GIRLZ - a girl band story
A BRAND NEW MUSICAL.
Book, Music & Lyrics by Daf Hughes
Synposis. ACT 1
The show is narrated by Nicky who moves in and out of the ‘real’ action throughout. She enters and looks around wisftully around her old flat. She says the audience she can’t believe it’s been a year since it all began. Suddenly we are back one-year earlier and her boyfriend Adam enters. He says they need to leave for her final audition for renowned impresario Mick Richie’s brand-new Girl Band project. The action moves to the audition studio where we see other girls warming up for the final dance audition. We meet Alex, Nicky’s close friend who is also auditioning. Alex is a livewire and somewhat of a loose cannon. We see her taking some pills to calm herself down. She tries to reassure Nicky who is worried her dancing is not up to it. Nicky imagines what life could be like if she is successful. We then see the highly impressive and very technical dance routine. At times it seems Nicky is messing up and she won’t be selected. However, at the end of the routine, her number is read out along with the Alex and 3 other girls, Mia, Suzie and Frankie. The whole of this scene comprises the opening song AUDITION, which movies in and out of the 'action'
The five selected girls wait rather nervously in Mick Richie’s office. They discuss his reputation as an egomaniac and womanizer. He enters, and in his usual sexist, patronizing and business-like tone tells them about his plans for the band. He also smugly reveals their name; GIRLZ. When he is briefly called away on the phone, Alex takes his signature ‘sunglasses’ from his desk and does a comic impression of him. The others are incensed fearing he’ll walk in any moment and discover her. Most of the scene happens in the song GIRLZ.
The Girls are all sharing a flat where they rehearse vocals for their upcoming recording session. As they get to know each other, we learn more about each of them, including that Alex has a step dad with whom she has a very difficult relationship. Alex and Mia row after Alex inadvertently causes Mia to reveal that she has a small son. She wants this to remain a secret as their contract states they must disclose if they have children or if they are, or become pregnant. Alex makes some of her famous Bloody Mary’s, and they all drink a TOAST. During this song they also share some internal thoughts and fears including Nicky's fear that she may be pregnant.
Nicky Face TImes Adam. He is writing a song on guitar. After Adam has given her some ribbing about her cheesy pop band Nicky tells him she need to talk to him about something and will pop over for lunch in a couple of days. She then asks him to play him the song he's working on, sectretly hoping it's going to be about her. After some persuasion, he agress and plays the song, WHEN YOU GO.
Mick Richie shows The Girlz into SONIC RECORDING STUDIOS. They are recording what will be their first single. Nicky is worried the song is not very good. Mia is anxious about her son, and Alex offers her a pill to calm her down. Mia dissaproves of Alex taking pills and accuses her of also taking coke. She says Alex's drug abuse has wider implications for the whole band. Alex tells her to mind her own business and the two row again. Nicky tells Mia Alex is dealing with some difficult issues. Mia is unconvinced and highly wary of Alex. Mick Richie senses some growing tension between some band members. They are working with an 18 year old 'prodigy' producer called Beat Boi (we only ever hear his voice in the monitors). Beat Boi is very strange in his methods and attitudes and Alex has no problem taking the mick out of him as they get ready to record. We hear them recording their first single, 3 MINUTE ADVENTURE
Nicky goes to see Adam in their flat and tells him she is pregnant. After the initial shock Adam is overjoyed. Nicky is not, and tells him that having the baby means she will have to give up the band. Adam is furious when he understands she is planning on a termination and he storms out. He tells her if she goes ahead with it, he never wants to see her again. Nicky is devastated and conflicted which we hear in the song WITHOUT YOU.
GIrlz are just finishing their Live Show. We hear the crowd in a large arena screaming and shouting for an encore. Hopefully the real audience will join in! Eventually the lights go down and the Girlz return to the stage. They play their hit B.A.B,Y, which includes an extended dance routine.
After some improvised chat with the audience, they GIrlz perform their new single, ALL ADDS UP featuing Suzie on lead vocals.
