Curl up and dye by Michelanne Forster

A play
by

Michelanne Forster

(The author gives permission for any amateur performance of this play)

Characters

Georgine Pickelherring – a business woman
Dandy Maggot – a triplet
Priscilla Maggot – a triplet
Amanda Maggot – a triplet
Mrs Maggot– their mother
Petrov Kobrinski – the manager of Curl up and Dye
Jenny Cutter – hairdresser
Jack Clipper – hairdresser
Strong Sam - masseuse
Trainee hairdressers

Setting

A unisex hair salon. Four chairs are set out for customers to sit in. A trolley or table with brushes, combs, clips and other props is set. A screen stands in back of the chairs.
Running time: 15 – 20 minutes

Scene One

JENNY CUTTER, JACK CLIPPER and the TRAINEE HAIRDRESSERS run on stage. They dust, tidy and sweep

JENNY: Hurry! Mr Kobrinski’s on his way!

JACK: Here he comes now!

PETROV KOBRINSKI, master hairdresser, enters

PETROV: Good morning, staff.

ALL lining up: Good morning, Mr Kobrinski.

PETROV: Are we ready to dare to be creative?

ALL: We're ready.

PETROV: Good! Let’s being with out anthem.

PETROV conducts his staff with a pair of scissors and a comb
Everyone sings, to the tune of "God Save the Queen".

ALL: Don’t nip customer’s ears
Or they'll end up in tears
And they won’t pay
Keep scissors sharp and neat
Cut fast while on your feet
Let inspiration sweet
Guide your mousse and gel

PETROV: Jack!

JACK steps forward from the line

JACK: Yes, sir?

PETROV: What is the first rule of hairdressing?

JACK: Um … um … I forget, sir.

PETROV: Do you have noodles in your caboodle? Think!

JACK: Um … keep your comb clean?

PETROV: You nudnik! The first rule of hairdressing is – dare to be different! Every head of hair that walks through this door is a creative opportunity!

GEORGINA PICKELHERRING, a business woman, stands outside the hairdressing salon and looks in through the window. She has a briefcase and a cell phone.

JENNY: There’s someone looking in the window, Mr Kobrinski.

GEORGINA knocking on the window: Hello!

PETROV: A customer! Quick everyone! Go and sharpen your scissors – as well as your wits.

ALL: Yes, Mr Kobrinski

The TRAINEE HAIRDRESSERS run offstage.
GEORGINA PICKELHERRING enters

GEORGINA: I saw the sign in your window. "Creative hairdressing. No appointment necessary."

PETROV: That’s right. Take a seat, madam.

GEORGINA: I’m in a hurry. I have 18 clients to ring before lunch.

PETROV: No problem, madam.

JACK gets a sheet or towel and ties it around Georgina’s neck.
JENNY gets a watering can

GEORGINA: I want something simple and no nonsense.

PETROV: No problem, madam.

GEORGINA dialling on her cellphone: I’m a busy woman so I'll just get on with my job and you get on with yours … hello, Max?

As GEORGINA talks to Max on her cellphone PETROV walks around her waiting for creative inspiration to strike

… have you clinched the deal yet? … Three hundred dollars and not a penny less! …

PETROV: Orange, maybe. Or perhaps green. Green spikes.

GEORGINA: How did the auditions go? You haven’t found anyone yet? Time is money, Max. Get on with it!

PETROV: I'll begin with a wet cut.

GEORGINA: Fine.

PETROV: Go ahead, Jenny.

JENNY mimes pouring water from a watering can all over GEORGINA'S head

GEORGINA: Augh! My cellphone’s drenched!

She stands up shaking and sputtering

PETROV: You need to relax, madam. Jack, call our masseuse.

JACK: Sam! Strong Sam!

STRONG SAM, a masseuse, appears and flexes his muscles

STRONG SAM: You rang, Mr Kobrinski?

PETROV: Yes. This customer is tense.

GEORGINA: I’m soaked through!

PETROV: Please help her relax.

STRONG SAM: A pleasure, Mr Kobrinski

STRONG SAM takes GEORGINA's cellphone

GEORGINA: Give that back!

