A Play for the Edinburgh Fringe, performed at Paradise Green @ St. Augustine’s 4th – 12th August 2017
Int. Felix’s kitchen. There is a dining table with five chairs around it.
Felix is topless, cooking to ‘Within You Without You’ by the Beatles, performing what looks like some kind of absurd food ritual as he does so. He tastes the food and goes outside to fetch an ingredient from his bedroom.
Oscar enters carrying a plastic bag full of beer. He listens to the music, looks around the room and inspects everything with utter bewilderment. He turns the music off, then shouts to the house:
Oscar: What on earth are you doing?
There is a crash from offstage.
Felix: Oh, Oscar, thank God it’s just you. Peace and love on entering my humble abode.
Oscar: Peace and love!? Indian music!? Why are you topless? And why is your front door open?
Felix: How can you have an open mind with a closed door?
He continues to dance and add things to the food.
Oscar: Oh Christ, is this going to be like that time in 1st year…you know, with you, me and Kingsley…with the rulers and measuring tape?
Felix: No man, nothing like / that.
Oscar: Because it was really cold that day!
Felix: It was in a sauna. Look man, you’ve got it all wrong. I’ve developed my inner peace this year. I keep a bee colony in my room now.
Oscar: You keep a bee colony!?
Felix opens the side door and the sound of a bee swarm sounds. He closes the door again.
Felix: That was the sound of the bees saying: ‘Thank you, Felix, full on rapist of the bees.’
Oscar: Full on rapist of the bees!?
Felix, confused, opens the door and listens to the bees again for a second. He closes the door.
Felix: They mispronounced. They meant ‘philanthropist’.
As Oscar begins to speak, Felix picks up a hand bell from the side.
Oscar: Felix, are you high on valium again? (grabs his cheeks) I thought I told you being doped up won’t look good in a / job interview-
Felix: (still with cheeks squished) No way man. I gave that up after my Mum’s second marriage.
Oscar: (still holding his cheeks) Oh, well that’s something. Did the wedding make you realise the only drug you need is love?
Felix: Oh yeah man, like totally. It was that and I also took 10 valiums and passed out in the wedding cake. Can you let go of my cheeks please? (Oscar releases him: “Oh right yeah, sorry”). It was kind of like nature telling me to stop.
Oscar laughs rowdily. Felix, annoyed, rings the hand bell in Oscar’s face. Oscar looks confused.
Oscar: Stop waving your bell-end in my face. (Felix pauses and then resumes ringing bell) Is this some sort of Pavlovian experiment? Because I’m not an animal Felix! (Felix tries to speak) Except in the sack. (He goes for a high-five. Felix, nonplussed, strokes Oscar’s outstretched palm).
Felix: (As if reading Oscar’s palm) How do you know we’re not all part of some experiment right now? How do you know there aren’t other beings watching us at this very moment? Beings who’ve paid (enter ticket price) to watch me ad-lib…(can ad-lib and pretend to see audience members, as Oscar looks blankly behind him).
Oscar: You’re on acid yeah…somebody gave you really bad acid…
Felix: I don’t take drugs anymore, Oscar. I’m pursuing the spiritual path now. All I need is my mindfulness and my bell of awareness.
He rings the bell again.
Oscar: You don’t take drugs anymore? But…you’re Felix! There’s a reason the boys gave you those nicknames.
Felix looks confused
You know, LSDelix, “Felix in the sky with crystals”, “Harry Blotter and the Philosopher Stoned”. Plus the sequels? “Harry Blotter and the Chamber of Hallucinogenics”, “Harry Blotter and the Half-Tab Prince”, “Harry Blo-
Felix: Forget all that! I’m a new Felix now. The new Felix is committed to the Buddhist Way, forever.
He puts his hands together in prayer position.
Oscar: And how much does the Buddhist Way pay per year?
Felix: That’s not the point, Oscar. It’s not all about money, you know.
Oscar: (Scoffs) You’re such a young idealist, Felix. Life is about being practical, pragmatic. Look, don’t get me wrong, this spirituality thing sounds great – I mean, I love eating curry as much as the next guy. But what’s the point in doing it if you’re not actually going to have the money to buy the curry? I mean, do you get more holidays? Is that it?
Felix: It’s not a holiday. It’s the means of achieving (deep breath, in and out) / freedom.
Felix: (tries again and gets interrupted) / Freedom
Felix: No, freedom.
Oscar: But you can have freedom with a job. Nothing spells freedom like £50k a year. Except maybe £60k a year! I mean, my dad earns over – probably – like, a million a year, and look how free he is. He’s got two houses.
Felix: The last time I spoke to your father he said he felt he was suffocating in a vacuumed bubble of loveless uncertainty-
Oscar: (Hurriedly cutting him off) Well, yeah, but, that was probably just because his share values decreased that month. Anyway, did you manage to sort out the, uh – thing?
Felix: What thing?
Oscar: You know – the sensitive thing?
Felix: What, you mean my inherent separation from nature stemming from the egotistical travails of mankind?
Felix: You mean my essay on the consciousness of the capitalist classes I had due in last week?
Oscar: No, mate-
Felix: Oh, you mean the chlamydia?
Felix: Yeah, I got that all sorted. It’s never nice to kill a living thing but, I suppose sometimes you gotta go with what the Tao tells you.
Oscar: Or the doctor. I heard you caught it at Beaugammon’s 21st?
Felix: Err, not exactly…
Oscar: Didn’t he catch you fingering his sister in the pantry?
Felix: I didn’t finger her in the pantry. (beat) I fingered her in the vagina.
Oscar: (laughs) How did that happen?
Felix: Well, you know they’ve got about 5 larders? Well, halfway through dinner we ran out of wine and I guess she must have misheard when I asked if I could go and have a quick rummage through her pantries.
Oscar: (laughs) You fucking lej. Go on, here have a (French accent) beverage. I won’t tell the Buddha.
Felix: No, man, I told you. I don’t drink.
Oscar: You don’t drink, you don’t do drugs: is there anything you can do? What about sex? You know, like tantric monks who have sex to achieve enlightenment. Saucy buggers.
Felix: (Finishing cooking) There, the food’s ready now.
Oscar: (Sniffs) Oh my God! Have you been using expired food again?
Felix: You can’t put a sell-by date on life, when everything’s eternal. It’s called Bisi Bele Bath, it’s from Southern India.
Oscar: It smells worse than when we found the body of Smithers the cat in our compost heap. You know, I’ve always wondered about that… I know Liv says he was really down and all, but I swear cats can’t actually drown themselves in a bath.
Felix: Or leave a suicide note.
There’s a knock at the door. Enter Liv and Bella.
Bella: (ad-libs entry very loudly) Wahey, merry end of university, dickheads! Felix, why is your front door open? Are you high on valium again?
Felix: Open door, open mind.
Oscar: Alright, Bella. On good form as ever.
Bella: Don’t you know it, Lord Sir Fuckface. Anyway friends?
Liv: Friends are just enemies that don’t have the guts to kill you.
Oscar: Liv, festive as ever.
Liv: Only death makes me festive (Pause). That and (ad-lib each night). Have you taken that job yet, Felix?
Bella: Job? What job?
Oscar: Felix, have a job!? Don’t be ridiculous. He’s going to be a Buddhist monk with a snake for a belt and shampoo for food. He doesn’t need employment. He’s like an animal, or a peasant.
Liv: He informed me his father got him a job at KPMG.
Bella: What! Oh for God’s sake, it’s so easy for the rich kids isn’t it?
