FX Scene 1 - Int Evening- The Concert Hall
THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE, SHOUTS OF
BRAVO, FOLLOWING THE PREVIOUS SINGER
MIKE ( OFFSTAGE ) : " She's going to be a hard act
to follow. " THE APPLAUSE CONTINUES
1 ANNOUNCER Thank you . Thank you. Ladies and
gentlemen. Thank you. It's not over until the last lady
sings. So, last, certainly not least, from Leeds, UK,
please welcome, soprano Mirabelle Thornton.
2 MIKE ( OFFSTAGE ) Go Girl, Go.
POLITE APPLAUSE WELCOMES MIRABELLE
ONTO STAGE. THE TIME BEFORE SHE STARTS
TO SING GOES ON TOO LONG. BEGINNING OF
SIGNS OF RESTLESNESS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
MIKE, IN THE WINGS, IS MENTALLY WILLING
Sing, girl, sing, sing like you've never sung before.
THE AUDIENCE THREATENS TO BECOME MORE
RESTLESS FOR ANOTHER FRACTION OF A
SECOND. THEN THE HALL IS SUDDENLY
FILLED WITH MAGIC AS MIRABELLE SINGS
AT THE END, THERE IS ANOTHER PAUSE. THEN
THE SHOUTS BEGIN TO RING OUT AND
BUILD: Bravo, bravo...
MIKE, STILL OFFSTAGE
A star is born.
FADE APPLAUSE TO SILENCE FOR WINNER'S
3 PRESENTER ( COMING TO THE END OF A POMPOUS
PREAMBLE TO THE PRESENTATION )
Of course I always remember that night in Berlin, or
was it Montreux, Karajan saying to me, dear boy,
music is of course a great gift to us all, and the human
voice, will live forever as...
4 VOICE FROM THE AUDIENCE
Your voice will go on forever!
5 PRESENTER ( TRYING TO REGAIN CONTROL, EVENTUALLY
OVERWHELMED IN THE TUMULT )
The human voice....
6 THE CROWD Mirabelle, Mirabelle, Mirabelle...
( AMIDST THE RAPTUROUS RECEPTION AS
MIRABELLE REAPPEARS, THE ANNOUNCER
CAN JUST BE HEARD )
7 ANNOUNCER The singer of the year, Mirabelle Thorton.
8 THE CROWD Mirabelle, Mirabelle...speech, speech
9 ANNOUNCER I'm not sure if Miss Thornton will be braving the
again this evening, nowadays young singers need to
protect their image as much as their voice...
(APPLAUSE REACHES CRESCENDO )
but, yes, here she is...the most enormous bouquet of red
roses has been thrust into her arms...
(BEGINS HESITANTLY BUT GROWS IN
You are, you are most kind, your kindness means so
much to me. It has been a long road to this night, the
greatest night of my life. I want to thank you all, with
all my heart. There are so many people to thank.
Most of all I would like to thank, ( SUDDENLY
FORTHRIGHT ) no, most of all I am here before you,
an artist alone, before her audience. I love you all.
Scene 2 Int - Morning - In Mirabelle's hotel suite
The day after she has won the competition.
1 MIKE A mention might have been nice.
2 MIRABELLE Come on, Mike, what do you want, a full Halle Berry
blub? " I'd like to thank God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary,
Uncle Frank? " You know who you are.
3 MIKE Do you know who you are, Mirabelle?
It would have been nice, a fitting moment.
4 MIRABELLE I hear you, I've told you. I couldn't hear myself
The heat, the noise, the... the moment. I forgot to
mention you. There will be other times.
5 MIKE Other times when you forget to mention me?
6 MIRABELLE Here we are Mike, together, the morning after, the
Savoy hotel, the reviews, yes, look at these reviews!
The Observer: " a young Callas", The Telegraph,
" star burst ", The Times: "new singing genius is a star
7 MIKE The artist alone. Where the hell did that come from?
8 MIRABELLE It was the greatest moment of my life. I don't regret
what I said or didn't say. I've explained. You know how
far we've come together. Do you want me to say I owe
you something ? Is that what this is about?
9 MIKE We don't owe each other anything. We - you - me - us
are a partnership. Today is today, yesterday...
10 MIRABELLE (SING OPERATICALLY) ...yesterday
11 MIKE Yesterday is a lifetime away. We both know that now.
I know how things are now, will be, and I'm happy with
12 MIRABELLE Totally.
13 MIKE Let's make a promise, us , now, this morning, the
morning after, the morning before. I promise I will
always be there for you. Whatever, wherever. Now you.
Now you, Mirabelle.
14 MIRABELLE Mike, look....
(PHONE RINGS. MIRABELLE ON PHONE. VERY
Yes, yes, of course. How about now? No, that's no
problem. I'm in the Riverside suite.
(BACK TO MIKE)
Mike, we... you....you have to go now.
Scene 3 - Int - Late morning the same day.
In Mirabelle's suite, London.
1 PORTIA (AIR KISSING ) Darling, darling, my darling
Portia is my name. Fame is the game. Thank you
for seeing me on this of all mornings. I'm going to say
this to you once: I'm going to make you a star.
2 MIRABELLE I didn't believe people actually said that!
3 PORTIA It's true. You will be a star. Think Callas, think
think... Mirabelle, think big. I don't do corny, I don't
do hype. I do reality. You do stardom.
4 MIRABELLE I do singing. I don't know if I believe you, I don't
if I believe this morning. It's all so unreal.
