Hairsay

By Erina Caradus

Summary

There isn’t really anything wrong with Louise’s marriage; it’s just that she’s bored. The hairdresser’s seems the perfect place to talk about the decision she has to make. She gets all the input she needs from the hairdresser, his assistant, an elderly woman and the ‘Women’s Weekly’ magazine. If only she knew who to listen to …

Characters

Louise – in her 30’s, bored with marriage
Steve – hairdresser, mincing manner and voice
Kylie – assistant, scatty and not over bright
Mrs. Brown – elderly domineering woman with a useful husband
Mr. Brown – the useful husband

Staging
Hairdressing salon: 2 chairs, small table for magazines
Dress
Louise – dressed to fit the kitchen decor, brightly dyed hair, painted
nails, large earrings, high heels
Steve – tight leather pants, open necked shirt, earring
Kylie – short skirt, bright stockings, trendy hairstyle
Mrs. Brown – old style skirt and top, flat shoes, brown stockings, hair in curlers, glasses
Mr Brown – jersey, cap, glasses, walking stick. Carries Mrs. B’s coat and handbag.
Someone 20+ made to look older can play Mr & Mrs B. We find a brown eyeliner pencil over the lines on the face works well with hair dyed white (you can buy white wash out hair spray) or use talcum powder
Note: For Louise: Wash out mousse. We used shampoo/conditioner in a coloured bowl as the dye mix. When it goes on Louise’s hair the dye starts coming out of the hair and it looks like red dye is being put on!

Script

(There are two chairs at the front of the stage. On one is Mrs. Brown with her hair in rollers, on the other, Louise, who has just arrived. Kylie is taking out the curlers. Steve is standing behind Louise. Imagined mirrors are in front of both women.
Mrs Brown pretends to read a magazine at the same time as obviously listening in to Louise’s conversation. There is a trolley with hair products behind the chairs and a small table with magazines between the chairs. Note: all the excerpts from the magazine are real, including the horoscope!)

Steve: (fingering Louise’s hair) So tell me. What did hubby think of the colour last time?

Louise:  Harvey?! I don’t think he even noticed the colour. All he said was it was a pity I had it cut. He has this thing about long hair.

Steve: Shame! The colour’s terrific on you. So natural but sophisticated, isn’t it Kylie? (Plays with hair)

Kylie: For sure, Steve. It’s like so your colour, Louise – looks stunning with the outfit – new?

Louise:   ‘Limited Editions’ - I knocked off 5 kilos at the gym so I treated myself. Chose it specially to fit in with my new kitchen decor.

Steve: (Puts cloak on her) So what can I do for you today, darling?

Louise: (posing in mirror) Harvey thinks it’s already too short, but what would he know? As Manson says, Harvey’s taste is limited.

Steve: Manson?

Louise:  Our kitchen consultant. Well … I really like the colour but I think, shorter still and how about some highlights this time?

Steve: Something softer? More feminine? Sounds perfect. Finished there, Kylie? Whip me up the peach with a dash of rosewood and burgundy will you, love? (Exit Kylie)

Steve: Now, I’ll just brush up Mrs Brown here. Kylie will be back in a jiffy. Have a magazine? (Points to magazines, starts brushing hair. You can apply mousse and hairspray if you have time! Just time the hairspray so it doesn’t detract from Kylie and Louise’s lines.Louise picks up a magazine and reads it until Kylie asks her a question. Hold on to it for later)

Mrs. B: How much longer will we be, Steve?

Steve: A couple of minutes and we’ll have you looking like a princess.

Mrs. B: Oh, you’re a treasure, Steve. (Looks at watch) Desmond should be coming for me soon. I hope he’s remembered those groceries. (As Mrs. B talks Kylie arrives and starts spreading on the mix)

Kylie: So, are you pleased with the new kitchen?

Louise: (putting down magazine) Oh, absolutely. Manson has the most amazing taste and such wonderful ideas. He’s been a dream to work with. I don’t know what I’d have done without him. Harvey was all for creams and browns but Manson has brought life into my kitchen – magenta, burgundy, sky blue – it’s positively alive, Kylie!

Kylie: (admiringly) Sounds like my kind of man. Life is treating you pretty great then, isn’t it Louise?

Louise: (deep sigh) Oh, I don’t know, Kylie. It’s hard to know what to do. Some days I’m sure. Other mornings I wake up and I’m back to square one. I just can’t make up my mind.

Kylie:  (inviting a confidence) So what’s to decide, Lou Lou?

Louise: Well … it’s Harvey really. I don’t know how much longer I can put up with the man. It’s been bothering me for a while but I’m not sure what to do.

Kylie: So, he’s like really bad to live with?

Louise: Oh, it’s not so much that – I just find him such a bore. We’ve got absolutely nothing in common – half the time we just sit and stare into space. I see my life stretching out before me like one long rainy day. That’s basically it, Kylie. I just feel trapped.

