By Lynne Tyson

The North London Academy of Performing Arts faces closure so the new pupils set out to save the school.  Helped and hindered by the teachers, betrayed by some rough bikers, they battled to put on the show of their lives so the Academy can remain open.

Cast Gladys Albright (F), Bobby (M), Rachel (F), Crystal (F), Michelle (F), Anastasia (F), Bridget (F), Jeremy (M), Professor Higgins (M), Ricky (M), Hank (M), Marvin (M), Mr Meaner (M), Grimley (M), Dr Travers (M), Julian Trotter (M), Penelope Spinstrer (F),  Katy (F), Tina (F), Lucy (F), Paula (F), Tea Lady Mary (F), Jake (M), Elmer (M),

CHORUS  Pupils, lively, excited, all ages. Phil. Band Member. Jill. Freddie.

Scene – Theatre Academy

Time – 1980’s

12 Male, 12 Female

An excerpt from Flame


Scene 1

The pupils enter looking around

Song 1

Dialogue from Gladys coming from either side of stage or the balcony

Gladys  Yes, hello, can I help you. What exactly are you all doing down there?

Bobby  We’re here for the auditions of course.

Gladys  Auditions, I’m sorry there’ll be no auditions today. Or any other day for that

matter. Don’t you know the Academy is closing down? We did put notices up.

Crystal  Closing down … but that’s impossible. Oh come on, you’re having us on.

Gladys  Having you on I am not young lady. The North London Academy of Performing Arts will be closing its prestigious doors for the last time in just two weeks time.

Michelle But why? This place has been going for years, it’s world famous.

Gladys  Famous, well it used to be yes. (Melancholy) I used to be so proud of the Academy but times have changed and the long and short of it is that we haven’t produced any real talent for years, so the board of directors have decided to close us down. They’re selling out to a large Supermarket chain. I could give you their address if you’d like.

Michelle  no thanks, I want to be a singer not a shelf filler. I can’t believe this, I’ve come all this way for an audition and now this.

Rachel  I wondered why there were so few people here. I guess we didn’t see the notices.

Anna  Well that’s in then, we might as well go home.  My parents are gonna love this.

Katy  I don’t believe it, I’ve been looking forward to this for months.

Paula  Me too, this was meant to be my big chance.

Lucy  Ooooh, I think I’m going to cry.

Bobby  Just a minute, if you’re closing down, what are this band doing here.

Gladys  Oh well, they’re been paid until the end of the month, as are the teachers. So I imagine they’ll amuse themselves somehow until then.

Bobby  So what you’re saying, is that for the next two weeks, it’s business as usual.

Gladys  Well yes, I suppose so.  What exactly are you getting at young man?

Bobby  Well if the band and the teachers are going to be here for the next two weeks, why not let us use the Academy, it’s better than nothing and we’ve got nothing else to do now anyway.

Gladys  Oh I don’t know about that young man, what would be the point, as I’ve said come next Friday it’s the end for this Academy.  The Board of Directors themselves will be coming in to oversee the closure. Oh if only we’d taken Bananarama when they came for their audition, things could have been so different.

Anna  But what have you got to lose by letting us stay?

Tina  Yeah, at least it’ll give us some chance.

Gladys  That’s what this Academy has always been about you know, giving people a chance, dancers, singers, actors,  young and old, oh we’ve had some real characters over the years you know. But I fail to see what good two weeks will be to you.

Crystal  Well like we said it’s better than nothing. So can we stay?

Gladys  Well I suppose so, if you think you can learn anything. I’d better let the teachers know.

Bobby  YES! Well come on everybody. For the next two weeks, we have to do our best

Bobby moves away from the crowd towards Rachel

Bobby  So what’s your name then?

Rachel  Rachel and you?

Bobby  I’m Bobby, I‘m gonna be the next George Michael.

Rachel  Oh yeah right, and I’m gonna be the next Cyndi Lauper.

Bobby  Look I’m serious, you’ve gotta believe in yourself, if you don’t believe you can make it, what are you doing here?

Crystal  Well, I’m definitely gonna make it big, I’ve already done some work in the clubs, I’m just here to refine my act you know.

