"Eat, Drink & Be Murdered!" Script Sample
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Eat, Drink, and Be Murdered
Cast of Characters:
Grandma Rose O’Riley McFadden: Matriarch of filthy rich McFadden family
Conor McFadden: Rose’s son; manager of family business, Wild Irish Rose Distillery
Kathleen McFadden: Connor’s wife
Father Mike O’Riley: Local parish priest and Rose’s nephew
Seamus O’Riley: Foreman at Wild Irish Rose Distillery (his name is pronounced “Shay-mus)
Hannah O’Riley: Rose’s old-maid sister
Nurse Kelly: Rose’s private nurse
Janet from another Planet: Wacky DJ
TIME: The present
PLACE: The play takes place in the private dining room of a restaurant where the McFadden and O’Riely families are celebrating Grandma Rose’s 80th birthday. There should be a head table and chairs for Grandma Rose and the McFaddens at CENTER STAGE and a smaller table for Hannah and Seamus at either STAGE RIGHT or STAGE LEFT. (See Production Notes for details on properties, set decor, and sound effects.)
NOTE: This play was written to be performed in a variety of venues, but not all of them will have a real backstage area. Consequently, the script usually only designates when the actors enter and exit, not whether they enter and exit stage right, left, or center. That’s up to the director and depends on the venue. In our shows, we hang a curtain upstage center as a backdrop, so the actors often enter and exit upstage, from either side of the curtain. However, they also enter and exit stage right and stage left. In this show, actors who aren’t speaking can often just sit at the head table or the side table and be as unobtrusive as possible (that is, not do anything to upstage the actors who are actually talking).
Master of Ceremonies: Welcome to the (Insert your company’s name) production of Eat, Drink, and Be Murdered! Tonight, you’re part of the action. So keep your eyes and ears open for clues, because before the night’s over, someone will be ruthlessly murdered. And it’s up to you to guess “whodunit” and why.
How many of you have been to a murder mystery before? Well, this show is a little different. We won’t ask you to take a part, or get up on stage, or do anything but watch if you don’t want to. So you shy people can come out from under your tables now and just relax and enjoy the show. Your main job is to pay attention and play detective—and then to vote at the end. The first (Insert how many prizes you have) people to correctly guess the murderer and the motive will win a prize. I’ll explain the voting process in more detail after the show.
And now—on with the show!
Eat, Drink, and be Murdered
The show begins with CONOR, ROSE, NURSE KELLY, FATHER MIKE, and KATHLEEN sitting at the head table. ROSE is in the center, and to her right are CONOR and KATHLEEN. NURSE KELLY and FATHER MIKE are left of ROSE. SEAMUS and HANNAH are seated alone at a small table at one side of the stage, and JANET is seated at a card table with the sound equipment on the other side of the stage, slightly behind the other tables (she is mainly the sound person and is not meant to have an important role). CONOR begins the show by tapping on a glass and getting the audience’s attention.
Conor: Attention! May I have your attention please? What an exciting night this is! And the best is yet to come. I’ll just take a few minutes to say why we’ve all gathered here tonight. I won’t bore you with some long speech. We’ll save that honor for Father Mikey, ha ha. But I would like to say a few words about the special occasion for which we’re all gathered. Two special occasions, actually. First, it’s my Mommy’s 80th birthday today, and we’re here to wish her a happy birthday and many, many more. (He’s sucking up. He really wishes she’d hurry up and kick the bucket and ROSE knows it.) We’re also here because it’s also the 50th birthday of Wild Irish Rose Distilleries. For it was on my Mommy’s 30th birthday that she gave Daddy – rest his soul -- her recipe for Wild Irish Rose Whiskey and Daddy started the business and – well, the rest is history. So, if it were not for Mommy and her recipe, we McFadden’s wouldn’t all be sitting here today (looks around the head table) -- and filthy rich in the bargain!
Seamus: (Stands up) None a’ you would be sittin’ there today if Rose hadn’t stole the recipe from the O’Rileys and given it to her husband! It’d be O’Rileys sittin’ at that head table and O’Rileys ownin’ the distillery! (SEAMUS looks to O’Rileys in audience for support, encouraging them to cheer him on) Right? Right? (SEAMUS is a plainspoken, blue collar guy.)
Conor: That’s not true! Mommy didn’t steal anything. She invented the recipe herself and gave it to Daddy. Well, all but one ingredient. (looks at ROSE). Isn’t it about time you divulged that secret ingredient, Mommy, to someone you can trust – like your beloved, devoted son?
Rose: Huh! Maybe when hell freezes over.
Hannah: (stands up) You stole the recipe, Rose! My own sister turned her back on our family. It’s disgraceful. (To O’Rileys in audience) Isn’t it? Isn’t it?
Rose: Oh shut up, Hannah. You’re like a broken record. Drink some whiskey, maybe it’ll improve your disposition.
Seamus: Rose was an O’Riley before she married your father. And when Rose’s father died, he entrusted her with the O’Riley’s secret whiskey recipe. Your father knew that and that’s why he married her. To get that secret recipe. But once an O’Riley, always an O’Riley. Rose is an O’Riley, but she stabbed her own family in the back!
Conor: Mommy is not an O’Riley, she’s a McFadden!
Seamus: She’s an O’Riley!
Conor: A McFadden!
Seamus: (looks at audience and winks) McFadden!
Conor: O’Riley! (doesn’t realize he’s been tricked)
Seamus: You’re right, Conor -- she’s an O’Riley!
Conor: You’re damn right I’m right. She’s an O’Ri . . . say, wait a minute. You tricked me! Why you . . . (mad, starts to leave table to confront SEAMUS)
Conor: Yes Mommy?
