The play is set in a Café, in town. The location of which is not stated, this is due to the fact that it should feel like any small café that people would go to. Allowing it to be put on both on stage and in real world surroundings. The shop is owned by Maggie, who runs the shop her self and has grown to have loyal customers and friends but also has an eye for spotting the troublemakers and has her own unique way of dealing with them.
- Curly big, brown hair.
- Wearing a shoulder length black top, Light pink long trousers (cover the top of her shoes)
- Nostalgic. See’s herself as giving Karma a hand. Tries to help people who feel they’ve been cheated in some way.
- Business man, aged about 34
- In a supervisory position at estate and retail development agency.
- Wearing a suit and tie, suit is a dark gray and tie is a red burgundy colour. He has an earpiece in and has his phone in his hand constantly.
- Has a sense of entitlement and often doesn’t notice the things around him.
- Tries to get the best projects, competitive.
- He’s not afraid to step on people to get what he wants.
- Student, age about 22
- She’s in her last year of university, so is constantly working.
- Has know Maggie since first year at university, and has become like a daughter to Maggie.
- Always has a backpack that looks over filled. But no ones sure what it’s filled with.
- Short Brown hair, jeans, and baggy jumper.
- Always appears to be busy with a new project and coursework. Can seam flustered to outsiders.
- She has a hard time trusting people, and will often hide behind sarcastic comments when talking to new people.
- Age about 25
- He has recently started a new job at the same estate and retail development agency as customer 1.
- He feels like he needs to impress the people around him. This is sometimes seen as being cocky
- He doesn’t enjoy his job, as he feels like his boss is out to get him fired.
- His supervisor/ boss is Customer 1
- Wearing blue jeans, white shirt and a blazer.
- Try’s to look smart but can come across as immature.
- He’s good at heart and can sometimes be a little gullible.
Audience members on stage
- Depending where the play is put on. If in an actual coffee shop, these could be regular customers and are able to leave when they want.
- If the play in put on at a stage, they will be randomly selected via tickets and will come on to the stage as normal customers.
- The interaction between them and Maggie, should be completely unscripted, adlibbing where possible.
A green, ageing desk, boxed in on three sides, with browning/ black corners. The till looks old; an antique sits on top of the desk. Behind the desk is a row of cupboards, set slightly lower than the desk. The colour is similar to the front desk. But on this is a coffee machine and a few cake stands at different levels. The cake stands contains a chocolate cake, a cheesecake and a carrot cake. The counter is stood in the middle of the stage. There are about three small tables dotted around the stage. All have two matching chairs. Starts off with Maggie, taking a large slice of chocolate cake and putting it on to a plate. She sets it down next to the till and looks up
Maggie: Oh… I didn’t think we’d have anyone it at this time
Maggie looks down at the chocolate cake
Maggie: I was just having a small snack…. well a big snack. But someone’s got to try the first slice,
Maggie looks down at cake
Maggie: you know just to make sure. Fine, its almost like eating chocolate cake at eight in the morning is a bad thing. You try it then.
Maggie walks from behind the counter, picks up cake, walks around the stage a bit
Maggie: Um… let me see… ah you. Yes you the one drooling like a St. Bernard, you can try the first slice.
Maggie bends down, beckons the audience member over, hands the plate to them. Before they go back, stops them
Maggie: Wait! Hang on.
Maggie runs back to the counter picks up a fork and napkin, turns towards the audience again but then turns back to the counter, goes behind counter picks up small bucket, runs back to the audience member, jabs the fork into the cake and hands them the bucket. Maggie stands up straight pats down her apron and looks back up.
Maggie: Well just incase.
Maggie goes back behind the counter and wipes down the top
Maggie: I guess it’s for the best; they’ll be coming through the door any minute. All suited and booted
Maggie mimes doing up a tie.
Maggie: All in their own little worlds face focused intently on the small device that rule over their schedules. The only time they look up from their phones is to pay. Sometimes they don’t even do that. You know I had to move the napkins to the other side of the counter because we had people trying to scan their cards against the box. … And they look at me strange when it doesn’t work.
