Claire: Yeah, I’m going to the
pictures wid’ him
again tonight. We’re going to see Dracula and the seven
werewolves, or something. Seems he likes horror
you like horror films?
Claire: I can’t stand them
meself. Nothing but
vampires and bats and creepy old castles and that sort of
They give me nightmares.
Why d’you go then?
Claire: Well, Keith likes them.
He’d go somewhere else if you asked him.
I know where he’d like
Well ask him then.
Claire: Ooh, Marlene! A’m
not some tart from Swarrell you know.
Claire: Aren’t you interested in Keith?
Mmh, yeah. Course.
Claire: He’s got lovely curly
hair. Hey, the bit I
like is where it’s all soft and fluffy round the back of his
neck. It’s sort of nice and … sexy
… well … you
Claire: Honestly! You don’t
care a bit!
You’re not one bit interested in Keith. I might as
have been speaking to a brick wall as to you, Marlene Foster.
bet you’re still mooning over Nails.
Marlene: No I am not!
Claire: I bet you are. Just
’cos he hasn’t come for you for the last five days.
Claire: A told you!
don’t care! A don’t know why you
care! If Nails Palmer wants to go round making a fool of
Claire: Ooh, you do!
Marlene: A don’t!
Claire: You’ve hardly said a word all
week. You and Nails have been going together for ever such a
Marlene: Four years isn’t such a long
time – and it
isn’t even four years. It’s only about
Claire: Yeah, I know, but … A mean
… why doesn’t he come?
Claire: Has he found someone else,
Claire: How d’you know?
Marlene: A just do,
that’s all. Who d’you think
would ’ave him after he let that Swarrell lot …
fool of him like that. I
wouldn’t. Don’t you
mention his name again!
Claire: All right. I won’t.
Marlene: If he would only do something.
Claire: Such as what?
Marlene: Well, like raiding Swarrell.
A mean, it’s
not just him
that’s getting laughed at. They’re
laughing at all of us now.
Claire: Yeah, there’s always somebody
whistling that tune.
Tommo and Scouse.
Tommo: ’Lo, Marlene.
if disgusted]: Oh, it’s you.
Tommo: Heard about Nails?
Marlene: A don’t want t’
Claire: She’s sick of him.
Tommo: That’s all right then,
’cos he’s found himself a new bird.
Marlene: Course he hasn’t!
Tommo: He has.
Marlene: You’re a liar!
That’s what you are, Richard Thompson!
You’re a liar!
Tommo: Why d’you think he’s
been keeping out of your way?
Marlene: ’Cos he’s ashamed
of himself, and well he
might be. Fancy letting them do things like that to him!
Scouse: They’re like that in
Tommo: Marlene’s right!
It’s a bloody
disgrace. Calls himself leader of the gang, and then he lets
Swarrell lot steal his trousers!
Marlene: It wasn’t his
fault! They’d have
stripped anybody. They’d have stripped you if
Tommo: But they didn’t
I had me
mind on the
job. I wasn’t thinking about Janice Greenwood.
Tommo: Janice Greenwood.
Nails’s new bird.
Marlene: Never heard of her.
Tommo: She’s one of them church
lot. Works in the public library.
Marlene: A don’t believe ya.
Scouse: It’s right. Nails
told us himself.
Doesn’t care about any of us any more.
He’s gone all
Tommo: “Better I should lose my pants
than my soul.” That’s what he said.
Scouse: You should ’ve seen him when
Tommo asked if he was getting’ it off her. Hey, he
Tommo: Says he’s going to marry her.
Marlene: Well, more fool her if she’ll
have him. I wouldn’t, A can tell you that.
Tommo: A thought you were keen on each
other. You went around together for long enough.
Marlene: I went out with the leader, with the
Not with a boy
that lets the Swarrell lot
take his trousers
off and send him home in his shirt,
do anything about it.
Tommo: So you … sort of …
don’t care about him?
Marlene: Listen, if you were leader of
the gang I’d go round with you.
Tommo: Would you?
Marlene: Or anybody.
Tommo: Would you though?
Anybody that was leader
leader. That’s what I said and that’s
meant. You don’t think I care about Nails Palmer, do
you. You’re daft
if you do, ’cos A don’t.
She can have him if she wants him – if she’s daft enough to
I don’t – come on, Claire, A thought
we were goin’ down to Miltons to get some o’ that
Marlene: Come on! You know.
Marlene, followed by Claire.
Tommo: A told you, didn’t A?
Scouse: Yeah. Now all you’ve
got to do is get to be chief of the gang.
Tommo: Easy! Nails is finished.
Scouse: There’s others.
Tommo: There’s only us
that’s done anything about them Swarrell lads.
Scouse: Oh yeah, we’ve done great,
haven’t we? Chased some kids for singing that song.
Tommo: They were dead scared.
Scouse: They were only little kids.
Tommo: We nearly caught one of ’em
– and anyway I’ll think of something.
A’ve got plans.
Nails: Hey, lads! Where’s
Tommo: What d’you want
wi’ the gang?
Nails: Watch it, Tommo!
Scouse: They’re somewhere around.
Nails: We’re gonna do that bloody
YPF! And then we’ll do Swarrell.
Tommo: The YPF?
Tommo: What about Janice?
Nails: Don’t mention that
bitch’s name to me!
Come on! What are you standing about for? A want
at the corner of Wellington Street in half an hour.
Nails. Tommo makes an angry, two-fingered gesture after him.
Scouse: What are you going to do now, Tommo?
a pause]: Come on!
Tommo and Scouse.
ACT II, SCENE 2
outside St Sweyne’s Church Hall. Tommo and Scouse.
Scouse: A still don’t know what
you’re up to.
Tommo: A told you: we’re gonna join
Scouse: Yeah, but what for?
Tommo: So we can warn ’em about Nails
Scouse: What do we want to warn them
for? They’ll be
ready for us when we attack. Hey, man, Tommo, the
do you for
that if they find out. It’s high treason.
Tommo: Belt up and listen, will ya?
We’re gonna tell
Janice Greenwood that Nails has gone back to violence and evil ways and
she’s got to stop him.
Scouse: What good will that do?
Yogi Bear]: You still haven’t got it,
have you Boo-boo boy?
Boo-boo]: No, Yogi.
Tommo: Listen, m’n:
Janice’ll go after him to save
the rest o’ them. It’s summat religious
do. It makes ’em feel good. And
him, she loves him, and she’ll slobber over him, and before
know it he’ll have forgotten the gang and be turning the
cheek again – and that’s
where we come in.
Scouse: Yeah, but supposing Nails and the gang
come in while we’re still at the friggin’ YPF?
Tommo: We’ll have to be quick, then,
Aw, don’t worry, m’n. Leave it to Nelly,
and ’Utch . They’ll stall ’em
as long as they
can. Come on!
sticks his thumbs in his belt and moves
towards the YPF. Scouse does the same, moving with a slight
swagger to simulate the confidence he does not feel.
ACT II, SCENE 3
Sweyne’s Church Hall: the YPF dance, as before.
Enter Tony and Des, agitated and running.
Des: Hey! Look out!
It’s Nails Palmer’s gang!
Tony: They’re coming!
and Tony barge through the dancers towards Mouse.
Des: They’re coming to do us over!
Tony: Nails Palmer’s lot!
is a general buzz of panic.
Mouse: Keep calm! Keep calm!
Des, Tony, come here and tell me, calmly,
what it is you have to tell me.
John: We haven’t time for
that. They’re coming!
Des: Nails Palmer’s gang!
John: Should we bar the doors?
Mouse: Are you sure they’re coming
Des & Tony: Yes! Yes!
eyes turn towards the door, where Tommo and
Scouse have entered and are now standing looking around, their thumbs
still tucked into their belts. Scouse affects a gum-chewing
motion, but keeps slightly behind and very close to Tommo.
to Tommo]: You sure it’s all right?
is not]: Yeah, course I am.
and Scouse look around them
challengingly. After a short pause in which all the YPF
seem frozen, Mouse moves forward.
