Loosely based on actual factual facts representing the hidden and very real threat of end of days popstarmageddon.
Act 1 Scene 1
‘Stankos’ bar Whitechapel high-street, a music venue and bar in one of the fashionably unfashionable, kebab grease stained suburbs of Shoreditch. An area known primarily for the presence of a Burger Monster restaurant, a 24 hour off-licence and conveniently placed Accident and Emergency department of a major London Hospital. It is rumoured that the remains of Joseph Merrick ‘The Elephant Man’ are to be found somewhere within the inner recesses of the hospital, rumour also suggests however that these remains now actually form part of the estate of the late Michael Jackson. Regardless, this fact is not essential to the development of this play and perhaps undue focus on it may detract from the story itself.
It’s late afternoon in mid-summer in London, outside people stroll passed with bellies hanging out looking for some kind of party atmosphere between the cars and dustbins of a London street. Inside the bar, through the smoked glass, on comfortable brown sofas humans are sipping tall straight glasses of expensive but mediocre Czech lager. The mood is designer shambolic. Hair is unkempt and clothes are torn despite being bought new earlier this week; hair tends to be professionally untidied and matted with bio-reverberative hair-grease at the Doghouse, an avant-guard hair salon where prospective customers must undergo a thorough vetting based on the prominence of their cheekbones and the originality of their footwear. The trendy ‘look’ this month is ‘wealthy tramp’.
A sign outside the newsagents next-door to Stankos relates the recent sudden disappearance of a famous record producer from his London flat in the following terms: ‘Top-Ten Top-Man Gone!
Crew (who is actually only one person), Steve and Philipo known as ‘Felatio’ are lolling together on a brown sofa. Crew has no shoes on.Steve: Are you going for that Bilbo chic now Crew? Crew: eh? Steve: What happened to your shoes? Why haven’t you got any shoes? Crew: I needed a haircut. Went round the doghouse in a pair of DM’s. Steve: Not original enough? Crew: Well I’d just got out of bed, so I had to jettison ‘em. Felatio: Peace! Crew: Went in bare-foot! Quite original, so Poppy cut my hair. Steve: But why do you go to Doghouse anyway? You always get a number one. Crew: Yeah but I know I paid 50 quid for it. Felatio: That’s a pretty expensive baldhead dude! Crew: Worth it doh. Steve reaches over and picks up the newspaper and starts to read. Felatio: What you reading dat for G? Steve: I’m looking for this week’s code words. Crew: What you talking ‘bout Willis? Steve: They use this paper to transmit code-words to operatives around the world. That’s why you can get this newspaper in Spain. Crew: Oh! Felatio: How do you know if d’word is a code-word? Steve: Simples, you go through the paper and count how many times the word occurs, if it occurs precisely 46 times then it’s a code word. Crew: Why 46? Steve: Because that’s the special number… and the funny thing is, there is always only ONE number that occurs precisely 46 times. Crew: How do you know? Steve: Because I made graphs. Crew: Must have taken ages? Steve: Nah, confuser did it all for me. PC Just scanned all the pages and then got this text recognition software. Did it a few times and noticed that only one word occurs 46 times each time, but it’s a different word each time, but there’s always only one word. Crew: What made you want to do that? Steve: 3 litres of white cider. Felatio: What was yisday’s code word den? Steve: ‘Series.’ They used to use the letters section of the Times to send messages but people cottoned onto that quick. Of course I’ve only found one word but I’m sure I’ll soon figure out the rest of the code. People used to read the Times letters sections just to keep abreast of activity in the secret services. Became overrun with tourists, some even started sending spurious messages out to each other for a laugh. Some of these messages were read by real operatives who acted on the instructions: ‘Charlie, open the door and make the monkeys welcome ’ thing is they didn’t know what it meant but assumed that it must be some kind of secret instruction, but that they had missed a briefing, so they just improvised. That’s how the Balls brothers ended up in the Labour government. Felatio: You can’t be series? (to sound like serious) Steve: Nahh, just messing about. Felatio: So dere ain’t no code word? Steve: I dunno. Funny idea though. Felatio: Innit!You ‘ad me on do dere! But how did you come out with all dat stuff? Steve: I prepared it beforehand. As soon