Saturday 8 June (final) – Unmovable Feast

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.

Continue reading “Saturday 8 June (final) – Unmovable Feast”

Saturday 8 June – The Fights

by Ross Mueller

(Outside a prize fight is in progress.

Lights up in a tiny dressing room, backstage at “The Fights”.

A is wearing fighters trunks and a robe and a towel. Shadow boxing. The door opens and the crowd noise is loud. The “A Team” begins to assemble in the dressing room. They are dressed as a Crew and they are encouraging A; noting the speed and the precision of the shadow punches.

B enters the room. The noise level outside is peaking. Somebody has landed a heavy blow. B slams the door shut.

Silence.

B motions for A to come and get hands wrapped. A is immediately obedient and sits in front of B on a massage table. B begins by looking at the bruises on A’s hands)

B    Wow…  Wow… Look, at you. Look at you kid. When you were seventy five kilo’s – you were beautiful, you coulda been another…

(B starts wrapping the hands of A)

But that skunk we got you for a Manager, he brought you along too fast.

A    It wasn’t him Charlie… It was you.

Continue reading “Saturday 8 June – The Fights”

Friday 7 June – National Interest

by Emilie Collyer

We return to the kink dungeon from a few weeks ago where we met professional Dommes, Dee and Kay. The same props that were in evidence then are here now too – caps, suits, short grey-haired wigs, glasses, generic round pale face masks – but this time the women are packing them away.

DEE:    I can’t believe it.

KAY:    End of an era.

DEE:    And what stupid reason did they give?

KAY:    Some bullshit about zoning.

DEE:    Do you think it’s locals that complained?

KAY:    Nah. They protested the closure, we’ve been getting flowers and gifts and messages of support all day.

DEE:    So what’s the real fucking reason?

Kay holds up the generic, pale, round face masks.

DEE:    What?

KAY:    During the raid⎯

Continue reading “Friday 7 June – National Interest”

Thursday 6 June – Sara and Annie

by Keziah Warner

Sara and Annie are at the spa. Both in baths of olive oil.

Annie is extremely-self-consciously naked. Strangely, Sara is still wearing her trench coat.

Sara is on her phone. Annie’s phone is on the floor by the bath – a little too far away. She looks around, trying to think of something to say. She waits for Sara to put her phone down. Eventually, she decides to reach for her phone. Not wishing to be noticed by Sara, she slowly, excruciatingly slithers her arms and shoulders over the edge, followed by her torso so she is hinging on the edge of the bath by her hips. She’s five months pregnant so it’s extremely awkward and precarious. She grasps at the floor a few times before managing to get hold of her phone.

At this point, she realises she is balanced more on the floor than in the bath. She puts her phone in her mouth, places her palms flat on the tiled floor and bends her elbows to brace herself. She makes two little bouncing motions up and down like push ups to gain momentum and then powerfully flings herself up and back. The oil splashes loudly as she lands in the tub.

Sara looks up from her phone for the first time.

SARA: I’ve just realised I’ve been here before.

ANNIE: Oh?

SARA: Yes, Jeremy and I came for a wax.

ANNIE: Jeremy had a wax too?

SARA: Yes. Full body.

ANNIE: Right.

SARA: I don’t remember why now.

ANNIE: Must have been painful.

SARA: Yes he had a reaction. Got a rash everywhere.

ANNIE: Really?

SARA: Everywhere.

ANNIE: Wow.

Continue reading “Thursday 6 June – Sara and Annie”

Monday 3 June – Retail Politics

by Ben Ellis

Cafe on the ground floor of a corporate building

SAM. Retail politics

JACKIE. Funny saying

SAM. That’s what they kept saying on floor twelve

JACKIE. Those last four days were the best of my life

SAM. You were certain we’d lose

It’s like childbirth

SAM. You were screaming about having Bill as PM

JACKIE. You forget the pain because of the beautiful result

SAM. It was beautiful

JACKIE. Do you ever feel..

SAM. Feel…

JACKIE. Feel…

SAM. Feel…

Continue reading “Monday 3 June – Retail Politics”

Sunday 2 June – Morrison!

by Emilie Collyer

The PM’s office.