5 PORTIA No darling, it is so real. Yesterday was unreal. This is
your world now. It's a new world for you.
6 MIRABELLE Sorry, Miss...
7 PORTIA Miss De Angelo. Portia.
8 MIRABELLE I don't mean to be...
9 PORTIA OK, OK, I know how I come across to you. You want
...need bona fides. Watch me.
( DIALS ON HER MOBILE PHONE )
Rudy? Yeah Rudy, Portia. Yeah, yeah, you're in the
Apple. I'm in the smoke. Business. Name. Mirabelle.
( PROMPT TO MIRABELLE )
10 MIRABELLE Thornton
11 PORTIA Mirabelle Thornton. Yeah, I know, Thornton. I
guarantee you no one in the Apple will ever say Who
again. This is sensational. Direct line down from Callas.
For starters - lunchtime recital, Met, a s a p. Are we in
or are we in? Your call, Rudy.
(CONTINUING ON PHONE )
Yeah, Rudy.....yeah, that's what I
said......No, Rudy, no you can't ring me back. It's now
or never time, honey. Or do you wannabe like
whatisname who turned down The Beatles.
Right. Good boy Rudy. The Met it is. You always were
bright. You've done the right thing.
My people will call your people about the dotted line
( OFF THE PHONE )
12 MIRABELLE I hate to eavesdrop but have you just done what I
what you've done?
13 PORTIA Yes. And no. It's the Met. New York Met...Museum
...of art. Lunchtime recital. It's the way they all start.
The designated road.
14 MIRABELLE I think Bona Fides have been established.
15 PORTIA Good girl
( ECHO OF MIKE'S " GOOD GIRL " )
16 MIRABELE New York.
17 PORTIA New York. You are going to be sooo big.
Your new life starts ....
18 MIRABELLE ....now.
19 PORTIA I'll be in touch; flights, dress, press, percentages.
Oh and yeah babe, the guy, lose the loser.
Scene 4 - Interior - Evening, a few days later. Soho
1 CHAZ You sure you're not making a big deal out of nothing?
She did ask you to go with her.
2 MIKE I told you, Chaz. She's planning to drop me.
3 CHAZ ( TO BAR WOMAN )
Bottle of Becks for me please; pint of paranoia
for my mate. Thanks, love.
( TURNING BACK TO MIKE )
Look, Mike, we go back a long way. Trust me. Go to
New York. Michelle, I mean , Mirabelle, is a strong
girl. But she needs you. Asking you to go is her way of
saying that. Saying some parts of her life will go on.
4 MIKE I'm not going.
5 CHAZ You know we men have to move on. You're sulking ...
6 MIKE Sulking!
7 CHAZ You're sulking because Mirabelle won, which means
you came second. All you can think about is
competition. Look at us. We're old friends, we work on
the same newspaper.
8 MIKE We are both journalists, same newspaper, but different
jobs. You are the music critic, I'm the book reviewer.
I don't compete with you, over journalism, over
women, whatever. We complement each other.
9 CHAZ Precisely my point, Mike. Mirabelle's success:
You need to...accommodate it. Be up for it, up to it.
You can be winners together, you loser.
10 MIKE You always were a talker, Chaz.
Talking is what you do. You've talked me into it.
I'll go to New York. I'll surprise her after her big gig at
the Met. I'll make her need me.
What time is it in New York now? I have an important
phone call to make.
Scene 5 - Interior Late at night - a rehearsal room in
New York. Mirabelle is rehearsing an aria from
1 CONCERT MASTER
No, no, no, no, you must hold the note like this
(DEMONSTRATES ) Again. ( MIRABELLE SINGS,
CONCERT MASTER TALKS HER THROUGH IT.
MIRABELLE MAKES THE SAME MISTAKE
AGAIN ) Again!
2 MIRABELLE Again! ( TO HERSELF, BECOMING EXHAUSTED )
Doesn't she ever say anything else? Wonder what Mike
is doing right now. In Soho with Chaz no doubt.
Almost wish I was too. Almost.
3 CONCERT MASTER
( MIRABELLE SINGS AGAIN, GETS IT RIGHT
THIS TIME )
Ah, you are becoming a true professional.
That will be all for this evening.
4 MIRABELLE God, I could use a drink.
5 CONCERT MASTER
We will meet again at 6. A.M.
6 PORTIA My little darling! The limo awaits. At the hotel the
choice of drink is yours. Evian, Badoit, Perrier...you
shall have. Auntie Portia is here for you.
Tomorrow is the dress rehearsal. I am preparing you for
the new life in front of you. Tonight, my dear,
bed....alone. The price of artistry.
Scene 6 - Interior - Late at night in Mirabelle's hotel,
New York Mirabelle on phone to Mike in London.
Mike is still in the bar with Chaz. When Mirabelle
speaks we can hear the police sirens and street sounds
of New York, when Mike speaks we can hear London
taxi drivers and other London voices and sounds in the
1 MIKE New York, New York it's a hellavu town...
2 MIRABELLE Yes, I'm drinking too, Mike - and I expect Chaz is
behind all this too somewhere.
3 MIKE You always were destined for the high life,
Mirabelle. I can just see you now, perhaps
overlooking the Empire State, the Statue of
Liberty, the clink of ice cubes, that third
4 MIRABELLE ...looking on to the back of the United
Parcel depot, my third Evian, the six a.m. call
looming. I do miss you Mike.
