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Torments of Pleasure
by Tam Henry George
12/12/03
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MEDIA: STAGE

CHARACTERS: DABO, ONOME, DEMON PLEASURE



SCENE1

A MAN DRESSED IN AN EXPENSIVE SUIT SWAGGER TO THE STAGE. HE IS
BEING FOLLOWED BY A DEMON WHO IS HOLDING A CHAIN THAT IS ATTACHED TO
THE MAN’S WAIST. THE MAN WOULD WALK MAJESTICALLY AND ALL OF A
SUDDEN THE DEMON WOULD JERK THE CHAIN AND THE MAN WOULD STAGGER.
AT TIMES HE FALLS TO THE GROUND, THUS SPOILING HIS MAJESTIC WALK. THIS
IRRITATES THE MAN, BUT HE QUICKLY FORGETS AND CONTINUES
WALKING UNTIL HE GETS ON STAGE. HE FACES THE AUDIENCE WHILE THE
FIERCE LOOKING DEMON HOLDS TIGHT TO THE CHAIN

DABO: (Thumps his Chest)
This is me. my name is Dabo.
A renowned seed that sprouted from the
indomitable clan of Ajimota

HE MOVES WITH PRIDE AS HE SPEAKS. THE DEMON FOLLOWS CLOSELY.
THE SOUND OF A CONGA PLAYING IS FAINTLY HEARD
IN THE BACK GROUND

A warrior’s warrior, a winning warrior;
revered by his peers, loved by the virgins,
worshiped by the young men, feared by his rivals,
the pride of the gray hair.

(PAUSE)

HE THUMPS HIS CHEST

My name is Dabo. The serpent
the charmers adore. The man who...

HIS SPEECH IS CUT SHORT BY THE DEMON WHO JERKS THE CHAIN. DABO FALLS
TO THE GROUND. HE LOOKS AT THE DEMON WITH FEAR AND
HOPELESSNESS. ON HIS KNEES, HE TURNS TO THE
AUDIENCE HIS ARMS OPEN WIDE

Yes, my name is Dabo. And I am
a bond slave

HE RISES SLOWLY TO HIS FEET.
DUSTS HIMSELF, CHECKS FOR TEARS IN HIS
CLOTHES, SQUARES HIS SHOULDERS, AND CONTINUES

Let me introduce you to my mentor and tormentor.

(PAUSE)

This is demon Pleasure.

DEMON PLEASURE SHAKES THE
CHAIN THREATENINGLY.

Sorry, I meant to say: This is his royal highness,
Demon pleasure.

(PAUSE)

I was formally introduced to him just a couple of years ago...

(PAUSE)

WITH A FINGER ON HIS LIPS HE LOOKS UP REFLECTIVE

Has it been that long? It seems just like yesterday.

(PAUSE)

As I was saying, his highness here was
Formally introduced to me by my friend
Sade. She was a beautiful thins, slim
and elegant. She told me pleasure
was good and good-looking.

HE LOOKS AT DEMON PLEASURE WITH DISGUST

But after so many years I woke up one day and took a good look at him,

POINTING AT DEMON PLEASURE

and I realized Sade has lied to me.

(PAUSE)

He is ugly!

` PLEASURE JERKS THE CHAIN, PULLS OUT
A WHIP, WHICH HE FREELY USES ON DABO.
DABO ROLLS ON THE FLOOR SCREAMING.

Pleasure, no! It’s enough. It was a slip of tongue.

HE CRAWLS AWAY FROM DEMON PLEASURE.

Have mercy, my good master. You are
handsome, comely, glorious, heavenly, majestic,
Well favoured

DEMON PLEASURE STOPS FLOGGING HIM.
DABO STANDS AND DUSTS HIMSELF.
HE LOOKS AT THE AUDIENCE.

This happens at times.

(PAUSE)

I’m so used to it, but what really annoys
me is his anger. He needs help in that area.

HE SMILES AT DEMON PLAESURE.

I don’t like him much, but there’s nothing
I can do, my soul is his; you see, it was a blood deal.

(PAUSE)

Well, demon Morality seemed to be a nice girl.
She was so gentle and principled, nearly started
going to church until pleasure here warned her and
told her she was going too far. Then there is demon
Compromise, my very best, doesn’t disturb me.
Anywhere l go l am welcomed, no trouble. l
don’t rock the boat, l mix freely.


