LOVE ME TENDER
by Alison Chaplin
This extract is adapted from the play script, Love Me Tender, a short, modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It works well in a modern setting. The scene begins in the street close to Juliet’s house where Romeo meets his best friend, Mercutio.
Two characters. Male. Ages 12 - 18.
Mercutio: Look, Romeo, I’m not being funny or anything, but you’ve got to stop being so miserable! Get out and meet new people.
Romeo: New women, you mean?
Mercutio: If you like. Just don’t keep moaning on about Rosaline, she’s not interested in you and that’s that.
Romeo: (Sarcastically) Thanks for trying not to hurt my feelings, Mercutio.
Mercutio: I didn’t mean…hey, have you heard about the party they are having tonight at the Capulet’s?
Romeo: What use is that to us? We haven’t been invited.
Mercutio: I know but lots of people have been invited, haven’t they, and one of them is Rosaline.
Romeo: Has she?
Mercutio: So why don’t we head over there? We are party people.
Romeo: I’m not sure. It might not be such a good idea.
Mercutio: But you’d be able to see Rosaline and, if she turned you down again, there’d be lots of other women for you to meet.
Romeo: I’ve told you before, I don’t want anyone else!
Mercutio: Look, the Capulet’s house is just around the corner. Let’s give it a try.
They move across the stage to the Capulet’s house
Romeo: I don’t think we should be doing this. I’ve got a really bad feeling about gate-crashing this party.
Mercutio: They won’t turn us away, even if we are their sworn enemies, they’re too polite.
Romeo: That’s exactly what I’m saying. There’s going to be trouble, I can feel it.
Mercutio: Relax. There’ll be no trouble. Not unless they start it first.
Romeo: There! That’s what I’m saying!
Mercutio: Don’t be so stressed, Romeo! Look, we’ll just go in and have a few drinks, a bit of a dance, be nice to some lovely ladies and then go home again, all right?
Mercutio: And I hope you’re not going to be chasing after Rosaline all night, ‘cause if you are, it’s going to be really boring.
Romeo: You’re just jealous because you haven’t got a girlfriend.
Mercutio: You ought to do what I do, just chill out and have a laugh. Don’t take things so seriously!
Romeo: You just don’t understand.
Mercutio: No, you’re right, I don’t. Right! Are we going in then, or what? Oh come on lover boy! Don’t be such a wimp.
They go through an arch or imaginary doorway into the party. There could be background music here.
Mercutio: (Speaking up) Good crowd isn’t it? I might go for a walkabout to see if there’s anyone interesting.
Romeo: I can’t see Rosaline. (He stops dead and points) Who’s that?
Mercutio: I don’t know. Cute isn’t she?
Romeo: Cute?! She’s wonderful! She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in my life!
Mercutio: I thought that was Rosaline.
Mercutio: Oh no!
Romeo: I have to talk to her. I must find out who she is.
Mercutio: (Calling after him) Romeo, wait, don’t do anything you’ll regret!
He exits, following Romeo