I’ve been fascinated by new estates……a social experiment I’ve been living for nearly nine years (with the exception of a few periods away). I’ve written stories, tried at a novel and even penned the beginning of a play, which follows. New estates are fascinating. One person having their drive block-paved, or a conservatory added, can start a domino chain reaction along a whole street. (Imagine a disaster movie where, instead of a cracking seam of rock denoting an earthquake, there is a rapid roll-out of bay trees or sponging of BMWs and you get the picture. People don’t speak but they see everything.
The chimes of an ice-cream van can be heard playing ‘Greensleeves.’ The curtain rises. Before us is the house. The house is a towering three-storey structure which sits in perfect symmetry and uniformity with the suggestion of neighbouring houses alongside. We see the central floor of the house with a lounge, a hallway and a kitchen. The lounge has modern furnishings and art prints on the wall. A huge window dominates the room. Rick is stood in his pyjamas looking round the curtain. The fitted kitchen is straight out of a showroom. Adele sits at the distressed pine table leafing through a celebrity magazine distractedly. Rick rubs his neck and shakes his head.
RICK: You hear that?
Adele continues to leaf through the magazine in the kitchen.
RICK: Henry VIII wrote that and they’re using it to sell bloody ice creams. Wonderful isn’t it? You can just imagine the cream of Tudor nobility queuing over the road, can’t you?
Rick turns sideways as if to mime buying an ice cream.
RICK: Yeah, I’ll have a Big Feast for Thomas Cromwell, a Strawberry Mivvi for Archbishop Cranmer and a two ball screwball for myself. And hurry up with it Mr Whippy or you’ll be selling cornets in the front row at your own beheading.
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