In the dressing room immediately after the show. The Girlz are buzzing saying it's their best show yet of the tour. Alex opens a bottle of Champagne. The others ask her to go steady as they have a tough schedule and a show the following day. She ignores them taking large glugs from the bottle. Mick Richie enters and bursts their bubble somewhat with some criticisms of the show. He tells them he has booked an additional 3 shows on the tour and a costume fitting at 9am the following day. They voice some concerns as they already struggling vocally and phycially with so many shows and media commitments. RIchie embarks on a rant berating them for not appreciating how hard he works for them and how hard they need to work to maintain and develop their suceess. At the end of the rant Alex (now rather pissed) stands up, whoops and applauds, clearly taking the piss. He recognises she is getting out of control and tells the others to sober her up. She is becoming a serious liability and there are press all over the place. He leaves. A Sun Journalist enters the dressing room. They can't understand how he has got past security and demand he leave. He is filming on his phone. He asks them if they have a messages for their readers who are big fans of the band. As they shout for security, Alex says she hates the Sun and has a message for their readers. The others desperately try and stop her but the journalist films her as she bends over showing her behind and shouts 'kiss my fucking arse'. The others are horrified and plead with the journalist to stop filming and delete the footage. As she gets up, a bottle of pills fall on the floor and scatter everywhere. As Alex grapples to pick them up, he is still filming. Then he leaves. Mia goes after him to try and get security to get his phone. The others explain to Alex the serious implications for the whole band of the footage going viral. Mia returns. The journalist got away. Alex admits she was stupid but explains that she is struggling to cope with the pressure and at times feels out of control. Since their succes, her step dad has been trying to contact her and she wants nothing to do with him. She explains to the others how she is feeling in the song IN MY HEAD.
Nicky tells the audience that the footage did go viral, and the following day the Sun headline was 'Kiss My Fxxxing Arse'! They cancelled shows for two weeks whilst Alex got some treatment. It looked like the band would not recover from the damage to their clean reputation. However, quite quickly there was a backlash against the Sun, and a social media campaign called 'Kiss my fucking arse' gained millions of followers. The journalist was found to have bribed 2 security guards to get into the dressing room and Mick Richie sued the paper for invasion. of privacy. Alex agreed to stay sober and promised to go to rehab after the tour. She started speaking about her abusive father and mental health problems and became of role model for many young people. It actually ended up helping the band. Fans started turning up to their gigs in T Shrits with 'Kiss my Fucking Arse' / 'We love you Alex' on them. Ticket sales, downloads and merchandise sales soared.
A few weeks later and the band have a rare day off. They have a big London show the following night. Richie has rented a very nice apartment for them for 2 nights. Frankie is in the apartment playing a guitar and scribbling on some paper. Mia and Suzie enter laden with bags having spent the day shopping and taking selfies with fans. We learn that Alex and Nicky have gone (in secret) to see Adam who is playing a solo show at his club that night. Nicky has said she needs to speak to Adam who has blocked her from all contact. Mia and Suzie see Frankie has been writing song lyrics and ask her to play what she has been working on. She is reticent and says it's not serious, just a bit of fun to pass the time. After some persuasion she agrees to play them her 'silly' song called FIFTEEN MORE TO GO.
At Adam's U-TURN Club. There is a very small stage with an acoustic guitar on a stand. We hear the buzz of a small crowd. Nicky and Mia enter. They are wearing hats and sunglasses to avoid being recognised, by both fans, and Adam. They sit on a table at the back. A waitress comes and they both order soft drinks. Alex is celebrating being 24 days sober. Alex doesn't understand why Nicky isn't allowing herself a night-off drink though! Adam comes on stage and says he's been working on some new songs recently and appreciates everyone's support. He plays a song he says he 'wishes he'd never had to write' called GIRL FROM THE LOCAL BAR.
Nicky realises instantly the song is going to be about her. Adam makes an oblique reference to her abortion and he loses it for a moment and half stops. Nicky stands up saying she has to speak to Adam. Alex tries to stop her, as he's still in the middle of a song. As she approaches the stage, another girl goes up to Adam, taking him a glass of water and hugs him tenderly. Nicky stops in her tracks, then goes to her table, gets her stuff and tells Alex they are leaving.