Felix: No, no, no, it’s not what it sounds like, I’m pursuing the spiritual path now-
Bella: And since when does the spiritual path involve helping corporations evade tax?
Felix: Avoid tax. I mean down with the capitalist system!
Bella: Anyway. Where’s Milly got to?
Liv: Yes, where is that feminist?
Bella: You’re a feminist too Liv. Unless you like not being able to Instagram your own nipple.
Liv: I don’t have nipples.
Oscar: At least Felix has a job.
Bella: Liv and I have a business plan, actually. Just, don’t tell Milly.
Felix: Why not?
Bella: (laughs nervously) Just…don’t?
Liv: And it has a 65% chance of success.
Oscar: (Surprised) Oh. Really?
Bella: You don’t have to have gone to Eton to be motivated, posh boy.
Oscar: Hey, you’re just jealous that we had the finest beagles in the country.
Bella: And what are you doing after uni?
Oscar: I’ve got my plans.
Bella: What like you and Felix’s genius get-rich-quick scheme in 1st year?
Felix: It could have worked.
Liv: What was it?
Felix: It was revolutionary. Very avant-garde.
Oscar: Fantastic profit margins.
Bella: It was alchemy. You morons tried alchemy.
Oscar: And it would’ve worked too if Felix hadn’t meddled with my ingredients.
Felix: You put my hamster in the blender.
Oscar: And Tibbles would’ve paid for a Ferrari if you hadn’t contracted a case of “pussy-itis” and pulled him out.
Liv: As Al Capone said Felix, “If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break a few legs”.
Felix: He’d been in my family for 10 years.
Oscar: So has premature deafness, but I don’t see you risking your pudgy digits for that.
Bella: (Shouts to a still uncomprehending Felix) He said you’ve got fat fingers and you’re deaf!
Felix: (indignant) My fingers are not fat! I’ve just got big hands.
Oscar: (to the others) Alright E.T. (in E.T voice) Felix, phone home.
Liv: He’s just jealous cause he’s got small hands. I mean, you know what they say Oscar, “Big hands…”
(everyone waits for her to finish. She doesn’t)
Bella: Big cock.
Bella: No, that’s what they say.
Felix: What, Bangkok? No – I’m going to India.
Bella: You said it!
Felix: Said what?
Bella: Argh!! Look Oscar, let’s be honest, we all know why you had it in for Tibbles in the first place.
Oscar: Do you know how expensive / that was
Bella: What did you expect hiding white powder in a hamster’s cage?
Oscar: I expected the rodent Hunter S. Thompson to not chew through 4 grams of Peruvian Nose Candy. I mean, “just say no” Ratatouille.
Felix: He was really sick Oscar, you almost killed him. I had to take him to the vet and everything. I mean, imagine explaining to a medical professional why he was running on his hamster wheel for 37 hours.
Liv: Um…”He was a gym rat”. (Felix looks at her. She corrects herself) Hamster.
Felix: (sighs) Running around on his little wheel all day long, just like all of us on the hamster wheel of capitalism… Sucking on the hamster water bottle of money, and the sawdust of… (struggling) Tescos.
Bella: Right, I’m phoning Milly. She’s 20 minutes late and I’m starving.
(gets out phone and starts dialling)
Meanwhile, Liv and Felix have been adding things to the food.
Felix: There (grabbing Liv’s hand out of the way, she’s not helping with her additions to the already smelly concoction) I think it’s ready now guys.
Liv: It smells like dead cat. Smells just like Smithers.
Oscar: (To Felix) You see!?
Bella: I don’t want to be dramatic, but this literally smells like Chernobyl.
Felix: That’s just the asafoetida. It’s Bisi Bele Bath and it’s from Southern India.
Oscar: Christ, this isn’t even ‘Sainsbury’s “Taste the Difference”’ is it?
Felix: More like, ‘Sainsbury’s “Taste the Capitalism”’. Which I imagine tastes like exploitation and bad subprime mortgages.
Bella: Well I hope Milly gets here soon so she can vom it back up with us. She’s probably editing ‘Feminist Indigest’ or whatever the Femsoc magazine is called.
Oscar: Ha! I’d love it if it was called “Feminist Indigest”. (stirring the food suspiciously) Although, not the only thing that’s indigestible.
Enter Milly, carrying a bottle of wine.
Milly: Hello-! Sorry I’m late, I was editing the latest edition of ‘Feminist Indigest’. Ooh, smells of Southern India in here.
Felix rings his bell at her.
Bella: How are you, darling?
Milly: Oh you know, patriarchy never sleeps so neither do I!
Felix: Namaste, Milly. We thought you might be working on that magazine –
Milly: Oh God, yes, you wouldn’t believe it – I had to cut three whole articles on mansplaining and replace them with articles on manspreading.
Oscar: What’s manspreading? Sounds like something I’d do to my toast.
Bella: Milly would like a bit of manspread on her toast.
Milly: Well, no I wouldn’t actually, Bella, because it’s usually interpreted as a patriarchal invasion of female space.
Oscar: Are you prospecting again Bella? Not been laid in a while?
Bella: “Projecting”. You mean “projecting”, Oscar, I’m the psychology student and no I’m not for your information.
Liv: It could be “prospecting” (everyone looks at her in confusion).
Milly: Doesn’t that mean mining for precious metals?
Liv: Yeah. (blank looks) Well, you know, because of what you all said, that she’s such a massive gold-dig-
Milly: Yes, thank you Liv!
Bella: Wait, who said / that I
Oscar: Gosh nice…er… kitchen you got here Felix (gestures past Bella to Felix’s oven-gloves). Like your tits. MITTS. I meant mitts.
Felix: Thanks! People often compliment my mitts. Not that they shouldn’t necessarily compliment tits either – (keep going ad-lib until Bella decides to interrupt).
Bella: Felix hun?
Bella: Shut the fuck up.
Bella: I’ll have you all know I’m currently seeing -(aside) amongst others- a very attractive, very submissive, rugby player called Gareth (pronounced in a funny way).
Milly: You mean Gareth?
Bella: No. He’s welsh.
Milly: Aw, that’s great Bella. You’ll have to introduce him sometime.
Bella: I will. What about you Milly, you seeing anyone?
Milly: Um…(glances at Oscar)..Uh…(eyes flicker to Felix) No. Absolutely not. Boys are – wrong.
Liv: I got divorced.
Felix: Food’s ready.
Felix begins to bring the pot over to the table and begins serving.
Felix: It’s called bisi bele bath, it’s from Southern India, it’s vegan and it’s good for the planet.
Milly: Ooh, vegan! That’s very progressive of you, Felix.
Oscar: He’s vomited into a pot and added garlic, not become a suffragette.
Milly makes as if to violently attack Oscar but Liv jumps up and holds her back.
Oscar: Oh my God!
Liv: No, Milly, he’s not worth it!
Felix: (Ringing his bell at her) Peace be upon you!
Milly: Sorry, I just couldn’t help it! Too many sleepless nights fighting the patriarchy.
Liv: Want some vodka, Milly? It’s alcohol, which means it’s poisonous. Just like all good things.
Milly: Oh, that’s alright I’ve got my wine – (glances at Oscar) – I mean – actually yes.
Liv offers to pour, but Milly takes it off her and gives herself a generous helping. Oscar takes Bella to the side.
Oscar: (in a stage-whisper) You haven’t told Milly…about us?
Bella: God no, can you imagine the fuss. You, the devout feminist socialist? No.
Oscar: Femsoc egged my house in 2nd year.
Bella: You did say the president of the society looked like a dyke.
Oscar: I think woman wearing Doc Martens is probably gay.
