High Tea With His Excellency by Robert Joseph Ahola


A proper English Baron stranded in a small Texas town regularly takes "high tea" with the local country club ladies, only to have their reverie interrupted by a crude but colorful oil tycoon and his na�ve legal counsel. But this time�when "High Tea" trickles into the cocktail hour, and the "cocktail hour" develops into a drunken symposium�The Baron Raymond Van Peldt and the oil tycoon Ira "Candy" Cane challenge the Thursday afternoon "Tea Ladies" to a bout of Truth or Dare, and end up getting far more than they bargained for. Suitable for Adults.* *Gender Bias, Prejudice, Homophobia, Bisexuality, Unfettered Erotic Fantasy, Anti-Semitism, Unrequited Love, Thinly Concealed Lust, Voyeurism, Hidden Pasts, Snappy Dialogue Stuffed with Innuendo, Genuine Denouement, Strong Spiritual Undertones and a Highly Poetic Cast of Characters who refuse to play with the cards life has dealt them - HIGH TEA has it all*


* WARNING: It also contains unconditional love, personal transformation, ultimate redemption, and large doses of both humanity and humor – plus a couple of wonderfully corny solo songs accompanied by a flamenco harpsichord.


Cast of Characters

  • The Baron - “His Excellency Raymond Emanuel Van Pelt”: He is a gentleman, a scholar, and a total misfit, “drawn into this purgatory of a town, as if by the ordination of a karmic debt.” An elegant aristocrat his late sixties, The Baron reflects an era which by now few people either remember or care about. He also harbors dark secrets about his past that are certain to come out, especially when they are provoked to do so.

  • Constance McClure: A woman who clearly refuses to accept life as it is presented to her, Constance is a woman in her fifties who longs for the glories of a gentler time, and will do everything in her power to see that it is revisited as often as possible. A kind of innocent who earlier spent her youth as a married mans mistress, she acknowledges the drudgery of life but refuses to surrender to it.

  • lan: Constance’s cousin. A beautiful young woman whom many suspect is still a virgin at thirty. She has an aesthetic soul and a certain need to revisit the poetry of life that her birth into this time and place has denied her. Taunted for being “the ice queen,” she harbors secrets and fantasies that cry out to be revealed, and will be – today at High Tea.

  • Rhonda De La Roca: A seemingly ageless femme fatale, she plays flamenco music on the harpsichord which she accompanies with a mongrelized Spanish that passes for lyrics while she reminiscences about her many ex-husbands that she uses to pepper the conversation. Candid about her romantic affairs, especially with the race driver “The Baron” Alfonso de Portago, she loves playing the agent provocateur to get others to “put your passion on display for all the world to see.”

  • Ira “Candy” Cain: Real name Ira Cohen, “Candy” is an oil tycoon, cattle baron, and nominated by the Baron as “the crudest white collar worker,” in America. He is also declared by his sister-in-law, “Connie” to be, “the most generous and compassionate man on this planet.” Ira Cain is also a man for whom truth is a citadel, and reality the only point of reference. It is a conviction he is willing to foist upon others, no matter how it roils them for him to do so. He is a large powerfully built man in his sixties, yet with a middle-aged softness that implies a lack of exercise.

  • Patrick Dalton: Candy Cain’s congenitally kind but inveterately tactless young legal counsel, Patrick, like Dostoyevsky’s Idiot, seems able speak only the truth, no matter what the cost of his doing so. His kindness is only exceeded by his flawless instinct for saying the wrong thing at precisely the right time. Both are surpassed by his undying affection for Elan, which he is inclined to share often and at his own expense.

  • Aunt Noreen: A cynical old dame who considers herself an aristocrat, she doesn’t like anybody very much. At 86, she doesn’t mind telling everyone what she thinks and doesn’t care much whoever she offends in the process. There is a sense of her that she will probably live forever and complain the whole time.

The Setting

There are two sets for this play.

  • Constance McClure’s Living Room. Props: The special requirements for props would include a breakfront (with a drop-leaf for a bar), and either a harpsichord or a baby grand piano.

  • The Balcony, Atrium and Garden. This set may be presented fully, or played as an adjacent portion of the same single set. The garden and atrium may be fully presented or merely implied. As it is designed for the purposes of this play, the balcony is the focus of action for all the action on this set. (A fly-space could be ideal for this set, though not all houses have them.)

Also available from this Playwright


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