My Casting Couch – a one-act play

7 Jun

Chinatown, London. Benedict Cumberbatch during...

Cast of Characters 

Me(Kallu) – looking for an actor to play a role

Benedict Cumberbatch (BC)/(Holmes) – actor who has kindly taken up my invitation to come by for a chat.

(all characters in this play are fictional, except me and my husband. Mr. Cumberbatch and Mr. Grimwood are real, of course, but since prior consent was not obtained, they are to be considered purely fictional for the purpose of this post) 

Act I-

(the office – bright sunny room with doors to left and right, white, pristine leather couch-set in a u-shaped arrangement in the middle, french windows in the back open to a breathtaking sea-view, a small glass coffee table with coffee/tea service service sitting on it, a few books can be seen on the table. Kallu seated on one of the armchairs with a mug of steaming Colombian coffee in her right-hand)

-Scene I-

{Knock at the door, Kallu puts coffee down, gets the door to the left}

Kallu : Oh, Welcome Mr. Cumberbatch. Very kind of you to have accepted my invitation

BC : {enters left} Thank you. Mrs M, I presume

 Kallu : Yes, that’s me, but you can call me Kallu. Please {indicates one of the comfy armchair}

BC : {seats himself} Nice place, Kallu.

Kallu : Why, thank you Mr. Cumberbatch. May I offer you some coffee*? Milk? Sugar?

{BC indicates his preferences with nods or shakes and now they are both seated with steaming mugs in their hands}

Kallu : Do you mind if I call you Mr. Holmes? Somehow, its more intimate don’t you think?

 BC : Err..

Kallu :{beaming} Oh jolly good then. So Mr. Holmes, did your agent tell you about my proposition? This little idea of mine?

Holmes :{uncomfortable now} err… intimate,… proposition… I am not sure where this is going..

Kallu : {tinkling laugh} Oh no, you are a tease Mr. Holmes. Nothing of that sort. No, not, at all. I just want to cast you as a vampire

Holmes : {relieved and surprised} A vampire? Me? Shouldn’t it be the other English guy you should be talking to? Robert Pattinson? He seems to be a popular vampire now-a-days.

Kallu : {aghast} Oh, no, Mr. Holmes, its not that kind of a vampire. I would like to cast you as my most favourite vampire-assassin, from an alternate Venice in the 15th century

Holmes : A vampire from Venice?

Kallu : {hands over a set of novels from the coffee table

The Assassini series by Jon Courtney Grimwood. You are it, Mr. Holmes, down to your Byronic locks, piercing grey-blue eyes, the nose and those cheekbones *sigh*

{staring at Holmes for a while}

Holmes : {blushes, clears his throat}

Kallu : {snaps out}, sorry, where was I?

Holmes : why I should be a vampire..

Kallu : ah yes, I do get carried away sometimes. Well, you have this way of looking young and boyish but at the same time sounding much older than your age! You are a perfect fit.

And this story is a marvel Mr. Holmes, with characters like Alexa, the beautiful Mongolian witch who is the queen-regent of Venice, her witch companion who looks like a waif but could be a demon, the German prince who is a werewolf, a princess who is a real damsel in distress, a villain that is repugnant and intelligent…

Holmes : {breaking in} so you want me to play this villain?

Kallu : {surprise} Why on earth would you think that? No, no! With those cheekbones Mr. Holmes we can only cast you as the hero – the vampire is, the hero, well, sort of.

Holmes : Do, go on

Kallu : I cannot give you the complete screenplay yet, but Mr. Holmes, you would be amazed by the scope of Mr. Grimwood’s novels. His writing style is eclectic and addictive. His stories are like humming birds – they can fly up, down, diagonal, zig and zag, forwards and even backwards. I had to read ‘End of the World Blues‘ thrice to understand the story. I would love to tell you about this other fictional guy whom I live with in my dreamverse, Ashraf Bey from the Arabesk-series, but that would probably take a day! The Assassini-series is one of Grimwood’s most linear books, albeit with so much fantasy thrown in, I am not sure if “linear” is the right word!

Please, do say yes, Mr. Holmes! You would make the perfect ‘Tycho’ – that is the character’s name.

 Holmes : You are passionate about this, aren’t you?

 Kallu : Oh yes, I am. I know I am using the word ‘love’ a bit excessively and its sense is so diluted in today’s world but books are my love and passion. And in my literary multiverse, I am a polygamist – I am in love with all these different men and creatures at the same time. Well, I am also in love with your portrayal of ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ but then you knew that, didn’t you?

Holmes : {clearly uncomfortable} Well…. what about your husband, does he not mind?

Kallu : No, of course not, in fact I met most of these men through my husband. Wait, that didn’t come out right. What I mean is, in this universe, my husband is my perfect soulmate. I adore the man and he knows it. But in our respective dreamverses, we are polygamists. You should see some of the women he plays in his computer games. If I was the jealous type, I would have taken a hammer to the computer.

Coming back to your Holmes, though, its not just the cheekbones, its also the raised eyebrows and the grim smiles. When I read, its like a movie is running in my head and whenever I read ‘a grim smile’, I would wonder how to picture that – now, I know. And the ‘condescending smile’ – oh, I know the british actors can do condescension the best – think Ian McKellen or any of the Monty Python boys – but you just went and made it sexy, Mr. Holmes. Downright, sexy!

Holmes : {blushes a bit}Thank you, Kallu.

{gets up a bit hurriedly, buttons up his coat}

I should be leaving now but it was a very interesting offer. I shall think about it and get back to you. Would that be alright?

Kallu : Of course. Anything to have you back

Holmes :{extends hand}{shakes hand}{exits stage left through the door}

Kallu : {plonks down on sofa still looking a bit dazed from the handshake}

– The End –

*Its My Blog (IMB):– I will assume BC is a coffee-drinker, especially since I could not find any preference after combing the web for hours and just not getting any work done as I was looking at his cheekbones for hours!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: