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Angel: Take This Body Monologues / Extracts



Angel, a 35 minute one-man play by Martin Foreman, depicts the spiritual and sexual agony of a middle-aged priest. It begins with the priest welcoming an unseen guest into his home. Over a glass of wine a conversation slowly begins. The unseen visitor is young, confident, enigmatic; the priest is nervous, unable to settle, his attention returning again and again to the Virgin and Crucifix that watch over him.


This is a rare depiction of conflict between desire and faith and the spiritual agony that celibacy imposes. It should be noted that the conflict does not involve child abuse.


Conditions of use


The monologue and extracts on this page may be used without charge for auditions and teaching only. They may not be used in any public performance,
Angel  by Martin Foreman


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To apply for performance rights for part or all of the play, contact the author here.

pp9 - 13 The Priest begins to open up about women


Believe it or not, I know women Ė and not just because Iím chaplain in a girlís school, with all the teachers and mothers. My whole life Iíve been surrounded by women. Everywhere I go there are women. I need only stand outside the church for a few minutes and some womaníll come up to me. For advice. To gossip. To offer help if they think Iím lost. Men donít do that. Men keep their distance.


Then there are the women who ask ďare you happy being a priest, Father?Ē Itís usually the young ones, but not always. You know what they mean even if theyíre too shy to say it. Some come straight out with it: ďAre you never tempted, Father?Ē


Most of the time itís curiosity, but sometimes itís . . . an invitation. You can see it in their eyes, wide open, searching. Their body language, so subtle youíd hardly notice it. Chest a little forward. Their mouth almost offering a kiss. What they really want to know is are they so feminine they have the power to seduce even a man of the cloth?


What do I tell them? Weíre all tempted, I say, but prayer can save us all from sin.


And yet, you know something, Michael?


Most of the time it was me, not them, that wanted to sin, that was desperate to sin. I would want every woman I saw, teenager, grandmother, all the ages in between. I would long for warm skin and flowing hair, light perfumes and earthier scents. My eyes would be lured by breasts and rumps, high heels and make-up, all the symbols of femininity.


For ten or more years, Michael, night after night, I made love to women. My hand rested on firm ripe bosoms; my mouth kissed soft red lips. I unzipped skirts and watched them fall, flicked open bra clasps with agile fingers. Again and again in that bed upstairs, I satiated my lust with every woman who crossed my path and took my fancy.



pp13 more about women


In my early teens it was an occasional request, asking the Almighty to send me a girl, any girl, I might love. By the time I was twenty, and throughout my training, I begged every night for a woman to fulfill me. If there might be just one, I pledged, one woman whose body and soul enticed me, I would give up my vocation for the peace that she offered. If she were married I would swear my chastity to her. Whatever sin she had committed, I would absolve her. Whoever that woman might be, I would devote my life to her, for whatever hell she might cast me into would be heaven compared to the hell in which I lived.



pp23 - 25 attracted to a man


You left, untouched, and I congratulated myself. A week later, I called you back. This time, I touched your hair, held your body and buried my head in your neck. You responded gently, as if with a lover. Suddenly angry with my desire and your complicity, I pushed you away, poured another drink and insisted we talk about something, anything, art, music, the strength of Beethoven, the lure of the French romantics. Anything to keep us apart. And another hour passed and I gave you money and you left.



pp29 spiritual conflict


I remember you saying that the longing for God and the fear of God are no proof that God exists. We were in the kitchen, drinking the same bad shiraz. Those words have haunted me ever since. At the time, I retorted with Pascal's Wager - if you believe in God and he doesn't exist you have lost nothing; if you believe in him and he does exist, you have won everything. You made no response then but the next time we met you pointed out that Pascal's Wager demonstrates not God's existence but man's despair.







Arbery Publications is an offshoot of Arbery Books, the UK's premier dealer of old and rare books & ephemera of lesbian, gay and transgender interest.


The playscripts published by Arbery Publications were first produced by Arbery Productions.





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