5 MIKE Ah, the girls always come round in the end.
Glamour may mo, momentary.... ( CAN'T
MAKE THE WORD ) ...sometimes turn their
heads, but they always want old Mikey in the
6 MIRABELLE God, how much have you had Mike?
Are you and Chaz on another of your Soho
benders? I miss those evenings now. Me, you, at home,
maybe a concert at the Royal Festival Hall. A drink or
five on a Friday night, slumming it on Old Compton
Me, you, Chaz. Sometimes, when the concert master
shouts at me again I wish I'd been the runner up.
Or it was you who won the Pulitzer, it was you in New
York, everything the other way round.
Sometimes. So what exactly are you up to my
rumbustious also ran?
7 MIKE You know us journalists types. Just putting the
last edition to bed.
8 MIRABELLE I think you said you're just putting the paper to
bed. I've had enough of this Evian stuff. I'm
going to hit the Badoit.
9 MIKE Now, now, Uncle Mike says don't go mixing
your drinks. Time for bed, my... my
nightingale. You have the high life, I mean the
high notes to hit, I've got a long journey ahead
10 MIRABELLE What journey? Mike. Start making sense. You
mean you'll be here for the performance? Mike.
( PHONE CONTACT IS LOST, SOUNDS OF
THE NEW YORK NIGHT FADE DOWN AND FADE
UP INTO THE BUZZ OF THE AUDIENCE IN THE
MET AWAITING THE BEGINNING OR
MIRABELLE'S RECITAL )
Scene 7 - Interior - The Met concert room. - Evening
( THE CONCERT IS CLOSING WITH
MIRABELLE'S SIGNATURE PIECE VISSI D'ARTE
THE AUDIENCE IS RAPT. THERE IS A
MOMENTARY PAUSE AT THE END BEFORE THE
BRAVOS RING OUT. IT IS A GREAT TRIUMPH.
MIRABELLE ENTERS HER DRESSING ROOM
WITH THE APPLAUSE STILL RINGING OUT IN
THE BACKGROUND. SHE IS HUGGED BY
1 PORTIA Mirabelle, darling, darling, darling. We - I mean -
you've done it. A true star. New York, the world is at
your feet. Champagne.
2 MIRABELLE I need a drink - a real drink. What a night. It's
belief. Let me get my breath.
3 PORTIA Darling, you are going to be so big. They love you
Listen ( THE APPLAUSE CONTINUES )
4 MIRABELLE I'm not going out there again. I've given my all
5 PORTIA Yes, you have the instincts of a star. Always keep them
wanting more. We' ll go far. To the heights. ( POP OF
CORK, CLINK OF CHAMPAGNE CLASSES, HUGS
MIRABELLE AGAIN ) Oh my darling, where are my
Here is someone you simply must meet. Your life will
really be never the same again. Allow me to introduce
Count Alfons de Monceau.
6 COUNT ( KISSES MIRABELLE' S HAND ) Mademoiselle.
Count Alfons de Monceau at your service, eternally.
Allow me to congratulate you most sincerely on your
beautiful voice, your beautiful performance, your
7 MIRABELLE ( THE COUNT'S CHARM WORKS ON HER )
Count. Thank you. I don't know what to say.
8 COUNT My dear Mirabelle - if I may presume to be so
familiar - you do not have to say anything, the
eloquence of your performance still ringing so sweetly
in my ears. From now on, all my resources are at your
disposition. Come, I will make you a star.
9 MIRABELLE You too.
10 COUNT Forgive me, my dear?
11 MIRABELLE (IMITATES PORTIA ) I will make you a star.
What is a girl to do?
12 PORTIA Dinner. Let us away to the Plaza. Count, I will allow
you and Mirabelle a few moments together. I will await
you both in the limo.
13 MIRABELLE Portia!
14 PORTIA Nonsense girl. You are a star now. The count is a
worthy consort for you. You must move in the right
circles on and off the stage. The right conductors, the
right concertmasters, the right counts. We're going to
make you a star. You're going to make an exit. I'll
await you both in the limo.
( PORTIA LEAVES )
15 ALFONS My dear Mirabelle. Allow me again to congratulate you
on your triumph.
(AS HE EMBRACES MIRABELLE THERE IS A
COMMOTION OUTSIDE THE DRESSING ROOM.
SECURITY GUARDS EVIDENTLY FAILING TO
RESTRAIN SOMEONE, DOOR BURSTS OPEN )
16 MIRABELLE Mike! Mike.
17 MIKE Mirabelle. Mirabelle.
18 MIRABELLE Mike. Please. Mike. Allow me, allow me to
introduce Count Alfons de Monceau.
19 MIKE Yeah and I'm George Orwell. Count me out! The
(DOOR SLAMS AS MIKE LEAVES )
20 MIRABELLE Mike!
21 COUNT The artist alone? Who was that? A mere admirer? All
very well at arm's length. I shall discuss security with
the director.Yes, perhaps the true artist is
I can appreciate that. But not this evening. The evening
of your great triumph. Allow me, mademoiselle.
(HE ESCORTS MIRABELLE OUT OF THE
DRESSING ROOM, THROUGH THE CROWD OF
WELL -WISHERS, FANS, SECURITY,
PHOTOGRAPHERS ONTO THE STREET
INTO THE LIMO AND THEY DRIVE OFF TO THE
Scene 8 - The Newspaper Office, London. Interior
Morning- Chaz leafing through the US papers
1 CHAZ What have we here ? New York Times: " hyperbole
and journalism rarely make good bedfellows. "
Oh please, spare us the clich?s. " However on this
occasion hyperbole would be understatement. "
Better. I could almost have written that myself.
