A Clip of Roy

In this clip we see a number of the protagonists from ‘In the Bosom of Roy‘ (Show #1 in the Dash Dash Dash series) demonstrating their readiness for service in a succession of what will be challenging but quite irresolvable situations.

An Introduction and the scripts of the six Dash shows can be found in the Archive list to your right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RARuj5Q6PG4

Dash #6: Gush

The characters:
Roy – Chris Newland
Dean – Gareth Brierley
Gina – Jude Barrington-Smuts
Nina – Abigail Davis

GINA I was talking with Roy. Or someone very like him.
DEAN What’s he up to?
GINA He said he had been experiencing the need to murder.
DEAN Did he mention anyone that he had in mind?
GINA No. He said that it was rarely personal.
DEAN Ah.
GINA He said that his anger was of a generalised nature and, in consequence, he felt no need to particularise.
DEAN Except, of course, at the last minute.
GINA At that point, I grant you, it does become rather personal.
DEAN Is Roy still even-handed?
GINA He says that it is of no consequence whether he murders a woman or a man.
DEAN Which is refreshing.
GINA It is. So often we hear of men concentrating on women.
DEAN He is a misanthropist – no more, no less.
GINA Less fucked up.
DEAN Oh yes.
GINA He said he might pop round.
(A KNOCK AT THE DOOR)
That may be him.
THE DOOR OPENS AND A FIGURE ENTERS.
AS HE DOES SO A LARGE AMOUNT OF BLOOD CASCADES ONTO HIM FROM A TANK ABOVE THE DOOR. THE TANK IS UNOBTRUSIVE. IT HAS A QUICK RELEASE MECHANISM OF SOME SORT WHICH IS ACTIVATED WHEN THE DOOR IS OPENED.
THE FIGURE IS VERY BLOODY INDEED. MUCH BLOODIER THAN ANY CHARACTER HAS BEEN IN DASH DASH DASH SO FAR.
GINA Roy. How nice to see you.
ROY You too.
GINA You remember Dean?
ROY Of course.
DEAN Good to see you again, Roy.
ROY And you. (TO GINA) Gina, can I freshen up?
GINA Be my guest. (SHE INDICATES AN UPSTAGE AREA)
ROY FEELS (NECESSARILY) HIS WAY TOWARDS A WHITE TILED AREA (SITUATED AS FAR UPSTAGE AS POSSIBLE).
HIS PATH IS BLOCKED BY A WHITE SOFA, WHICH HE FALLS AGAINST THEN CLIMBS OVER, LEAVING BLOODSTAINS ON THE UPHOLSTERY.
GINA Don’t worry. I do it all the time!
ARRIVING IN THE TILED AREA HE WIPES HIS FACE WITH A TOWEL.
LOUD, BANGING TECHNO IS PLAYED.
ROY DANCES WITH ABANDON, SPLATTERING THE TILES WITH BLOOD.
HE REJOINS THE OTHERS DOWNSTAGE.
DEAN Gina tells me you’ve a lot on your mind.
ROY It comes and goes.
GINA Is it controllable?
ROY That’s not really how I look at it. They are just desires.
DEAN Can you satisfy them?
ROY Absolutely. I evacuate them.
GINA Which reminds me: Nina is on one of her rare journeys.
ROY Do I know her?
GINA She is an interior decorator.
DEAN She took one of my outer areas and enclosed it.
ROY That’s not easy.
DEAN She should be here momently.
A VERY LONG PAUSE. THE LONGEST PAUSE IN THE DASH DASH DASH SERIES SO FAR.
A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.
PAUSE
GINA Who is it?
SFX OF A TERRIBLE, DEAFENING, GROANING ROAR.
BLACKOUT
ENTER NINA
GINA Nina?
NINA Gina?
SOUNDS OF NINA FINDING HER WAY ROUND THE SPACE.
A LOUD BANG AND A TINKLING OF GLASS.
LIGHTS UP.
NINA IS STANDING IN THE CENTRE OF THE ROOM.
GINA Nina!
NINA Gina!
DEAN (INDICATING ROY) This is Roy.
ROY I’m Roy.
NINA How are you?
GINA Roy is a man of some turbulence.
ROY I’m sure Nina doesn’t want to hear about that.
NINA Private is as private does.
DEAN Nina is an interior decorator.
ROY How’s it going?
NINA It’s tremendous.
ROY It must be very satisfying to have an interior.
NINA Are you not of fixed abode, Roy?
ROY I find them labour intensive.
GINA Which is where you come in, Nina.
ROY Where does she come in?
DEAN She comes in with her portfolio of skills, Roy.
GINA She is able to weigh up a person then outfit their personal spaces.
ROY Outfit?
DEAN Fit out. Bedeck.
GINA Adorn.
ROY What sort of space is that has no roof, no walls, just an accumulation of effects?
NINA Is that your place, Roy?
ROY Well, it is.
NINA What would you keep in it?
ROY A shallow tray. A small number of maps. Some liquids. An old photograph, not of anyone that I knew. A telephone book. A foot stool. A packet of clips. A hand mirror. Some stones. My socks. My coat. A hat that I would sometimes wear. A nail scissors. A tongue cleaner. One or two ointments. A brush for hair. A brush for clothes. A brush for teeth. A brush for floors. A brush for dishes. Some dishes. My cup. A torch. A ball of twine. A ticket. A pass. A small pot of earth. A mat bearing a crest. A frame containing a reproduction. A magazine rack containing copies of ‘This Car’ and ‘That Place’. The cans have no labels. The card of the packets is rubbed. The vodka is half full half empty. Pennies. Halfpennies. Some bags. A plaid and wheeled shopping cart. A volume of the Forsyte Saga. Newspapers that I have studied. ‘The Bugle.’ ‘The Herald.’ ‘The Clarion.’ ‘The Beacon.’ ‘The Brightness.’ ‘The Planet.’ Reference books with a great deal of facts and information. Certain weapons. Some wax.
NINA Roy.
NINA GOES TO ROY AND EMBRACES HIM. THEY KISS AND FONDLE EACH OTHER WITH INCREASING PASSION, OBLIVIOUS TO THE OTHERS.
NINA’S CLOTHES AND EXPOSED SKIN ARE STAINED WITH THE BLOOD THAT COVERS ROY.

1918327_112284408809215_5981085_n

GINA I’ll find some biscuits.
DEAN (LOOKING TOWARDS THE DRESSER) I see a tin from here.
GINA GOES TO THE DRESSER AND, ON TIPTOE, REACHES FOR THE BISCUIT TIN WHICH IS UP ON A HIGH SHELF. SHE INCHES IT TOWARDS HER AND EASES OFF THE LID, WHEREUPON ITS CONTENTS, A QUANTITY OF BRIGHT BLUE PAINT, SPILL ONTO HER HEAD AND SHOULDERS.
SHE PUTS THE EMPTY TIN ON THE DRESSER.
GINA I know they’re somewhere.
(SHE OPENS A DRAWER AND FINDS A PLATE BEARING SOME PLAIN DIGESTIVES.)
Ah!
(SHE TAKES THE PLATE OVER TO THE SOFA ON WHICH ROY AND NINA ARE STILL EMBRACING. SHE PLACES IT ON THE END OF THE SOFA.)
I’ll leave them here.
GINA WALKS UPSTAGE AND STEPS INTO THE TILED AREA WHERE A CLEAN WHITE TOWEL AWAITS HER. SHE MAY NEED TO WIPE HER FACE.
LOUD TECHNO MUSIC.
GINA DANCES FORCEFULLY, SPLATTERING THE TILES WITH BLUE PAINT.
THE MUSIC AND DANCING STOP.
DEAN Gina! I’ll make some cupcakes!
GINA Dean! You’re so fucking handy!
DEAN My mother was firm but practical. My father was weak and unable to satisfy her.
DEAN MAKES HIS WAY TO THE DRESSER
GINA Is that nature or nurture? I get so confused. Can you find everything?
ROY AND NINA STOP EMBRACING.
ROY IS NOW QUITE COLD AND INTIMIDATING.
DEAN IS SEARCHING FOR THE EQUIPMENT HE WILL NEED (A MIXING BOWL, SOME FLOUR ETC).
ROY (WITH QUIET MENACE) Are you saying, Dean, that there is more of your mother in you than there is of your father?
DEAN I don’t know how one might substantiate it, Roy, but that is my feeling.
DEAN FINDS A TIN ON A HIGH SHELF. BEFORE REMOVING IT HE OPENS THE LID. FLOUR CASCADES FROM THE TIN ALL OVER HIS HEAD AND SHOULDERS.
TO THE STRAINS OF MOURNFUL VIOLIN MUSIC DEAN, BEAUTIFULLY BACKLIT, SHAKES HIS HEAD AND BEATS THE FLOUR FROM HIS GARMENTS. IT RISES IN CLOUDS AROUND HIM.
ROY If I felt, Dean, that there was a woman in me, I would fuck myself. Do you see me fucking myself?
NINA Roy – Dean speaks figuratively, I suspect.
ROY Nina – I have searched your mouth hungrily with my tongue. I have felt you tremble under my heat. Out of a sense of decorum – not something to which I normally succumb – I have refrained from sliding my hand between your pale, taut thighs. I knew that you were out there, Nina, not in my fucking mind.
NINA Roy – I have opened myself to your questing appetites. I have bucked against your fuckmoves. I have felt the hot urgency of your rigid resolve. But a stoat cannot shag a zebra, Roy. If we were not already attuned to the presence of our opposites in ourselves then all our intimacies would be shit on a stick.
DEAN Nina, Roy – I have watched your eager coupling from across the room. I have heard the moans and fractured breaths and I have seen the hot feels as they were openly enacted. And I said to myself: what more evidence is required to substantiate the proposition that in every woman is the shadow of the male and in every man vice versa?
GINA Now, Dean – that is psychological!
DEAN Yes – it does pop out sometimes.
ROY Dean, Nina, Gina – with the greatest respect: fuck that shit! I have holidayed in the Falklands, I have shaved with my fingernails, I have camped out on cold coasts under polythene. Would this have been possible if I carried within me not even the shadow but the slightest trace of woman?
GINA Roy! I am sure none of us here wishes to impugn your scorched hardness. Your reputation for emotionless butchery is continental in its breadth.
ROY Let us say that I became aware that there is woman within me. (TURNING TO NINA) I believe that when I was inventorising earlier I mentioned my knife.
NINA Yes.
ROY I would take that knife and cut into myself and I would search myself with that blade until I came upon woman and I would cut it out and I would cast it down.
DEAN Fuck.
ROY And you would be wise to do similar, Dean. Looking into yourself there is something that throws into blur all that is sharp. What do you say?
DEAN I’m not sure.
NINA Roy, there is man in me and I am relaxed with that.
ROY So – I am homosexual.
NINA This is not my view.
ROY But I’m afraid it is, Nina. I have just lain with you hotly and with thrust movements. Yet there is man in you. Somewhere between the glistening arteries , tubules and cavities of what you call your interior is the acrid merciless metal of man. Have I been lying with that man, Nina?
NINA It is that man who understands the man that is you, Roy.
ROY I am not understood by men!
DEAN Roy, perhaps a cupcake would help.
ROY Fuck your cupcakes! I crush your cupcakes!
NINA PRODUCES A BASEBALL BAT (OF THE STYROFOAM ‘FUN’ VARIETY)
NINA I’m afraid I made a mistake, Roy. I was bewitched by your earlier itemisation. Now I see what you are.
SHE SWINGS THE BAT AND DELIVERS A BLOW TO THE BACK OF ROY’S HEAD.
ROY STAGGERS AND DRAWS A LARGE HUNTING KNIFE.
HE RUSHES AT GINA (NOT NINA) AND SEIZES HER, HOLDING THE KNIFE AGAINST HER THROAT.
DEAN Roy – it’s just a question of interpretation!
GINA SEIZES ROY’S NUTS AND SQUEEZES. HE ROARS WITH PAIN.
SHE ESCAPES HIS GRASP.

