“Write a play without a plot – whatever that even means. Maybe it’s lacking a beginning, or a middle or an end (again with the ‘end’ thing). […]
Characters can still be interesting even if nothing happens to them, right? And we can still write something incredibly moving. I mean, that’s a challenge. Lots of emotion, but no content. Sounds intriguing.”
Reaction #1: What the what?
Reaction #2: I just… where do I…
Reaction #3: Often the point of the play is the plot. It’s its structure. It’s purpose for being.
Reaction #4: Wait. How would the play feel if it knew it’s purpose had been taken away?* That gives me an idea….
Play three was inspired by two heroes of mine, two guys at uni. Both scarily smart, both brilliantly creative, both a nightmare to work with. They tended to leave the genius to the last minute. Once, they wrote a series of sketches to link together a student-written showcase I was hosting. In these sketches, the two characters spent the whole time talking about how they had to write these sketches, but maybe they should have a fag first. Or maybe they should get some food, can’t write on an empty stomach after all…. Maybe they should just… the whole thing was about two writers procrastinating and not actually writing anything of any substance.
I’d bugged them to see it in advance and I think I eventually got a quick preview of a bit of a script a few days before the showcase. It was mad. It certainly wasn’t their best. But I liked it. It was sort of great. In a weird, undefined, creative and lazy sort of way. And it gave me an idea for today’s challenge..!
So, in a leaf out of their book, here’s my play about Play, Author and the mysterious character ‘X’, in which they debate how to get through a whole play without accidentally having a plot. Enjoy!
(There were bonus points for having five or twenty scenes… mine has five. #smug)
*Probably feels about the same as I feel as a graduate..