" Mirabelle Thornton is a sensation. Her artistry,
poise and command are uncanny in one so young,
we can only admire her gifts. "
Financial Times New York edition. " Mirabelle
Thornton can without hyperbole, " God, put that
thesaurus down pleeease, " be mentioned in the same
breath, the same effortless phrase as Callas. "
New York Daily News. " New York Super Agent Portia
De Angelo announces world concert tour for singing
sensation Mirabelle Thornton. Kill your mother for a
I wonder if the Brits are picking up on this yet?
Well, well, well, if you want to know about Bel canto
look in the Mirror. Look at that photograph. Is that a
low neckline or a high hemline? And I thought
Hurley's dresses were economically cut!
Daily Mirror Caption: " New York 3am. It really is the
city that never sleeps. Fab Brit Singer of the year leaves
exclusive New York night spot The Plaza on the arm of
Manhattan's Mr Celebrity Count Alfons de
Way to go girl! I feel a feature coming on.
( BEGINS TO TAP INTO HIS LAPTOP )
" From the flashing treble of her eyes to the deep
resonance of her cleave.... " Chaz, Chaz, Chaz, you are
music critic of the Globe. Think Covent Garden not
Wapping. Let's be true to your readers, to your self.
(TRIES AGAIN, TAPPING INTO THE KEYBOARD )
"Hyperbole and opera have never been strangers. The
emergence of Michelle " - I must stop doing that -
"Mirabelle Thornton onto the world scene following her
heart stopping performance at the BBC Singer of the
Year competition has left music critics on both sides of
the Atlantic struggling for adjectives...
( HIS PHONE RINGS )
Mike ! How, where are y....The Daily Mirror? No, of
course I never read the tabloids. I suggest you calm
down and get back to London while you still have a job.
I seem to have this recollection of you being a book
reviewer for a leading London newspaper.
Mike! ( HIS PHONE GOES DEAD. WE HEAR
DIALLING TONE ) Now don't go and do anything
sensible. THEN TAPPING ONTO
KEYBOARD BEGINS AGAIN )
Scene 9 - Interior - Exterior Sound Montage of
Mirabelle's fabulous career.
MUSIC THROUGHOUT: MIRABELLE SINGING
VERDI GYPSY GIRL.
ROAR OF JET ENGINES. PAPARAZZI FLASH
PHOTOGRAPHERS. "OVER HERE MIRABELLE,
COME ON MIRABELLE" TV REPORTER:
" WILKOMMEN IN BERLIN, FRAULEIN
THORNTON" MORE JET ENGINES,
PHOTOGRAPHY, AUTOGRAPH HUNTERS.
" CE SOIR MIRABELLE ET LE COMTE DE
MONCEAU ARRIVE A GEORGE V PARIS "
FAN: " SHE'S JUST LIKE CALLAS, OR MAYBE
PRESS: " MIRABELLE, COMTE, MIRABELLE,
FASHION MAGAZINE: " THIS YEAR THE LOOK
IS LA MIRABELLE..."
HIGHBROW MUSIC REVIEW ( WRITTEN BY
CHAZ, READ IN CHAZ'S VOICE ) " THE GLOBE,
LONDON, OPERA CRITICS THE WORLD OVER
ARE STRUGGLING FOR ADJECTIVES TO
DESCRIBE THE VOICE, AND IT MUST BE SAID,
THE LOOK OF MIRABELLE THORTON..."
THE AUDIENCE IN NAPLES CHANTING
BELLISIMO, ENCORE "
( VOICE OF MIKE ) " THE NEW YORK REVIEW
OF BOOKS " OF COURSE THIS LATEST EDITION
OF GROVE WENT TO PRESS BEFORE THE
CURRENT SURGE OF HYPERBOLE
SURROUNDING THE SINGER MIRABELLE..."
JET LANDING: JOURNALISTS PURSUING
MIRABELLE, COUNT AND PORTIA AT
HEATHROW " GIVE US A SMILE MIRABELLE,
A WORD, COUNT, MISS DE ANGELO ? "
ENGLISH VOICES AT COVENT GARDEN:
" BRAVO, ENCORE..."
FADE DOWN MUSIC.
Scene 10 Interior - morning Mirabelle and the Count
in the Riverside suite at the Savoy London after her
Covent Garden triumph
MIRABELLE YAWNS WITH CONTENTMENT AS
THE COUNT DRAWS BACK THE CURTAINS,
TAKES ROOM SERVICE BREAKFAST, FLOWERS,
1 MIRABELLE Emmmmm. What a lovely day. I love my new life.
2 COUNT I love you, my darling Mirabelle.
3 MIRABELLE Oh, Alfons " I'm going to make you a star " de
4 COUNT Count, to you, you impertinent suburban upstart.
( THEY KISS )
And what would you like to do, this lovely day.
Lunch at the Ivy, shopping off Bond Street, stay in
bed while I shower these roses all over you...?
5 MIRABELLE Alfons, I want you to do something for me.
6 COUNT Of course my darling. I'll arrange anything for you.
7 MIRABELLE Read.
8 COUNT But that doesn't cost anything.
9 MIRABELLE Read. What are they saying about me. The press, the
10 COUNT Do you need their approbation?
11 MIRABELLE No, I don't need it. I love it.
12 COUNT Let me see. Yes, here we are. Daily Telegraph. " The
rise of Miss Mirabelle Thornton is unstoppable. Her
Covent Garden debut last night was remarkable not only
in her almost perfect technique...
