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“Rosie”

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David Elliot Brown playwright of the year 2003, voted by Player-Playwrights, London


Brown, David Elliot (Scottish playwright living in Germany, December 26, 1964-____), “Rosie,” a 20-minute black comedy in English or German (Rosie Raümt Auf), set in a flat, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2003,

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; © 2003 by David Elliot Brown; • in David Elliot Brown’s Rosie (Eitorf, Germany: The Author, 2003), 20 pp.; • also, in David Elliot Brown’s Rosie Raümt Auf (Germany: The Author, 2003), 20 pp.; • script/rights available from David Elliot Brown, Krabachtalstr 12 53783, Eitorf, Germany, e-mail dbrown8953@aol.com, http://www.writewords.org.uk/. • Cited by David Elliot Brown via e-mail, September 22, 2003; Brown says,

§ Dramatis Personae Simon (m), __, landlord with plans; Rosie/Mother/JC/Gasman/Postman/Pam/Christ, (f), __, a tenant with obsessions.

§ Synopsis Rosie, dressed for spring cleaning, intensively scrubs the bathroom sink while explaining this obsession with cleanliness to the audience. She impersonates her unclean parents as she mops. The mouthwash Dettol was her Mum’s favorite cover-up smell, even for the carpets. Rosie keeps busy with her rental apartment in order not to turn out like her slovenly parents. Moreover, she has activities: “I‘ve got weight watchers on Monday. The gym on Tuesday. Tap dancing on Wednesday.” She suddenly metamorphoses into her irate Mother and back. The two clash repeatedly. The mother, who excelled in denigrating all of Rosie’s boyfriends, now denigrates Rosie’s cleaning techniques. Rosie confesses having grown suspicious of happiness. “I never really give myself up to happiness. It‘s the sin of pride you know.” Rosie walks into the living room area and deafens the audience with hoovering. She advises the onlookers to “go to the toilet and stuff,” then hoovers five or so minutes, however long it takes for this joke to kick in. Again, she regales the audience with her family’s quirks. The Hoover sucks onto its nozzle a bloodied hand, which she nonchalantly drops into the garbage disposal. She admires the hellish noise of crunching and resumes vacuuming. Next she retrieves a mass of human hair that has blocked the Hoover and stuffs it in her apron. Her mother berates her for not having a good Hoover. Rosie recalls her father’s kindness. She returns to the bathroom and cleans the bathroom cabinet mirror. Her reflection prompts her to muse about getting a new look. She prods something behind the bath curtains. The phone in the living room rings, and “in a panic she grabs a severed arm complete with hand from bath and wanders through to answer the phone.” Talking to her friend Morag, she scratches her back with the hand, toys with it, then fences with it. After the call, she explains hating idleness. “Still I‘d rather be busy than idle. . . . I‘ve never been idle, and the devil has never had call to make use of my hands.” Her mother warns, “. . . Holy Christ is coming to judge you.” Back in the living room, Rosie endures her Mother’s chastising and feels right ready for a nice cup of tea. (Here, “it would be nice and unusual if the audience could be given cups of tea. Or better still, free bottles of Dettol.”) Rosie explains dismembering bodies, illustrating with body parts taken from the bath. By way of example, she shows an arm and a leg of her husband JC (aka Harry). The kitchen timer rings to prompt her to drain a pot on the stove. From the pot, Rosie lifts the skull of her once-jealous second husband. Sipping tea, she grows reflective. Repeatedly, her Mother takes over to belittle her. Breathing exercises help Rosie to regain composure. She loses composure, though, as JC and her Mother harangue each other. Rosie recalls JC’s perversions as indiscretions. A door bell sounds, announcing Simon, the owner of the flat. During his propositioning Rosie, he hears her Mother and JC comment. Confused by mixed signals—teasing by her Mother and rejection by Rosie—he forces a kiss. Rosie slaps him, and he slaps her back. Dared by the Mother, Simon ties strips around Rosie’s feet and hands. Rosie as the Gasman explains his only motive was to check the meter when he came around. Urged on by Rosie as the Mother, Simon is about to drop his trousers when Rosie manages to kick his groin. Simon ties her to a chair and goes into the toilet. Mother and JC fear Simon will discover parts of JC there. Rosie as Postman reenacts his being lured seductively. Simon nibbles and sucks Rosie’s toes while Mother, JC, and Postman react. Then Rosie kicks Simon in the face. He gets angry and slaps her face—Simon likes these games. Rosie argues with her Mother while Simon increases sadistic foreplay. As JC she kicks Simon’s scrotum. Simon hits her so hard the chair falls over. Rosie as Christ intercedes. Rosie screams for help when Simon kicks her again. A blackout yields to a spotlight on Rosie. She tells the audience how men next door heard her screams and freed her. The police accused Simon of being one of the worst serial killers of the decade. Rosie, ready to leave to live with her Auntie Katy, considers selling her story. Meanwhile, she can rescue her aunt’s filthy house. She reassures her alter egos that they will like it there. She calls for a taxi.

§ Comment “Stage features three parts of a house. CS, the main area in middle, is the cozy living room with the front door US. On the same wall is a large antique wardrobe. Other items of furniture include a three-piece sofa, and a glass coffee table with a large heavy ornament atop it. A stereo sits on a table with a record collection underneath. All in all, it is very chic. SL consists of the bathroom area. SR is the kitchen, consisting of a sink with garbage disposal and a fancy green cooker with two large cooking pots, one gently simmering. Close by are kitchen units and shelves and a fridge. A door that acts as the cellar leads to wings.” • “Rosie” will be premiered by Bill Calhoun in Bangkok. • The German-language version, “Rosie Raümt Auf,“ has had two staged readings; it is contracted to Thespis-Verlag; contact Mario Wohllebe, Rigaer Strasse 77, 10247 Berlin, Germany, telephone 030-246-145-67. • Thorn’s Hammer, by David Elliot Brown, came in eleventh out of five hundred submitted scripts at the 2003 International Playwriting Festival. • David Elliot Brown is married to Claudia Brown, a German make-up artist who worked with Kevin Spacy on the film Beyond the Sea.

§ Themes bondage, Catholicism, Christ, dismemberment, family, father-daughter relationship, insanity, landlord-tenant relationship, marriage, metamorphosis, mother-daughter relationship, multiple personality, murder, Protestantism, rape, religion, scatology, schizophrenia, seduction, sex game, spring cleaning.



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