The mouth of a
back lane near the gathering of
Nails’s troops at the corner of Wellington Street.
Scouse, Janice and Julie.
There they are. It’s up to you.
Don’t leave us!
to. If they knew we’d warned you, we’d
all be for it. See ya.
What shall I do?
and find him. I’ll wait here.
No! You come too!
only brought me out of spite.
I’m afraid. Don’t leave me,
Julie. There are so many of them, and they all look so
must be somewhere in the middle.
Julie draw back into the lane as Marlene and Claire leave the gang and
It’s Marlene Foster.
Shurrup a minute. A’ve got an idea.
Look, if he’ll listen to you,
he might listen to her
same. If we can get her on our side, she’ll maybe
Well, you’ll just have to go and find him yourself.
promised Victor Mouse.
Will you come with me if I go and speak to her?
Come on or we’ll lose her.
Julie go after Marlene.
III, SCENE 2
café: a small, cheap and rather nasty
place, deserted except for a waitress behind the counter and Marlene
and Claire at a table in the corner. Marlene and Claire look
as Janice and Julie come in. Janice and Julie buy teas at the
counter, then come to the table. Marlene and Claire light
All right if we sit here?
It’s a free country.
Julie sit down.
Actually I wanted to talk to you about Michael.
smoke towards Janice.
Oh, you mean Nails.
more smoke at Janice.
D’you know ’im, then?
I’m Janice Greenwood.
Marlene[as if the name meant nothing to
her cigarette ash into Janice’s tea. Janice pulls
her cup back.
more smoke into Janice’s face.
Michael’s been going round with me for the last couple of
Marlene[midway between absent-minded
boredom and an ill-concealed sneer]: Has he?
Yes … [She
suppose you’re in love, you and him?
Yes … yes … I think so.
smoke in Janice’s face. Janice coughs.
wish you wouldn’t blow smoke in my face.
It’s not very nice.
Marlene[with a bored sneer]:
more smoke at Janice, who tries to fan it away with her hand.
Please. I’ve come to talk to you seriously about
… yes … about Nails.
Marlene[with a hard edge to her voice]:
What about him?
He’s going to start a fight, isn’t he?
What if he is?
But we haven’t done anything to him.
You’ve done plenty! If it hadn’t been
for you he’d have slaughtered that Swarrell lot ages
You, with your namby-pamby religious ways – turn the other
and that! What d’you think it’s been like
us? With everybody jeering at us? All that Swarrell
jeering at us? What d’you think it’s been
like for me?
I’m sorry. I don’t know anything about
all that. I’m not interested in your gang
d’you have to pick on us?We
didn’t do anything to
any of you. We
didn’t even know about the gang from
Swarrell. Have your fight with them if you want – I
don’t care – but leave us alone.
at Janice with a hard expression of triumph and blows smoke in her face.
Look, please! Look! I
don’t care if I never see Nails again. You can have
him. Just tell him to leave us alone.
Marlene [slowly and
sarcastically]: I can have him?
him, can I? You
don’t want him any more, so you
give him to me, do you?
You stupid little bitch! How can you give me what
I’ve already got?
He’s come back to me!
It’s because of me
that he’s going to do Swarrell –
and it’s because of me
that he’s going to do you lot at the
YPF. Just you listen to me, Janice Greenwood. You
you’re so soddin’ superior just ’cos you
live in a
big house and work in a library and go round with that poncy vicar
– well let me tell you, nobody laughs at Nails Palmer while
around, and you can tell that
to them little poofs at the
YPF, and you can tell them we’ll be along for them
soon, and if I
when we get there I’ll scratch your bleeding eyes
out. Come on, Claire. There’s a bad smell
her cigarette end into Janice’s tea and stalks out, followed
We’d better get back and warn the others.
Janice[with angry determination]:You
going to find Michael. I’m not letting that bitch
with treating me like that.
have to come. I can go myself. I’ll be
better off without
III, SCENE 3
The corner of
Wellington Street where Nails’s
gang is gathered. Janice attempts to push her way through the
Scuse me. Can I come through, please?