13 MIRABELLE Almost?
14 COUNT ...but in her assured style and command of the
arena. It is as if she has been a star for years.
The Times. " Debut it may have been, but last night
La Thornton earned the right, premature as it may seem,
to be spoken of in the same breath as the great divas of
15 MIRABELLE Yes, yes, and The Globe.
16 COUNT " The Globe has followed the career, the trajectory of
Miss Thornton from the beginning. Her Covent Garden
debut was not so much of a surprise, as a confirmation
of her arrival on the world scene, the only way is up."
17 MIRABELLE Ah yes, and any interesting book reviews in the
18 COUNT Book reviews?
( PHONE RINGS, COUNT ANSWERS )
Count Alfons de Monceau.
19 MIRABELLE ( CORRECTS HIM ) Miss Thornton's suite.
20 COUNT ( CONTINUES ON PHONE )
Portia darling. Lunch ? The new one near the Eiffel
Tower. We'd love to.
21 MIRABELLE London for breakfast, Paris for lunch, I wonder
we will have dinner ?
22 COUNT The only way is up.
Scene 11 - Interior day In the Globe newspaper
1 CHAZ ( STOPS TAPPING INTO LAPTOP, LEAFS
THROUGH PAPERS ) Even more rave reviews for the
Thornton woman. Where's my OED ? Ah, yes, H - U -
B - R -I - S. Interesting. That reminds me. ( DIALS ON
TELEPHONE, DIALLING TONE, THEN
ANSWERMACHINE MESSAGE. )
Come on Mike old son. Put down the Bordeaux, pick up
the phone, pick up yourself.
2 MIKE ( HIS ANSWERPHONE MESSAGE. HE HAS
OBVIOUSLY RECENTLY RE-RECORDED HIS
OUTGOING MESSAGE, PROBABLY WITH DRINK
You are through to Mike Hacker's answerphone.
If you are a star, I mean if you have a star touch phone,
press 1 to leave a general message. If you are my editor
press 2. If you are Mirabelle Thornton then go and ...
( CHAZ SLAMS DOWN HIS PHONE )
Scene 12 - Interior - Paris restaurant
1 PORTIA (AIR KISSING MIRABELLE AND COUNT )
My darling Mirabelle. Count, so charming.
This is the best restaurant in Paris. Six stars.
2 COUNT As far as I am aware Michelin only award three, my
3 PORTIA Men, poor dears, so literal, don't you find, Mirabelle?
Three Michelin stars, de rigeur. Plus Mirabelle, of
course, myself, and you, count. Ah my favourite table. I
do so love the view over the Seine at this time of the
Paris. Debussy, Gershwin, Ravel, Stravinsky, they all
loved it so. And how right they were.
I've taken the liberty of ordering our aperitifs.
My usual Spritzer, the Count's usual very dry Martini
And Mirabelle's usual Evian. Cheers. To music.
4 ALL To music.
5 PORTIA And business.
6 MIRABELLE and COUNT Business?
7 PORTIA Ah my dears, the young, they only think of pleasure.
Maybe you are right. First the menu. I recommend the
8 COUNT I will follow your impeccable judgement, Portia.
9 MIRABELLE A steak, bloody, large.
10 PORTIA Be careful you do not over reach yourself, my girl.
11 MIRABELLE I am not over reaching myself. You have decided what
am having to drink. I am deciding what I am having to
12 PORTIA ( SHE RELAYS THE ORDER TO THE MAITRE D )
Very well. It is after all the day after your triumph.
We must celebrate last night's triumph ( THEY CLINK
GLASSES ), but even as the applause is ringing in our
ears it is time to plan the ascent of new heights.
Fame, at whatever stage, is like a bicycle. It can never
stand still. It must always be propelled, planned,
anticipated. Now, I have a business proposition for you
13 MIRABELLE For us both?
14 PORTIA We are a trio now, my own Mirabelle. As much as any
musical trio. You are on the stage, I, and the Count are
in the wings. We help you fly.
15 COUNT Go on Portia.
16 PORTIA As I said, the career of a great singer is to be
meticulously planned. Every detail. The repertoire, the
dresses, the company you keep, the restaurants you
frequent, your health, the venues. After your triumphs
at the Museum in New York, in Naples and your
Covent Garden debut, it is time for the next stage. A
17 MIRABELLE I was rather hoping to go shopping this afternoon.
And then the world tour.
18 PORTIA Today is for you. You have worked so hard, you have
come so far. Today lunch, then the Count will
accompany you on some shopping. I have arranged a
fitting at Yves St Laurent.
19 MIRABELLE One day I will wake up.
20 PORTIA As I said. Everything must be meticulously planned.
We are in the finest restaurant, it goes without saying
you are with the finest company, the repertoire is under
control, and now the frocks, the look.
21 COUNT ( GETTING UP ) Perhaps you ladies would like some
private time alone, to talk business. I'll await your call
at the bar.
22 PORTIA Please remain seated my dear Count. We are a trio.
Mirabelle, the artist, myself, the management, globally,
and Count, the financier.
Ah, the bloody steak. Bon appetit.
( THEY CLINK GLASSES AGAIN )
A toast. The World.
23 ALL ( MIRABELLE ENTHUSIASTICALLY, PORTIA
BUSINESS LIKE, THE COUNT A LITTLE LESS
CERTAIN, THINKING ABOUT THE FINANCIAL
Scene 13 - Interior, day - rehearsal rooms - London.
