DANIEL. It’s like I’ve never done this before…

SALLY. If you wake Barney up then I will have to kill you. There. That’s a fair warning.

DANIEL. My chosen method of execution would be a cyanide pill.

SALLY. I’ll decide how you die.

DANIEL (as he moves). Cyanide pill; it’s quick – and there’s no mess to clear up after. That’s all I’m saying.

SALLY. Just…

DANIEL gives SALLY a quick kiss on the lips as he dashes out into the hallway. SALLY moves towards the sofa. She sits down slowly, placing the baby monitor on the coffee table in front of her.

SALLY turns on the television. It is on the CBeebies channel – and the volume is up to an unseemly loud level. The burst of sound startles SALLY – and it takes a long second of blare before she manages to turn the volume down. She picks up the baby monitor and places it extremely close to her ear for a few seconds – hoping that she has not woken her sleeping baby. After a couple of shakes of the monitor, she places it back on the coffee table. She uses the remote to change the channel, but she is not really sure what she wants to watch. Instead she channel-hops for a short while.

DANIEL re-appears.

DANIEL. Told you I’d be quick.

SALLY. You can live. For now.

DANIEL stays over by the living-room door.

Why are you still over there?

DANIEL takes the remote control out of his pocket – and presses play on the music system.


The song Just Like Fred Astaireby James begins to play.

DANIEL holds his hand out.

DANIEL. Come on.

SALLY. Please tell me you’re joking?

DANIEL starts to sway with the music, and steps towards SALLY – hand extended. He pulls his best doe-eyed expression.

I’ve literally just sat down.

DANIEL. Come over here.

SALLY. Turn it down.

DANIEL. I’ll turn it down if you dance with me.

SALLY. But I’ve just got comfortable.

DANIEL steps up his silent imploring – and while SALLY is not sure whether she’s really in the mood, she is taken by the offer – perhaps more just to placate than anything.

You know that you’re making me do this against my will?


SALLY. Which makes it borderline domestic abuse.

DANIEL. I think I’ll get away with it this time.

SALLY. Haven’t you got any marking to do?

DANIEL. Did it all at my desk before I left.

SALLY. Meh. Well, just… just turn it down a bit.

DANIEL obliges; he uses the remote to turn the song down a couple of notches – then puts the remote down on the dining table.

SALLY and DANIEL dance – close. There is a minimum of movement; essentially they are stood close together and sway/rotate on the spot.

DANIEL cannot help himself from quietly singing along. He sings the first line of the song.

And now he’s singing! You’ve crossed the border now; it is abuse.

He sings the rest of the first verse. SALLY is softening into the moment. He sings the chorus.

They are both enjoying the moment; their heads rest gently on one another’s. The song continues; their eyes are both shut, enjoying the relative peace and closeness of the song and each other’s presence. Until:

Did you…?


SALLY. Turn the music down.


SALLY breaks off from DANIEL completely. She picks up the remote control and presses the mute button; there is a sudden and abrupt silence and stillness – which is then broken by the gentle cough of a baby heard through the baby monitor.

SALLY puts the remote control back onto the dining table and heads out of the living room and down the hallway.

DANIEL stands in the middle of the living room; a few seconds pass before he snaps into action – picking his coat off the back of the chair he was previously sitting at and hanging it up in the hallway. He then wanders back in to the living room before heading straight through to the kitchen.

The sound of a kitchen cabinet opening, then closing – a fridge door opening, the pouring of a liquid into a glass, the fridge door closing – and then DANIEL re-enters the

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