as I picked up that paper I knew you’d ask me about it, you do it every time I do it, so I thought this time I’d spin you a yarn. Crew: Sounds like some kind of conspiracy theory. Like the Illuminati murdered Frosty Sampson. Steve: nodding in agreement Safe! Crew: And that guy out of that band, he was killed too, that funny guy on the TV even said it. Felatio: What funny guy? Crew: You know, the curly one. Felatio: Oh yeah. But why did the Illuminati want to kill Frosty? Crew: ‘Cos he tried to expose them. In that song he says: ‘they don’t like you very much!’ he’s talking about the Illuminati, so they killed him. Felatio: They killed him just for that song? Crew: Yeah! Felatio: Bollocks! Crew: What do you mean bollocks. Anything’s possible! Felatio: Just saying, it’s a load of bollocks, they didn’t kill Sampo for that. Crew: Well, I’m just saying. Felatio: They killed Sampson because he was physically unable to perform 60 dates at the Megabowl, and they were planning on adding 50 more. They soon realised that physically he would be unable to fulfil his contract. So he was liquidated. Insurance paid up and covered the costs and the thousands of fans who kept their worthless tickets as a souvenir helped cover the bonuses. Crew: Yeah, Craig Cutston got the same treatment I reckon. Felatio: Like you say man, anything’s possible. When you’re worth more dead than alive you’d better open your eyes to who you think your friends are. Steve: I heard from one of his neighbours that they heard weird rhythmical drumming and wailing the night he died. Felatio: One word: Ritual-sacrifice. Steve: That’s two words! Felatio: Well, it’s hyphenated! Steve: What about Faul Mcartney? Crew: eh? Steve: There’s a theory that Paul Mcartney died in 1966 , and replaced with Faul, that’s why he had bare feet on the zebra crossing on the cover of Abbey Road and is out of step with the rest of the Beatles. Crew: eh? Steve: Thing is Faul Mcartney himself, also became a loose cannon and so McCartney himself was killed AGAIN and replaced by Billy Shears. Crew: eh? Steve: Think about it! It all fits. Crew: Does it..? Think about it yourself, why does Paul having bare-feet and walking out of step on a zebra crossing on an album cover mean he’s dead? How does that work? Steve: Well I didn’t really think about it. It just made sense at the time. Crew: Did it? I’ve got bare-feet, does that mean I’m dead? Steve: Nah, it just means you you’re a chump who paid fifty notes to get his head shaved. They do that to monkeys at the Bloody Mary university for free. Why don’t you volunteer for vivisection? Crew: Yeah, i’d get a free haircut I suppose. Steve: Anyway, Roach told me, I think he believes it, and somehow it rubbed off on me. Something about the way he talks to you, you can’t draw a breath until you agree with everything he says. Crew: Roach’s a nutter, he smokes dried banana skins. Felatio: Roach was trying to tell me about Niburu the other day. Reckons the ancients had spaceships because there’s a hover-speeder and a picture of a helicopter on the wall of an Egyptian temple, says there’s also an engraving showing an extra planet in the solar system, but it has such a long orbit that it’s been invisible for the past thousands of years but now apparently it’s coming home and there are loads of aliens on it too and they used to live on earth and it explains the missing link and why there are ONLY twenty four hours a day AND why the planet Venus spins anti-clockwise. Crew: Well it would make a bit of a change. Steve: I believe in space dogs from Sirius! Felatio: You can’t be Sirius! Crew: What about that guy who disappeared then? Steve: What guy? Crew: That famous guy who was on the telly. Felatio: Narrows it down. Crew: That guy who was that pop producer, what happened to him? Steve: I dunno. Crew: Yeah you do? Steve: What do you mean ‘yeah I do’ Crew: He went like the Mary Celeste. He was in the middle of eating dinner at his Chelsea flat, glass of wine on the table, a few mouthful’s of his mash tater gone. Then suddenly so is he. It’s been 3 weeks now without sight of him. Missing person’s bureau had an advert on the TV, the newspapers ran the story. Felatio: You mean Tommy Sugarspoon? He’s dead. Crew: Maybe, but what happened, what’s the circumstances? Who gets killed halfway through eating their dinner at home? No signs of a struggle, the guy just vanished while eating his taters. Steve: That’s deep man.Taking a man while eating his taters. How can you do that to someone while he’s having his dinner. That’d be like fighting someone while they’re on the toilet. Should have let him clean his plate first. There’s no dignity anymore.
