Friday, February 26, 2021

Crack Rubble Surprise

Good timing, bro, says Sweezus. Rehearsal's finished.

I see you've been shopping, says Vello.

Not exactly, says Arthur. I just picked up a few things.

We needed you to be the Grand Inquisitor, says Vello. Terence had to do it.

I had to DIE, says Terence. It's hard. You need to practise.

Not that hard, says Sweezus. I run you through with a sword, while you look surprised.

Sounds easy, says Arthur.

It isn't, says Terence. Anyway, I'm not dead now. I'm the Earthquake and horses.

Busy you, says Arthur. Who wants a fruit bun? What horses?

We resolved to include the escape on horseback, says Vello. It's more dramatic. 

I obtained and divided a coconut, says Kierkegaard. May I have a beer?

Go for it, says Arthur. 

Do we need to warm up the fruit buns? asks Belle.

No, says Arthur. They're warm already.

Everyone is glad that the first rehearsal is over, and that Arthur has brought fruit buns and pale ale , never mind how he got them, and why the buns are so warm.

I think we have a hit on our hands, says David. 

It's not fair! says Terence.

Terence hasn't sung his song yet, says Belle. Do it now, Terence.

Can't, says Terence. There's no dead people on the floor and the ones on the horses are eating BUNS!

Acting is pretending, says Gaius. And Baby Pierre is still playing dead on the floor.

Yes! says Baby Pierre. I'm the only one still in character.

I'll be wanting to dance there, says Terence. So get out of the way.

No, says Baby Pierre. You'll have to dance and sing and clap coconuts around me.

Okay, says Terence. Here I go:

Hey! I'm the Earthquake, remember me people!

I killed everyone. 

Crack! Rubble! Surprise! 

Who's this I'm stepping on?

Crack! Rubble! Surprise! 

It's the Grand Inquisitor and Don Issachar 

Crack! Rubble! Surprise!

See these coconuts?

Crack! Rubble! Surprise!

They're the horses to ride away on.

It's over. 


He stops dancing, and begins clapping the coconuts.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

I'm The Horses

 Final scene! says Vello. Ageless, come forward.

Ageless shuffles up, with Kobo, as his left buttock.

Wait, says Belle. She's shifted to the middle.

Let her stay in the middle, says Ageless. It's more comfortable. And it's just a rehearsal.

Fine, says Vello. Begin.

Wait! says Terence. Can I sing a song at the end?

After the coconuts? asks Vello.

With the coconuts, says Terence.

There's an idea, says David.

The coconuts have a function, says Vello. Do you know what it is?

No, says Terence.

When clapped together, they sound like horses galloping, says Vello. 

Ha ha! laughs Baby Pierre. Terence didn't know!

I did know, says Terence.

(He didn't).

I'll be the one who claps them together, says Terence.

How will the audience know if you're horses or an Earthquake? asks Sweezus.

By my SONG! cries Terence.

We'll see, says Vello. Is your song ready?

Not yet, says Terence. I have to add in the horses.

I KNEW it! says Baby Pierre.

Shut up! I'm doing it, says Terence.

Quiet! says Vello. Cue, Cunégonde.

Here's a scrape! says Belle. We'll be excommunicated for certain! My dear Candide has killed a Jew and a priest in under two minutes!

A jealous man doesn't know what he's doing, says Sweezus.

Wait! says Baby Pierre. Where's the other dead body?

It's me, says Terence. But now I'm the horses and the earthquake. You can be the dead body

Baby Pierre is triumphant. He lies down next to Don Issachar.

Continue! says Vello.

What shall we do? cries Belle.

There are three thoroughbred horses in the stable, says Ageless. Candide must get them ready. You, madam, should gather up your diamonds. We'll ride through the night to Cadiz!

Ooh-no! cries Kobo. 

Ha ha, laughs Vello. Nice touch!

Can I start singing? asks Terence.

Not till they've left the stage, says Vello. Remember, the coconuts are their horses.

Candide leaves the stage, followed by Cunégonde and the Old Woman, and Kobo who is pinker than usual, not that you could tell, under the royal blue ribbon.

Give me the coconuts! cries Terence.

Just then Arthur returns with a six-pack of pale ale and two packets of fruit buns.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


Kierkegaard returns with a coconut.

Two half-coconuts would have been more convenient, says Vello.