Janice: Oh, do be careful, Victor.
advances like a western hero across the empty floor.
Mouse: Er … um …
Hello. Is there anything we can do for you boys?
Tommo: Yeah. We’re friends
Palmer’s. We’ve come along to join your
’cos Nails said he had such a great time here.
Scouse: Yeah, that’s right.
Oh … er … good …
splendid. Come on in. We were a little worried when
left so suddenly.
Scouse: Who’s Michael, Tommo?
Nails, ya berk! - [To Mouse]:
Yeah, he suddenly remembered a pressing engagement, but he told us what
a great time he had, so we come along, ’cos we’re
hanging round street corners.
Scouse: Yeah. You only get into fights
Tommo: That’s right. If
there were more places like
this, lads wouldn’t get into trouble with the fu …
… police so much.
Mouse: Well it’s very gratifying to
hear you say it. Do come in and meet the chaps and girls.
Tommo: Thank you, Sir.
makes a threatening gesture behind Mouse’s back and Scouse
turning]: Your friend’s quite
right. You don’t have to call me Sir.
Victor. What are your names?
Scouse: Call me Scou …
Tommo: I’m Peter Smith and
he’s Paul Jones.
leads Tommo and Scouse into the crowd. Des, Tony and Alan
come to the front.
Des: I tell you that’s Tommo
Thompson. The other
one’s called Scouse. A dunno what his real name
Everybody just calls him Scouse – but A know the other
one’s Tommo Thompson.
Tony: What would he say he was called Peter
Smith for if he’s not?
Des: How do I know? They must be up to
something. Somebody better tell Mr Mouse.
Alan: You go then, if you’re so clever.
Des: We should
tell him. They could be spies.
Des: Yeah. You all saw the look on
face when he went out. We all said he would probably come
with his gang and do us over.
Tony: What’s he need spies for that
Des: Find out how many of us there
are. Make sure
we’re not prepared. Lull our suspicions, and then
Des: Yeah: WHAM! First thing we know
they’ll be on top of us.
We’ll all be murdered in our beds!
Alan: I think your imagination’s
running away with you.
Tony: He’s getting over-heated.
Alan: He needs cooling off.
and Norma join them.
Julie: I suppose little Miss
Smarty-Knickers’ll take the credit for this now as well.
Norma: Those friends of Michael
Palmer’s, Peter and Paul.
Des: Tommo and Scouse.
Tony: Des thinks they’re spies.
Julie: She’ll be the Queen of the
May. Just look
her swanking round as if the sun shines out of her …
elbow. Well I’m not staying here to look at her smirking
all over the place. Come on, you lot.
There’s a bad
smell in here.
move away as Tommo, Scouse, Janice, Mouse, John, Anne and the rest of
Mouse’s group come forward.
Tommo: Yeah, it’s great here.
Mouse: I wish you could stay a bit
longer. Get to know a few more of the chaps … and
Tommo: Yeah, well, we’d like to
Scouse: … but we got a pressing
Tommo: Yeah. We promised some
o’ the lads – but we’ll come back next
Janice: Oh I do hope so – and Michael too.
Tommo: Oh yeah. Michael’ll
be back. He can’t wait.
Scouse: He talks of nothing else.
Tommo: See ya.
Mouse and others: Goodbye.
Janice: Come again!
Scouse: Yeah, we will.
Tommo and Scouse.
Mouse: Well, Janice, it looks as if more than we
thought is going to come of your conversion of Michael Palmer.
Janice: Do you think so, Victor? How
Mouse: I’m sure of it.
smiles adoringly at Mouse.
ACT II, SCENE 4
street outside the church hall. Tommo and Scouse.
Scouse: Why didn’t you tell them?
Tommo: Subtlety. We’ve got
to gain their confidence first.
Scouse: So what do we do now?
Tommo: Get back to Nails and them.
Stall ’em a bit
more. Make sure things are going right. Then back
warn the YPF lot.
corner of Wellington Street. Nails’s
gang has assembled. Marlene and Claire push their way through
the centre of the crowd to find Nails.
Marlene: Nails! Is it true?