Rose: Sit down and shut up.
Conor: But Mommy I was just . . .
Rose: Shut up!
Conor: Yes, Mommy. (obeys, but is still mad)
Rose: Now let’s get on with this before I nod off again. (ROSE nods off several times during the show, but she’s pretending. She also pretends that her memory and health are failing. She’s actually sharp as a tack. When Rose isn’t talking or pretending to sleep, she’s knitting.)
KATHLEEN exits BACKSTAGE to get birthday cake.
Conor: Right! Well, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted (glares at SEAMUS), it’s an honor for me to be under one roof with so many McFaddens . . . (ROSE elbows him) . . . and so many O’Rileys, to pay tribute to my mommy on her 80th birthday. So let’s begin by bringing out a little surprise!
KATHLEEN carries out the birthday cake and sets it in front of ROSE. Everyone (including audience) sings Happy Birthday. ROSE blows out the candles and gets winded. NURSE KELLY attends to her while CONOR and KATHLEEN watch eagerly, hoping she’ll die on the spot. They’re visibly disappointed when she regains her breath. While NURSE KELLY fusses over ROSE, KATHLEEN removes candles from cake and takes them BACKSTAGE.
Rose: (looking at CONOR) Sorry to let you down, but I recovered. Are you done babbling or is there more?
Conor: Why no, Mommy. I’m not done. I wanted to say what an honor it is for me to pay tribute to you this evening. You have been my guiding light, a guardian angel to me throughout my life, an inspiration . . .
Rose: (interrupts him) Oh, stop buttering me up.
Conor: But Mommy, I’m trying to say something nice here. I just wanted to . . .
Rose: Suck up to me! You’ve done that all your life. Suck up, lie to me, lie to everyone else, do whatever it takes to get your hands on all the family money. I’ve never seen such underhanded, unscrupulous business tactics. You even lie to your wife. All that womanizing! I’ve never seen a married man with so many girlfriends. (to herself) Well, except your father, the S.O.B . . . (oops! back to the present) It’s disgraceful! I should . . . (CONOR is upset but bites his tongue.)
KATHLEEN returns from BACKSTAGE and joins CONOR at the table. She didn’t hear what Rose just said -- or did she?
Father Mike: Uh, can I have everyone’s attention please? This might be a good time to ask the Lord for a blessing over this wonderful family gathering.
Conor: Yeah, great idea, Mikey. (stage whisper to him) Keep it short. Your usual blessing will have us standing here till her 81st birthday!
All cast members stand, bow their heads, and fold their hands in prayer.
Father Mike: Let us pray. (Begins speaking in Hebrew. Everyone looks up at him and says,
Huh?) Sorry, that’s the blessing for the O’Brian/Goldfarb wedding next Saturday.
FATHER MIKE is famous for his longwinded blessings. So as he prays aloud in the section below, the cast members keep thinking he’s done and start to say “Amen” in unison. But then the good father starts all over again. This happens several times until he starts to criticize the McFaddens and CONOR shuts him up and gets everyone to say, “Amen.”
Father Mike: (chants) Lord, we give you thanks for this gathering to honor Rose on her 80th birthday.
Everyone: A . . .
Father Mike: (looks at bottle of whiskey lovingly) And we give you thanks for the rich soil that makes the grains grow to make the whiskey.
Everyone: A . . .
Father Mike: And we give you thanks for the sunshine that makes the grains grow to make the whiskey.
Everyone: (getting more and more annoyed) A . . .
Father Mike: And we give you thanks for the rains that make the grains grow and provide the base to make the whiskey.
Everyone: A . . .
Father Mike: And we give you thanks for the secret ingredient that only Rose knows about but that I’m sure she’ll divulge to a trusted family member before she takes it to her grave, right Rose?
Everyone: (suddenly silent and all looking at ROSE)
ROSE: Over my dead body, hahahahaha! AMEN!
Father Mike: And we hope You’ll forgive the McFaddens for all the terrible things they’ve done to the O’Riley’s over the years and . . .
Conor: (puts his hand over FATHER MIKE’S mouth and encourages everyone to finally say “Amen”) Amen! And now we’ll get Janet from another Planet to play Mommy’s favorite song, “My Wild Irish Rose.”
Janet: My wild WHAT?
Conor: “My Wild Irish Rose.”
Janet: You say they call granny there Wild Irish Rose? Well, let’s play her something appropriate then.
JANET cues up “Born to be Wild.” ROSE struggles to her feed and starts rockin’ until she clutches her chest and sits back down. NURSE KELLY fans her with a napkin and takes her pulse. CONOR runs over TO JANET and makes her stop the music.
Conor: You fool! I said play “Wild Irish Rose”! You could have killed her. Do you realize you could have . . . wait, play it again! Play it again!
Janet: Too late Connie baby, the old girl’s nodded off. (ROSE is now napping.)
Conor: Are you sure she’s just sleeping? Wait, let me check! (runs over and holds a mirror near ROSE’S mouth to see if she’s breathing.) Oh, hell, it’s fogging up. (to JANET) When she wakes up, I expect you to play “My Wild Irish Rose.” This is an Irish party, and we expect Irish music.
Janet: I’ll see what I can dust off. There’s not much call for Irish music these days. Latin is in. Relax Connie baby. Leave it to me.
Conor: And stop calling me Connie baby!
Father Mike: A toast! (raises his glass) May we all be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows we’re dead! (Cast members toast and encourage audience to do so, too. FATHER MIKE downs his drink in one gulp and pours another.)
CONOR walks to one side of stage and KATHLEEN joins him.