Act 1 Scene 2
The O No arena, a music venue built on a former toxic wasteland in the London marshes which has successfully reinvented itself as a toxic wasteland of culture. The female popstar Pl-attitude or ‘Player-attitude’ real name Naomi Spence, is onstage in front of 20 000 fans made up of teenage girls and mostly homosexual men. Pl-attitude: singing Have you got what I need? Dancers: Uh-uh! Uh-uh! Pl-attidude: I’m not ashamed of it! Backing singers: Skank! Ah-ah! Pl-attidude: Better get used to it. When they’re down on me I’m down on you Then pin me up to the wall And give it to me all! Cos I’m a.. Backing singers: Skank! Ah-ah! Pl-attidude: Gonna sing and dance about it! Let me be your Backing singers: skank! Pl-attidude: And you can be my bank. I’m a car and I’ll empty your tank. Skank! Backing singers: Ah-ah! The song ends and the crowd screams and cheers in robotic delirium. Pl-attitude surveys the crowd and then starts skipping around the stage as the music begins for her next song. Pla-attitude looks out at the crowd and starts her next number: Na-na-nanana na! The crowd react by screaming and jumping up and down. Several girls at the front are knocked over and trampled by the crowd who have now taken up the chant of ‘Na-na-nana-na!’ Na-na nana na! The crowd are now all echoing the call of ‘na-na-nana na!’ except the half a dozen small girls who are trying to stop themselves getting trampled to death by what has now become a mindless 20,000 strong herd with one thought in its mind: ‘Na-na-nana na!’ Looking out at the crowd and Pla-attitude from the VIP salon are three gentlemen. One of the men walks over to the window and slides it closed reducing the noise from the concert. Mr Hands: Thank God! Second man: She’s totally certifiable you know that don’t you? Trevor: Curiously Oh? Second man: Drily Just look at her for a start. She feels the need to dance up and down a stage for over an hour in front of a group of children, whichever way you cut it, that’s strange behaviour. We can chalk down narcissistic personality disorder as a matter of course. But what else? Why does she need a room full of 20,000 teenagers to give her life meaning? Isn’t that rather excessive? Most people are content with a couple of close friends to obtain their comfort. But of course, she doesn’t have any friends. She has an emptiness inside her the size of Bournemouth. Third man: No friends eh? Mr Hands: piping inOf course not. We don’t allow her to have them. Everyone who is close to here, including her present gentleman friend have all been put there by us. Trevor: The Tailors? Second man: languidly Who else? Trevor: But why? Second man: Isn’t it obvious. She is a very high profile person. She has the media at her beck and call 24 hours a day. Her life is under constant scrutiny and so is she. That’s why there must be maximum control. Trevor: Over everything? Mr Hands: Don’t want her saying anything which isn’t on the script. No ad-libbing. Second man: Certainly not. She has her lines and there they are gestures to the singer on the stage who is still singing Na-na-na. Trevor: What’s it all about though? Why do the tailors promote these troubled young people and make them into stars? Is it for money? Mr Hands: The money is more of a bonus than anything. She’s a holding fund. Her net assets of 40 million she never gets to touch. We give her pocket money. Her real fortune is used by us for our investments and shall we say, ‘expenses’. Trevor: So what else is behind it all then? Second man: cutting inWarfare my boy, warfare! Trevor: Warfare!? Mr Hands: Yes indeed, we’re at war with the public. Trevor: Why? Mr Hands: Because they outnumber us 100 to one. We’re the Spartans here. Fighting a barbarian horde by any means necessary. Most of the public if they knew who we were and what we got up to would hang us from the lampposts. That’s why we’ve got to distract them and give them something else to fuss about, preferably something totally meaningless. Better if it’s something which we can use to project OUR values on to them and make them think more like us. Trevor: Na-na-na? Second man: taking over That’s the meaningless part. Pure drivel. How can someone oppose us rationally and intellectually if all they can think of is ‘Na-na-na?’. But there’s more. If we can subvert their moral values to make them more like ours then what moral right do they have to oppose us? We are tunnelling beneath the moral high-ground which has been used to attack and denounce us for centuries. Now, as the public’s morality and imagination sink lower and lower they find themselves on the same level as us. If they don’t even have the wit and awareness to protect their children from this noxious and sexualising rubbish then they do not deserve the mercy we won’t give them anyway. They are happy to see their young children emulate these fallen-women but we’ve still got some way to go before they have to complete moral freedom we enjoy, but we’re getting there. The next stage is the biggest of all. A task so difficult and a change in perception so radical that from the present view point it would appear impossible. But we know that nothing is impossible because we have done so many impossible things before. We have committed the most duplicitous and reprehensible impostures upon the human race in the name of our war. We have achieved glorious victories when crushing defeat seemed the most logical outcome. Trevor: So what is the next step? Mr Hands: Ahh, I can’t tell you yet. You’re not cleared for that information. Second man: Suffice it to say, that it’s not only policemen who are getting younger. Mr Hands: grinning Deftly managed. Second man: Would you like to meet Miss Plattitude? Trevor: Not particularly. Mr Hands: Too bad, you’re going to. That’s why you’re here. Trevor: Oh really, I was wondering about that. I suppose my niece will be impressed if we can get a photo taken together. Mr Hands: I know the set-list like an ugly scar on the back of my hand, she’ll come off for a two minute break after this one while she changes her costume. Let’s go backstage.