The door opens; there is a bell that dings when Customer 1 steps through the door. His earpiece is in and he appears to be having a conversation with someone
Customer 1: I told you to print out the charts for the meeting…. What about the reports?
Customer 1 approaches the counter still talking on the phone. He is looking at his phone in his hand
Customer 1: Hazelnut Mocha! No not you John I’m at the café around the corner, Get your own you cheap Git… Oh yeah, really when?
Customer 1: Making the coffee for the meeting doesn’t count. Especially when it taste as foul as yours did… John no one drank the coffee. They swore it was made from tar
Maggie turns her back to the customer who continues his conversation. She then places the takeaway cup on the counter
Maggie: That’ll be Three forty five
Customer 1: That’s stupid… Here
Customer 1 hands Maggie five-pound note and waits for Maggie to give his change
Customer 1: some people can be so slow sometimes… Listen I’ll be there in a minute might have been faster if certain establishments got with the twenty first century.
Maggie hands the customer his change, and points to the container to her left
Customer 1: Sugar?
Customer 1 finally looks up at Maggie to notices she’s pointing to the container on the side, which contains sugar. His phone beeps. He presses the button on the side of his earpiece, and continues to put three sugar packs into his coffee
Customer 1: Hey Jacky, I’ve just got off the phone with John…. Oh good you know… Its in 20 Minutes…I know I know…any chance of a miracle…you are a star
Customer 1 walks through the door but his last words can still be heard as he passes through the door
Customer 1: Yeah I know dickhead right. Haha.
Maggie goes in front of the counter to pick up the empty sugar packets off the counter.
Maggie Turns towards audience
Maggie: ‘I could have been annoyed, I could of refused to serve him. But then what’s the point in that.
Goes back behind the counter to put the packets in the bin
Maggie: Besides he left us a nice tip…Oh he doesn’t know he did but he did. And no I didn’t shortchange him. Do you see any prices anywhere?
Maggie: No of course you don’t. Makes it easier to put in place what I like to call the DHB tax. That’s Dick heads and Bitches for any of you still wondering. Here we made a sign and everything. Maggie point to the small sign on the side of the till
Maggie: Don’t give me that look. If more places had this I think the world would be a little bit of a better place….
Maggie: Maybe not for getting rid of all the people like that in the world, but by making the rest of us feel a little better thinking that they’re having to pay just that little bit more. Why I’m down right saintly
Maggie Smiles wide showing teeth
The café is more full now with some audience members siting in two of the tables drinking coffee/tea and eating cake. They have entered after Customer 1 has left. The interaction between Maggie and the audience should be improvised during these points. The door opens, Enters Jessica. She’s one of Maggie’s regulars. Maggie is putting a fresh cup/pot of tea/coffee on one of the tables. Maggie picks up the empty cup/pot as Jessica walks through the door
Jessica: Hey Maggie, quiet morning?
Maggie: It’ll pick up in a bit, besides not often I see you before one.
Jessica: Haha, I’m not here by choice
Maggie; Well its nice to see you too
Jessica: ‘Had a lecture this morning. Eleven o’clock and I get here ready to go
Jessica pats her over sized backpack. The bag makes a clunking noise.
Jessica: only to find out its been canceled.
Maggie: That’s a shame, suppose you want your regular
Jessica: Oh yes please Maggie, its been a long morning, you’re a star
Maggie: You go and sit down I’ll bring it over
Jessica moves to an empty table and gets out her notebooks and puts her bag under the table, there is a clinking sound as it hits the metal leg on the bottom of the table. Maggie is over at the counter putting the last touches to Jessica’s drink; she looks over in her direction
Maggie: ‘One day someone’s going to ask you what you’ve got in that bag’
Jessica: ‘A lady never tells’
Maggie comes over with a large hot chocolate toped with whipped cream and two chocolate flakes slowly melting into the chocolate. She places it on the table in front of Jessica
Maggie: ‘you know this is only a small shop Jessica’
Jessica: ‘I know, I know. If anyone comes in they can sit in the other chair’
Jessica points to the chair opposite
Maggie: ‘That seems fair, enjoy your drink’
Jessica takes one of the chocolate flakes and stirs in the cream a little
Jessica: ‘Thanks Maggie’
Maggie walks back over to the counter, and turns towards the audience and addresses the audience
Maggie: She’s a good kid, a little over worked if you asked me. I’ve been trying to set her up for the last month but she’s been making it impossible.