Kathleen: Can you believe that phony Mikey? He screwed up the blessing, and now he’s drinking the rest of us under the table. Which is pretty amazing, considering the number of lushes in this family. (to CONOR) Not us, of course, darling, we’re just social drinkers. (KATHLEEN hiccups and then covers her mouth and tries to look ladylike. CONOR is drinking from his whiskey bottle when she says the social drinkers line. KATHLEEN tries to act sophisticated throughout play, but can’t quite pull it off.) How the hell did he ever get through seminary?
Conor: I don’t know. He spends more time at the convent than at the church. And I’ll tell you something else -- I don’t trust him. He’s convinced Mommy she needs to go to confession every week. Sometimes twice a week. Who knows what she’s telling him in that confessional? Maybe all kinds of family secrets. Secrets about me, secrets about you . . . (KATHLEEN is upset) She could even be telling him what the secret ingredient is! That would be a disaster!
Kathleen: (really nervous now) Secrets about me? But . . . I don’t have any secrets.
Kathleen: Coming! (runs to ROSE and CONOR stays put)
Rose: Get me some water for my medication.
Kathleen: Me? Why can’t Nurse Kelly get it for you? Isn’t that what you pay her for?
Rose: (snaps) Because I want you to get it.
Kathleen: But I just got you some water a little while ago. How much water can you drink? I’m sick of waiting on you hand and foot. I’ve had enough. I . . .
Rose: Perhaps I’ll have a little talk with Conor now.
Kathleen: (yikes!) Water! Coming right up! Be back in a jiffy! (mutters as she exits BACKSTAGE) The woman’s a camel.
HANNAH has been eavesdropping on ROSE and KATHLEEN’S conversation. She walks behind the head table and confronts ROSE.
Hannah: Nothing ever changes. Still demanding and overbearing, even with your own daughter-in-law. You’ve been that way since we were kids. Someday you’ll get yours.
Rose: Hannah, you were a sniveling little brat when we were kids, and now you’re a sniveling old hag. Go away.
Hannah: You can’t talk to me like that. I’ll show you a thing or two. Get up so I can knock you down!
ROSE struggles up and they clench their fists like they’re about to fight.
Father Mike: (breaking them up) Ladies, please, this is a party. Save it for another time.
CONOR walks back to head table and sits down. Puts whiskey bottle on table. IMPORTANT: WHISKEY BOTTLE MUST REMAIN ON TABLE FOR REST OF SHOW! ALL CAST MEMBERS EXCEPT JANET SHOULD BE SURE TO GET CLOSE TO BOTTLE A FEW TIMES DURING SHOW, GIVING EVERYONE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUT POISON IN BOTTLE.
HANNAH walks back to her table and sits down. FATHER MIKE walks to one side of the stage and SEAMUS joins him.
Seamus: Those two at it again?
Father Mike: Yeah, the never-ending story. They’re the only two family members who don’t drink. No wonder they’re so crabby.
Seamus: (suddenly sounding like a TV commercial) Actually, recent research by the American Psychiatric Association reveals that alcohol is a depressant. So those two should actually be happier than the rest of us. (shakes his head and snaps back to reality) Look, you can’t really blame Hannah. Rose has treated her like dirt since they were kids.
Father Mike: Big deal. Rose treats everyone like dirt.
Seamus: You oughta’ see her in action down at the distillery. Marches in there every day to add that secret ingredient behind locked doors. Been doin’ it for what, 50 years now? I’m surprised she hasn’t fallen in a vat by mistake like her husband did. Things’ll be different when I’m runnin’ the plant.
Father Mike: (sarcastically) No O’Riley will ever run the distillery!
They both laugh as if they’re up to something
Seamus: Say Mikey, I kept tryin’ to call you last night, but you weren’t at the parish house.
Father Mike: Yeah, the weather forced me to stay over at the convent last night.
Seamus: But it was a beautiful, clear night.
Father Mike: I know. A great night for a moonlight walk in the woods!
Seamus: Better watch it, you don’t want to get in the habit!
They both laugh
Father Mike: Shhhh . . . not so loud. I have a reputation to protect.
Seamus: Oh, you got quite a reputation all right! Come on, let’s get another drink. (both walk offstage)
Attention turns to ROSE and NURSE KELLY at head table.
Nurse Kelly: Are you feeling okay Rose? You’ve had quite a bit of excitement and the party is just getting started.
Rose: I’m fine dear, just fine. And soon, everything will be fine. I’ll see to that.
Nurse Kelly: Well, take it easy. Don’t overdo it.
Rose: Don’t worry. You’re such a sweet girl. I wish I’d known you when you were growing up. Someone did a fine job raising you.
Nurse Kelly: And you’re a sweet woman, Rose. I just wish the rest of the family gave you the respect you deserve.
Rose: I may not get their respect willingly, but I can command it. Watch this. Kathleen! Where in hell is my water?
Kathleen: Coming! (runs from BACKSTAGE over to Rose with water)
Rose: What in hell took you so long? (tastes water) It’s warm. Go put some ice in it. I need to take another pill.
Kathleen: I haven’t seen Nurse Kelly lift a finger since we got here. Everything is “Kathleen, Kathleen”! Why have a nurse around if she’s not going to do any nursing? I think she should get your water. She should . . .
Rose: Nurse Kelly, could you excuse us for a moment? (NURSE KELLY steps away from the table but eavesdrops. She smiles as if she knows something the others don’t.)
Kathleen: Now you listen to me, Mother. I’m not . . .
Rose: No, you listen to me. You’ll do what you’re told, when you’re told, or I might just have a little conversation with Conor. Maybe I’ll slip and accidentally tell him your little secret. You know, the secret about you hanky pankying with . . . .