That can be simply arranged, says Kierkegaard. Is there a knife in this office?

Yes, says Belle. In the spoon drawer.

She goes across to the spoon drawer, and takes out the knife.

Kierkegaard sets about halving the coconut.

Can I help? asks Terence.

No! says Kierkegaard. Keep away. Bits of coconut might fly off at random.

Terence sits down next to Baby Pierre.

Was Arthur with you? asks Vello.

I didn't see him, says Kierkegaard.

Never mind, says Vello. Terence took his part as the Grand Inquisitor.

I'm sorry I missed that, says Kierkegaard, sawing away at the coconut.

I was good, says Terence. I looked surprised.

Kierkegaard looks surprised.

See HIS face? says Baby Pierre. That's how you look surprised.

I was doing that, says Terence.

You always look the same, says Baby Pierre. Because you're a statue.

No I don't, says Terence. How do I look then?

Like a baby, says Baby Pierre.

I'm a kid, says Terence. Not a baby.

But you look like a baby, says Baby Pierre. 

Terence has not felt like a baby for ages. Not since he fell from the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  

Never mind, says Baby Pierre. You make a good Earthquake.

YOU don't, says Terence.

You should work on expanding the part, says Baby Pierre. Maybe a song at the end.

Can't, says Terence. The end is the coconuts.

But Baby Pierre has sparked an idea.

Terence begins to think up an Earthquake-Coconut Song, to end this year's play.

What do coconuts sound like?

Crack! Kierkegaard succeeds in splitting the coconut.

Sluuursh ! A watery liquid pours out.

Watch my floor! cries Vello.

Kerlop-kerlop ! Kierkegaard tries out the coconuts. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Surprised Face

Now me! cries Terence. What do I say?

You don't say anything, says Vello. You come in. You are surprised.

Okay, says Terence.

He clambers over the dead body of David.

Look surprised! says Vello.

Not yet, says Terence.

Yes, says Vello. You come in, expecting to see only the lady Cunégonde. Saturday night is your night alone with her.

He doesn't need to know that, says Belle.

No he doesn't, says Vello. Forget that, Terence.

What? asks Terence. 

Vello, says Gaius. You've confused him.

Let me, says Sweezus. Hey little buddy. All you have to do is, walk to this spot here. And look heaps surprised.

No, says Vello. He should look surprised as soon as he sees the dead body. He's already clambered over it as if it was an inanimate object.

Which it is, says Gaius, Strictly speaking.

Don't worry, says Terence. I'll look surprised every time I see anyone.

Good thinking, says Sweezus.

Terence steps forward. He makes a surprised face. Climbs over David. He sees Belle. He makes a surprised face. He sees Sweezus draw his pretend sword again, and thrust it towards him. Now he is really surprised.

Fall back, says Sweezus. 

Where? asks Terence.

Next to Don Issachar, says Sweezus.

Terence falls back heavily onto Don Issachar.

Get off! says Don Issachar.

Am I dead yet? asks Terence.

Yes, says Sweezus. I ran you through. Now you just lie there. But first, roll off Don Issachar.

Terence has tried his best to play the Grand Inquisitor. He has made two surprised faces and one real one, and died. 

How did I go? asks Terence.

Not bad at all, says Sweezus. 

Terrible, cement face! says Baby Pierre.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Thrust And Plunge!

Kierkegaard goes off to the Central Market, to look for a coconut.

He thinks about what has just happened.

Part of him wants Gaius to go to New Zealand. A natural wish for a stand-in.

But part of him wants to go to New Zealand as well.

However, we shall leave him to search for the coconut.

And return to the rehearsal.

Right, says Vello. If we're going to do this we need someone to play Don Issachar.

I will, says David. My part as Pangloss is finished.

And someone to play the Grand Inquisitor, says Vello. Where is Arthur?

Gone to help Kierko look for a coconut, says Sweezus.

It doesn't take two to look for a coconut, says Vello.

It might, says David. They are quite unobtrusive.

Ha ha, laughs Vello. Right then. Who's doing nothing?

ME! says Terence.

It won't do for you to play the Grand Inquisitor, says Vello.

No! says Belle. You wouldn't like it. Candide has to run you through with a sword.

We could just pretend, says Terence.

We would pretend anyway, says Vello.

Okay, says Terence.

