PROTHEROE - THE MOVIE
A film script adapted from an original short story from the pen of Sean O'Hare "A Visit from Miss Protheroe".
THE SCENE IS A TRADITIONAL MENS BARBERSHOP WITH A SINGLE OCCUPANT ...
[Sharon, is a woman in her early 30s, dressed in white jeans and a skimpy black top. She has long blonde hair, worn loose and sits in her barber's chair facing the camera]
Sharon: Hi everyone. My name is Sharon, I work in this small barbershop. Today I am expecting a special client. I posted a message on the internet offering free haircuts. I know it sounds strange but I have what is known as a hair fetish.
I really enjoy cutting hair short, particularly womens' hair although I get very little opportunity working here.
But last week I received a response a woman, a Miss Protheroe, who said she was thinking of changing her hairstyle and, once she learnt I worked a barbershop, she seemed even keener on paying me a visit. And so I am now awaiting a visit from Miss Protheroe ...".
[A bell tinkles and Sharon smiles broadly, and stands up as the door of the barbershop opens. A tall, elegant woman in her mid 30s marches in. Her glossy black hair is tightly pulled back from the hairline, and is swept up into an elegant updo. She is wearing a smart black and white, checked suit - the skirt at least 6 inches above the knee, the jacket tightly pinched in at the waist and covering a simple and barely visible black, silk top. An xpensive loop of large pearls circles her neck, and a lot of gold hangs from her wrists, her ears and on her fingers]
Miss P: "Protheroe! Miss Janet Protheroe. I believe you were expecting me"
[They shake hands]
Sharon: "Yes indeed Miss Protheroe. I'm VERY pleased to see you".
Miss P: "Well Sharon, where would you like me? Here? Gosh, this is rather comfortable isn't it. I always feel they look so cold and uninviting, don't you? Not that I've ever sat in one before. Yes, most satisfactory".
[Sharon raises the chair higher]
Miss P: "Ooo, gosh, that's nice. Are you trying to make it difficult for me to run away?".
Sharon: "Er, no. Do you want to run away?"
Miss P: "Just teasing".
[Both women smile. Miss P moves her right hand to smooth a non-existent unruly hair on her hairline and she then pats the elegant knot at her crown]
Sharon: "Your hair is very elegant. Do you style it youself?"
Miss P: "Yes I do and it takes forever. So, young lady, I want you to cut it nice and short. I understand from our conversation you will enjoy cutting it all off. So, would you care to start?".
Sharon: "Yes, of course Miss Protheroe. May I take your jacket".
Miss P: "Thank you".
[Miss P slips it off revealing the simple black top which barely covers all it needs to. It is supported by two extremely thin straps and her smooth, white shoulders and much of her back is laid bare. She fingers the pearls which now lie on her long, elegant neck]
Sharon: "May I take down your hair?".
Miss P: "Please do".
[Sharon stands behind her and studies her hairstyle to work out where all the grips and assorted ironmongery would be hidden to hold up such an elegant style. She snaps open a couple of large clips and watches, amazed, as wave after wave of hair tumbles down. Instinctively Sharon reaches out to catch the hair as it is released]
Miss P: "You don't need to catch it. It's still attached ... well, at the moment".
[Masses of thick, black, glossy hair covers her shoulders, the back of the chair and reaches halfway to the floor. Sharon picks up a brush and begin to smooth it through]
Sharon: "You have very beautiful hair Miss Protheroe".
Miss P: "Thank you. Yes I do and that's a problem".
[Miss P lightly runs the long, blood red fingernails of both hands through the crown hair]
Sharon: "Really? It seems ...".
Miss P: "It is just about perfect - I know that - but of course I can not wear it loose. Not like this, can I".
Sharon: "Why is that?".
Miss P: "From pigtails at school, to ponytails at college, to buns at work. I've always worn it that way. It only takes minutes to style too - so much practice at putting up, you see - so I can't use that as an excuse for a restyle and hence the problem".
