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June 7, 2011
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Hell Is My Stage
(And All the Damned are my Back-Ups)

ACT ONE
SCENE 1

(A blackboard stands downstage centre, and desks are laid out before it – the CHORUS, dressed in private school uniforms, sit on the desks and chairs, chatting like typical teenagers. KEN CRUCIFIX enters upstage R., at this stage unnoticed by his peers. HEX HOLDEN's voice booms like a voice from heaven)  

HEX. Ken Crucifix of Marple Middle School was really no-one to talk about – he was weedy, scab-ridden from all that pimple-scratching, and wore glasses that while not thick-rimmed, were almost square and did nothing for his appearance. He wasn't bright, he wasn't strong, he wasn't fast, he wasn't good-looking, and had no friends. Exactly the sort of person you'd expect to find out one day that he was to become a hero, come into himself over the course of the story, and either become good-looking, tall and handsome, or find someone amazingly pretty and out of his league normally that was a gentle spirit and looked past his repulsive looks. Eventually, after a few losses here and there, they would ride off into the sunset on a rainbow horse or a Cadillac to God-knows-where to live happily ever after.

(MATTHEW MACABRE bursts on from stage L. At this point, he acts like a narrator, and is therefore not acknowledged by KEN.)

MATTHEW. Wrong! Oh, no way is this that kind of story. What's gonna happen, uh... he's gonna go under my control, and then he's gonna kill everyone in town, including that fine little lady with the tappable bod that he's been staring creepily at for however long. Just to clarify. Hope I haven't given anything away.

(With what he hopes is a dazzling smile to the audience, MATTHEW then exits stage R. CHORUS unfreezes, and KEN approaches his classmates.)

KEN. (Meekly) Hi...

(Like a pack of territorial wild animals, the CHORUS glares at KEN, and watch him silently as he backs off and sits in his seat. The CHORUS return to their speaking, but talk silently as KEN stands up from his seat.)


(1) "DUNCE"
KEN.
I BREAK THE SILENCE WITH MY VOICE
AND EVERYONE TURNS 'ROUND
TO SEE THE SOURCE OF ALL THE NOISE
AND HERE I STAND.


IT'S NOT AS THOUGH I MEAN TO UPSET YOU
WITH THE THINGS I SAY AND DO.
I SHOULD KNOW BETTER,
BUT I SAID SO ANYWAY.

IT'S EASIER TO PLAY A PART
AND READ YOUR LINES
THAN FREELY SPEAK WHAT'S
IN YOUR HEART AND IN YOUR MIND
IS IT ME?
WHO SAYS THESE THINGS THAT SO OFFEND YOU,
INAPPROPRIATE AND LOUD?

I'D SAY 'I'M SORRY'
BUT IT'S HARD TO SPEAK
WITH BOTH FEET IN MY MOUTH.

CHORUS.
ALL HAIL THE KING OF DUNCES
YOU BEST HOLD ON
HE'S OPENING UP HIS MOUTH
BRING OUT THE MAYPOLE
AND TIE HIM UP AND SHUT HIM OUT
DEVIL KNOWS WHAT POSSESSED HIM
TO SHOOT HIS ARROW STRAIGHT INTO THE SKY
STRING HIM TO THE MAST AND
HOIST HIM UP AND HANG HIM HIGH

KEN.
I PUT NO BLAME ON YOU
I BROUGHT THIS ALL UPON MYSELF
IT'S JUST THIS THING I DO
AT TIMES LIKE THIS
I WISH I WAS SOMEONE ELSE

(TEACHER enters stage R.)

TEACHER. Oh, ha, ha, very funny. Turn the classroom back the other way, if you please.

(The CHORUS takes a respective desk and chair and turns it towards the audience while the TEACHER takes the blackboard, putting it at the new front of the class.)

KEN.
THERE'S A LEVER INSIDE MY HEAD
BETWEEN MY MOUTH AND MY BRAIN
KEEPS ME FROM HEARING
WHAT I'VE SAID 'TIL IT'S TOO LATE
(TEACHER points at KEN, and beckons silently for him to approach the blackboard. KEN walks up.)
NOW IT'S TOO LATE
SMEAR MY LIPS WITH VASELINE
BECAUSE I'M A VOCAL LIBERTINE
I TRY EXPLAINING BUT THEN, EVEN
I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHAT I MEAN



CHORUS.
ALL HAIL THE KING OF DUNCES
YOU BEST HOLD ON,

KEN.
I'M OPENING UP MY MOUTH

CHORUS.
BRING OUT THE MAYPOLE

ALL.
AND TIE HIM (ME) UP AND SHUT HIM (ME) OUT

KEN.
DEVIL KNOWS WHAT POSSESSED ME
TO SHOOT MY ARROW STRAIGHT INTO THE SKY

CHORUS.
STRING HIM TO THE MAST AND

ALL.
HOIST HIM (ME) UP AND HANG HIM (ME) HIGH.