HE YAWNS, STRETCHES AND UNHURRIEDLY MOVES TO THE EDGE OF THE
STAGE WITH DEMON PLEASURE FOLLOWING. HE SITS ON THE FLOOR,
BOWS HIS HEAD AND TAKES A NAP. DEMON PLEASURE STANDS OVER HIM.
WE HEAR THE MOURNFUL SOUND OF THE FLUTE.


SCENE 2


A WOMAN CLAD IN SUIT WITH A BIBLE IN HER HAND AND A BAG
HANGING LOOSELY ON HER SHOULDER STEPS ON STAGE. SHE DOESN’T
NOTICE DABO; SHE IS ABSORBED IN HER SOLILOQUY. SHE ADDRESSES THE
AUDIENCE

ONOME:
I woke up this morning with the word ‘pleasure’ ringing in my ears.
L didn’t understand what it was all about and I still don’t.
But l prayed. I looked up to heaven and prayed.

(PAUSE)

And as I prayed, l heard the words
“Dabo pleasure”. Dabo pleasure? I didn’t know
if that was a local musician’s name or the name
of a hotel; but anyway, I prayed.

SHE OPENS HER BAG AND SEARCHES FOR SOMETHING WITHIN.
SHE SHUTS THE BAG AND LOOKS UP AT THE AUDIENCE AS IF SHE JUST
SUDDENLY REMEMBERED SOMETHING VITAL. WITH A SMILE, SHE
INTRODUCES HERSELF.


ONOME:
This is me. My name is Onome; the child of the
Most High God. The daughter of my Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ who shed his blood on the
cross in order to pay the price for my redemption;
having thus paid the price, has set me free
from all satanic hold and influence, that I might
preach Him to the lost, introduce Him to sinners, pull down, raze,
flatten, degrade, shame, debase, humiliate and totally exterminate the antagonistic
and hostile forces of darkness that resist the gospel by erecting psychological,
intellectual and cerebral arguments that oppose the truth; and who, in trying to
undermine the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, delve into diabolic
futility, and that I might exalt the Great
God, waxing lyrical with praise before Him.

SHE SCANS THE CROWD SLOWLY FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AS DABO STIRS IN
HIS SLEEP, A MOVEMENT THAT CATCHES ONOME’S ATTENTION.
POINTING AT DABO SHE ASKS THE AUDIENCE…

ONOME:
Who is that?

DABO STIRS IN HIS SLEEP. SHE STUDIES HIM FOR A WHILE, THEN SHE
CAUTIOUSLY MOVES TOWARDS HIM. SHE STANDS BEHIND DABO,
AND TAPS HIM ON THE SHOULDER.

ONOME: (With Some Urgency)
Sir, good sir, wake up!

DABO STIRS, GRUNTS, MUMBLES INCOHERENTLY
AND CONTINUES TO SLEEP.

DABO:
Uh? Eh? Yes? Em?

SHE SHAKES HIM.

ONOME:
Sir, wake up; this is not the time to sleep!

DABO SLOWLY COMES AWAKE. HE OPENS ONE EYE WITH WHICH HE
LOOKS AT ONOME. SHUTS IT, STRETCHES, YAWNS, TAKES HIS TIME TO
RISE TO HIS FEET AND CAREFULLY DUSTS HIMSELF. FINALLY, HE LOOKS
AT ONOME, SCRUTINIZING HER FROM HEAD TO TOE. HE SMILES.

DABO:
Tell me then, when is the best time to sleep?
Since I am not allowed to sleep at night? They
take turns traumatizing and mercilessly
flogging me? Look…

PLEASURE JERKS THE CHAIN AND WHIPS DABO SENSELESS.
DABO SCREAMS AND FALLS TO THE GROUND PLEADING.

Please master! Please master! Have mercy!
I was just about to praise your fine, magnificent,
impressive and worthy virtues!

ONOME WATCHES ALL THIS IN SHOCK. PLEASURE CEASES
FLOGGING DABO WHO SLOWLY RISES TO HIS FEET AND WITH
SOME DIGNITY GRACEFULLY
DUSTS HIMSELF.

DABO: (Smiles)
This happens; it happens all the time.

(PAUSE)

By the way, my name is Dabo.
A renowned seed that sprouted from the
indomitable clan of Ajimota.

THE SOUND OF A CONGA PLAYING IS FAINTLY
IS HEARD IN THE BACK GROUND.

A warrior’s warrior, a winning warrior;
revered by his peers, loved by the virgins;
Worshiped by the young men, feared by his rivals.
The pride of the gray hair.

