debbie tucker green

hang (NHB Modern Plays)

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His life. In her hands.
A shattering play about one woman's unspeakable decision.
hang premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 2015, in a production directed by the author, and featuring Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Claire Rushbrook and Shane Zaza.
This book is currently unavailable
44 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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Quotes

    Jessica Harthas quoted3 years ago
    ONE
    …So, we’ll be in here –
    TWO
    just along / this –
    ONE
    not sure if you’ve been in here before, but they mostly –
    TWO
    they’re very samey –
    ONE
    very samey, good way of putting it.
    TWO
    The set-up in each is pretty much the same, we go from room to room and even we can get –
    ONE
    (
    to
    TWO) it shouldn’t be locked, should be unlocked – it was booked – (
    to
    THREE) just here yep – on the left.
    THREE
    (In) here?
    ONE
    In (here), yep. (
    to
    TWO) Thanks. (
    to
    THREE) Just in (here)…

    They enter the room. It is basic, but clean. Strip lights automatically flicker on. A water cooler with plastic cups stands in the corner
    .

    THREE
    notices the lights snapping on, no one appears to have flicked a switch
    .

    Automatic, power-saving… things… Sensors – bit Star Trek (I) can’t get used to them / either.
    TWO
    Think they think we’ve lost the ability to flick a switch.
    ONE
    Well, to flick a switch / off.
    TWO
    Can I get you anything?
    ONE
    Yes, can we get you anything?
    TWO
    Would you like a drink of – ?

    THREE
    shakes her head
    .

    We do have more than the water over / there.
    ONE
    Tea, coffee – decaf and normal, herbal –
    TWO
    we’re out of herbal –
    ONE
    except herbal, a juice or / something?
    TWO
    anything really – .

    THREE
    shakes her head
    .

    Y’sure? Nothing’s too –
    ONE
    it’s not a problem and anything we don’t have we can go out and get –
    TWO
    I can go out and get.

    THREE
    goes to say something, then doesn’t
    .

    Beat
    .

    TWO
    nods
    .

    Okay.
    ONE
    Ummm –
    TWO
    (
    to
    ONE) what would you / like?
    ONE
    you wouldn’t / mind – ?
    TWO
    Nah I don’t / mind.
    ONE
    If you wouldn’t mind sorting me out a tea?
    TWO
    No problem
    ONE
    if that’s okay, don’t wanna take liberties or anything but / I –
    TWO
    it’s fine –
    ONE
    sure?
    TWO
    Yeh.
    ONE
    Parched, thanks (I) didn’t manage to grab anything before we –
    TWO
    I’m getting something anyway –
    ONE
    so it’s no (problem)?
    TWO
    My tea’s better’n your effort anyway, what d’you – ?
    ONE
    Builder’s. Strong. No sugar.

    TWO
    nods, exits the room
    .

    Really, do say if there’s anything at any point you feel you need, it won’t be a problem.

    ONE
    gestures for her to take a seat. She doesn’t sit
    .

    …Is your husband (coming)? I think you said he was – did you say he was on his way?
    THREE

    ONE
    Are we… should I…? Is he going to…?
    THREE

    ONE
    I don’t want to – I mean it’s fine if you want us to, need us to hang on for a while we’re happy / to –
    THREE
    He’s not coming.
    ONE
    …Okay. Right.
    That’s, not a problem.
    THREE

    ONE
    Was it the – . I mean, if the timing is – if it’s the schedule –
    THREE
    he’s at work.
    ONE
    We could, we can always move the – so it’s more convenient, if that’s, if that would be more convenient for you, both.
    THREE

    ONE
    Am I… Are we – is… anyone else coming? Instead?
    THREE

    ONE
    Is anyone else coming to join you? Today?
    THREE

    ONE
    Did you want someone to (come) did you – do you want us to contact someone, someone else to come and support you (today)? I think it was…

    She checks her file
    .

