Tossers is a surreal pointless play first presented by Michael Kelligan as part of the On the Edge series of script held performances at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. The play includes three poems one of which is included in the extract below.
(A man, NUMBER 1, comes on stage and stands centre stage, looking directly at the audience. He’s carrying a small sheaf of papers. He’s wearing a very large, colourful hat, otherwise, he’s dressed normally.)
(He coughs nervously, shuffles his papers, clears his throat.)
(He addresses the audience directly.)
1: Right, so this is one of my earlier efforts. It’s been said that it lacks sophistication, but it does have a certain raw power. OK – here we go, I hope you like it as much as my mother did.
(he clears his throat nervously again)
1: Do not go gentle into that good night. Old Age should burn . . . Oops – silly me, sorry (shuffling through the papers) that’s not one of mine, how did that get in there? Ah! here, here’s the one I want to read out. It’s about school dinners – yuck!
The cheap virginal plates are stained with spuds,
Scrubbed and boiled to soft green bloody pulp,
A fiction, fantasy, implicit trust,
Nothing to see, to feel, beyond the clumps,
Of cloud that is impossible to touch.
Then lumpy, soggy, milky hidden mud,
Or maybe salad tainted by the slug
Whose silver slime betrays the adult blush.
After, a bowl of floury lardy mulch,
Drowned in sweet and sickly yellow stuff,
That fakes the taste of real wooden struts,
And gives a nourishment that’s not enough.
Under the blanket breaks a little beam,
Uncut connection to the golden stream.
Now this next one is . . . .
(Another man enters, NUMBER 2. 1 puts the papers in his pocket.)
2: What are you doing? Who are you talking to?
1: Them. (he points at the audience)
1: Them – the audience.
2: Who are they? I can’t see anyone. (he peers and squints his eyes)
1: They – are the audience – they, are the reason we exist, without them we’d just be scribbles on paper.
2: (still peering) I still can’t see them.
1: Well, they are there, they’ve always been there.
2: I’ve never noticed anybody. I can’t see anyone.
1: Are you calling me a liar?
2: No, not exactly – you’re just mad, that’s all – off your rocker.
End of Extract