Hey, it’s one o’ them tarts from the church!
Hey, you lot from the church are always going on about
love and that, aren’t ya? So how’s about
o’ loving for me?
Hey! Watch it, m’n! That’s
Nails’s private property, that is.
Yeuch! He don’t wan’ ’er.
He’s got Marlene.
She’s a fuckin’ bitch, he said.
It’s ’cos of ’er we’re
doin’ the youth
Yeah! Get her knickers off!
My turn next wid ’er!
Hey! Let’s take her over to Nails! See
what he does wid ’er!
Some of the gang:
can do plenty wid ’er ourselves.
Yeah! Raaay! Raaaay!
wouldn’t like to be in your
Let’s have a gang-bang!
before a battle, ya berks!
Save your strength.
The gang cheer
unheedingly. Tommo mutters to Scouse, sending him off to find
Hang on lads! Hang on! Nails gets first screw!
The gang still
cheer unheedingly as they swarm around Janice. Scouse comes
back with Nails.
What’s gan on?
They’ve grabbed some tart.
Dunno. Think she was looking for you.
Hey! Hey! What’s gan
on? Hey! Come on lads! That’s
The gang pay
no attention. Nails dives in and drags out Hotrod.
Gerroff, ya bugger!
Come ’ere! What d’you think
It’s a gang-bang. Lemme get at ’er!
Nails[holding on to Hotrod]:
You want your bloody heads
examining, the lot of you! You’re going to need all
strength for when we get to Swarrell. Or had you forgotten
there’s a war on? Who is it anyway?
The gang are
quelled and move away, revealing the dishevelled Janice, who looks up
and sees Nails.
away. Janice clings to him.
Michael, I love
Janice: I do. Michael, I do. I
wasn’t sure before, but I am now. Can’t
Oh, Michael, you know I can’t say anything like
that in front of people. – [Tearfully snuggling
close]: Take me away from here, Michael, away
don’t know how you can make me say it in front of them, Michael,
after what they tried to do … I’m trying to give myself to
Rather than lose
you, Michael, I’d do anything.
Anything. Walk through fire and water. Anything.
Nails[putting his arms around her]:
That above all, Michael. Oh, you do want me,
her and kisses her greedily.
Janice reciprocates. The gang cheer. Janice pulls
resists Nails’s attempts to kiss her again. She
aware of the gang.
Nails[angrily to the gang]:
Hotrod away and the others follow.
When they have gone Nails turns his attention back to Janice whom he is
still holding in his arms.
Nails gets his
hands under Janice’s skirt.
Not on the street! No! No,
Michael! I want our first time to be something lovely,
we can always remember. No!
No, Michael! You don’t want to cheapen your future
wife’s reputation, do you?
Nails is so
stunned by this news that he lets her
go. She begins patting her hair into place, but he seizes her
again and begins kissing her so violently that she is unable to resist
and must submit until he pauses for breath.
Phew! If this is what you’re like now, I
don’t know how I’ll survive the honeymoon.
Gently! Gently, Michael. You’re so
strong. You forget girls are delicate.
didn’t hurt you, did I?
Oh, Michael, I don’t think anything you could do could ever
hurt me. Oh, I’m so happy.
You won’t start that street-fight now, will
you? I couldn’t bear it if you got hurt and we had
off the wedding.
I’ll never get into fights again. Never!
Oh, I’m so happy!
And you’ll come back to the YPF? I want to tell
them – about us!
Nails [kissing her]:
Yes. Yes, my darling.
And you won’t let the gang attack us?
Attack? How could I?
I love you – but, darling, hadn’t you better tell
the boys not to attack the YPF?
Yes. I will. Tommo!
Tommo[appearing from the shadows]:
arguments! It’s off! You and the lads
had better keep right away from the YPF, or you’ll have me to
What about Swarrell?
don’t give a f…
[conscious of Janice]:
f… flick of me fingers for
Swarrell. It’s all off. I’m
going back with
Janice. We’re getting married.