Bella: Well there was no need to spray-paint it on her door.
Oscar: That could’ve been anyone. Look, just don’t say anything to Milly.
Bella looks at him questioningly as they both sit down again.
Bella: Right, well, shall we try Felix’s…that?
Felix: It’s bisi bele bath, it’s from Southern India, and it’s –
Bella: We know!
They all look at each other with trepidation. They all try the food. Vomiting physical sequence. Pause as they all look at each other to signal it tastes disgusting.
Felix: I think it could have done with a bit more asafoetida. Don’t you think guys?
Pause as they all struggle for something to say.
Liv: So, what are everyone’s plans after graduating?
All: Might do a masters.
Felix: I’m going on a spiritual journey. I’m going to go to India, and I’m going to meditate until I’ve discovered who I am.
Oscar: No need to go to India, we could’ve told you who you are. (beat) You’re a twat.
Liv: India. There’s a country I’m not allowed to go anymore. (Everyone looks quizzical). You know an “Indian Burn”? (plays with lighter) Doesn’t mean what I thought it meant.
Milly: Oh, I wish I had a plan. Graduation kind of – freaks me out!
She takes a large swig of her drink. Very panicky.
I mean, I do an English degree – an English degree! What the hell am I supposed to do with that?
Oscar: (gestures the pole) Become a stripper.
Bella: Look Milly, I’m sure you’ll find something. Was there ever anything you dreamed of doing?
Milly: (Anxious) Well… I have always wanted to aid the women’s emancipation movement with inspirational political essays. (Looking more optimistic) Yeah maybe I’ll do that (Realisation strikes) Oh God, I’m not good enough for that! English is pointless! Oh, I should be doing an internship, or have made travelling plans, or be writing a novel, or be going on a fucking spiritual journey-
Felix: There’s no fucking on a spiritual journey, it’s a strictly non-sexual experience.
Oscar: What about the Tantric monks?
Felix: Oh, yeah, good point. I’ll bring some condoms.
Milly: You know, Bella, it’s such a shame that that business plan we thought of at the start of the year never came together. I honestly think that if we’d put our heads down and focused on it, we could have really made it work.
Felix: (To Bella) Wait, is that the business plan / you –
Bella: (Makes a violent gesture to Oscar to shut up) Ssh! (To Milly) Yeah, yeah, it’s a real shame that it couldn’t work out. You know what it’s like with…
She glances frantically at Liv, who gestures that she doesn’t know what to say.
Business – rates.
Milly: Business rates?
Bella: Yeah, you know. The rate was too – quick… Dog eat dog world, isn’t it, no way we could have pulled it off. Not with people like Richard Branson and Elon Musk out there.
Milly: I didn’t realise we’d be competing against Richard Branson.
Bella: Yeah, well it’s all business, I’m sure he would have got involved somehow. The nosy cunts.
Oscar: Since when did you two have a business plan?
Bella: (Anxious) I mean, it wasn’t really serious, the product wasn’t good enough, would have never taken off –
Felix: What was the product you were going to market?
Bella and Milly suddenly very nervous
Bella: It –
Milly: It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that the market probably wasn’t ready for it at the time and, who knows, maybe we’ll come back to it again sometime in the future.
Milly: What about you Liv? What are you going to do after graduating?
Liv: Bella and I have set up a business and we’re flying to Dublin tomorrow to confirm with our investors.
Bella: I’m sorry, are you actually rainman?
Milly: You went ahead with the business without me!? But Bella we’re feminist sisters, think of the sisterhood!
Oscar: Yes Bella, think of the sisterhood!
Bella: (To Liv) I swear to god if my financial security didn’t rely on that calculator between your ears, I would force-feed you Felix’s Indian dog meat!
Felix: There’s no dog in it, it’s –
All: (Bored) Vegan!
Oscar: We know!
Felix: Peace and love! Peace and love!
(He rings his bell).
Milly: Just tell me why?
Bella: It’s just that – Milly, mate – you’re an awful businesswoman!
Milly looks beyond offended.
You had no concept of how funding and investment works, or how to draw up a business proposal, or how to design a product, or how to generally be a functioning member of the business class!
Milly: I am a very competent businesswoman!
Bella: Really? Do you guys know what product Miss Genius Entrepreneur here wanted to market?
Felix: Was it an app that tells you what’s in front of you?
Felix: You know, an app that tells you what’s in front of you. Because people are on their phone so much, they don’t usually realise what’s there. You know, like food, pets, family members, boxes of cereal. A lot of the time I just don’t know they’re there.
Bella: No. Somehow Milly’s idea was even worse than that.
Oscar: So what was it?
Bella: Genuinely – it was a hairbrush that’s also a radio.
Oscar: What? Were you dropped on your head as a child?
Milly: Look, I hadn’t done entrepreneurialism before, alright? It was the first thing that popped into my head and I panicked and –
Felix: Milly – why did you have to bring the hairbrush into it again?
Milly: I – look, it’s not linked, or anything-
Bella: It’s like, no matter what we do, this keeps coming up again and again…
Liv: I don’t get it. Is this a reference to-
Milly: (Panicked) We really don’t need to talk about the hairbrush.
Liv: But I don’t know what happened- (Stares at her lighter).
Oscar: (Uncomfortable) Can we move on please? What’s the product you’re marketing now?
Liv: It’s a hairbrush that also massages your head.
All react disgustedly, ad lib ‘for God’s sake!’ etc.
Bella: I promise it’s better than it sounds! Our potential investors loved the prototype we sent them.
Liv: They said it was like having a cloud pass over their head.
Oscar: Are you sure they’re not just creepy Irish men who want some young English poon-tang? You know what the Irish are like. Savages.
Liv: I don’t think they’re Irish. I think they’re just in Dublin for tax purposes.
Oscar: You sound just like my father and that weekend away he’d never explain.
Milly: I want to get involved again.
Oscar: Why, what are you going to invent this time? A hairbrush that whispers feminist wisdom in your ear as you brush? A hairbrush that seizes the means of production every morning? A hairbrush that… Err… Makes you look… Shit?
Bella: I’m sorry Mil, but as “different” as Liv can be, she’s a numbers freak.
Milly: Oh yeah? (turns to Liv). What’s 137 times 24?
Liv: (breaks character, shrugs and gestures to the audience) Well, they’re not going to know are they? (about to address Milly when turns back to audience) Are they? No? Good. (about to address Milly when turns again). We had a guy in the last show who actually stood up and screamed the correct answer. (Beat) Thanks Uncle Bryan.
Milly: But this is so unfair!
Oscar: Life is unfair, Milly, deal with it!
Milly: Well isn’t that so easy for you to say? You’ve probably got a job straight off the bat!
Bella: Felix does. From his Dad. At KPMG.
Felix: I never said I’d take it.
Milly: Oh, for God’s sake…
Bella: Tell me Felix, what does it actually taste like? (Felix looks confused) You know, the silver spoon you were born sucking on.
Felix: Ahhh guys!
Liv: How much does it pay?
Felix: (protesting) It’s entry-level.
Felix: Please stop shouting…
All: PLEASE STOP SHOU-
Bella: You know what Felix, you’re not a Buddhist, you’re a corporate sellout. You’re like that guy from the Wolf of Wall Street who fucked Margot Robbie, except this time it’s you who’s getting fucked. By the Man.
Liv: What man?
Bella: The man, Liv.
Felix: Who’s “the man”?
Oscar: (going for a high-five) I’M THE M-
Bella punches him in the balls. Others keep talking as Oscar writhes in pain.
