BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

My first outline: Fiction Adaptation

Lamb to the Slaughter
An Original Short Story by Roald Dahl
Adapted for the Screen by Will Tippett
30' Drama
TX - BBC4 8:30pm


Act 1

1) Front room of a terraced house, Northern Ireland. Its dark, a woman lands a clean blow with what appears to be a frozen leg of lamb, on the skull of her victim. Silence follows.
2) Calmly, she reaches for the telephone and twists the dial. Her FATHER answers the phone, MARY confesses.
3) The father is a Loyalist Paramilitary and former Detective, she glances to the walls where photographs hang; he was a highly decorated member of the Police. 
4) As Mary stares at the cold lifeless body lying at her feet - her husband, the man she had murdered was a close associate of her Father: he drops the phone and makes his way round to Mary’s house.
5) Mary, while she awaits her Father, straightens her self out and takes a stammered breath. An alibi as she knows will ensure her innocence. Her Father enters, she tells him of PATRICK'S affair and her jealous rage and ensuing struggle. 
6) The father keeps a chillingly calm head. Mary who is in a panic-sticken state starts to question him, he reveals he is a member of the loyalists. He knows how to dispose of a body.
6) Her father has shot and killed countless people during the Trouble's, he insists Mary's husband is just a victim of the conflicts. The father leaves, ashen faced.
7)Mary takes off through the front door and down through the shadowed Londonderry streets. Gunfire is heard on the other side of town.
8) She spins and enters a green veneered grocers, a smiling SAM O’NEILL welcomes her behind the counter.
9) They discuss her meal and what to enjoy with a roasted leg of famously tender Irish lamb. After exchanging a smile she leaves.
10) Cut to calling the police. In a suitably panicked voice she lifts the phone and turns the dial.

Act 2

11) The squad car arrives fast, 2 officers enter and one eyes her with suspicion as the two trawl the house for clues. More officers arrive as she slumps into her chair.
12) The body is taken away and the Police officers search the building for the murder weapon.
13) The suspicious officer, SGT. O’MALLEY turns to Mary for questioning. O’Malley discovers she is the daughter of a famous Detective and his former mentor. His mood changes from mistrust to empathy, the other officers discover this and they soon believe she is innocent. 
14) She offers the Sergeant a tumbler of whisky and the others are soon persuaded to take a nip.
15) O’Malley and the officers are urged to put the lamb in the oven and soon begin to tuck in. They agree the murderer would not be carrying the weapon around for longer than they needed. They joke it could be beneath their noses.
16) On leaving O’Malley turns to Mary who is sat staring bleakly. He comforts her on the passing of her husband. As he turns away she smirks.
17) Her crime of passion looks like the work of Unionist Paramilitary. Just one more statistic in the Northern Ireland conflicts.

Nothing beats supper at Mary’s.

The Troubles in Northern Ireland rage. A young housewife toils with guilt and innocence in war torn suburbia. Will her sanity prevail or her web of deceit become unravelled.

1 comment:

  1. this is getting there, good stuff. don't quite get it all so will discuss with you.