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by baumski 

Posted: 04 November 2005
Word Count: 1647
Summary: This is a stage/tv adaptation of a short story I had published called 'Theatre Of Dreams'(see uploaded work). As I have already uplaoded the story, I'd be interested to hear feedback.

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BRIAN: Standing next to me is the United manager George Alexander. George, a good victory this afternoon over arch rivals City. A win that takes you to the top of the table for the very first time this season. You must be delighted.

GEORGE: Very much so, Brian. Without question. The lads played a blinder and I’m proud of each and every one of them.

BRIAN: And one in the eye for all those pundits who questioned your appointment earlier on in the season?

GEORGE: Well, after Vinnie Jones’s move from soccer into film it was only a matter of time before the arts would finally follow suit and be involved in football. It’s a natural crossover of the two genres. After all, the actors are the players with liniment for greasepaint, the playing field as a stage, floodlights for spotlights and where spectators are the audience.

BRIAN: But what I think has surprised people the most is your unorthodox approach to tactics and the usual team formation. Specifically doing away with the more traditional line-up.

GEORGE: Well, Brian, when I was artistic director first with Sadlers Wells and then after with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and not forgetting all the numerous West End musicals I’ve been involved with over the years, I found the construction of a good chorus line to be the best defence there is. And ever since we shelved the more traditional four, four, two and implemented a strong line moving together as one with (CLAPPING RHYTHMICALLY) a one-and-two and one-and-two and one-and-two formation, the results speak for themselves.

GEORGE: And impressive they most certainly are! With only three goals conceded in the last dozen games it must be very satisfying for you and your supporters to have what is generally regarded to be the best defence in the Premiership, I would think.

GEORGE: We’re all over the moon, Brian. Couldn’t be happier and for me the boys at the back are the best in the business. And let’s not forget, we are in no doubt this is due to the outstanding leadership of our captain, di Caprio.

BRIAN: Yes, the little Wop certainly makes himself heard out there despite the noise from the crowd, doesn’t he?

GEORGE: Well, this is to be expected from a RADA trained ac-tor who’s been taught how to project his voice to all four corners of the playing field. But let’s not take anything away from the others, Brian, because they synchronise brilliantly together and as far as I’m concerned they make an almost impregnable last line of defence.

BRIAN: Impregnable certainly, and not too shy to go in hard as was seen today. There was some very tough tackling going on in the middle of the park, not to mention some very tight man to man marking.

GEORGE: It’s something we’ve been working on in training. The pas de deux of our centre half Paul Yorrick is without mercy, as any opposition striker will testify. He’s a very dogged and determined performer.

BRIAN: And sometimes very physical to the point of going well over the top. He really went for the Nutcracker Suite.

GEORGE: No, no, you’re wrong. I’m sorry, but the boy Yorrick is no ham, he’s a real trooper, a pro. He never knowingly goes over the top. If anything, he has a tendency to understate the part he plays.

BRIAN: Nevertheless, George, there are some who will say he deserved his second half booking for what was a very ugly contact on his opposite number. You could say it was a wedding tackle, tackle.

GEORGE: The tackle was superficial. His only crime, perhaps, was being a little over zealous in his remonstration with the referee.

BRIAN: But there’s no getting away from it, Yorrick’s dissent is still a bookable offence.

GEORGE: Alas, poor Yorrick, is still finding his feet in this game. He’s not long been out of Rep and he’s only had a limited amount of film and TV exposure before his arrival here at United, so he still gets very excited whenever he gets a booking for television. Consequently, when the referee informed him he was being booked, all Yorrick wanted to know was for how long, what were the terms and conditions for the booking and were there to be any residuals for any repeat showings of his tackle.

BRIAN: So will the club be disciplining him with a fine or something else? What is it going to be?

GEORGE: Ah, yes, to be or not to be, Brian?

BRIAN: Yes, George, that is the question. (GEORGE SHRUGS) Yes, well, moving on now, I’d like to make mention of your goalkeeper who, in fact, was your very first signing for United. Do you believe as others do that his addition to the squad has had a pivotal influence on the team as a whole?

GEORGE: No question, Brian. As any manager will tell you, a goalkeeper is the backbone to a good defence and our lad is certainly no exception. He has to be the buy of the season for the club.

BRIAN: But with United hovering dangerously near the relegation zone earlier on in the season, would I be right in saying that at one time it looked as though you weren’t going to get your man?

