Scene From The 21st Century – Issue 21


The stage is in a half-light, a bed and two chairs are positioned in one corner. A small table is between the chairs.

A little way off, near the centre of the stage, two people kiss tenderly, longingly, lovingly.

Their embrace lasts a little under two minutes, before…

A bell sounds: tringtringtring.

They part momentarily, look in opposite directions, then resume their passionate tender embrace.

The bell sounds again but this time, as its sound fades, a swathe of people with studio cameras, boom microphones etc stream on to the stage from all angles.

The stream passes in between the lovers, easing them apart with the equipment. The crew are oblivious to the two lovers and move about as though the stage was theirs.

After just under two minutes, each lover is immersed in the throng.

For just under two minutes, both are lost and significantly apart from one another, and each looks in dread at the ceiling of the theatre.

They each call the other’s name, though unintelligible to the audience, and in its simultaneity their cries are easily smothered by another bell’s bass trong-tronging.

The lovers struggle toward one another and, after just under two minutes, they catch one another’s hands, then embrace once more to stay close to one another, before…, after just under two minutes, the lights go out.

The dying of sounds of scuffling and equipment being scraped along the stage are heard for just under two minutes, before…

Silence, for just under two minutes, then…


An announcement by the stage manager to the audience states: You have just under two minutes to get to the bar and order an after play drink.

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