PM:    So are those guys still writing the plays?

AIDE:    I believe there are quite a few women writing them as well, sir.

PM:    What?

AIDE:    Women sir, writing the plays.

PM:    Yeah?

AIDE:    You said … guys.

PM:    And?

AIDE:    Never mind.

PM:    So are they?

AIDE:    I believe for another week or so, sir.

PM:    Great. I want them to write me a musical.

AIDE:    Sir?

PM:    Like that one on Broadway. The smash hit. About that guy, the hero of the American founding fathers.

AIDE:    … Hamilton, sir?

PM:    That’s it, yeah!

AIDE:    Have you … seen the show, sir?

PM:    Nah.

AIDE:    So you don’t know the story?

PM:    Well it’s called Hamilton, right? So I reckon it’s a bloody ripper story about a great guy called Hamilton. Was he a President? I mean he must have been right? If they made a whole show about him.

AIDE:    Not exactly sir …

PM:    Anyway it’s coming to Sydney. So what I want, before it gets here, is for a new musical. An Australian musical. About a Prime Minister. An ordinary guy. A man of the people. A hero. Something brand new. Never been done before. I’ve got the perfect name: Morrison!

AIDE:    Um …

PM:    What?

AIDE:    You do know there was a musical about Paul Keating, sir.

PM:    What? Shit. What was it called?

AIDE:    Keating!

This is upsetting news.

PM:    Did people like it?

AIDE:    I believe it did very well, sir.

PM pulls himself together, he’s not one to be down for long.

PM:    Well as you know, I believe in miracles and I believe the Australian people are ready for a NEW all Australian musical about a Prime Minister. An ordinary guy. A man of the people. A hero. I’ve even got a few ideas for the words.

AIDE:    The words, sir?

PM:    Of the songs. How’s this: ‘I am not giving away my shot. I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry …’

AIDE:    Er, I believe those lyrics are taken directly from the musical Hamilton, sir. I’m not even sure we can put them in this play without infringing copyright. Can you … tweak them a little?

PM:    Yeah, yeah, I can do that. Just warming up. How about: ‘I am not handballing away my shot’ – footy reference, folks will love a footy reference. ‘I’m just like my country, I’m middle-aged, well-off and angry …’

AIDE:    Angry, sir?

PM:    All right. Fair enough. Um … Oh. Oh. Daggy! Yeah that’s it! ‘I’m middle-aged, well-off and daggy.’ Oh and even better, even better, how’s this: ‘I am not giving away my cap. I am not giving away my cap! I’m just like my country, I’m middle-aged, well-off and daggy and I’m not giving away my cap.’ What do you reckon?

AIDE:    Um …

PM:    Get those writers in here.

AIDE:    So you can … give them the lyrics they should write?

PM:    Head start that’s all. They can do the rest.

AIDE:    I’ll … see if I can get onto them …

PM:    And hey, that Keating musical.

AIDE:    Yes sir?

PM:    Was that an all white cast?

AIDE:    Um …

PM:    ‘Cause that’s where we can trump him. Arrogant bastard.

AIDE:    Oh he didn’t write the musical, sir.

PM:    But you can bet he likes to gloat about it. We’ll go one up. Try this on for size: Post-racial casting. Colour-blind casting.

Beat.

AIDE:    You know about colour-blind casting, sir?

PM:    Course I bloody do. Why?

AIDE:    I find that … surprising.

PM:    Yeah well like I said last time, you don’t know everything about me.

AIDE:    Clearly not.

PM:    Hang on now. Back up. Did you say Keating didn’t write his own musical?

AIDE:    That’s correct, sir.

PM:    Ha. What have we got left in the marketing budget?

AIDE:    For the playwrights, sir?

PM:    Nah. Changed my mind. I can write the bastard. That’ll show that poncy Keating a thing or two. We don’t need writers. I’ve already got the first song. How hard can it be?

AIDE:    So the budget is for …

PM:    The cast! I’ve got the perfect idea for who to play me.

AIDE:    Sir?