1918327_112284395475883_4872028_n

GINA Nice cupcakes, motherfucker!
ROY LASHES OUT IN THE DIRECTION OF DEAN, WHO RETREATS UPSTAGE AND TAKES A ROLLING PIN FROM THE DRESSER.
NINA TAKES ANOTHER SWING AT ROY AND CONNECTS AGAIN.
NINA It’s the man in me, dickbrain!
DEAN (BRANDISHING THE ROLLING PIN) Come on, Roy – you know you want some!
ROY DASHES UPSTAGE TO ATTACK DEAN.
DEAN KNOCKS THE KNIFE OUT OF ROY’S HAND WITH THE ROLLING PIN.
THE TWO MEN GRAPPLE IN THE TILED AREA.
GINA Go for his eyes, Dean!
NINA Gouge the fucker, Dean!
WITH GREAT EFFORT ROY MANAGES TO PUSH DEAN OFF.
AT THE POINT THAT THEY DISCONNECT, A TANK ABOVE THEM IN THE TILED AREA IS ACTIVATED, COVERING BOTH COMBATANTS IN BRIGHT YELLOW PAINT.
NINA & Yella yella smelly fella
GINA Up your arse like a rolled umbrella!
Fuckin mustard fuckin busterd
How’d you like to fuck dis custard?
NINA MOVES UPSTAGE AND BEATS ROY OVER AND OVER WITH THE BAT WHILST SCREAMING DEMENTEDLY.
DEAN PRODUCES A SLAPSTICK (’a device made of two flat pieces of wood fastened at one end so as to make a loud noise when used by an actor to strike a person’) AND BELABOURS ROY ALSO.
LOUD TECHNO MUSIC NOW ACCOMPANIES THE SCENE.
THE CRASHBOX (BACKSTAGE) IS USED LIBERALLY AT NON-RHYTHMIC INTERVALS.
NINA ROAMS THE STAGE WITH HER BAT, LASHING OUT RANDOMLY AND ROARING. IF ROY EVER RAISES HIS HEAD SHE BATTERS HIM DOWN.
GINA SIMPLY SCREAMS AND FLAILS HER ARMS.

1918327_112284388809217_7429369_n

ROY WRESTS THE SLAPSTICK FROM DEAN AND WHACKS HIM A COUPLE OF TIMES BUT IS ATTACKED IN TURN BY GINA WHO SEIZES THE SLAPSTICK AND SLAPS HIM ABOUT.
ROY BREAKS AWAY AND STARTS TO CRAWL TOWARDS THE DRESSER.
GINA PULLS DEAN TO HER. THEY EMBRACE PASSIONATELY THEN, AFTER A WHILE, SINK TO THE FLOOR WHERE THEY UNDULATE.
ROY GRASPS THE FRONT OF THE DRESSER AND PULLS HIMSELF TO HIS FEET.
HE SPOTS A WEAPONISABLE BOTTLE ON AN UPPER SHELF AND REACHES UP FOR IT.
NINA SEES WHAT HE’S UP TO AND MOVES ACROSS TO STOP HIM.
AS SHE GRABS HIM, ROY LUNGES FOR THE BOTTLE AND A TANK SITUATED IN THE SHELVING (PERHAPS DISGUISED AS COOKERY BOOKS OR SOMETHING) IS ACTIVATED, SPILLING GREAT AMOUNTS OF BLACK
PAINT OVER BOTH COMBATANTS.
GINA AND DEAN JUMP TO THEIR FEET.
THE TECHNO KNOB GOES UP TO ELEVEN.
ALL FOUR FIGURES MOVE UPSTAGE INTO THE TILED AREA, SHOUTING AND ROARING.
THE TILING IS LIBERALLY SPLATTERED WITH PAINT OF SEVERAL HUES.
THEY STAND ABREAST FACING DOWNSTAGE AND DANCE WITH GREAT AND GRIM INTENT WHILST EMITTING SHORT SAVAGE CRIES AT RANDOM INTERVALS.
THEY DANCE FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES
THE MUSIC IS CUT. THE DANCING STOPS. SILENCE.
THERE FOLLOWS A PERIOD OF READJUSTMENT.
THIS CONSISTS OF THE SOILED FIGURES UNHURRIEDLY WALKING, CRAWLING OR LIMPING TO THE SOFA WHERE THEY SIT GAZING OUT IN THE DIRECTION OF THE AUDIENCE.
THEY WIPE THEIR FACES, EXAMINE THEMSELVES, ADJUST THEIR CLOTHING, SPIT PAINT OUT, PUSH CLOTTED HAIR FROM THEIR BROWS ETC.
THIS CAN TAKE A WHILE. NO HURRY.
THEN, AFTER A WHILE:
DEAN Roy, if you don’t mind me asking…
ROY Go ahead.
DEAN When you seek relief…
ROY I don’t.
NINA Everyone does.
ROY Nina, if it pleases you, speak for everyone, but do not think of me as a constituent of that group .
GINA Are you not as other men, Roy?
DEAN Or women.
NINA (WARNING HIM) Dean.
ROY I do not share your economy, your debits and your credits. Your notions of ‘relief’ I find degrading.
GINA You know, Roy: the ups and downs, the win some, lose some.
ROY It is not a useful system. It presumes a condition of perpetual loss that is construed as a failing of the implacable mechanics of being.
DEAN I don’t think we have much choice, Roy.
ROY This position, Dean, is entirely an effect of decisions made by your group. It is not in any way reflected in the fullness of the Real.
GINA So there, Dean.
ROY A man walked about the streets shouting ‘Fuck!” and ‘Cunt!’ Other men shunned him. He walked into supermarkets, cinemas and swimming pools, places where mothers and children lay with their dogs and goods. And he appalled them with his usage. He is called George. “Good morning, George. How is it for you?” And George looked at him and he said “Good morning, Tony. A packet of Senior Service if you’d be so kind. Cunt!”
NINA This is what George said.
ROY George says this a great deal.
DEAN Fuck.
GINA He can’t help it. It’s a condition. It may be related to a chronic imbalance in the secretion of the brain chemicals.
ROY This is where we part, Gina.
GINA It’s deliberate.
ROY Of course.
NINA It’s his brain, Roy.
ROY Of course it’s his brain.
DEAN Surely he does not wish to offend.
ROY George is a man of considerable delicacy. His skill is to see where things are not quite right and then he will make his position known.
GINA He is offering a service.
ROY This does not occur to him.
NINA I have seen these Georges, Roy. They shout ‘Cunt’ at random intervals.
ROY Nina. You have qualities that would be openly admired in the place that I come from. But your vision is narrow.
NINA I feel sure you’re going to enlighten me.
ROY On the one hand: your tics, your twitches. On the other: your composure, your discomposure and your recomposure. Your adjustment, your returning to the balance from the imbalance. Your use of the depot, the HQ, the hub, the place, the point. The point that is so very right there, so much at the heart, so much the seat upon which you were recently reclining.
GINA These are achievements, Roy. They are the ebb from the flow which will ebb which will flow.
ROY Again, your model is risible. Look at the man whose facial muscles jump, whose eyes blink in fusillade, whose shoulders shrug, whose face contorts in spasm. A thousand impulses annihilated in their moment of emergence. Your group pities this incontinence, regretting the fall from serenity. I, however, regret the stifling and the suffocation that so thoroughly extinguish each impetus that its role as guide and escort is barely glimpsed.
NINA Were we, then, to relinquish our guardianship of these electrical excursions, would we, in your view, be led precipitately to places far removed from the hubs and centres that you despise?
ROY Your tic, your twitch…
NINA I have none.
ROY As I have said: your serenity, your electrical vigilance, are symptomatic of the corrosive composure that characterises your group. In my group it is recognised that the flesh is the enemy of impulse. I maintain myself void. The impulse flows through me. I do not obstruct it thereby creating the tic.
DEAN Were I, then, to shout ‘Fuck’ as the impulse coursed though me, would I, in your view, be on the road to better living?
ROY You would be on the road. Each impulse propels you further. The roads branch at a tremendous rate. Soon the hub is a distant memory.
GINA Roy, do we become like beasts?
ROY Car radios no longer produce music. Brightly coloured objects stream into the driver’s lap.
GINA Do our thoughts take form?
ROY The thinker herself dissolves. We tumble though vast landscapes of concrete beauty. We never sleep. We move eternally. The world is far behind us.
DEAN Do our thoughts take form, Roy?
ROY Thoughts are peculiar to your group. You should see them as accidental transmissions emanating from the universe of concrete beauty. They pass though us. They have no value. As they pass through, flesh swarms around them. And then the tics begin.
SLOW FADE BEGINS.
ROY TAKES A GARROTTE (TWO WOODEN PEGS JOINED BY A 60 cm WIRE)
FROM WITHIN HIS JACKET.
HE RISES FROM THE SOFA AND STANDS BEHIND DEAN,
DEAN This isn’t spiritual, is it?
ROY No, Dean. Nothing is spiritual.
ROY LOOPS THE GARROTTE ROUND DEAN’S NECK AND STRANGLES HIM.
AS DEAN DIES HIS LEGS KICK WILDLY.
ROY STANDS BEHIND GINA.
GINA I like the idea of all those things.
ROY Things are not an idea, Gina.
ROY LOOPS THE GARROTTE ROUND GINA’S NECK AND STRANGLES HER.
AS GINA DIES HER BODY JERKS FITFULLY.
ROY STANDS BEHIND NINA.
NINA I don’t want to, Roy.
(ROY LOOPS THE GARROTTE ROUND NINA’S NECK)
I don’t want to.
NINA TRIES TO FREE HERSELF.
ROY TIGHTENS THE GARROTTE.
NINA STRUGGLES AND EMITS HOARSE, GRUNTING CRIES.
ROY Fuck you.
(HE PULLS THE WIRE TIGHT.
NINA JERKS AND TWITCHES AND DIES)
Fuck you.
ROY SITS QUIETLY ON THE SOFA UNTIL BLACKOUT.
END

1918327_112284368809219_4457670_n

Dash #5: Sleet

The characters:
Bobbin
Timmy
Gretchen
Trina
SECTION 1: OPENING DIALOG
IN THE COURSE OF THE SHOW FOUR LONG SPEECHES ROTATE A NUMBER OF TIMES (DURATION TO BE DETERMINED IN REHEARSAL), PROBABLY ONE AFTER ANOTHER.
FROM TIME TO TIME DURING THE SPEECHES MUSIC IS PLAYED SO LOUDLY THAT IT DROWNS OUT THE ACTORS’ VOICES.
THE MUSIC IS DUTCH GABBER, ONE OF THE MORE DERANGED EDM FORMS, HAVING A HIGH BPM AND FEATURING AN EXHILARATINGLY ASSAULTIVE, MACHINE-LIKE BANGING AND HOARSE , GUTTURAL SHOUTING.
THE SOUND IS CUT FROM TIME TO TIME, HOWEVER, SO THAT PASSAGES FROM THE SPEECHES ARE PERFECTLY AUDIBLE.
AS THE SPEECHES ROTATE THE SOUND CUTS OUT AT DIFFERENT POINTS IN EACH SPEECH SO THAT EVENTUALLY ALL THAT IS WRITTEN IS HEARD.
WHEN THE MUSIC IS PLAYING ONE OR MORE ACTORS WILL DANCE TO IT (NOT THE ACTOR SPEAKING).
A TABLE ON THE SET BEARS A GLASS JUG CONTAINING WATER, FOUR GLASSES AND A PLATE WITH A NUMBER OF PLAIN DIGESTIVE BISCUITS ON IT.
ADDITIONAL SOUND FX: LIGHT BIRDSONG THROUGHOUT

BOBBIN Would anyone like a glass of water?
TRINA Yes Bobbin.
BOBBIN POURS WATER FROM A JUG INTO A GLASS AND PASSES IT TO TRINA
BOBBIN Would anyone else like one?
GRETCHEN Yes.
BOBBIN POURS WATER FROM A JUG INTO ANOTHER GLASS AND PASSES IT TO GRETCHEN.
BOBBIN POURS HIMSELF A GLASS AND MOVES AWAY FROM THE JUG ZONE
TIMMY I’ll have one.
(TIMMY POURS HIMSELF A GLASS AND MOVES AWAY FROM THE JUG ZONE.
ALL FOUR CHARACTERS SIP THEIR WATER UNHURRIEDLY AND REFLECTIVELY)
(TO BOBBIN) I’ve been thinking about what you said.
BOBBIN When?
TIMMY When you said that a man touched you in the street.
BOBBIN It was my friend Frank that was touched. We are often mistaken for each other.
TRINA Why?
BOBBIN I don’t know.
GRETCHEN (TO BOBBIN) What about Frank?
BOBBIN I don’t know.
TRINA (TO GRETCHEN) It was Timmy that raised it.
GRETCHEN Timmy. What was it?
TIMMY Bobbin’s friend Frank was touched in the street.
TRINA In a bad way?
TIMMY No. But touched.
GRETCHEN What was the situation in fact, Bobbin?
BOBBIN Frank is walking along and a man thinks that he is his brother.
TIMMY This is an example of the being mistaken.
BOBBIN No. I am often mistaken for Frank.
TRINA Why would that be?
BOBBIN I have no idea.
GRETCHEN What happened next? I’d like to know.
BOBBIN A man goes along to Frank and places his hand upon Frank’s arm.
TRINA But in a perfectly acceptable way.
BOBBIN Well. He did not know Frank.
TIMMY He thought, correct me if I’m wrong, Bobbin, that you were his brother.
BOBBIN Not me, Timmy. Frank.
TIMMY I’m understandably confused.
BOBBIN But not any longer, I trust.
GRETCHEN Anyway.
BOBBIN He’d gone to buy some tobacco and his brother was waiting for him and when he came out he took Frank’s arm and said “Okay, Roy.”
TRINA Roy.
BOBBIN His brother.
TIMMY I thought you said his brother was Billy.
BOBBIN No. Billy is another name. Roy is a well known name.
GRETCHEN I know it.
BOBBIN Well, there you are.
GRETCHEN In fact, I think I may know this particular Roy. What he did to Frank is characteristic.
TRINA What are his characteristics?
TIMMY It’s very hard to say that a person has characteristics.
GRETCHEN I think that says more about you than a person, Timmy.
TIMMY Aren’t people just what they are?
GRETCHEN Not especially.
PAUSE
TIMMY That’s very disappointing.
PAUSE