Bella: The man! Like the establishment, the matrix? God, don’t you guys know anything?
Liv: I know 37 ways to kill a person with a Q-tip.
Felix: I know how to let go of the Self (beat). I mean, “I” don’t know that, because “I” don’t exist. I mean, “I” don’t “not exist”-
Milly: I think we’ve been distracted.
Felix: But it’s all a bourgeois conspiracy!
Bella: You can’t talk about bourgeois conspiracies, you’re the son of a multi-millionaire tax consultant!
Felix: Yeah, but I’m trying to break free – I’m trying to be a free spirit!
Liv: I could free your spirit for you Felix…
Milly: This is so unfair, Felix, what kind of Buddhist are you?
Felix: Um, does anyone want a drink? Cos I might just… Get some.
He exits swiftly with the sound of bees coming through the door.
Milly: Is he alright?
Bella: (sarcastically) He’s a Buddhist. Worse thing that happens to him is he gets reincarnated as a platypus or something. I bet even then he’d be son of the chief platypus and wouldn’t have to forage with the other smarter, more hard-working platypuses.
Milly: Bless you.
Oscar: Anyway, I bet the male platypi deserved those extra worms. They probably worked hard in platypus school instead of flirting with the married 27-year-old teaching assistant.
Bella: Well, flirting or not, your school did have beagles, so.
Oscar: (Suddenly deadly serious) You leave the beagles out of this.
Bella: It’s funny that you had beagles at your school. You know what our school had? A homeless Labrador called Jerry, short for Jerome, who only had one leg and died from trying to consume an entire live pigeon.
Milly: You see what we had to put up with while you were at your private boarding school? (leaning in) I bet you wanted Jerry to eat that pigeon, didn’t you?
Liv: Among other things…
Oscar: Why, instead of whining, don’t you get out there and actually get a job?
Bella: We’ve got a business plan.
Oscar: Yeah, I’ve got a plan to sell my sperm on Ebay for 20 quid a pop (everyone starts groaning), but it’s not made me any money. Yet.
Milly: Eurgh, you are / disgusting.
Bella: That’s really grim.
Liv: Oscar’s got a point though. (everyone looks at her) Not about the sperm. How have you been surviving since the end of your student loan? You’ve not had a job.
Milly: Yeah I was wondering about that Bella. How could you afford that gold necklace you showed me last week? And the Gucci slippers? And diamond earrings?
Bella: Well, let’s just say I have another source of income.
Liv: Have you been selling your sperm too?
Bella: (stares at Liv and continues) Remember last February, when I spent my student loan for the semester a tad early?
Milly: Oh yeah. You spent it in 3 days didn’t you (Bella nods), on…
Bella: Caviar and champagne. And hummus.
Oscar: You spent over a thousand pounds in 3 days?
Bella: Well I needed the champagne and caviar.
Bella: (as if it’s obvious, very matter of fact) To go with the hummus, obviously. Christ, are you high or something? Never mind, anyway, I needed some pocket money to keep me going so I signed up to this website. It’s called “SugarDaddies.com”. Heard of it? (no one answers) Well it’s like Tinder, but all the guys are filthy rich and over 30.
Oscar: And what…do you…do for them?
Milly: Oh my God. Bella, are you working as a prostitute?
Bella: No, of course not, it’s just a mutually beneficial relationship. (Oscar takes out his wallet in the background and starts counting banknotes). I dress up for a few social functions, hang off their arm for the evening and then we have some drunk, casual sex. In exchange for which they give me gifts. Everybody wins. (still looking at Milly) Oscar, before you say anything, I just want you to know Gareth’s been done for assaulting his girlfriend’s ex with a cricket bat.
(Oscar silently begins putting notes away again in the background)
Milly: But Bella what about Gareth? Doesn’t he mind?
Bella: Ah, Gareth doesn’t care. He’s so submissive.
Oscar: (coughs) Or doesn’t know.
Bella: What was that Oscar?
Oscar: (awkwardly) I said, we should all grow! You know, like the Buddha said, we should grow as physical and spiritual beings. Especially you Liv, you’re quite short.
Liv: Waterboarding doesn’t leave any marks Oscar.
Milly: Right so…how many…”Sugar Daddies” do you have?
Bella: One at a time normally. Right now I’m seeing this really sweet guy called Jonathan. (Milly shivers) What?
Milly: No nothing, it’s just my Dad’s called Jonathan, and I don’t really want to imagine…you know…
Bella: Right of course. Well Jonathan’s not my usual custo-…uh type…He actually plays online poker for a living.
Milly: That’s weird, my Dad did that too. Before he left me and Mum. At a petrol station. When I was 4.
Oscar: God damn it Milly, stop hogging the spotlight with your sob stories. No one wants to hear about your deadbeat Dad, we’re finding out about Bella’s mysterious (in french accent) “souteneur”.
Liv: Yeah Milly. You should be like me. I’ve given up fighting for good. (beat) Now I fight for evil.
Bella: So anyway Jonathan’s got this cute little cat which -get this- can actually swallow sausages. (everyone except Milly “woahs” and “no way’s” and “that’s rad’s”). Yeah I was a bit weirded out when he said he had a pussy that could take a 5 inches of meat, but he meant something else.
Milly: (interrupting, very panicked) Hang on, hang on! We used to have a cat that could swallow sausages too! What’s this guy’s cat called?
Whole room inhales deeply and looks at Bella, eyes wide, sat on edge of their seats. You could cut the tension with a spoon.
Milly: (Milly exhales in relief and others join her) Oh Christ, I thought you were going to say-
Bella: Short for Mr. Bigglesworth.
Milly: Oh my God! You fucked my Dad!
Oscar: Haha! You dad fucker!
Chaos ensues as Oscar and Liv laugh, shout, whatever and Milly rages indignantly like someone who…well, who’s just found out her best friend has been fucking her Dad
Milly: What the fuck Bella? I thought you were my friend! And all this time you’ve been fucking my Dad!
Oscar: And stuffing your pussy.
Milly slaps Oscar and he goes down
Bella: (backing away from Milly) I swear to God I didn’t know! I mean, how could I?
Milly: (rabid at this point) How could you? You could’ve made the connection between a 42-year-old bachelor with a daughter called Milly and your fucking flatmate!
Bella: He said he didn’t have children!
Silence. Liv gasps
Milly: HE SAID HE DIDN’- (she storms around the kitchen, waving her arms in a panic)
Bella watches anxiously from a corner of the room as Liv watches from the other
Bella: (hisses) Liv, help me!
Liv: (shakes her head slowly) No. (Bella looks at her accusingly). No one made you fuck her Dad.
Oscar stumbles to his feet and goes over to Milly, who’s still pacing anxiously, frustration beginning to replace anger
Oscar: Milly, Milly! Calm down. Look, Bella didn’t know Jonathan was your Dad, and anyway didn’t you tell us you’ve always hated his guts? You told us your step-dad has always more of a Dad to you then your real Dad. So Bella fucked him. So what? He’s practically a distant relative.
Milly begins to calm down as she listens to Oscar’s words
Bella: (from across the room) Yeah, I mean he wasn’t even that great in the sack.
Oscar: Not right now Bella. (super sincere) Look Milly you’re getting all riled up over nothing. This guy’s not seen you for over a decade, he doesn’t know you. He doesn’t know what he missed out on. I mean, some might say… “Papa was a rollin stone” (Oscar mockingly sings the song. Milly hits him on the shoulder angrily as he starts laughing).
Milly: God, you’re such a dick Oscar!
Bella: (relieved and bitchily) Yeah Oscar, shut up you dick.