Mirabelle rehearsing technically demanding songs from
La Wally with the concert master.
1 CONCERT MASTER
Good, and sustain, too much vibrato, too many late
nights. Again. Better, but again. Until it is perfect.
Everything must be perfect. You're a professional now,
Mirabelle. In one of the most demanding professions in
the world. Your technique must be perfect. It is the
foundation of everything. You will be before the most
demanding audiences in the world. London. Paris. New
York, Milan. I believe in you. Do you believe in
yourself Mirabelle? There is nowhere to hide on these
stages. Do you believe in your self Mirabelle?
2 MIRABELLE Yes.
3 CONCERT MASTER Do you believe in yourself Mirabelle?
4 MIRABELLE Yes. Yes. I do.
5 CONCERT MASTER Let me, let the world hear the belief in your
( MIRABELLE'S VOICE IN THE REHEARSAL
ROOM RINGS OUT. AS HER VOICE SOARS IT IS
EVENTUALLY OVERWHELMED BY ROCK
MUSIC - ROLLING STONES' SATISFACTION - IN
A NOISY LONDON BAR. ROCKING STONES
SONGS PLAY THROUGHOUT.)
Scene 14 - Interior - evening - In a London bar.
Mike is talking to a girl he has just met. It's late.
1 MIKE God, I Love the Stones. They know so well what they
are all about. You look like a girl who knows what she
is about. You are so beautiful. Let's spend the night
together. Yes, yes, I know. Another drink. Same again?
Me? Girlfriend. No. Been burned before. Won't get
fooled again. But maybe I could fall in love with you
though. Yes, a new start. You are so beautiful. You are
my type. Before? You don't want to know about that.
Let's live in the present. Well. Alright. A singer. Yeah
really. No, not R and B, no, not soul, no not urban -
but I appreciate the compliment. Opera. Yeah. No
fooling. Opera. Used to like it. I'll take you one night if
you like? You'd love it. Class girl like you. No, I mean
it. But I've moved on now. Different life. Job?
Journalist. Well I least I was. No. I do leave the bar
sometimes. That's just a stereotype. Journalists, booze.
( HIS MOBILE RINGS, THE RING TONE IS ONE OF
THE SONGS MIRABELLE SINGS ). Expect that will
be my editor now. 24 hour job journalism. I'll switch it
off. Tonight I'm yours. No, you don't have to go,
I really will take you to the opera if that's what you
want...No you don't ( SHE'S GONE ) have to go.
(VERY LATE NOW, STONES PLAYING SLOW
BLUES. THIS SONG IN TURN OVERWHELMED
BY THE RETURN OF MIRABELLE'S SINGING.
VOICES OF MIKE AND COUNT OVERLAP.
2 MIKE (MAUDLIN, ALONE ) Goodnight my nightingale.
Tomorrow another lost deadline.
3 COUNT ( POSSESIVE, WITH MIRABELLE )
Goodnight, my love. Tomorrow the world.
Scene 15 -Interior / Exterior- Mirabelle's World
Tour. Very upbeat, to music of Dat's Love,
Carmen Jones, Habenera.
ROAR OF JET ENGINES.
"AIR FRANCE ANNOUNCE THE ARRIVAL OF
FLIGHT 4468 FROM LONDON IN NICE"
PRINCE RAINIER, I AM HONOURED TO PRESENT
TO YOU MY CLOSE COMPANION MISS
MORE MUSIC. APPLAUSE. VOICES FRENCH,
ITALIAN, GERMAN, AUSTRALIAN, AMERICAN
" ENCORE, ENCORE. "
MORE MUSIC. APPLAUSE. BRAVOS.
REVIEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
( READ BY CHAZ ).
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.
" FROM THE HEMISPHERE THAT SENT
SUTHERLAND TO CONQUER THE WORLD,
WE ACCEPT YOU, WITH EQUAL PRAISE, ON
OUR STAGE TODAY. "
LOS ANGELES TIMES. " HOLLYWOOD IS THE
LAND OF STARS, THE WEST COAST PUBLIC
THIS EVENING WITH ONE VOICE ACCLAIMED
THE VOICE OF THE LATEST IN THE GREAT LINE
OF OPERATIC STARS TO GRACE THE WEST
MORE MUSIC, APPLAUSE, MIRABELLE
ACCEPTING: " YOU ARE SO KIND, SO KIND "
MIRABELLE, THE COUNT, PORTIA DRINKING
ANOTHER TOAST: " THE WORLD. "
PLANE LANDING AT HEATHROW, PAPARAZZI
IN VIP AREA. JOURNALIST'S VOICE.
" MISS THORNTON, YOU'VE TRAVELLED
ALL OVER THE WORLD, COULD YOU TELL
LONDON VOGUE THE SECRET OF TRAVELLING
WITH SUCH ELAN"
MIRABELLE " YOU WANT TO KNOW THE
SECRET OF MY SUCCESS? " HER REPLY IS
OVERWHELMED BY CLAMOUR, RISE AND
CONCLUSION OF MUSIC. APPLAUSE FADES
DOWN FOR LAST PIECE OF HER FINAL NIGHT
AT COVENT GARDEN. BROADCAST LIVE.
Scene 16 - Interior - Towards the end of Mirabelle's
Recital at Covent Garden.
1 ANNOUNCER The applause, seemingly without end, is settled with
sweep of the elegantly attired arm. The end of her
triumphant world tour, we will now hear the piece with
which it all began, the piece she has made her very own.
