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 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 25 May (2) – How Good is Good

by Vidya Rajan

How good is good and and how good is Australia!

A preacher on stage – a robust man in a suit. He has the gestures, pace and presence of a TV personality (like a cheap game show host, or well, a tv preacher).  He beams at us, eyes filled with fervour. A deep breath and he begins, direct to the audience.

PREACHER.

I am good. I am good. And how are you? Are you good? Are you good? Yes. You ARE good. Say it with me – you ARE good. I AM good, and so ARE you. How good are you! How gooooood are you! How good are all of you!  All of you! So good. SO GOOD. Give it up – give it up for all of you. Seriously. For your goodness. Cause you are. Okay? You are. Mmhmm. You may not think it. You may not feel it.  But you are. We are. We are good. We are good. Yes. So please. Please put your hands together now –

He clasps his hands together, interlocking the fingers and begins to move them up and down, emphasising the words even more.

Put your hands together now with me, and give it up! Give it up for the good inside you. Inside aaaallll of you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – don’t let all the nonsense from the outside ruin what you know about yourself. What you’ve always known.

He starts to choke up, maudlin. Hands on heart.

We read things and we see things and we hear things and these things that we see and we read and we hear, so often they are trying to take away what we already know and should believe about ourselves that we are good. Because we are –

A deep breath in –

BLESSED. Yes we are. Yes we are. We are blessed to be the good ones. You and I. So why hide this, why not take charge of our own blessed power, and by god – by god –

He thumps his chest.

Feel it. We need to feel it and we need to know that it is OURS. And we need, we need to know how good we all are. Yes, and we need to own the –

He is interrupted by the sound of angelic music. A beam of light flashes onto the stage blinding and stopping him.

Tracing the path of the beam, a figure walks out. It is a woman. She is in Virgin Mary blue robes. But her bottom half is a kangaroo suit -we can see the tail and legs poking out.

The preacher kneels, astonished. Mother Kangaroo Mary looks around, pretty non-plussed. She has a beer in one hand and takes a sip. When she speaks, she has an extreme ocker voice.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

U alright mate? What you doing on the floor hey?

The preaches rises up, trembling. Looks out at the audience. He speaks, near crying.

PREACHER.

My – my god. We are so – so blessed with your – by your visitation.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Ah yeah – no dramas. No worries hey.

PREACHER.

If everyone could just, just join me in a round of…a round of applause for this truly goodly vision.

He starts to clap, encouraging the audience to join in.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Aw shit. Didn’t mean to cause a fuss mate.

PREACHER.

Truly powerful words.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Cheers.

She skulls her beer. The preacher watches and turns back to the audience.

PREACHER.

As I was saying, my fellow – my fellow good souls – when we are good, look what we bring upon ourselves.

Mary burps.

The angelic music starts again and another beam of light pierces the space.

The preacher starts.

PREACHER.

What – what could this be?

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Ah yeah nah, probably my son hey.

PREACHER.

Your – your son?

Another figure enters the space. A man with a beard in a white picnic at hanging rock dress.

He comes and stands by his mother. He waves shyly.

Preacher gets back on his knees, teary.

PREACHER.

I wasn’t – I wasn’t expecting.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

(to son) Go on.

Son shakes his head, covers his face.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Sorry, he’s always been a bit shy. Doesn’t like crowds.

PREACHER.

That’s so understandable. We are just honoured with his presence.

Son looks alarmed at these words.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Aw now you’ve wound him up.

PREACHER.

Sorry, what?

Son shrieks and runs off stage. Preacher gets up and starts to go after him.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Nah let him go. It’s best this way.

PREACHER.

Will he return?

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Duno. He can be a bit skittish hey. He’s probably eating a biccy to calm down.

PREACHER.

Right.

He gazes at Mary then back at the audience.

PREACHER

(to Mother Kangaroo Mary)

Would – would you like to say a few words to everyone today? We would be honoured.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Thought I just did.

PREACHER.

About -about – our shared goodness?

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Our what now?

PREACHER.

How good we are!

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

What’s that?

PREACHER.

How good we are! How good are we! Just talk about that!

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Oh. Right.

Nah, I’m alright.

