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Plays by Alan Richardson


The Spy Who Came in for the Phone sample

It's London in the swinging sixties. Newly-weds Chris and Sally are moving into their new flat and are surprised to find a brand new telephone installed. They're surprised because they hadn't ordered a phone. They're even more surprised when the phone immediately starts ringing and they get some very strange messages. But Mrs. Davies, an outspoken neighbour, has the perfect answer for unsolicited phone calls.

SALLY The question is; who's going to be the first person to phone us?

CHRIS That's an easy one. Your mother. (The phone rings) Talk of the devil. Go on then.

SALLY No, you answer it.

CHRIS That doesn't sound like a true women's libber.

SALLY Please?

CHRIS OK. (He picks up the phone) Hello... Kensington 1-9-1-7. What?... What?... Say that again? Yes, but I don't understand... Who's calling? Hello? Hello? (He replaces the phone) Gone.


CHRIS It was a message. A very odd message. You're not going to believe me.

SALLY Try me.

CHRIS "The yellow zebra is leaving Vienna on the midnight train".

SALLY You're right. I don't believe you. That doesn't sound like mum.

CHRIS Definitely not. A male voice. Heavy accent. Sort of middle European.

SALLY "The yellow zebra is leaving Vienna on the midnight train". But that's silly.

CHRIS Completely. Everybody knows zebras are black and white.

SALLY Wrong number? Or a hoax? Has to be.

CHRIS Possibly. But this phone has just been connected. No one else should know our number. (The phone rings again) Make that two. Your turn this time.

SALLY Right. (She picks up the phone) Hello... Kensington... (Checks the pad) 1-9-1-7.. Sorry? Have I got what? No, I haven't got any blueprint. Are you sure you've got the right... Hello?... He just hung up.

CHRIS "He"? Voice like Count Dracula?  

SALLY No. I'd say more like John Wayne. Said he wanted the blueprint.

CHRIS The blueprint? For what?

SALLY He didn't say. Must have been a wrong number.

Mrs Davies' voice is heard off

MRS D Cooee! It's just me with the tea. (She enters with two mugs of tea on a tray) Here we are.

CHRIS Thanks, Mrs D. 

MRS D Are you getting yourselves organised then? (Her tone suggests that she was expecting to see decorating in progress by now)

SALLY No, not yet. We keep getting held up by strange phone calls.

MRS D Oh. My sister in Ipswich gets those from some dirty old man

SALLY Ours talks about yellow zebras and blueprints.

MRS D That's even worse. The kinky kind. (The phone rings) Don't you worry. I'll sort him out for you. (She picks up the phone) Now listen here you perverted person... Oh, sorry. I do beg your pardon young lady. Do you wish to speak to Mr or Mrs Taylor? No? You're calling to what?... to protest? And who is calling? From where? The CND. Very nice, dear. But I don't think we want to buy anything from a catalogue today. What? No, I don't have any ballistic warheads. And even if I did, young lady, it would be no business of yours. I beg your pardon? (She slams down the phone) Impudence! I'm not having some young whippersnapper making comments about my proliferating arsenal! You won't hear from her again.

SALLY Probably not.