In this clever holiday dark comedy, Colin, a divorced businessman, decides to cheer himself up by hiring a female companion to visit him in his posh London hotel room over Christmas. Unfortunately, the girl who arrives is not quite what he’d been hoping for. Will this mismatched couple make it to Dec. 26th without killing each other?
Scene 1 In an anonymous British hotel room on Christmas Eve, we meet Colin, who is looking forward to the arrival of some hired company. He goes into a reverie and Holly duly arrives; she is beautiful and charming and eager-to-please. After confirming their business arrangement, Holly exits to the bathroom. Another knock on the door brings Colin out of his daydream. Debbie, an aggressively working-class working-girl, is Colin’s worst nightmare. As soon as he is alone again, Colin imagines what might have been with his dream companion.
Scene 2 Colin and Debbie are not enjoying each other’s company after unsuccessfully attempting sex. They trade insults and insights until Colin decides he’s had enough and calls off the deal. Debbie agrees and heads off to change. Colin again retreats to his fantasy of Holly, who is perfect in every way.
Scene 3 Debbie is ready to leave, but she wants assurances that Colin won’t complain to the agency. Colin tries to have some holiday spirit and suggests giving it another try. Debbie, now short of alternatives, agrees, though without much enthusiasm or hope.
Scene 4 Colin and Holly sing a Christmas carol. Colin cuts Holly’s throat.
Scene 1 Christmas morning. Colin stands over the sleeping Debbie and explains his actions to the audience. He wakes Debbie with a cup of tea and they agree to see how the day goes; Debbie still might leave. When Debbie goes to the bathroom to get dressed, a chambermaid enters. She looks and sounds exactly like Colin’s fantasy, Holly. Colin is confused and scared.
Scene 2 Returning from breakfast, Colin is distracted and irritable. Debbie tries to talk him down but he’s in the grip of some sort of breakdown. Once alone, Debbie calls her daughter. Colin overhears and tries to offer comfort.
Scene 3 Colin and Debbie spend the day watching TV and enjoying not being alone. They attempt sex again, with no success, but no recriminations.
Scene 4 Colin and Debbie return to the room after enjoying Christmas dinner at the hotel. They are happy and relaxed in each other’s company, being slightly lit. Debbie jokes about blowing Colin’s cover, which triggers his paranoia. He comes clean and tells Debbie the extent of his fantasy. Debbie is initially scared but ultimately understanding; this a judgment-free zone. Colin feels unburdened and again releases Debbie from their arrangement, but Debbie feels safe enough to stay. She falls asleep, Colin discreetly leaves.
Scene 5 Debbie wakes to find a present at the end of the bed. She opens it with curiosity giving way to delight.
The Christmas Present is a smart and rewarding comedy
Colin – 40s, small businessman, square and uptight.
Holly – 20s, beautiful and charming, a fantasy.
Debbie – Early 30s, unapologetically working-class, hard-bitten and sharp-tongued.
Setting: A standard hotel room, with bed, desk, chair (no arms). One exit to corridor, one exit to bathroom.
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“In a rewarding and understated way, Picot’s smart script keeps us guessing without feeling manipulated or confused.” –Backstage
“This isn’t a wild and edgy comedy; it’s not even particularly outrageous, and we don’t quite take the danger element seriously. But when you put it all together, The Christmas Present is just the sort of evening that some of us have been looking for this time of year.” –Backstage
“Picot’s tale offers up some hearty laughter, a few moments of dread, and a sort of Scrooge-like redemption” –Stage Raw
“For those seeking a departure from run-of-the-mill Christmas offerings, Guy Picot’s 'dark British comedy about a hooker, a hotel room and some holiday magic,' should spice up the season.” –Stage Raw
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The production materials for The Christmas Present include:
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Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.