STRONG SAM raises his hands above his head and, with a might roar, lets them crash down on GEORGINA'S back and shoulders. She flops down in her chair, completely relaxed.
(Do this lightly so it looks real but doesn’t hurt anyone)

PETROV: That’s better. Thank you, Sam.

STRONG SAM bows and exits

Now where were we?

JENNY: Green spikes.

JACK: I don’t know if spikes are such a good idea, Mr Kobrinski.

PETROV: Maybe you’re right, Jack. Glue and feathers might be better.

GEORGINA waking up: Where am I?

PETROV: Curl up and Dye, madam. Our exclusive salon.

GEORGINA: Curl up and die??

PETROV: We curl hair, we dye hair, we cut, spray, spangle and frizzle hair.

GEORGINA: Get me out of hair! I mean here!

PETROV: Jack, take our client to the dyeing room and when you’re finished there pop her under the glue machine.

GEORGINA: No!

JACK: Certainly, Mr Kobrinski

JACK takes GEORGINA behind the screen. While she is hidden from view she puts on a fright wig with birds' nests, feathers and spikes.

MRS MAGGOT and her three children, MANDY, DANDY and PRISCILLA
enter the salon

MRS MAGGOT: Hello! I want an appointment for my three children.

DANDY: I don’t want a haircut!

MRS MAGGOT: Shhh! And stop biting your nails, Dandy Maggot. You look like a nervous chimpanzee.

DANDY: Waaa!

PETROV: May I help you, madam?

MRS MAGGOT: My children are auditioning for a very important television commercial. Can you make them look adorable? Amanda! Get your finger out of your nose

AMANDA: I was just scratching it.

DANDY: Yuck.

AMANDA: Shut your trap.

PETROV: It could be difficult, madam. But we'll do our best.

MRS MAGGOT: Priscilla! Pull your socks up. Baggy socks look disgusting.

PRISCILLA: I like them like this. They're comfortable and wrinkly like elephant skin.

MRS MAGGOT: But you are not an elephant. You are my daughter. And my children always look- (nice)

DANDY: -boring.

MRS MAGGOT: Dandy Maggot! Keep your rude comments to yourself.

PETROV: Give me half an hour, Mrs Maggot, and your children will look … unrecognisable!

MRS MAGGOT: I want them to look shiny and tidy; and new and improved.

PETROV: I'll do my best.

MRS MAGGOT: Goodbye.

PETROV: Goodbye for now.

MRS MAGGOT exits

JENNY: Please come and sit down, children.

MANDY, DANDY and PRISCILLA sit with their feet together and their hands folded in exactly the same way. PETROV walks around them, thinking

PETROV: Mmm … this will be a challenge.

MANDY: A triple challenge. We're triplets, you know.

PRISCILLA: We're cute. Everybody says so.

DANDY: I’m sick of being cute.

PETROV: Well then. you’ve come to the right place. But it’s going to take some serious inspiration.

AMANDA: What are you going to do to us?

PETROV: I’m thinking…

The TRAINEE HAIRDRESSERS enter and chant.
They surround MANDY, DANDY and PRISCILLA

ALL: Curl it, flutter it
Bread and butter it
Cut it, crimp it
Just don’t limit it

Plait it, scatter it
Fry and batter it
Spray it, iron it
Just don’t cry on it
Boo-hoo-hoo!

PETROV: Happy heads have happy hair
And happy hair is free!

ALL repeating over and over:

Happy hair is free!
Wheee!

Two conga lines are formed. One is led by JENNY, followed by MANDY, DANDY and PRISCILLA. This group congas behind the screen. While they are hidden from view JENNY helps MANDY, DANDY and PRISCILLA put on fright wigs.

The TRAINEE HAIRDRESSERS make up the second conga line. They dance around the stage while the triplets' fright wigs are being fitted. PETROV stands on a chair clapping and shouting in the middle as the dance goes on.

The first conga line re-appears. The two lines form into one big circle. DANDY, MANDY, PRISCILLA and GEORGINA stand on each of the four chairs shaking and jiving with their new hairstyles/wigs. Everyone is clapping and shouting.