Lucy  What sort of act is that then?

Crystal  Well I guess you could call it dancing of a sort of exotic nature. But all the punters at the clubs say I’ve got a huge talent and it’s only a matter of time before someone grabs me up.

Paula  You can bet on it.

Michelle  Well, I think Bobby’s right, if we don’t believe in ourselves, no-one else is going to believe in us are they.

Bridget  That’s why I’m here really, I think I’ve got the talent really, but I need more confidence in myself really.

Anna  Oh, really. Well I’ve run away from home to come here, and I’m gonna show my over-protective, smothering parents that I can make it on my own.

Katy  But we’ve only got two weeks, how’re we gonna achieve anything in that time?

Bobby  Hang on a minute, I’ve just had an idea. How do they know that there isn’t some real talent on this stage right now?  If we really put out backs into it for the next two weeks, we could really show those Directors that it’s worth keeping this Academy open.

Rachel  Hold on aren’t you getting a bit carried away.

Bobby  Of course I’m getting carried away, but why not?  Have you got a better idea?

Rachel  Well no but I just don’t see how we can do it. Unless the Directors visit the Academy every day for the next two weeks how will they know that we’re any good?

Michelle  She’s got a point, we need to find a way to get them all down here, so we can we can show them what we can do.

Crystal  Well why don’t we put on a show.

Rachel  What?

Bobby  That’s a great idea, we put on a show!

Anna  And maybe the teachers will help us out, after all if the Academy stays open, they’ll get to keep their jobs, won’t they.

Bridget  Do you really think we can do it, I mean really?

Bobby  Of course we can, and anyway we’ll never know unless we try. Come on – we’ve gotta go for it.  We’re only young once aren’t we?

Song 2

Enter Jeremy

Jeremy  Yeah Hi, Auditions yah?

Bobby  Yah – I mean yeah, hi I’m Bobby

Jeremy  So where’s the action, I’m raring to go

Katy  Well the problem is they’re planning to close the Academy down in two weeks

Crystal  But we’re all planning to do a show to impress the Board of Directors

Paula  Yeah, we’re hoping we can convince them to keep the Academy open

Jeremy  Wow, cool idea yeah. Straight in at the deep end, great. So what have you got planned for this show of ours?

Rachel  Well we’re only just getting started, we haven’t met any of the teachers yet, but judging by the state this place has got into, I doubt they’ll be much help.

Bridget  But the band are really good aren’t they?

Bobby  Yeah maybe we should get to know them, we can’t do this without them. Hey lads what do you think about our idea of a show.

Band Member  Yeah we’re in.  You just tell us what you want us to play and we’ll oblige.

Bobby  Great thanks a lot,  with you on our side we can really do this.

Jeremy  Yeah great band, I mean like wow.

Rachel  So you’ve run away from home, don’t your parents have any idea where you’ve gone?

Anna  No they don’t. And that suits me fine. It’ll do them good to see I can stand on my own two feet for a change. I mean don’t get me wrong they don’t mean any harm, they just won’t let me live my life. They want me to go and work in a bank, find a nice young man, have a big white wedding, honeymoon in the Seychelles, buy a nice little starter home and have 2 or 3 coochy coochy grandchildren yada yada. They don’t seem to think I’m good for anything else. I just had to get away. My name’s Anastasia but you can call me Anna, in fact I insist on it!

Michelle  I’m Michelle, so what do they do then, these parents of yours?

Anna  Well Mummy doesn’t work, but she’s always hosting some coffee morning for the local W.I. or organising an event for the tennis club. Daddy’s a banker in the city and he’s on tons of committees for this, that and the other, I haven’t a clue of all the organisations he’s involved in.

Bridget  You’re really brave, I could never do that. I wouldn’t have the courage to just leave and try and make it on my own, not really.

Anna  Well you’re ‘really’ gonna have to pull your socks up girl.  If you stand any chance of making it in this business, you’re gonna have to show everyone that you’ve got what it takes. What’s your name?

Bridget Bridget.

Anna  Well Bridget you’ve gotta stand up for yourself girl, because no one else will.


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