(PAUSE)

HE THUMPS HIS CHEST MAJESTICALLY

My name is Dabo. The serpent
the charmers adore. The man who…

PLEASURE JERKS THE CHAIN VIOLENTLY, DABO FALLS TO THE
GROUND….DUSTS HIMSELF.

Yes, my name is Dabo. (SLIGHT PAUSE)
And I am a bond slave.


ONOME IS VISIBLY SHAKEN.

ONOME:
Dabo? Is...is your name Da…Dabo?

DABO:
Yes, Dabo. Have you heard of me? I am rich, very rich.
Even though all adores me, I don’t usually
mix with the plebs; but always make them as
comfortable as I possible can whenever I possibly can.

DABO BRINGS OUT SOME MONEY FROM HIS POCKET,
WHICH HE THROWS UP. THE MONEY SCATTERS IN THE AIR;
ONOME WATCHES UNIMPRESSED

ONOME:
Dabo?

DABO:
That is correct. That is me.

ONOME;
I’ve heard that name somewhere
before now. It’s strange…

DABO: (Cuts In)
I know. I am very strange.

ONOME LOOKS AT PLEASURE AND ADDRESSES DABO.

ONOME:
But my good Sir, what ails thee? Why do you allow yourself to
be subjected to such indignity and harsh treatment?

DABO: (Shocked)
Allow myself?

ONOME: (Points at Pleasure)
Twice, this creature has flogged you, pulled you,
dragged you, kicked you, and you do nothing.

DABO:
Do nothing? Do nothing?
You don’t understand. There’s nothing to do.
He is my ug…

HE SMILES AT PLEASURE

…beloved master. I am his bond slave.

THE SOUND OF CONGA PLAYING PERVADES THE AIR AS
ONOME EXCEEDINGLY LIVID, SLOWLY MOVES ACROSS THE STAGE
AND STARES HARD AT PLEASURE.

ONOME:
This creature has no right to do this to you.

DABO:
But he has every right: I belong to him. Pleasure is my master.

ONOME:
Pleasure?

DABO: (Smiles)
So, you’ve also heard of him?
He is famous you know.

ONOME: (Nods)
Now I understand.

ONOME MOVES TO THE EDGE OF THE STAGE AND
ADDRESSES THE AUDIENCE.

A while back I told you about what I heard this
morning, while praying, didn’t I?
‘Dabo Pleasure’. I thought it was a local musician’s name
or a name of a hotel; but now I understand.

PAUSE

ONOME POINTS AT DABO WHO IS ENGAGED IN A
SILENT DISCUSS WITH PLEASURE AND ADDRESSES THE AUDIENCE.

This man is bound by Satan but doesn’t know he can be freed
from this bondage. To him, it’s forever. But to me…

SHE LOOKS AT PLEASURE

…It must stop!

CONGA PERVADES THE AIR AS ONOME MOVES TOWARDS DABO.

You can be freed from this bondage and shame.

DABO: (Shocked)
I can?

DABO LOOKS SLYLY AT PLEASURE

ONOME:
There is one stronger than this bondman.

DABO:
There is?

PLEASURE IS SCARED. HE LOOKS FROM ONOME TO DABO.
HE JERKS THE CHAIN, DABO STAGGERS. ONOME POINTS AT PLEASURE.

ONOME:
In Jesus name, stop that right now!

PLEASURE SQUIRMS IN FEAR AND STOPS.
THERE IS A BIT OF STRUGGLE BETWEEN DABO AND PLEASURE
AS DABO TRIES TO GET CLOSER TO ONOME AND PLEASURE
HOLDS FAST TO THE CHAIN, PULLING DABO AWAY FROM
ONOME. BUT ONOME MOVES CLOSER TO DABO.
THIS INFURIATES PLEASURE

ONOME:
He is called the seed of David…

DABO: (Cuts in)
A seed? What can a seed do?

ONOME:
…the lion of the tribe of Judah.

DABO HAILS THE NAME WITH BOTH HANDS UP IN SALUTE.

DABO: (Excited)
Ekun baba! (Great lion)

ONOME:
The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the whole world;
The One that destroys strange covenants made by blood.

DABO:
Who is this man?

ONOME POINTS AT PLEASURE

ONOME:
He knows Him

DABO TURNS TO PLEASURE

DABO:
You do?

PLEASURE SQUIRMING, HOPS FROM FOOT TO FOOT.

ONOME:
He is afraid of Him

DABO:
You are?

PLEASURE LOOKS AWAY

ONOME:
This man who is also the lion of the tribe of Judah loves you

DABO:
He does?
(To himself)
A lion that is also a man. Strange

ONOME:
Would you want Him to help you?