SECTION 2: GRETCHEN 1
THE PASSAGES RENDERED INAUDIBLE BY MUSIC ARE BRACKETED WITH AN ‘X’.
GRETCHEN My caravan was nearer to Norway than England. It was in the Shetlands. I tended animals and strode the strand with the wind in my hair. I was first approached in 1971 which is thirtynine years ago as the crow flies. A figure stepped out of the mist and bid me ‘Good day Missis.’ I thought little of it. I was reading a lot back then.
X The work of Woolf, Mansfield, Murdoch, Stein, some Blyton – ‘The Twins at St Clare’s’, some Marsh – “Death in a White Tie”, Grace Kelly’s book “I was once Grace Kelly before I married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956 then died in a car on a twisting road on a mountainside having had a stroke from which I never recovered X
and it was then said that I had been driving on the same stretch of highway that had been featured in my 1955 movie ‘To Catch a Thief’, but my son Prince Albert has always denied it. And at my funeral the actor James Stewart said ‘You know, I just love Grace Kelly.
X Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. God bless you, Princess Grace.’” It was so sad, so sad. She represented something. I don’t think she was like that. I was comfortable with that.’ X
If you concentrate hard enough , and I mean really hard, the mind can be brought to create any particular object desired. The Tibetans call this concretized visualization a Tulpa, meaning a magically produced illusion or creation.
X Imagine, though, being followed by Cliff Richard. Imagine if every time you thought of him you couldn’t help thinking about his backing group The Shadows. And then every time Cliff turned up, perhaps you’d be on the beach in a ruminative frame of mind and lo and behold there’s Cliff walking towards you but he’s got his fucking band along with him. Jesus.’ X
Anyway, I heard him again ‘Good day, Missis’ and this time by the long road that skirts the beach and runs up to the trees and then the hills and then the mountains and I was in the mountains and he said ‘Just come down. Just come down, Gretchen.’ I wondered how he knew my name. I was living incognito. In Lerwick. I was known as Angela. I was visited by my sister Betty to whom I bore an uncanny resemblance.
X I was visited by her on the beach where sometimes she would approach me through the spume across the shingle her arms outstretched and I would cry out thinking I saw myself and perhaps I had died she was my ghost and I had died in Lerwick closer to Norway where I had never been and never wanted to and people say, ‘My goodness, you were relatively close to Bergen and you never took the ferry and I’d say well it is cold enough and quiet and dark enough here why would I go to Bergen?’ X

SECTION 3: BOBBIN 1
BOBBIN Listening to you, Gretchen, I feel so very lifeless. I had wanted to be an adventurer like you but for some reason I was not able to get hold of the equipment. I set out on a number of occasions but each time I neared the coast I became disoriented and had to return. Something was stopping me purchasing a compass. But then I met a group of lively circus people in a gaily painted people carrier. The Ring Master was called Roy.
X One of the clowns, called Bonkers, who had a hilarious act involving mud and lemonade, befriended me and gave me a number of tips and hints. “Look Bobbin.” “Yes Bonkers.” “The secrets of strength and humour are are intricately linked. They both depend on knowing when to let go. Roy knows when you’ve let go too soon or if you’re not letting go.” So I walked up to Roy and said ‘Watch this’. X
I picked up two leaden weights with handles on them. Their only purpose was for to be picked up. As I raised them above my head I shat myself. It was the strain. It was not deliberate. I was not trying to make a strong impression.
X Roy stroked his moustache ruminatively. Then he spoke. “Look Bobbin. I don’t know whether that was instinctive or not but you’ve got flair. You’re at the cutting edge. You give people what they want.” “Thank you Roy.” “Could you do it to order? Every afternoon and evening? Living in a hand-carved caravan? Helping to feed llamas? A great sleet assails the circus ground at night. The jaguar escapes and mutilates the whiteface clown, that most august and enigmatic of the raucous group. The icy winds howl at the ankles of the high wire artiste. X
The diver Ronaldo, based upon the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo of the same name, dives from the tiniest of platforms at the tip top of the kingpole into a bucket of piss on a regular basis. Sille och Bille, the two Swedish clowns, one comes up behind the other quietly and shouts so loud that the other one wets his trousers. “So you can see Bobbin,” said Roy, “we’ve got a whole thing going here. You’d be family. Let me know what you think.” Soon I was in Hammersmith. My brother was coming round for supper to help me hang a mirror.
X As we eased it up the wall to the hook I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face and in that moment he turned away and I turned away and as he turned I started to turn so I never saw if he looked back because I had turned at the point where he had turned and he may not even have known that on seeing him turn I too turned he may never have seen that because he turned away from me. X


SECTION 4: TIMMY 1
TIMMY My cousin’s van is in a field and may be cold and may need a bump start. There are some ladies over there they look quite old but there are certainly enough of them to compensate for their frailty by sheer bulk of number. I asked them if they would not mind awfully helping me out. I explained that I would sit in the vehicle having engaged second gear but with the clutch firmly down to the floor while they placed their hands and shoulders to the back of the vehicle. As they pushed they started singing ‘Bumpety bumpety bumpety bump’ in a very charming way, not especially talented but with bags of spirit.
X It occurred to me that I was in the wrong business. I booked into a studio and got the ladies to come to cut some sides. In one afternoon we cut six songs and I put them on YouTube. There was no interest shown so I took the van back to my cousin’s house and left it in the road. X
We went down to Welwyn, the old town, not the Garden City which was a bold social experiment at the time but not to my taste nor to my cousin’s. We prefer a less planned feeling.
X My cousin was up for anything, a very enterprising man. On one occasion I remember, this would have been in a public place, a man said to him “Hey do you want to go into business with me immediately?’ My cousin had a hunch that this man was the flavour of the future. This turned out to be correct and in the future Rory, that’s my cousin, is now something of a big magnate with a lot of spending money. X
It hasn’t changed him, he’s still oddly flat in his manner and in his dealing with others he continues to avoid eye contact to such an extent that, paradoxically, it’s actually quite hard to remember his face.
X I mean I’ve known him for yonks but you realise that with most people it’s looking them in the face and them looking back that seals them in your memory. X
I can look at Rory’s face anytime I want, when he’s not aware of it, for instance, and I can study it but even then I can’t hold it all in my mind in the same time. I’m sure if Rory went away and was replaced by someone similar, like you get sometimes, you might not know. You’d know eventually because the other person wouldn’t be so flat, which is odd about Rory.

SECTION 5: DIALOG 1
PAUSE.
SOUND FX: LIGHT BIRDSONG
GRETCHEN Is Rory Roy?
TIMMY Rory is Rory, Gretchen.
GRETCHEN He does not stand for Roy?
TIMMY A person does not stand for a person. If that were the case then one would be uneasy.
TRINA I can see that. At the end of the day, if you come across a person who stands for a person there are a number of questions that must be asked.
BOBBIN I’ll interrupt, if I may, hopefully constructively, by venturing to pose one of these questions. If a person stands for a person, where is the person doing the standing? Where is he or indeed she? Are they in some way eclipsed by that for which they are standing?
TRINA Thus, in that sense, taking you up, aspiring to develop the enquiry, the person who stands for another person is themselves in need of someone to stand for them, given that they are taken up with the business of standing for someone.
GRETCHEN Which leads inexorably to the notion that, if there is, as you suggest, an infinite chain of instanding, then there is, by extension, somewhere, at least in theory, one who is only stood for and does not stand.

IN THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS THE LOUD MUSIC IS PLAYED OVER THE PASSAGES THAT WERE, IN THE FIRST SECTION, AUDIBLE. THE PASSAGES THAT WERE ORIGINALLY AUDIBLE CANNOT NOW BE HEARD.

SECTION 6: BOBBIN 2
BOBBIN X Listening to you, Gretchen, I feel so very lifeless. I had wanted to be an adventurer like you but for some reason I was not able to get hold of the equipment. I set out on a number of occasions but each time I neared the coast I became disoriented and had to return. Something was stopping me purchasing a compass. But then I met a group of lively circus people in a gaily painted people carrier. The Ring Master was called Roy. X
One of the clowns, called Bonkers, who had a hilarious act involving mud and lemonade, befriended me and gave me a number of tips and hints. “Look Bobbin.” “Yes Bonkers.” “The secrets of strength and humour are are intricately linked. They both depend on knowing when to let go. Roy knows when you’ve let go too soon or if you’re not letting go.” So I walked up to Roy and said ‘Watch this’.
X I picked up two leaden weights with handles on them. Their only purpose was for to be picked up. As I raised them above my head I shat myself. It was the strain. It was not deliberate. I was not trying to make a strong impression. X
Roy stroked his moustache ruminatively. Then he spoke. “Look Bobbin. I don’t know whether that was instinctive or not but you’ve got flair. You’re at the cutting edge. You give people what they want.” “ Thank you Roy.” “ Could you do it to order? Every afternoon and evening? Living in a hand-carved caravan? Helping to feed llamas? A great sleet assails the circus ground at night. The jaguar escapes and mutilates the whiteface clown, that most august and enigmatic of the raucous group. The icy winds howl at the ankles of the high wire artiste.
X The diver Ronaldo, based upon the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo of the same name, dives from the tiniest of platforms at the tip top of the kingpole into a bucket of piss on a regular basis. Sille och Bille, the two Swedish clowns, one comes up behind the other quietly and shouts so loud that the other one wets his trousers. So you can see Bobbin said Roy, we’ve got a whole thing going here. You’d be family. Let me know what you think. Soon I was in Hammersmith. My brother was coming round for supper to help me hang a mirror. X
As we eased it up the wall to the hook I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face I caught sight of his face as he caught sight of my face and in that moment he turned away and I turned away and as he turned I started to turn so I never saw if he looked back because I had turned at the point where he had turned and he may not even have known that on seeing him turn I too turned he may never have seen that because he turned away from me.

SECTION 7: TIMMY 2
TIMMY X My cousin’s van is in a field and may be cold and may need a bump start. There are some ladies over there they look quite old but there are certainly enough of them to compensate for their frailty by sheer bulk of number. I asked them if they would not mind awfully helping me out. I explained that I would sit in the vehicle having engaged second gear but with the clutch firmly down to the floor while they placed their hands and shoulders to the back of the vehicle. As they pushed they started singing ‘Bumpety bumpety bumpety bump’ in a very charming way, not especially talented but with bags of spirit. X
It occurred to me that I was in the wrong business. I booked into a studio and got the ladies to come to cut some sides. In one afternoon we cut six songs and I put them on YouTube. There was no interest shown so I took the van back to my cousin’s house and left it in the road.
X We went down to Welwyn, the old town, not the Garden City which was a bold social experiment at the time but not to my taste nor to my cousin’s. We prefer a less planned feeling. X
My cousin was up for anything, a very enterprising man. On one occasion I remember , this would have been in a public place, a man said to him “Hey do you want to go into business with me immediately?’ My cousin had a hunch that this man was the flavour of the future. This turned out to be correct and in the future Rory, that’s my cousin, is now something of a big magnate with a lot of spending money.
X It hasn’t changed him, he’s still oddly flat in his manner and in his dealing with others he continues to avoid eye contact to such an extent that, paradoxically, it’s actually quite hard to remember his face. X
I mean I’ve known him for yonks but you realise that with most people it’s looking them in the face and them looking back that seals them in your memory.
X I can look at Rory’s face anytime I want, when he’s not aware of it, for instance, and I can study it but even then I can’t hold it all in my mind in the same time. I’m sure if Rory went away and was replaced by someone similar, like you get sometimes, you might not know. You’d know eventually because the other person wouldn’t be so flat, which is odd about Rory. X

