EDWARD, JOHN and STEPHANIE, all three are children but not necessarily.
TEACHER’S VOICE, off stage.
CHILDREN’S VOICES, off stage.
Centre stage is a climbing frame. Off stage can be heard children’s voices at play. EDWARD, wearing shorts, enters and delicately makes his way to the top of the frame. There he perches, observing, swinging his legs slow and easy. JOHN approaches from the other side, he is more robust and throws himself towards the first rung of the frame only to be stopped by....
EDWARD You can’t come up here.
JOHN I bet I can.
EDWARD You’re not allowed.
EDWARD No girls!
JOHN I’m not a girl.
Edward scrutinizes John.
EDWARD Oh. Ok.
John starts to climb, he messes about throughout, swinging and falling off and such. He doesn’t make it to the very top.
JOHN I told my mum to cut my hair…. She likes it though…
(to John) What are you doing?
EDWARD Nothing…Watching. I am an eagle.
JOHN Well I am a puma, or a leopard, because they can retract their
EDWARD (looks at his hands) Hidden talons… I am gonna swoop down and
catch my prey… Probably Timmy over there as he looks juiciest.
JOHN You couldn’t carry it off.
EDWARD Maybe not.
JOHN Look at your legs!
EDWARD What about my legs?
JOHN There’s not a scratch on them. They look like my Nan’s best
dinner plates. All thin and white and shiny. We only use them at
EDWARD Well what’s wrong with that? I’ve got Christmas legs.
JOHN I’ve got lots of bruises. My dad says I’m accident prone. Him
and Derek have bets on when I’m going to fall over.
EDWARD Who’s Derek?
JOHN A friend from the pub.
EDWARD My dad doesn’t go to the pub, he drinks nice wine. Although I
don’t know what’s nice about it. It makes me cry.
JOHN The pub’s great. You get loads of coke and crisps and
everyone’s happy. Not like church.
EDWARD Is that still going? We haven’t been in years.
JOHN We have to go. Although last Sunday we were on the way and I
tripped up and fell into a bucket of soapy water and we had to go
back home and miss it.
EDWARD I bet he tripped you up and won a tenner.
JOHN No! Do you think so?
EDWARD Yeah, and got out of church… Maybe I should swoop on
Darren instead. He’s smaller but still looks tasty.
JOHN Him! He stinks.
EDWARD We all do. Apparently.
John stops, sniffs himself and shrugs.
JOHN Church smells good. It’s like exhaust pipes and fresh tarmac.
EDWARD Don’t you get bored?
JOHN I don’t know.
STEPHANIE enters, she heads towards the frame opposite John and steps onto it.
JOHN You’re not allowed
STEPHANIE Who says?
JOHN Well… Him.
Stephanie notices Edward.
STEPHANIE Oh, him… I’m not worried about him.
She continues to climb and mess about, much like John, who carries on as before. Edward shifts. John and Stephanie never go above halfway, Edward is always at the top.
STEPHANIE (cont… to John) So, whose class are you in?
JOHN I don’t know yet. I am new. How about you?
STEPHANIE Top one, same as Smelly Eddie there.
EDWARD I had a lot of garlic. Some people like it.
JOHN I’m a leopard and he’s an…
EDWARD Shut up!
STEPHANIE I know, he’s an eagle (laughs, then to John). What’s your
STEPHANIE No, your real name.
EDWARD Leave him alone. Why don’t you go away?
STEPHANIE I am not talking to you. You stay up there out of it.
(to John) He never wants to join in. Do you want to play kiss
John looks intrigued.
EDWARD I knew it! Stay away from her, Spot.
JOHN I don’t know. What is it?
EDWARD (butting in) She’ll make you kiss her and then she’ll run away
laughing and tell all her friends that you slobber on her chin.
JOHN Doesn’t sound …
STEPHANIE No I won’t. That was just you because you’re such a …
Anyway, I haven’t got any friends.
EDWARD Such a what?
STEPHANIE I dunno… So do you want to play or not?
Stephanie runs off and John chases her, leaving Edward alone.
EDWARD Idiots! Running around like little mice. Why is everyone so
Edward sits, swinging his legs. John comes back after a while and gets back onto the frame.
JOHN I couldn’t catch her…She’s like a cheetah… So do you want to
EDWARD No… I’m watching.
JOHN Do you like football?
EDWARD It’s pointless.
JOHN Sometimes it is… My dad took me to a match and all the
crowd was shouting at each other and calling each other names
and all the other crowd had funny voices… I don’t know who
EDWARD No one in that situation.
JOHN What do you mean?
EDWARD Well none of it makes any sense.
JOHN Yeah, but it goes on, doesn’t it. What else is there?
EDWARD Here she comes.
Stephanie enters and climbs back on.
STEPHANIE At least he caught me.
JOHN Sorry. It was my first time though.
STEPHANIE That’s okay.
STEPHANIE Shut up you… What shall we do now?
JOHN We’re watching.
STEPHANIE Watching what?
JOHN I don’t know.
EDWARD We’re watching life’s poor needlework come unstitched.
STEPHANIE What is he on about?
EDWARD I mean look at them all. The future. Brainless chickens
chasing kisses or footballs. Is that all there is?
STEPHANIE Well eagles don’t do much
EDWARD Don’t you dare say that. They are majestic. Concerned with
only the basic need for survival.
STEPHANIE They are boring.
JOHN Cheetahs are majestic too… and leopards.
STEPHANIE They are all boring.
John is a little hurt.
TEACHER’S VOICE Playtime’s over!
STEPHANIE Good. Come on Spot. Time to go. I’ve got a painting to
JOHN Ok… (to Edward) Are you coming?
EDWARD I don’t think so.
JOHN Are you stuck?
EDWARD (protesting) No!
JOHN I can help you down if you’d like.
EDWARD I am fine. You go.
JOHN (exiting) Okay. See ya!
EDWARD I am staying here.