PM:    Guy Sebastian. Beat. Genius, right! He’s a dead bloody ringer! Go on then!

AIDE:    I believe he’s judging The Voice at present, sir.

PM:    I’ll turn his red chair. I’ll bloody burn for him! Go on! Go get him!

AIDE:    Yes sir. Beat. And if he doesn’t want to?

PM:    Whaddya mean?

AIDE:    If he can’t be bought, Guy Sebastian.

The PM laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs.

PM:    Good one mate, good one. You crack me up. Go on now! Get on it!

The aide exits.

The PM is excited, humming, singing.

PM:    ‘Sco-o-o-ott Morrison. They call me Sco-o-o-ott Morrison. And there’s one or two things I haven’t done. Just you wait. Just you wait …’

THE END

Saturday 1 June (2) – election. results

by Vidya Rajan

A young-ish south asian walks to a chair and sits down. The monologue is delivered facing and to (though not necessarily always looking at) the audience. It’s like a skype phone call – with the rhythms of pause and response, straining to hear and focus etc.. Shouldn’t be anything to indicate this physically (e.g: laptop, headphones).

SONIA:

Hello? Hello! (pause) What? (pause) Oh very good, I can hear now. (pause) What? (pause) No, but what I was saying – (pause) – no, Nanni, I know – (pause) – I’m just saying you think he’s good but he’s – uhuh, uhuh – no, Nanni, I – (pause) – I didn’t even say genocide! (pause) – yes I know, doing what’s right, cleaning up corruption – (pause) – alright, yes, good Modi, good.

She does a long body stretch, then snaps back.

What? No, not tired – (pause) – yeah two more months, can’t believe – (longer pause) – I don’t know, don’t know if I’ll get time off – (pause) – I don’t even feel like I know them, so why should I? – (pause) – and he’s quite ugly right? – (she smiles) – he is, he is, he looks like a fried egg and she looks like a movie star! – (longer pause) – uhuh, yeah, I know it’ll be a big wedding but don’t think it can end well – (pause) – ok, sorry, sorry, yes evil eye.

She stares a bit blankly for a few beats.

Oh this will make you happy! – (pause) – Your man Adani got elected! – (pause, barely suppressing a grin) – Yes – (pause) – no Indians can stand in Australian elections now – (pause) – no, they love us so much they make us stand for election – (pause
-no I’m not lying Nanni! He got elected in Queensland! – (pause) – no, of course I didn’t vote for him – why not? Because! (pause) – no, I’m obviously – obviously joking – he didn’t – (pause) – I did protest though –  (pause) – hello? What are you? – (pause) – I said, PROTEST! Not ARREST, what are you? – (pause) – hello??? – (long pause) – ok sorry, didn’t mean to upset you – (pause) – no, no, I haven’t been thrown in jail yet…

She sighs and looks down, a long beat, then speaks quieter.

Uhuh, uhuh, yeah – (pause) – no, I know – (pause) – yeah, a lot of effort but – (pause) – yeah, such a long time – (pause) – no, doesn’t make sense, I know – (pause) – yeah, I know, hoping for a better – (pause) – yeah – (pause) – but I guess she was basically committing gen – (pause)  – Nah – (pause) – nah I think Jon did the right thing killing her! – (pause) – I don’t know where the dragon’s gone, I would be worried too! – (pause) –  yes, bran made no sense, guess he’s no modi – sorry – (pause) – yeah, night king was disappointing for me too – (pause) – yeah, yeah, hey actually, did you know he’s a metaphor for climate change? – (pause) – A METAPHOR – (pause) – Hello? Nanni??

Silence. No connection.

Hello?

Almost to herself.

Unsatisfying ending.

Black out.

Saturday 1 June – Explosion of Light

 by Ross Mueller

(Penny, Kristina, Anthony and Richard are in a share house. They have cleaning equipment with them. They are about to move into their new share house)

Penny        Pretty good.

Kristina    Spotless.

Anthony    Well… Better than what it was when we arrived.

Kristina    It was actually pretty quick –

Anthony    Well, when we work together –

Penny        Exactly.

Kristina    Painless.

Anthony    An even distribution of duties and –

Penny        Responsibilities.

Anthony    Took the –

Kristina    Word right out of your mouth?

Anthony    Exactly.

Penny        I think this is going to be great.

Kristina    I can’t wait.

Anthony    Oh – that’s so good to hear that. Such a relief.

Kristina    Really?

Anthony    Oh Kristina.

Kristina    What is it?

Anthony    Truth be told?… I was a little worried.

Continue reading “Saturday 1 June – Explosion of Light”

Friday 31 May – A Bird in the Hand

by Emilie Collyer

It’s the office of a big energy and infrastructure company.

A projection shows an image of a bird – a black-throated finch.

Next to that, a white board is divided into two sections.

One half is titled: Black-throated finch habitat & Mining site

The other half is titled: Area proposed for protection of black-throated finch

Two staff members are meeting.

ONE:    It’s a cutey, isn’t it.

TWO:    Sure is.

ONE:    Great we’ve got a plan.

TWO:    So great.

Beat.

ONE:    Just run me through the plan one more time.

TWO:    Okay. So. This little guy is the black-throated finch.

ONE:    Super cute.

TWO:    So cute.

ONE:    Endangered?

TWO:    Sad face – yes.

They both make a sad face.

TWO:    (continues) According to birdlife.org there used to be a subspecies in New South Wales but they haven’t been seen there since 1994. There’s a northern subspecies⎯

ONE:    Up north?

TWO:    Bingo! Around Cape York. And this guy (they both look at the cute bird on the screen) is the southern subspecies mostly found here (points to the white board habitat section) around the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

ONE:    Around the mine site.

TWO:    Around the mine site. That’s where they eat and hang out. That’s where this particular grass is that they get right into.

ONE:    Amazing.

TWO:    So amazing. But sad.

ONE:    So sad?

TWO:    There’s been an estimated 88% decrease in the range of the species in the last few decades.

ONE:    (whistles with concern). So sad. It’s so good we have a plan.

TWO:    Right?

ONE:    And um … how will that work exactly? Keeping their habitat safe. Will we be really careful about where we put the boring equipment for the mine?

TWO:    Ah. Not exactly.

ONE:    Oh right. Can you just … sorry, you’ve gone to all this trouble with the diagram and everything. I just want to make sure I understand it properly for when we speak to the government about it all.

TWO:    Sure, sure! Good to check in. So important. So, what we WILL do is establish monitoring protocols.

ONE:    Right …

TWO:    And we will manage the area.

ONE:    I see …

TWO:    And of course we’ll engage appropriately qualified ecologists.

ONE:    Right.

Beat.

ONE:    And the actual … birds? Our friend here, the cutey black-throated finch?

TWO:    Yes.

ONE:    Yes, what?

TWO:    Exactly.

ONE:    I’m sorry, how is it … protected here (points to the habitat side of the diagram) if all the protective measures are put in place … over here (points to the planned protection area side of the diagram)?

TWO:    Yes.

ONE:    Yes, what?

TWO:    Exactly.

ONE:    I’m just wondering if there’s one little part of the plan yet to fall into place.

TWO:    Oh. Yes. (frantic, thinking, searching … aha) Yes! Of course there’s more.

ONE:    (relieved) Of course!

They laugh at their silly miscommunication. Of course there is more to the plan.

TWO:    So I thought, that we could get some volunteers …

ONE:    I don’t think we have clearance for that.

TWO:    … or you and I …

ONE:    Um, I’m pretty flat out.

TWO:    … or me. Yes, me. Of course. Me. I. What I will do is simply, gently, go around this area (points to the habitat) and simply, gently, take each cute little black-throated finch and carry them⎯

ONE:    Simply, gently.

TWO:    ⎯you got it! Over to this area (points to the planned protection area). It shouldn’t take long. I mean there’s not many of them left.

ONE:    So you’ll take them OUT of their actual habitat⎯

TWO:    Well because that’s where the mine will be, a lot of activity, it won’t be safe for them there.