SECTION 8: GRETCHEN 2
GRETCHEN X My caravan was nearer to Norway than England. It was in the Shetlands. I tended animals and strode the strand with the wind in my hair. I was first approached in 1971 which is thirtynine years ago as the crow flies. A figure stepped out of the mist and bid me ‘Good day Missis.’I thought little of it. I was reading a lot back then. X
The work of Woolf, Mansfield, Murdoch, Stein, some Blyton – ‘The Twins at St Clare’s’, some Marsh – “Death in a White Tie”, Grace Kelly’s book “I was once Grace Kelly before I married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956 then died in a car on a twisting road on a mountainside having had a stroke from which I never recovered
X and it was then said that I had been driving on the same stretch of highway that had been featured in my 1955 movie ‘To Catch a Thief’, but my son Prince Albert has always denied it. And at my funeral the actor James Stewart said ‘You know, I just love Grace Kelly. X
Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. God bless you, Princess Grace.’” It was so sad, so sad. She represented something. I don’t think she was like that. I was comfortable with that.’
X If you concentrate hard enough , and I mean really hard, the mind can be brought to create any particular object desired. The Tibetans call this concretized visualization a Tulpa, meaning a magically produced illusion or creation. X
Imagine, though, being followed by Cliff Richard. Imagine if every time you thought of him you couldn’t help thinking about his backing group The Shadows. And then every time Cliff turned up, perhaps you’d be on the beach in a ruminative frame of mind and lo and behold there’s Cliff walking towards you but he’s got his fucking band along with him. Jesus.’
X Anyway, I heard him again ‘Good day, Missis’ and this time by the long road that skirts the beach and runs up to the trees and then the hills and then the mountains and I was in the mountains and he said ‘Just come down. Just come down, Gretchen.’ I wondered how he knew my name. I was living incognito. In Lerwick. I was known as Angela. I was visited by my sister Betty to whom I bore an uncanny resemblance. X
I was visited by her on the beach where sometimes she would approach me through the spume across the shingle her arms outstretched and I would cry out thinking I saw myself and perhaps I had died she was my ghost and I had died in Lerwick closer to Norway where I had never been and never wanted to and people say, ‘My goodness, you were relatively close to Bergen and you never took the ferry and I’d say well it is cold enough and quiet and dark enough here why would I go to Bergen?’

SECTION 9: DIALOG 2
TIMMY (INDICATING THE BISCUITS) Are those digestives?
BOBBIN They have been here throughout.
TIMMY Don’t mind if do.
(HE TAKES A BISCUIT AND STARTS TO EAT IT)
Just when you want a biscuit, there is a biscuit.
GRETCHEN Not always.
BOBBIN I seem to remember difficulties with them.
TRINA Perhaps that is a fear rather than a true memory.
TIMMY Shall we walk along the coast?
GRETCHEN Do we need our coats?
BOBBIN Not on this occasion.
TRINA Shall we walk to The Sloop?
TIMMY What is a sloop?
GRETCHEN It’s about the size of a cat. It has a bushy tail and and a yellow bib marking on its throat.
TRINA That’s a pine marten.
TIMMY Is it welcoming?
TRINA Oh yes. They love berries.
BOBBIN Let’s go there!
EXIT ALL EXCEPT TRINA, CHEERFULLY.
BIRDSON

NO MUSIC IS PLAYED OVER THE FOLLOWING SPEECH BY TRINA

SECTION 10: TRINA
TRINA To get where I am today, Gretchen and Bobbin and Timmy, I turned right at the road and over the hedge and into the field and under the bridge and along the track and down to the dark stream and up to the copse and across to the pools and over the leaves and through the bushes and into the hedges like houses and between all the reeds with edges like knives and up to the trees with black boughs bleeding and the yellowing weeds that were rotting like twigs under logs squeezing the sod like sponges the water came down my wrists and under my jacket with dozens of creatures and spiders and leeches and there were the men with their vans and their string walking the woods with hands in their coats clutching paper and wrappers and clippers and cutters and things for removing the whores and the harlots like Wendy and Charlotte who got away by the skin of their teeth from the creep who sat by the pool his dick in his hand beating the meat saying Girls why are you out in this place as the light drops through the sky and the crows settle down the rabbits retreat to their homes that don’t have windows or curtains or seats by the fire just earth and more earth and some roots and some shit by the door that’s where you belong Ruth and your friend my name isn’t Ruth so fuck off you jerk and we ran to the town down the lane to the house where we turned on the lights and looked through the drapes at the lamp in the street where a dog with three legs and a growth on his neck carried a pizza and pissed on the post while wolfing the slice including the bag then glanced at the house and his eyes both went red and the beams cut through the night and the fog and up on his legs he tore at his chest his coat fell apart like a coat on the road and out from his guts her hair all in flames stepped the girl with white lashes white brows in the palest of silks no dots in her eyes no marks on her skin she stepped off the kerb slid past the cars and knocked on my door I’m not in I’m not in she pushed and was through in the blink of an eye she said I’ve come to stay I don’t eat I don’t sleep I said there’s no room she said who needs room she moved fast I felt sick she pushed at my breast slipped in through my chest at which point I acquired all of her charms her light and her dark her brutal disdain and Gretchen and Timmy and Bobbin you’re thinking just what did she get that was worth such a palaver my spirit my soul well to be frank I never had either so there was nothing to lose it’s not like there are insults or upsets or outcries and such like no we’re working together she lives off my fear it gives her resolve it keeps her on tiptoe she just says Why not when you can and Go on what stops you there’s no system no one is watching is there someone above you someone who’s counting or checking fuck that there’s no one there’s nothing it’s all just a story come on over it’s better you do what you want you live where you can you eat what you find you fuck if you want to there are no higher powers or despicable drives it’s just what you are so fuck all the ups and the downs you don’t have to tread like a girl on some eggs that will shatter if you don’t gaze at your shoes like some worm on a log in a wood in the winter no let’s go now you and I not like a nation ether-eyed beneath the table but striding straight to places where the pirates piss the divers decompress the gliders come to roost the motherfuckers do their mothers and me and Angelina can just come and go talking to Michael and to Joe just like citizens well not exactly so more like shadows that you pass but on close inspection they are so hard you cannot put a finger through them and crikey are they there they so much are you wonder was it me that chose to turn away rather than there being little there to see so here I am and this is me she’s in me now she’s hot against my chest or is it desperately cold she makes me grow so fast sometimes I catch her in the glass as she turns away her hair is white her brow is high she can’t go far she needs my warmth she likes to feel my blood run by her as she settles down and down and if at any point I want her out all I have to do is tear myself apart
END

2010
Link to Dash #6 in right hand column

Dash #4: Gulch

screenshot

The set designed for this playlet was exceptional. It was dominated by a high window through which shone a blue light. The window ledge was covered in snow. Beneath the window was a white desk with a top that sloped down towards the onstage area. As the play progressed, blood started to trickle out of the window ledge, staining the snow, dripping onto the desk then trickling onto the floor, where it pooled. The rectangular performance space was delineated by carefully edged lines of salt. On upstage right was a black booth, slightly less capacious than a phone box. When the actors left the space, scuffing the salt as they crossed it, they would retire to the booth, which contained a bowl of thick stage blood and a sponge. Each time they returned their faces and hands would be bloodier.
The same, short passage of terribly sad music was played on every occasion that the actors exited or entered.


The characters:
Trudy – Bernadette Russell
Betty – Jude Barrington
Hector – Gareth Brierley
Frank – Chris Newland


COSTUME NOTE: THE CHARACTERS DO NOT CHANGE COSTUME WHEN THEY CHANGE NAMES.