DABO:
How much will it cost?

ONOME:
Nothing; it’s free.

DABO:
Very unusual. Unheard of.

DABO MOVES AROUND THE STAGE MEDITATIVELY

I’ve always paid for everything. I paid in order for

HE POINTS AT PLEASURE

him to be my master. When I said yes to him and gave him
what he asked for: my blood, which then I thought was not
much when weighed against the wealth, power and influence
he promised me; I didn’t know my soul, my life, my peace, was
actually what I was unwittingly giving away. Now, here…

ONOME: (Cuts in)
Real freedom is free. It is a gift.

DABO:
Is it possible to be free of this vermin without
paying for it? I am already tired of him. If there’s a better
master, better conditions of service,
with a future better than the one Pleasure here promised
me, please, tell me; I need to know

ONOME:
There is a future bright with this man I am telling you about.
There is peace with him, sweet sleep with him. There…

DABO (Cuts in)
Sleep? Sweet sleep?
I’ve not had that for a long while

PAUSE

HE LOOKS AT PLEASURE

It’s getting better

ONOME:
He gives rest, joy and eternal security.

DABO: (Screams)
Stop!

DABO FALLS TO HIS KNEES BEFORE ONOME WITH HIS HANDS
OUTSTRETCHED IN SUPPLICATION

Then, please, help me!
If there is such a man, please, take me to his house.
Take me to him. Whatever it will cost me I will pay.
I will pay you very well.
My car is out side the booth filled with…

ONOME: (Cuts in)
It is free. You can’t pay for it; you can’t afford to pay for it. It is priceless.

DABO:
If so, then, help me!

PLEASURE NOW HOPPING MAD, JERKS THE CHAIN.
DABO FALLS TO THE GROUND SCREAMING

Noooo! Stop! Please!

DABO, FIGHTING AGAINST PLEASURE’S VICIOUS PULL,
CRAWLS TOWARDS ONOME.

Help me! Please, help me!

ONOME TAKES A STEP FORWARD. DABO GRABS HER LEGS.

ONOME: (Points at Pleasure)
I command you to stop it in Jesus name!

PLEASURE FALLS TO THE GROUND STILL HOLDING ON TO THE CHAIN

DABO: (Pointing at Pleasure)
What are you going to do about him?
He won’t release me. He won’t let me go!

PLEASURE STAGGERS BACK TO HIS FEET

ONOME: (Smiles)
Is that so? Listen to this

ONOME OPENS HER BIBLE AND READS OUT LOUD FROM ISAIAH 49: 24 – 26.
AS ONOME READS, DABO SLOWLY SITS ON THE FLOOR,
STILL HOLDING ON TO ONOME’S RIGHT LEG

Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the
prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth
with thee…

DABO: (Cuts in)
Eh? The captives of the mighty shall be taken?
Tell me, who is talking? Who can do this?

ONOME:
Yes. He takes the captives by force! And it is the Almighty, the Lord Most High
talking. And when he talks the whole world listens! But that’s not all.

SHE FLIPS TO ANOTHER PAGE AND READS OUT. (1 JOHN 3:8B)

For this purpose the Son of God was manifest,
that he might destroy the works of the devil


DABO:

Destroy the works of the devil. The works of Pleasure.
Tell me.

HE MOVES CLOSER TO LOOK INTO THE BIBLE.
PLEASURE TRIES TO PULL HIM AWAY. THERE’S A STRUGGLE,
BUT DABO SUCCEEDS IN PEERING INTO
THE BIBLE SEARCHINGLY.

Can the covenant, the agreement, I made with him,
with my blood, be broken? Disannulled, cancelled?
and I’d be a free man again? Is it possible (stresses the ‘possible’)
Please, tell me, is it possible?

ONOME:
Yes. For there is nothing impossible with my God.
The blood of Jesus overwhelms, triumphs over
and crushes every other blood covenant.
And you’ll be much more than just free;
you’ll be unquestionably,
incontrovertibly and completely free.

DABO:
What must I do? What must I do to be myself again?
Free from his binding lies?

ONOME:
Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
Ask him to come into your heart.

DABO:
But…but…will he come?

ONOME:
When you call, he’ll come.

THERE IS SOFT MUSIC AT THE BACKGROUND AS DABO KNEELS
TO PRAY. ONOME BENDS AND WHISPERS IN DABO’S EAR; DABO
REPEATS AFTER HER.

DABO:
Jesus, I invite you into my heart, to be my Lord and Saviour.