All right, just until Arthur comes back, says Vello. But stay where you are. You don't get killed first.

I do, says David. Now, to get things straight before I enter. Am I Jewish?

I suppose so, says Vello. Why not?

Modern sensibilities, says David. 

Phoo! to modern sensibilities, says Vello. You will be Jewish. 

I won't make a big thing of it, says David.

You already have, says Vello. Now enter, say your piece and meet your maker.

Wait, says Captain Baudin. Let me introduce him:

Issachar was the most excitable Hebrew that had been seen in Israel since the Babylonian captivity, announces Captain Baudin.

There, that should defuse the situation, says Vello. Cue David!

David enters looking excitable.

You Galilean bitch! shouts David. Not satisfied with me and the Grand Inquisitor, this rogue must be given a share as well!

He draws a long pretend dagger. 

Sweezus leaps up, and draws a long pretend sword.

Thrust and plunge!

Don Issachar is as dead as a doornail.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Two Killings And Coconuts

The rehearsal continues.

The Old Woman sprinkles the lovers with imaginary rose water, and withdraws.

Candide tells Cunégonde his story. 

She tells him hers.

They embrace, and have supper.

Very nice, says Vello. 

Are you ending it here? asks Gaius.

What does everyone think? asks Vello.

I would be grateful, says Gaius. I've just  heard that the New Zealand Travel Bubble is restored.

But this is just the rehearsal! says Vello. You're committed to perform on the day!

I have a stand-in, says Gaius. I could leave immediately.

Why are you going to New Zealand? asks Vello.

Let me guess, says David. To save the kakapo.

How did you know? asks Gaius. 

I saw your notes, says David. You'd written Kakapo: pop 209 or 147.

How mysterious, says Belle. 209 or 147?

Indeed, says Gaius. Any natural historian would be intrigued by those figures.

Well, says Vello. You can't leave yet. We're going to continue.

I thought you wanted everyone's opinion? says Kobo.

Me too, says Terence.

What is your opinion? asks Vello.

Another Earthquake! says Terence.

Not YOUR opinion, says Vello.

It's romantic, says Kobo. But what's the alternative?

We forge ahead with two killings and an escape on horseback, says Vello.

Cool! says Sweezus. I know this.

We all do, says Belle. But papa, how will we make an escape on horseback?

Off stage, says Vello. With coconuts.

Thank goodness, says Ageless, thinking of his beloved left buttock.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Outright Outrageous

May I say something? asks Ageless's left buttock.

Spit it out, says Vello.

That's no way to address my beloved, says Ageless.

Speak, buttock, says Vello.

I'm speaking as myself, not Ageless's left buttock, says Kobo.

Then it can wait, says Vello.

I'll be brief, says Kobo.

Ha ha, laughs Vello. Brief!

Don't you think, says Kobo, that these days, that line suggests victim abuse?

Which one? asks Vello. Spit it out? Speak buttock? Or Brief?

People don't always die of ravishment, and disembowelling, says Kobo. These are NOT merely mishaps.

That's the POINT!, says Vello. It's a satirical comedy.

I don't find it funny, says Kobo.

Let me intervene, says Kierkegaard. I too was shocked, until I saw the funny side.

The funny side! says Kobo.

Perhaps you don't see the funny side, beloved, says Ageless, because you identify too much with your role as a buttock. 

So! You think your missing right buttock is the funny side? says Kobo. And I am the side with no sense of humour?

I assure you I don't think anything of that nature, says Ageless.

What IS a buttock? asks Terence.

A daddy cow, says Baby Pierre.

This is patently wrong, and even Terence doesn't believe it.

It's half a bottom, says Belle. The Old Woman had half her bottom cut off so that soldiers could eat it.

Yuck! says Terence.

A long time ago, says Belle. When she was younger.

What do you think Belle? asks Kobo. Are you upset by speaking those lines? Do you find ravishment and disembowelling funny?

If I know papa, says Belle, he included disembowelling to make it seem really outrageous. Of course no one can survive disembowelling. That's why it's funny. Cunégonde only has a wound in her left thigh. 

I still feel uncomfortable, says Kobo. What about the ravishment?

You may withdraw if you wish, says Vello. Baby Pierre can play the Old Woman's left buttock.

No WAY, says Baby Pierre.

No way, agrees Ageless.

Some things are not only outrageous, but outright disgusting.