Marlene: That you’re going to do
Nails: Yeah – and the YPF.
Marlene: Then you’ve finished with
that bitch Janice Greenwood?
Nails: If I see her again I’ll kick
her up the fucking twat!
Marlene: Oh, Nails!
embraces Nails. They cling to each
other in a passionate embrace. Tommo and Scouse push their
through the crowd. Tommo scowls when he sees Nails with
Are we ready to move off yet, Nails?
himself unwillingly from Marlene]: When
I give the
word! It won’t take long to smash the YPF.
Tommo: Are we moving right on to Swarrell after?
Nails: Yeah! Is everybody here?
Tommo: Hang on a bit! Nelly and
them’s not here yet.
Scouse: They went looking for the Victoria Park
Tommo: They’re handy lads in a fight,
the Victoria Park mob.
Nails: We haven’t got all night.
Tommo: I’ll go and look for them, eh?
Nails: Hurry up, then!
Tommo and Scouse.
ACT II, SCENE 6
YPF. Couples are dancing. Enter
Tommo and Scouse, running and out of breath. They force their
through the dancers, colliding with some and knocking them off
balance. The dancers turn angrily, but Tommo and Scouse do
stop until they reach Mouse.
Tommo: They’re coming! You
gotta bar the doors!
Mouse: What’s wrong? Who are
Tommo: Nails and them!
They’re going to do you over!
Mouse: Surely not?
Janice: Michael would never do anything so wrong.
Tommo: You don’t understand.
others. They said he was chicken for not smashing the
lads for what they did to him. They told him everybody was
laughing at him. Said he would have to prove himself again.
Mouse: I don’t see what this has to do
Tommo: They said it was you lot stopped him
revenge. They said if it hadn’t been for her
indicates Janice] – he’d have
slaughtered the Swarrell lot.
Scouse: They said you lot told him to turn the
Mouse: It’s what our Master taught us:
Love your enemies and do good unto them that hate you.
Tommo: Yeah, that’s all very well, but
the lads don’t
see it like that. They think it’s a matter of
If you don’t stick up for yourself they think
Scouse: They’ve persuaded him.
Tommo: It’s not easy to stand up
against all your mates even if you think you’re right.
Scouse: Not when you’re on your own.
Tommo: So they’re coming, and
there’s nowt you can do about it.
Janice: There must be something!
Des: Lock the doors.
Tony: There’s the cricket gear for
Mouse: No! No! We must not
return violence for violence.
John: We can’t just stand here and let
them beat us up.
Tony: We’ve got to stop them!
Tommo: There’s one way.
Tommo: He’d listen to her.
Mouse: What do you mean?
Tommo: If she went to him … I mean
… He thinks a lot of her. He listened to her
Mouse: Yes. I see. The power
of Love bringing a backslider to Christ again.
Tommo: That’s right.
looks at Janice expectantly.
Janice: No! I couldn’t!
Mouse: But you could prevent an ugly fight,
injuries – perhaps even someone’s death.
close to Mouse]: I’m afraid, Victor.
Mouse: Even Our Lord was afraid, Janice.
Tommo: They wouldn’t hurt
you. They’d never touch a girl on her own.
Scouse: You’d be safer out there than
Now’s your chance to be a real heroine.
Mouse: It would be a splendid deed –
like a beacon on a dark night.
Janice: Well …
Tommo: I know
he’d listen to you.
Janice: I’ll do it if she comes with me.
indicates Julie. All look at her expectantly.
is a general feeling of relief. Tommo
and Scouse escort Janice and Julie to the door. Tommo turns
Tommo: Hey, mind, nobody’s to
Understand? They’ll have lads watching the
they see people leaving they’ll start the attack before she
a chance to talk to him.
Mouse: Then how will you get through.
Tommo: We’ll be all right.
They know us.
They’ll think we’ve just picked up a couple of
– but if you lot start sneaking off, that’ll be
different. They’ll go for you – and
just you I’m thinking of. There’s me and
… er … Wassisname. They’ll
warned you. As for Janice – well I don’t
they might do to her.