Act 1 Scene 3
A flat in Stepney Green, two hippies and a shell-shocked business man.Sarah Clarke, known to her friends as Quark because she is a bit strange, Russet Clair and John Hampton. Russet: Oh, I’m transcending. Quark: John, scatter the cushions! Her Ka could end up anywhere, I once witnessed a young accountant by the name of Staffidson who transcended himself into a fridge once. His higher self sharing a space with the cucumber and cheese spread. Russet: I’m flying. Quark: Quick! Put that incense out. Turn off the whale-song Russ, it’s getting too ambient in here. We don’t want a full on trance. Quark: What can you see Russet, do you see the butterfly? Russet: Yes a butterfly, a big beautiful butterfly with a big laughing head. HA HA HA HA it’s so happy and laughing HA HA, Oooer! It’s me. Ooh I’m a big butterfly.. John: You’re not a butterfly Russet! Quark: Don’t say that you’ll ground her too soon! John : Believe me she doesn’t want to be a butterfly. It’s not healthy. A tiny brain and eaten by spiders! Come on. Russet: Wow! WOW! John: What is it Russet? Russet: WOW! Quark: What are you feeling? Russet: plumps down into one the scatter cushions: Ow got a bit of a cramp actually. John: Is that all? you transcend to a higher vibrational state of being and come back with a cramp, that doesn’t say much for the new age movement does it? Front page news: I went and communed with the absolute oneness of God consciousness and it made my eyes go funny. Russet: Don’t be like that.. I did feel something. John: What? Russet: Well, I felt kind of dizzy. John: Don’t take this the wrong way Russet but that’s not what people want to hear. Anyone can feel dizzy, it’s not a mystical experience. Why don’t you put it this way: “I felt my soul vibrate along my body as if I were a string playing an infinite harmonic, I rose higher and higher until.. I FELT A DISORIENTATING LIGHTNESS OF BEING. You see that sounds better than I felt kind of dizzy. Quark : You’re such a business man John, she’s not trying to sell you her experience you know. I think she should express herself any way she wants. What about you I haven’t seen you meditate even once yet. What do you feel? John : I don’t do that anymore. Russet : Why not? John: It’s too dangerous anything could happen. Quark snorts derisorily John: Yeah, I wish it were a joke. But it’s not, there are dark forces at work in these times, and I used to work for them. Since then they’re never far from me, hoping that I will decide to return to dark fold once more. Russet: But you won’t, you’ll never go back into merchant banking will you John? John: It’s not just banking Russ, if only it were that simple, if only it were a question of applying or not applying for a certain job, no. It’s the crossroads. Everytime we go through life we step from one crossroads to another, we make certain decisions and this dictates which path we take. Every minute of my life I am faced with different crossroads. There was one just then. Quark: I didn’t see a crossroads. John: It was there. Here’s one right in front of me now. Shall I stop talking and go to my room and get me head down, or shall I tell you what happened. Quark: So which decision leads where? John: That’s the thing. I just don’t know. I do know that if I start to transcend in mixed company, things start to take a turn for the worse. Quark: Examples or it didn’t happen. John: I used to be in banking as you know. As such I acquired a large portfolio of clients we worked with. One of them was a famous record company. They have these foreign doos for suits like me every so often. All the lobster and caviar you can eat and great tides of fairly decent free champagne. I used to quite look forward to them. Then a night in a five-star hotel and a little bit of whatever kind of ‘room service’ you’re into, shall we say. Quark: Oh yeah, what did you have? John: I used to ask them to send me a long haired woman with long fingernails and I used to ask her to scratch my back. Quark: Is that all? John: Afterwards I had sex with her. Quark: Oh John, I’m so disappointed in you. John: What are you supposed to do? It was expected, they’d think you were weird otherwise. Quark: What’s weird about not having sex with prostitutes? John: These people, you see they’re…different. Not like you and me. Russet: What do you mean not like you and me. It’s you you’re talking about. John: I’m different now. I’ve lived here for eight months, you know me, a Twix and two sugars in my tea, that the limit to my hedonism these days, but back then I was mixing with a very different crowd. These were people with all the money in the world, and to get that money they had had to engage in some kind of morally ambiguous chicanery, so in a sense they didn’t really go in for ideas of right or wrong anymore, because they couldn’t. If they did they would have to give up their fortunes and return all the money from the people and companies and governments they legally stole it from. So they decide that if they’re going to hell they might as well enjoy the journey, so anything goes…. Anything they think will relieve the boredom of being one of the ‘bad-guys’. Some