TRUDY Where’s Betty?
HECTOR Don’t know.
FRANK She was coming back by the top drive.
TRUDY Wet out there. Dark.
HECTOR It’s night.
ENTER BETTY
BETTY Hi.
HECTOR Top drive?
BETTY It’s quicker.
FRANK We thought it was slower.
BETTY Not at night.
TRUDY Did you do what you had to do?
BETTY I did.
HECTOR I have to go.
TRUDY Big one?
HECTOR No bigger than the last.
EXIT HECTOR
FRANK He’s a modest man.
BETTY He’s widely respected.
TRUDY He likes what he does.
FRANK Which helps.
TRUDY I like what I do.
BETTY People wouldn’t understand that.
FRANK Are there some biscuits?
TRUDY Probably.
BETTY People aren’t especially imaginative.
TRUDY No.
ENTER HECTOR
HECTOR Done and dusted.
FRANK Still raining.
HECTOR Snow.
FRANK God.
BETTY Already.
HECTOR Mad.
TRUDY Is it getting harder?
BETTY I wouldn’t say so.
HECTOR Possibly.
FRANK No.
HECTOR (TO FRANK) You seem convinced.
FRANK You have to be.
HECTOR Just conviction?
FRANK Seems to do the trick.
TRUDY It is a trick.
FRANK Who cares?
BETTY If it works…
FRANK I’m going to be late.
EXIT FRANK
HECTOR Is he fragile?
TRUDY Frank?
HECTOR Yes.
TRUDY He’s a bull.
BETTY Unstoppable. Really.
HECTOR Okay.
BETTY Likes his biscuits.
TRUDY People do.
HECTOR All people?
TRUDY Enough to sustain an industry.
HECTOR True.
ENTER FRANK
FRANK I wavered.
HECTOR GLANCES AT TRUDY
TRUDY But you did it.
FRANK I always do it.
BETTY What was it?
FRANK The snow.
HECTOR Footing.
FRANK Shoes could have been more appropriate, certainly.
HECTOR No fuss?
FRANK Standard issue.
BETTY I hardly think about it now.
FRANK I evaluate it, you know, I don’t blank it out.
TRUDY Anyway.
EXIT TRUDY
BETTY She’s another one.
FRANK What?
BETTY Just gets on with it.
HECTOR You don’t think she pushes it down?
FRANK Is that bad?
HECTOR What do you think?
BETTY If it gets it done…
FRANK Which is the requirement.
BETTY No need for any bric a brac.
FRANK There really isn’t.
HECTOR I do know what you’re saying.
FRANK This guy, in the street, puts his hand on my arm. He thinks I’m his brother.
HECTOR It’s happened to us all.
FRANK He’d gone to buy some tobacco and his brother was waiting for him and when he came out he took my arm and said “Okay, Billy.”
BETTY Billy.
FRANK His brother.
HECTOR How do you know?
FRANK We talked about it. He apologised.
HECTOR Was his brother near?
FRANK He was nearby. He heard the conversation.
BETTY Did he come over?
FRANK He was very good about it. Apparently he had moved from his earlier position. But he came back and validated his brother’s account.
HECTOR What was his brother’s name?
FRANK Alan.
BETTY No hurt feelings.
FRANK It worked out very well.
LONG PAUSE.
ENTER TRUDY.
SHE HAS A SMALL AMOUNT OF BLOOD ON HER CHEEK.
(TRUDY IS NOW LOUISE BUT WILL RETAIN HER FIRST NAME IN THIS
SCRIPT.)
HECTOR Oops.
TRUDY What?
HECTOR On your cheek.
TRUDY IS ABOUT TO WIPE IT OFF WITH HER HAND.
HECTOR I’ll do it.
HE WIPES THE BLOOD OFF.
TRUDY Thank you.
BETTY Chillsome?
TRUDY I should say! I’m Louise, by the way.
FRANK How do you do? Frank.
HECTOR Hector. You…erm…you know the situation?
TRUDY I’m afraid I’ve been in Peru.
BETTY Business or pleasure?
TRUDY My business is a great pleasure.
BETTY How pleasing. Betty.
TRUDY How do you do? There was a town I had to look at. When you go in you’re shocked because it doesn’t look at all like Latin America. It looks like Surrey. They all speak English. In the newsagent’s all the papers are British. It’s not a colony. It’s not an expatriate enclave. It’s not like Argentina where there there is a community of 20,000 Welsh speakers in Patagonia as a result of a wave of settlements that started in 1865. No. It’s like you park your car and walk down the road and you’re in Godalming. I mean, obviously, you’re not in it because you couldn’t be. You’re in Peru. I stayed the night in a pub called The Star Inn in Church Street. I had a terrific steak pie then a lovely pavlova. They do Hog’s Back Bitter, which is brewed in Tongham. It’s not too thick, which I hate. A decent double bed, with a bedside light. I was reading the paper, the Surrey Advertiser, and I realised what was strange. It was dated 11th December 1982. I popped down to the bar and asked the bloke if they had a copy of today’s one because the one in my room was somewhat out of date. He apologised and gave me one from a stand. It had the same date.
HECTOR But now you’re back in the future.
TRUDY Effectively.
BETTY But you came here from there.
TRUDY Well, yes.
BETTY How do you know that routes out of there lead to the present moment?
TRUDY The present moment is the present moment.
FRANK Not if this – Peru, I mean – was the real past. Because in the real past nothing beyond that past moment had happened and would not necessarily happen again in the way that it did the first time round.
TRUDY You’re saying you aren’t here?
HECTOR No, he’s not. He’s saying – correct me if I’m wrong – that we may be people in a present moment that you have never inhabited.
TRUDY But I don’t know you anyway.
HECTOR No. What I mean is that in visiting and then leaving Godalming-Peru you cannot be sure that you have returned to the time and place of your initial departure.
BETTY It is conceivable, in other words, that the person you are here and now is not the person that would have been here had she not chanced upon Godalming-Peru.
TRUDY I have lost what I might have been!
FRANK You have lost what you were before you left.
TRUDY But I lived a life becoming what I was!
BETTY It is possible that you will never know the life lived by the person that you are now.
FRANK You are, to all intents and purposes, a creature that has only lived in any real sense since departing from Peru.
HECTOR It may be the case that you should have stayed in Godalming. Many people do. Life there has much to be said for it. There are cinemas – the Borough Hall, near Bridge Street, is one such – and several shops.
TRUDY But I do not speak Spanish!
HECTOR It would only be necessary were you to leave.
FRANK I must go.
EXIT FRANK
BETTY Does he have two tonight?
HECTOR So it seems.
BETTY (TO TRUDY) I’ll find something tasty in a moment.
TRUDY On the other hand life doesn’t seem too bad here. If I can manage to cope with the emptiness.
HECTOR You might be able to find work, I suppose.
BETTY There may be a problem with references.
TRUDY I’m not sure how to proceed.
HECTOR You can crash here until you sort something out.
TRUDY Is English spoken in these parts?
BETTY Everywhere.
HECTOR For miles around.
BETTY We leave the locality often. It is consistently in use, Louise.
ENTER FRANK.
HE HAS SOME BLOOD ON HIS FACE (RATHER MORE THAN TRUDY HAD).
(FRANK IS NOW TOMMY BUT WILL RETAIN HIS FIRST NAME IN THIS SCRIPT.)
FRANK Good evening.
BETTY (HOLDING A CLOTH IN HER HAND) I’ll get that off. I’ve got a cloth somewhere. (SHE NOTICES THE CLOTH IN HER HAND) Ah.
SHE WIPES THE BLOOD OFF FRANK’S FACE WITH THE (DAMP) CLOTH.
FRANK You’re very kind. I’m Tommy.
HECTOR Tommy – this is Louise.
TRUDY Have you come far?
FRANK My car has broken down on the highway due to the thick swirling snow blanketing the locality. I am a concert pianist on his way to the Wigmore Hall in Wigmore where he is due to perform a number of pieces before an eager audience. He is scheduled to check in to The White Boar in Wigmore where he will relax with his wife who is currently in the car nursing a sprained ankle sustained as she helped him push the car out of a deep ditch into which they had swerved due to the thick snow falling and rendering all that is generally manageable unmanageable and then at about six-thirty proceed to the concert hall for a finger by finger warmup prior to the performance itself before a capacity house.
BETTY I’ll see to your wife without further ado.
EXIT BETTY
HECTOR You are some considerable way from Wigmore, I fear.
FRANK Oh dear.
HECTOR I would estimate, and this is an estimate, that it is about eight hundred miles from here.
FRANK A surprisingly large figure.
TRUDY It may be wiser to cancel, Tommy.
FRANK I hate to disappoint, Louise.
TRUDY Let us say that we attend to your wife, we straighten out your car and you go on your way. It is now just after four o’clock. Say that you go directly to the Wigmore Hall, having phoned the White Boar to tell them you will check in after the recital.
FRANK I’m starting to get the picture. Go on!
TRUDY You will have to travel at a mean speed of two hundred and fifty miles per hour in order to arrive by seven p.m.
FRANK My career is over.
HECTOR Think of yourself as an array of transferrable skills.
FRANK All I have ever done is play.
HECTOR Typing is very like piano playing. Some keys, some fingers.
A LOUD BANG (CRASHBOX)
ENTER BETTY
SHE IS COVERED IN BLOOD: FACE, HANDS, BLOUSE.
HECTOR Go all right, Betty?
BETTY How did you know my name?
HECTOR I always have.
BETTY You may be confusing me with another.
HECTOR We have another Betty.
FRANK I’m Tommy.
BETTY I have just fallen from a Cessna.
TRUDY What is that?
BETTY A light aircraft.
FRANK Are you a flyer?
BETTY Heavens, no.
HECTOR Would you like a glass of water?
BETTY No.
FRANK I expect you’d like to get your breath back.
BETTY (TO HECTOR) What is that you do?
HECTOR I am a contract worker.
BETTY Reliant on incoming.
HECTOR I am, in fact, needed presently.
EXIT HECTOR
TRUDY It’s a come and go world with Hector.
BETTY Are you familiar with him?
TRUDY Each of us is sheltering here thanks to his openness. We are strangers to each other.
BETTY How do you do?
FRANK Hi.