In the dressing room the following day, just before their first BIG london show. They are so excited because lots of family and even several celebrities have been seen in the audience. Alex wants to say a few words. She tells them all that she knows that she has had her 'ups and downs' and disagreements with some people , but she could never have recovered without them and that she totally loves them all. As they prepare to go on, they do their traditional group hug and shouting 'shove it up your fucking arse' they head to the stage. Mick Richie enters and calls Alex back alone. He explains how much he appreciates her efforts to get sober and gives her a small box to open as a sign of his appreciation. She is puzzled and hesitant. She opens it. It is a very expensive diamond necklace. He tells her to put on, clearly making a move. She refuses. He becomes angry and tries to force it on her. The two tussle and move slightly offstage. We hear him shout 'you don't say NO to me!' We hear her scream and then a large slap as Alex strikes him. He reels back on stage clutching his face screaming 'BITCH'. Alex appears adjusting her clothing, her make up smeared. There are tonnoy calls asking Alex to go to the stage. Richie tells her that was a 'big mistake' and leaves. Alex is shaking almost uncontrollably. She goes to the mirror and adjusts her make up. More calls for her to go to the stage. Then she looks at her bag, still shaking. After brief moment she reaches in and takes out a bottle of pills. She swallows a couple, then takes out several more and washes them down with an open bottle of champagne. Nicky rushes in asking what's going. Alex says she's fine, she just needed the loo quickly. They head to the stage as we hear the roar of the crowd rise.
The Girlz come onstage to huge screams. Alex is last on and looks scared. Nicky seems aware something is not right,. Alex gathers herself and lets Nicky know she's OK. The lights change and they launch into their opening number. I'M TOO GOOD (FOR YOU).
Alex talks to the crowd. She thanks them for their support over recent weeks. She tells then she has written a special song for tonight which will be available to download immediately after the show. All proceeds from the song will go to mental health and child abuse charities. She perfoms the song FINALLY.
As Alex accepts the applause she stumbles slightly. The other Girlz sense something is not right and gather round her. She collapses and is caught by them as the lights dim. We hear sound of screaming and panic, turning into sounds of sirens and hospital bleeps and machines. These all gradually fade to silence.
Nicky sits in a hospital waiting room. Her make up is running. Her phone rings. It is Suzie. Nicky tells her that Alex has gone. She never regained consciousness. As she sobs, Adam enters. The news is all over social media and he is still able to track her phone. Nicky tells him she and Alex came to his gig. She wanted to talk to him but left when she saw he had a new gilfriend. Adam tells her she is mistaken. She was not his girlfriend. He has not been able to move on since her abortion. She tells him she never had one and she is now 5 months pregnant. She is going to have their baby. They kiss.
At Adam's U-TURN Club. There is a very small stage set up with a guitar, bass some percussion. There is the buzz of a small but very enthusiastic crowd. Nicky and Suzie are anxiously waiting for Mia who is late. They need to start their set. Mia arrives, flustered. They chat briefly. They are so excited to hear that Mia has just got the role of Rizzo in the West End. She tells them it's a dream come true. She shows them pictures of the hot new man who adores Aiden. They say they have to start their set. She sits by herself at the table. Mia, Frankie, Nicky and Adam go onstage to wild applause. Adam plays bass, Frankie plays guitar, Suzie is on percussion and Nicky sings. Nicky thanks everyone for coming and introdues their new band/ project who are called FALLOUT.
She says it started as as therapy but they seem to have written some decent songs and want to share a few tonight. They introduce their first song, saying it is dedicated to Alex Hermionie Weston and to everyone who loved her. They perform the song CASTLE IN THE SKY.
As the song fades, and the lights dim, Nicky moves downstage centre and addresses the audience directly. She explains that she always suspected Mick Richie has done something to Alex before that show. However 2 weeks after Alex died several different women came forward and accused him of sexual harrasment. He is currently awaiting trial for 5 separate counts of sexual misconduct, and his management career is certainly over. She says thay the new band FALLOUT is going really well with great reviews of their new album and big advance ticket sales for their forthcoming UK tour . Adam and Frankie are a great songwriting partnership. Adam enters holding a 6 week old baby. He asks Nicky to look after her while he pops to the shops. Alex introduces the audience to baby Alex.