Maggie: You see I send over someone I think she’d like and get them to sit down across from her. It’s not the first time I’ve got her to share the table. You know just to get a conversation going, but it’s like she doesn’t even see them.
Maggie: I know what you might be thinking. Maybe they’re just not her type. But I’ve tried men, women, blondes, brunettes, and short, tall, plain, handsome. Either I’m getting rusty or she’s just not looking for it.
Maggie looks defeated; she goes around and picks up any empty cups/ plates. Jessica keeps writing in her book
Maggie: Maybe I’m missing something.
The door opens and customer 2(Mark) walks in, he’s carrying a folder in one hand. He goes to the counter and starts to check his phone. Maggie goes behind the counter and looks up at Mark.
Maggie: Hi what can I get you?
Mark looks up from his phone
Mark: Oh … um … can I get a mocha and a slice of lemon cheesecake?
Maggie begins getting the order together. Mark starts to look around the shop for a clear table. But there are none
Mark: Hey I don’t suppose you’ve got anymore tables, I’ve got some important work that I need to do before I get back to the office.
Maggie places his order on the counter and types it into the till
Maggie: I’m sorry, we’ve only got that chair and there might not be enough room on the table for you both.
Maggie points to the table where Jessica is sitting. Jessica looks up and sees the man at the counter
Jessica: Oh no that’s okay Maggie he can sit there
Maggie: Well then I guess we do have a table. Oh that will be four pound thirty please.
Mark hands Maggie the money and waits for his change. Then he takes the tea and cheese cake over to the table and sits down
Mark: Thanks for this I’m Mark, there’s never enough space in here to get anything done, I don’t know why they don’t invest in a bigger space.
Jessica moves some of her books around to make some room. But goes back to looking at her work
Towards audience Maggie: Well you know what people say about men looking for bigger spaces.
Jessica: I’m Jessica, sorry about the mess, deadlines.
Mark: Nice name, a bit long, ever thought about going with just Jess?
Jessica: You ever thought about going with just Ma?
Maggie laughs loudly and drops something behind the counter. Everyone looks at her. She looks embarrassed and tries to hide it by cleaning up
Maggie: Sorry, it slipped.
Mark goes back to talking to Jessica
Mark: I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you. Would you like some of this cheesecake?
Mark cuts a piece of the cheesecake off and offers Jessica the plate.
Jessica takes the piece of cake, and casually looks at what is in Marks folder
Jessica: What is it you do Mark? Or would you prefer Ma?
Mark: I’m a property consultant; I advise people how they can make more out of their commercial property mostly. Our firm has just got a big local contract. I’m just going over the details.
Mark taps the folder
Jessica: Sounds …um…interesting. Anywhere I know?
Mark: Actually I think one of the properties is the shop next door. Yes here it is.
Mark moves his finger along the sheets of paper until he finds the address of the shop next door
Mark: thirty six Bishop Street
Jessica: You mean thirty-four or thirty eight?
Mark: No. No. I’m sure it said thirty-six.
Mark turns through some of the papers but spills his coffee on some of the paper
Mark: Oh shit, pass me some tissue quickly!
Jessica hand Mark some tissue for him to wipe up the spilled coffee.
Mark: Yeah here it is thirty-six. Apparently the owners had a proposal to turn it into a high-class restaurant and expand it. They’ll get double the rent from the new business.
Jessica: But this is number thirty-six.
Jessica leans over her work and looks at the papers in front of Mark.
Jessica: I hate to burst your bubble, but that doesn’t say thirty-six. That doesn’t even say Bishop Street. Look it’s thirty-eight Bishops Walk. That’s on the other side of town.
Mark: God dam it! But I am sure my supervisor said it was this street. I hate that guy. He’s been doing crap like this since I started.
Mark: Because he’s a dickhead. And he wants me to quit, he’s still pissed off, I showed him up in front of his client this morning.
