Costume: Because the play will be set in and around a Prisoner Of War (POW) camp, many of the characters uniforms will be the same due to the mandatory uniform policy that had been set for NATO prisoners during present wars. However, the officers (captain Docherty, Lieutenant Brandy and Lieutenant Harrison) uniform will slightly differ as in the POW camps, all officers are entitled to wear service dress. POW Uniform Service Dress Synopsis
Upset by the soldiers and resources wasted in recapturing escaped prisoners of war, the MEC (Middle Eastern Coalition) High Command concentrates on a high-security prisoner of war camp that the commanding officer, Colonel Al-Abbes proclaims escape-proof. (The play is set in the year 1987) The MEC deliver to the camp a high ranking officer, Captain Docherty (Marlon Brando), warning him that he will be shot should he ever escape again. Docherty immediately plans another escape. – A tunnel system for exfiltrating 170 of the 320 prisoners of war.
At night, Randerson and Hilts, who are up drinking some tea debating whether the appointment of corporal Carlson as digging assistant was right, see Parkinson and Delilah sneaking into the showers. They decide to warn Brandy (Delilah’s father) of their sightings. Brandy is in a rage at what he hears. When the prisoners in camp are gardening with the other POW’s, the guards discover one of the tunnels. Teams of men are organised to survey, dig, hide soil, manufacture civilian clothing, forge documents, provide security and distractions, and get hold of contraband materials.
The worst of the work noise is covered from the men choir singing, and dirt from the tunnels is concealed in the men’s’ trousers and emptied in the gardens. Corporal Carlson (Sean Astin) finds ways to get whatever the others needs. Staff Sergeant Parkinson (Denzel Washington) is in charge of digging. The prisoners work on two escape tunnels (“Tango” & “Delta”) simultaneously. After the first tunnel (Hotel) is discovered, morale seriously drops low and Brandy is adamant that Parkinson should be held responsible. Brandy brings his accusations to Captain Docherty.
Captain Docherty knows that without Parkinson the completion of the tunnel will be difficult and therefore allows Parkinson to carry on his relationship with Delilah. He also puts Parkinson in charge of digging tunnel “Tango” and allows Delilah to accompany him. The POW’s abandon the first tunnel and put all their efforts into completing the second. The act finishes with Hilts procuring a plan to become Parkinson’s digging assistant. Act 1 Scene 1 27th April 1987. POW camp 01101. In block 27, opposite woman’s shower block. Enter Private Randerson and Corporal Hilts.
The men sit down at a table with two cups of tea. Randerson Look here Hilts, I don’t mean to put too fine a point on it. But that’s the fourth teabag of mine you’ve used. You’re acting as if what’s mine belongs to you. I’d hate to think you were using me… Hilts Easy now randy, I didn’t know you minded. Never dream of doing such a thing personally. Randerson I hope so. Say, what’s this I’ve been hearing ’bout that new Docherty blokes escape and evasion plan? Hilts Yeah, I heard he thinks he’s doing it by tunneling. He only came in two days ago and he’s got three working at once. Hotel, Tango and Delta.
Randerson Shame we’re not working on them isn’t it. Hilts Hmm… especially seeing as that Carlson fellow has been appointed. Have you heard? A fresh flipping’ logistics private that just come in a few weeks ago gets to be a god damn tunnel assistant! I mean, they had the choice between me, an experienced frontline soldier who’s had 4 years of experience and an officer bum lick who builds stuff. Who do they pick? The bum lick. I bet he’s a load of good down in the tunnel to them, with all his bookish theorems and whatnot. I bet ’twas Parkinson who appointed him, the man with whom I served in four operations.
I saved his black ass so many times back there and all he does is give me a job as his scrounger. Randerson By Jove, can’t you do anything about it? Hilts Nothing. That’s the blight of being a full screw. You get promoted when someone likes you, not because you’re next in orbat. Now, you tell me, should I feel loyal to the Moor? Randerson Shrugs quit life mate. Hilts No, relax. I’m biding my time. I know that I can’t be a staff, but I’m not saying we should follow them all either. Look at all the devoted soldiers who work for nothing but their rank, and then when they get old they’re discharged.
They are stupid. But then there’s another kind of soldier who looks dutiful and devoted, but who’s really looking out for himself. By pretending to be faithful, these men get far. And that’s the kind of guy I am. I intend to get Parkinson for what he’s done. Degrading me like some common soldier. I may seem to love and obey him, but in fact, I’m just serving him to get what I want. Parkinson will regret his actions. Randerson Don’t go doing anything stupid now. There have been enough deaths in this bleeding war. Hilts sighs, gets up and leans on the windowsill. Outside, S. Sgt Parkinson and L.
Corporal D. Smith sneak into the showers. A smile forms on Hilts’ face. Randerson What you smiling at? Cranes his head Hilts I don’t think Lieutenant Brandy will be too happy about his daughter getting off with some dark NCO. Randerson What! Do you mean… d’you mean you just saw them? Hilts Yes. Yes I did. How about we go for a walk eh? Randerson At this time? What do you achieve out of going for a walk at this time? Besides, the guards will bullock you if you’re caught. Hilts I think old Brandy would appreciate being told of our sightings. How’d you feel if your daughter was being done by Bantu?
