Excess: a Post 911 Comedy about Sex, Shopping and War!
a play in two acts for five actors (3f, 2m)
700 word Synopsis:
March, 2003: Prime Minister Jean Chrétien,
on behalf of Canada, says ‘no’ to the American coalition
of the willing and the invasion of Iraq.
"First Iraq," he says, "then who is next?"
Montreal actress/screenwriter Grace MacDonald opens an envelope from the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Laura Secord, Daughter of the
Empire, Mother of Canada, in development for three years, has been rejected.
Canada’s national broadcaster has chosen to observe the 200th anniversary
of the conflict which defined Canada, and led to its nationhood, by producing
American Arthur Briknale’s mangled version of the War of 1812-14, in the
CBC/FOX co-pro series Ready, Aye Ready! Repatriating America’s Lost
Heroes. Episode One: Laura Secord Redux.
Grace is appalled.
‘It’s time,’ the CBC advises, ‘to take a fresh look at old history through
the eyes of our friend, closest alley, and chief trading partner.’
The more Grace reads, the angrier she becomes.
‘American patriot’ Laura Secord, Briknale contends, ran the wrong way by
accident— north when she meant to run south. Secord regrets ratting
on the Yanks and wishes to redeem herself. It would all have been
so much simpler, Briknale concludes, if the continent had become The United
States of North America.
The CBC is insane. This Briknale is barking mad! It gets worse.
Briknale and The CBC toss her a bone: the elder, senile Secord, in a minor
role, recants, declares her hatred of Britain and Canada, and her love of
Briknale will drop by Grace's upscale Westmount condo tonight
to formally offer her the role.
Grace shreds the letter of introduction. She heaves the script against
The doorbell rings.
Grace’s Cuban friend and houseguest, pediatric oncologist Dr. Lazara Ortega
laSantos, arrives as expected from Havana to begin the Canadian leg of her
international lecture tour. Lazara breaks out her house gift, a bottle
of Havana Club rum.
Lazara’s sympathies and her fighting spirit are aroused by Grace's dilemma.
They’ll repel this American invasion together.
Lazara will confront her long-time enemy, set him off balance.
Grace will move in for the kill, quash this intolerable 'Disneyfication'
of Canada’s history.
Briknale’s resemblance to The Marlborough man, now
on the silver side of sixty, dazzles Grace. Lazara is alarmed by her
own attraction to this good, strong-willed, proto American male.
The feelings are mutual. All around.
Grace’s son, pharmaceutical executive Grant MacDonald, arrives with his
American wife, 9/11 claims attorney, the terror-traumatized Nell Bradshaw-MacDonald.
They’ve fled Manhattan.
Grant has been charged with trading with the enemy. Despite the U.
S. embargo, or because of it, Grant has been supplying the
sick children in Lazara’s Havana clinic with American drugs.
Grace has been the 'middle-man', filtering the drugs through Canada.
Grace pours drinks—too many as the act evolves.
Over-medicated, emotionally-exhausted, 911 traumatized Nell goes psychotic.
She becomes the mad American even good Americans dread.
She mistakes Lazara for a North African Muslim.
She learns the truth is even worse: Lazara is Cuban.
Nell assaults Lazara with a box cutter, holds her hostage.
In the scary/comic act one closer, Lazara escapes death.
Nell is subdued by fellow American, Arthur Briknale.
The first American invasion of the evening is repelled.
The broad, sharp comedy of the first act is transformed in act two.
A lighter, more intimate comedic style prevails.
Grace has a chastened Arthur right where she wants him: in her bed.
She mounts her final assault on his script, the wrong-headed, history defying,
Yankee-Doodle Laura Secord Redux. She dangles the carrot of sex over
the promise of a re-written, balanced, truthful account of the war.
Sexually addled Art learns resistance is futile. In matters of moral
integrity, and historical/cultural fidelity, he’s no match for the True
North Strong and Smug!
After much thwarted desire, pleasure dangled and withheld, after Art’s
last Viagra is lost and recovered in the nick of time, Grace nudges the
exasperated American into final position...alone in bed with a box of chocolates.
She promises to return and fill her end of the bargain on delivery of an
Grace wins the field, the day and the war: North America will never belong
to the USA.
Grace and Laura Secord reclaim their dignity. Truth trumps blind
patriotism. Balance is restored. Old friendships are renewed.
Social comedy, bedroom farce (everyone, including Lazara, ends up in bed
with America!) drive a boistrous, bawdy examination of the contemporary
How strong is the true north?
How long will she stay free?
In Excess: a Post 911 Comedy about Sex, Shopping and War! Canada's
future looks very promising indeed!
EKS, Montreal, March, 2011.
Drop me a note if you'd like to
Read Excess On-line
I'll send you the URL for the seventh draft.
For production rights, inquiries:
Mr. Charles Northcote,
Telephone: 416 466 4929