Follow the Southern Cross by John Ross


DOWNLOAD


This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent


ACT I

SCENE 1

OVERTURE
STELLA TAURUS - DUSK - SOMEWHERE IN THE CORAL SEA
(Stella Taurus set a large
sailboat, showing the stern deck.
The sky is bright with some stars
as the sun is fading. MIKE is
pacing the deck and is solemn as
he reads a letter, he turns, drops
the letter to his side and
narrates towards the audience.)

MIKE
(narrating)
Dear Mikie. I'm glad one of my letters finally
got through; your mother must be getting soft.
Happy eighteenth birthday. I know you have many
questions, I know you feel I had abandoned you,
but I'm glad you wrote to ask me what happened
and what I've been doing. Here's what has
happened in the last two years, since I lost
contact with your mother

WHERE DO I START?
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
THIS STORY IS FOR BOTH YOU AND ME
AND WHEN TWO LIVES ARE PULLED APART BY SELFISH LACK OF SIGHT
AT THE BEGINNING, WE FIND ME AND YOUR MOTHER
I FOUND HER ARMS IN THE ARMS OF ANOTHER
AND I LEFT YOUR MOTHER THAT NIGHT
I TOOK TO BOTTLE AND MUG
A HOOK ON A HORRIBLE DRUG
I DRANK MY LIFE AWAY
I POURED MY WIFE AND YOU AWAY
BUT A BETTER MAN I CAN BE, FOR THIS TIME I FEEL
A HARDER MAN OF COURSE, I NEEDED TIME TO HEAL
I FOUND A NEW LIFE, THREE THOUSAND MILES AWAY
I FOUND LOVE AND A BETTER LOVE THAT COULD SET ME FREE
I FOUND THAT BETTER MAN, A BETTER MAN I CAN BE
SHE TOOK YOU AWAY, SHE HAD THE RIGHT
IT BROKE MY HEART
I TOOK TO BEING DRUNK AND BECAME A SORRY SIGHT
FAR AWAY SHE AND YOU WENT, FURTHER INTO HELL I WAS BENT
ON THE BRINK I MADE A PLEA, I FOUND HELP AND AS FOR ME
I FOUND A A NEW START
I BECAME A BROKEN MAN WITH NOWHERE TO FLEE
AND IN THIS LAND DOWN UNDER, A MAGICAL PLACE IF THERE EVER
WAS
A YOUNG SOUL AND HARDENED LOVE
TOOK ME IN AND SHOWED ME MY LIFE BECAUSE
SHE COULD SEE THE BETTER MAN, BELOW AND ABOVE
SHE AND I FOUND EACH OTHER AND I, FOUND ME
I FELT HER LOVE HEAL MY PAIN, STRAIGHT TO MY HEAD
“Follow the Southern Cross” 1.
BUT IN THE END HER LOVE WOULD
FIND HER
I TOOK TO BOTTLE AND MUG
A HOOK ON A HORRIBLE DRUG
I DRANK MY LIFE AWAY
I POURED MY WIFE AWAY
BUT A BETTER MAN I CAN BE, FOR THIS TIME I FEEL
A HARDER MAN OF COURSE, I NEEDED TIME TO HEAL
I FOUND A NEW LIFE, EIGHT THOUSAND MILES AWAY
I FOUND LOVE AND A BETTER LOVE THAT COULD SET ME FREE
I FOUND THAT BETTER MAN, A BETTER MAN I CAN BE
LET'S START FROM WHERE I SHOULD
BROKEN AND WOUNDED, FEARFUL AND ROTTING INSIDE
HOW I NOW CAME TO BE, HOW I COULD
NOT ANY LONGER HIDE
FADE OUT

SCENE 2

A REHAB CENTER, ONE OF MANY ALL ALIKE:
(MIKE is sitting in a group
therapy, an A.A. type setting,
with four other men. LARRY, PETE,
STEVE and the JACK the counselor
with ENSEMBLE around in other
chairs. A coffee pot on a small
table and a good dose from a smoke
machine sets the ambience, the
room si small with a window.)
JACK
Okay guys, let's get started! Someone want to
start?
(everyone looks at one another in
sequence)
Well, okay then, I'll begin…