GEORGE: Oh, absolutely, Brian, absolutely. Yes, it was touch and go as both the Bolshoi and the Kirov were also after his signature but we were always confident of signing him. We never doubted it.

BRIAN: Not yet an international, but judging on his recent performances I expect he won’t have too long to wait before he earns his first cap.

GEORGE: He is a natural talent, such poise, such balance, and no matter where the lad is standing when the ball is struck, he has a unerring ability to cover all four corners of his goal with no more than a subtle jété and the merest hint of a pirouette.

BRIAN: Yes, his talent is certainly beyond question but tell me, what was it that finally clinched the transfer?

GEORGE: Artistic freedom and interpretation in the starring role of goalkeeper for United. Being an understudy was not an option, he craved Principal Boy status. Once we’d negotiated with his agent we thrashed out a deal and – as you might have see in ‘The Stage’ – we guaranteed the lead, personal dresser, stylist and a bowl of fresh fruit at half time!

BRIAN: Now going back to the game where City never did come to terms with the explosive skills of your winger, Blair. Everytime he got the ball he was unstoppable, wasn’t he?

GEORGE: Yes, Lionel is in a class of his own. To see him operate down the flank is breathtaking. His agility and balance is second to none. He’s a natural flanker!

GEORGE: Yes, that’s what I’d heard too.

BRIAN: And it was of course his spectacular solo run and cross which led to the only goal of the game. Can you talk us through it?

GEORGE: It was a very moving moment. He took possession of the ball inside his own half and then turning en pointes, off he went cutting through all that came his way trying to block his path. (CLAPPING RHYTHMICALLY) Step, kick, kick, kick, step, touch. Then turn, turn, touch down, back step, pivot turn and cross. The ball flew over and was glanced into the net by La Rue. The lad has been in the business twenty five years and at moments like that I wonder what the Kirov would give to have him back in their starting line-up. Their Swan Lake hasn’t been the same since he transferred to us.

BRIAN: Although it’s fair to say that not only has his reputation as goal scorer grown, so too has his notoriety for diving in the penalty box. What do you say to those detractors?

GEORGE: Nothing.

BRIAN: So do you refute those claims?

GEORGE: Categorically, because my swan never takes a dive – never!

BRIAN: Well, not wishing to dwell on that point tell me, George, what else do you attribute your team’s success to?

GEORGE: From the very moment my ensemble takes to the field, heralded as they usually are by the strings of the Philharmonic, they come alive. And even though much has been made of the new team strip, I have to say that although the leg warmers and close fitting lamé shorts have given my players greater freedom on the pitch, the overriding factor is that the boys can play and they can play well.

BRIAN: So the boys done good?

GEORGE: The performance you saw out there this afternoon was faultless to a man. Mark my words, this team will win plaudits and medals. In fact, Brian, if our home ground was based at the National then these boys would be walking away with a cupboard full of BAFTA’S for their team spirit and outstanding individual performances.

BRIAN: Well, finally, before we hand back to the studio, I have a surprise for you.


BRIAN: (HOLDING UP A TROPHY) It gives me great pleasure to present you with the Premiership manager of the month award. (HANDING THE TROPHY TO GEORGE) Many congratulations.

GEORGE: I… I don’t know what to say! But this is so sudden! I had no idea! (FONDLING THE AWARD) What an honour and so unexpected. I’m speechless. Truly speechless. (CLOSE TO TEARS) I’d like to thank my mother for always believing in me as well as my agent and special friend Simon. We’ve got some celebrating to do tonight, Si! I’d also like to thank…..

BRIAN: (TURNING TO CAMERA) And so from a very happy and elated United manager George Alexander, it’s back to the studio.


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Comments by other Members

Jamesmac999 at 13:30 on 15 November 2005  Report this post
Really enjoyed this - great idea. The Manager of the Month speech at the end was particularly good.


baumski at 20:46 on 15 November 2005  Report this post
Cheers for that, James.


Deborah at 15:07 on 28 December 2005  Report this post
Bloody funny, Martin! Was delighted to see that Yorrick played such a blinder!
Brilliant - must go and read more - you're GOOD!

baumski at 15:58 on 28 December 2005  Report this post
Well thank you very much and I'm delighted you enjoyed reading it.

All the best and a very happy New Year.


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