Nowhere Town: Act TWO Scene I
Curtain rises on a dark stage.
JACK: Where are we?
CHORUS: In the Village.
JACK: Fuck that shit. I hate the fucking scene.
Lights come up. The back-stage area is set up as the inside of a night club, the Hellhole, the front stage area being the streets outside. CHORUS is leading JACK. The doorway is on the left of the platform - centre-stage facing forward as the entrance to the Hellhole. The lighting is mainly red.
CHORUS: Don’t worry. I don’t think you’ll feel too out-of-place in this establishment. More of an... earthy ambience than your usual venue.
JACK: No fat old leather clones with beer guts and moustaches?
CHORUS [points with a thumb over his shoulder]: That would be Valhalla.
JACK: No cheesy dance shite? None of that pop princesses and boyband bollocks?
CHORUS [pointing in the other direction]: That would be Elysium. Oh, no, Jack. They have a good juke-box here. Could maybe do with a bit of Nirvana, but I think you’ll like the sounds.
JACK: And it's not going to be wall-to-wall blissed-out disco bunnies drinking water all night long and grinning like morons?
CHORUS: God, no. This isn’t Heaven we’re going to.
JACK: So where are we going?
CHORUS [grandiose]: We, my friend, are going to– ah, we’re here.
The REGULARS are coming on from stage-left and stage-right, filing through the doorway, which has the “EXIT” lit up. There is a dark grotesquerie to the mixed crowd of goths and gimps, tuxedos and fedoras.
JACK: What the fuck is this place. Who are these people?
CHORUS: The Hellhole has a very select clientele. Invitation only
JACK: You have an invitation?
CHORUS: A standing invitation. I know the proprietor… pretty well.
JACK: Another old friend?
CHORUS: I’m not sure about that. Charming lady, wouldn’t trust the bitch if my life depended on it. But that’s not saying much, on account of my life being well and truly shit.
A dominatrix leads a rubbered-up slave on a leash into the club.
JACK: Who are these people?
CHORUS [ironic]: Creatures of the night. That’s what they think, anyway. They’re all… terrible, terrible people. So they think.
CHORUS half-speaks, half-sings the opening lines before the music kicks in, hamming it up big-time. The whole song is played with that mock outrage, with CHORUS wagging a finger, crossing his arms, rolling his eyes, laying it on thick all through:
Think of all the guilt within us…
Mortal crimes and misdemeanours…
[with relish] Sado-masochistic sinners…
Still… [he shrugs] they’re mostly just beginners.
SONG: Welcome To The Hellhole
Tom Waits / Jacques Brel / Brecht here, with dark carnivalesque vibe. The verses are a march, with a hint of polka. Fairground accordian flourishes between them. Sung with relish.
Dead souls, damned souls,
Heart as black as blackest coal
Dead souls, damned souls
This one killed, this one stole
Dead men, damned men [crosses his arms in mock judgement]
This one had a boyfriend!
Don’t you know that it’s a sin?
Do you know where that has been?
Are you not a Christian?
That is why you’re going down
Blasphemy and cuss-words
Headed for the fires
Drunks and junkies
This one spanked the monkey!
It’s a sin to waste your seed
You were put here just to breed
Don’t you know that it’s decreed?
That is why you’re going down
Made his choices [one of the REGULARS walks past wearing a straitjacket]
Listened to the voices
Doomed and didn’t know it
Let’s dispense with rigmarole
Sin is there in every soul [pointing to audience, then with a flourish:]
Welcome! to the Hellhole!
You know why you’re going down
JACK enters the Hellhole.
CHORUS [aside]: As if you weren't there already, my boy.
CHORUS enters the Hellhole.