A homeless play

Sometimes you write something so context-specific that you can’t usefully use it in any other capacity. In these situations you have to ask yourself “tough questions” (expression licensed from A Bunch of C*nts, May 2010) about what to actually do with the thing and whether you’re fundamentally happy with it or not.

I’m quite happy with this play. It was written for a Youtube-oriented call-out for short plays and didn’t get selected. It’s essentially ridiculous and maybe will have a life of its own one day, but right now that seems unlikely, owing to having to watch the video first and enact that onstage in a practical fashion. Anyway, do enjoy it. If you end up performing it some day then do tell me – it’s just nice to know these things…

“Something stupid I wrote where cats are funny on the internet”

 

Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h6mlNiDkHXA

APACHE sitting onstage. A white plastic bucket over APACHE’s head. APACHE looks comfortable. NEASDEN enters, notices what APACHE is wearing, swears and almost exits immediately. NEASDEN pauses, thinks better of it and slowly advances to sit next to APACHE.

NEASDEN

Yeah. Yeah, you’re funny. You’re very funny.

 

APACHE

(giggling) Yeah, I know. This is brilliant. Topical and witty. Amuses me intensely, this does.

 

NEASDEN

You don’t think it’s got even slightly old?

 

APACHE

NO.

Pause. APACHE starts laughing.

APACHE

What was most funny/

 

NEASDEN

/you’ve said/

 

APACHE

/I know – what most funny was how serious you looked, like it was either a total game-changing revelation or some kind of horrible trap. And then you just stuck your head in it. Because you’re a genius.

 

NEASDEN

Doesn’t hurt to be curious.

 

APACHE

Yes it does. Yes it definitely does. There is SO much precedent for the danger posed by curiosity. To quote another human saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you look like a massive bellend’.

 

NEASDEN

It’s actually quite tragic when you think about it.

 

APACHE

Why?!

 

NEASDEN

I was the daring, clever one, now they just think I’m a moron.

 

APACHE

What?! Neasden, they did not think you were the daring and clever one.

 

NEASDEN

They did!

 

APACHE

When?! They called you ‘Neasden’!

 

NEASDEN

When I was on the… on the thing, they loved that.

 

APACHE

On the skateboard?

 

NEASDEN

Yeah.

 

APACHE

When you stood on the skateboard?

 

NEASDEN

…yeah

 

APACHE

When you stood on the skateboard and sort-of trundled around going ‘what the fuck’, and then a while later you did it again?

 

NEASDEN

They filmed it. Loads of times.

 

APACHE

They filmed ‘Friday the Thirteenth’ loads of times. Means fuck all.

 

NEASDEN

Why were they even filming me with the cup? I don’t even remember the camera being there.

 

APACHE

Yeah well… you wouldn’t.

Pause.

NEASDEN

What do you mean?

Pause.

NEASDEN

What do you mean I wouldn’t remember being there?

Pause.

APACHE

They don’t call me ‘Apache’ for nothing. I move like a shadow.

Pause.

NEASDEN

What? No. No no no no no. You can’t work a camera.

 

APACHE

Er, you point the bit that looks like an eye at what you want to look at and you press the big red button. Yes I can. Because I’m a genius, and you can’t get out of a cup.

Pause.

NEASDEN

Why would you do that?

 

APACHE

Partly, to be honest, for a massive fuck-off giggle at your expense. Enjoy. (pause) And also for you own good.

 

NEASDEN

How?! In what way ‘for my own good’?!

 

APACHE

Left to your own devices, you were gonna come to a bad end. It’s a slippery slope. They get used to the idea they can just make you do anything. Stick you anywhere and you’ll put up with it. All it takes is a house party and a mate who’s a dickhead and you end up in the tumbledryer. Or worse. Not worth it.

 

NEASDEN

At least they wouldn’t film that.

Pause.

APACHE

Anyway, I’ve made my point. I can probably take this off now.

Pause. APACHE does nothing.

NEASDEN

Do you need a hand?

 

APACHE

Nah. I’m still finding it pretty funny in its own right, to be honest.

 

NEASDEN

You’re very harsh.

 

APACHE

I’ve got quarter of a million views. Come back to me when the world stops finding it funny.

Pause.

APACHE

You know I’m right, Neasden.

 

NEASDEN

Maybe I was feeling the pressure. All that responsibility and expectation I didn’t even understand. It was too much. Maybe I wanted this to happen.

 

APACHE

(sniggers) Yeah, like most people want the whole world to see them make a tit of themselves. Obviously.

 

NEASDEN

Do you not worry people will think you’re being even more stupid and film you/ (APACHE turns the bucket around – on the reverse side is a fabulously-drawn portrait of a glamourous and sophisticated-looking cat)/ no, no course not, you’re a genius. (pause) Can I have a go? You know, get the monkey off my back.

Pause. APACHE slowly removes the bucket and passes it to NEASDEN. Pats NEASDEN on the shoulder and exits. NEASDEN stands holding the bucket and looking at it. Fade down.

 

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