BETTY We’ve met.
FRANK When was that?
BETTY A short while ago.
FRANK I’m sure you’re right.
LONG PAUSE
A LOUD BANG (CRASHBOX)
ENTER HECTOR. HE IS BAREFOOT.
(HECTOR IS NOW ROY BUT WILL RETAIN HIS FIRST NAME IN THIS SCRIPT.)
HECTOR Hello. I’m Roy. It means King in French.
TRUDY Lee Roy.
BETTY Where are your shoes, Roy?
HECTOR They had good leather soles, which have style, but they were, as leather is, not durable. I had them resoled with durable rubber with a good contact adhesive.
FRANK Was this while you were out?
HECTOR No, Tommy. This was some time ago when the stylish leather began to appear scuffed and rough.
BETTY I’m Betty.
HECTOR It’s an unusual name.
TRUDY Was there an issue with the soles, Roy?
HECTOR Yes, Louise. While I was out, just now, in the snow, simply on a walk, having left my hotel, strolling at night, hatless, neither exultant nor especially low in spirits, content to see where I went, knowing that with my GPS device there was nowhere I might go that was not trackable, I started to slip and slide.
FRANK It was treacherous?
HECTOR That, Tommy, if you’ll forgive me, may be anthropomorphic. I do not subscribe to the notion that Nature has the least tendency to succour or sustain us.
FRANK I’m the same.
HECTOR I began to slip and slide. The soles had no traction. They did not grip. They skimmed, they skated, they aquaplaned. A leg would go one way. Its companion another. I had visions of being bisected at the groin. Even as I placed one foot before the other that foot would ski away and the other would slide back. Every muscle below my belt was taxed in a way that I had not experienced since my stint as wing 3Q for the Harlequins in the Guinness Premiership.
BETTY Were you handy?
HECTOR I was fucking handy. I tore mens’ ears and testicles off yet was never penalised. I made men into women on a regular basis.
BETTY Far out.
TRUDY I’d like to be a man. I think I was once.
FRANK In another life?
TRUDY We only have the one, Teddy.
BETTY Cocoa would be nice.
TRUDY TAKES A CHAIR DOWNSTAGE CENTRE AND SITS ON IT
TRUDY Somehow or other, and I don’t know why, or when, but I lost a lot of time. I say ‘lost’ – it could be round the corner, it could be just out of sight. Perhaps it’s right beside me. I don’t think so. It had a lot in it. It’s not like memory loss. It’s not Alzheimer’s. You could have that but it would be gradual. People would tell you. Think of all the stuff you do. It’s a big lot.
FRANK TAKES A CHAIR DOWNSTAGE CENTRE, BESIDE TRUDY, AND SITS ON IT
FRANK My life has been one of careful repetitition punctuated by brief reward. I would sit for days, month after month, year after year, practising do re mi fa lo sart / so me far lo day my start/ pay lee nah tee do/ fo sah no sa so fa da/ dum dum dee dee ta ta/ la na stah do for mi/ go for na da la/ go for nee no na/ dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum da
BETTY TAKES A CHAIR DOWNSTAGE CENTRE, BESIDE TRUDY AND FRANK, AND SITS ON IT
BETTY You’re up looking down, it’s all in place, you need GPS, you can get it in a wrist-watch now, it’s like another layer, but woe betide, bad luck coming, look out below fellers, if it drops off, it falls into a field, someone finds it, they know where they are, that’s a good thing obviously but you’re looking down and it’s all largely green, some houses, a river and so forth etcetera that kind of type of thing, but where’s what you know gone? You could go down there, go up to a house and say ‘Hello, I’m from around these parts’ and they’d say ‘As a matter of fact you’re not now go away’ and you’re up in the air looking down, they see you gazing through a thick dark cloud and you’re trying to send messages to people on land but they’re long gone dead.
HECTOR TAKES A CHAIR DOWNSTAGE CENTRE, BESIDE TRUDY AND FRANK AND BETTY, AND SITS ON IT.
LONG PAUSE
BETTY I can feel something coming. (THE OTHERS LOOK AT HER EXPECTANTLY) Yes. We should stay together.
TRUDY Using this house as a base.
FRANK Whose is it?
HECTOR Very good question.
BETTY It feels as if it is an abandoned place.
FRANK Abandoned but not lacking in charm.
HECTOR If this is to be the case then I will make a gesture.
HECTOR PRODUCES A HANDGUN (FROM A POCKET OR SHOULDER HOLSTER) AND PLACES IT ON A NEARBY SIDE TABLE.
TRUDY I second that.
TRUDY PRODUCES A HANDGUN (FROM A POCKET OR SHOULDER HOLSTER) AND PLACES IT ON A NEARBY SIDE TABLE.
FRANK Why not?
FRANK PRODUCES A HANDGUN (FROM A POCKET OR SHOULDER HOLSTER) AND PLACES IT ON A NEARBY SIDE TABLE.
BETTY Makes perfect sense.
BETTY PRODUCES A HANDGUN (FROM A POCKET OR SHOULDER HOLSTER) AND PLACES IT ON A NEARBY SIDE TABLE.
FRANK I hope this doesn’t sound indelicate but I think we should breed.
HECTOR I’m prepared to fuck Betty. Betty?
BETTY I certainly wouldn’t puke, Roy.
HECTOR You’ve got good tits.
TRUDY I would shag Teddy.
FRANK I’ve got a fat cock.
TRUDY I will make it feel at home.
BETTY Actually, I am happy to strap Tommy on as well.
FRANK Having first given birth to Roy’s child.
BETTY You can’t have two at a time by different persons, Teddy.
FRANK I wish that were not the case. It would speed things up so very much. (PAUSE) You know, since we are dwelling on the topic, I could easily slip one to Betty as well.
HECTOR And I, Louise, would be pleased to park the pork in your passageway of preference.
TRUDY I’d like to be a Cockney.
FRANK I’m Alec.
BETTY Hi, I’m Natasha. I suppose you could say I’m lively.
TRUDY You are, Tasha.
BETTY Thank you, Elsie. You are warm-hearted.
HECTOR Alec, you and I should get together.
FRANK Love to, Robert. I must say that since Tasha has been pregnant I’ve been staying at home rather too much.
HECTOR We’ll just go down the road so that you can dash back if Tasha goes into labour.
FRANK How will I know?
HECTOR A man knows, Alec.
TRUDY Oof! (REACTING AS IF HER UNBORN BABY WERE KICKING) Got a footballer in there! Not long now though!
BETTY I’m going to say just one thing, Elsie.
TRUDY What’s that, my duck?
BETTY Anchovies!
(BETTY HAS NAMED TRUDY’S ‘PREGNANCY CRAVING’ FOOD)
TRUDY Oh! You little pup! You’re so mean!
BETTY No. We’ll go and get some.
TRUDY What – in the tin?
BETTY We could go for a pizza.
FRANK (TO HECTOR) Tell you what, I’ve got to drop by the shop so I’ll see you down there. Ten minutes.
HECTOR A pint of Landlord, please.
FRANK See you there.
FRANK DOES NOT LEAVE
TRUDY I’ll get my coat.
TRUDY DOES NOTHING
PAUSE
BETTY (AS IF TRUDY HAD GOT HER COAT) Okay?
TRUDY Yep.
BETTY I need my money.
TRUDY I’ve got some.
BETTY No. Won’t be a minute.
BETTY DOES NOTHING
PAUSE
TRUDY (AS IF BETTY HAD GOT HER MONEY) Good. We off?
BETTY Off we go.
PAUSE
TRUDY AND BETTY DO NOTHING
HECTOR I’m off to see Alec at The Cricketer. You be all right?
BETTY Yeah.
HECTOR Sure?
BETTY I’ll be fine.
HECTOR Bye then.
BETTY Bye.
HECTOR DOES NOT LEAVE
PAUSE
TRUDY Yeah.
FRANK Did you?
HECTOR I wouldn’t say that.
BETTY No, thank you.
PAUSE
ALL (SPEAKING IN UNISON) I know.
ALL What’s that?
ALL We should eat later.
ALL I don’t want to.
ALL Why?
ALL I don’t know. I don’t feel like it.
ALL You always say that.
ALL No I don’t.
ALL You do. You always do. Just at the point when everyone wants to eat, you say you don’t.
ALL I didn’t realise I did that.
ALL Is it because you’re depressed?
ALL Not in the least. I’m very happy. All of the time.
ALL All of the time!?
ALL Much of the time.
ALL Ah!
PAUSE
TRUDY Well, will you? Yes, I probably will.
HECTOR I very likely will. You always say that.
FRANK Give him a chance. Why?
IN THE FOLLOWING SECTION THE CHARACTERS NOT ONLY SPEAK THEIR OWN LINES BUT THOSE OF OTHERS WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE SPEAKING TO THEM.
BETTY COUGHS LOUDLY AND UNCOMFORTABLY
HECTOR It’s dust – I think I swallowed a tiny piece of dust.
PAUSE
FRANK COUGHS EXPERIMENTALLY
FRANK Yeah. Definitely. Happens a lot at the moment. Happened the other day. How?
TRUDY Don’t really know.
BETTY I just breathe in and it enters my throat. Well, that’s no different from anybody else, Tasha.
HECTOR I know everybody breathes in. What I’m saying is, Roy, I just get this thing at the moment.
FRANK Not all the time? No, just at the moment.
TRUDY Anyway, I’ve swallowed it now.
BETTY I’ll have a glass of water, though. Just in case.
IN THE FOLLOWING SECTION THE CHARACTERS SPEAK THEIR SEPARATE SPEECHES SIMULTANEOUSLY. THEY START AND FINISH AT THE SAME TIME.
PAUSE
BETTY This is very nice it’s not mucky it’s very pleasant I can feel myself in here something to do with the décor most probably I expect. You find a place like this you should cherish it you should tell your friends about it so that it does good business and doesn’t close down.
FRANK I’ve got a certain amount to do but when I’ve done it I certainly won’t get complacent there’s always more round the corner it would be good to see round the corner sometimes but I suppose that would spoil it half the fun is in not knowing that’s the fun of it.
HECTOR Now I’m just looking around taking it in and putting things behind me I’ll be buying some papers eventually that should help build up the picture it’s good to get a handle on things to commit with determination and pitch with the team it’s always best.
TRUDY There is the loneliness the wondering if you’re on the path or off the path at night sometimes at dawn there’s a low fog rising off the meadow but someone has taken the grass I expect they’ll bring it back by spring they usually do it’s something to rely on.
BLACKOUT
END

2010
Link to Dash #5 in right hand column

Dash #3: The Fastness

copy_0_dash-production-unit-3_jpg_442x294_crop_q85

The characters:
Ann – a cricketer
Pat – a policewoman
Tod – an actor
Dan – a documentary film maker

THE ACTORS ARE IN THEIR FIRST POSITIONS ONSTAGE, UNDER A LOW PRE-SET.
HOUSE LIGHTS FADE TO BLACKOUT, ENABLING THE DIRECTOR, DAVID GALE, TO ENTER AND TAKE A POSITION MIDSTAGE CENTRE.
A SPECIAL SPOT FADES UP TO REVEAL HIM.
DAVID Good evening, my name is David Gale. I am the writer and director of the Dash Dash Dash series of short plays, one of which, titled ‘The Fastness’, you are about to see. If what I’m doing at the moment isn’t very good then I must apologise. It’s because I’m not an actor. These are my real clothes. It can be tricky writing a play in three days and rehearsing it in two and a half. Some of the things you’d ideally introduce gradually have to be quickly established so that you can cover the ground you want to in the limited time you have. This evening I thought I’d get round that by just telling you what happened to Dan – the character played by Chris here (HE INDICATES CHRIS, WHO SMILES PLEASANTLY) – before he came on stage, so to speak.
Thanks to some scientific breakthroughs Dan was able to travel back in time to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and film it with a concealed camera. Now he’s back here again. (PAUSE) Good. I’m sorry if that’s a bit crude, but it does mean we can start with an even playing field.
I’ve got a seat over here (INDICATING). I’ll go to it now.
DAVID TAKES HIS SEAT IN THE AUDIENCE.
AS SOON AS HE IS SETTLED LIGHTS GO TO FIRST ‘PLAY STATE’.

ANN How was Jerusalem?
DAN Golgotha.
TOD How was it?
PAT Did you get anything?
DAN When I arrived, I was, of course, naked. I managed to find a robe and made my way to the site. They were just putting him up.
ANN What was he like?
DAN Not at his best, I imagine. Even so, you could tell there was something going on. I got up close and shot for at least two hours.
TOD Amazing.
PAT The crucifixion of Jesus Christ – in colour!
DAN Worth a couple of bob, to be sure. Once they remove the camera.
TOD Is that a headache?
DAN It’s just beneath the collar-bone. (INDICATING) Here, more or less. They make an incision and lift it out.
ANN Are you sure it’s there?
DAN Oh yes. Anything inside the body is safe. Anything outside is vaporised.
ANN Well, talking of time travel, we’re playing New Zealand next week. Worcester.
PAT Going alright?
ANN Been in the nets every day. Looking pretty good.
PAT We’re busting some scumbags at the moment.
TOD Gak?
PAT Smack.
TOD Users?
PAT No, no. Dealers. Maltese Jimmy.
TOD I got that panto.
ANN Well done!
DAN Puss?
TOD Dick.
DAN Scarborough?
TOD Yeah.
ANN Lovely walks.
A COUNTRY DANCE. WITH ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC.
IT FINISHES.
TOD So, Dan.
DAN Tod?
TOD If word got out…
PAT Men and women would fall upon you.
ANN They would tear your body open.
DAN I hadn’t thought of that.
ANN So why did you go?
DAN It was felt that the outcome might have significant impact upon a fragmented world.
PAT It would knock some sense into it.
DAN Certainly.
TOD It would take things back to the moment before curtain up.
DAN Demonstrably.
ANN It would create an even playing field.
DAN Plainly.
PAT Do you feel any different, Dan?
DAN Well, it was a once in a lifetime thing.
TOD I think you have changed.
ANN I’m trying to remember what you were like.
A SHORT COUNTRY DANCE.
IT FINISHES.
DAN Hello everybody I’ve succeeded in painting the town red in a very direct and lively manner.
ANN I disagree. It is time for unrelenting and pitiless war.
TOD Who’d like a delicious cuppa? I would. Thank you.
PAT This afternoon I’m going to strip the 444 down and see if we can’t get it to run about a bit.
DAN You could take it down the town. Which is so colourful.
ANN Yes. I’ve got people coming in from all over roundabout these parts in effect.
TOD Which is a monster plus. By Jiminy.
PAT By crikey.
ANN By fuck.
DAN Hoorah to all that.
PAT Right then! Let’s!
TOD I’m inclined.
DAN With a brisk and lively tempo.
PAT I could slap something now.
ANN Off you go.
TOD I’d like to run that way.
DAN And I another way.
PAT I’ll slap something very shortly.
ANN Which is what you’re like.
PAT As you say. Ann.
TOD Are you the slap type? Pat.
DAN This is getting good.
ANN Oh, I love Switzerland!
TOD I love remembering!
PAT I’m a misanthropist!
DAN I collect stamps!
TOD I think about my personality.
PAT Watch me run for the ball.
TOD I can’t.
PAT It’ll happen anyway.
PAT RUNS ABOUT A BIT.
ANN There should be borders that are touchable around areas that may contravene health and safety.
DAN It only makes sense. What about these moves?
DAN ROUNDS ABOUT A BIT.
THAT MEANS THERE ARE TWO PEOPLE RUNNING ABOUT A BIT AT ONCE.
THEY STOP.
ANN I love you.
DAN Shall we settle down?
TOD (TO ANN) He’s only kidding.
ANN (TO DAN) Fucker.
PAT Dan, you’re the wild card.
DAN I really wish I had been more indirect with that man in Luxembourg.
TOD In what exact way, Dan?
DAN DEMONSTRATES SIDLING, EDGING, DEFLECTING, FAWNING, THE WITHHOLDING OF AFFECT.
HE FINISHES DOING THIS.
ANN Newmarket is just in. Two o’clock: Bad Roy. Two thirty: Namibian Pamby. Three o’clock: Fiery Liquid. Three thirty: Look out Hector! Four o’clock: Knobby. The Fastness!
PAT SLAPS TOD.
TOD I’m listening.
ANN Think: the Big Bang, yeah?
TOD I’m listening.
ANN The Big Bang, yeah.
DAN That’s irritating.
ANN The Big Bang, yeah, the actual noise of it, is still going on.
TOD Some sort of a distant hiss, isn’t it?
ANN Tod! Fuck! You’re such a div! Whatever they want you to think, you think!
TOD Okay, okay. What am I missing?
ANN The Big Bang, right, is still going on, as an actual bang, all around us, deafening, totally ear-splitting.
PAT (SARCASTICALLY) Which is why I can hear you perfectly well at this moment in time.
ANN Pat!
PAT (THREATENINGLY) Don’t!
ANN No.
DAN It’s not a bad point, is it, Ann?
ANN Because it’s deafening our ears have evolved to hear beyond it. Everything we hear is beyond it.
TOD But it’s there.
PAT Where is your proof, please?
ANN Honestly, Pat. You should join the police force.
PAT You should take your pads off now and again.
TOD I have to go to an audition.
DAN What for?
TOD So that I’m there when they evaluate a number of actors for a particular part.
A COUNTRY DANCE.
IT FINISHES.
PAT Dan. Don’t get me wrong.
DAN I’ll try.
PAT Your underpants. Are they especially brief?
DAN They are, actually. I don’t like to be encumbered.
PAT Or cucumbered!
(PAT AND ANN BURST OUT LAUGHING BAWDILY WITH GREAT FORCE)
I’m sorry. That was wrong of me.
(PAT AND ANN BURST OUT LAUGHING AGAIN, IN A SIMILAR MANNER)
No. We shouldn’t. Your pants, Dan…
(THEY BURST OUT LAUGHING AGAIN, IN A SIMILAR MANNER)
No, honestly.
DAN No, no. Take your time. I’ve got nothing on today.
PAT Are you sure?
PAT AND ANN BURST OUT LAUGHING AGAIN, IN A SIMILAR MANNER.
PAUSE.
ANN Oh dear.
PAT I don’t where it comes from!
DAN (MILDLY IMPATIENT) Anyway. My pants…
PAT AND ANN BURST OUT LAUGHING AGAIN. THEY ROAR, POUND THE FURNITURE AND SLAP EACH OTHER’S THIGHS.
TOD We could probably move on.
PAT Simple question: would you like to slip into something less stylish for when we get going? Just to make you feel more comfortable. Something roomier?
ANN SNORTS BUT MANAGES TO CONTROL HERSELF AND STUDIES THE CEILING
DAN That’s very thoughtful. Thank you. I will.
PAT HANDS DAN A DRESSING GOWN AND A PAIR OF PLAIN WHITE Y-FRONTS, STILL PACKAGED.
DAN MOVES UPSTAGE AND, WITH HIS BACK TO THE AUDIENCE, CHANGES INTO Y-FRONTS AND DRESSING GOWN.
THE LIGHTING STATE STARTS TO SHIFT TO A NON-NATURALISTIC ‘GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST’ STYLE WITH HIGH CONTRAST LIGHT AND SHADOW.
WHILE DAN IS CHANGING HIS CLOTHES TOD, ANN AND PAT HELP EACH OTHER PUT ON WHITE SURGICAL SCRUBS. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THESE EFFICIENTLY PROTECT THE COSTUMES BENEATH.
THE FOLLOWING DIALOGUE MAY SUFFICE AS COVER:
TOD It has to be this way. If we outsourced it anything could happen.
ANN We’ll be fine.
TOD It’s been a while but I’m pretty sure of the moves.
PAT How long were you on it?
TOD About eight months. Two seasons. I went from House Officer in A&E to Ear, Nose and Throat.
ANN What’s Sally Myers like?
TOD She’s lovely.
ANN I thought so. She looks like she would be.
PAT I love her laugh.
TOD It’s actually hers. That’s the way she laughs.
DAN HAS NOW COMPLETED HIS COSTUME CHANGE WALKS DOWN TO THE OTHERS.
DAN I like that Terry guy.
TOD He’s Scottish.
DAN Really? Not a Cockney.
TOD No.
DAN Amazing.
WHAT ENSUES IS AN ATTEMPT, WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF LIVE THEATRE, TO REPRODUCE A SURGICAL OPERATION THAT GOES QUITE WELL BUT GENERATES AN EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT OF BLOOD AND GUTS.
WE WILL PROBABLY NEED A CLEANABLE FLOOR CLOTH.
THE OPERATION IS CONDUCTED ON DAN, WHO LIES ON A SPECIAL TABLE WHICH MAY, PRIOR TO THIS EPISODE, HAVE BEEN TAKEN FOR A DINING TABLE.
BENEATH THE TABLE TOP ARE COMPARTMENTS CONTAINING:
• SEVERAL LITRES OF STAGE BLOOD.
• QUANTITIES OF MATERIAL CLOSELY RESEMBLING INTESTINES AND INTERNAL ORGANS. (THESE COULD BE SOURCED FROM AN ABATTOIR IF PROPER REFRIGERATION WERE AVAILABLE AT ALL STAGES).
• A PUMP/SPRAY WHICH WOULD EMIT GUSHERS OF STAGE BLOOD WHEN ACTIVATED. THE SPRAY HEAD IS ADJUSTABLE SO THAT GUSHERS ARE DIRECTABLE. (IT MAY BE THAT THE ACTUAL PUMP IS OFFSTAGE BUT CONNECTED TO THE SPRAYHEAD ONSTAGE).
• A DRAWER FOR SCALPELS, SURGICAL SAWS, FORCEPS, CLAMPS ETC.
ALL ACCESS TO THESE FACILITIES WOULD BE ON THE UPSTAGE SIDE OF THE TABLE SO THAT THE ‘SURGEONS’ WOULD APPEAR TO BE OPENING UP DAN’S BODY AND CAUSING IT TO BLEED, GUSH AND BECOME A SOURCE OF ORGANS.
DAN GETS ONTO THE TABLE AND LIES ON HIS BACK.
BEAUTIFULLY SOLEMN MUSIC FADES UP.
THE ‘SURGEONS’ MOVE INTO POSITION AROUND THE TABLE.
TOD Dan – we don’t have any anaesthetic.
DAN I know. It’s not a problem.
ANN He directs his mind away, don’t you, Dan?
DAN Something like that.
TOD Okay. Time to go in. Take 1.
THE STAGE DIRECTIONS WILL DESCRIBE WHAT APPEARS TO HAPPEN, RATHER THAN WHAT THE ACTORS ACTUALLY HAVE TO DO TO CREATE THE ILLUSIONS.
THE ATMOSPHERE IS LOW KEY, UNHURRIED, SERENE.
TOD Scalpel. (PAT HANDS TOD A SCALPEL) Going in, Dan. (TOD MAKES AN INCISION ON DAN’S UPPER CHEST) There. Keyhole.
DAN How is it?
TOD Pat.
PAT PRODUCES A FLASHLIGHT AND SHINES IT ONTO THE INCISION.
PAT Can’t see it yet.
TOD I’ll enlarge. (TOD ENLARGES THE INCISION) Okay, Dan?
DAN Good.
TOD Pat.
PAT SHINES THE FLASHLIGHT ON THE INCISION AGAIN.
ANN Can I see? (SHE PEERS INTO THE INCISION) Nope.
TOD Little bit more. (TOD ENLARGES THE INCISION) Okay, Dan?
DAN You’re doing well.
TOD Pat, please.
PAT SHINES THE FLASHLIGHT ON THE INCISION AGAIN.
ANN PEERS IN.
ANN Not yet. (TO TOD) Can I try?
TOD Of course.
PAT Ann.
PAT HANDS ANN A NEW SCALPEL.
ANN You happy with this, Dan?
DAN I’m with friends. (ANN ENLARGES THE INCISION) You’re so calm.
ANN So are you.
PAT SHINES THE FLASHLIGHT ON THE INCISION.
PAT Hmm. I might just put my hand in.
TOD Can’t do any harm.
PAT INSERTS HER HAND INTO DAN’S UPPER CHEST.
STEAM RISES FROM WITHIN DAN’S BODY AS THE WARM ORGANS MEET THE COLDER OUTSIDE AIR.
PAT How big is it, Dan?
DAN Matchbox.
PAT I need to move around a little.
DAN You look lovely.
PAT So do you.
PAT GOES IN UP TO THE WRIST AND EXPLORES THE CAVITY.
BLOOD SUDDENLY SPURTS FROM THE CAVITY AND STRIKES PAT SQUARE IN THE FACE.
PAT STEPS BACK AND WIPES HER FACE UNHURRIEDLY (TO THE EXTENT THAT THE ACTRESS NEEDS TO). ONE OF HER HANDS IS ALREADY BLOODY FROM THE CAVITY.
TOD Dan?
DAN Just pressure, Tod. It needed to come out.
ANN BENDS TO KISS DAN ON THE BROW. HE SQUEEZES HER HAND.
TOD I think what we’ll do is clear some space. (TOD INSERTS BOTH HANDS INTO DAN’S CAVITY) This won’t hurt, Dan. The inner organs are actually quite numb.
DAN It doesn’t hurt, Tod.
TOD IS GATHERING UP DAN’S INTESTINES.
TOD Slippery.
HE RAISES AN ARMFUL OF GLITTERING, TRANSLUCENT INTESTINAL TUBING AND SPILLS IT ONTO THE FLOOR, DOWNSTAGE OF THE TABLE.
PAT We should take our shoes off.
ANN Good thinking.
TOD Be a shame to get them messy.
THE THREE ‘SURGEONS’ REMOVE THEIR SHOES. NO RUSH – THE MUSIC IS BEAUTIFUL, THE TABLEAU IS ENGAGING.
PAT Tod!
TOD What?
PAT It’s not a porno film.
TOD Eh?
PAT You’ve kept your socks on!
TOD Oh!
TOD REMOVES HIS SOCKS.
ANN Good point.
ANN REMOVES HER STOCKINGS.
PAT REMOVES HER STOCKINGS.
THEY ARRANGE THE THREE PAIRS OF SHOES NEATLY TO THE SIDE.
THE ‘SURGEONS’ PAD BAREFOOT THROUGH THE INTESTINES BACK TO THE OPERATING TABLE.
ANN Sorry, Dan.
DAN There’s really no rush.
PAT Are you okay?
DAN Pat, I’m fine. Those tubes…I’ve never particularly liked the idea of them…full of waste. I feel lighter.
TOD You’re a hero.
ANN Shall I go in?
TOD Do. Bit more room to move now.
ANN BENDS OVER DAN’S CAVITY AND SLIDES HER HAND IN.
A SPURT OF BLOOD GUSHES OUT AND HITS HER IN THE FACE.
DAN Ann…what was that?
ANN Nothing, darling. You’re just being yourself.
ANN KISSES DAN ON THE LIPS. THEY KISS (DAN STILL LIES ON HIS BACK) FOR SEVERAL SECONDS.
PAT Is there anything you’d like, Dan?
DAN I’m so comfortable, Pat. I’m light, I’m steady.
TOD Whatever you’ve got, Dan – we should bottle it!
ANN AND PAT LAUGH APPRECIATIVELY.
ANN Darling, I’m going to try again.
DAN That’s good, Ann.
TOD No rush. Take your time.
ANN SEARCHES DAN’S UPPER BODY (STILL STEAMING).
AS SHE DOES SO A FAINT LIGHT SHINES UP FROM WITHIN HIM, SOFTLY IRRADIATING ANN’S FACE.
DAN It’s good. It’s only good. This is how we are. A spark running from the flesh to the flesh. There is so little we need.
ANN EXTRACTS SOME CHUNKS OF GENERAL MEAT AND LUNG AND TOSSES THEM TO THE FLOOR DOWNSTAGE.
TOD Any luck?
ANN Not as such. (SHE CONTINUES TO RUMMAGE) Ah!
TOD What?
ANN Got something.
PAT What’s it like?
ANN Little box…packet. Oh!
SHE MOVES HER ARM SUDDENLY
TOD What?
ANN Slippery.
SHE CONTINUES TO RUMMAGE
PAT Use both hands.
ANN PUTS HER OTHER HAND IN
ANN Aha! Gotcha!
SHE REMOVES BOTH ARMS AND HOLDS UP A SMALL, BLOODSTAINED, FLAT BOX-SHAPED ITEM.
THE MUSIC STOPS.
DAN Well done.
TOD Had to be in there somewhere.
DAN GETS UP AND SLIPS HIS SHIRT AND TROUSERS ON (NO NEED FOR SHOES AND SOCKS).
DAN Sure – but you can’t help thinking what if…
PAT You’d have to back and look for it.
DAN No way. I’ve got so much to do this week.
PAT What you doing?
DAN Managing bars at a festival. You?
PAT Firearms training.
ANN You should come and see the cricket.
PAT I wish.
TOD I’ve got a matinee on Thursday.
DAN That’s good.
TOD They give you one now and again.
SHORT COUNTRY DANCE WITHOUT MUSIC.
THE END.