    ‘…Suzette’ who came with you before?
    THREE

    ONE
    Although that was a while / ago.
    THREE
    Suzette’s not coming.
    ONE
    Suzette’s not / joining?
    THREE
    She’s not coming.
    ONE
    Is there any other family member you wanted to – may want to…?
    THREE

    ONE
    A friend?
    THREE
    ONE

    ONE
    No?

    THREE
    watches her
    .

    …Nobody else?
    THREE
    No.
    ONE
    We can wait if you want don’t feel pressurised by the clock at all we can wait as long as you
    – if you want us to – if you want someone to join you – please, take a seat.
    THREE

    ONE
    Doesn’t matter which one, we don’t have special – no. Nothing specific about our seating arrangements – no names on them or anything, just seats. Anywhere.

    THREE
    hesitates
    .

    Anywhere is fine. Really.

    Beat
    .

    THREE
    sits
    .

    D’you want me to take your (coat)?
    THREE

    ONE
    I can take that if you like we’ve got a – outside there’s a proper coat rack and hangers – we insisted we needed something had a meeting, had to have a meeting – have to have a meeting to get anything, have to have a meeting to get anything done. Got it done though, and so someone took a quick trip to Ikea, so I can –
    THREE
    no.
    ONE
    No.

    That’s fine. It’s out there anyway.
    That’s okay, as long as you’re okay.

    THREE
    clocks her
    .

    As okay as you can be.
    The offer’s there if you change your mind, d’you want some water (it) does cool and hot, well, supposed to be hot comes out a bit lukewarm, but the cool stuff is properly chilled if you’d like a glass of that – I’m sayin
    ‘glass’ we’ve got these horrible plastic things they expect us to drink out of – not very green – although I can, we can easily get a proper glass for the water from out in the (kitchen) you didn’t want a drink at all did you?
    THREE

    ONE
    No. Well you know it’s (there) whenever you want don’t hesitate if you change your (mind), in fact I can – we can sort some proper glasses out just in case anyway. Always gives the feeling of drinking like a five-year-old drinking out of plastic…

    Beat
    .
    THREE
    ONE

    ONE
    …D’you want to phone anyone? D’you want to phone someone, you can use the phones from here if you want or if you want me to contact anyone on your –
    THREE
    no.
    ONE
    To, sit with you even, just a bit of –
    THREE
    no.
    ONE
    Some people do find it useful just to have another body in the room another someone in the room that isn’t me and some people –
    THREE
    I’m not some people.
    ONE
    No, of course – I was just – .
    THREE
    I have been here before.
    ONE
    Of course.
    THREE
    I know how this works.
    ONE
    Well this is slightly – . We haven’t – you haven’t… Yeah.
    THREE

    ONE
    No.

    Beat
    .

    …How have you been?
    THREE

    ONE
    It’s been a while.

    THREE
    watches her
    .

    (A) couple of years isn’t it, how have you been… keeping?

    THREE
    says nothing
    .

    Stupid question I know, but…
    THREE
    Yeah.
    THREE
    ONE

    ONE
    I know, I – .
    No / I –
    THREE
    No. You don’t know.
    ONE
    I can only imagine.
    THREE
    No. You can’t.
    ONE
    …I’m just (saying)… You do look surprisingly well considering all – .
    THREE
    (
    dry
    ) Thank you.
    ONE
    I’m not trying to be – and it, I know it sounds (wrong) but you do look well, considering, with all you’ve…

    THREE
    exhales slowly
    .
    TWO
    hustles in with two hot drinks
    .
    TWO
    Tea. Builder’s, no sugar and… coffee for me – (
    to
    THREE) if you do change your mind or want me to pick you up anything just let / me –
    ONE
    She doesn’t want anything.
    TWO
    Just saying that if she –
    ONE
    she’s fine. Thanks.
    TWO
    D’you know how long your husband will be?
    ONE
    He’s not –
    TWO
    we can wait, won’t mind / waiting.
    ONE
    he won’t be joining us today.
    TWO
    Oh. Right.
    Right.