KEN.
I PUT NO BLAME ON YOU
I BROUGHT THIS ALL UPON MYSELF
IT'S JUST THIS THING I DO
AT TIMES LIKE THIS
I WISH I WAS SOMEONE ELSE

TEACHER. So, Kevin? What is the answer?
KEN. Uh...

(KEN writes something on the board)

TEACHER. That's not... fifteen isn't even close, Master Crucifix.
KEN. Wait, wait.

(KEN then takes a pen from his pocket and places it just before the 15.)

TEACHER. What are you... negative-fifteen is even less right, Ken.

(This is met with sniggers from the CHORUS)

KEN. No, it's a pen.
TEACHER. Very good. This is a chair. Return to it.
KEN. No, don't you get it? It's a pen. Fifteen. Pen. Fifteen.

(Pause, and then the groans of the CHORUS)

STUDENT #1. No, Ken!
STUDENT #2. That's awful.
STUDENT #3. Go die.
TEACHER. Please see me after class, young Master Crucifix. In the meantime, return to your seat.

(KEN starts trudging back to his chair as the TEACHER returns to his place at the blackboard.)

KEN.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
I WAS ONLY TRYING TO MAKE YOU SMILE
AND BRING SOME NEEDED LEVITY
TO YOUR WORLD FOR A WHILE.
I NEVER MEANT TO MAKE YOU CRY
BUT I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF
IT'S JUST THIS THING I DO
AT TIMES LIKE THIS
I WISH I WAS SOMEONE ELSE

ALL.
ALL HAIL THE KING OF DUNCES
YOU BEST HOLD ON,
HE'S (I'M) OPENING UP HIS (MY) MOUTH.
BRING OUT THE MAYPOLE
AND TIE HIM (ME) UP AND SHUT HIM (ME) OUT.
DEVIL KNOWS WHAT POSSESSED HIM (ME)
TO SHOOT HIS (MY) ARROW STRAIGHT INTO THE SKY.
STRING HIM (ME) TO THE MAST AND
HOIST HIM (ME) UP AND HANG HIM (ME) HIGH.

(The CHORUS goes to leave stage L., and KEN tries to follow, but the CHORUS pushes him back while the TEACHER watches with folded arms)

CHORUS.
ALL HAIL THE KING OF FOOLS
THIS BOY'S BEEN BAD,
LET'S KEEP HIM AFTER SCHOOL
SEND HIM TO THE BLACKBOARD
AND WRITE A HUNDRED TIMES 'I AM THE DUNCE'

(The CHORUS and TEACHER leave stage R. while KEN writes on the board.)

KEN.
DEVIL KNOWS WHAT POSSESSED ME
TO SHUT MY MIND AND OPEN UP MY MOUTH
STRING ME TO THE ANCHOR
AND WATCH ME DROWN IN MYSELF

BLACKOUT







ACT ONE
SCENE 2

(Two streetlights stand at either end of the stage, and the backdrop is of an alleyway. KEN enters stage L., bag slung over his shoulder, his head down, his uniform scrappy and covered in the dust from the chalk. He then stares at the sky – gradually, everything is tinted bright red by the lights, before...)

(With the sound of a crashing plane and a flash of white light, debris is strewn across the ground before KEN. He jumps back, avoiding the rocks, before peering offstage to see the origin. From offstage, one spindly leg appears. This leg pulls into view the zombie musician of Hell – MATTHEW MACABRE. The INTRO to BRAINS plays. MATTHEW cricks his neck slowly, from one side to the other, gasping in relief with each "crick". KEN looks on in apprehensive fascination. Noticing this, MATTHEW stops mid-crick, and swivels to face KEN, his head tilted at a weird angle. KEN tilts his head at the same angle, and follows MATTHEW as he puts his head at an acceptable angle. They stare at each other for a few moments. MATTHEW then lunges forward and grips KEN by the shoulders, a deranged, wide-eyed look in his eye.)

