A comedy radio play about gambling
> A short radio sketch written for a BBC comedy call for entries, about two poker playing old ladies who make an unusual bet.
I wrote this in 2011, and actually got through to the stage of meeting a director (Mario I think he was called) before being knocked out of the competition. You can read my other radio play Monkeys vs Kittens on here too.
Betty Davis’ Eyes
ALAN ABBOT, PRESENTER
A community radio personality
BETTY DAVIS, GAMBLER
A sweet old woman
AGGIE LYONS, NEIGHBOUR
A slightly saltier old woman
A woman, gossipy type
A young lad, excitable type
A woman, no-nonsense type
Radio studio, and the Northumbrian village of Corbridge.
The action happens in a radio studio, with two old women being interviewed by the presenter. Cuts to soundbites of interviews with people on the streets of Corbridge.
ACT I (and only)
SCENE 1 (and only)
A radio jingle plays. The presenter introduces the item.
I’m Alan Abbot. I’m here with two residents from the charming town of Corbridge, Betty Davis and Aggie Lyons. Welcome to the studio ladies.
Eee, thanks Alan!
Now, Betty, your story may sound a little odd to some people, but actually it shows that even in this day and age we can still rely on our neighbours.
Eee, yes, they’ve been brilliant!
So, what actually happened to you Betty?
Well, Alan, I was just round at Aggie’s, for our usual Tuesday night game of poker. It must have been five weeks ago now. Wasn’t it, Aggie?
Five weeks it was, yes.
Well, and we’d played a few hands and had a good catch up. That’s what we do, isn’t it, Aggie?
A good catch up, yes.
We just play for matchsticks ye understand. Buy we thought we’d make it a little more interesting that night, didn’t we, Aggie?
We did. More interesting, yes.
And how did you make it more interesting Betty?
Well, I don’t know to this day what made me do it, but I bet my eyes on my final hand.
You bet your eyes?
Yes, Alan. Heaven knows why!
And then what happened. Did you win the hand?
Why no, Alan, is it not plain to see?
Well, er, yes, it’s hard to miss… So you honoured your bet?
Why yes, Alan, I honoured my bet. So now Aggie has my eyes. I shouldn’t have been so hasty to bet them really, they did come in useful for my reading, but I’ve only myself to blame.
(Turns to Aggie.)
So, Aggie, I can imagine some people, Betty’s family for instance, might have reacted fairly angrily to you taking possession of your neighbour’s eyes?
(Aggie remains silent.)
Oh no, no no. Like I say, Alan, I only have myself to blame. But they’ve been very supportive in the community. The young lads run my errands. One or two of the single mothers drop in for a cup of tea…
Yes, we were actually in Corbridge earlier this week, and we talked to some of the local community. Here’s what they had to say.
(Cut to soundbites.)
Terrible situation. Still speaks to Aggie though. Admirable woman.
She’s me mam’s friend! She gives me a quid for getting her meat!
She’ll not be going double-or-nothing, let me tell you. Sensible she is. Values her body parts.
(Cut to studio.)
Interesting what the first lady said there. So you two are still on speaking terms then?
Oh yes. Yes, yes…
What happens on the card table, stays on the card table.
Truly extraordinary. Well, a tale of true comradeship if ever I’ve heard one. It just goes to show, everybody needs good neighbours.
A radio jingle plays.