Preaches is very agitated.

PREACHER.

It’s really quite simple. I could show – I could show you if you wanted. You just have to say the words.

MOTHER KANGAROO MARY.

Yeah. Yeah nah.

She looks for a spot to put her beer but there isn’t any. She shrugs and tosses it lightly on the ground.

Seems a bit much.

It’s a nice arvo to just do nothing and watch the telly actually.

Might do that.

She shuffles, maybe hops off. As she does The Deal or No Deal theme song/intro starts to play loudly “26 cases! etc.”. The preacher blinks. He picks up the can. He looks at the audience blankly. The theme song continues. He shrugs too and walks off in the opposite direction.

Saturday 18 May (3) – Scavenging

An old white woman sits at a table. Her clothes are faded, a once-good suit. Exhausted, frail. Her hair is wispy: Grandmother.

A younger woman, a teenager, in a hoodie, jeans and sneakers, brings her a cup of tea, places it on the table: Granddaughter.

The Granddaughter walks to the corner and sits in a chair there. She stretches and looks off into the distance – like she is keeping watch. She rarely looks directly at the Grandmother.

Under all this, and for the rest of the scene, the sound of occasional beeps, the sound of the the tide.

GRANDDAUGHTER
I got it from the throat. I got it from the throat this time, hey. I barely took a look at the head. Big eyes, little fur.

GRANDMOTHER
Little fur?

GRANDDAUGHTER
Not much. And not plump.

GRANDMOTHER
Shame. That’s a shame.

She takes a sip of the tea, slowly.

Thank you. It’s very nice.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Temperature good?

GRANDMOTHER
Yes. Yes.

You’re very good at getting it just right.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Thanks.

GRANDMOTHER
This was your grandfather’s main complaint, you know, when we went anywhere – a restaurant or anything, a cafe, the temperature had to be piping hot. Or he’d send it back.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Oh right. Yeah.

GRANDMOTHER
Just always knew what he wanted. One of those people.

A sip.

Yes.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Had three eyes.

GRANDMOTHER
What?

GRANDDAUGHTER
Pretty sure. It had three eyes.

GRANDMOTHER
Oh.

That’s odd.

GRANDDAUGHTER
No. I’m lying. Sorry.

GRANDMOTHER
Oh.

GRANDDAUGHTER
It was blind. They’re all kind of blind now, I feel.. More and more. So it was easy. Didn’t even see me coming actually, hey.

GRANDMOTHER
Be careful.

GRANDDAUGHTER
But like the hearing’s actually heightened, so it’s still a bit of a challenge. But overall, easier to creep on.

GRANDMOTHER
That’s good. That’s very good. That’s very good.

Granddaughter starts to put on a pair of shoes that have been under her chair – thick boots, but faded, peeling. She’s doing the laces up with a studied energy.

GRANDMOTHER
Will you be away for long this time?

GRANDDAUGHTER
Nah, not too long. But Jaime’s found a new centre up north, bout a day off, big one too – don’t know how it’s taken so long to find actually. Got a Target and a food court and everything.

GRANDMOTHER
Empty?

GRANDDAUGHTER
Yeah obviously. But should be a good party. There was a bouncy castle in the old photos – I mean, it’s definitely gone but who knows. Loved when we inflated the one last time.

She is nearly done lacing up her shoes.

GRANDMOTHER
Your mum loved that sort of thing too.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Yeah. Yeah.

GRANDMOTHER
And the jumping, the bungee.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Yeah, sick.

Yeah, I know.

She finishes doing the boots and gets up.

GRANDMOTHER
Loved the mountains.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Alright. Well I’m off now. Take care.

She walks over and kisses Grandmother on the head.

GRANDMOTHER
Loved being high up. In the mountains. She did.

GRANDDAUGHTER
Yeah. That’s nice. Okay, I’m just going to toss it in when I go outside ok.

GRANDMOTHER
Okay.

Granddaughter exits.

Grandmother stares out. Alone in the room.

A gooey bundle of meat slides or is thrown from off stage – lands near the grandmother.

GRANDMOTHER
Loved the way altitude made her ears pop.

