Friday 10 May – Silent Disco

by Emilie Collyer

It’s a silent disco. Two people, each wearing headphones, are dancing, wrapped up in their own worlds. Happy is dancing manically, getting right into it. Mopey is swaying slowly, painfully, beautifully.

They both pause for a drink break.

Happy:                  Great way to spend a Friday night, hey.

Mopey shrugs.

                            Just shake off the week, right?

Mopey couldn’t be less hyped.

                            I always listen to the good news mix, you know?

Mopey is just so deadpan.

                            It’s a cracker this week! Want to listen? Come on, have a listen. You look like you could use the good news mix!

Happy puts their headphones onto Mopey.

MOPEY:              Sings or utters a few words from song snippets on the good news mix

                            ‘We’re in the money!’

                            ‘Money, money, money.’

                            ‘She’s a rich girl.’

                            ‘And we are living in a material world.’

                            Takes the headphones off.

                            They’re literally all about money.

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Sunday 5 May – Not a King

by Emilie Collyer

The PM’s office.

PM:                     Whaddya mean they’re writing plays?

AIDE:                  About the campaign.

PM:                     Like for the television? Is this a bloody ABC thing?

AIDE:                  Er, no. Just short plays, not television.

PM:                     Like for theatre?

AIDE:                  Yes.

PM:                     Like is our Cate in them?

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Saturday 4 May (2) – You Can’t Make This Shit Up (Speaking in Tongues)

by Ross Mueller

                   (A TV studio, two men in suits and an audience)

Bill:             How many people here, have either known someone in their family, or know a family, where someone has taken their own life?… 

                   With a show of hands.

(Everybody in the room raises their hand. silence. The whole room slowly lowers their hands except for Scott who is in a moment of Pentecostal prayer. His head is bowed and he holds the focus)

Bill:             Are you okay?

                   (Scott advances towards Bill)

Scott:          The other day when you met a worker in Gladstone /

Bill:             Where are you going?

Scott:         – and they, they were earning two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and you sidled up to him you’re having a bit of chat with him, and he complained about this and what’d you say to him? you said “oh we’ll have a look at that.”

                   You couldn’t look him in the eye and tell him that you were going to increase his taxes by two percent on the first of July of this  year.

Bill:             You right there?

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Friday 3 May – Rapture

by Emilie Collyer

Many years from now, it could be a hundred, it could be a thousand, a warm autumn wind blows through an empty parliament chamber.

A cleaner enters.

The cleaner sweeps the floor of errant leaves, runs a cloth over the benches and seats.

The cleaner is startled – but not terrified, this has happened before – by a stranger, a stranger, who perhaps has been sleeping there, a stranger who doesn’t particularly look they would belong in a parliamentary chamber.

CLEANER:         All right?

Beat.

STRANGER:      Just needed a place to crash.

CLEANER:         Yep. Beat. Travelling through?

STRANGER:      Yeah. Don’t know where to.

CLEANER:         Coffee in the kitchen if you need it. Bread too. If you’re hungry.

Beat.

STRANGER:      What is this place?

CLEANER:         It’s a … it’s a memory, I guess.

STRANGER:      Pretty grand memory.

CLEANER:         Yep.

                            Beat.

                            All these seats used to be filled. People who were voted in to make decisions, make the rules, form a government.

STRANGER:      Small group like this?

CLEANER:         On behalf of everyone.

STRANGER:      And they’d … talk, get things done?

CLEANER:         More or less.

STRANGER:      Peacefully?

CLEANER:         More or less.

The stranger whistles as if this is quite something.

STRANGER:      Long time ago.

CLEANER:         Long time ago.

Beat.

STRANGER:      And what do you do?

CLEANER:         I clean. Keep a bit of food, a few supplies for any needing them who might pass by.

STRANGER:      Risky. Beat. See much trouble?

CLEANER:         Oh, plenty. Beat. But most folks are decent. Just need a moment’s rest, somewhere safe to lay their head. A chat with a stranger. Then back out into the fray.

Beat.

STRANGER:      Had some weird dreams. Shouting. Bad jokes. Taunting. Slurs.

CLEANER:         Yep.

STRANGER:      Some of the seats, it’s almost like they’ve still got imprints of the people. Beat. What happened to them?

CLEANER:         Nobody knows for sure. Best guess is that it was a kind of rapture. All who sat in here or were eligible to sit in here just … disappeared. Some say they were eaten by the ghosts of their own pasts. Others that they uploaded into virtual versions of themselves but couldn’t hold human form any more. Whatever it was, there weren’t enough of them left to form any kind of governing body, so the whole thing just … collapsed.

STRANGER:      Shit, hey.

CLEANER:         Yep.

STRANGER:      And you?

CLEANER:         Oh I’ve been here a long time. Like you, travelling through, stopped here, someone was kind enough to look after me for a night or two. I never left.

STRANGER:      Kindness of strangers, hey.

CLEANER:         Yep. Beat. Long enough for me now, I think. Long enough. Beat. Now, let’s see to that coffee.

The cleaner leaves.

The stranger waits.

Time passes and we might assume the cleaner is not coming back.

Eventually the stranger picks up the broom, or the cloth, and starts tending to the chamber.

END

Thursday 2 May

by Keziah Warner

Sara’s office, early evening.

Sara is on the phone. She’s wearing her trench coat. There are fifteen or so cases of olive oil piled around the room. She is resting her feet on one as she talks.

SARA: Just because they think it’s an emergency doesn’t mean we have to think it’s an emergency

Yes but it’s time we stood up for ourselves, established our own identity. We need to show our club members that we’re strong and independent, not just kowtowing to foreign trends

Yes, David. I understand.

Well if the UK jumped off a cliff should we jump off a cliff? I mean really, David

Yes. Yes.

Some of my best friends are polar bears, David. But look I really want to talk about our commitment to

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Tuesday 30 April

by Marcel Dorney

A television station. A soundstage.
Two podia. Microphones.

Behind them, the cyc projection, red capital letters: THE DEBATE.

K., in their twenties, taps the microphone on the left.

K                    OK, should I switch it on?

J. is heard over speakers, unseen. The voice is of an Anglo-Australian in their 40s, male.

J                     It’s on.

K                    Sorry. Do you want me to switch it on now?

J                     The Microphone Is On.

K                    OK, no, not /the microphone – 

J                     Signal’s clear, level’s /fine up here –

K                    – I apologise, I mean – the filter, should I switch /the –

J                     What filter?

K                    – filter.

Should we test it now.

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