by Vidya Rajan
A beautiful dinner party, at a long table. Everyone who has been on stage is here now. They’re feasting, drinking, eating, alive. There’s also a figure – who hasn’t been there yet, on one of the corners of the table, their words are in italics. Everyone, including the figure, speaks in high, bright voices – it hardly matters what they say, or who says it. This is chatter, they talk over each other, mini-conversations, cross-purposes, a joyful cacophony. The non-italicised text is from the previous plays, if more text is needed to create the party – it should be taken from previous plays.
— You know, absolutely, this is what I said – you’ve been in the street again – I can see it!
— Oh now that’s an out and out lie!
— It’s not easy to speak,
— Good one, you crack me up!
— Okay, so if I can be serious for one second – truth be told, I was quite worried.
— It’s sad, some of their parents, you know can’t look after them anymore. They need a place to rest.
— I was very worried too. Will it make a difference?
— I mean did you see it? There were thousands! Thousands of kids not going to school
— There’s a real shift in the seasons.
— But I thought maybe, this was the time, and it was worth it.
— Were you on first?
— Shit? What was it called?
— I’ll burn for you – no seriously, that’s what he said. I will burn for you.
— Sometimes it feels like the end.
— The fear hasn’t disappeared, but people need to know, you know?
— I’ve always said, if it’s that, it’s that, and that’s okay!
— You forget the pain, you know, cause of…the beautiful…the beautiful result.
— And he had a rash, got a rash…everywhere!
— He’s quite ugly right??
— I wouldn’t put it that way
— Well it is a little…strange looking, but that’s not…fault.
— Though sometimes it’s like you’re yelling into the void! Is that too dramatic?
— We’re going to need more bread! I can’t believe it.
— I do think people forget that, well not all people.
— No need to get…emotional.
— We read things and we see things…
— Few of us ever have to truly risk anything, so I was quite surprised when it was me!
— I believe that the conversation we’ve been having…
— I’m quite afraid haha!
— Honestly, I’m moving to New Zealand
— Shame, that’s a shame.
— But I’ve made my choice now, hopefully it pays off.
The figure abruptly gets up. In the corner we see a man standing there, a plain clothes policeman. The party stops. The figure walks over to the policeman, resigned, and the policeman places a hand on their shoulder. They walk off.
The party is puzzled. The silence continues.
— I’m speechless!
The silence continues.
— Don’t worry we’ll be fine.
— Is it supposed to be this beautiful in May?
The silence continues. Someone drops a plate.
— Did you like your chicken?
— It was delicious, thank you.