ONE:    ⎯and you’ll put them in an area where they have no natural food sources and where they’ve never lived and never bred, not for thousands of years.

TWO:    Yes but you see they’ll be safe.

ONE:    Safe.

TWO:    Yes. Undisturbed by the mine.

ONE:    And this is our plan.

TWO:    This is the plan.

ONE:    Um … (starts to pack up their things, get ready to make a quick getaway) actually you know what, I just remembered I have a … a thing, a meeting thing and I … I’m not sure I can stay for the presentation .. what time are they …

TWO:    Oh there’s no presentation. The plan’s already been approved.

ONE:    Oh.

TWO:    I just did this for you. So you could see for yourself.

ONE:    Aha.

TWO:    Now THAT’s sorted, let’s get onto this pesky groundwater management issue. We’ve got a couple of weeks to pull a plan together and I’ve got some great ideas.

TWO rubs the diagram off the white board and draws some blue lines with the word: WATER and some brown squiggles with the word: GROUND.

THE END

Thursday 30 May

by Keziah Warner


Thursday 30th May 2019

Annie is in her kitchen at home. She stands at the counter cutting up a lemon, with her mobile cradled between her ear and shoulder. A pot of soup is on the stove. On the table, there is a bottle of olive oil and some recently-unwrapped wrapping paper. She talks on the phone whilst occasionally tasting the soup.

ANNIE:    Friday, yeah.

We just had some drinks.

Yeah it was alright. I can’t drink so…

I got her a spa voucher.

Yeah. I thought… I don’t know. It’s been a big few months. Something relaxing.

Thank you, I thought so.

It was actually only when I went to get her the present that I realised I don’t really know anything about her. I mean, I know she has a daughter and she cares about fast rail and I think I heard her mention mini golf once but…

Annie accidently cuts herself.

Oh ow.

She sucks her finger where the cut is.

Sorry. Yeah, yeah mum I’m fine. Just cut myself.

A lemon.

So anyway I got a spa voucher in the end.

Olive oil.

Yes, just a bottle of oil. She wrapped it so

I know.

Well it doesn’t really matter now

She’s running for the senate.

She hasn’t asked me, but I’m not sure…

What?

Oh soup.

Well it’s cold outside and I’m on a, you know, a health thing.

She squeezes the lemon into the soup.

Because it’s too sweet. Yeah.

Pumpkin, sweet potato and onions and zucchini, but I caramelised the/

Courgette yes. I know. Well I live here, mum.

No. I don’t know if the senate is what I want. I don’t know if politics is really

I know but it’s just a degree. Everything’s real life experience now and I’m sure my skills are transferable anyway. I mean, of course they are, right?

Who?

Oh. I remember. From school.

Is she?

Yeah maybe.

She tries the soup.

I said maybe! It’s still sweet.

Already tried tomatoes.

No it just tastes like sweet tomatoes.

Yes… I think I have dried chilli

She looks in the cupboard.

Yeah I could get in touch with her but

She finds the chilli.

Well mum she lives in England and we haven’t spoken since high school so we’re not exactly going to raise our kids together are we?

I’m not/

Is she?

Well I’m happy for her

Why would I know about parental conditions for archivists?

I’m not being/

I want to hear about it! What does she archive?

Why would I know?

We’re not friends on Facebook.

She adds the chilli, stirs, tastes.

Oh chilli helps.

Yeah. Thanks.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do, mum.

I know I have a child.

Yes.

I know I need a job. I’m going to start looking

I’m not avoiding

Look it’s fucking scary ok? There’s this whole new person in the room, in my life and it’s like my brain has changed. Like how I’m seeing things is different now and I’ve been thinking about my career and everyone I’ve worked for and I don’t know if I’ve made the right choices and I just feel really kinda fucking scared about the world. Like it’s kind of terrifying actually and maybe this was all a stupid mistake and I’m sort of pretty fucking worried I’ve been fighting on the wrong fucking side.

I know. I’m not. I know you are.

Yeah.

It’s nine o’clock.

I know, well, the soup took longer than I thought.

Yeah, maybe.

I don’t know if I’m hungry.