I wrote these short pieces simply as dialogue without making any decisions about film, theatre, character, actions, location, time etc but to enter them in play competitions I added formatting and directions to give some idea of how they could be staged, so ignore the stage directions I reckon; they’re just one possibility.
MONSTER PORN (2006)
Winner Best Drama Writing, Short and Sweet 2006
This is extracted and adapted from the Unicorn novel below, and is the meeting between two people in a chat room, a virtual space, who come to know each other through their fantasies. “Use your imagination, it won’t kill you.”
WALKING DEAD (2008)
Also extracted and adapted from the Unicorn novel below, this is a snapshot of two people’s lives. Unix, drunk or high/tripping (but perhaps not as much as he’s playing it up), wearing greasepaint to look like a sideshow ghoul, white face, black eyes, has turned up at Sarah’s place as if it’s some kind of insane Halloween trick or treat. They don’t live together anymore, but he used to live here.
LOVE BOMB (2008)
The dissolution of a marriage. These are two people who have lived together for a long time, probably 10 years or more, so they are of an age that there is a weight of time/history in them. Their home, like them, has this sense of time about it, and is a mixture of shared and private spaces. Because of their shared history, they can speak to each other in a poetic language of thought and memory. They may speak in the third person but they are speaking of themselves or each other. The time is the present, though this conversation may happen within a 15 minute period one evening, or may occur over a period spanning years, the scenes separated by big lapses of time and the sound of a bomb exploding.
I call these novels, though maybe the structure is unconventional. But my favorite novels were written by Joyce, Rushdie, Genet and Burroughs… so my narrative was always going to be unconventional, with the writer present in the story and the dialogue, able to speak to the characters, who speak back.
This is a series of dialogues that take place in a virtual world without respect to time, place and identity. It loosely tells the story of Unix (a guy like a unicorn) and his journey to become real. As they say on tv: “The following program contains nudity, violence, coarse language, sexually explicit scenes and adult concepts.”
ICE FISHING (2007)
A mixture of dialogue, narrative and thought, this is set in far north america where lakes freeze in winter and people fish through holes cut in the ice. It tells the story of Peter and his search for his past, through his imagination and his friendship with an itinerant worker, Rick. The writing itself becomes a search to find a language for memory and Peter is simultaneously present in it at different stages of his life. There’s a big river (and a wolf) where he lives, and in this world time works like a river: as soon as you step into it you are everywhere within that river.
Roberto is talking about himself, to himself. He is weaving a story that will lead him tracking to redress. These are his songlines.
he is with me here, with me. we are under, we are wrapped. he is my other. he is silent, with and not with. he is another. he is a shadow, not mine, mine and not. we are one and two. he is growing inside me, spreading over my skin, enfolding. i am his surface, he is a bubble.