Challenge

Write a play that never ends. Bonus points if you don’t make it cynical

Response

Whilst at work I thought about the reasons “Why” a play would have no ending. I thought about a play that sought to expose the truth, or lift the lid on some scandal, that the powers at be would not want audiences to know. I came up with an idea for some kind of “This is a true story” play, pretending that all dialogue was taken from some “diary” which in turn gathered its information from secret recordings/interviews etc. But that some information had been redacted, and the play ended before the “writer” would be able to fully expose the true extent of the secret they had uncovered.

Sounds like an interesting idea? Rather than have a play that refuses to end, it would be a play that just stops, with the ending halted by some other means. Why didn’t I write that? Because I fell asleep after dinner and woke up at night with no drive or desire to write anything, so I churned out this crap instead.

Also I think I failed on the bonus points front… Speaking of, I also lost out on the SUPER BONUS POINTS yesterday as my play heavily mentioned and blatantly criticised Trump. Oh well…

Result

A Writers Tale

The following is a theatrical piece that requires audience participation.

Spotlight on character stood centre stage; he is wearing stage blacks and staring blankly out into the audience.

There is moment heard upstage, as someone is heard shuffling across the stage, sitting at a desk and opening a bottle of beer. The light from a laptop illuminates the writer, who is sat behind him.

Writer:            Shit… what am I doing here? Erm… Lights up?

The lights up come, revealing a messy writing desk with which our writer is sat at, with the character stood in front of him.

Who are you?

Character:    I’m the canvas?

Writer:            Don’t be ridiculous, the stage is the canvas, not you.

Character:    OK… Well I am the…paint?

Writer:            What if I’m more of a water colour man?

Character:    Then I’m the fucking water? Look I don’t know what- You just need to make me…do something.

Writer:            I don’t know what. I just sat here because no one else did.

Character:    Well…Now you’re sat there I think it falls to you.

Writer:            OK right… Write. OK. Erm… Lights up- Oh wait we already have that, erm- On stage is our main character…

Pause

Character:    That’s me.

Writer:            Well?

Character:    Well what?

Writer:            What do you do?

Character:    You tell me.

Writer:            Alright fine… He is… tall-

Character:    I wouldn’t say tall.

Writer:            What?

Character:    I wouldn’t say tall.

Writer:            You look pretty tall to me.

Character:    But to the average man, would you say I’m tall?

Writer:            What is the average man, is there such a thing?

Character:    You tell me.

Pause

Writer:            Enter our main character…John, he is tall- to the average man-

Character:    –John?

The Writer stops typing.

Writer:            Yes?

Character:    That’s your name for me? John.

Writer:            What’s wrong with John?

Character:    What’s my last name, Smith? I thought you were supposed to be a writer.

Writer:            Well sorry I- I don’t know who you are yet, so for the time being I thought John-

Character:    -No right, OK.

Writer:            I thought John-

Character:    -No it’s OK.

Writer:            I… I thought it would suffice for the time being.

Character:    I can’t think of what to name our new born child, that we just created my dear. I can’t decide what name we can bestow on this miracle of life, so let’s just call it “thing” for the time being, until I can think of something better, once I figure out what to do with-

Writer:            -Alright, fine I’ll- I’ll think of something else.

Pause

Spotlight on…Dan-

Spotlight on Character, who sneers at the name

He… What’s wrong with Dan?

Character:    Just… you know (Mockingly) Aw hey, I’m Dan eurrrghh.

Writer:            What the hell does that mean?

Character:    Just you know… Dan. I thought you were a writer, and you can only think of a three letter name.

Writer:            Daniel?

Character:    (Like a posh person) Oh Daniel, oh Daniel I’m trying to be all posh by putting aniel behind your name. Oh Daniel.

Writer:            Well what would you like to be called?

Character:    That’s not my job to decide.

Pause

Writer:            Fine. We’ll come back to that.

Character:    Yeah let’s move on-

Writer:            Until I can think what name bests suits you.

Character:    Alright then.

Writer:            Something…

He trails off and mumbles to himself.

So…”it” enters. He is tall- in comparison to the average man.

Character:    I wouldn’t say that. I mean the average man is about six foot now, isn’t he?

Writer:            You wish.

Character:    I’d say I’m about average…maybe above average.

Writer:            (Frustrated) Right… he is of average height, average build…. With above average looks?

Character stands there with a smug grin.

Oh scratch that last part, I’m not writing fantasy.

Beat

He is average in every single way.

Character:    How imaginative of you.

Writer:            Well if you could just shut up, maybe I could try and write you the way I want to.

Pause

On stage there is a chair.

A chair is brought on stage, the Character sighs.

It enters and looks down at the chair, as if something is holding him back from sitting on it. He pauses.

Character:    Chuffa.

Writer:            He then… What?

Character:    Chuffa.

Writer:            What the fuck is that?

Character:    Chuffa is chuffa.

Writer:            And what the fuck is chuffa.

Character:    It’s chuffa.

Writer:            You keep saying words, yet you seem to be saying nothing.

Character:    Who’s fault is that?

Writer:            (Angry) I SWEAR TO-

Pause – he then types furiously into the keyboard.

He then proceeds to explain to those menial subjects of his, what “Chuffa” means.

Character:    Chuffa is chuffa, it’s the pointless filler, or pointless dialogue in scripts. Bruce Willis coined the phrase to describe stupid and pointless dialogue that ultimately slows down the script, and halts the characters from getting to their destination.

Writer:            I haven’t even written any dialogue for you yet.

Character:    OK well there’s chuffa in the stage directions. Let’s see. There is a chair and a character on stage. I know what’s going to happen, you know what’s going to happen, all the lovely boys and girls watching knows what’s going to happen. Needless to say, I am going to sit on that chair. So why write this chuffa in the stage directions, where I look down at the chair, and wonder if I am going to sit on it, when we all know I am.

Writer:            Because… Because when you sit on that chair, you are going to be forced to speak, and in doing so begin reliving something you have held close to your chest for so long, a secret that you have kept tightly hidden from the rest of the world, and the moment you sit on that chair, you know it will be a matter of time before that secret is no longer a secret any-

The Character throws his head back and snores loudly.

Oh fuck you.

Character:    Hmm what, oh I’m sorry.

Writer:            Just…

Character:    But what you’re saying is… I do sit on the chair.

Pause

I do sit on the chair.

Writer:            But the hesitation you display before sitting on it, only highlights the importance of the speech you are about to give.

A long pause – The Character stares at the chair.

Writer begins typing again.

After a moment, he finally pulls the chair over to him and sits on it, facing the audience…

Pause – nothing happens. The Writer types it again, more aggressively this time.

After a moment, he finally pulls the chair over to him and sits on it, facing the audience…

Pause – nothing happens. The Writer types it again, more aggressively this time.

(Frustrated) After a…moment, he finally pulls the chair over to him and sits on it, facing the- (Standing and Shouting) SIT ON THE CHAIR!

Character:    But the longer I hesitate, the more important your “oh so important” words will be.

The Writer kicks his chair over and walks off.

Writer:            Fuck this.

He exits

Someone else can take over.

Long pause

The idea is that either another “Writer” takes over finishing the piece, or a member of the audience steps in. However the Character will always contradict everything the Writer says in order to make sure that never happens.

This can be improvised with a member of the audience, who must say out loud whatever it is he is writing – Or another writer can script the following scene, which ultimately leads to them too walking off.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements