Meeting The Crew

During the blackout, a child of about 11 stands on stage. He is Benjamin. To all intents and purposes, he is Benjamin’s psyche. He speaks:

 BENJAMIN: I’ve never been a child. So far as I’m concerned, I never had a childhood, it doesn’t exist in my memory. I don’t think that’s odd. I don’t know what people mean when they talk about their childhood, I don’t know what it feels like.

 He exits.

 Lights up. The stage now represents a dining room; entrance can be from both sides. A large table is brought on and placed centre stage. JENNIFER, DAISY and LIAM are sitting at the table, all of them are at this point adult in appearance but children in manner.

 DAISY: I’m hungry! What? I’m hungry. Don’t look at me like that Jennifer! It’s rude to stare.

 LIAM: We have to wait.

 DAISY: Why do we have to wait? I’m hungry! I want food!

 LIAM: For the others.

 DAISY: Who cares! Nobody cares about them!

 JENNIFER: I care about them Daisy. They’ll get hungry.

 DAISY: So?!

 Jimmy and Benjamin run in and sit at the table.

               You missed dinner.

 JIMMY: No we didn’t stinky.

 DAISY: Don’t call me that!

 JIMMY: But you’re stinky.

 JENNIFER: Don’t be mean, Jimmy.

 Jimmy reels and is suddenly very quiet for a while. Sarah enters, as a child once more, and sits at the table next to Benjamin. The other children stare at Sarah and Benjamin.

 SARAH: Hi Benjamin.

 BENJAMIN: Hi Sarah.

 Pause, the others are all looking at Sarah and Benjamin. Gently Jennifer breaks the silence.

JENNIFER: Who are you [two]?

 DAISY: No-one cares who they are.

 JENNIFER: Sh! Are you staying here now?

 BENJAMIN: I think so.

 DAISY: You can’t stay here.

 SARAH: Why not?

 DAISY: It’s our house. You can’t live in our house.

 BENJAMIN: Oh I’m sorry -

 SARAH: (interrupting) Yes we can.

 Nurse enters.

NURSE: Daisy, Jimmy, Jennifer, Liam - this is Sarah and this is Benjamin. They’re staying here now.

 DAISY: Why! This isn’t their house. It’s our house!

 NURSE: Be kind to them Daisy.

 Pause, as Daisy sulks. Nurse exits.

 JENNIFER: I don’t mind that you’re going to live here now.

 SARAH: Thank you. What’s your name again?

 JENNIFER: Jennifer.

SARAH: So it’s Jennifer - Daisy - and Liam.

 JENNIFER: Don’t forget Jimmy.

 JIMMY: She’s already met me.

 JENNIFER: Oh. And you’re Benjamin?

 DAISY: Jennifer! Stop talking to them!

 JENNIFER: Don’t be so mean Daisy!

 SARAH: It’s okay. She’ll like us one day.

 JIMMY: No she won’t. She’s subbon, that’s what Nurse says.

 SARAH: You mean Stubborn?

 JIMMY: No - Yeah.

 DAISY: Am not Stubborn!

 JIMMY: Are too, stinky!

 Nurse enters with a handful of knives and forks, which she gives to everyone at the table.

 DAISY: Finally! I’m so hungry.

 NURSE: None of your sharp tongue please, Daisy.

 DAISY: But I’ve been waiting for ages.

 NURSE: Yes, and you can wait for a few moments more.

 Nurse exits.

 JENNIFER: She won’t give us food sooner if you keep shouting Daisy.

 DAISY: I’m not shouting.

 JENNIFER: You were.

 JIMMY: She wasn’t. This is shouting. La la la! I want food!

 DAISY: (Also raising her voice) Yeah! I want food!

 Jimmy and Daisy continue shouting, Liam looks down and closes his eyes.

 JENNIFER: (Drowned by the shouts) Daisy, Jimmy. Be quiet!

 SARAH: (To Benjamin, drowned out) They’re so noisy.

 BENJAMIN: (Drowned out) I don’t like it here.

 Nurse runs in.

 NURSE: What on earth is going on in here?!

 DAISY: Jimmy was shouting!

 JIMMY: Daisy started it!

 NURSE: Quiet! No more shouting. Liam, are you alright?

 Shakes his head.

 NURSE: Don’t worry Liam, they’re quiet now. Daisy, Jimmy, apologize please.

 DAISY and JIMMY: Sorry Liam.

 NURSE: I’ll be bringing your food now, so be quiet please.

 Nurse exits. Blackout.

 Absolute stillness on stage. Everyone exits and stands far away from the audience at the entrance to the auditorium.

The End

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