Hey, that’s great! Hey, congratulations,
Nails. Hey, wait till the lads hear about this!
Hear about what?
Nails. He’s getting married. To Janice
I’m so glad you’re here to congratulate me,
Marlene. I know how fond you are of Michael and how much you
him to be happy. Isn’t it wonderful: he’s
and I’ve chose him.
He’s all mine.
at Janice. Nails holds her back.
You bitch! You stinking, bloody bitch!
I’ll scratch your eyes out! Lemme get at her!
I’ll kill her, the bitch! And you!
struggles to get at Janice. Nails
slaps her face. She gasps with shock and collapses into
keep away from Janice, do you hear? You’re
not fit to come within a hundred mile of her. Do you hear me,
Marlene. Tommo intervenes.
sobs. Nails and Tommo glare at each other. Janice
takes Nails’s arm.
Come on, Michael. We don’t want to get involved in
a common street-brawl.
hesitates, then allows her to lead him away. Marlene
continues sobbing. Enter Scouse.
What’s going on? What’s she crying for?
Nails hit her.
cracked her across the gob and went off with Janice
Greenwood. Call the lads. We’re going to
do him for
I want her
slaughtered! It’s all her
fault. Kill them!
Kill them both!
off, followed by the helpless and silent Claire. Pause.
What you gonna do, Tommo?
I’m gonna get vengeance for Marlene, ain’t
I? Call the lads!
III, SCENE 4
The YPF. Nails
and Janice are surrounded by an admiring crowd.
This is wonderful news. We’re terribly
grateful to you, Michael. I know it must have taken great
to break with your past like that.
It’s Janice you should thank. If it
hadn’t been for her …
was nothing. I knew it had to be done.
were terribly brave.
She’s too modest. She came through the whole crowd
of them to find me – in spite of the danger.
Let’s not talk about it.
For she’s a jolly good fellow,
for she’s a jolly good fellow,
for she’s a jolly
which nobody can deny.
Three cheers for Janice! Hip, hip …
Shall we tell them?
Not yet, darling. Let’s keep it as our special secret.
Oh, Michael, a secret engagement is so romantic.
You don’t know what it means to me to have a secret that
knows but us two.
Besides, they’re all so excited now that they
wouldn’t take it in properly. When we announce it
to do it really well, don’t we. We should choose a
when we’re sure of getting their undivided
Let’s keep it until next week, then we’ll make a
announcement and have a real celebration. Shall we, pet?
Nails[attempting to kiss
her]: I love you.
Janice[obstructing him by arranging
her hair]: I love you, pet.
right, chaps and girls, we’ve had a lot of
excitement this evening, so now we’re really ready for our
Time. Come on, let’s show Michael just how quickly
get the chairs ready.
The YPF begin
clearing up the hall and arranging the folding chairs in rows.
We always have ten or twenty minutes
Quiet Time at the end of each of our get-togethers, when we think about
the Lord and thank Him for all His goodness. It’s
formal service, just a few moments of prayerful togetherness with Him.
crashes through one of the windows in an
explosion of broken glass. Cries and screams rend the air as
YPF stampede away from the window, knocking over chairs in their flight.
Keep calm, everybody! Keep calm!
Calm seems to
be returning, then the door is thrown
open with a crash, and Tommo enters, followed by Scouse, Hotrod and the
rest of the gang, who outnumber the YPF. They stand in silent
menace, thumbs hooked in belts.
Mouse [nervously to the YPF]:
Keep calm. – [to
the gang]: What do you want?
Nails[striding forward angrily]:
I told you to stay away from here! What’s got into
What did you say?
tired o’ living or summat?
yeah? What’re you gonna do about it?
You’ll see. – [To the gang]:
Get him, lads!
Wassamarrar, Nails? Won’t they take orders from you
Diddums, diddums? Aw!
I’ll fix you, Tommo!
and who else?
Just me. That’s all that’s needed.