Milly: Bella, you’re forgiven, but shut the fuck up right now.
Bella: Sorry Mil.
Milly: What is your problem Oscar?
Oscar: (putting his feet up on the table) Just chill out Milly, it’s no big deal. Stop getting so stressed about everything. I mean what’s the point of this so-called “white privilege” if you can’t enjoy it?
Milly: Eurgh, you are such a filthy, capitalist pig! It’s people like you who are responsible for global poverty and – and – Donald Trump!
Oscar: I’m responsible for Donald Trump? You’re blaming me, Oscar Hamilton-Batters, for Donald Trump being elected President of the United States?
Liv: Everything is connected, Oscar. Everything dies.
Bella: We can’t all be as lucky as you, posh boy!
Oscar: I’m just saying that –
Milly: You’re just saying that you don’t really understand how unfair the world is! Don’t you get it? We can’t all be born with a silver spoon in your mouth. We can’t all be born into rich families! We can’t all strike oil!
Enter Felix, covered in oil.
Felix: I’VE STRUCK OIL!
(All jump to their feet). (speaking very quickly, more or less over each other for next few lines)
Oscar: Felix, what the hell is this?
Bella: What is that stuff?
Liv: (Excitedly) A hydrophobic, lipophilic chemical substance with a high hydrogen and carbon content, making it highly flammable and surface active.
Felix: (stares at Liv). Um..I don’t know man, I just – I was in the wine cellar and then – I hit the hairbrush-
Oscar: What the hell is that thing doing here!?
Felix: I used it to jam up a hole in the floor a while ago, it was just the right size-
Bella: Alright Felix, just tell us what happened?
Felix: I went downstairs to get my bottle of wine, and there was this crazy buzzing noise, like an evil demon was living down there –
Oscar: What was it, the sound of oil coming out the ground?
Felix: No, the bees had escaped my bedroom and have started making a colony in the basement.
Bella: You have bees in your bedroom?
Oscar: Just don’t.
Felix: And the bees were just going mad – it was like nature had – had made them crazy! I tried wishing them well with a Buddhist prayer but it just made them angrier. They started chanting ‘Fuck you, imprisoner of the bees!’ Only it sounded like (makes buzzing sound). So I told them I didn’t know they felt trapped, and that my life has been dedicated to their wellbeing. I mean, they do live rent-free.
They all look at each other as if to say, ‘That’s a good point’.
But they wouldn’t listen, and they were getting angrier and angrier, chanting ‘Fuck you! Fuck you!’ Then they started unionising and organising a way to overthrow their oppression, so I grabbed the bottle of wine and made for the door, then I kicked over the hairbrush by accident, and then next thing I knew I was – covered in oil!
Milly: You mean you – struck oil!?
Bella: But that’s impossible.
Liv: Well, actually, it is possible. In this particular region of the UK there’s an estimated billion barrel’s worth of oil beneath the ground. Fracking companies haven’t had the clearance to drill for it yet.
Oscar: How do you know that?
Liv: I used to run a fracking company.
Milly: Do you mean Felix just fracked this oil – with a hairbrush?
Liv: It would appear so. I once did something similar with a cat.
Milly: So what the hell are we gonna do now? We’ve just struck oil beneath the house, doesn’t that mean it’s our property?
Oscar: We? Our? Cool it Lenin, I think you’ll find it’s Felix’s property.
Bella: Surely it belongs to your landlord?
Felix: Well, actually…
Felix: My parents bought the house for me.
Milly: Wow. I don’t know whether to love or hate the capitalist system right now.
Bella: Ok, so the oil belongs to you – then that means you can do what you want with it! That means we could all be millionaires!
Milly: Oh my God, we could! This could be it! This could be what I’ve been waiting for! All that anxiety for the future – all the fear and uncertainty, gone!
Liv: I could invest it in a new cat chamber!
Bella: I could move out of my parent’s house!
Milly: Felix could finally buy a new hairbrush!
Felix: Well the old one’s been taken captive by the bees now, and I think they want a ransom for it. Stupid hairbrush, never done a good thing in its life.
Oscar: Well guys, as wonderful as that sounds, it’s up to Felix what we do with it. It’s his property.
Milly: Well Felix, what do you want to do with it?
Bella: Please decide that all property is theft.
Liv: (Assertively) Give it to us.
Felix: I dunno, guys, this is kind of a hard decision to make all of a sudden.
Bella: Think about the Buddhist teachings, you know: give property, and you’ll receive Buddha… Points… Probably.
Milly: Think how much we need it, Felix. We’re not like you. Bella and I didn’t grow up with money. We didn’t have the same opportunities you had; we don’t have parents who can just buy us a house.
Bella: Our early lives weren’t easy, Felix. Whenever I needed a new t-shirt, I had to wrestle it off a tramp.
Milly: Whenever I wanted a shower, I had to walk 5 miles to the nearest Travel Lodge.
Bella: If the electricity went off in our house, my dad couldn’t even charge his iphone. Come on, mate, we really need this. I can’t rely on SugarDaddies.com for ever.
Liv: Let’s do the “Hunger Games”. Last one with limbs gets the oil.
Felix: I’m at least 80% sure that’s against the teachings of the Buddha.
Felix appears conflicted and unsure of what to do. Milly sees off her drink and goes to make another one
Milly: Eurgh, I might as well just get drunk now, nothing ever seems to go my way…
Bella: Are you alright, Milly?
A brief moment of thought passes and she jumps up to speak discretely.
Bella: (Quietly) Milly, did you get that – thing sorted?
Bella: Yeah, you know the sensitive thing?
Milly: What, you mean my article about mansploding?
Milly: Do you mean the ‘Feminist Indigest’ libel case?
Liv: Did you get rid of your chlamydia?
Milly: Please, no!
Liv: Well neither of you were saying it so I thought I’d just hurry you up. I’ve got a (slow speech a bit) short attention spa- Ooh look at that.
Oscar: You have chlamydia?
Milly: Had. It’s gone now. Please can we not talk about this, I’ve just eaten.
Oscar: Who did you get it from?
Milly: That is none of your business!
Bella: To be fair it was kind of a surprise to hear that you have a sex life, Milly.
Oscar: It’s because whenever a man comes close she tells them to stop micro-aggressing her safe space, otherwise she’ll no-platform their nuts.
Liv: She must have caught it from somewhere. Most diseases are contagious. Though not enough if you ask me.
Felix: It’s funny ‘cos I had chlamydia as well. Snap!
Long pause. Everyone turns to look at Felix, then back to Milly.
Oscar: No, surely not!
Bella: Did – did –
Liv: Did you two sleep with each other?
Milly: Alright, yes! It’s true. Come get me, world. Despite what the patriarchy may tell you about the passive nature of women, I, Milly de Mange, have a functioning sex drive.
Felix: Guys, seriously, love is love, yeah? It’s only because of the rules of society that we don’t express our innermost selves to one another in the ultimate, intimate embrace, sharing the hug that makes us totally at one with the universe.
Oscar: (To Milly) How the fuck did you sleep with this guy?
Milly: It’s a long story, we don’t have to go into it.
Bella: I think I’m going to need another drink.
Oscar + Liv: Me too.
They slide their glasses over to be refilled.
Milly: Oh Christ, me too.
She offers her glass as well.
Felix: I’m starting to think that this alcohol actually makes you mindful.
Bella: Well in that case you need to be mindful of where you stick your penis.
Felix: My penis is part of nature. Nature does what it wants.
Bella: Felix maybe you should slow down. Alcohol makes you really fat you know.