NOW TODAY WE HAVE TO DISCUSS YOUR, AHEM, REDRESS, A TEMPORARY
PAUSE
WE SIT AND TALK AND CRY AND LAUGH, AT OURSELVES AND ONE
ANOTHER
WE KNOW OUR FAILURES; WE KNOW THE ROOT, AND KNOW THE CAUSE
WE DISCUSS OUR WAYS TO HEAL AND MAKE AND TAKE ADVICE, BROTHER
TO BROTHER
AN OUNCE OF CURE, FOR A POUND OF ILL
WE LOST OUR STRENGTH, OUR WILL FOR A DRUG THAT WILL KILL
TOGETHER WE FIGHT, FOR ONE ANOTHER TO BE PURE
BUT FOR A WORLD OF PAIN, WE HAVE BUT AN OUNCE OF CURE
“Follow the Southern Cross” 2.
ENSEMBLE
WE FIGHT FOR ONE ANOTHER
A WAR ON DRUGS, SPIRITS AND PAIN, FOR TOGETHER WE CAN WIN
YOU ONLY REACH BOTTOM WHEN YOU STOP YOUR DIG
YOU ONLY GET OUT OF THAT HOLE BY THE HANDS FROM THE RIM
A PRISON OF FLUID, PASTE, POWDER OR SIMILAR BRIG…
GIVE ME YOUR HEARTS, YOUR HANDS AND YOUR HOPES TO BOOT
GIVE ME YOUR FAITH AND YOUR WILL, YOUR SOUL PURE
TOGETHER WE SHALL BATTLE THE EVIL OF DRINK, THE SMACK OR THE
TOOT
TOGETHER WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOUR LIVES; TOGETHER WE WILL COURT
THE CURE
ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE FIND
WE FIGHT FOR ONE ANOTHER
A WAR ON DRUGS, SPIRITS AND PAIN, FOR TOGETHER WE CAN WIN
YOU ONLY REACH BOTTOM WHEN YOU STOP YOUR DIG
YOU ONLY GET OUT OF THAT HOLE FROM THE HANDS AT THE RIM
A PRISON OF FLUID, PASTE, POWDER OR SIMILAR BRIG
THE WORLD IS FILLED WITH IMAGES OF BEER AND WINE AND DRUG, OH
YES
BUT WE HAVE NO POWER OVER THAT WHICH THEY SELL SO FREELY
WE HAVE NO POWER OVER THAT WHICH OTHERS USE REGULARLY
WE HAVE NO WAY OF WINNING, NO WAY TO SUPPRESS…
UNLESS…
WE STAY TOGETHER

LARRY
I fell for this woman, I fell so hard, when she
dumped me I fell again, in that hole dug with
booze…

JACK
Very good Larry, Pete?

PETE
I prescribed drugs to my patients, but not one
did they receive, I took the drugs myself, and
left my patients deceived…

JACK
(nodding and writing)
And Paul, would you like to share?

PAUL
I drank and drugged, lost my kids and home, I
could never stop by myself. I could never find
the help I needed

JACK
I understand Paul, it happens all the time, and
Mike, what do you have to add?
“Follow the Southern Cross” 3.

MIKE
(looking away)
She took my son, I can't see him now. She took
him away, far from my home. I'm alone now, I
need something to give me life again, to give
me hope, once I'm free of this place, I'll need
more to get me by

(RIKA appears at the window to the
left of the room. MIKE sees her
and pauses to stare.)