(2) "BRAINS"

MATTHEW.
WELL, HELLO THERE, LITTLE BOY.
DON'T BE SHY.
STEP RIGHT UP, I'M A REASONABLE GUY.
DON'T BE FRIGHTENED BY THE LOOK IN MY EYE –
I'M JUST YOUR AVERAGE EVIL METEOR FROM OUTTA THE SKY.

WELL, I'M JUST SHY AND SCARED IN THIS PLACE
I'M JUST A FISH OUTTA WATER FROM OUTER SPACE
YOU CAN SEE THAT THE TRIP HAS LEFT ME TIRED AND DRAINED
SO WHY DON'T YOU BE A PAL...

AND BRING ME SOME BRAINS!

KEN. What?! What do you mean...?
MATTHEW. Boy. Name.
KEN. (Stuttering) M-my name is Ken Cruci-
MATTHEW. Not your name, dumbass! Mine!
KEN. Well, I- wait, what?
MATTHEW. I've forgotten my name! (Unhinged chuckle) Most things, actually!
KEN. That only creates more questions!
MATTHEW. Shut up. Head stuff in the idea.

(Pause)

KEN. Are you still...
MATTHEW. Yes! Head thinking!

(Pause)

MATTHEW. Gah! Why isn't this working?!
KEN. Maybe the fact that you arrived in a meteor has shaken...
MATTHEW. My God! I said those last two to shut you up! Take a hint, boy! Now, why is my brainthinkythingy not doing the thinky thing? Maybe...

(MATTHEW closes his eyes and tilts his head back, as if looking into the back of his head.)

MATTHEW. Ha! Whaddya know!
KEN. What?
MATTHEW. There's nothing in here! I can see a lot of goo in here, but not a brain to speak of!

(MATTHEW then jerks forward, snapping his eyes to their original positions)

KEN. Wait... but doesn't that mean... you're a... zombie?
MATTHEW. Whoa! Let's not jump to conclusions here! First, let's see what I can remember about before... see if there's any exceptions.
KEN. Wait. You can't even remember your name. How the hell are you going to...?
MATTHEW. (Interrupting) Ooh. Seems that I've been exiled for doing something.
KEN. Yeah? What?
MATTHEW. Your mother. Now shut up – no more questions. Remembering.
KEN. How the hell are you going to remember anything?! You don't have a brain, for crying out loud!
MATTHEW. A minor inconvenience!
KEN. A minor... it's your brain, for God's sake! How are you even talking?!
MATTHEW. Magic!
KEN. (Pause) Really?
MATTHEW. Maybe, but that's usually how these things work out. Ask the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz. Anyway, appears I was exiled from hell...

KEN. Wait... what? Are you even... what are you saying? You said something about me bringing you brains before...

MATTHEW. Arrested, put in a meteor to be sent to Earth after trying to... oh dear.


MATTHEW. Do lewd things to the Devil's wife.
KEN. What?!
MATTHEW. You heard me. I tried to do a few morally abhorrent things with the wife of Satan himself, Belle Marie Antoinette.
KEN. Isn't she one of the people that got beheaded in the French Revolution?
MATTHEW. No, not at all.
KEN. Oh...
MATTHEW. Though I like the beheading idea.
KEN. When you say "lewd things", do you mean ra-?

(MATTHEW lunges forward and clamps a hand over KEN's mouth.)

MATTHEW. Don't say that out loud! There are children here!
KEN. (Muffled) No there's not. No-one's here.
MATTHEW. You'd be surprised – I find that nine times out of ten when you swear or talk about explicit material, you turn around and then "Ah, crap, child heard that" or "Ah, crap, right-wing pensioner heard that".

(MATTHEW takes his hand away and places it to his stomach as it growls.)

MATTHEW. Dammit. I need something to eat. How do you do that again?
KEN. You don't know how to eat?
MATTHEW. I've been performing for the Prince of Darkness and his buxom squeeze in Hell for five hundred years. I just haven't had much practice.
KEN. Well, uh...
MATTHEW. Matthew Macabre!
KEN. What?
MATTHEW. That's my name.
KEN. You remembered it?
MATTHEW. Nope. Made it up on the spot – it just sounds good.
KEN. Oh. So... what are you, then?
MATTHEW. Hungry.
(Pause)
KEN. No, I mean...
MATTHEW. Oh. You mean... oh, okay. Well, hungry, so that means I'm not a vampire – they just get thirsty. I'm not hairier than the love-child of a bogan and a silverback gorilla, so I'm not a werewolf. And most of my vital organs seem to have dropped, as I have been speaking, quite unceremoniously into my underwear. So I'm guessing... zombie.
KEN. (Backing away) So, wait... you are a zombie.
MATTHEW. What are you, deaf as well as stupid? I'm a zombie. A shambling cadaver. The living impaired. The undead. I. Am. A. Zombie.
KEN. (Backing away once again) And... you're hungry.
MATTHEW. (With a creepy smile) Starving.
KEN. Does that mean... you're going to...
MATTHEW. Eat you? Oh, no. In fact, I have a very special assignment for you.
(MATTHEW grasps KEN around the shoulders.)
KEN. What?