Miss Thornton will now perform Vissi D'Arte, from the
great drama by Puccini, Tosca.
( APPLAUSE. SILENCE IN ANTICIPATION THEN
MUSIC BEGINS, MIRABELLE PERFORMS
CONFIDENTLY; IT IS HER PIECE NOW.
SHE GOES FOR THE HIGH NOTE TOWARDS THE
CLIMAX OF THE PIECE, FAILS HORRIBLY.
THE ORCHESTRA CONTINUES. MIRABELLE
TRIES TO RECOVER, BUT CAN'T. SHE LEAVES
THE STAGE. THE ORCHESTRA PETER OUT.
SILENCE. NOTHING FROM THE AUDIENCE.
ONE MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE
(IT IS CHAZ ) TRIES TO GET
SOME SUPPORT/APPLAUSE GOING BUT FAILS.
SILENCE FALLS AGAIN. AUDIENCE BECOMES
RESTLESS, SEATS BEGIN TO FOLD UP AS
(ANNOUNCER CONTINUES BROADCASTING FROM
AUDITORIUM, HEARD ON RADIO )
It must be said, a less than orthodox ending to what has
been, at least until the very last moment, a perfect world
tour for this still young singer. It is not unknown, in this
most demanding of professions for these things to
happen. I am sure her many fans throughout the world
will stand by her and Mirabelle Thornton will be back
where she belongs, centre stage. I now return you, from
Covent Garden to Broadcasting House.
2 MIKE ( LISTENING FROM HOME, SWITCHING
OFF RADIO. ) Good God.
Yes, Mirabelle Thornton will be back where she
Scene 17 - Interior - The hotel suite, the morning after.
Rustle of newspapers, pouring of tea, a tense silence
between Count and Mirabelle.
1 MIRABELLE I missed a note. It is still possible to talk to me,
2 COUNT Quite my dear
( SILENCE CONTINUES )
3 MIRABELLE Well, if you insist on being petulant, perhaps I will
4 COUNT Is that wise?
5 MIRABELLE What?
6 COUNT I merely enquired if that is wise. Reading last night's
reviews I mean.
( RUSTLE OF NEWSPAPERS, MIRABELLE
READS FRAGMENTS ALOUD )
7 MIRABELLE ...Emm.....God, that's a bit harsh, let's see...The
" Mirabelle Thornton's so-called performance at Covent
Garden last night is a reminder, a lesson, of the perils of
too much, too soon with too little..." the hypocrites, the
unspeakable shallowness of it all....The International
Herald Tribune: " The world of international music is
unforgiving and there is no reason to be lenient in the
case of jejune UK soprano Mirabelle Thor..." This is
insufferable. I've been all round the world. I fluffed one
note. Are they all like that? ( FRANTIC RUFFLING
THROUGH NEWSPAPERS ). They are. Insufferable.
Only one exception. The Globe. The faithful Globe.
(TO HERSELF ) Chaz. He was always there. ( BACK
TO THE COUNT ). And of course you, my dear
Alfons. ( THE SILENCE IS TOO LONG ) I can count
on you Count, can't I? ( STILL NO RESPONSE FROM
THE COUNT ). I've had enough of this. I'll ring Portia.
( She dials )
8 PORTIA'S SECRETARY
Portia D'Angelo International Representation. Can I
9 MIRABELLE It's Mirabelle Thornton ( EVIDENTLY THIS ISN'T
ENOUGH. MIRABELLE IS FORCED TO
Mirabelle Thornton for
10 SECRETARY Hold please. ( MIRABELLE IS PUT ON HOLD, A
TINNY VERSION OF AN ARIA FROM LA
BOHEME IS PORTIA'S HOLDING JINGLE. )
11 MIRABELLE ( SLAMS DOWN PHONE ) Et tu Portia.
Scene 18 - Evening Sometime after the
concert debacle. Mike and Chaz in their Soho bar.
1 CHAZ Now you old recluse, read any good books lately?
What you having, Mike?
2 MIKE Evian is fine.
3 CHAZ Sorry?
4 MIKE You heard, Chaz, get on with it.
5 CHAZ No worries. (AS HE RECEIVES DRINKS FROM BAR
WOMAN ) Thanks.
6 MIKE Time to move on, Chaz old man. Drink, women - I
should say - woman. New song.
7 CHAZ I see. Mirabelle means nothing to you now then?
8 MIKE I didn't say that.
9 CHAZ Supposing I told you she's in trouble? She needs help.
Life and death. All that jazz. ( TO BAR WOMAN )
Same again please.
10 MIKE Role reversal.
11 CHAZ Sorry?
12 MIKE Haven't seen anyone drink so much since I last looked
in the mirror. Yes, I know about Mirabelle. I'm a Radio
Three man too, remember? Tragic. She missed a note.
Life goes on.
13 CHAZ There's a bit more to it than the fluffed note. She's
into a spin. A veritable descent. I'm worried. She called
me the day after. In a frightful state. Portia has closed
down. The old phone calls not returned routine. That
dreadful Count person sloped off.
14 MIKE Excellent.
15 CHAZ Sorry?
16 MIKE Third time you've said sorry. What is it with you and
17 CHAZ Sor...What!
18 MIKE The reviews. Always concentrated a fraction more on
the low necklines rather than the high notes of the
19 CHAZ That's uncalled for. I'm trying to help. Her. You.
20 MIKE I just told you. I've moved on. Do you know how many
notes there are in an average recital?
