Miss Gyrus

Welcome to the Miss Gyrus Supporting Materials page – here you’ll find a short excerpt from the script including a soundcloud link so you can listen along with the lyrics, video clips, music demos and images to give you a better sense of the show – enjoy!

Werk in Progress Showing of excerpt from Miss Gyrus performed by writer/composer Joe Steele (August 2021)

Excerpt from miss gyrus – SCRIPT

SCENE 5(j)

Lights up on JOE (19), CHRISTIAN UNION (“CU”) FRESHER 1 and CHRISTIAN UNION FRESHER 2, sat in chairs in a circle.  

JOE: Sorry, I zoned out a bit in the main meeting, what     are we supposed to be doing again? 

CU FRESHER 1: Praying. 

JOE: Of course yeah, about the…um…

CU FRESHER 1: For our gay friends. 

JOE: Right. 

CU FRESHER 2: Yeah, just that they’ll find God and you know…stop being gay. 

JOE:  Sure, yep. And also I suppose that we’ll be loving       and non-judgemental towards them. 

CU FRESHER 1+2: Oh yeah, totally, totally. 

JOE: Cos ultimately only God can judge, right? 

CU FRESHER 2: Yeah. 

CU FRESHER 1: Yeah. But then again, we do very much believe it’s        a sin. 

CU FRESHER 2: Yeah. 

JOE: Oh of course, but, um… so do you want me to start  the prayers off then? 

CU FRESHER 1: Well you are the leader of our small group. 

CU FRESHER 2: We need you for guidance! 

JOE: (to audience) In hindsight, getting involved with the Christian Union might have been a bad idea. 

It made sense though – they do loads of great stuff, food banks etcetera – and it was just after my whole church went on this big summer camp thing where I had a sort of Holy Spirit experience. It felt like a sign. I was praying and then suddenly my whole upper body is shaking. Like, really properly violently shaking, like if it was a bit cold – which it was actually…

But it’s all good…I know this script, right?

JOE lip-syncs along to the following voiceover. When prompted by the *, he diverges from the voiceover, reading aloud the ‘live’ text.

JOE: (V.O.) Lord I come before you now, and I just lift up our gay friends to you. I lift them up to you and ask * that you’d draw near to them, that you’d come into their lives and show yourself by the power of your grace. Let them see Lord that the path that you have chosen for them is so much greater than the path which the world tells them to follow…

(live) I lift them up to you and ask…why do I feel more comfortable with them than I do with my Christian friends? Why don’t I feel part of this Christian community that’s supposed to be my family? Why do my other friends make me laugh more, interest me more, make me feel more alive?

The scene changes to the night before – though the circle set-up is the same. The CU FRESHERS are now UNI FEMALE FRIEND (“U.F.F”) and UNI GAY MALE FRIEND (“U.G.M.F”). The three are sat round a table drinking. Pop music plays. 

JOE: Nooo give it to me, give it me. 

Plugs in phone to aux cable, puts on Vogue by Madonna. 

U.F.F.: What’s this? 

JOE: Vogue, Madonna!

U.G.M.F: Love that it’s the straight guy putting on Madonna. 

JOE: Nobody can argue with greatness. 

U.G.M.F.: True. Ok so, never have I ever… pissed myself on a night out.

U.F.F drinks. There can be a little ad libbing between each “Never have I ever…”

U.F.F.: Never have I ever… slept with two people in a 24 hour period. 

U.G.M.F. drinks. 

U.G.M.F: Never have I ever…got a 30-year-old’s jizz in my fringe during Fresher’s week…

U.F.F. drinks. 

JOE: Never have I ever… fallen over in a club whilst getting with a harpsichord player.

U.F.F. drinks. 

U.F.F.: Omg, this isn’t fair because there’s nothing I can get you back on.

U.G.M.F: Yeah…it’s difficult with a good Christian boy. 

JOE: Mostly good. 

U.F.F: Oh I’ve got it…never have I ever…been a nineteen-year old virgin.

JOE: (giving U.F.F. middle finger) Fuck you! (drinks). 

U.G.M.F.: Never Have I Ever…had the daily opportunity of fucking the queen that is Nicky Johnson and NOT done it. 

JOE: For God’s sake! (drinks)

U.F.F.: Well exactly, for his sake! 

Laughter. 

JOE: (to audience) So yeah, Nicky’s my girlfriend now. It’s mad. We didn’t even plan to come to the same uni, it happened by accident. And then…something about being in a new place…things clicked differently. I guess.

Not without its controversy though, cos obviously she’s not a Christian. The CU weren’t too happy. 

(to FRIENDS) Ok well…ooh this is easy. Never Have I Ever. Been fucked by a man. 

UNI FRIENDS drink. 

U.G.M.F.: And whose fault is that? 

JOE: (laughs) Honestly though I don’t know how you do it. Like, sure I can see certain guys…yeah they’re attractive guys. But actually wanting to take a dick…up there? It sounds so unbearable. 

U.G.M.F.: It IS. Hence it’s amazing. 

JOE: Ok…make it make sense.

U.G.M.F.: Because not doing it is more unbearable. Hiding yourself, denying yourself. Pretty much every gay person has been in the closet at some point, even to themselves. So when you let go of that, you just submit to what you want and let yourself be with a guy – properly, fully with him – yeah it might hurt, but it’s nothing compared to the hurt you’ve been holding inside. Any damage he’s doing is nothing compared to the damage that’s been inflicted on you daily since you were born. The same damage we then absorbed and inflicted on ourselves. 

JOE: (pause) Wow, yeah…ok. Hang on though…don’t some straight people also…? 

They look at UNI FEMALE FRIEND. 

U.F.F.: For fuck’s sake! (drinks). 

Scene changes – we are back in CU meeting. JOE is finishing the prayers, lip-syncing again along to the voiceover. 

JOE: (V.O. and ‘live’ together in sync, V.O. gradually fades leaving just live voice) …and we ask that you’d draw near to them, that you’d come into their lives and show yourself by the power of your grace. Let them see, Lord, that the path that you have chosen for them is so much greater than the path which the world tells them to follow. Let us never stop trusting your word Lord. Amen. 

Blackout then lights up on JOE and NICKY. They kiss lightly on the lips. 

NICKY: How was CU? 

JOE: Fine, yeah fine. 

NICKY: What were you talking about? 

JOE: Oh just about…kind of about…love, basically. 

NICKY: Love…quite a big topic. 

JOE: Yeah. 

NICKY: As in like romantic love? 

JOE: Sort of. 

NICKY: Why are you being so evasive? 

JOE: I’m not. 

NICKY: Ohh I get it, it was a thing about why you shouldn’t be in a relationship with a non-Christian, right? 

JOE: Noooo it wasn’t that. 

NICKY: Well what was it then? 

JOE: Umm…it was about homosexuality.

NICKY: Oh awkward. What so then in small group you were… praying that…

JOE: They said we should pray for our gay friends…that they’d be led out of…it

NICKY: What, so, did you say you weren’t comfortable?

JOE: No. I did it. 

NICKY: So you just sat there praying, pretending to be homophobic?

JOE: I wasn’t pret- (he stops himself). 

NICKY: What? 

JOE: No.

NICKY: Hang on Joe. You are… ok with people being gay though, right? 

JOE: Yeah I mean look, I have loads of gay friends and stuff.

NICKY: Yeah…but like you’re ok with the fact they’re gay as well? 

JOE: Well, yeah I strongly think that…that yeah I mean clearly it’s not like a…

NICKY: What are you saying? 

JOE: …

NICKY: Or not saying…

JOE: I mean, I can’t think of any reason why there’s anything wrong with it. And people have different interpretations of the Bible and stuff. So yeah I’m ok with it…to a large extent 

NICKY: To a large extent? What the hell does that mean? 

JOE: I suppose I just can’t rule out the possibility that God…isn’t ok with it. And for that reason…I can’t say I’m fully ok with it. Even if I’m ok with the people. 

NICKY: So it’s love the sinner hate the sin is it? 

JOE: No it’s not that anymore, but I can’t-

NICKY: Can’t what? 