Sharon: "But, you can ...".
Miss P: "I will admit to you I've always had a thing about hair, long hair in particular. Don't ask me to explain it. When I first got access to the Internet I realised I wasn't alone and enjoyed talking about my hair, talking to other about theirs and picking up hints and tips for hair care. But then I found some of the other sites - the short hair sites - and found I was equally absorbed by them. Talk of haircutting, the photos and video clips of makeovers - it all seemed so different. A whole new world. And such fun. And of course that's where I found you. So here I am".
[Miss P's elegant, confident, no nonsense manner seems to have dropped a little. She has pulled a lock of her over her shoulder and it passes over the black silk top and curls in her lap. She fingers it nervously]
Sharon: "Indeed you are here. So what can I do for you, Miss Protheroe?"
[Miss P stares straight ahead. She still fingers the lock of hair she has separated from the rest. She gives a little cough]
Miss P: "I would like you to cut off all my hair".
Sharon: "Into a bob perhaps, or something a little longer".
Miss P: "ALL my hair, Sharon. I wish you to cut off all this".
[She places both hands at her nape as she says this, and then flicks up all her hair and it falls
back precisely in the same position]
Miss P: "So that it is short. Very short".
Sharon: "Very well. If you are quite sure then I will be pleased to".
Miss P: "Excellent. Then please proceed".
Sharon: "Very well".
[Sharon begins to brush her hair once more, this time from a centre parting with as much lying in front of her shoulders as down her back. She reaches down to a drawer under the counter and removes a case containing lesser used haircutting tools. She selects a large pair of scissors that are rarely used. They look new and shiny ... and very sharp. Sharon tests the scissors with a few sample clicks]
Miss P: "Oh my! They look rather efficient".
Sharon: "I shall use these to remove the bulk of your hair. They are very sharp and so it shouldn't take too long, even to cut through such thick hair as you possess ...
Or perhaps I should say as you currently possess".
Miss P: "I suppose you should say that".
[Sharon separates and lift a three inch chunk of hair and place the scissors just above her shoulders. She looks in the mirror enquiringly]
Miss P: "Now Sharon did I not say I wanted it cut SHORT!".
Sharon: "Yes, but I thought ...".
Miss P: "Did you indeed. I see - 'you thought'. Rather than questioning what I have asked you to do. Please raise the scissors higher".
[The scissors glide slowly along the hair shaft. They finally come to rest just above her ear]
Miss P: "Ooh, they are, er ...ooh".
[Miss P's expression has changed slightly - a mix of perhaps excitement, even a little fear. There is a pause as neither speaks or moves]
Sharon: "I'm now going to cut your hair Miss Protheroe".
Miss P: "Please do Sharon". [Another short pause] "I'm waiting. Will you please cut off my hair".
[The scissors close. Schnick! The hair is now severed and Miss P takes it, placing it on the bare knee of her crossed leg]
Miss P: Sharon! Thank you, but you still have a way to go".
[The next lock is severed from her temple. Her right ear is permanently exposed as the the severed ends of the hair fall away. She adds it to the first. The cutting continues without further words. The quality of her hair is such that it falls into a neat bowl shaped bob - a precise line forming just above her ear. All the hair brushed in front of her right shoulder was now removed]
Sharon: "How are you feeling Miss Protheroe. You appear quite relaxed".
Miss P: "Somewhat nervous actually, but rather excited too. I've wanted to have my hair cut short for some time, but I can't really believe it's happening. That I'm sitting in a barbershop and a barber is chopping off all my hair. I wonder if I am doing the right thing". [She holds up the hair she has collected in her lap] "It is so long and beautiful isn't it".
Sharon: "Yes it is. You are certainly a very brave woman. I can't imagine many other women so willing to risk their whole appearance by cutting off the hair most women would die for!".
Miss P: "Do you think so. Do you really think it is such a big risk. Oh dear".
Sharon: "Don't worry. It will be fine".