21 CHAZ No.
22 MIKE 20,000
23 CHAZ You are a sad bastard.
24 MIKE 20,000. And she missed one.
25 CHAZ I am worried. Objectively. Her world changed as much
as quickly as yours. All her support networks....
26 MIKE ...except you
27 CHAZ All her support networks have gone. You know, we all
know, she only ever had one support network. You.
You only ever had one love. Her. She needs you. The
missed note was a symbol. She was living a sham.
She is a singer. A musician, but the world that engulfed
her isn't hers. You are her world. If she reconnects with
you, she'll hit the high notes again, not the high life.
28 MIKE So?
29 CHAZ A phone call, maybe a meeting, talk, get her back in the
rehearsal rooms. Work at it. Both of you.
What do you say?
30 MIKE Maybe you can buy me a beer. Just the one.
Scene 19- Int - afternoon - Mirabelle's flat, London.
Sometime after the concert debacle. Sound of ice cubes
clinking, whoosh of soda etc.
1 MIRABELLE On the rocks?
2 CHAZ What? Oh that, yeah, thanks.
3 MIRABELLE What did you think I meant, Chaz old friend?
I'll take mine neat.
4 MIRABELLE Chaz knows best. ( More ice clinking, silence )
Look, Chaz, thank you for coming to see me.
I haven't seen anyone since...since, you know.
5 CHAZ And the Count?
6 MIRABELLE Do you think a man like that is going to stick
7 CHAZ Quite.
8 MIRABELLE ( IMITATING THE COUNT ) " I am afraid you have
embarrassed me darling. I regret I can no longer be
associated with you." Regret my ar....
9 CHAZ What can I do for you, Mirabelle ?
10 MIRABELLE Talk to me, Chaz. You know things. Think things,
say things to me. Anchor me. Move me on. Bring me
11 CHAZ I love you.
12 MIRABELLE I know you do. You always have. You always will.
That's why you are here. Where are they all? Mike, the
Count, Portia. But Chaz, you are the only person I want
near me right now.
13 CHAZ Only ?
14 MIRABELLE You know what I mean?
15 CHAZ Do I, do you, know what you mean, want, who you are?
You're right, you do know I love you, always have,
always will, Michelle.
16 MIRABELLE No Charles. Not that. Not now.
17 CHAZ You have to face it, Michelle. You are, were, living a
18 MIRABELLE No.
19 CHAZ What happened to you is very simple. Your name is
Michelle Thornton. You are a great and talented singer
You won the world's most prestigious competition - as
Mirabelle. You constructed yourself. You lived
someone else's life. You mixed with people you hate.
Mirabelle is a package, a veneer, a heap of...
20 MIRABELLE No.
21 CHAZ You are living a lie. You fooled yourself to believe you
were living the truth, what you had always wanted.
Your dream achieved. All those years, music college,
late nights, early mornings, the burning candle.
Your name is Michelle Thornton. You lost yourself.
You can find yourself. The missed note is a symptom,
The lie revealed. Tell me your name.
22 MIRABELLE ( DEFIANT ) My name is Mirabelle. My name is...
23 CHAZ Who are you?
24 MIRABELLE My name is, my name is ( BREAKS DOWN )
25 CHAZ ( HOLDS HER ) And now your life can begin again.
26 MIRABELLE A reconstruction?
27 CHAZ You will be Mirabelle again. It will be your stage name.
Your nom de guerre. But you will remember who you
28 MIRABELLE I thank you, for your faith, your love, from the
29 CHAZ The past is gone. No note can be held forever. I will
love you, in my own way. But we know there is
only one love for you. I want you to go back out into the
world. There is only one man for you really. Mike. It's a
given. I want you to stop hiding now. We want you, the
real you, back, centre stage.
Scene 20 Int - The next morning - Mirabelle's
flat. Phone rings. Mirabelle's answer machine.
Mirabelle has recorded her message, like an affirmation,
in a loop.
1 MESSAGE This is Michelle Thornton, this is Michelle Thornton...
2 MIKE Mirabelle. It's Mike. Remember? Pick the bloody
phone up. Now.( TO HIMSELF ) What's with this
(THE PHONE KEEPS RINGING ) Come on, girl, I can
feel you are there, pick up...
3 MIRABELLE Mike, it's you.
4 MIKE We are back. You are Mirabelle. I've booked the
concert master and rehearsal room in half an hour. You
are Mirabelle. You are going to be there. I'm going to
make you a star.
( MIRABELLE BREAKS INTO A HAPPY,
RELIEVED LAUGHTER. LAUGHTER FADES INTO
MIRABELLE SINGING BEETHOVEN TO HOPE.
THEN THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE, SHOUTS FROM
THE CROWD, " ENCORE, " " MIRABELLE " )
5 ANNOUNCER ( IN THE CONCERT HALL )
Her eyes sparkling, all London welcomes the
triumphant return centre stage of Mirabelle Thornton.
The silence following her world tour so beautifully
broken, the past behind her, the renewed assurance and
depth in her voice, the musical world in front
of her. A bouquet is presented, perhaps a speech...
6 MIRABELLE ( THROUGH THE APPLAUSE ) You are so kind, so
kind. I thank you. I thank you my wonderful audience.
I thank my supporters back stage - they know who they
are. I share your applause with my manager and partner,
Mike, for making this evening possible. I stand before
you, an artist, not alone, but, as expressed so movingly
in this song, at one with art and the world.
(THE ORCHESTRA BEGINS TO LEAD IN TO
VISSI D'ARTE. FADE AND CLOSE. )
Jftk 2003 High C