By James Beagon
Is survival enough? Struggling to live in a post-apocalyptic world, Becky had never seen a plane until the strangers landed, offering a better future. But who are these outsiders… and how can Becky leave when her best friend is missing?
June 2019. Directed by Ruth Hollyman.
Min 15, recommended 20
Recommended for performers aged
Recommended for audiences aged
SCENE 1 – THE SCAVENGE
The skeleton of a hangar in an airport terminal, 7 years after the world has been devastated by war and environmental catastrophe.
The Missing enter and start to manipulate their surroundings to fit the story.
They move boxes into place like stepping stones in a river.
They can speak either in unison or individually, as desired.
THE MISSING: We are the Missing.
This is not our story.
It will never be our story.
But the story calls us.
We are its voice.
Long ago, the arrogance of humanity ruined this planet.
These people of history we know as “The Pasts”,
The Pasts who dropped plastic into the seas and boiled them dry.
Ah. There it is.
That look in your eye.
You think you’ve heard this story before.
The oceans which covered this planet retreated,
Leaving a bone-dry skeleton behind.
The Pasts who were left fought a war on those dry bones,
Using weapons never seen before.
Weapons that targeted the useful
And spared the useless:
Children, invalids, extra mouths to feed;
Until they were the only ones left.
At that moment, a group of survivors emerges: CARA, JAKE, BONNIE, FINLAY, HOLLY, LEWIS and finally BECKY. They are jumping from box to box, passing a box of supplies between them. The Missing encircle them as they do this, moving the boxes and almost daring them to fall.
THE MISSING: Almost all voices on this planet were silenced.
But slowly, these young survivors emerged
They found each other
Looked after one another,
With only one goal:
BECKY: I bet I can go faster than you!
LEWIS: Think again!
CARA: Becky! Lewis! Pay attention. Look where you’re going.
CARA: And don’t drop that box!
BONNIE: If you do, the Pasts will get it.
CARA: Oh, don’t encourage them.
BONNIE: You wanted them to hurry up. That’s the way to do it.
CARA: By indulging in their silly stories? Don’t do the bad thing or the Pasts will get you?
BONNIE: There’s no harm in a story. It gives them an incentive.
CARA: If they drop the box, it’ll fall onto a bunch of live electric wires and we won’t be able to touch it without . getting shocked. That should be incentive enough.
JAKE: Come on, you two! You’re almost there.
Most of the group have made it to the edge of the boxes. BECKY and LEWIS are the only ones left. At that moment, there is the distant sound of a plane in the air. They all look up in astonishment.
BECKY: Look! Up there!
LEWIS: What is it?
CARA, though amazed, forces herself to stop looking up and focus on BECKY and LEWIS.
CARA: I don’t know. Just look at me! It doesn’t matter! It’s up there. You’re down here. Look where you’re going.
LEWIS: It’s moving.
FINLAY: It looks like…some sort of plane?
BECKY: A plane? What’s that?
THE MISSING: For the youngest
This world is all they’ve ever known.
CARA: Look where your feet are, Lewis or you’re going to fall!
HOLLY: We’ll tell you all about them when we’re back in the camp.
JAKE: Just get over here.
BECKY and LEWIS oblige. HOLLY takes the box from them.
BECKY: I wonder where it’s going.
CARA: I don’t care. When we ask you to do something, you need to do it. Am I understood?
BECKY: Relax, Cara. We’ve played the lava cross a million times before.
HOLLY: ‘Played the lava cross’?
BECKY: You know? “The floor is lava” – don’t touch the floor. It’s lava and that’s where the Pasts live. What we just did.
The older members of the group turn and look to BONNIE, who is slightly embarrassed.
CARA: Another one of your stories
BONNIE: Look, they got across didn’t they? Clearly it works.
LEWIS: We won again, didn’t we Bonnie? The Pasts didn’t get us.
BONNIE: That’s right.
CARA squares up to BONNIE but thinks better of having an argument right now.
CARA: We’ll talk about this later. Gather all the boxes together. We need them all if we want to eat well tonight.
They don’t leave. Instead, the scene shifts around them.
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