people start to get into perversion for its own sake, they start not even to enjoy life but just try to commit as many atrocities as possible before their life is over and the accounts have to be settled. They see that their ledger is already full of bad marks so they decide they might as well, to quote the Rolling Stones: ‘Paint it black’. Quark: And the most perverse thing you did was get your back scratched? John: That’s about the size of it. I found out about what was going on when I saw a couple of Thai children being led to a room down to corridor from me. That was when I decided to get out. It’s not just the music business, it’s the film industry too. In fact anywhere there is money power and influence, you will also find this kind of mentality of fellow passengers on the bus bound for hell. That’s why you get these stars every so often caught in the dragnet of paeodophiles, and also you get the odd star who says how he or she was sexually abused when they were a child by someone in the industry. Though it doesn’t happen often and for good reason, who wants to admit that they were abused as a child? There’s a great feeling of shame about it and many people refer to hide this pain and never refer to it. Also anyone speaking out risks never working again in ANY industry, and also there are other, more brutal methods of dissuasion which can be employed to silence people. Quark: So what happens when you meditate? John: Strange things. Quark: Such as? John: Well I was initiated into a cult called the Knights of the sacred Trousers… Russet: laughing The trouser lords? You’re joking? John: The trouser knights are no joke Russet believe me, they are a very dangerous and very deranged group of people. Russet: Why are they so into ‘trousers’, it all seems a bit camp. John: Hardly that, it’s an all male organisation, the trousers are their symbol of their bond of brotherhood. They have abilities that are not of this world. While working in Japan, and I learned how to communicate with the hidden masters of the Trouser Knights. We were told to meditate and clear our minds and the Masters would appear to us. Initially I saw vague colours and moving shapes when I closed my eyes, then with time I started to hear a voice. As I became tuned into this voice it seemed to grow stronger until I was carrying out regular conversations with this ‘master’. And then one day, it appeared in my penthouse flat while I was sat on that tatami floor meditating as I used to. It emerged from the cupboard where I used to keep my futon. It was like a moving shadow, as if something from the darkness inside the cupboard was moving out into the room. As I watched the moving shadow the sunlight which was streaming into my room was suddenly stifled and a heavy cloud must have passed over the sun, plunging the room into a temporary darkness, darkness is the element this beings need to move and manifest. In the best Biblical tradition they flee the light of God. And it came upon me. A cockroach. Urgh! But the cockroach was just puppet theatre compared to its master. The shadow entered me and possessed my will. Quark: Sounds like David Icke territory. What size Tin foil hat would you like? Tall or venti? John: Mockery is a very human reaction when confronted with uncomfortable truths but it’s no joke. I wish it were. Oh how I wish it were just a merry and foolish flight of fancy, or an ego comforting delusion. But it wasn’t, it isn’t. These beings rule the world. Quark: Cockroaches? John: Clark, if you’re not going to take it seriously….. Quark: Sorry John. I was just messing about. Of course I take you seriously. Like you say, you lay heavy stuff about disembodied demon beings and mind control on someone, on a Tuesday afternoon, then what do you expect. Tuesday afternoons and tales of inter-dimensional beings don’t sit too well together. You should have saved it till Friday night. Anything’s possible on a Friday night. John: Yeah I know, I’ve seen you dancing but never mind trying to rationalise it. Face it, it’s real. There are beings out there. Invisible to our eyes. The stuff of myth legend and mystery; most people go about their lives completely oblivious to them. Living and dying without ever really understanding what is taking place on planet earth right now, and what has always been taking place on planet earth. Quark: What? John: I can’t tell you. Yet. Quark: You’re no fun at all today John. Well I’m gonna turn the telly on. Quark switches on the TV and the 9:33 o’clock news flickers into life. Newscaster: Good evening, my name’s Sarah Serious and this is the news at 9:33. Miss Naomi Spence, known to her fans as Player Attitude, has been reported missing without trace half way into her opening night concert at the O-No arena in East London. Miss Spence had left the stage briefly for a costume stage before a series of encores but failed to respond to knocks on her dressing room. When the door was opened there was no sign of the famous singer, nor any clue as to her disappearance. John: standing up. Good heavens! They’ve struck again! Quark: Who has? John: It’s best you don’t know child. I need to make a phone call.