Liv: Alcohol doesn’t make you fat. It makes you lean. (beat) Against the wall.
Oscar: Just how did this happen? You and the hippy, how?
Milly: Felix – wrote a poem for ‘Feminist Indigest’ about how the vagina is a symbol of revolution…
Milly: We got talking about it in the SU bar and, drinks were flowing and I was very impressed by his poetic ideals-
Felix: And then the love flowed naturally and spontaneously, like a spring bursting forth from a mountain top.
Bella: That’s not really the image I wanted…
Oscar: So you shagged him because he wrote a poem about a vagina? Christ I wish I’d known it was that easy before.
Milly: Well, that and the fact he had this marijuana from Thailand, and I’d never really got stoned before-
Oscar: (To Felix) You mean you drugged her into sleeping with you?
Felix: No, it wasn’t like that at all!
Milly: Felix did not drug me into sleeping with him, Oscar! That’s so sexist of you. Women are more than capable of making their own decisions about who they sleep with you chauvinist.
Oscar: But I just don’t get it, why him?
Milly: He wrote the most gorgeous poem about female sexuality…
Felix: I suppose I did!
Oscar: You shagged him because of a poem about female sexuality?
Bella: Well why not? I’d go for anyone who could write a convincing poem about pussy.
Liv: (stage-whisper to Felix) Or their Dad.
Felix: (stage-whispering back) I wasn’t on stage for that bit, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Milly: It was very good actually. It had perfect rhythm and metre.
Felix: I contacted the spirit of John Keats, I’ll have you know.
Bella: This coming from the guy who once got into an argument on existentialism with a rat.
Felix: Hey, I don’t care what species you are, if you slag off Jean-Paul Sartre to my face then you’ve got to answer for it.
Bella: Felix. It was dead.
Felix: Well then it really shouldn’t have been talking about existentialism should it!
Oscar: (Pulling out his phone) Alright then, let’s see this poem. It’s on the ‘Feminist Indigest’ website, isn’t it?
Milly: Yes, but – you don’t need to actually look it up.
Oscar: No, come on, if it’s so brilliant that it made you sleep with him then I think we should all hear it!
Bella: Oh God, what is going on…
Liv: I sense that this might be a bad idea. Should I go and get my tazer?
Oscar: Right, I’m on a list of poems. What’s it called?
Felix: ‘The Vagina Strikes Back’.
Pause. Liv starts singing the Star Wars theme to cover the silence.
Oscar: Was it preceded by ‘A New Vagina’ and followed by ‘Return of the Vagina’?
Milly: Don’t be facetious, Oscar, it’s a very serious piece of verse.
Liv: Like a eulogy.
Oscar: (clears his throat) ‘The Vagina Strikes Back:
There once was a man from Fetter’ –
Felix, is this a limerick?
Felix: I told you, it was inspired by John Keats!
Oscar: ‘There once was a man from Fetter
Who tried on a girl who knew better,
He whipped out his cock,
But she gave him a shock,
‘Cos her vagina bit it off and she renounced the patriarchy.’
Liv: I did that once.
Bella: (Starts clapping) Oh, bravo. Now that is poetry.
Oscar: I may only have done English GCSE – no, iGCSE – but I can’t help but feel that it didn’t quite keep to the rhyme scheme.
Milly: That’s the point! It’s symbolic of how renouncing the patriarchy is a revolutionary act that distorts the methodic oppression of women.
Oscar: This made you sleep with Felix?
Milly: Yes. And you know what? I’m proud of it too.
Oscar: But it’s a limerick?
Bella: Poets gets pussy Oscar. Just ask Charles Dickens. Or should I say Charles “Dick-In”.
Milly: (flustered) Yes, thank you Bella, glad to know you appreciate the great novelists!
Oscar: Okay, so it’s that easy then? I just need to write a limerick about rejecting men and then a feminist will sleep with me. Alright then:
‘There once was a woman from Ealing,
Who had a peculiar feeling,
She lay on her back,
And opened her crack,
And then rejected all the sexual advances of the men in the immediate vicinity in the name of feminism.’
Felix: You’ve missed the point man. It’s about the sexual exploration.
Bella: If it helps, I can tell you about my sexual exploration.
Liv: Or, I could tell you all about mine.
Silence from all as the give Liv side-glances.
Bella: I slept with Oscar.
Felix: Free love. Alright.
Milly: Oscar, is this true?
Oscar: (super embarrassed) Well, uh, well yes actually.
Oscar: It was at a Conservative Society meeting.
Milly: (To Bella) What were you doing at a Conservative Society meeting?
Bella: Well – you know I’ve got a thing for posh boys. Where better to find them than good old Tory Soc?
Liv: When I was running the Bullingdon Club –
Milly: (To Bella) But how? And why?
Liv: (Thinking she’s being spoken to) Funny story –
Bella: Well, Oscar gave a very eloquent speech on why fox hunting should be reintroduced, and seeing as I don’t care about foxes, I got him drunk and shagged him.
Oscar: You didn’t get me drunk, I got myself drunk, thank you very much!
Bella: It was all very straightforward. One night stand, say your goodbyes in the morning. No more to it.
Oscar: David Cameron would be proud of me.
Felix: He fucked a pig.
Oscar: Didn’t know he knew your Mum.
Bella kicks Oscar under the table
Felix: Not okay man. She’s got a thyroid problem.
Milly: Oscar, it sounds like you were abused.
Oscar: No I wasn’t! It was totally consensual.
Bella: Well, I did have to buy him a few rounds of champagne first.
Oscar: It’s the only thing they serve at Tory Soc.
Felix: You know what guys, I think this is great. Free love is the way the world should work. The only thing is that with all that free love comes a lot of STIs.
Milly: I can’t believe this.
Bella: What? That two of your friends hooked up once? Not exactly your place to comment on that.
Milly: No – it’s just – it’s – it’s not right! We shouldn’t all just be hooking up with each other left, right and centre for no purpose!
Oscar: What do you mean no purpose? As I recall all our purposes were pretty fulfilled.
Felix: We shouldn’t be concerned with the purpose of life, Milly, but with how to enjoy it.
Bella: And in my opinion, meaningless sex is quite enjoyable.
Milly: This is a bit much to take in one evening. I mean, you and Liv are starting a business without me, Bella fucked my dad, you guys now know I slept with Felix, Bella and Oscar slept together, Felix has a job at KPMG, and now we’ve gone and struck fucking oil!
Felix: I’m not going to work for KPMG, I’m going on a spiritual journey!
All: Are you?
Felix: Well, I’m a bit unsure-
Bella: And to top it all off, we probably all have chlamydia.
Milly: Christ, you’re right. We’re a filthy cocktail of STIs. We’re the Daily Mail’s definition of ‘millennial’.
Oscar: I feel more embarrassed than that time I threw hot tea in Devington’s face for saying socialism “wasn’t all bad”. I mean ‘that’ll teach him to be Red!’. But then of course the burns mean he’s permanently red now anyway.
Felix: I just can’t believe the hairbrush came back the way it did.
Liv: (Liv suddenly smashes a wine bottle and jumps up) WHAT happened with the hairbrush?
They all jump, terrified.
Bella: Jesus Christ, Liv, calm down!
Oscar: Quick, hold her down!
They try to hold her down but she evades them.
Liv: Just tell me!
Oscar: It’s just like in first year with that toaster and that – cat!
He has a sudden realisation, like a lightbulb has flickered on above his head
Liv: He died doing what he loved… (To herself) Wait, no, stay on track Liv. The hairbrush. Explain.