Kathleen: I’ll get the ice water! Coming right up! You just sit tight. (mutters to herself) Yeah, right. Sit tight. That’s all she can do. I can’t take much more of this. (starts to walk BACKSTAGE then stops and signals to CONOR to join her on one side of the stage)
Conor: (sees she’s upset) Now what’s the matter?
Kathleen: It’s your mother, Conor. She treats me like a servant. I’m a McFadden, and I should be treated with respect.
Conor: Mother doesn’t treat anyone with respect. Not since Daddy died.
Kathleen: Well I won’t stand for it any longer! (has slight tantrum) You’ve got to talk to her.
Conor: Kathleen, let me ask you something. Do you enjoy the big house with the swimming pool, tennis courts, servants, and everything else that comes with it?
Kathleen: Of course I do.
Conor: And all the cars, the yacht, the private plane to take you wherever you want, whenever you want?
Kathleen: Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I do.
Conor: And the vacation home in the Bahamas, and the ski chalet in Aspen? You like all that too, don’t you?
Kathleen: Oh, I love Aspen. I ran into Jack Nicholson once, at a red light. The sun was in my eyes and I went right through it. He pretended to be angry but . . .
Conor: Kathleen -- focus! Now, who owns all these things you like so much?
Kathleen: Huh? Oh, why we do!
Conor: Wrong! Mommy does! And until she dies -- and we can only hope that will be soon -- or until I can have her declared mentally incompetent and sent to a rest home -- we have to keep our mouths shut and do what she says. I don’t trust her or Mikey. He has her in confession every week. Who knows what he’s up to? Getting her to leave her money to the church? Or to him?
Kathleen: And what about that hired nurse? You mother’s taken a liking to her for some reason. Who knows what that woman might get your mother to sign while she’s medicated? Who the hell is Nurse Kelly anyway? We’ve begged your mother to get a nurse, but she wouldn’t listen. Now all of a sudden Nurse Kelly appears out of the blue. Hell, she should just give me her nurse’s uniform. I do most of the work. Conor, can’t you talk to your mother, tell her to lay off, maybe treat me with a little respect?
Conor: I’ll see what I can do. But in the meantime, you’d better get her water. (KATHLEEN exits BACKSTAGE and CONOR approaches ROSE) Oh Mommy!
Rose: What do you want?
Conor: I want to talk to you about the way you treat Kathleen. She’s my wife, a McFadden, and she should be treated with a little more respect. Not like one of the servants. (KATHLEEN rushes out with the water. ROSE ignores her.)
Rose: Conor, you’re the last person who should be lecturing about manners and proper behavior. Perhaps we can all learn some manners from Nurse Kelly. She’s a sweet girl, and she might just teach you all a lesson or two someday. You should start be a little nicer to Nurse Kelly.
Conor: She’s the hired help, Mommy. Since when are we nice to the servants? And what do you mean about teaching us all a lesson?
Rose: Life is funny, Conor. Someday the shoe might be on the other foot. Then what are you going to do?
Conor: What are you talking about?
Rose: None of your business. I’m bored. I want more music, and not that slow, old-fashioned stuff. I want to dance. Get that girl to play some dance music.
Conor: Janet! Mommy wants some dance music. Play a jig.
Janet: Yeah, great gig!
Conor: No, not gig, we want an Irish Jig. We want to dance!
Janet: Well, why didn’t you say so? Let’s see here . . . (flipping through her CD’s) Irish Jigs . . .no, no, none there either…oh hell, what’s the difference? (starts conga music) EVERYBODY CONGA!!!
CONOR looks appalled but ROSE gets up, goes into the audience, and gets people up in a conga line. NURSE KELLY is right behind her. FATHER MIKE starts another line and also gets people from the audience to join in. All the cast joins in except CONOR and HANNAH, who watch in disgust. After the song is over, ROSE acts exhausted and NURSE KELLY helps her back to the table.
Hannah: (walks over to head table) You look terrible, Rose. Are you maybe seeing a long tunnel? Is there a light at the end?
Rose: Shut your trap, Hannah. I have enough strength left to knock you into the afterlife, light or no light!
Hannah: Don’t worry, Rose, you’ll never die, you’re too mean. Heaven doesn’t want you and hell is afraid you’ll take over. You have no place to go!
Nurse Kelly: That wasn’t a very nice thing to say to Rose -- I mean, Mrs. McFadden.
Hannah: So it’s Rose now, is it? Well, haven’t you two gotten chummy. You’re a lucky woman, Nurse Kelly. You’re the only one Rose is nice to. Why you? I think you’re up to something. You’re a conniving little sneak. What is it – the secret ingredient to the whiskey recipe? Are you after that? You’re a snake in the grass, you are. And when I find out what you’re up to . . .
NURSE KELLY starts crying and runs offstage.
Rose: That’s enough, Hannah! Now see what you’ve done?
Hannah: I’m just getting started!
Rose: All your life you’ve walked around a bitter, bitter woman, Hannah. It’s pitiful to see you constantly add to your long list of regrets.
Hannah: Suspecting that phony Florence Nightengale of being up to something is hardly a regret! She’s nothing but a floozy!
Rose: You don’t know what you’re saying.
Hannah: You know what your trouble is? You think it’s your duty to point out everyone else’s problems and faults while refusing to recognize your own!
Rose: Oh yeah? Well, a big problem I see in your future, Hannah, is my fist connecting to your nose! Come closer so I can reach you. (ROSE swings her fist in the air. Hannah roles up her sleeves and clenches her fists and approaches Rose)
Conor: (breaks it up) Will you two knock it off! Auntie Hannah, why don’t you get yourself a drink and calm down.
