The Incidental Plays


The Incidental Plays

[Here is my contribution to Forest Fringe’s Paper StagesNow that Edinburgh is over I thought it would be nice to give those people who couldn’t get a copy a chance to read it.]



A series of plays to be performed in a city by an indeterminate number of people for an audience that does not quite realise it is an audience.

“I would like to talk to the capitalists about money, but they only want to tell love stories”

A figure stands half illuminated by streetlight
In paint
or chalk
or marker pen
they write on the wall
“I would like to talk to the capitalists about money, but they only want to tell love stories”

Coffee (for Nora Ephron)

A conversation over coffee
Or what appears at least to be coffee
Body language mirrored
And a discussion with an enormous amount of subtext
Someone writes a number into a mobile phone
A message is sent and there is a moment of quiet, intimidate awkwardness as together they wait for it to arrive

The silent suffocation of Frank Uwe Laysiepen by his most famous former lover

A man stands uncomfortably still in the middle of a busy public square
People continue to move around him
Eventually it starts to rain

Sister Lovers

A number of figures in identical outfits move casually through an overcrowded room
Almost imperceptibly
They catch each other’s eyes

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People stood on opposite sides of a pelican crossing
Seemingly incapable of stepping out into the road
They gaze at each other longingly
As the lights turn from green to red
An indeterminate number of times

Dream Sequence

In the midst of a protest that is fast descending into a riot
They hold each other
Hands slipping inside layers of clothing
Cold fingers running across warm skin
Water cannons erupting like fountains
A chorus of police officers
Rhythmically banging their batons against their shields

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Famous

The remains of a half eaten fish supper
Scattered on the ground in front of a park bench
A can of Tennents lager
A half-chewed polystyrene cup
Containing a number of small denomination coins

Kiss Chase

Two people aimlessly chasing each other through the streets of the city
They switch roles almost imperceptibly
Ducking between cars
Across parks
Down narrow alleyways
Weaving through packed crowds of people
Once they can run no more both collapse in exhaustion
Barely two metres from each other

Oh, baby do you know what that’s worth? Oh, Heaven is a place on Earth.

In a department store
Dressed in unbought clothes
Lying on beds
Nestling in armchairs
Curled in a ball in front of banks of televisions
Trying on hats and headphones and crash helmets
Moving through a corridor of light fittings
Switching them slowly on and off
Off and on


In the middle of the night
In high visibility jackets
Crisp packets
Chocolate bar wrappers
Coke cans
Crumpled flyers
Cigarette butts
Carrier bags
Used syringes
Lost books
Stray dogs
Dead pigeons
And soiled sleeping bags
Placed delicately
and precisely
Along a pedestrianised high street


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