Most pictures and words from Anthony C Murphy

Sunday, 2 October 2011




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.

JOHN                  Why?

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

JOHN                          Err…Spot.

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?

JOHN                           Ok.

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.

EDWARD                   Well?

JOHN                          I couldn’t catch her…She’s like a cheetah… So do you want to
                                    play something?

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.

Edward snorts.

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?

John shrugs.

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.

EDWARD                       God!

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.

Stephanie exits.

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.

Curtain closes.


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