Hannah: You know I don’t drink.
Conor: Then I suggest you start. Maybe you won’t be such a sourpuss.
Hannah: You’re as hateful as your mother! (walks offstage)
Conor: Mommy, you really must stop arguing with Auntie Hannah all the time. It’s going to make you sick. Why, you could have a stroke, or a heart attack. (actually, the idea appeals to him)
Rose: Knock it off. You can’t wait to see me kick the bucket. But don’t forget, I’m still the only one who knows the secret ingredient for the whiskey recipe. Every day I and I alone go to the distillery and pour that secret ingredient into the mix. The ingredient that gives Wild Irish Rose Whiskey its distinctive flavor. If I die without revealing the secret ingredient to anyone, that’s the end of the whiskey -- and the end of the family empire.
Conor: What do you mean, “before revealing it to anyone”? You’re going to reveal it to me, aren’t you? I’m your son. It’s what Daddy would’ve wanted -- for me to carry on the McFadden Whiskey empire!
Rose: I never said it would be you. And I’m not divulging who I’ll reveal the secret to, not yet. But I will tell you this: I’m spilling the beans real soon, along with lots of other secrets that are going to cause explosions in both families. The McFadden’s and the O’Riley’s. Now get out of my way. I need to find that sweet Nurse Kelly. You ought to be a little nicer to her.
ROSE walks BACKSTAGE to find NURSE KELLY. CONOR walks behind her for a few steps with his hands near her throat like he’d like to strangle her. SEAMUS sees this and confronts CONOR.
Seamus: Hey Conor, you should really treat your mother with more respect.
Conor: Mind your own business, Seamus.
Seamus: In a way, it is my business. After all, Rose started out as an O’Riley, no better than the rest of us poor O’Rileys. Family looks after family. Even if she did stab us in the back!
Conor: She did no such thing. It was her wifely duty to hand that whiskey recipe over to Daddy. Watch your mouth and stay out of my business. The only reason you ever got to be foreman at the distillery is because Mommy insisted you have the job. But if you don’t watch your step, I’ll fire you!
Seamus: You can’t fire me! Rose hired me and only Rose can fire me!
Conor: Oh yeah? Well, the old bag won’t be around forever. And when she’s gone, you’re gone. In fact, all the O’Riley’s at the plant will be gone. I’m going to fire all of you. And then where will you work? You don’t know how to do anything else, and the only decent jobs in town are at the distillery. As far as I’m concerned, you can all go live in a cave somewhere. Now get away from me or the next accidental death at the plant just might be you! (They storm off in opposite directions.)
ROSE and NURSE KELLY return to the head table and sit down. ROSE looks upset. FATHER MIKE eavesdrops on the following conversation.
Rose: Kelly dear, I can’t take much more of this. It’s too much for me. Keeping all these secrets to myself, the family constantly bickering. It’s taking a toll on my health.
Nurse Kelly: Perhaps it’s time, time to get it all off your chest. Reveal the secret, reveal all the secrets.
FATHER MIKE is in a panic, afraid ROSE is about to tell NURSE KELLY the secret whiskey ingredient.
Father Mike: (interrupts them) Rose, Rose, is everything okay? You look upset. How can I help?
Rose: I have too much bottled up inside, Mikey. I have to let it out.
Father Mike: It’s the burden of that secret ingredient, Rose. Keeping it to yourself all these years hasn’t been good for your health. Maybe it’s time to let it go, tell the secret to someone you trust. I’d be honored to be your confidant, Rose. If you can’t trust a man of the cloth, who can you trust?
Rose: You’re right, Mikey, I have to tell someone soon. But it won’t be you. (sarcastically) I wouldn’t want to burden you.
Father Mike: Burden me, burden me!
Rose: Sorry, Mikey. Well, see you in confession. Same time, same place? We really have to stop meeting like that! Hahahahahhaah!
Father Mike: (nervous) Oh, yeah, hahaha, good one Rose. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to speak to Seamus. Bless you, my child. (does the sign of the cross but makes like he’s cutting his throat at the end.)
Father Mike: Seamus, Seamus, come here, quick!!
Seamus: What’s wrong Mikey? Did we run out of booze?
Father Mike: No, no, no! Our plans are falling apart. Rose just told me she’s about to reveal the secret ingredient soon and it won’t be to me. I thought our plan was foolproof. I was sure she’d tell me in confession. With that and your knowledge of the distillery operation, we could take over the plant! And if we couldn’t get control of the plant, we could start our own distillery with the money I’ve been stealing from the poor box and the collection plate all these years. Now it’s all falling apart! We’ll have to go to Plan B!
Seamus: I didn’t know we had a Plan B.
Father Mike: We don’t! But we need one, fast! Now think, think . . . I’ve got it!
Seamus: Got what?
Father Mike: Plan B!
Seamus: But you just said we didn’t have a Plan B. Where’d it come from?
Father Mike: I just thought it up! Now shut up and listen. I’m going to slip a Mikey -- I mean a Mickey – into Rose’s glass of water. It won’t hurt her, just make her drowsy and kind of sick feeling. But I’ll tell her she looks deathly ill. You’ll call for an ambulance. I’ll ride with her to the hospital and try to convince her that this may be the end and she should reveal the secret ingredient to me before it’s too late!
Seamus: You’re a genius!
Father Mike: (looking up toward heaven, arms outstretched) It’s a gift.
FATHER MIKE heads over to ROSE but is intercepted by CONOR.
Conor: Hello, Mikey. Where are you going?