MATTHEW.
GO DOWN TO YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S PLACE
SEE THE DULL EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE
YOU'D BE DOIN' HIM A FAVOUR IF YOU BROUGHT HIM TO ME
HE AIN'T USIN' HIS BRAIN, HE'S JUST WATCHIN' TV!

(KEN is well and truly frightened – his tone and shaking voice belie what he's saying.)
KEN. You're crazy. There's no way I'm doing that.
MATTHEW. 'Course you will! Because I'm gonna hypnotize you!
KEN. What?! Hypnotize me?! Isn't that vampires?
MATTHEW. (Pause) Nope.

(MATTHEW places the side of his index finger under KEN's chin and his thumb on it, as though about to kiss him. As it is, MATTHEW stares intensely into KEN's eyes for a few moments before snapping his free fingers on his other hand. He then slowly removes his hand from under KEN's chin, but KEN remains motionless and listless, his chin tilted up. MATTHEW proceeds to lead him offstage L. The backdrop swivels to become a kitchen.)

MATTHEW.
GO DOWN TO MISTER MCGEE'S –
HE HASN'T HAD THOUGHT SINCE '43
HIS BRAIN IS THE PORTRAIT OF ATROPHY,
HE AIN'T USING IT; WHY NOT GIVE IT TO ME?

BRAINS, BRAINS, I WON'T LIE!
I'LL EAT THEIR BRAINS 'TIL THEY'RE ZOMBIFIED!
SURE, THEY MIGHT THINK IT'S DERANGED,
BUT THEY WON'T GIVE IT A THOUGHT
AFTER I'VE EATEN THEIR BRAINS!

(KEN enters again from the left with a plate, and on the plate rest two small brains. With a look of manic delight that could only come from someone extremely hungry that has just been given their favourite food, MATTHEW takes the plate from him and starts wolfing down the brains as KEN leaves from the same direction.)

MATTHEW.
BRAINS, BRAINS, IT'S OKAY.
IT'S NOT A MATTER IF IT ISN'T GREY.
AND IF AT FIRST THEY THINK IT'S STRANGE,
THEY WON'T THINK TWICE
IF THEY DON'T HAVE A BRAIN!

GO DOWN TO THE WONTON SHOP,
MY FORTUNE COOKIE SAYS THAT I JUST CAN'T STOP!
I'LL SUCK THE NOODLE RIGHT OUTTA THEIR HEADS,
AND HALF AN HOURS LATER,
I'M HUNGRY AGAIN!

(KEN re-enters on the line "MY FORTUNE COOKIE" holding coloured, brain-looking noodles, skewered with chopsticks which MATTHEW begins to devour with ravenous abandon.)

MATTHEW.
CREEP INTO THE DONUT STOP,
SNEAK IN TIP-TOE PAST THE COP.
PICK ME UP A CRULLER AND A CUP FULL-O' TEA
(AND ANY OTHER "SWEETBREADS" YOU HAPPEN TO SEE.)

(KEN leaves once more.)






MATTHEW.
BRAINS, BRAINS, I WON'T LIE!
I'LL EAT THEIR BRAINS 'TIL THEY'RE ZOMBEFIED!
SURE, THEY MIGHT THINK IT'S DERANGED,
BUT THEY WON'T GIVE IT A THOUGHT
AFTER I'VE EATEN THEIR BRAINS!

BRAINS, BRAINS, IT'S OKAY!
IT'S NOT A MATTER IF IT ISN'T GREY.
AND IF AT FIRST THEY THINK IT'S STRANGE,
THEY WON'T THINK TWICE
IF THEY DON'T HAVE A BRAIN!