Kylie: Well, like they say: Marriage is an institution but who wants to live in an institution. (Laughs loudly at own joke) It’s why I keep myself fancy free. Harvey sounds a bit like the partner I had a couple of years back.

Louise:  (remembering) That was Mike, wasn’t it?

Kylie: No, the one before Mike – Bevan. He was a bit of fun to start off with but after a few months he was so boring. No, Mike wasn’t boring, just unreliable. Still he did introduce me to Jason.

Louise:  Jason?  He’s your partner now, isn’t he?

Kylie: Oh, haven’t you caught up with that? No! He’s like ancient history. Like I said, I’m fancy free. If I were you, Lou Lou, I’d like, get rid of the dead wood. A no hoper can so hold you back.

Louise: Yeah, well there’s certainly not much fun in my life.

Kylie: You need to like follow your heart  – be true to yourself. When things are over, there’s so no point pretending. There that’s about done. Now, how about a nice cup of coffee? White, one sugar, isn’t it? There’s some more magazines there (points to magazines) We’ll just let that sit and work its magic.
(Kylie exits. Louise reads article in her magazine)

Steve: (takes off cloak and shows view in hand mirror) There you go, Mrs. B. Just like I promised – you don’t look a day over 30.
 
Mrs. B: (flattered) Oh, you’re a charmer you are. Well, I’ll just sit quietly here, Steve. (Hardens voice) Desmond’s late again.

Steve: (leans over Louise’s chair and winks) Ah! Husbands are a wicked bunch, aren’t they Louise?

Louise: Sounds like Nicole Kidman thinks so. (Reading from mag) ‘I’m relieved and happy it’s finally over’ (looking at picture) It certainly looks like she’s having a great time with her friends. Same goes for Rachel Hunter. (Flicks back a page) Look at this, Steve. ‘New life, new man’ (Puts down mag and looking appealingly at Steve) What should I do, Steve?

Steve: Well, it’s an individual thing, Louise – you’ve gotta work out what’s right for you. Have you thought about seeing a counsellor?

Louise: With Harvey? What a frightful thought!

Steve: No, No. I can’t see the point of that sort of thing. I mean someone who’ll journey with you, let you talk it out, get in touch with your feelings.

Louise: I feel confused. I know Harvey would be upset if he knew what I was thinking. I always meant it to last but it was fun back then …

Steve: And now?

Louise: Now? I’m a different person now. What was that Nicole Kidman said? (Finds and reads) ‘ It’s just two people who reached a crossroads in their lives and decided to take different paths’.  Maybe Harvey and I just aren’t on the same path anymore.

Mrs. B: Forgive me for eavesdropping, dear, but you do need to be sensible. (Louise looks away) Husbands do have their uses you know, even when they’re not very exciting. My Desmond does the shopping, takes out the garbage and does a lovely scrambled egg. My advice dear is, train him while he’s young. (Louise looks back) Just have your fun without him. (Leaning over and patting her knee. Louise recoils) When you get older, dear, it is nice to have someone looking after you.

(As she finishes talking Kylie arrives with the coffee and after dinner mint and puts it on the table. Steve stands between the chairs at back and Kylie on the other side of Louise but behind)

Kylie: I was thinking, Lou Lou. What do the stars say? I like always put a lot of stock on the stars.

Louise: (Finding horoscopes in mag, eager) Let’s see…

Kylie: There’s no point looking in there, Louise. That’s August. (Louise looks disappointed) Here – (reaches under table for newspaper) this is today’s. ‘The Star’s’ always reliable. What’s your sign?

Louise: Virgo.

Kylie: Like I knew you were Virgo. You’re like so Virgo. (Finding it) Here we go. (Mouth open) Like – so listen to this? (Reading) ‘The courage to close one chapter of your life and begin another is ahead of you, so think about what it is you want to remove from your life and what or who you want to bring into it’  Well, will you listen to that?

(During the last segment, Louise looks at each person as they lean towards her and speak, which increases the sense of confusion.)

Steve: Something to think about, Louise.

Mrs. B: But it’s just so awful to see a failed marriage.

Kylie: Just because a relationship ends it doesn’t mean it’s a failure.

Steve: Isn’t the real failure the worn-out marriage that drags itself along?

Louise: (looking straight ahead) If only I knew …

Kylie: Just follow your feelings.

Steve: Make sure you do what’s right for you.

Mrs. B: Isn’t it better to see it out?

Mr. B: (entering) Are you all done then, Harriet dear?

Mrs. B: About time, Desmond.(Louise cringes at the sight of Desmond)
(All get up quickly and move behind chairs, leaving Louise looking desperately ahead.)
Louise: (bewildered) If only I knew who to listen to…
Lights out.

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© Erina Caradus (Dunedin City Baptist) August 2000
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. Our drama group can be contacted at the following address: Caradii@xtra.co.nz