Tea Time With Arthur

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  No Houses
A deep look into the life of one man named Arthur, in a one act play set during 2008 when there was economic crisis in South Africa.

Submitted: July 20, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 20, 2017





































TEA TIME WITH ARTHUR. An original one act play By

Christopher Morkel.




“TEA TIME WITH ARTHUR” Character list:


Arthur: Male, 52 years old. Whisky aficionado and writer. Emily: Female, 41 years old. Wife of Arthur.

Kyle: Female, 17 years old. Daughter of Arthur and Emily. Ida: Female, 69 years old. Mother of Arthur.

Inner Arthur: Male, 22 years old. Hallucination.






A study containing a desk, a bookshelf, office chair, ashtrays and a collection of Scotch whisky. Located in a block of flats in

Fourways, Johannesburg.






It’s 6pm after work on a Tuesday evening. The date is 6th of May 2008 during the great recession.






Arthur is a 52 year old diabetic who drinks whisky/whiskey in usually a very responsible fashion while he works on various pieces of writing, until one day during the year of 2008 right in the heat of the great recession when neither the economy nor his bank account were looking so great. He is seated in his study when he gets a

visit from various members of the household only to drive him into further unknown as he enjoys tea time with all of them. Or does he enjoy the time? Who knows?





(Arthur walks into the study with a glass, grabs a bottle of Black &

White as he passes the bookshelf then sits down at his desk and pours the golden liquid into his glass after turning his laptop on.

His daughter walks in and he begins typing.)






(She closes the door behind her and begins speaking.)


Dad… Uhm, this phone is messing me around again. I dropped it now the screen isn’t responding I keep having to restart it.


(She pulls the phone out of her pocket and points the screen toward him as she stand behind him)






(Arthur holds his hand out toward his glass brings the whisky in closer toward him then takes a sip and ignores her, places the glass back on the table and continues typing.)






(Kyle throws her phone on the floor.)


Dad you’re being so immature, I need a new phone and all you can do is ignore me. You can’t ignore me forever I’m only 17 you still need to take care of me, I didn’t choose to exist, you chose my

existence, you chose to bring me into this world, all you ever do is sit there.


(Kyle exits the room slamming the door behind her)






(Downs his whisky, pours another and then continues typing.) END SCENE






(Emily walks in and closes the door behind her)






Arthur what did you say to Kyle? She just stormed out all red faced and pissing again.


(She uses wild hand gestures)


Ugh anyway, your mother called she’s on her way over for dinner she said you weren’t answering your phone then I found it in your jeans. What did I tell you about making sure your pockets were empty before throwing them in the wash? You can’t just expect me to do everything around here, this isn’t the 50s.


(She looks over at his desk and notices the bottle. She brings her hands down to her hips then raises one hand back up to gesture)


Oh so you’re drinking during the week now? That’s just one other thing we need is an alcoholic male in the household. You better get your shit together before you end up with nothing. I scheduled your doctor’s appointment for Friday. I hope you haven’t been eating all sorts of shit again because were struggling enough as it is to get your diabetes under control and money doesn’t grow on trees.






(He takes another sip of his Scotch, continues typing and says absolutely nothing.)






Oh so you’re ignoring me now? Oh I see how it is. You have alcohol and suddenly you superman. Just what I needed is a deadbeat husband!


(Emily walks out and slams the door behind her)






(Downs his whisky, pours another and proceeds to down it again, pour another and then continues typing.)










(Ida walks into the room slowly and closes the door behind her)





(She rests both hands on her walking stick) I was raped years back, I was 17, and I decided to keep you. I

didn’t go backstreet and I didn’t leave you on a doorstep. I kept you. You can’t come out of here and greet your own mother? I was greeted today by a family in shambles and my son is the root cause? Over my dead body will I allow my son to do that again this is why I decided to address you. I understand times are hard and I understand that money is short but how does that prevent you from greeting your own mother who single handedly raised you and gave you the opportunities I never had? I hope you at least took out those life insurance policies I recommended because you sure as shit don’t have any savings in times like these. If you became an attorney like I said you should instead of wasting 4 years to become a journalist maybe you wouldn’t be in this position but what do I know? Join us for tea Arthur.






(Arthur pauses then removes his glasses to wipe his face. He downs his whisky, puts his glasses back on his wet face and continues typing.)






I don’t know what I thought I was going to achieve by walking in here, you’re just like your grandfather, always ignoring people when he didn’t like them. Let’s just hope you get your shit together and don’t end up on the wrong end of a gun like he did.


(Eda walks out and closes the door behind her)






(Arthur scratches in his drawer and pulls out a bottle of prescription tablets)










(Arthur takes the pills and downs it with his whisky. He lays head down for a few minutes and then sees an image and begins to type. What he sees can only be described as himself 30 years before this very day, a young man looking very disappointed, sad, broken, lost and angry.)




Inner Arthur


(Inner Arthur pulls out a revolver from one of the drawers and aims

it at Arthur’s head.)


Is this it? Is that what I have become? What happened? So much for the next Hunter S. Thompson, I’ve become you instead. Little fat fuck just balding and getting drunk on cheap Scotch. You could have picked something a little better off the shelf you know, we both

knew you weren’t going to have another chance to drink it.




Is this it?


(Inner Arthur cocks the revolver and draws in closer.)







(Arthurs stands up from his chair and grabs a better scotch and pours himself a glass then has a sip, closes his eyes, and smells the contents of the glass then has another sip.)


I’m Sorry.




Inner Arthur


(Inner Arthur squeezes the trigger, the stage lights go out, silence falls upon the stage, and there is no movement)










(The lights come back on, we see the family standing in the room, Arthur is holding the revolver and laying on the floor with blood pouring out from his skull. The family is crying and distort when suddenly the printer comes on and prints out a piece of writing.)






(Ida takes the piece of writing from the printer and reads out the title)


Tea time with Arthur.






© Copyright 2018 Christopher Morkel. All rights reserved.

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