ENSEMBLE
WHEN I GET MY LIFE BACK, I REALLY HOPE
NO MORE WINE BEER OR DOPE
I GIVE MY LIFE OVER TO MY HIGHER POWER
I SACRIFICE ALL TO GET WHAT I ONCE HAD
AN OUNCE OF CURE, FOR A POUND OF ILL
WE LOST OUR STRENGTH, OUR WILL FOR A DRUG THAT WILL KILL
TOGETHER WE FIGHT, FOR ONE ANOTHER TO BE PURE
BUT FOR A TON OF PAIN, WE HAVE BUT AN OUNCE OF CURE

JACK
If that's true Mike, we have a lot to
discuss…

(MIKE is still staring at RIKA and
they smile at one another.)

JACK (CONT'D)
Mike? Mike? MIKE!

MIKE
(turning, narrating)
Twenty-eight days after that I was sober and
able to leave, but I wasn't cured, there is no
cure for addiction. But I could relatively
function again, and I never had to tell them
what drove me so deep into the bottle. I never
told anyone.
(Mike stands and the lights dim)
After I got out, just a few weeks later, I felt
alone and in need of something… stimulating.

FADE OUT

SCENE 3

A 747, SOMEWHERE NEAR AUSTRALIA:
(MIKE is seated on a plane set,
the set has several of the
ensemble in seats also. MIKE is
looking over a brochure of
Australia with a fake looking
Crocodile Dundee on the cover)
“Follow the Southern Cross” 4.

ENSEMBLE
ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE WORLD, ON AN ISLAND CONTINENT
WE TRAVEL TO GLEAN THE ANSWERS OF THE UNIVERSE, TO FIND THE
TRUTH THAT IS PERTINENT
TO DISCOVER THE QUESTIONS THAT PLAGUE MANKIND…
THE ANSWERS WE INTEND TO FIND…

MAN
WHERE DOES CROCODILE DUNDEE LIVE?
DOES THE WATER REALLY FLUSH CLOCKWISE?

WOMAN
DOES OUTBACK HAVE A BETTER BLOOMIN ONION HERE?
IF A MAN IS A BRUCE AND A GIRL A SHEILA, IS A CHILD A SHIRAZ?

ENSEMBLE
THOUSANDS OF MILES FROM HOME, WE SEEK THE TRUE QUESTIONS
WE WANT THE INSIGHT INTO THE SECRETS OR PRIVATE MENTIONS
TO MAKE LIFE BETTER WE NEED THE SOLUTIONS TO OUR QUERIES
SEEK OUT THE CANDOR, WE WANT THE FINALITY, NOT THE PANDOR
TO MYSTERIES OF THE WORLD LIKE…

MAN
WHAT TIMES IS THE MIDNIGHT BUFFET?
HOW FAR IS THE TRAIN RIDE TO NEW ZEALAND?

WOMAN
WHICH DIRECTION IS NORTH AUSTRALIA?
WHAT DO YOU CALL CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA?

ENSEMBLE
THE VERITY OF THE LAND IS IMPORTANT, THE TRUTH OF IT ALL
THE REASON FOR THINGS THAT HAUNT US ALL
THE CERTITUDE OF MAGICAL ISLAND KNOWN AS OZ
WE NEED THE RESOLUTIONS TO OUT OUR CAUSE

MAN
IS THERE ANY ROYALTY IN KINGS CROSS?
I HEAR THIS WAS ONCE A PRISON ISLAND, ARE WE ACTUALLY SAFE?

WOMAN
WHY IS THE OUTBACK SO FAR OUT OF TOWN?
WHAT IS VEGEMITE AND WHY DOES IT TASTE LIKE BEER AND LOOK
LIKE MUSTARD?

ENSEMBLE
IN JUST A FEW SHORT MINUTES THE WORLD WILL KNOW
THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS MOST HUMANS WANT TO SHOW
HERE WE ARE!
WE'RE LANDING NOW!
I'M SO EXCITED!
IS THAT A DINGO?
HOW DO YOU CLIMB A GUMTREE?
IS DRINKING BEER JUST A MAN THING?

FLIGHT ATTENDANT
(into microphone)
Seats up, trays back, get ready for landing….
(Stage rotates into Kingsford-
Smith Airport arrivals, customs
area, 'choreography'.)