    Beat
    .

    We can wait if you want us to wait if it’s an issue with his work or / something.
    ONE
    He’s not –
    TWO
    or if you wanted someone else / then –
    ONE
    it’s – no. Thanks. We’ve been over (that)…
    TWO
    Oh.

    ONE
    sips their tea, it is disgusting
    .

    So we’re not waiting / for – ?
    ONE
    Would you – d’you mind popping back out while I remember we do need some glasses, something for the –
    TWO
    oh, sure yeah –
    ONE
    clean
    ones, y’know what they can be like, just in case we feel for some –
    TWO
    yeh, sure, why some can’t be left in here I don’t (know) I did bring it up, but obviously that’ll take another / meeting.
    ONE
    y’know, if we wanted to take some water or something, or else there’s only these –
    TWO
    nightmare
    ONE
    yeh these plastic things in here –
    TWO
    nightmare
    ONE
    horrible to drink out / of.
    TWO
    feel like a five-year-old drinking out of one of them
    ONE
    exactly
    . If you wouldn’t mind – I feel like I’m taking / the –
    TWO
    No no, not at all. I know what you mean, they’re nasty, not nice to drink out of at all
    ONE
    no.

    TWO
    disappears out of the room again
    .

    Beat
    .

    …Does your husband know you’re here?
    THREE

    ONE
    I mean – I know it’s none of my – but I am concerned if you feel you have to shoulder all of / this on your –
    THREE
    He knows I’m here.
    ONE
    And he knows what’s – where we are in the process of – ?
    THREE

    ONE
    Right.
    THREE

    ONE
    Right.
    And does he have an opinion / on –
    THREE
    The family does. Know.

    Beat
    .
    ONE
    Okay.
    THREE
    Suzette knows. My husband knows. The whole family knows. Why I’m here.

    ONE
    nods
    .

    And I don’t need your concern.
    ONE
    Right.
    THREE
    Your concern can do exactly – what?
    THREE
    ONE

    THREE
    Exactly. And I don’t need your compliments.
    ONE

    THREE
    Your compliments can do exactly, what?

    Beat
    .
    ONE
    Right.
    THREE
    Exactly.
    ONE
    …You discussed with them –
    THREE
    I’ve
    told
    them.

    I’ve
    discussed
    with my husband.
    I’ve
    told
    my family.
    (
    dry
    ) If that’s okay with you?
    ONE
    I – . Yes. I didn’t mean to –
    THREE
    I think y’did.
    ONE
    And… Are you in agreement? You and / your –
    THREE
    You’re right. It is none of / your –
    ONE
    It’s none of my business I / know.
    THREE
    Yes.
    ONE
    Yes. No.

    TWO
    bursts back in with a stack of clean glasses
    .
    TWO
    There was nothing that matches but then I saw the stash someone had got on that Ikea run hidden at the back like they didn’t wanna be found. Anyway perfect for us, washed and clean – I’ll just…

    TWO
    tries to stand the glasses on the water cooler, that doesn’t work. Self-consciously
    TWO
    ends up placing them elsewhere
    .

    Sorted.

    TWO
    notices the spare chair
    .

    Do we need – ?
    ONE
    No.
    TWO
    Suzette?
    ONE
    No.
    TWO
    No, okay.

    TWO
    removes one of the chairs and stacks it with the others to the side of the room
    .

    Just so we… (
    to
    ONE) Have you – ?
    ONE
    Yes.
    TWO
    Okay.
    ONE
    Yep.
    TWO
    I wasn’t sure if –
    ONE
    yeh. I made sure first thing.
    TWO
    Okay / good.