JOE: I can’t just ignore it! I can’t just ignore God…

NICKY: For fuck’s sake, Joe- 

JOE: It’s easy for you, you don’t understand. 

NICKY: What?

JOE: You can just…think for yourself and do and say whatever the fuck you want, you don’t have to reconcile anything…it’s just you, you don’t have this eternal future hanging over you… and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t judge me for believing in something! 

Silence.  

NICKY: It’s like there’s two Joes.  

JOE: What?

NICKY: There’s the normal you. The you that has fun, is carefree, gossips, goes out, drinks, makes innuendos, swears, and, in doing all that, is still a really kind person. And then there’s the Christian you, which holds all these beliefs and says all these Godly things…

JOE: There’s not-

NICKY: I hate it though because I know what they teach you; that the Christian you is how you should be and that you should suppress the real you. They teach you to hate yourself. 

JOE: Nicky-

NICKY: And I can’t help wondering if you’ve suppressed a lot of who you really are…for a long time…

JOE: What are you trying to say?

NICKY: I know this is massively stereotyping but you are quite…feminine, camp in a lot of ways and… 

JOE: Oh so we’re back to this. 

NICKY: What? 

JOE: Joe can’t deal with his deep-rooted homosexuality because of his religion. I hoped that might be over when we stopped being friends with Siobhan. 

NICKY: Why are you a Christian? 

JOE: Because I believe in it. 

NICKY: Joe. 

JOE: (pause) Because I was raised that way. 

NICKY: And do you want to let your whole life be defined by that? Or do you want to be your own person? Chase the types of things you want? (pause). The types of people you might want? 

JOE: Can you stop implying-

NICKY: Why did you agree to be my boyfriend, when we both know you don’t have any interest in me like that? 

JOE: It’s late, you should leave. 

NICKY: What? 

JOE: Just leave. 

NICKY goes to the door then turns around. 

NICKY: I felt really sad when you didn’t come to Miss Bennett’s dance club in year 3. Cos I knew that you wanted to be there really. Bye.  

Exit NICKY. Blackout on stage. On screen: precursor to the upcoming TRANSITION. 

REV. WILLIAM BROWN speaks in English

REV. WILLIAM BROWN 

[1658-1720]:

She had been resident in these parts for some time before I arrived, as I understood it, and was regular attendee on Sundays. Over the years we got to know each other quite well, which made what happened all the more shocking. It was some years ago now – I came into the church one morning and on the altar, found this. [holds up a note].

Lights up on stage. JOE is on the phone. 

JOE: Nicky, hey, long time no see! Yeah the new flat’s fine thanks. I know, we’re so old. Life in the real world is crazy. Look would you want to come over some time now we’re so close by?

Blackout on stage. On screen:

REV. WILLIAM BROWN: I was astonished by it and of course saddened. She had never before shown any of the usual indicators of lunacy. Sadly, it seems the only conclusion to be drawn (gestures to letter). 

Lights up on stage. JOE and NICKY sat talking. 

NICKY: (laughing) Oh my God, is she exclusively attracted to harpsichord players? Where does she even find them?!

JOE and NICKY laugh. 

NICKY: So…any updates yourself?

JOE: Uhh, no not really!

NICKY: Really?

JOE: Yeah, sorry to disappoint. 

Blackout. Exeunt. 

TRANSITION 5(j) > 5(mg)

The following cuts between close-up shots of REV. WILLIAM BROWN reading and long shots of MISS GYRUS purposefully walking over fields/hills. The latter type of shots say RECONSTRUCTION in the corner. Lush string music swells throughout everything. 

REV. WILLIAM BROWN: (Reading letter) “My dear Reverend, My communication to you shall be brief. 

I am not sure how much you know of my personal history and circumstances; that I came into my fortune largely by accident – an administrative error which I neglected to correct. I was a lost woman at the time, and so my discretion in this matter, though not honourable, is perhaps understandable. Moreover, it appeared to me back then that the error may in fact have been a divine intervention, a sign that God had not forgotten me. 

Coincidentally, shortly before learning of my inheritance – perhaps mere decades
I learned the existence of a man who is of no small importance to me. His name has stuck with me through the years. The name of Lazarus.