SCENE 4

AIRPORT ARRIVALS TERMINAL, CUSTOMS AREA

ENSEMBLE
(with choreography)
HEY, THIS LOOKS JUST LIKE AMERICA! ISN'T AUSTRALIA SUPPOSED
TO BE AN ISLAND?
(CUSTOMS AGENT nods to MIKE with
ENSEMBLE in the line. He beckons
him forward, CUSTOMS AGENT begins
to go through MIKE's suitcase.)

CUSTOM'S AGENT
"G'day! Welcome to Australia. First time in our country?

MIKE
First time, anywhere, really.

(CUSTOMS AGENT stops digging in
the case and his eyes go wide)

CUSTOM'S AGENT
Hello Skippy!

MIKE
Uh…

CUSTOM'S AGENT
What's this then?

(CUSTOMS AGENT holds up a wallet
with a badge in it)

CUSTOM'S AGENT (CONT'D)
(in mock cowboy voice)
Howdy sheriff!

MIKE
I'm a police officer.

CUSTOM'S AGENT
I should hope so.
(using American gangster slang)
You ain't packin' any heat, are ya?

MIKE
No. No guns.

CUSTOM'S AGENT
(closes Mike's bag)
Well… I believe we can trust a fellow police
officer. Refrain from flashing this thing
around though, eh? Might confuse a bloke.

MIKE
Yes sir!

(MIKE picks up his bag and heads
to stage left as center stage
lights dim, a cab is highlighted
facing the audience. CABBY is
standing at the side of the cab,
smoking, dressed in khaki shorts a
bush shirt and oilskin hat. MIKE
approaches the right side of the
car. CABBY drops his butt to the
ground and smiles big.)

CABBY
I'll drive mate!

(MIKE sees his error, the steering
wheel is on the right side of the
car, he moves sheepishly to the left.)

MIKE
(getting in left side)
Sorry.

CABBY
(getting in the right side of car)
No worries mate, happens all the time. Where to?

MIKE
Bayshore Hotel.

CABBY
(driving)
Ah! Rushcutters Bay. Nice place, stay clear of
Kings Cross though eh? A nice bloke like you
long on bickie notes and short of a gumtree
climb could get his daks in a twitch with the
spuikers there, eh?

MIKE
(confused)
Is that English?

CABBY
Strine mate! The local colorful language! Sorry
mate, most tourists love the lingo when they
get here. Makes em think they got Crocodile
Dundee as a driver then. After them two movies
come out everyone looks for him, they get all
slathered thinking we all dress and talk like
him. Gotta put on the show right?
(begins humming Waltzing Matilda)

(Stage lights give effect of
traveling. Time passing.)

MIKE
(to himself)
The show must go on, mate…

FADE OUT

SCENE 5

BAYSHORE HOTEL, RUSHCUTTERS BAY
(A hotel lobby with elevator doors
at stage right, a reception desk
next to it and a pub near the left
side. MIKE enters the hotel and
glances nervously into the dark
pub as he heads for the reception
desk. TOMMY the bellman and
RECEPTIONIST are standing behind the desk.)

RECEPTIONIST
(perky)
G'day! Mr. Greene?

MIKE
(looks to Tommy who smiles and then to the
receptionist)
Yes. How'd you…

RECEPTIONIST
(very perky)
Only one due till late afternoon. Welcome to
Australia! One moment and I'll check on your
room.

(RECEPTIONIST begins clacking away
at a keyboard, TOMMY walks around
picks up MIKE's suitcase.)

RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D)
(not so perky)
Oh dear.
Your room won't be ready for several minutes,
you may wait in the lounge till then, eh?
(looking to dark pub)
The barmaid won't be in just yet, but I can
have someone whip you a brilliant bloody Mary.
MIKE
(edgy)
I don't drink.