Like you fixed the Swarrell lot? Like you fixed the
young pooves fellowshit? Like you fixed Marlene?
’Cos that’s about all you’re
good for: smacking
tarts in the gob!
… er … wait a minute, lads …
I’m not going to allow you to make a bear-garden …
Shurrup! If you know what’s good for you.
It’s Nails Palmer we’ve come for – but
it doesn’t matter to us if we have to smash you lot to get
Why? What have you got against him?
Keep out of this, Vicar.
Hey, look, lads! He’s going to sacrifice himself to
save his friends.
He’s going to turn the other cheek.
Izzat right, Nails? ’Cos you know what we want,
What do we want, Tommo?
wan’ ’is kecks!
know what they say, Nails? Greater love hath no
man than this: that he lay down his pants for his friends.
Yeah, that’s right! Get ’em off!
Geddem off! Geddem off!
The gang laugh
and begin to sing striptease music.
Don’t think your new friends are gonna help you.
They know what’s coming to ’em if they try.
Yeah! We’ll slaughter them! Smash the
YPF! Smash the YPF!
The gang begin
to wolf-whistle and catcall, then to
whistle and sing a striptease song as Nails takes off his
trousers. Tommo snatches them from him, throws them up in the
then catches them and brandishes them above his head while the gang
cheer and jeer. Somebody begins to whistle the Nails Palmer
and the whole gang takes it up, swarming around Nails, jostling and
pushing him, pulling at his remaining clothes and jabbing at his
groin. At the chorus they burst into song.
Come on, lads! Now let’s go and smash Swarrell.
Raaaay! Smash Swarrell! Smash Swarrell!
begins milling towards the door. Nails is able to escape his
tormentors and get to Janice.
Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I’ve got
summat to say!
The gang turn
think you’ve won, don’t you Tommo? Well,
you haven’t won anything! Not from me!
wanna grow up, you lot. You’re like a lot
o’ little kids. D’you think it means
anything to me
if you take me pants off?
Course it does.
That’s all some of you think about.
There’s more to life than that.
Raay! Just listen to the reverend Michael Palmer!
Come on, tell us what!
right. I’ll tell you.
Yeah, come on! Come on, then!
Just listen, will ya? Everybody shurrup!
I’ve got an announcement
There is a
hush. Nails grabs Janice’s
hand and strides into the space between the gang and the still cowering
YPF, dragging her with him.
Listen everybody! Me and Janice are engaged to be married!
Janice and attempts to kiss her. She resists him.
Raay! Come on there, Nails! Get in there
Nails! Raaay! Raaay!
Have we to take her
knickers off, an’all?
It’s the only way he’ll
ever make it.
Gerroff! Gerroff, I said!
Janice knees Nails in the groin. He
lets her go and collapses in doubled-up agony. The gang gasp
Just who do you think you are
that’s what I’d like to know just who do you think
you’re an animal
I wouldn’t marry
you if you were the last
man on earth you’ve brought nothing but trouble ever since
came do you think I’d marry someone like you you must be mad if
you do! Just look
at you standing there in your underpants
announcements as if you thought you were somebody well
you’re not and I’m finished with you
do you hear me
you can just crawl back under the stone you came from
’cos I never want to see you again you’ve made me a
laughing stock and I hate
you! I despise
you! Oh, Victor!
herself into Mouse’s arms.
Mouse pats her on the back in embarrassed helplessness. The
laugh and sneer.
That’s ruined his prospects. Come on
lads! Let’s go and take the pants off the Swarrell
As the gang
start going out Marlene pushes her way in.
Where is he? What’ve you done to him?
Come on, Marlene! We showed him. Look!
There’s the great hero! Lost his pants
again! Dunn’e look daft?
What’ve you done
Here’s his kecks, Marlene! I gottem for you!
brandishes Nails’s trousers, then
stretches out his arm to give them to Marlene, but she is staring in
horror at Nails, who is still bent double.
Come on, Marlene! D’you wanna kick ’im in
the balls? Shall I hold him for you?