Father Mike: Your mother’s been upset. I thought I’d go console her. It’s my mission in life to help those that are distressed.
Conor: Yes, you’re a good man, Mikey. I’ve noticed you’ve been helping my mother a lot lately. Having her come down to the church for confession once, sometimes twice a week. Awful nice of you, Mikey.
Father Mike: Like I said, it’s my mission.
Conor: I’m sure it is. And is it also your mission to con my mother into telling you the secret ingredient?
Father Mike: How dare you! Of course not!
Conor: You’re a liar. I’m telling you here and now, stay away from Mommy! I don’t want you near her.
Father Mike: You can’t stop me from doing the work I’ve vowed to do.
Conor: Oh yeah? If you continue to pursue your calling by carrying out your missionary work around my mommy, then I’ll have no choice but to do a little missionary work of my own!
Father Mike: What’s that supposed to mean?
Conor: I’ll tell you exactly what it means. I’ve got proof you’ve been stealing church funds for years.
Father Mike: That’s not true!
Conor: Oh yes it is. What’s more, you’ve been visiting the convent an awful lot lately. I’ve got some very revealing photographs of you and Sister Mary Hotpants! If you don’t stay away from Mommy, I’m taking all this evidence to the bishop! I’ll ruin your theological career as well as your personal reputation, what’s left of it, and you’ll be run out of town. The first of many O’Rileys to be run out of town if I get my way. I hate O’Rileys! Stay away from Mommy! (storms off)
Seamus: (goes up to FATHER MIKE) What was that all about?
Father Mike: (almost hysterical) Big trouble! Conor says he has proof I’ve been stealing church funds! And he also says he has revealing photographs of me and Sister Mary Hotpants!
Seamus: (eagerly) Do you think he’ll show them to me?
Father Mike: Shut up! We have to act fast. It’s time to put Plan B into motion!
Seamus: Right! You slip Rose the Mickey and I’ll stand by to call the ambulance!
Father Mike: Right! Okay, here I go.
Seamus: Say Mikey . . .
Father Mikey: What?
Seamus: What do nuns wear under those habits?
Father Mike: Well, they have this . . . never mind! Stand by to call the ambulance! Idiot!!
FATHER MIKE goes up to ROSE. NURSE KELLY is standing nearby, watching and listening.
Father Mike: How are you feeling now, Rose?
Rose: Much better.
Father Mike: Are you sure, Rose? Because you don’t look so good.
Rose: What are you talking about? I feel fine.
Father Mike: Well, of course, but I’ll say a prayer for you, Rose. I still don’t think you look well.
Rose: I’m fine, Mikey! Just a little thirsty, that’s all. (reaches for her glass)
Father Mike: Wow, Rose! Look at the buns on that guy! (points in some direction to distract her)
Rose: Where, where? (looks around)
As ROSE looks around, FATHER MIKE drops the Mickey into ROSE’S water. Alka Seltzer works well because the audience will see if fizzing. NURSE KELLY sees what happened.)
Rose: (disappointed) Shoot, I didn’t’ see anything.
Father Mike: Too bad, he’s gone now. You just missed him.
Rose: Damn! I like buns. Young buns!
Father Mike: (to himself) Thanks for your confession.
Father Mike: Nothing. You said were thirsty. Here, drink some water. (hands her the glass)
Rose: Thanks, Mikey.
As ROSE raises the glass to her lips, NURSE KELLY quickly grabs it away.
Nurse Kelly: This water’s been sitting around for a while, Rose. Let me get you a fresh glass. (looks at FATHER MIKE) Unless you would like to drink it?
Father Mike: (glaring at her) No thanks, never touch the stuff. (takes flask out of pocket, takes a big swig, then walks offstage in a huff)
Rose: Never mind about the water, Kelly. Kathleen! Get me more water!!
Kathleen: I’ve had it. I’m not watering that old bag anymore. (to Rose) Tell your nurse to get your damn water!
Rose: Better watch your tongue Kathleen. Your mouth always moves faster than your brain. You’ll get that water and you’ll get it now. Otherwise, I’ll tell Conor all about your affair -- with an O’Riley! He’d rather have you shoot him than have an affair with an O’Riley.
Kathleen: You’re bluffing. You won’t tell him. He may make you angry, and you may not approve of his business tactics or the way he treats people, especially O’Rileys, but you wouldn’t tell him about my affair with an O’Riley. That would hurt him too much!
Rose: Oh No? Just watch me. Conor! Come here. Now!
Conor: Yes, Mommy?
KATHLEEN intercepts CONOR on his way to Rose. They stand CENTER STAGE.
Kathleen: (in a panic) Where you going?
Conor: Mommy’s calling.
Kathleen: I didn’t hear her call you.
Conor: You were standing right next to her. How could you not hear?
Kathleen: Uhhhh . . . that’s because I wasn’t paying much attention to what she was saying. You know, she’s really babbling, Conor. She’s not making any sense. I think she’s finally lost all her marbles.
Conor: I’ve been saying that for years. But I still have to come when she calls or she might write me out of the will. If she hasn’t already. We have to keep her happy.
Kathleen: (getting more desperate) Please don’t go over there. It’s a waste of time. She’s not making any sense!
Conor: What’s wrong with you? I have to go.
Kathleen: Ohhhhh . . . Don’t listen to her!
CONOR goes to ROSE and KATHLEEN follows at a distance.
Conor: What did you want, Mommy?
Rose: I want to talk to you about Kathleen.
Conor: Has she been neglecting to keep your water glass full? Kathleen, shame on you!
Rose: It has nothing to do with my water.