RECEPTIONIST
(perky)
Well, the seats in there are comfy anyway,
won't be but a flash as they finish your room.
Tommy here'll take your luggage up and I'll
fetch you when we're ready!

(MIKE hesitates as he looks to the
pub, he looks to the RECEPTIONIST
who nods with a big smile, then
MIKE looks to TOMMY who gives him
the same nod and smile. MIKE
saunters off into the pub.)

MIKE
Okay, thanks.

(MIKE sits in a chair and relaxes,
as he drops off into a nap.)

FADE OUT

SCENE 6

A REHAB CENTER, ONE OF MANY ALL ALIKE:

(MIKE is talking to RIKA, in the
group room. She is seated across
from him and they are holding
hands.)

RIKA
(looking around)
We're not supposed to be touching.

MIKE
We're not supposed to be even in the same room.

RIKA
(leaning towards Mike)
I know, but, I… I…

THE WORLD, TELLS US LIES BUT WE'RE EXPECTED TO TELL THE TRUTH
WE ARE ALONE IN THIS WORLD, WE ARE ALONE IN THESE PLACES
WE HAVE TO FACE OUR DEMONS WHILE OTHERS SHOW NO REMORSE
I'M ALONE IN A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE WITH FAMILIAR FACES

RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D)
LIKE I'M IN AN OLD TIME ISOLATION BOOTH
A DRUG IS A DRUG TO NUMB AWAY THE SOUL
A MACHINE TO TAKE AWAY MY PAIN
BUT I WANT NOTHING MORE THAN TO BE ALIVE AND WHOLE
I MUST FIND ME A SHELTER IN THIS RAIN
A PATH TO FREEDOM, THE LIES THAT HURT
TO BE SOMETHING MORE
TO BE SOMEONE'S WORTH
THEY SAY THAT THE JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A FIRST STEP
BUT I'VE WALKED THOUSANDS OF MILES, TAKEN A MILLION STRIDES
I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO STAND ALONE, NOR STAND MYSELF WITHOUT
REGRET
ALL WE HAVE IS EACH OTHER, BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND OUR DISEASE
I NEED YOU TO HELP ME, NEED YOU TO HOLD ME, PUT ME AT EASE

RIKA (CONT'D)
(taking Mike's hands)
You see Mike, I called him. He said he would
come to family day, but he didn't show. No one
came for you either. I'm afraid when I leave
here tomorrow, he won't be there and I don't
know what to do. I know you feel the same. It's
as if we're all alone in this world…

MIKE
You can always call, I'll do everything I can
to help you. We can get through this.

RIKA
(hugging Mike)

A DRUG IS A DRUG TO NUMB AWAY THE SOUL
A MACHINE TO TAKE AWAY MY PAIN
BUT I WANT NOTHING MORE THAN TO BE ALIVE AND WHOLE
I MUST FIND ME A SHELTER FROM THIS RAIN
A PATH TO FREEDOM, FROM THE LIES THAT HURT
TO BE SOMETHING MORE
TO BE SOMEONE'S WORTH

(Lights fade on MIKE, RIKA sits
alone as the set becomes her own home setting.)

MIKE
(narrating)
Rika went home that next day, her boyfriend had
left her. She took some painkillers, then she
took matters into her own hands…
(RIKA produces a gun and stares at
it as the lights fade on her.

There's a flash and a gunshot.)

[End of Extract]


DOWNLOAD

Script Finder

Male Roles:

Female Roles:

Browse Library

About Stageplays

Stageplays offers you the largest collection of Plays & Musicals in the world.

Based in the UK and the USA, we’ve been serving the online theatre community since the last century. We’re primarily a family-run business and several of us also work in professional theatre.

But we’re all passionate about theatre and we all work hard to share that passion with you and the world’s online community.

Subscribe to our theatre newsletter

We'll email you regular details of new plays and half-price special offers on a broad range of theatre titles.

Shipping

We can deliver any play in print to any country in the world - and we ship from both the US and the UK.

© 2010 - 2021 Stageplays, Inc.