Mr. Jordan, a comedy in III acts (act I)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mr. Jordan is a failing stage director, and he has been charged to produce the final work of the famous Peter Woodward.

Submitted: October 27, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 27, 2011



Cast of Characters

THOMAS JORDAN, a thirty-something failing stage director.

CATHERINE, his twenty-something wife and stage actress.

PETER WOODWARD, an elderly dramatist.

EDWARD OAK, proprietor of the playhouse.

FRANCIS, a deaf stage-hand.

HARRY, his mute, identical twin brother.

ACTRESS, a stage actress.

ACTOR, a stage actor.

The play takes place over a twelve hour period in a playhouse in the early 20th/late 19th century, the day before the opening night.


Scene 1


(The stage in a playhouse. Late afternoon. CATHERINE is centre stage with a script in her hand, part-way through a monologue.)


And so it seems to pass, that we should mistrust the very nature of our love! That gentle knight has turned to buccaneer and in turn turned my world about on its very axis! I know no longer how to see, knowing only that that which is upright might in reality be stood upon its head! O, take me, strife! Take me –

(PETER storms onto stage)


No, no, no!


What is the matter now?


My dear woman, you’ve surpassed yourself. Not only do you no longer know how to deliver these lines properly, but you seem to know that you no longer know how to perform. This will not do!


So tell me, Mr. Woodward: how is it you would have me say them?


If I knew that then I’d don that bonnet myself and take your place. We have, unfortunately I might point out, less than a day to get this right, and I cannot have it that the leading actress is content in proving her uselessness. Where is that husband of yours? Mr. Jordan! I must speak with you! Mr. Jordan!

(THOMAS enters)




There you are. It would appear that our fantastic work is being plagued by spanners, with your lady wife being the most cumbersome. I would ask you what you plan to do about this?


The largest spanners are used for the most important job, sir, and rest assured she has been put to good use, though I do not understand why you seem to have an issue with her size. She is as delicate as ever she was!


Half a day, Mr. Jordan! Half a day and my work goes public. I have no more strength in me to put my genius to paper once more, this is my final piece and I’ll not have her spoil it.


Really, I must object!


As director, this is your responsibility, Mr. Jordan.


It’s alright, I’ll deal with this.


See to it that you do!

(PETER and CATHERINE leave the stage on opposite sides.)

Scene 2


Catherine! Mr. Woodward! Catherine? What is wrong with Catherine? Mr. Woodward is a troubled man, she should understand that, but why take offense to being called a spanner? It’s a useful thing! Better to be a spanner finely tuning great achievements of machinery than to be a hammer brutally pounding away at the parts. Worse still, to be a nail, I think. She is a spanner. Mr. Woodward is not so patient in his compliments as perhaps he should be, but dig through the dirt and there they are, shining like gold! What a clever man he is! Such intelligence both within and without his pages!

(FRANCIS enters and begins to work on something, his back to THOMAS.)

(to FRANCIS) Ah! Harry, I must speak with you. (shouting) Harry!

(HARRY enters behind THOMAS.)

(louder still) Harry!

(HARRY taps THOMAS on the shoulder.)

Don’t make me jump like that! I swear, sometimes you’re quieter than a ghost. Get your brother Francis for me, would you?

(HARRY gets FRANCIS’ attention and the two join THOMAS.)

(loudly, over-emoting) Now, it seems we are still lacking a vital prop for the premier tomorrow night. (he gives FRANCIS a piece of paper) Take this, give it to Mr. Oak. Mr. Oak! Alright? And do it quickly, I’ll not accept your deafness as an excuse for tardiness this time. (shooing FRANCIS away) Go, man, go! And be quick about it!

(exit FRANCIS.)

Harry, I need you to find my wife and tell her we’ll be beginning rehearsal again in thirty minutes. It’s important that she realises Mr. Woodward meant no offense –


(from offstage) Yes, I did!


(laughing) What a wit! He’s even still playing the fool. He truly is committed to his compliments! (to HARRY) Go, find my wife, tell her to be ready again in thirty minutes.

(HARRY hesitates.)

Well? Move!

(HARRY points to his mouth and shakes his head.)

(sighing) Of course, of course, yet another excuse. You know, Harry, sometimes you really let your muteness cause some friction between us. I asked you to do something! Go and tell… show my wife!

(exit HARRY.)

I’ll save this performance yet!

© Copyright 2019 Samuel James Weaver. All rights reserved.

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