SCENE ONE. The First prop on stage is a large rectangular box. The type used to transport popcorn tubes in. It is just big enough to fit a couple of people in and would reach their waists when standing.
The Second prop is a sign that reads
“TWENTY MINUTES INTO THE FUTURE”.
They are the only props in an otherwise black/blank stage.
An ESTATE AGENT leads a young professional couple (PETER and FIONA) onto the stage
AGENT: So, the next place we’re going to look at is a charming little property under the bridge here in Hammersmith. It’s a great location, stunning views with a great bohemian vibe.
PETER: Sounds interesting.
AGENT: The last owner has recently moved on and the property could do with a woman’s touch…
(THE ESTATE AGENT presents the box)
…but I’m sure you’ll see the potential of it when we get there.
(They look a moment at the box it is stained and battered – Taped up with the black and yellow police tape that reads POLICE – KEEP OUT)
FIONA: Well I don’t mind a little DIY but…
AGENT: Great isn’t it? Let me find the keys…
(He pulls out a stanley knife and cuts the crime scene tape allowing the box to open as a front door would THE AGENT then gestures to the couple to enter)
(All three enter the Box, squashed in like sardines. Their heads poke out the top whilst they strain to look around)
Airy and quaint. This is an early 21st century construction, double walled corrugated cardboard…
FIONA: Real cardboard?
AGENT: Ah yeah, made from trees. Real Trees. 100% Organic.
(PETER gives it a little knock to test the claim. FIONA is easily impressed by the Organic bit)
AGENT: Originally this unit was use to house popcorn but was converted by the previous owner in an open plan style. Of course you could always subdivide, but personally for a young couple, such as yourselves I would wait and live in it a while and get a feel for the place.
FIONA: Oh I’m really into the open plan thing and this will be our first place together.
AGENT: Newly hitched?
(FIONA holds out her ring and shows a shiney plastic ring)
Real Plastic? From oil? Well Congratulations. Marriage – the cornerstone of our civilisation. Well that and mans inhumanity to man. Or woman. Or trans-operational individual. Ah don’t mind me. I’m a little old fashioned. Just used got used to the three sexes and then they brought in the other 24. Still that’s progress for you. Me I’m happy with the one wife and two sex organs.
FIONA & PETER: Thanks.
(SILENCE FOR a moment)
FIONA: Oh it’s lovely.
AGENT AGENT: It sure is and if you look over there you can see the river.
FIONA: There’s still water?
AGENT: Oh yes. Obviously used to be much wider in the old days, but what do you want? Sun and Water?
(They ALL laugh inanely)
FIONA: Can I use the bathroom?
AGENT: Sure can.
(He hands FIONA a plastic bottle and a roll of cling film and she then goes around the back of the box and squats down. WE HEAR the tell-tale sound of water almost filling a bottle. The AGENT then turns his attention to PETER)
What do you think?
FIONA I like it!
PETER: What’s the asking price?
AGENT: All business eh Peter? You’re some kind of high-flyer aren’t you? Well good for you.
PETER: What’s the price?
AGENT: I like you. Not in that way. Don’t get me wrong. Not that there’s anything wrong with that way. No Peter. You’re direct. You remind me of you when I was a woman. And that makes me wet.
PETER: It’s expensive isn’t it.
AGENT: Real cardboard isn’t cheap.
PETER: It’s recycled.
AGENT: It’s upcycled.
(FIONA is still pissing – PETER just stares)
PETER: 250 thousand?
AGENT: K. I like it the continental way.
PETER: 250 Thousand?
AGENT: In sterling. Not euros.
PETER: I thought you were feeling continental?
AGENT: I also eat bagets doesn’t mean I piss on my wife.
Just kidding. But yes 250 thousand in sterling. Wire transfer is fine.
(The pissing sound stops for a moment then begins again)
FIONA: But Peter I love it!
AGENT: Let me ask you Peter…man to man…What do you do? Where do you work?
PETER: I work in TV.
AGENT: Wow? TV you say. Good for you. None of that nambie pambie Twitter or Youtube for you eh?
(PETER has the blank look of someone who has never heard of YouTube)
Great demand for TV. Always be a demand for TV. Fuck being a baker….Who eats bread? I tell you who eats bread…weirdos…Not us eh? .How do you think Churchill won the war? TV man! TV! ?
PETER: Well I don’t know.
AGENT: What don’t you know? You think a Doctor is going to tell you more than your Health App. Tell me What’s your show Peter? What do you do?
PETER: I’m a Producer.
AGENT: A Producer you say. Wow. That’s amazing. Hell if you weren’t already engaged to this gorgeous woman I’ld grab you myself. Just kidding. Married myself. Pretty ballsy brave move man. Really thought after the lawyers got it you guys would be next.
PETER: Yeah we thought it would be Estate Agents.
AGENT: Ha Ha we can laugh about it now. What’s the show Peter?
PETER: Desperate housewives of Basingstoke climbing for hair extensions.
AGENT: Oh man. Educational Documentary. My favourite form. Peter let me ask you How do you think Churcill won the Second World War? .. TV man! TV!. But you don’t get paid much eh? Hell Peter none of us get paid much…except the Pope. Love her show. Did you see last week when she sung with Madonna?
(PETER Shakes his head and Fiona finishes up)
Tit’s of a twenty year old. Literally. Science… It’s Amazing. Peter. Pete? Let me tell you that a property like this is 1 in million. Imagine having your TV friends around with that view…imagine it…
(PETER imagines it for a moment and FIONA returns handing the the used bottle and cling-film to The AGENT who casually throws it over his shoulder towards the audience whilst still holding the pose and imagining it) .
..Well Peter I hate to rush you but time waits for no man woman or good-looking realty brokers. ..I’ve got a ton of appointments & I gotta tell you I don’t think this property is going to be around long. I gotta be honest and it cause I like you that I tell you this, I think this house is perfect for you.
FIONA: Peter. I love it!
PETER: But it’s so much money.
AGENT: Is it though? Look at the neighbourhood.
PETER: Well I suppose I could work a few extra hours.
FIONA: But you only work 60 hours as it is.
PETER: You said it was fine – me working part time and pursuing my dream.
AGENT: What’s the dream?
FIONA: He wants to be an artisan baker.
You can still do that at the weekends.
PETER: But it’s my dream.
AGENT: You have weekends?
PETER: No it’s just a figure of speech.
FIONA: I know. Baby. It was my dream too and I love you for it. But soon the dreams not going to matter if we continue to live in your mothers basement.
AGENT: You live in a basement?
PETER: No just a figure of speech.
FIONA: Soon we’re going to have another mouth to feed and we can’t feed the baby bread now -can we? add to that a sheet of plastic you call your mothers basement well it’s just not going to do.
(The AGENT looks at PETER)
PETER: Its the left over skin from my mother’s Panniculectomy.
Well I suppose I could go full time
FIONA: …and I could go on the game.
AGENT: Now you’re talking.
PETER: I love you.
FIONA: I love you too.
AGENT: You see a little hard sacrifice and hard work now and when you retire at 90 you’ll have something to leave your kids. Eh? Am I right? (They all agree – smiling inanely) And I still haven’t shown you the best bit….
( The AGENT pulls out a shoe box)