PLEASURE JERKS THE CHAIN, DABO IGNORES HIM.
PLEASURE LOOKS AROUND SURPRISED.

PAUSE

I believe you died on the cross to pay the price for my redemption
by shedding your …..

ONOME: (Cuts in)
Precious blood

DABO:
Yes. By shedding your precious blood; And God your Father,
and my Father, raised you from the dead, that you might taste
death, sickness, shame, poverty and fear, once and for all time for
me Dabo, and rise up victorious for me Dabo, that I might enjoy this
victory and be free from this shameful captivity Lord Jesus…

DABO BREAKS DOWN AND BEGINS TO CRY. ONOME PATS
GENTLY HIM ON THE BACK. THEY CONTINUE TO PRAY, SILENTLY.
PLEASURE IS LOOKING ON IN SHOCK.

DEMON PLEASURE:
What does he think he’s doing?
After all I’ve done for him?

THEY CONTINUE TO PRAY. SUDDENLY, PLEASURE
LETS GO OF THE CHAIN, AS IF THE CHAIN IS ON FIRE.
AT THAT MOMENT, DABO CRIES OUT IN JOY

DABO:
Jesus! Thank you Jesus!

ONOME:
Halleluiah!

DABO LOOKS AROUND

DABO: (Surprised)
He’s gone!

DABO LOOKS AT ONOME QUESTIONINGLY

ONOME:
Yes, he’s gone. He had no choice in the matter.
Jesus is Lord, and His word is law in the affairs of men.
All creation responds to His command.

DABO: (Hands in the air)
My God! I thank you.

DABO EXAMINES HIMSELF

Oh my goodness! Look how filthy I am!

ONOME:
You have been in the mire for too long a time.

DABO STARTS BRUSHING THE FILTH OFF HIS CLOTHES AND FACE:
HE NOTICES THE CHAIN THAT’S STILL TIED ROUND HIS WAIST.
HE TOUCHES IT, AND QUICKLY TAKES HIS HAND AWAY.
HE LOOKS INQUIRINGLY AT ONOME

ONOME: (Shakes her head)
You’ll have to take that off by yourself; I can’t help you there.
It’s your decision. But know that if that remains there, it will pose a
hindrance to you in your walk with God; but removed,
you’ll enjoy such liberty and joy like you’ve
never known.

DABO:
Okay. Okay. But how do I go about it?

HE PULLS AT THE CHAIN

ONOME:
Jesus

DABO CLOSES HIS EYES AND PRAY SILENTLY.
FINISHING HE STARTS TO UNFASTENS
THE CHAIN. HE TAKES IT OFF HIS WAIST.

DABO: (Sighs in relief)
Hmm. Finally. What do I do with this?

LIFTING UP THE CHAIN

ONOME:
Give it back to the owner.

DABO:
Back to Pleasure?

ONOME NODS

DABO:
Hey! Hey you! Pleasure. You devil.
Come back here
and take this!

PLEASURE, STILL IN DISCOMFORT, CONFUSED AND AFRAID RUNS BACK ON
STAGE AND SNATCHES THE CHAIN FROM DABO WHO
SEIZES THE OPPORTUNITY TO HIT HIM

DABO:
This is for the lies you told me!

SLAP!

This is for the sleepless nights I had

KICK!
This is for the shame and torment

SLAP!

PLEASURE RUNS OFF STAGE SCREAMING

DABO:
The rascal. All the years of shame and reproach he subjected me to.
I’ll make sure I deal with him wherever I find him and other rascals like him.

ONOME:
That’s the Spirit of evangelism…

DABO: (Cuts in)
And vengeance!

DABO AND ONOME WALK OFF STAGE SINGING SONGS
OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TO THE LORD.

THE END



























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Member Comments
Member Date
Cleveland McLeish 03 Apr 2004
I love this play - for more reasons than one. Firstly, its the kind of writing that I love. It goes deeper than what the physical eyes percieve to a deeper, wider truth that acts as an eye opener. We see ourselves and we get a hint of what goes on beyond what we can see. The chain is a very symbolic element in this play and one thing I learnt during my playwriting classes is that symbols act as a very poerful element to any story. Secondly, the cast is not very big and it contains soliloquys that kinda reminds me of shakespear. The dialogue is quick and sharp and the action is worth paying attention to. The only suggestion I would amke is to not have the demon speak at all. His dialogue comes to late in the script and frankly, I don't think it is necessary for him to have a speaking role. His actions speak for itself. Great job!




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