The joy and comfort which I have sustained during my years here has regrettably been tainted by an ever-present desire that I should make efforts to find this Lazarus. Truthfully, I feel that it is only in him that I may find true happiness. And although I cannot be sure, I feel quite certain that his own happiness would be greatly improved should it ever befall that we meet. 

It is with this aim that I have decided to leave my estate and this parish indefinitely. And, though I may return one day, please know that to your church I shall not set foot again. This avowal is one I extend to all such houses of the Lord, for – I will say it plainly – I am no longer a true believer .

Do not mistake my directness for flippancy. On the contrary, I am greatly anguished to make these pronouncements, for I know from experience that Jesus Christ was a good man in his life. But my conclusion now can only be that, whilst good, he was not the Son of God, merely an exceptionally talented magician, who thought not of the true consequences – the true victims – of his works.

These realisations would fill me with great sadness, were it not for the hope of new life which I have been gifted; a hope which I have ignored, neglected and indeed fought, for too long. But no more.

Blackout (stage and screen). We hear a voicemail from JOE to NICKY. 

JOE: (V.O.) Nicky hey thanks for coming over. Yeah so there was actually something I wanted to tell you. 

On screen:

REV. WILLIAM BROWN: From this day forward, I shall spend every moment seeking that which can bring me joy. 

Blackout (stage and screen):

JOE: (V.O.) You’re the first person I’ve told and in a way you’re a weird person to tell first but…you’re still my best friend, so…

REV. WILLIAM BROWN: I shall spend every moment of my life, looking for him, he who is like unto me. 

Blackout (stage and screen):

JOE: (V.O.) Well firstly um I decided recently that I don’t want to be a Christian anymore. 

REV. WILLIAM BROWN: I shall spend every moment, looking for Lazarus.

Blackout (stage and screen):

JOE: And that’s made me realise…accept…that… I’m not straight? 

Screen:

REV. WILLIAM BROWN: I do not leave my life behind with regret. Rather, I rejoice, and revel in the fact that now, after all these years, I have finally assembled my own world view. Thank you. 

DATES PROJECTION:1700 

SCENE 5(mg)

Lights up on MISS GYRUS in a Marie Antoinette (i.e. Madonna – Vogue at the VMAs) look. 

MISS GYRUS: I was asleep but now I’m waking, 

want the truth I’m done with faking 

Done with the life I’d been leading 

Looking for signs and always pleading.

The disappointment stacking up through the centuries 

But see how, I flip it, fuck it, bin it 

You’re not the God, not the boss of me now.

I’ve got a new purpose in life 

And I’m not backing down on the decision that I’ve made;

IT IRKS ME TO STICK IN THE KNIFE, 

BUT I’M NOT BACKING DOWN SO TAKE A READ OF MY TYPEFACE: 

The following words in bold are projected on screen as they are delivered vocally:

THE LIFE FOR ME HAPPENS TO BE A LIFE WITHOUT YOU

SORRY NOT SORRY ABOUT IT, COS IT’S TRUE

TRY NOT TO CRY, DON’T RAIN ON MY DEBUT. 

KEEP YOUR SIGNS AND YOUR WONDERS TO YOURSELF

Won’t be touched by the things you say 

There’s something better out there for me instead 

I’ve assembled my own world view, thank you

He is more than merely a man to me

He’s the answer I have sought

He’s the one that I have truly been looking for 

And ignoring, but hear me say no more!

For I am not ashamed or embarrassed now

FOR he’s my happiness and my health

Yeah I will find him, won’t suppress these things I have felt, 

And when I find him I will have found myself. 

Keep your signs and your wonders to yourself 

Won’t be touched by the things you say 

There’s something better out there for me instead 

I’ve assembled my own world view, thank you

You let me down so it seems NOW we are through 

I’ve assembled my own world view, thank you. 

Blackout. Exeunt. 

*** INTERVAL ***

DURING INTERVAL: audience members are invited to be filmed (by a production team member) answering the questions: 1. What have you had to ‘come out’ as? (n.b. the answer does not have to relate to LGBTQ+ identities) 2. What would you say to your ‘pre-out’ self? 

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