    TWO
    sits taking a swig of coffee. It is disgusting. Flicks a switch
    .
    THREE
    Is this being recorded?
    TWO
    This?
    ONE
    No.
    TWO
    God no. That (switch), that’s air-con.
    ONE
    We’ll be boiling in a minute and freezing the next –
    TWO
    bit of a nightmare
    ONE
    have you adjusted the – ?
    TWO
    Trying, but it seems to do its own thing.

    TWO
    adjusts the settings
    .
    ONE
    Technology.
    TWO
    We’ve got a remote and the remote is for this, not for any – so no. We wouldn’t record –
    ONE
    not this.
    TWO
    Not you.
    ONE
    No.
    TWO
    You’ve done nothing wrong you’re not a suspect and that would be – y’know, that would cross all sorts of boundaries. I think. No. That – no.
    ONE
    No audio. No visual. No two-way –

    THREE
    doesn’t understand the term ‘two-way’
    .
    TWO
    mirrors, two-way mirrors, / y’know –
    ONE
    none of that. Just us. In the room. This is about you and about you feeling as comfortable as we can make you feel.
    THREE

    TWO
    Which probably isn’t very comfortable at all.
    We are aware of that.
    THREE

    ONE
    We are aware of / that.
    THREE
    Are you.
    TWO
    We’ve been made aware of that.
    THREE
    Have you.
    TWO
    A big part of that was pointed out in training –
    THREE
    was it.
    ONE
    Well –
    THREE
    training to teach you that.
    TWO
    Well –
    THREE
    train you hard to know that?
    TWO
    Umm –
    THREE
    how
    do
    you train
    TWO
    errr –
    THREE
    for this?
    ONE
    We, uh, well / we –
    TWO
    Role-play.
    ONE
    Amongst other – . There’s lots of – it’s quite an –
    TWO
    can be quite an intensive / training –
    ONE
    extensive and intensive training we have to do, after all the, academic stuff, which is a lot. Exams, grades, assessments, pass marks and that. The usual. Then they get us to, role-playing so / we –
    TWO
    Different scenarios –
    ONE
    it’s meant to try to help / to –
    THREE
    Who gets to play me?
    TWO
    …It’s not like that, it’s not that / specific.
    THREE
    Who gets to play me? Or do you swap?
    THREE
    TWO

    ONE
    It’s not like / that.
    TWO
    It’s not like that.
    THREE
    And you couldn’t make me comfortable by the way. You couldn’t make me – I lost any…
    ONE
    Of course.

    ONE
    and
    TWO
    quietly nod
    .
    THREE
    This isn’t very ‘comfortable’.
    ONE
    No.
    THREE
    (
    dry
    ) Just for the record.
    TWO
    We’re not / recording.
    THREE
    Not comfortable at all.
    TWO
    (We) can appreciate that.
    THREE
    No. You can’t.

    Beat
    .

    Would you even tell me if you were filming this?
    TWO
    We’re not allowed to film this.
    THREE
    You film everything else it seems.
    TWO
    We’re not allowed to not tell you we’re filming this. Which we are not. If we were filming this we would have to tell / you.
    THREE
    Streets, car parks, parks, shops, alleys… all on camera.
    ONE
    That’s the –
    THREE
    all pointless.
    ONE
    They can sometimes be –
    THREE
    all pointless.
    TWO
    That’s a matter of / opinion.
    THREE
    All fucking pointless.
    ONE

    TWO

    THREE
    Stops nothing. Deters nothing.

    Does it?

    Did it.

    She goes to say something else, but changes her mind
    .

    I’ll take that water. Please.
    TWO
    Yeh, sure –
    ONE
    no problem, I’ll get / it.
    TWO
    Yeh?
    ONE
    Yep.
    TWO
    Fine.
    ONE
    Did you want the hot –
    TWO
    that one only does lukewarm really –
    ONE
    or chilled?
    THREE
    …Both. Not full.
    ONE
    …Okay.

    TWO
    looks briefly confused
    .
    ONE
    fixes two glasses of water from the water cooler, one cold one warm. She gestures to
    TWO.