Maggie has been listening in on the conversation as she’s been working. Maggie comes over to the table
Maggie: This boss of yours, dress like he’s heading to a mafia meeting, got one of those earpieces in his ear all the time, look like he swallowed a lemon if he has to look up from his phone?
Mark: Oh you know him then?
Maggie: lets just say your right about the dickhead part.
Jessica: Maggie, you didn’t?
Maggie: He was rude.
Jessica: You can’t charge people extra, even when you think they are being an ass.
Mark: I agree with Maggie.
Jessica: Don’t you start!
Marks phone starts to ring. Mark picks up the phone. Maggie and Jessica watch Mark on the phone. Maggie picks up the coffee cup and the wet tissues.
Mark: Yeah it’s Mark. Boss I’m still on my lunch. Do you really need it this second? Okay Oaky I’ll be there in soon.
Mark hangs up the phone and starts to gather his papers together.
Mark: I’m sorry Jessica, work calls. It was nice to meet you.
Maggie: I’ve got something that would be perfect for your boss.
Maggie goes to the counter and grabs a clear takeaway box with a piece of chocolate lava cake inside. She hand it to Mark.
Mark: I thought you said he was a dickhead?
Maggie: And I stick to that assumption, this is just something I save for the ones who really need a kick up the backside.
Jessica packs up her things and sticks them in her bag. She crosses over to the counter to pay for her things. Mark is walking towards the door. Maggie walks behind the counter and shouts after him.
Maggie: Just don’t rub your eyes after you touch the cake.
Mark looks worried and walks through the door.
Jessica: Do I even want to ask?
Maggie: Lets just say dark chocolate goes very well with chill. That’s three pound twenty.
Jessica hands over the money and waits as Maggie puts it into the till. Maggie puts the money into the till and hands Jessica her change.
Jessica: You know one day you’re going to get caught.
Maggie: Maybe, but I’ve got the perfect cake to get out of anything.
Jessica: Does it happen to have a file baked into it? Or maybe a hidden stash of money?
Maggie: Jessica, you know a lady never tells. Haven’t you got a bus to catch?
Jessica: Haven’t you got a shop to run? See you later Maggie!
Jessica leaves the shop, her bag clanking against the door on the way out.
At this point, Maggie brings the remaining tables their bills. This is a signal to audience members on stage to move off of stage. Maggie walks around the shop picking up empty cups and plates and puts them on the counter. The audience on stage might interact with Maggie when leaving, recommended responses be unscripted but still in character of a café owner.
Maggie address main audience.
Maggie: Well its almost closing time. If you leave now you might catch the last train. Oh don’t look at me like that. Think of it like giving karma a little hand. Besides I only put three chills in the cake. The last one I baked, I ended up putting six scotch bonnets in. I’d say that todays been quite tame.
Maggie wipes down the table around the stage.
Maggie: It wasn’t always like this though. The thing is most of the time people go about their day with a moderately pleasant attitude, saying please, thank you. And even the occasional smile. But there are also a few people who go through their day treating people like me, like we are not worth their time.
Maggie takes the cups off the counter and puts them under the counter. Maggie wipes down the tops of the counters.
Maggie: The next time you go to a shop, a restaurant, a bar or your local paper shop, maybe you’ll stop to think what did they put in the cake. Speaking of cake, it’s been a slow day and apparently carrot just isn’t what people want in a cake anymore.
Maggie picks up the carrot cake and begins to slice it up.
Maggie: I don’t know, maybe it’s the idea of putting vegetables in a cake. I’ve always been quite fond of carrot cake. My Grandma used to bake a wonderful carrot cake, she used to own a shop a little like this one and I would sit on a stool in front of the counter colouring in a colouring book she kept under the counter for me. Colouring with one hand and a piece of cake in the other. Most of the pages were stained with sticky fingerprints.
Maggie walks from behind the counter holding a slice of cake and a napkin, Maggie walks over to one of the tables and sits down in a chair facing the audience.
Maggie: She used to say, ‘people don’t mean to be bad, but some people need a bit of a reminder to be good’. Lets say that sign has been on that till for a while. But that’s enough of me talking for one day. I think it’s about time for me to have a sit down and enjoy some cake.
Maggie begins to eat cake as the lights go down.