The grandmother picks up the meat with effort – it’s a bit heavy for her – and places it on the table. She’ll have to cook and brine it. She stares at it., and talks to it. Every sentence for the rest of the scene is un-rushed – each line has its weight, like she is remembering.

GRANDMOTHER
Loved the clouds. Loved the way they thicken and then disperse unexpectedly when you’re high up in the air. She did. She did.

She starts to separate the chunks.

GRANDMOTHER
Loved the ash clouds too – yellow and black and pink, didn’t matter. Just the sight of it everytime.

And the lack of them too.

She is exacting with the meat. She has done this many times before.

Loved talking late at night and waiting till sun broke.
Even when she should have been in bed.

Loved watching things in bed. Loved the documentaries.

How could one person be so curious?

She looks up but her hands keep working.

Loved eating basil but could never grow it herself.

Loved cooking but was a terrible. A terrible one.

Loved the album 1989, this I remember, and the year 1989, that I remember too. The year.

Loved the word mezzanine and loved the time we went to Disney World. I didn’t like the rides.

Loved birds. Cockatoos.

Loved ironing, creases into straight lines. The application of heat.

Loved heat. Loved sweating.

Loved going to work and having time to stop for a croissant. Loved being late and no one noticing. Loved being late and everyone noticing.

Loved how soft the blankets were. Loved discussing ducks and geese. Loved that time a geese bit me, bit her.

Loved the smell of a petrol station and late at night the signs glowing as we drove home.

Loved our garden gnomes.

Loved the statues in the park next to our house. How they were creepy sometimes but also angelic and also had been there forever, it felt like. It felt like that.

Loved pikachu. Loved coats. Loved rain. Loved my sister. Loved the wind. Loved handbags with alligator skin patterns.

She gets a bowl out from under the table and tosses the chunks in. She stands over the table, hands leaning on it to prop her up – this is taking all her strength.

Loved not knowing anything about sport but getting very angry. Very angry at the important games.

Loved the ocean and the stink of fish.
And loved ice-cream.
And loved teeth chattering after a cold drink. And loved the light. Loved him. Loved them.

She closes her eyes.

The show on tv. Not the funny one, the other one. You know, the other one?

It was good too.

LIGHTS OUT.

Saturday 11 May (1) – Average Egg

by Vidya Rajan

A woman in average office-y clothes walks to a table. There are a couple of chairs behind the table. She has a small lunch bag with her.

She pulls up a chair, sits down and sighs. She looks exhausted.

She puts the lunch bag on the table.

She begins to unpack it, item by item. She is a little slow about it, each item held up for a second, then placed down.

First, a sad looking sandwich, in a plastic sandwich bag.

Next, a bag of chopped carrots.

And lastly, an egg.

Continue reading “Saturday 11 May (1) – Average Egg”

Saturday 4 May (1) – The Interview

by Vidya Rajan

Two white men on chairs. One chair facing the audience – MAN 1, the other away – MAN 2. The dialogue is quick, with barely any pause. When a ‘-’ is used, it means the sentence is cut off and the next bit of dialogue comes in almost over the last word

MAN 1:            Of course. Everything. It’s all gone.

MAN 2:            Scrubbed it dry.

MAN 1:            I’ve looked, yeah, I’ve looked. All good, all good.

MAN 2:            Cause I mean last time.

MAN 1:            Of course.

MAN 2:            I mean, last time. Don’t want a repeat of –

MAN 1:            Can assure you. A whistle. I’m clean. Clean as a whistle.

MAN 2:            Big Claim. Don’t want to make big claims that you can’t keep.

Continue reading “Saturday 4 May (1) – The Interview”

Saturday 27 April (2)

by Vidya Rajan

A pet store; country New South Wales – Dubbo to be exact. Two women are at the front of the store – the counter area. These are Sarah (older, mid 40s) and Daphne (younger, late-teens/early-twenties).

SARAH. Are you sure they didn’t say a sheep-dog?

DAPHNE. Absolutely. A dachshund.

SARAH. Great Dane?

DAPHNE. What?

SARAH. Great Dane. Did they say a Great Dane?

DAPHNE.

SARAH. I’m just asking.

Continue reading “Saturday 27 April (2)”