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DS has pointed out all the formatting issues so I won't go into those.
The way the story ends, I didn't see coming at all. I would say it has a serious tone at first for a comedy. It's only at page 3 when we see the first joke, then it lightens. But I suppose the build up is important for the gag to work.
But I like this, as DS says this would make a fine sketch.
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I know it's a comedy, but Kevin didn't sound much like an idiot. Yet he steals a bike with an indigo stripe on it and rides it around the same area he stole it from?
For the joke to work the police would need to have heard of the stolen bike, and they control certain areas. So the bike would need to have come from his area.
Rather than the flashback, I think you should show him stealing it. Right after he steals it, he runs into the bad guys, gets mugged, left unconscious in the street, then awoken by the girl who calls the police while he is groggy. The punchline where she calls the police would still work just as well like that.
- Why? It seems like the most inappropriate time to do this. Is it intended to be funny?
KEVIN No, I mean it, it’s a nice jacket, I like it. (pause) So anyway, I best be off.
- Reading on, and in these lines in particular, I get the impression Kevin is a little simple.
KEVIN (angry) No.. who do you think you are?! I don’t have to give you anything!
- Nice I’m starting to like this guy.
Love his big speech, although it feeds further into the notion that Kevin isn’t all there in the upstairs department. Gotta admire his courage all the same even if it is guided by a certain degree of innocence.
BETH You know Mr Murray who lives down the street? Well, they stole his wheelchair last month!
- Sh?t, that is hardcore thuggery, stealing a guy’s wheelchair!
BETH You know, it took him two days to drag himself home. He said it was like being a slug. Imagine that, Kevin, being a slug.
- Again, I’m not sure is this meant to be funny in a dark, perverse way or you are being totally serious? I mean, surely someone would’ve come across him in the 48 hours it took for him to drag himself home.
Kevin’s flashback reminds me of the famous ending to “Bicycle Thieves” with the thieved becoming the thief. Or in this case, the protagonist is already a thief before it happens to him. Was that film an influence?
The ending was a little abrupt. Perhaps it works in terms of this being a sketch, set-up and pay-off type thing but as a script it falls short, in my opinion. One of the issues I had (as you can see from some of my notes) was getting a grip on the piece’s tone. I wasn’t sure if this was meant to be a comedy or earnest, moralistic drama.
And I think that’s mainly because Kevin is said to be in his mid 30s. I almost believe you made a typo as he came off sounding much younger. His general dialogue and crying at Beth’s door come to mind. The same with Beth, her pontificating and simplified moralistic ranting indicated a much younger person…or an old lady, you know. Again, there was certain innocence to her language and criticism of the Cameron and his posse.
You’ve got a nice title as it relates to the cycle of robbery which takes place and that in itself is an interesting theme to explore but I had trouble believing in the characters and the situation which came down to me not being able to detect the script’s tone. There is potential here but unfortunately it’s let down by the execution.
The intention with this piece was very much a 'sketch' style format, but played out in a very low key sense, that the whole situation of the piece is more amusing than the traditional, setup, punchline etc - although the reveal of the bike theft does work as the overall punchline.
The characters are all meant to be extremely naive and that's kind of where i was going with that side of things, the comedy is just as much from the idiocy of the characters. Also with the wheelchair joke, it was meant to be dark (v. dark) humour, but also furthering the point of the casualness of that character. That she can tell that whole story as if it were just 'those boys again!'.
I also wanted to write it as if to the characters themselves this is a drama, but its us on the outside that see this as a bizarre comedy sketch. The characters are not in on the joke, as it were.
Whether writing the piece this way works I'll see in further drafts, that's where I think the tone is lost on some currently. Perhaps that needs clearing up.
Thanks for taking the time to read, as always these discussion forums are invaluable and will take suggestions on board - constructive as always.
Sounds like you need to lengthen the page count to get these things across better. A show of their naivety perhaps, so then the latter part makes more sense. Also, he didn't sound naive to me when he came out with the speech to the mugger.