Randerson You’re only doing this ‘cos you never got the appointment Hilts Smiles. To each his own and if this suits me, I will do as I wish. Hilts gets up and walks over to the door, he picks the lock and walks out warily, and he is followed shortly by Randerson. They set off towards block 32. They arrive their without any trouble. Randerson Well, here’s the block. I’ll wake him. Randerson walks forward and unlatches the window, he climbs into the block and disappears from view. Exeunt Randerson. After a moment the block door opens and Brandy and Randerson walk out. Enter Brandy and Randerson. Brandy
Yawns what’s happening? It’s all dark. Corporal Hilts? Is that you? Hilts Yes t’is. Let’s go to our block. It’s warm in there. The trio travel back to block 27 Brandy So, you wake me up and trundle me half way across the camp for what reason may I ask? I hope it’s not for him [points at Randerson] to ask my permission for his… lustful desires related to my daughter. If it is I’ll make sure you’re on sandbag duty for the rest of the week. Randerson scowls Hilts Lieutenant, you will soon wish the matter were as simple as that. Brandy Why? What has happened? Randerson I suggest that you brace yourself sir.
This may come as quite a shock. Hilts Staff sergeant Parkinson. What do you know of him may I ask sir? Brandy A very admirable man, he’s been on active duty all around the world. He’s tried to escape from this prison six times in-fact. Very audacious. Hilts Courageous enough to take your daughter and have sex with her behind your back. The room goes silent for a moment Brandy Never, no. I cannot believe that. Why are you saying this? Hilts What if I told you the crime was taking place less than twenty meters from where you’re standing Brandy What? Where? Hilts gestures towards the showers with his head.
Brandy How do you know of this? Hilts I saw them going in whilst talking to corporal Randerson here. Brandy This is the British army! We’re meant to be disciplined! Not a bunch of lascivious beasts. Randerson We thought it was better if you knew. Brandy You’d better not be pulling my leg corporal! You’re a Scotsman with a reputation for lying. Randerson And you’re a fat Welshman… sir. If the matter at hand happened with your approval then it was indeed very rude of us to wake you. However, if it did not, you have no cause to be mad at us. I’d never play pranks on you.
If you didn’t allow your daughter to do what she’s doing, then she’s rebelling against you, she’s disobeying a direct command from both her father and a senior rank. She’s throwing her life away on some stranger. Go ahead; see for yourself if she’s in the showers. If she isn’t, you can punch me for lying to you. Brandy I feared this would happen. I’m starting to believe what you are telling me. I fear my daughter has gone out of my control. I’ll have to take the matter to Captain Docherty. But for now, I will see whether you are lying to me. If I find either Parkinson or my daughter in their blocks I will take this to the CO.
I take my leave. Exeunt Brandy Hilts Good. Very good. Just as I predicted. it’d be better if I was not seen by Parkinson. I’ll go to bed. I would’ve stayed but it would not be proper for me to be seen working against Parkinson. Randerson What do you think Rupert’s going to do to Parkinson if Brandy complains? Hilts He’ll probably just give him a warning. Parkinson is needed for the Hilts looks around to make sure no one’s eavesdropping. For the escape attempt. He’s in charge of hotel you see Randerson What’s your policy going to be for now? Hilts I think I’ll appease him for now.
There’s no need for him to be suspicious at this early stage. There’s a noise from outside. Hilts I should go. If you need me anytime tomorrow I’ll be on gardening duty. Exeunt Hilts Enter Brandy looking defeated Brandy It appears you are telling the truth Corporal Randerson. I have failed in my one main objective. To wed my daughter to a man of some dignity. Tell me everything Randerson, what did you see? When? Are you certain you know their intentions? Have I taught her nothing? Oh……. He sinks onto a bed. Randerson What will you do sir? Brandy To think she could trick me so easily. Argh… I feel like such a fool.
In an imitation of Delilah’s voice “I promise I won’t do anything stupid daddy” and I fell for that! Randerson There will be a time to grieve sir, but now is not the time. Tell me what you intend to do. Brandy Tell me corporal, do you think they’ve actually done it? Randerson Yes, I’m afraid I couldn’t be more certain. Brandy I’ll see what Harrison thinks. God damn it Randy, I wish I’d let you have her now! I’ll have to take the matter to Captain Docherty. He must be notified that we have a lustful black beast among us. Randerson Yes, I think that is the best course of action Brandy Perhaps Parkinson got my daughter drunk.
Randerson May I remind you we’re in a prison sir? Silence precedes these words Brandy I will keep you informed of my dealings with Parkinson, but thank you corporal for telling me of this ordeal. I will try to get something out of this for you. Now we should go to bed, Docherty expects us to dig another 20 feet tomorrow! Cheerio. Exeunt Brandy. Lights turn off covering Randerson in darkness. Scene 2 28th of April 1987. Enter Parkinson and Hilts talking quietly among two sections. Sections carrying various gardening tools walking towards green area whilst being escorted by ten armed guards. Hilts
I know that murder is wrong colour. But last night I had a burning desire to strangle that Rupert with my bare hands. Parkinson Don’t get into any trouble on my account Hilts The things he was saying, you should have heard colour. If there’s one thing I hate it’s a racist and he commented on your race so often I felt like killing him there and then. Anyway… what has he done so far? Are you and Delilah… sorry, corporal smith still together? Parkinson There is no need for the formalities at this moment. Please, talk freely. Hilts But are you and smith still together? Parkinson Yes, yes. We trust each other.
We’d walk off the face of the earth for each other if we had to. Hilts Colour, do not under estimate Brandy. He has a lot of influence over the battalion. He’ll try to ruin your relationship, or else give you whatever punishment captain Docherty and his commission will allow him to. Parkinson Let him try. My worth to Captain Docherty is more than his complaints ever will be. Not many know of this, but Lieutenant Harrison’s my nephew. Brandy will not be able to use him in his… campaign to arrest me. And let me tell you this, I love Delilah, and she loves me. Nothing as weak as Brandy will ever split us apart.