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'Next!' - a mini play, waxing humorous (1 Viewer)



This is something that started off as nothing, and slowly turned into something else...see what you think.

[The acoustics have a slight echo, as if in a small hall. Dave is sitting in the chair, wearing a suit that doesn’t fit him very well. He has a northern accent, and his lines are in bold. Incidental instructions are in italics, and are underlined. The other characters have any accent you see fit. A different character, with a different accent, should be used in each of the four scenes alongside Dave]


You’re first one up, must be eager.’
‘I am! Eager to please!’
You are, are you? Why do you want to do this?
‘The fame1 The fortune! The chance to earn enough so I can move out of my mum’s house!’
How old are you son?
‘Twenty six.’
Ok then, but this is only a local talent contest y’ know, t’isn’t bloody ‘Stars in Your Eyes’.
‘Yeah, but you got to start somewhere, right?’
S’pose so. Alright then, show me what you got.
‘I just need to do a bit of changing, can I just go behind this screen here?’
Ok then.
[from behind screen, muffled] ‘Come and see…I’ve got a unique talent I have…I can do this!
Whoa whoa whoa…what’s all that about? Where’ve y’ trousers gone? And what the hell is that you’re wearing round your neck?
‘It’s a Belgian fertility symbol. Goes down a storm with the ladies!’
If that’s a bloody fertility symbol, why’s it got ‘Anne Summers’ tag on it? This is a family show son, family show; we won’t have any of that filth. They’ll be making inflatable dartboards before you’re a hit with the ladies, ‘cos the only bird you’ve ever taken home was in a chicken tikka masala, now piss off!


‘Do you want me?’
You’re the only one in the room son, no wait, I think we had someone who said he could impersonate t’invisible man, don’t know if he’s left yet.
Never mind, son, what’s your star talent?
‘I reform malleable grade rubber into atmospherically containable structures.’
Sorry son, I forgot my Oxford dictionary when I went out door this morning.
‘I make balloon shapes.’
That’s better, now you’re on my wavelength. What kind of balloon shapes?
‘Warships from the classical era.’
What’s that mean exactly?
‘Well the Mary Rose is popular at the moment.’
Let’s see you make one then.
[a short interlude]
Now I can’t speak for everyone, y’ understand, but to me, that would only resemble a Mary Rose if I were stabbed in both eyes with a sharp pencil.
‘You just need to look at it for a bit. It becomes more obvious with time.’
How much time you planning on giving them? There’s pensioners in the audience, and it’s going to be doctor’s day off.
‘You just have to be careful that you don’t get it near sharp objects.’
[a short interlude]
Bloody hell! What the hell you fill those things with? Normal air don’t explode like that! Look, son, unless you want to be carving coffin for the rest of your life, I can’t let you on. Health and safety would have me head on a plate!


‘Good morning to you.’
Mornin. Are you here for t’auditions?
‘Yes. I’ve been waiting outside for three days!’
Three days? Posters only went up yesterday.
‘Well, actually, I missed the last train home, and I can’t afford another ticket, so I came here to get out of the cold..’
Well come on then, give us a show.
‘What would you like me to do?’
Mate, this is a variety show audition, you can do whatever y’ like.
‘Whatever I like?’
Within reason, yeah. ‘Tis family show, mind, so keep it clean.
‘Oh…err…just let me think for a minute.’
Take your time, mate. It’s not like I’ve got anything else to do.
No problem.

[cut to several minutes later]

Err, mate?
‘Sorry, yes?’
I know I said take y’ time, but I’ve got a wife an kids t’ome.
‘Ok, ok. Just turn that lamp on. Ok and can you shine it over here? Thanks. How about this?’
What exactly are y’ showing me here?
‘It’s a shadow puppet.’
‘Statin the bloody obvious isn’t a talent, son, what is it?
‘It’s a Boeing 747.’
I wasn’t aware that jet aircraft, to my knowledge, had ears.
‘They’re not ears! They’re wings!’
Wings? Really. Been in a crash has it?
Well, I’m not expert y’ understand but I expect that today’s high-class clee-on-telle are lookin’ for something little more sophisticated than a shadow puppet.’
Can y’ do anything else?
‘I can open tins with my teeth!’
You think that will entertain audience, do you?
‘I can sing!’
Really. Ok then, give us a blast.

The last time I heard something like that, son, it was coming out of t’ambulance with sheet over is face
So you liked it then?’


‘Going well is it?’
‘You mean you’re not enjoying yourself?’
I enjoyed last trip to mam’s more than this, and that were for her funeral.
‘So this isn’t the most fulfilling thing you’ve ever done?’
I’m interviewing talentless people for a talent contest. There’s more sparkle in a packet of pork rinds.
‘So you’re not enjoying yourself?’
Wow, Sherlock’s day off, is it?
‘What’s got into you today?’
Would you like to do what I’m doing?
‘Well no – that’s why you’re doing it.’
Exactly. If I go on like this much longer I’m going to beat someone to death with my chair.
‘What have you had today?’
We had some kind of wannabe porn star strip-artist – he was weird he was – looked a bit of a deviant youth. We had balloon guy who made model of Mary Rose or something. Almost bust my bloody eardrums when that thing went off – he was bit rubbish; and some guy who did shadow puppets.
‘Any good?’
Depends. Says the thing was a Boeing 747, but I never saw one of them with ears.
‘I can see how it might be tough.’
Might be, might be? This takes it out t’other side of tough!
‘Yes, I can’t see shadow puppets working that well on a radio show myself.’
Whoa there sunshine, what’s all this about a radio show?
‘You’re doing auditions for a radio show, didn’t anyone tell you?’

[long pause]

Oh f -…