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How many Characters?

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PLEASE
LISTEN

For a bit more fun, listen to the second scene from This Gun in my Right hand is Loaded, by Timothy West.  It is apparent that you can easily confuse your listener by having too many similar characters (as well as pushing the budget up).

Hint: sometimes you can enrich a character, give more to an actor to get his teeth into - and economise - by combining in one person the traits of two people.

The Script

(FADE IN PUB NOISES.  GLASSES, CHATTER, TILL, DARTS, SHOVE-HALFPENNY, HONKYTONK PIANO, KNEES UP MOTHER BROWN, ETC.)
HAWKINS: (middle-aged, cheerful, Londoner) Evening, Mabel.  Busy tonight, isn't it.
BARMAID: It certainly is, Mr Hawkins.  I've been on my feet all evening.  (going off)  Now then, you lot, this is a respectable house, this is.
(SINGING AND PIANO FADES ABRUPTLY TO SILENCE)
FARRELL: (approaching. middle-aged cheerful, Londoner)  Evening, George, what are you having?
HAWKINS: No, no, let me.
FARRELL: Come on!
HAWKINS: OK.  Well, then, a pint of the usual.  (TILL)
FARRELL: Two pints of the usual, please, Mabel.  (MONEY)
BARMAID: (off)  Coming up, Mr Farrell.
HAWKINS: Evening, Norman.
JACKSON: (middle-aged, cheerful, Londoner)  Hello there George.  What are you having, Bert?
FARRELL: I'm just getting them, Norman.
JACKSON: Well, leave me out then, I'm getting one for Charlie Illingworth.  Two halves of the usual, Mabel.
BAINES: (coming up, middle-aged, cheerful, Londoner)  Evening all.
JACKSON: Hello, Arnold, haven't see you in ages.  (TILL)
BARMAID: Your change, Mr Farrell.  (MONEY)
FARRELL: Thanks Mabel.  Where's Charlie got to?  Ah, there you are.  Charlie, you know Arnold Baines, don't you?
ILLING: (cheerful, Londoner, middle-aged)  Known the old so-and-so for ages.  What'll you have?
JACKSON: No, I'm getting them, what is it?
BAINES: Oh, I'll just have my usual, thanks.
JACKSON: Who's looking after you, George, old man?  (MONEY)
BARMAID: There's yours, Mr Hawkins.
HAWKINS: Bung ho.  (TILL)
FARRELL: Cheers George.
BAINES: Cheers Norman.
JACKSON: Cheers Bert.
ILLING: Cheers Arnold.
BAINES: Well, well, look who's coming over.
ILLING: Isn't that young Clive Barrington from the Providential Insurance?
BAINES: As happily married a man as ever I saw.
CLIVE: (approach) Evening Arnold.  Evening Bert, Charlie, George.  Evening Norman.
BARMAID:) (Evening Mr Barrington.
FARRELL:) (Evening Clive.
BAINES:) (simul.)  (Long time no see.
JACKSON:) (Hallo Barrington old lad.
ILLING:) (How goes it?
HAWKINS:) (What ho then mate.
HAWKINS: What are you having?
CLIVE: A whisky please.
HAWKINS: Any particular brand?
CLIVE: I'll have the one nearest the clock.
HAWKINS: Half a minute.  There's a bloke over there can't take his eyes off you, Clive.  Over in the corner, see him?  Wearing a dark blue single-breasted dinner jacket and tinted spectacles.  A foreigner, or my name's not George Hawkins.
CLIVE: Yes, by George, you're right, George.  Excuse me. (PEAK CHATTER)
OPPENHEIMER: (middle-European accent)  So, Herr Barrington, you are here at last.  I was becoming impatient.
CLIVE: Well, now I am here, perhaps you would be so good as to explain what the blazes all this is about?
OPPENHEIMER: Certainly, but not here.  We will go to my place in Wiltshire where we can talk.  My car is outside.  Come.
(FADE ON PUB BACKGROUND)

   More notes to actors:

Remember that your speech is a response.  
It is a response not only to a thought, a feeling or a question in your own mind, 
but also to the other actors.   
It is important not to become hypnotised by your script, just waiting for your next line.  
Keep listening and responding to others.
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THIS GUN
SCENE 6
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THIS GUN
SCENE 5
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THIS GUN
SCENE 4
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THIS GUN
SCENE 3

For those who would like to hear the rest of this amusing spoof, please click here:

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