Felix: Or what?
Liv: Let’s just say there’s more than one way to skin a cat Felix.
Bella: You want to know what happened with – with
Liv: The hairbrush.
Bella: Alright. I’ll tell you.
Oscar + Milly: NO-
Bella: Alright. What happened with the hairbrush… Look it was the first day of the holidays and we’d all been partying that weekend non-stop. Felix was high on acid, Oscar was on coke, I was blind-drunk and Milly was on…(looks to Milly)
Milly: (super keen) Simone de Beauvoir.
Bella: Anyway, Felix and I were sitting in the living room smoking a joint. Felix is still hallucinating from the LSD; completely out of it. He’s talking about “Is the smoke natural or not?”, “Are condoms are a barrier to the connection of souls?” and… (turns to Felix)…what was the last one?
Felix: Are glasses a capitalist conspiracy? You know, like the matrix. Stopping you from seeing the world as it really is. (feel free to ad-lib)
Bella: Right. So just as he begins staring into a mirror and laughing in walks Oscar in wearing nothing but boxers, coked-up, shouting about communism or something.
Oscar: The Labour candidate tried canvassing our house. He wants to raise my taxes? Have a go Karl Marx, then we’ll see who the “posh tory twat” is.
Milly: Well clearly not him.
Bella: Then Milly walks in brushing her hair…with the hairbrush… and, of course, immediately starts telling Oscar he’s a fascist pig, and before you can say “let’s agree to disagree”, they’re properly going at it. Throwing glass, shouting, screaming…and that was just Felix in the corner!
Felix: The teletubbies are mean fuckers up close (can ad-lib).
Bella: 30 minutes later they’re still at it full-force, but Milly’s nearing her breaking point. She’s brandishing this big hairbrush at Oscar…The final straw was…
Oscar + Milly: LGBT representation in major trade unions.
Milly: LGBTI… (Bella about to speak) Q… (Bella tries again) Plus…
(Bella waits for approval to speak).
Oh no, that’s it.
Bella: Milly just went for him and before we knew it, Oscar was on the floor screaming. It was like a nature documentary, except when the gazelle gets really angry about gender roles and attacks the lion with a piece of plastic.
Felix: Mother Nature is not a MILF.
Liv: Wait, so what happened?
Bella: Milly shoved her hairbrush up Oscar’s arse.
Pause as they take it all in. Liv starts laughing maniacally. Oscar glares. Felix also starts giggling.
Felix: It is kind of funny Oscar. I mean, you are always telling girls about how you’d like to try anal. Not quite what you meant, but hey!
Oscar dives off his chair onto Felix and starts throttling him. Havoc. Liv changes the soundtrack to clown music (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4RHZ1ssCBA), and keeps on laughing as Bella and Milly try and restrain Oscar. Milly and Bella will ad-lib quite general comments like “He’s not worth it”, “Calm down”, “No, don’t”: all very caricaturised and over the top. Go where your imagination takes you.
Oscar: I’ll kill you! Do you know the pain I went through you lettuce-eating, hippy asshole? Fuck you!
Felix: (unruffled) Funny you should mention assholes…
Oscar tries to attack Felix again but is restrained by the two girls who drag him away. Switch off clown-music. Everyone’s breathing heavily.
Oscar: I spent a week in hospital you dick! I was taken away on an ambulance!
Liv: (laughter finally subsiding, wiping tears from eyes) hahah…ohhh..ahaha…Why?
Bella: It was stuck. So I had to pull it out.
Liv starts laughing again (this is going to have to be a full-bellied, tears-in-eyes, abs-hurting kind of laugh)
Liv: Why didn’t Milly do it?
Bella: Yeah Milly, why didn’t you do it?
Milly: (looks down) I can’t do blood.
Bella glares at her and then looks at Felix questioningly
Felix: What? I was helping!
Bella: You started rubbing his shoulders and whispering about angry teletubbies, you weirdo.
Oscar: Look, what’s done is done, let’s just stop talking about “Hairbrush-gate” altogether. Now, I think the reasonable thing is for us all to share the oil.
Milly + Bella: No!
Bella: No, come on, this is bollocks! Look, I’m sorry you got sodomised by L’Oreal, but Milly and I come from way poorer backgrounds than Boris and Theresa over there.
Liv: What about me, I need money too.
Milly: Are you poor Liv? I actually know nothing about your background.
Bella: Yeah, Liv, where are you even from?
Liv: You can’t find it on a map.
Bella: But what sort of background are you from?
Liv: I don’t know. My parents said we’re upper-lower-upper-middle-middle class. May they rest in peace.
Milly: Hold on, you two have a business venture together! You’re flying to Dublin tomorrow to meet your investors!
Bella: Look, Milly –
Milly: And you lied to me and hid it from me! And fucked my Dad! How could you possibly think you could share the oil with me? If anyone truly deserves it, it’s me!
Oscar: Woah, woah, I think I deserve a little compensation for “Hairbrush-gate”.
Milly: Oh get over it Oscar. Do the Spanish not say, “C’est la vie”?
Felix: Must be Russian or something.
Bella: Look, Mil, it’s not exactly likely we’re going to be striking millions with head-massaging hairbrush.
Milly: But Bella, it’s the principle!
Bella: Who cares about the principle? We’re all in the same boat, mate! And that boat is a leaking, creaking wreck. In the fast-flowing river of unemployment, rising debt and sky-high mortgages, we are all going to drown without that oil.
Felix: Well I won’t drown, I played water polo at school.
Milly: It’s a metaphor Felix.
Felix: I thought it was a river?
Oscar: Look, I’m trying to think what my dad would do, because, frankly, he’s a financial genius. I think – we could all sell the oil, then put the profit into a central pot that distributes a specific percentage to each of us every month. There. That was rather good, wasn’t it? Maybe I’ve inherited some of his genius? Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I have.
Milly: Oscar, stop trying to get in on this! You don’t need the money, we do!
Bella: What would you even use it for?
Felix: You could buy some property in India for me to live in while I go on my spiritual quest. Save me having to compete on the housing market.
Bella: How is competition for housing going to affect your spiritual journey? That is just so not a problem.
Liv: There are wiser investments. Like dungeons.
Felix: And dragons!
Liv: Just dungeons.
Oscar: I must say I’d probably do something a hell of a lot wiser with it than you lot.
Milly: Eurgh! What gives you the right to make comments like that? That you just assume you have better judgement than all the peasants surrounding you?
Oscar: Because I come from a financial family, I have a degree in Economics and Management –
Milly: And you have a grotesquely swollen sense of self-worth! You’re always making these assumptions that none of us really know what we’re doing, that because we’re not from the same background as you we don’t have the same amount of skill, or confidence, or general ability to be good human beings.
Oscar: I just mean to say that I have a special knowledge of the subject, and I’m trying to use it / to help –
Milly: Special knowledge because of your family, because daddy-kins runs a hedge fund doesn’t he?
Oscar: One, I call him Father to his face, and two, yes, he does! He’s a very successful financier who works so hard he doesn’t even see his family that often.
I mean – basically, I know about money, alright, and you and your little lefty brain don’t get it.
Milly: That doesn’t mean we can’t learn to do it ourselves, without your ‘expertise’ being used as an excuse to grab our cash.
Bella: She’s right, Oscar, why can’t we do it ourselves?
Oscar: I’m trying to help! God, I feel like how the bourgeoisie must have felt under Mao.
(Liv has been leaning into the oil-covered Felix with her lighter, curious).
Felix: Guys, can’t we all just get along?
(Liv moves back. Felix is completely oblivious).
