‘Games’ extract

An extract from my short play The Games We Played At No. 47. Beware, this is not the most sophisticated or high-brow of writing or sentiments. I produced Games at university under the umbrella of the Drama Society, and would like to put it on again. Most of the characters are unnamed and unisex.

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(Lights up/audience walk in to PERSON sat on toilet, who acknowledges them and addresses them directly. May take tissue and pretend to wipe at points, maybe even look at tissue afterwards.)

Person   What is hate? Why do we hate? I hate you, because you’re an audience. You’ve come here expecting to sit there for an hour or two (and you’re hoping it’s only one, or less), and watch something beautiful and meaningful, that makes you a better person. More cultured, I don’t know. Well, well done.

(Looks at themselves)

This means you’re cultured. So, being an audience, you have a lot of expectations. As I said you expect to see something beautiful and meaningful which puts a lot of pressure on me, so thanks for that. You expect that if something happens to me, here, over the next however long, let’s say an hour, it’s all part of the show and whatever I say, whatever I do, you should sit there and watch, and do bugger all else, because if you react any more than that, you’ll look… like a twat. Fair enough. I hate you for that. I hate that because you’re used to sitting and watching, you won’t do. You’ll restrict yourself from doing so often and for so long that you’ll forget when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t. And how to do it. Doing, that is. You’ll also assume that because this… piece… wasn’t advertised as a musical, that we won’t break into song and dance randomly, or even if it’s relevant to the storyline. Am I right? It’s ok to nod, you know. And that’s another thing: Who said I’m in charge? Who says I get to tell you what you can and can’t do, just here, just now, and you pay for it? Is it just me or is that a bit…

(Looks at audience as if they’re a bit perverse)

Weird? You sheep you. I hate sheep. What was I saying? Why do we hate? I hate my friends the most. No, really. They do me wrong. They’re gonna. I hate Will, because he reminds me of my dad. I hate myself when I remind me of my dad. As you might have guessed, I hate my dad. I hate Johnny because he’s arrogant, selfish, narrow-minded, patronising, rude, chauvinist, offensive, socially retarded. That’s enough isn’t it? I hate (Puts on pathetic, self-mocking tone) potential love interests. I hate mind games. I hate waiting. I hate boredom. I hate being boring. But then, I never am because I’m bored, which means… I’m too interesting to enjoy boring things? Or something. I hate bad smells ever since my science teacher confirmed my horrific fear that they are, in fact, bad for you. In your body. Badness happening right there. Smell cow pat? That’s poo germs going in your nose. Hate to tell you. True story. Now let’s get back to you. So you have your expectations. Wah. Well I had expectations. I expected a pony at Christmas. I expected a knight in shining armour.

(Checks watch, looks around, looks pointedly at audience.)

I expected not to EVER have to eat All-Bran.

(Moment in thought.) Yeah. Well. Life’s a beach.

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And for those interested in how script transpires on stage, here it is being performed for the first time by the fantastic Polly Harford:

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