[Sharon rests a hand on her now bare shoulder and she smiles back rather nervously. Sharon moves to the other side, lifts the first lock and snips it off. Then the rest. An enormous collection of hair has been gathered on her knee. Miss P is carressing it. Sharon moves behind her now and gathers the mass of hair that still streams down behind her. Held like that, it appears she sports a very short bob]
Sharon: "Hmmm, looking good Miss Protheroe but there's still a lot of hair to remove. I'll cut all this off in one go. The last of your long hair".
Miss P: "Very well". [Sharon pulls it taut and slides the scissors in at the nape and attempt to close them] "Oooh, you are pulling rather hard".
Sharon: "I'm sorry. If you would lean forward and keep your hair taut then it will come away much more easily. That's better, thank you".
[The scissors are closed and a few strands are severed. She is leaning forward and tugging against the grip. A slight grimace crosses her face but this is mixed with a smile - almost a grin. A final cut and her head jumps forward]
Miss P: "Ohhhhh, wow!".
[Sharon hands her a ponytail to match the hair collected on her lap. She grips the hair but runs her other hand through the remnants of her hair]
Miss P: "Oh! Gosh! I've really done it haven't I. Phew!".
Sharon: "Well, you're getting there!".
[Sharon takes a comb and begin to run it through roughly cut bob. She sections off the hair at the crown and comb down the hair at the back and the sides from a parting a couple of inches above her ears. She picks up her heavy duty clippers and adjusts the blades]
Sharon: "Please hold these while I place a cape around your neck".
Miss P: "Will you be using these ... on me".
Sharon: "Oh yes, Miss Protheroe. The style I have in mind is very short at the back and sides. All this will go". [She passes her hand through the hair at her neck] "Is that OK?".
Miss P: "I ... I, er".
Sharon: "Very well".
[A cape is fixed securely around Miss P and Sharon retrieves the clippers, turns them on and places them at her nape]
Miss P: "Oh, I say!". [The clippers pause] "Mmmm, I ... oh gosh. I ...".
Sharon: "OK, I'll now shave your neck".
[After a short pause the clippers slowly move up Miss P's neck]
Miss P: "Ohhhh!. Gosh, that tickles!".
[The clippers finish their first pass and chunks of hair fall on to the cape]
Miss P: "Oh my!".
[The cape moves and the hair falls to the floor. The nape is then slowly laid bare followed by the sides. Miss P's eyes are half closed. Finally the clippers are silenced]
Sharon: "I'm now going to layer the crown hair to contrast with the clippered back and sides".
Miss P: "Very well. But not too short?"
[The hair at the crown is now released, dampened a little and combed through before being layered]
Sharon: "Hmmm, well not TOO short".
[The layers at the cut leaving a step high up the back. The fringe is combed forward. The scissors are placed on the eyebrows and then slowly raised until only half an inch from the hairline]
Miss P: "No surely not!"
[The scissors close. A few longers tendrils are left but the rest of the fringe is reduced to
the same length]
Sharon: "Oh yes, that's much better. And now to texturise the top".
Miss P: "Texturise?".
[The scissors appear to cut haphazardly into the crown hair leaving some short lengths, and some a little longer]
Sharon: "And now to shave the hairline".
[The smaller edging clippers shave around the hairline and around the ears with a high pitched whine. The clippers are finally turned off and, without a word, the cape is whisked away. Sharon stands behind Miss P and they both look in to the mirror with Sharon holding up a hand mirror to show the back]
Miss P: "Wow, that is short". [A pause] "I love it".
Sharon: "I'm so pleased".
[Miss P gets up and Sharon helps her on with her jacket]
Miss P: "Thank you so muchSharon. So what do I owe you?".
Sharon: "Nothing Miss Protheroe. I offered a free haircut. It was my pleasure".
Miss P: "Ah, yes you did. Well perhaps I could buy you a drink. If you've finished here".
Sharon: "Well that would be rather nice. Shall we go".
[Sharon and Miss P walk out of the barbershop together]