Liv: (Playing with her lighter) I wonder, if I took this lighter down to the cellar…
Felix: Don’t do that, the bees are angry, and I think they have knives!
Liv: Oh. I didn’t know knives put out fires.
Milly: Well we’ve had enough. Today we’re not having any more of your condescending, chauvinistic, capitalist crap! We are going to take control of this oil, and we are going to make a profit out of it, and unlike the first night of uni I am going to have no regrets about what I do with you!
Bella: What? What happened on the first night of uni?
Milly: Oh, balls.
Felix: (to the audience) That’s what’s called a “Deus Ex Machina”. It’s Latin for “we couldn’t think of another way to wrap up the show”.
Oscar: Do you want to tell them or shall I?
Felix: (overly dramatic) Oh no! (Everyone turns to him) – is it another hairbrush? (turns and mouths to audience, “It’s not”)
Oscar: No, Felix.
Milly: Eurgh, FINE – everyone, on the first night of uni, Oscar and I slept with each other.
(Pause. Felix spits violently as if in disgust. Everyone looks at him.)
Felix: Sorry, I just had some oil in my mouth.
Oscar: Mate, you’re on the spectrum.
Liv: Why wasn’t I invited to join?
Felix: But that makes no sense. (To Milly) You’re an Aquarius and (to Oscar) you’re a Cancer. IT MAKES NO SENSE!
Bella: But – what!? The first night of uni? As in, at the Gutter Hall Fresher’s Disco?
Milly: Yep. I mean, look, you can’t judge me too harshly – it was the first night of Fresher’s, I was scared, I had a whole bottle of vodka and Oscar was wearing these pink trousers –
Oscar: Salmon pink trousers…(winks to audience member)
Milly: Which is my favourite colour, and – well – he did look kind of handsome.
Felix: I thought you two didn’t talk to each other that night?
Oscar: Well, there wasn’t a lot of talking, if you know what I mean – (Milly glares at him)...No? Ok. (starts trying to chat up random audience member)
Milly: Truth is, we’ve kind of been dating on-and-off for the best part of 2 years. From the first night of uni to…the hairbrush.
Bella: But…why did you keep it a secret?
Milly: Well I was trying to get in with FemSoc at the time and once I found out Oscar was a tory bastard I didn’t really want to broadcast that to the Sisterhood. I mean…(despairingly) look at him…(Everyone stares at Oscar, who is at this point failing completely to chat up the audience member and is giving them awkward finger guns) Anyway, after the hairbrush the whole thing started haemorrhaging…everything.
Felix: Are we talking about the relationship here, or Oscar’s bottom?
Liv: This is so unfair!
Bella: What’s unfair, my little psychopath?
Liv: Well, if Oscar had chlamydia, and he slept with Milly, and Milly slept with Felix, and Oscar slept with Bella, then everyone has chlamydia except me.
Felix: There are worse things to be excluded from, Liv. Like (ad-lib each night).
Liv: It’s not fair. I want chlamydia too!
Milly: Well there’s a fine analogy for growing up. You start off expecting romance and love and you end up a big, drunk cocktail of STI’s.
Bella: I suppose it’s a wake up call when your friends are complaining that not enough people have chlamydia.
Oscar: Young people eh? I blame Bumble.
Milly takes a seat at the table and stares into a copy of ‘Feminist Indigest’. Felix suddenly stands and downs a bottle of wine. Everyone watches.
Felix: Right, feeling quite a bit more spiritual now. And I’ve been thinking. Guys. I think you should have the oil.
Felix: Yeah. I’ve consulted my inner self, and it told me that Oscar and I don’t need it as much as you.
Bella: But, Felix, love, are you sure?
Felix: Yeah, I’m sure. I don’t need it. People like me don’t need much, really.
(Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ begins to play in the background).
People like me and Oscar – we’re not so different from any of you. Even though we grew up with big houses, with fancy cars, tennis courts and swimming pools; even though we had a private education, where we learnt how to speak, play rugby and govern; even though my dad could afford a holiday to the Seychelles every year while most families are just struggling to get by; at the end of the day, none of us needs much.
(He addresses the audience).
Because, really, what is it that separates us? Is it the colour of our skin? The kind of school we went to? Is it the difference in what makes us happy? The way a bird sweeping through a tree will light up the face of a child, but not an adult? Is it the way we dress? The people we fall in love with?
(Milly begins to take another inquisitive taste of the food).
Or is it something subtler than that, something so subtle that it barely even exists? In reality, is there anything that truly divides us? Or are we all one people, all joined together in myriad, divine and indestructible ways, all acting together as one organism that is often too great for us to see?
Are we not all, at the end of the day, one? Are we not all, ultimately, human?
(Pause as the music crescendos. Milly suddenly spits violently. Felix and the music make an abrupt stop).
Milly: Oh my God, that is disgusting! Jesus Christ, Felix, it’s like an army of little Indian demons attacked my taste buds.
(She wipes her mouth and drinks more vodka to wash it down).
Felix: But weren’t you listening to the speech? I said we’re all one –
Bella: You’ve made your point, Felix, mate, now what are we going to do about the oil?
Felix: Oh yeah, the oil. Well I guess you, Milly and Liv can have the profit from it.
Bella: Well, this is great – this means we don’t have to meet our investors tomorrow! We can just do it ourselves.
Liv: And we can make other investments. Like (ad-lib).
Bella: Or (ad-lib).
Milly: And maybe it’ll give me enough money to rent while I write something. Maybe I’ll write a feminist treatise after all. (waves arms dramatically) “On Manspreading’ by Milly de Mange’.
Liv: What about you, Felix? What are you going to do?
Felix: Well, actually guys, do you think I could have a bit of the profit? Just because I think I want to go on my spiritual journey after all, and I probably do need some money. I don’t need much, just a little bit every month to keep me going.
Milly: I’m sure that’s fine.
Bella: So it’s the spiritual journey after all? A brave decision.
Felix: Yeah, I think so. I want to meditate. This entire evening has been like someone putting a grenade in my head and throwing me in a cement mixer.
Milly: You know what that is Felix? That’s living.
Felix: (to the audience) She studies Philosophy in real life. (To Darcy) Did you actually think that line was profound? (Darcy starts to speak: “Well actually” but Arty interrupts and speaks to the audience) We apologise for her. Philosophy’s like the Aldi of degrees, isn’t it? You know what, I take that back, that was mean. Aldi don’t deserve that. (can ad-lib more if the mood strikes, preferably get the crowd to turn on her).
Bella: It’s just occurred to me that the oil is probably spilling out by a metric fucktonne a minute downstairs – does anyone want to help me plug it back up?
Liv: What’ll we use?
Felix holds up the hairbrush.
Felix: What do you think?
Bella: Right, let’s do this. Oh shit, what about the bees though? (to Felix) Didn’t you say they had knives?
Liv: (wiping oil on her arms) Survival of the slickest Bella. Let’s tool up.
Everyone begins picking up random “weaponry” -spoons for swords, plates for shields, bowls for helmets, etc.
(looks out) For death or glory.
Oscar: (gazing above the audience) For Rohan.
Felix: (makes for the door, then stops) Before we do this, I just want to say guys, if we don’t make it, it’s been a honour to know you all. And if we die, we die with the knowledge that our last dinner on this earth was a memorable one. We truly went out, with a bang. (beat) Not literally, of course, although in the name of free love, I’m all for a celebratory tantric orgy if we make it –
Felix: Yeah alright.
They exit to the sound of bees going crazy. Sounds of shouting and fighting come from offstage.