(KEN re-enters, now carrying a tray-full of "brains". Taking the tray from him, MATTHEW places it on the counter. He then reaches into the cabinet below the counter and removes something, making sure to keep his back to the audience so the audience cannot see what he's doing. He then starts cramming the "brains" into this new "thing" and doing other intangible actions as he sings.)

MATTHEW.
BRAINS, BRAINS, I LOVE 'EM, I NEED 'EM.
MY TUMMY JUMPS FOR JOY WHEN I EAT 'EM.
BIG ONES, FAT ONES, SHORT ONES, TALL ONES.
THEY'RE SO DELECTABLE, ESPECIALLY THE SMALL ONES.

NO TIME TO COOK 'EM IN A SKILLET
MY BELLY'S RUMBLIN'
I'VE GOT A NEED TO FILL IT.
I DON'T FRY 'EM, THE HEAT WILL ONLY SHRINK 'EM.
I JUST GRAB MYSELF A STRAW AND I DRINK 'EM
OH!

(Upon his exclamation of "OH!" MATTHEW spins around, revealing a blood-stained blender, and holds up, like a holy icon, a glass of liquefied brains, complete with a straw and a little umbrella. He drinks the gruesome concoction and begins to dance, as though drunk on brains, with KEN – who dances even worse on account of his hypnotised stupor – and as the two dance, the lighting begins to fade from night to dawn and back to night. Countless days have passed once MATTHEW finally slumps down in a chair.)

MATTHEW.
YOU'VE BEEN SWELL TO GO AROUND
AND BRING ME EVERY SINGLE BRAIN IN TOWN
BUT WITH ALL THESE BRAINS,
I CAN'T HELP BUT THINK
THAT THERE ISN'T ONE LEFT OUT THERE TO DRINK!

KEN. (murmured) Lucy...
MATTHEW. That little crush of yours? Is she the last one?
  
(KEN doesn't reply and MATTHEW throws aside his empty glass and grasps KEN by the shoulders.)

MATTHEW.
NOW FESS UP, BOY!
COME ON, HECK!
IS THERE SOMEONE THAT YOU'RE TRYIN' TO PROTECT?
BRING HER DOWN HERE TO MEET HER END AND
I PROMISE, I'LL BE YOUR BESTEST FRIEND!

(KEN exits, though there is a hesitation in his step now.)

MATTHEW.
BRAINS, BRAINS, I WON'T LIE!
I'LL EAT HER BRAIN 'TIL SHE'S ZOMBEFIED!
SURE, SHE MIGHT THINK IT'S DERANGED,
BUT SHE WON'T GIVE IT A THOUGHT
AFTER I'VE EATEN HER BRAIN!

BRAINS, BRAINS, IT'S OKAY.
IT'S NOT A MATTER IF IT ISN'T GREY.
AND IF AT FIRST SHE THINKS IT'S STRANGE,
SHE WON'T THINK TWICE
IF SHE DON'T HAVE A BRAIN!

(KEN enters, leading the too-stunned-to-resist Lucy, clad in a too-short white nightgown. It is only until MATTHEW grasps her firmly around the hips that she begins to resist. Silent screams are seen as MATTHEW grins and licks his lips.)

MATTHEW.
BRAINS.....
BRING ME HER BRAINS....
BRING ME HER BRAINS....
BRING ME HER BRAINS!!

(MATTHEW lets loose what was unmistakably an attempt at an evil laugh – but that ultimately fails – before chomping down on her skull.)

BLACKOUT














ACT ONE
SCENE 3

(KEN stands upright and centre in the unnamed apartment looking blankly ahead as MATTHEW awkwardly tries to remove LUCY's slippered feet from view to behind the R. curtains with his own feet as he speaks.)

MATTHEW. I need to work on that laugh. Something with a bit more "oomph", you know? Perhaps I should prefix it with a "bwu"? Bwuhahahah... no. Erm...

(MATTHEW moves to upstage L., pondering as he walks)

MATTHEW. Perhaps "mwu"? Mwuhahahaha.... too Bond.

(MATTHEW cycles through various laughs as KEN opens his mouth, his head still upright. Added to his own voice is the voice of HEX HOLDEN.)

KEN & HEX. Matthew.

(MATTHEW wheels around.)

