Spinnips by Heather Johansen & G J K Ponti

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent


AUCTIONEER (The following is barely audible…and getting louder as the alights come up, and once fully up…)Sold…a lovely little prickly porcupine sold to the bald lady with the gammy leg…we know they are going to make a great pair…she’s ready for her daily ration of pain…but he really is a cutie…such a lovely grin..well done lady…sold.

Lights completely up now.

Roll up, roll up, roll up…this is definitely going to be the sale of the year…a very tough little dog-like creature…spotted dress and all…got a lovely little necklace on, with “Daddy’s little princess engraved on it. A little corker…ready to love anybody who will take her on…poor old Dad just had just to let her go, and Mum just couldn’t handle the spirited little thing…to tell you the truth Dad is pretty creative…and Mum has her hands full looking after the fellow…. emotionally very easily upset….so kids just tended to ruffle his creative genius……you understand. Oh look, she’s grinning…Look here, this little mut will grin and bear anything …what a sweetie..look…don’t pass this one up…ripe for the picking…Come on then folks, let’s see your excitement…Don’t be shy…who’s gonna start me on this one? Come on..Let’s hear your credentials.

WEST INDIAN MAN: Hey man! I’ve got what it takes man! Listen, I am the blackest of the blacks…Not brown…not chocolate, just pure black…and I‘ve got connections…I’m pure blood through and through man…so I could mix it with this little mut and bingo…another little multicultured beauty…hey man, she looks like she likes me…I can see it in her eye…she’s thankful…heh, look at that…hello…oh look she’s dancing…heh man, she’s got rhythm..maybe got a bit of black in her already.

AUCTIONEER: So, what’s the deal at home…

WEST INDIAN: Well, when the wife is away…she will be looked after like a queen..I can assure you, good enough to last her through the times when the old lady is back in town…I’ll teach her to make a mutton stew…I mean, man, I am studying engineering!....okay, studying is probably not the right word…I am playing around a lot of the time, while I am studying engineering…hey…look at that, she likes my style, she gave a smile….I reckon, I could whisk her off her feet…grab her heart…make her feel loved like she’s never been loved before….


WEST INDIAN MAN: Hey man, I’m a student…my wife brings in the dosh…I am an engineer of the future…she’s got a future with me…that’s why you guys brought us over here from the home country…you needed us.

AUCTIONEER: Going…going…going…Sold!

Music of Joan Baez comes up as ….Lights fade out…over the sounds of hammer and sold.

She is in solitude. Her room resembles a grave yard. She lies in her bed/grave. Starts talking to herself as herself and her Mother..

THE GIRL PRINCESS: Peace. So peaceful. I was going to say love at last. But that wouldn’t make sense.

MOTHER: Did you hope to put it right again?

THE GIRL PRINCESS: No. Not really. It’s so comforting to be with you forever and ever, knowing you had never left. That’s why I asked them to bury me next to your grave.

MOTHER: More likely you will get used to being …. A nobody…at nowhere…worth nothing.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: It wasn’t like that. Not like that at all. I have steeled myself against it being like that. Steel takes fire to melt it. Fire’s so very hot, resisting is so pointless. Tell me you didn’t really leave.

MOTHER: There is no unreality here. There is no time here. There are no bodies here. There is no life here as you know. There is no ‘really’ here.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: That can’t be true……I still have so many memories….

MOTHER: Yes….That’s different. Memories are eternal. The universes are made of memories of lives….they will be spinning around for ever…

THE GIRL PRINCESS: I can’t…No, I won’t let them go….they are mine…ever so many times I wanted to…wanted to let them…go…for them to leave me….stop torturing me….stop hurting me…stop being so cruel…but I couldn’t…I couldn’t let them go…get them to leave me alone…leave me in peace…..I couldn’t get rid of them ….memories…needles of fire…tell me again…and Father?

MOTHER: He died before me. He wanted to be cremated. He wanted his ashes to be taken back to the Country he loved so much. He wanted them to be thrown into the big river there.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: Did he ever ask after me?

MOTHER: No….He wanted to go taking the hurt…the rage with him.…burned to ashes…I wanted him to be buried so that I could be buried next to him….But he didn’t want that…He couldn’t bear the thought of rotting in the ground…

THE GIRL PRINCESS: I can’t. I can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t let the memories leave me….I am alive..

Gets off her bed/grave to sing

Nothing to say,
To this judge?
Nothing to add
For this jury?
No mercy forthcoming
From this God?
Just endless nothingness
To be filled?

No sorrow for the pain
To this judge?
No sympathy for the horror
From this jury?
No care for this lamb
From this God?
Only worthlessness
Sentenced for ever.

So nothingness, worthlessness
Equals nobody.
And nobody’s now turned to a witch
For witches live on to hurt and to burn
Always a challenge to life.
Always left holding a knife
To stab, hurt and prey
On all who dare say
This witch is not good
Should be buried for good
Has failed in impressing
Has been only depressing
In failure supreme.

Still nothing to say,
To this judge?
Nothing to add
For this jury?
No mercy forthcoming
From this God?
Just endless nothingness
To be filled?

Then witch it will be
To all those with no pity for me.
I’m the judge, the jury, and the God
Judging all with no pity on me.

Get up, liven up. Answer me. You are in my court, I am the judge the jury and the God, who didn't have any mercy on me.

MOTHER: That cannot be. There are no feelings here to give life to memories. Memories belong to a different universe.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: I really wanted to be left alone. They…they…they are still holding me. No. No. I am not alive…but they are…just latching onto me…they have followed me to my grave.


AUCTIONEER SOLD! (He screams) Christ that was close…..get that one up to the cashier quick, before he changes his mind. ….Ok..Ok…talk among yourselves while I get the next one ready. ( to the Girl Princess who’s back in the market next) Jesus…is that you little princess? Back so soon? Never mind, I reckon we’ll get someone to snap you up….Go on whisper to me what you want….You want someone to look after….you mean you want to be looked after? No? You want to be needed? A dead cinch…I reckon I can fix this for you, you little mother to be….don’t worry…I won’t tell anyone….my lips are sealed…..Alright…..( to the buyers in the auction) Now then, ladies and gents, what do we have here? have a look at the catalogue folks….I want to know who has the gawl to bid for this sturdy legged beauty, loyal as any of man’s best friends….I guess you could call her a pedigree filly….. And I have to tell you she can sing and dance ….. and make you laugh….. and coochy coo you….But she is not going for a song…so get that straight. Let’s start the bids then.

(A burp and hiccup from the back. Drunken voice, as a man staggers towards the auctioneer)

DRUNK WRITER Excuse me….and excuse me….for being a bit tipsy…..I am ready….I am not steady…but I am ready….

AUCTIONEER: Look mate…give up….I want a bit of class for this one, okay?

DRUNK WRITER: I have it. Class is not an issue with me. I am a writer….

AUCTIONEER: Oh my gawd…penniless….

DRUNK WRITER: Well, not penniless….sometimes, but not always….

AUCTIONEER: Only after you’ve drunk all the proceeds from a lucky hit eh?

DRUNK WRITER: That’s right…noo….well….yes…but could you just keep that quiet …I want her to see me as the intelligent, creative, unrecognised, unappreciated funny guy that I am….

AUCTIONEER: What have you got to offer her, I said. I did not ask for a personality check.

DRUNK WRITER (slurring his words) Love….intellect….help with her theatrical ambitions, I love her.

AUCTIONEER: Mate, I said what have you got to offer….

DRUNK WRITER: Core of Myself.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: He can have me. It’s okay. No payment necessary. