"At some point in all of our lives, we experience a fear of the dark. Whether real or irrational, it can remain with us, evolving, returning, reminding. In certain circumstances, darkness can take on a personality, a presence, even a voice; it can conceal secrets but in time, it can also expose them. The problem is, you can never be entirely sure that when you stare into the darkness, there isn't something staring back. The question is, “Do you believe?”
(NB: The video on this page is an online adaptation. Following the rewrite, the current version of the script is written for two women (as below) but otherwise, varies very little to this recording. With thanks to Carver Theatre.)
One act staged play or for radio. Ideal for One Act Festivals.
Katherine has decided to see a Counsellor to help her with a fear.
Her only fear.
One which has been with her, haunted her for most of her life.
It is a fear many of us have had at one time or another and probably grown out of. But her fear has got worse as she has grown older and she can no longer live with it. She is hoping to be “fixed” by the sessions she has booked with Sarah, her Counsellor, and during her first one, she tells the story, her story; the story of what terrorises her.
Can Sarah help her come to terms with her fear? Or is there more to it, more and then she is telling her?
Facing your fear is to know it.
Knowing your fear is to understand it.
But believing it? That could take your fear to a completely different place …
Katherine: Playing age: 40+ (This can be altered to suit with slight modifications to the script when her age is referenced and also the significant date within the plot). She is a professional, self-made woman and has that air about her. Initially self assured but demonstrates her anger, fear, self-consciousness as the piece develops and in resolution has an unnatural and chilling calm about her; methodical, clinical, exacting. Her character goes on a journey and evolves as the piece progresses. This transition and her storytelling needs to be credible for the piece to engage an audience. The most important aspect is her voice. It should not be too conversational. It needs an intensity to make the storytelling engaging; make even the mundane appear fascinating without become over-acted, cliched. It is a voice of texture, light and shade and therefore, she is a character who paints pictures, genuinely relives every moment with every word.
Sarah: Playing age: 20’s. She is a newly qualified Counsellor and has an air of positivity, empathy, caring about her as would be expected. But equally, is nervous, unsure, finding her professional feet. She ‘goes with the flow’ against all her professional judgement and training as she is drawn in by the story and by the end, she becomes less managing of the situation and more a participant. Her demonstrating of active listening skills and engagement are essential. Her youth and inexperience is her undoing. This is a difficult role, particularly the stilted/limited words and phrases she uses in the latter half to prompt the storytelling. Her character also needs to evolve, in effect, exchanging places with Katherine.
50 minutes approx.
It does not need to be played in a conventional stage environment and could be performed in any space as long as the lighting can be managed as subdued and later, the darkness / BO which are essential. The action takes place in a counsellor’s office so two suitable chairs, a table and a working lamp which can be controlled to provide the indicated FX is essential. There is one SFX at the end and music may be used if desired for the preset, the transition between scene one and two and at the end. Minimal personal props.
(NB: the play is very well suited for use as a radio play with no changes required to the dialogue. Clearly, it would require certain SFX to illustrate (such as) the sound of a light/lamp being switched on, the flickering of a bulb/light fitting etc.)
The use of a music track as an intro/ending and also at the end of scene 1 would be required. For example the writer had considered using the opening section of Manuel de Falla - Danza ritual del fuego (Ritual Fire Dance).
Modern, contemporary, smart-casual probably for both. There are no specific wardrobe requirements for the plot and the same wardrobe is used throughout.
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The script for this play is available by clicking on the button below. It is priced at £6 inc P&P.
NB: Please be aware that this piece does not feature in the published collection "The First Ten Plays."