MATTHEW. (Gasps and pretends to be excited) I'm your first word! I'm so happy! But seriously, though, never talk again because you annoy me and dual-voice thing creeps me out. A lot.
KEN-HEX. Silence, Matthew Macabre. I speak through this adolescent as my puppet.
MATTHEW. Makes sense.
KEN-HEX. Shut up. Now, I must ask a favour of you. But not through this hormone-encrusted child. Come to me in person.
MATTHEW. Where?
KEN-HEX. All people in town know of "Mad" Doctor Hex Holden.
MATTHEW. All people in town also know of Matthew Macabre, the Musician-turned-Zombie that ate them.
KEN-HEX. All of them? You work fast.
MATTHEW. Exactly what your-
KEN-HEX. And if my mother enters into this, Macabre, yours will too.
MATTHEW. My bloated, hideous whore of a mother!? You wouldn't dare!
KEN-HEX. Try me.

(Pause.)

MATTHEW. Well played. But, I'm afraid I'm out of a job, so I'm out of doing favours. So no matter what you say, I am in no way interested.

(MATTHEW's statement is punctuated by him plopping himself into a chair, arms and legs folded.)

KEN-HEX. You could possess magic.
MATTHEW. (Imitating a "wrong answer" buzzer and giving a "thumbs down".) Buh-bow.
KEN-HEX. You would be able to have revenge.
MATTHEW. The door out of the little boy's brain is to the right.
KEN-HEX. You'll be able to have your job back.
MATTHEW. Nope.
KEN-HEX. Your actions will cause chaos, confusion and bloodshed.
MATTHEW. (Leaping up) Where do I sign up?
KEN-HEX. Get the boy to lead you there. I will see you soon, Matthew Macabre.

(KEN then slumps, released from HEX's hold. MATTHEW cautiously walks over to KEN, pokes him to see if he's awake, and then, upon realising that KEN is asleep and still fully under his control, eases up.)

MATTHEW. So then, man-slave. Lead me to Mad Doctor Hex Holden – he sounds like a lovely fellow.

(KEN straightens up and leads MATTHEW, rather robotically, offstage left.)

BLACKOUT


















ACT ONE
SCENE FOUR

(MATTHEW and KEN enter with the spotlight only on them – the rest of the stage is dark.)

MATTHEW. Well, thanks for that. Now, while I do love having a lackey, it's a bit weird for someone who isn't a groupie following me around everywhere I go. So, uh, I'm going to un-hypnotise you. I should point out that I didn't do too good a job with the hypnotism, so you have technically been aware of what you've been doing. I should let you know that memory removal is a very long and tricky process, so that's why I'm not going to bother with it – you're just going to have to live with the knowledge that you killed everyone you knew and loved. Have a nice day.

(MATTHEW clicks his fingers, and KEN faints, falling on top of MATTHEW, who quickly pushes him offstage – an unceremonious "thud" is heard.)

MATTHEW. Now… where is this Hex Holden, and how much am I betting he'll make a huge and unnecessary entrance?

(The spotlight switches on, showing HEX HOLDEN atop a throne, a violin in hand and looking down at MATTHEW from the top of a flight of stairs. The intro to WHEN YOU'RE EVIL plays, and HEX plays along.)

MATTHEW. Knew it.

(HEX begins to sing as descends the stairs, and the arms remain on the chair, playing along on the violin, and revealing a strange, demonic face. The CHAIR is playing the violin.)

(3) "WHEN YOU'RE EVIL"

HEX.
WHEN THE DEVIL IS TOO BUSY,
AND DEATH'S A BIT TOO MUCH,
THEY CALL ON ME BY NAME, YOU SEE,
FOR MY SPECIAL TOUCH.

TO THE GENTLEMEN, I'M MISS FORTUNE
TO THE LADIES, I'M SIR PRIZE.
BUT CALL ME BY ANY NAME,
ANY WAY IT'S ALL THE SAME…

(A green light shines underneath a bubbling cauldron in the centre of the room)

I'M THE FLY IN YOUR SOUP
I'M THE PEBBLE IN YOUR SHOE
I'M THE PEA BENEATH YOUR BED
I'M THE BUMP ON EVERY HEAD

I'M THE PEEL ON WHICH YOU SLIP,
I'M THE PIN IN EVERY HIP
I'M THE THORN IN YOUR SIDE,
MAKES YOU WRIGGLE AND WRITHE

(The entire room is lit in a red light, showing hanging animals, jars of nameless disgusting things, and vials of seething liquids.)

AND IT'S SO EASY WHEN YOU'RE EVIL!
THIS IS THE LIFE, YOU SEE,
THE DEVIL TIPS HIS HAT TO ME.