2010
Link to Dash #4 in right hand column

Dash #2: The Flutters

A group of volatile people with poor impulse control spend time together in a room. Some of them leave the room in order to carry out unusual tasks. On their return their volatility continues unabated. Such is the instability of the occasion that the fabric of the room itself is affected. The florid design recommendations hereunder were elegantly resolved by the placing of a framed image of a number of butterflies in silhouette on a wall of the room. When the collective psychic temperature approached criticality the butterflies would flutter in their frame.

The characters:
Roy
Mary
Victor
Grace

IT IS NOT CLEAR WHO IS MARRIED TO WHOM.
THROUGHOUT THE SHOW, THE ‘FLUTTERING’ OF FURNITURE, FIXTURES & FITTINGS WILL BE INTRODUCED AT VARIOUS INTENSITIES AT VARIOUS TIMES. (THIS WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF INITIAL DESIGN DISCUSSIONS)
ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE DISCOVERED ON STAGE.

ROY (HAVING NOT ENTERED) I’m back.
MARY Poppet.
VICTOR I am too.
GRACE Cuddlesome.
ROY There is the most cutting person I have met today.
VICTOR Did you brace him?
GRACE Victor!
VICTOR It’s gangland.
MARY Victor – are you in gangs?
GRACE He uses their terminology.
ROY I understood him.
VICTOR Gangs!
THEY ALL DO A MOCK SHIVER OF HORROR THEN LAUGH BRIEFLY BUT NERVOUSLY WITH CONSIDERABLE VOLUME.
PAUSE.
ROY You can’t really physically attack people in an ordinary working situation.
VICTOR I wish that was different.
GRACE The rule?
VICTOR Yes.
MARY They are made for our health and safety.
ROY As a rule.
THEY ALL SHRIEK WITH LAUGHTER FOR NO MORE THAN 2 SECONDS. LOUDLY.
PAUSE.
MARY Would anybody like something?
SHE WALKS ABOUT BRISKLY AND PURPOSEFULLY.
VICTOR I’ll get something.
HE WALKS AROUND SEARCHINGLY. FOR A SURPRISINGLY LONG TIME.
A MODEST, INTRODUCTORY FLUTTERING OF FURNITURE COMMENCES (TO BE DETERMINED IN DESIGN DISCUSSIONS)
ROY Is there nothing?
VICTOR There was plenty.
MARY There were biscuits.
VICTOR In particular there were dark biscuits and light ones.
MARY They were arranged interestingly.
ROY Is that possible? To arrange biscuits in such a way?
VICTOR Of course it is, Roy. Have you no imagination?
ROY Of course I have. Everybody has.
GRACE How do you know?
ROY I imagine they have. Bloody hell. Anyway, these biscuits, were they in the sky, with kittens on them?
VICTOR No.
MARY There were laid out: dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light dark light.
ROY Like dominoes.
VICTOR Less chewy.
MARY That was the problem, the more I think of it.
GRACE What?
MARY When you walked past them they would flicker against your eye.
ROY They were visible, in other words.
VICTOR They had the capacity to induce grand mal seizure.
GRACE Grand?
VICTOR Okay – petit.
ROY A fucking biscuit?
VICTOR Roy – had you ever thought that your cynicism closes you to valuable experience?
ROY No.
MARY The body, anxious to protect the mind, would obscure the biscuits.
ROY It would eat them.
VICTOR No. It would turn away from the migraine-inducing array.
ROY I tell you what I’d fucking do.
(NOBODY TAKES HIM UP ON THIS)
I’d fucking eat the dark ones. Or the light ones. Thereby eliminating the photosensitive provocation and relocating its constituents to my stomach.
MARY Anyway – there aren’t any.
GRACE Downer.
MARY Grace.
GRACE It’s street.
VICTOR Bummer. I’m really bummed. There’s fucking nothing.
PAUSE.
ROY I don’t need anything.
PAUSE.
GRACE How’s that?
ROY Huh?
GRACE How do you get by?
PAUSE
ROY I don’t know. I always have. I see the desire and I smooth it down. I ask myself: just what is this lack? Am I the woman under whose skirts the world crawls? I seal myself.
MARY He does.
VICTOR I wish I was like that.
ROY We can’t be like other people, Victor.
VICTOR No.
MARY They’re there already.
VICTOR Yes.
GRACE Yes.
PAUSE.
ROY Can’t have two of everything.
PAUSE.
VICTOR I…I…
GRACE What?
VICTOR I…I…
GRACE Oh.
MARY What if there were two…
THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER UNEASILY
GRACE I think I’d be sick.
MARY No.
VICTOR Now?
GRACE I certainly feel it.
ROY Would you like to be sick in my jacket?
ROY TAKES OFF HIS JACKET
MARY Roy. You’re old-fashioned.
ROY It wouldn’t be the first time.
GRACE I’m afraid it’s coming up. (SHE STARTS TO GAG)
VICTOR The sick?
GRACE The recent lunch.
SHE CONTINUES TO GAG.
ROY STANDS BY WITH HIS JACKET.
MARY There need not be two, Grace.
A LOUD BANG (MAROON)
GRACE What if I were to kill this prick that is cutting at your work, Roy?
ROY It would certainly take the scent off me and the suspicion of others.
VICTOR You and I, Roy, could play pool in the hotel all day, taking the looks of people.
MARY Thereby constructing alibis should they be needed in the event of enquiries.
GRACE I’ll rip the fucker up.
ROY Thank you very much, Grace. I’m really very grateful for this murder.
GRACE No – you were a gent when I was about to heave my contents.
MARY Bye bye, darling.
GRACE EXITS
VICTOR The sister of the woman next door is having a baby.
MARY Who is its father, this baby?
VICTOR I.
MARY You.
VICTOR I slipped over and gave her one.
MARY A tiny baby?
VICTOR The shag.
ROY Fuck.
MARY Where did you bang her?
VICTOR Where do you think?
ROY She means ‘in what particular physical location?’
VICTOR The front room.
MARY Where was Rebecca?
ROY The woman next door.
VICTOR Holding my trousers.
ROY Fuck.
MARY Was the television on?
VICTOR It may have been. I was on the job.
ROY I’ve only ever dreamed of shit like that.
VICTOR Roy – you are a dreamer. You said it yourself.
ROY So…
VICTOR It may be that your dreams are extraordinary. They may unfold in worlds in which you step between galaxies, irradiated by impossible desires, your nerves extended to distant suns, your palms full of tiny excited animals.
MARY We may all dream, Roy. Those who do not will endure the grey, cancerous worms that writhe brusquely through their intestines. Their minds are windless plains and their skin is stippled with dry sores.
VICTOR Oddly, Roy, those who do not dream are impelled by the very shapes that they suppress.
ROY In what way, exactly?
MARY They are driven. They are puppets engulfed by the dark.
VICTOR But dreamers are ordinary, Roy. It doesn’t exactly take any effort. We might even say that to dream is to hand over the reins.
ROY In the sense of…
MARY Don’t tell me your imaginings, Roy. I have them too.
VICTOR Open the box, Roy.
MARY Let your muscles do the talking.
ROY I think I’ll take a look next door. Rebecca, was it?
VICTOR Her sister is Elizabeth. Betty.
ROY Right.
ROY EXITS
PAUSE
VICTOR STARTS TO TREMBLE.
SOME OF THE FURNITURE STARTS TO TREMBLE (FOLLOWING DESIGN DISCUSSIONS).
VICTOR I…I…I…I
MARY Dunt gah ner…dunt gah…dunt gahn in…ner…dunt Victor!
VICTOR fff…fff…fff…fff
VICTOR STARTS TO HAVE AN EPILEPTIC SEIZURE.
AS HE THRASHES AROUND HE KICKS A PIECE OF FURNITURE TO PIECES.
MARY TAKES A SMALL PIECE OF FURNITURE AND STICKS IT IN HIS MOUTH.
HE CONTINUES TO KICK AND JERK.
A LOUD BANG (MAROON).
VICTOR IS FINE NOW. HE STANDS UP.
EXHILARATING TRANCE MUSIC KICKS IN.
VICTOR DANCES HAPPILY.
ENTER GRACE. HER LIPSTICK IS SMUDGED AND HER HAIR IS DISHEVELLED.
SHE DANCES WITH VICTOR FOR A FEW SECONDS THEN SHAKES HER HEAD.
THE MUSIC STOPS.
GRACE Okay. I shagged him.
MARY I thought…
GRACE He seemed nice enough.
MARY But…
GRACE Yeah, I know. Then I cut his cock off.
VICTOR Ouch.
GRACE Rather.
MARY Everything?
GRACE Everything that stuck out. He’s a woman now.
VICTOR Fuck.
GRACE PRODUCES A PACKAGE, NEATLY WRAPPED IN NEWSPAPER.
SHE TOSSES IT ONTO THE TABLE.
VICTOR What’s that?
GRACE The cock.
VICTOR Shit.
GRACE I’m a flee from justice now. Cops out there. Guns coming.
MARY Where Roy? Roy gone to other feller place.
VICTOR O crikey O crikey.
MARY Dunt ger Roy. Too late.
ROY SMASHES THROUGH THE WALL OF THE SET ONTO THE STAGE.
MARY Aagh Roy. Aagh Roy.
ROY I found out so much!
VICTOR Okay old friend you?
RUN ‘LA RAGE’ (see below)
AS THE SONG PLAYS, ROY SINGS THE FIRST FOUR LINES OF ‘LA RAGE’ BY THE FRENCH FEMALE RAP ARTIST KENY ARKANA
AS FOLLOWS:
La rage du peuple / La rage du peuple / La rage du peuple / La rage du peuple
(Trans: The rage of the people)
THE CAST ALL JOINS IN AND SINGS THE WORDS ‘LA RAGE’ WHENEVER THEY ARISE IN THE SONG. THEY ARE USED CHORALLY THROUGHOUT TO PUNCTUATE THE SINGER’S LINES.
AS THEY SING THEY STAND IN LINE ABREAST AND MOVE TO THE BEATS IN THE ESTABLISHED MANNER. ONE AFTER THE OTHER, EACH CAST MEMBER WILL STEP DOWNSTAGE, CONTINUING TO DO THE MOVES BUT FACING INTO THE AUDIENCE, THEN RETURNING TO THE LINE.
THEIR MANNER IS NOT AGGRESSIVE – THEY ARE FIRM AND SERENE.
WE WILL DETERMINE THE LENGTH OF THIS EPISODE IN REHEARSAL.
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE LYRICS. WE CAN MARK THEM UP TO INDICATE THE CHORAL INTERJECTIONS.
Ok, on a la rage mais c’est pas celle qui fait baver,
Demande à Fabe, la vie claque comme une semelle sur les pavés
La rage de voir nos buts entravés, de vivre en travers,
la rage gravée depuis bien loin en arrière
La rage d’avoir grandi trop vite quand des adultes volent ton enfance.
PARS !! Imagine un mur et abolis la rage !
Car impossible est cette paix tant voulue,
La rage de voir autant de CRS armés dans nos rues.
La rage de voir ce putain de monde s’autodétruire
Et que ce soit toujours des innocents au centre des tirs,
La rage car c’est l’homme qui a créé chaque mur,
Se barricader de béton, aurait-il peur de la nature ?
La rage car il a oublié qu’il en faisait parti,
désharmonie profonde, mais dans quel monde la Colombe est partie ?
La rage d’être autant balafré par les putains de normes,
Et puis la rage, ouais la rage d’avoir la rage depuis qu’on est môme.
(Refrain )
Parce qu’on a la rage, on restera debout quoi qu’il arrive,
La rage d’aller jusqu’au bout et là où veut bien nous mener la vie,
Parce qu’on a la rage, on pourra plus s’taire ni s’asseoir dorénavant on s’tiendra prêt parce qu’on a la rage, le coeur et la foi !
Parce qu’on a la rage, on restera debout quoi qu’il arrive,
La rage d’aller jusqu’au bout au delà où veut bien nous mener la vie,
Parce qu’on a la rage, rien ne pourra plus nous arrêter, insoumis, sage, marginal, humaniste ou révolté !
THE SOUND IS CUT ABRUPTLY.
THE FURNITURE IS FLUTTERING STEADILY.
ROY SEES THE PACKAGE ON THE TABLE.
ROY What’s that?
GRACE His cock.
ROY Goodness me.
GRACE You can have it.
HE EXAMINES THE PACKAGE, WITHOUT UNWRAPPING IT.
ROY It’s very neatly executed.
GRACE Are you saying I’m a slag?
ROY Quite the reverse. The packaging is very neat.
GRACE But you were surprised. You thought, fuck, I didn’t think that slag was capable of that.
ROY My position is that the handiwork is entirely consistent with the opinion, a high one, that I had formed of your character and potentials.
GRACE I just wanted to clear that up.
ROY LOOKS AROUND AND SEES THE BROKEN FURNITURE ON THE FLOOR.
ROY Oh dear.
MARY One of Victor’s turns.
ROY Not very good. Disappointing.
ROY GETS DOWN ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES AND STARTS TO PUSH THE FRAGMENTS OF WOOD INTO PILES, AS IF ABOUT TO CLEAR UP.
MARY No, Roy.
ROY Some of the pieces are very small. I don’t know how I can be expected…
GRACE Use the side of your hand.
ROY How?
GRACE Gather them together.
GRACE GETS DOWN ON HER HANDS AND KNEES AND SHOWS ROY HOW IT CAN BE DONE.
MARY (DISAPPROVINGLY) Grace…
ROY (SHARPLY) Let her do it!
GRACE STANDS UP SLOWLY AND MENACINGLY AND WALKS OVER TO MARY
GRACE Let me fucking do it.
MARY Get your fucking face out of my fucking face!
GRACE Listen, cunt…
MARY Don’t call me a cunt, slag !
ROY Let her fucking do it!
VICTOR Back off, Roy!
ROY STANDS UP SLOWLY AND MENACINGLY AND WALKS OVER TO VICTOR
ROY I’m normally placid, Victor.
VICTOR I noticed, Roy, I fucking noticed.
ROY I’m holding myself in.
MARY Don’t piss about with him, Roy.
ROY I’ve barely fucking begun.
VICTOR Fuck with me anytime, Roy. No need to send a letter.
ROY You couldn’t fucking read it, Victor.
GRACE SUDDENLY PUNCHES MARY.
MARY CRIES OUT.
THE TWO WOMEN STRUGGLE.
ROY (TO MARY) You tried to stop me tidying, bitch!
VICTOR (TO GRACE) It’s a slippery slope, Grace!
GRACE STOPS STRUGGLING FOR A MOMENT.
GRACE What?
VICTOR Tidying! It’s not the answer! It’s to do with your self!
GRACE Fuck OFF, Victor, you fucking dipshit! With your fucking hippy bollocks! My fucking arse knows more than you!
VICTOR Pardon me – I thought I was talking to your arse!
ROY PUNCHES VICTOR
GRACE AND MARY RESUME THEIR STRUGGLE
ROY Remember, Victor, you made me do this.
HE PRODS HIS FINGERS INTO VICTOR’S EYES.
VICTOR STAGGERS BACK, ROARING AND COVERING HIS EYES WITH HIS HANDS. BLOOD RUNS FROM BETWEEN HIS FINGERS.
VICTOR I’m blind!
ROY That’s because you fucked your mother!
MARY Now he’ll never see his longlost twin!
VICTOR What?
MARY Robert.
GRACE Who’s Robert?
MARY Victor’s twin that he’s never seen since birth is called Robert.
ROY Where’s he been, this Robert?
MARY In this town!
GRACE No!
MARY When Victor and Robert were born their father…
ROY Name?
MARY Rex.
VICTOR That’s correct.
MARY It is. Rex said he had only had intercourse with Victor’s mother…
VICTOR Gwen.
MARY If I may continue…
VICTOR I was trying to help.
MARY Thank you. Rex said he only had intercourse with Gwen on one occasion.
ROY Ever?
MARY Apparently.
ROY Perhaps he took her up the arse. On other occasions.
VICTOR Nobody fucks my mother up the arse!
ROY That’s not what she told me.
GRACE (ADMONISHINGLY) Roy!
VICTOR I’d kill you if I could see you, Roy.
MARY Rex believed that you could only have one baby per penetrative episode. He was not familiar with the monozygotic or dizygotic anomaly.
VICTOR He was a fine man.
ROY He fucked your mother, Victor.
VICTOR Daddy would’t do that!
GRACE Where is Robert now?
MARY Rex gave him a map and some sandwiches and told him to fuck off out. He said his resemblance to Victor was coincidental but unacceptable. He suspected Gwen of getting a bit on the side.
VICTOR Robert! I’ll never see him!
MARY He’s been living in the next street. The problem was that he looked so like Victor nobody noticed.
VICTOR Robert!
ROY Look at it this way, Victor. You don’t need to see him. He looks just like you.
MARY Strikingly so.
ROY So what’s it like losing your sight, Robert?
SCREAMS. FLUTTERING. NOISE. END.

2010
Link to Dash #3 in right hand column