All the Way Down


All the Way Down is my most popular play – a look at what a headache might mean and how to deal with it if you have a mad doctor and an even madder receptionist at your disposal. Here’s an extract from near the end…

Mary: I mean I’m not one to complain but what kind of money are we making today I’d like to know – just the one patient all morning and I’ve just turned down a case of thrush that he’d have enjoyed on a normal day. It’s always the ones with the headaches, they’ve always got something to hide. The pain’s a way for the guilt to manifest itself, that’s what he says I mean pardon me for asking but why can’t it just be fourteen pints with whisky chasers of a weekend, that would do the trick surely without the need for guilt. Still she’ll come out a new woman if she spills it all in there, and what was all that stuff of Oscar’s he was spouting he’s losing it if you ask me but I tell you what if we get many more of these I’m giving in my notice it’s bad for the nerves it is and no mistake. Hope the police don’t turn up like last time, we had a job explaining that one away but he’s got the gift of the gab I wonder if he’d let me go or do I know too much but then again what do I know, really? Sod all, except I have to keep the freezer empty for a week or two.


All he had to do was give her a pill for the headache, but some days he just can’t leave well alone.

Pause. She rises and moves down centre. She is Sally again.

Sally: You don’t want to miss a thing so you keep your eyes open. You feel the wind on your face and you see the ground below you in the orange light of the street lamps and there are people walking past oblivious to you until now but now you’re screaming, screaming in spite of the wind forcing itself into your lungs and your hair is streaming behind you and you think you feel the child move in your belly but of course you don’t because it isn’t big enough yet it’s just an illusion and you try to put your hands on your belly but you can’t because the wind blows them back behind you and you wonder if you’ll feel anything when you hit the ground or will it be too quick and in your mind you see yourself falling like a rag doll in a shower of broken glass and the street lights are reflecting in the glass and you’re falling faster and you hear the sound of cars on the road but it’s too late to hear anymore or see any more and you wonder will there be a…