Conor: Well then, what has she done now? You know, you really should be a little nicer to Kathleen. She tries hard. She really does.
Rose: Actually, I have a whole new respect for Kathleen now. I admire her choice in men.
Conor: Who could argue with you there, Mommy? It was the luckiest day of her life when she married me.
Rose: I wasn’t talking about you.
Conor: (confused) Huh?
Rose: Do you know Kathleen has been having an affair with an O’Riley?
Conor: (laughing) Oh Mommy, you’re such a kidder.
Rose: (gleefully) It’s true.
CONOR continues laughing. Then he looks at KATHLEEN and they both make a finger around the ear gesture meaning ROSE is nuts)
Conor: (walks to KATHLEEN) I think you’re right, Kathleen. She’s finally lost it. You having an affair with an O’Riley? Hahahahah. She’s off her rocker.
Kathleen: Crazy! Nuts! Insane! Come on, Conor. Let’s get away from her before she gets violent! (starts to pull him offstage)
Rose: Here, Conor. Take a look at this photograph. (waves a photo in air)
Conor: (goes back to ROSE, studies photo) It’s you, Kathleen, in an embrace with another man! I can’t make out who the guy is, but it’s you!
Kathleen: (gives up) Oh all right! I’ve had it! It’s true. That’s me. And the guy in the photo is . . . (run into audience and pick a man who’s sitting at an O’Riley table) . . . him!!
Kathleen: Yes, him! He loves me, and he treats me like a lady, not like just another piece of property.
Conor: (to man) I know you . . . you work at the plant! Not any more. You’re finished! You’ll never work around here again because I’ll run you out of town. Or maybe we’ll have another accidental O’Riley death at the plant.
Kathleen: (alarmed; dawns on her what he means) Accidental death? You don’t mean. Ohmygod! (a momentary lapse; all she really cares about is saving her own skin. Says next line to boyfriend) You won’t be much use to me floating face down in a vat of whiskey. (runs to Conor, pleading) Conor, Conor, please forgive me. It’s all been an awful mistake. He . . . he . . . forced himself on me. What could I do? Please forgive me!
Conor: An O’Riley! How could you? Why didn’t you just shoot me in the back? An O’Riley?
Kathleen: Please, Conor. It’s all a mistake. Give me another chance.
Conor: You’re right about that. Marrying you was the biggest mistake I ever made. You’re through, Kathleen, finished. Pack your bags and get out of my house.
Rose: My house.
Conor: Mommy’s house, whatever. Just get out. Without me, what will you have? Nothing! Go stand in line at a soup kitchen. Sleep in a cardboard box somewhere for all I care. I hope you and loverboy O’Riley over there are happy together. Enjoy it while you can, because he won’t be around long enough to live happily ever after with you!
Kathleen: (pleading) But Conor . . .
Conor: No buts. Go home, pack your things, and get out!
Kathleen: Fine! But if I were you, I’d watch my back. You just might be the next accidental death at the distillery! (walks angrily offstage)
Conor: Yeah, right. That’ll be the day.
The next four conversations should have no pauses in between. Just as Conor gets out of one argument, he gets hit with another one.
Father Mike: (goes up to CONOR) Conor, take it easy. Don’t get yourself all worked up. Take a few deep breaths. (demonstrates) In, out, in, out. It’ll calm you down. In, out, in out . . .
Conor: Knock it off!
Father Mike: See? You could bust an artery with that kind of attitude. You need to learn to relax. Take a yoga class, go for a massage, learn to meditate.
Conor: Good old Father Mikey, concerned for my health. What a crock. You’re just trying to get on my good side so I don’t spill the beans about you having your hand in the collection plate and up Sister Mary Hotpants’s habit. Well, too late. You’re through, Mikey. Pretty soon your only friend will be that flask you carry around in your pocket. Maybe you can go live with Kathleen and her O’Riley lover in their cardboard box! I’m calling the bishop in the morning!
Father Mike: (threatening) If you live that long! (storms BACKSTAGE)
CONOR turns and walks away and comes face to face with SEAMUS.
Seamus: (trying to save his skin) Conor, I . . . uh . . . have some new ideas for the distillery. Yeah, that’s it. I think you’ll like them. They’ll help things run a lot smoother. More product, less overhead. I’m a company man all the way, and I . . .
Conor: Seamus, I never trusted you from day one. I’m not stupid -- I know you and Mikey are plotting to get the secret recipe and take over the distillery. I’ve had it up to here with you O’Rileys. You can all go to hell, and you can lead the pack! You’ve seen your last paycheck, Seamus. You’re all fired as of now!
Seamus: But where will we go? Where will we work? We’ll be forced out of our homes, forced to move from the neighborhoods we grew up in. Don’t do this, Conor!
Conor: I don’t care if you all starve! There’s only one person who hates O’Rileys more than Daddy did, and that’s me! I can’t wait to be rid of all of you. The air won’t smell as bad once you’re gone!
Seamus: (threatening) If I were you, I wouldn’t celebrate the demise of the O’Riley family just yet. In fact, it may be the O’Rileys who end up celebrating . . . at your funeral! (walks offstage angrily)
CONOR tries to regain his composure when NURSE KELLY approaches him.
Nurse Kelly: Conor! I’m tired of you treating all us O’Rileys like we’re dirt!
Conor: Us O’Riley’s? My my, you’re as delusional as Mommy. And it’s not Conor, it’s Mr. McFadden to you. Remember, you’re just the hired help. Us O’Riley’s. Hahahahaha. You’re a Kelly, whoever the hell they are, and you better watch your step or your days will be numbered around here, too.
Nurse Kelly: You can’t fire me, only Rose can do that.
Conor: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I’m tired of waiting for Mommy to die. Maybe it’s time she went away, too.
Nurse Kelly: What do you mean?
Conor: I mean that with my money and my influence in town, I won’t have any trouble getting the doctor to sign documents and have Mommy committed somewhere. Maybe a nice rest home in the country far away from here. And if she’s declared incompetent, everything will be placed in my hands. While she’s sitting in a rocking chair on some porch, everything will be mine! And you? You can go to rest home with your new best friend and take care of her there!
Nurse Kelly: (in his face) A rest home, huh? The only person going to a home is you – a funeral home! (holds a syringe up and squirts “medicine” in front of him; then walks BACKSTAGE.)
Hannah: (approaches CONOR) You’re a no good rotten scoundrel, Conor McFadden! I’ve sat back and watched you mistreat everyone, especially the O’Rileys, long enough! It’s time I gave you a piece of my mind!
Conor: (sarcastically) You can’t spare one.
Hannah: That’s just what I’m talking about. There’s no excuse for you to talk nasty to me like that!
Conor: Shut your mouth, Auntie, before you regret it!
Hannah: Ha! You’re threatening me? I don’t work for you, and I don’t need any of your money. I’m not afraid of you like the others are.
Conor: Well you should be. There’s that farmhouse you live in.
Hannah: My house? What about it?
Conor: All these years you’ve lived alone in that farmhouse that belonged to your father. You never married. That house is the only thing you’ve ever loved. Trouble is, it’s not yours. It’s in Mommy’s name, like everything else around here. And after I have her committed, the house will be mine! Then I’ll throw you out on the street and turn all that beautiful land you love so much into a garbage dump!
Hannah: You wouldn’t dare!
Conor: Watch me!
Hannah: (threatening) Over my dead body! Or maybe over yours. The only garbage that’s going to get buried on my land will be you!
Conor: (not worried) Gee, everyone seems to be threatening me today. Hahahaha. I didn’t think they had it in them! (walks BACKSTAGE laughing)
Hannah: (goes to Rose) Well, Rose, let me congratulate you. You’ve not only done a fine job of ruining everyone’s lives, but you’ve raised a son who can carry on the tradition! Lives destroyed, families torn apart, all over a secret whiskey ingredient.
Rose: What Conor says and does is his own business. I have nothing to do with it.
Hannah: Oh yes you do. It’s all your fault. You could’ve changed things, helped stop the feud between the McFaddens and the O’Rileys by giving us – your own family -- a piece of the business. Everyone would’ve been happy. But oh no, the McFadden greed has ruined you, Rose. I’m ashamed to call you my sister!
Rose: (rising, clenching her fists) That’s enough! I’m going to do what I should’ve done a long time ago -- give you the whoopin’ of your life. Come on! Bring it on, girl!
The two women take CENTER STAGE and get ready to box. Their fists are up, they’re glaring at each other, and they begin slowly circling. FATHER MIKE and SEAMUS run over with two chairs and follow behind them while they circle, waiting to catch them when they become exhausted and collapse. They finally do without ever hitting each other. They collapse into the chairs fanning themselves, trying to catch their breath.
Rose: Had enough?
Hannah: Have I had enough? I just kicked your butt!
Rose: Did not! I won that round!
Hannah: (visibly distressed) I’m having trouble catching my breath.
NURSE KELLY runs over to check HANNAH. Takes her pulse.
Nurse Kelly: Hannah, are you okay? Here, let me get you some water.
Hannah: I don’t need anything from you! Get away from me!
Rose: Is that any way to talk to your own daughter?
Hannah: (startled, confused) What? You really have lost your marbles. I don’t have a daughter. I’ve never even been married!
Rose: True, you’re an old maid, living like a hermit all these years on the old family farm. But only because you’ve been trying to hide from the truth your whole life!
Hannah: My lifestyle is no concern of yours.
Rose: Please, Hannah, we all know about that little romantic tryst you had when you were in high school. That little peccadillo?
Hannah: (dreamily) His peccadillo wasn’t that little. (snaps back to reality) Shut up, Rose!
Rose: Actually, he was kind of cute. Pity you scared him off with your miserable attitude.
Hannah: (threatening) I said shut up, Rose!
Rose: Was it your bad attitude that chased him out of town or the fact that you were pregnant with his child?
Hannah: (panicky) I said that’s enough!
Rose: Things were different in those days. Daddy was mortified, so he sent you off to a convent to have the baby and told everyone you were in secretarial school. After the baby was born, it was put up for adoption. You never saw the child again . . . until today!
Hannah: (in denial) I don’t believe it. Yes, yes, the story is true, but I don’t believe she’s my daughter. She can’t be! And you’ll never be able to convince me!
Nurse Kelly: (approaches Hannah) But mother, after all these years, don’t you want to . . .
Hannah: Stay away from me! I told you, I don’t believe a word of it!
Rose: Well you’d better believe it. And there’s more. Conor!
Conor: Yes, Mommy?
Rose: You’re despicable.
Conor: Thank you, Mom . . . wait a minute! You can’t talk to me that way!
Rose: I just did. You’re not just like your father, you’re worse!
Conor: Don’t you talk bad about Daddy!
Rose: It’s time you learned the truth.
And reveal the truth Rose does! There’s a few more pages to the hilarious ending of the script. Following that would be your voting, judging and handing out the prizes. All that is explained in the remaining pages, as well as production help, press releases, and much more.
That’s it. There’s a few more pages to the ending. To get the ending and other files, sound effects, graphics, etc…. associated with this script package, you need to purchase.
Thanks for reading.
Break a leg!
Tony & Marylou