    D’y’mind if you –
    TWO
    huh?
    ONE
    The – if you could –

    ONE
    gestures
    , TWO
    understands and sorts a place for the glasses of water closer to
    THREE.
    TWO
    (Of) course. Yep. Goddit.

    ONE
    places both glasses down carefully
    .
    ONE
    Let me know if that’s not – .

    They both watch as
    THREE
    sips some of the chilled, then adds some of the lukewarm water to take the chill off it. She places the glasses down. She has a noticeable shake in her hands, they see
    .
    TWO
    …How’s Tyrell? And Marcia?

    THREE
    considers the question
    .
    THREE
    …Y’know.

    TWO
    nods
    .
    TWO
    THREE

    ONE
    They must be, what now? Eleven and –
    THREE
    ten. And twelve.

    ONE
    nods
    .
    ONE
    Getting big. And two of them. My seven-year-old’s going on seventeen. Already a nightmare, busy telling me about the world at / seven!
    TWO
    Wonder who she gets that / from?
    ONE
    Keep tellin my husband – well, ex-husband now since we last (met) – keep telling him that he needs to clamp down on all / that.
    TWO
    Went down well?
    ONE
    Nope not at / all.
    THREE
    I miss Marcia’s noise.
    I miss my Marcia’s chatter.
    I miss her foolishness. Her childishness.
    Her childhood.

    She’s missing her noise, her chatter, her childishness.
    Her childhood.
    She, wonders where it’s gone.
    TWO
    THREE

    THREE
    Tyrell has gone from…

    ONE
    and
    TWO
    sip from their disgusting drinks
    .

    Beat
    .

    When did you split?
    ONE
    This isn’t about me, this / is –
    THREE
    Why did you split?
    ONE
    Really, this – . This isn’t, you’re here for –
    THREE
    I know why I’m here, don’t think I’ve forgotten.
    ONE
    No. (Of) course / not.
    THREE
    I don’t think I would forget.
    ONE
    No.
    THREE
    I haven’t forgotten.
    ONE
    No.
    ONE

    THREE
    How long ago did you…?
    ONE
    …Eighteen months.
    THREE

    ONE
    And six days.
    THREE
    Still counting.
    ONE
    Nope.
    THREE
    ONE

    ONE
    …The job. Pressures. Hours and all that, usual stuff – really it’s just – today is about (you) –
    THREE
    amicable?
    ONE
    No.
    THREE
    (Did) you split from / him?
    ONE
    No. Listen I’m – y’know, I’m sure my husband – ex-husband would give a different reason and a very different version –
    TWO
    and today is / about –
    ONE
    but this isn’t about / all that.
    TWO
    no. It’s not about that,
    this
    is about –
    ONE
    today is about you
    TWO
    today is all about / you.
    ONE
    And we want to focus on you.
    THREE
    This isn’t about me.
    I think it’s all about him.
    Still.
    This isn’t about me, today.
    He wants to know.
    You want to know.
    You want to know so you can tell him.
    He wants to know what you know so he will know where he stands.

    I’m here. So you can know. So you can tell him. So he can find out.

    …This isn’t about me at all. Is it?

    You want to know my decision.
    ONE
    …We’re in no hurry, we / know –
    THREE
    You want to know my decision.
    ONE
    We know it’s a big decision to make.
    THREE
    (
    dry
    ) ‘You know it’s a big decision to / make.’
    ONE
    We know it’s a tricky position to put you / in.
    THREE
    I’ve been in a ‘trickier’ / position.
    ONE
    And we know it’s a decision none of us will really be able to appreciate the scale / of –
    THREE
    I’ve been in ‘trickier’ positions. I’ve been in ‘trickier’ positions haven’t

On the bookshelves

    Alice Woodhouse
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    To read
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    Agam Mizrahi
    MTIPUS
    • 11
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