MRS MAGGOT enters. She screams

MRS MAGGOT: Augh! What’s happened to my children? What have you done!

The music stops suddenly

PETROV: Well, Mrs Maggot, what do you think of my masterpieces?

MRS MAGGOT: Masterpieces? My children are unrecognisable! And as for that ridiculous-looking women with them – she’s a disgrace to the human race!

GEORGINA stepping off the chair: I beg your pardon?

MRS MAGGOT: I said –

MANDY: Hey, Mum. Relax. Don’t get stressed out.

PRISCILLA: Go with the flow.

DANDY: Cool it, Ma.

MRS MAGGOT: How dare you children speak to me like this. You are a wicked man, Mr Kobrinski!

CHILDREN: Wicked!

MRS MAGGOT: I’m going to lay a complaint with the national hairdressers' association. Come, children.

MRS MAGGOT gathers up MANDY, PRISCILLA and DANDY as if she is going to leave the shop

PETROV: Wait! You can’t go now. You haven’t paid.

JACK: It’s eighteen dollars and fifty cents each.

MRS MAGGOT: That’s highway robbery!

JENNY: Even artists have to make a living, Mrs Maggot.

MRS MAGGOT: My children have an appointment with a casting director. I can’t stand here all day arguing.

GEORGINA: Did you say casting director?

MRS MAGGOT: I certainly did. Now if you’ll excuse me –

GEORGINA: What was the casting director’s name?

MRS MAGGOT: Georgina Pickelherring, if you must know.

GEORGINA: What a coincidence. I am Georgina Pickelherring.

MRS MAGGOT: You? You can’t be.

GEORGINA: But I am. And believe me, I would never hire your children in a million years – not before Mr Kobrinski got hold of them, that is.

MRS MAGGOT: What on earth do you mean?

GEORGINA: I never hire cute children. Cute children are a dime a dozen. But your children here – they're something special.

CHILDREN jumping up and down: We're gonna be on TV! We're gonna be on TV!

MRS MAGGOT: … You want to hire my children the way they look now?

GEORGINA: Yes, I do. As soon as my cellphone dries out I'll organise their contracts.

CHILDREN: Whoopee! Whoopee!

MRS MAGGOT: Oh my goodness. Mr Kobrinski, you and your staff deserve all the credit.

PETROV: Never mind the credit. Just pay the bill at the door.

MRS MAGGOT: Of course. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe this is happening!

GEORGINA: Before you go, Mrs Maggot, why don’t you make an appointment for yourself?

MRS MAGGOT: Me?

GEORGINA: I could use a really way-out looking mum on my casting file.

CHILDREN: Mum’s gonna be on TV. Mum’s gonna be on TV!

MRS MAGGOT: Me? Way-out? But what would my husband say? Or my neighbours?

PETROV: What about next Monday at 10 o'clock?

ALL: Dare to be different!

MRS MAGGOT: Me? Different? I couldn’t possibly

ALL: Yes, you could!

MRS MAGGOT: I…I…Oh. Why not? Book me in!

ALL: Hooray for Mrs Maggot! Hooray for Mum!

GEORGINA: You won’t regret this, I’m sure.

MRS MAGGOT: What if I do?

DANDY: you’ll still be the same Mum underneath.

MANDY: And that’s what really matters.

PRISCILLA: Go for it, Mum!

PETROV conducts everyone in a final song which is sung to the tune of "Row row row your boat". He leads MRS MAGGOT behind screen as song develops into a round and puts wig on her.

ALL sing: Curl curl curl your hair
Curl up and dye
You might like the new you
You won’t know till you try

MRS MAGGOT appears with her new hairstyle – it’s way out.
PETROV shows her the hair-do in a hand mirror. She shrieks with delight, over the singing.

MRS MAGGOT: You are a true artist, Sir. For the first time in my life my inner soul has been revealed!

Everyone claps and shouts their approval. The singing finishes and the cast takes a bow.

THE END

© Michelanne Forster

Read our interview with Michelanne Forster.

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