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A WORLD APART by Melanie Clarke

 

An Asian family move into a predominantly white area and are housed next to a family who have lived there for over 15 years. It is following the local elections and far right Britain for British Party have won a seat in the area. There is an atmosphere of unease as the family struggle to settle in and the community struggle to embrace change.

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Scene Six:

College.

 

(Chantelle and Charlene enter. They are engrossed in conversation

 

             

Charlene:        If you ask your pops and he says yeah, I’ll get Marcus to pick up the tickets at the weekend….

 

(Sophia has entered. Chantelle watches her.)

 

Chantelle:       Are you in my Philosophy class?

 

Sophia:            Me? Um, yeah, I think so.

 

Chantelle:       I thought so.

 

Charlene:        Just let me know if I’m boring you.

 

Chantelle:       Did you understand that essay he was talking about? I don’t get it…

 

Sophia:            Yeah, it’s a bit complicated but I think I’ve got what he wants us to do.

 

Chantelle:       Well you’re better than me!

 

Sophia:            I can go over it a bit if you like,

 

Charlene:        (sarcastic) Oh that’d be great.

 

Chantelle:       Cool.

 

Sophia:            I mean I don’t know if I’ve got it right but I thought when he said…..

 

(They begin talking. Sophia gets out some notes and Chantelle reaches for her bag.)

                                         

(Charlene clears her throat, she is  becoming more and more irritated)

 

Chantelle:       Oh yeah! It makes a lot more sense now, if there’s time when I finish, can you look at my draft and I’ll look at yours? I just want to get a decent grade on my first essay. Mum’s screwin about me messing up my exams last year.

 

Sophia:            Course, not a problem.

 

Charlene:        I’ve got a question? Two’s company, three’s a crowd…discuss.

 

Chantelle:       That’s not really a question.

 

Charlene:        Yeah well, what would I know I don’t do Philosophy but you get my point don’t you?!

 

Sophia:            We’ll catch up later. ….erm I didn’t even get your name..

 

Chantelle:       (smiling warmly, holds out her hand in mock formality) Chantelle.

 

Sophia:            Sophia. (She looks at Charlene)

 

Charlene:        You don’t need to know.

 

Sophia:            I’ll probably see you later, I’m going to see if I can join the library…

 

Charlene:        That figures.

 

Sophia:            (to Chantelle) See you.

 

Chantelle:       Laters.

 

(Charlene watches Sophia leave and kisses her teeth)

 

Chantelle:       That was ravin, Charlene seriously, what’s your problem?

 

Charlene:        She’s been here five minutes and she’s pushin herself all up in our business.

 

Chantelle:       She wasn’t “pushin herself up” anywhere, I called her over.

 

Charlene:        Yeah, what was all that about?

 

Chantelle:       You what?! I was just talking, being friendly.

 

Charlene:        Yeah well you’ve already got enough friends, and if she needs some, she can find some of her own .

 

Chantelle:       You are making way too much out of this, chill out man, give her a break.

 

Charlene:        What for? I don’t owe her anything. She needs to stick to her own.

 

Chantelle:       (pause) What’s that supposed to mean?

 

Charlene:        Nothing, but we ain’t got nothing in common have we?

 

Chantelle:       Since when did you become a racist?

 

Charlene:        I’m not! I’m just saying she’s gonna feel better off with some Asian friends, she doesn’t need to be all up in our face.

 

Chantelle:       Boy, it’s lucky you ain’t old enough to vote yet Char. I’ll catch you later. (She leaves)

 

Charlene:        (she looks at the audience) What?! ( she looks awkward, she leaves)

 

 

Scene Seven:

 

 

(Chloe enters with Leanne)

 

Leanne:           Oh gosh, brain freeze, I so need a break. Two hours on politics!

 

Chloe:              They were bound to be talking about the elections weren’t they? I didn’t even understand half of it.

 

Leanne:           What’s to understand? Some people talked crap, some talked sense, people voted, done deal.

 

Chloe:              She seemed really angry though, that we didn’t understand ”the importance of the changing political climate”

 

Leanne:           Oh, just ignore her. She just wants to be everyone’s friend. My dad’s got no time for her, after parents evening he said he had her number and she was a sell-out.

 

Chloe:              What’s that supposed to mean?

 

Leanne:           (shrugging) Dunno, something about her husband or something, he saw a photo on her key-ring….anyway, more important matters, (Sophia has entered, she walks past, Leanne looks at her disapprovingly then continues as Sophia waits on the other side of the stage) Did you watch Hollyoaks yesterday?

 

(Chantelle enters and beckons Sophia over)

 

Chantelle:       Sophie, we’re going to go Subway, do you wanna come?

 

Sophia:            Yeah,  (she walks past Chloe and Leanne and she and Chantelle greet each other and exit)

 

Chloe:              I’m sure she’s just moved in next to us.

 

Leanne:           Unlucky. Come on, I wanna get in the queue before all the good stuff’s gone.

 

(They exit)

 

 

Leanne:           God this place is getting like Pakistan or bloody Africa. If it’s not them it’s the other lot thinking they own the place. I don’t know why I even come here.

 

Chloe:              Leanne?!

 

Leanne:           What?! What are you looking so confused for? It’s staring you in the face and if you’re not careful, you’ll be left behind. There’s no point you working your butt off to get you’re ‘A’ levels when all the Uni places are gonna go to immigrants.

 

Chloe:              It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.

 

Leanne:           I feel the same. Chloe. I’ve always been like this. It’s you that’s changed. What are you trying to prove?

 

Chloe:              I’m not trying to prove anything. I’m just doing what’s right.

 

Leanne:           Oh, right. So you’re their friend out of pity? There’s no prizes for “best integration student of the year”

Chloe:              I didn’t think there was. I just think it’s wrong to judge people because of the colour of their skin.

 

Leanne:           It’s more than that! Don’t you get it? They’re not like us. They never will be. And they don’t want to be. They want to live in our country…

 

Chloe:              “Our country?”

 

Leanne:           And not play by our rules. My dad says…

 

Chloe:              Here we go…

 

Leanne:           My dad says, if we’re not proactive, if we don’t do something, we’ll be learning Bengali not English lit…

 

Chloe:              You’re so ignorant.

 

Leanne:           No, I’m honest. I’m saying what I think.

 

Chloe:              Really? Or is it just what your dad thinks?

 

Leanne:           Don’t talk about my dad!

 

Chloe:              Why? He’s all you ever talk about.

 

Leanne:           Are you jealous? ‘Cause you’ve rejected yours?

 

Chloe:              What? I haven’t….

 

Leanne:           …Doesn’t mean I have to do the same. It’s simple    Chloe. You’re either with us or you’re against us. There’s no in-between. (Leanne’s phone rings)

 

Leanne:           Hello? Hiya. What? What?! I can’t hear you. What are you saying? What for? Dad? Dad?!

 

Chloe:              Lea?

 

Leanne:           Dad’s been arrested. For attacking that boy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

        BRAND NEW

           SCRIPT

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