I DO IT ALL BECAUSE I'M EVIL
AND I DO IT ALL FOR FREE…
YOUR TEARS ARE ALL THE PAY I'LL EVER NEED.

MATTHEW. I hope you realise how gratuitous this is. I doubt I'll see you again after this.
HEX. I'm a catalyst, Macabre! Now sit down, shut up, and watch me work my magic!
MATTHEW. (Sitting down on a nearby chair) Okie doke. Go ahead.

(HEX begins picking stuff off the shelves and throwing them into the cauldron)

WHILE THERE'S CHILDREN TO MAKE SAD,
WHILE THERE'S CANDY TO BE HAD,
WHILE THERE'S POCKETS LEFT TO PICK,
WHILE THERE'S GRANNIES LEFT TO TRIP DOWN THE STAIRS,

I'LL BE THERE!
I'LL BE WAITING 'ROUND THE CORNER.
IT'S A GAME, I'M GLAD I'M IN IT,
'CAUSE THERE'S ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE!

AND IT'S SO EASY WHEN YOU'RE EVIL!
THIS IS THE LIFE, YOU SEE,
THE DEVIL TIPS HIS HAT TO ME.

I DO IT ALL BECAUSE I'M EVIL
AND I DO IT ALL FOR FREE…
YOUR TEARS ARE ALL THE PAY I'LL EVER NEED.

(HEX steps to the centre and places his hand over his heart, as if singing a national anthem)

I PLEDGE MY ALLEIGANCE
TO ALL THINGS DARK
AND I PROMISE ON MY DAMNED SOUL
TO DO AS I AM TOLD

LORD BEELZEBUB HAS NEVER SEEN
A SOLDIER QUITE LIKE ME
NOT ONLY DOES HIS JOB
BUT DOES IT HAPPILY
(His madness showing through, HEX rushes towards MATTHEW, pushing his chair towards the cauldron)

I'M THE FEAR THAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE,
I'M THE SHADOWS ON THE WALL,
I'M THE MONSTERS THEY BECOME,
I'M THE NIGHTMARE IN YOUR SKULL,

I'M THE DAGGER IN YOUR BACK,
AN EXTRA TURN UPON THE RACK.
I'M THE QUIVERING OF YOUR HEART,
A STABBING PAIN, A SUDDEN START!

AND IT'S SO EASY WHEN YOU'RE EVIL!
THIS IS THE LIFE, YOU SEE,
THE DEVIL TIPS HIS HAT TO ME.

I DO IT ALL BECAUSE I'M EVIL
AND I DO IT ALL FOR FREE
YOUR TEARS ARE ALL THE PAY I'LL EVER NEED.

AND I DO IT ALL FOR FREE
YOUR TEARS ARE ALL THE PAY I'LL EVER NEED.

AND I DO IT ALL FOR FREE
YOUR TEARS ARE ALL THE PAY I'LL EVER NEED.

(HEX then slumps, as if deeply saddened, over the cauldron)

IT GETS SO LONELY BEING EVIL…
WHAT I'D DO TO SEE A SMILE
EVEN FOR A LITTLE WHILE.
AND NO-ONE LOVES YOU WHEN YOU'RE EVIL…

(HEX hides his face for a moment, and then looks up to MATTHEW, a maniacal grin on his face)

I'M LYING THROUGH MY TEETH!
YOUR TEARS ARE ALL THE COMPANY I NEED!

(With a PERFECT evil laugh, HEX ascends the stairs, sits back on his throne and clicks. The lights come on, and the demon chair plays its last note before slumping.)

(Pause)

MATTHEW. You have to teach me that evil laugh.

(HEX slumps in his chair with an annoyed look on his face)

HEX. Do you really have no idea what I was doing there?
MATTHEW. Eh, it's all tongues to me.
HEX. Sweet Jesus…
MATTHEW. Third Commandment! Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain!
HEX. I only follow God's True Commandment.
MATTHEW. Which is?
HEX. "Shut up or I'll smite you."
MATTHEW. Point taken.
HEX. I doubt it.  Anyway, what I was doing there was creating for you a concoction.
MATTHEW. Nothing illegal, I hope?
HEX. Very, actually.
MATTHEW. You don't seem like a very nice person.
HEX. I enjoy pushing geriatrics down stairwells, creating potions, casting black magic and taking children from candy.
MATTHEW. Nice Freudian slip there.
HEX. Fuck Freud, I know what I said.
MATTHEW. Fair do. What's in the potion anyway?

(HEX plucks a vial from his cloak and dips it in the cauldron)

HEX. This, Matthew Macabre, is the Essence of Magic.
MATTHEW. It all makes sense now.
HEX. Shut up. It doesn't and you know it. What I hold here is a cheap imitation of Black Magic. True Black Magic can only come through selling your soul to the Devil. This Magic is simply the ability to charm large crowds, an extension of your ability to hypnotise a person, and the ability to access a library of archaic information.

(A scene plays out where HEX plays keep-away with the vial with MATTHEW, the conversation being carried out rather nonchalantly in contrast)

MATTHEW. So it turns you into Josh Groban?
HEX. You wish.
MATTHEW. Actually, yes. I would've liked to get my hands on Josh's soul.
HEX. Oh, and it'll stop that annoying habit of…

(MATTHEW backs off, rubbing his eye as if trying to remove something from it. It ultimately backfires as he plucks out his own eye.)

HEX. (CON.) Your body falling apart…
MATTHEW. That'd be a plus…
HEX. The only thing I ask in return is this…
MATTHEW. My soul?
HEX. Get rid of my roommate.

(Pause)

MATTHEW. I'm sorry, what?
HEX. I'll give you Magic if you get rid of my roommate.
MATTHEW. …That is the single worst catch-22 I have ever heard.
HEX. I just can't stand his constant moaning. Everything he says makes me want to cut myself.
MATTHEW. I hear ya… so how exactly do you want me to get rid of him?
HEX. Look, I really do not care. Just as long as I can turn that room into storage by dawn, I'll be happy.
MATTHEW. Okay then. Let's see this roommate of yours.

(HEX and MATTHEW exit stage right.)

BLACKOUT
WIP

A musical in honour of the dark cabaret artist Voltaire.

The songs used are:

Dunce
Brains!
When You're Evil

Please support the original artist.

HELL IS MY STAGE (AND ALL THE DAMNED ARE MY BACK-UPS) tells the story of Matthew Macabre, the Musician of Hell that deals with artists looking for fifteen seconds of fame, that has been evicted from Hell for trying to do "lewd things" to Satan's wife - Belle Marie Antoinette.

This sends him on a quest for revenge and the conquest of Hell. He is joined by Lucifer, the overthrown Lord of Darkness that has decided to spend the rest of his days cutting himself and wishing for heaven in the apartment of one of his "clients": the powerful sorcerer, Hex Holden.

However, his advesaries come in the form of Maria, his ex-wife-turned-vampire that wants him back, and Cain Crucifix, a slayer of the supernatural and father of the child that Matthew manipulates and sends mad.

NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR IN THE CASE OF PERFORMING THIS PIECE:
If you want to perform this piece, there are a few things you should know:
1 - This is a VERY high energy piece. Every line should be snappy and reactions should be quick. Every action should be exaggerated, and EVERYTHING SHOULD BE OVER THE TOP and reflective of the sheer insanity of the piece. However, this does not mean that it should be to the point where it parodies or makes fun of itself. While over-the-top, it should also be played with sincerity and earnestness, for that is when it's at its best.

2 - The pitch for each character is:
KEN (Tenor/Light Baritone)
MATTHEW (Baritone)
HEX (Bass/Baritone)
LUCIFER (Dark Baritone)
BARKEEP (Tenor/Light Baritone)
MARIA (Alto)
CAIN (Tenor/Light Baritone)

3 - Please ask my permission first. I will most probably say yes (under the proviser that I get a video), but it's just common courtesy.

4 - I take no credit for the music used here. All music is the property of Voltaire.


I WILL PUT A WARNING ON THIS JUST IN CASE.
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:iconcrazyacornomg:
CrazyAcornOMG Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
DUDE. This is the most greatest thing you've written. As in ever. As in we have to make this into a real show. Now.
Seriously.
Also, I find myself leaning towards Matthew. You've got great lines in there and they all seem to go to him. Nicely done~
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:iconc470g:
C470g Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011
I've actually thought about who'd be who, and I'd say this:

Me = Hex
Josh = Ken/Cain
You = Maria
Ricardo = Matthew

Dunno about the other characters yet, though...
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:iconcrazyacornomg:
CrazyAcornOMG Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Which one's Maria again?! Or has she not come in yet...? Or is she the wife of Satan?
Either way I want to know. XD
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:iconc470g:
C470g Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011
Look for HIMS Character Summaries in my gallery. ;)
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:iconcrazyacornomg:
CrazyAcornOMG Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Can and will~
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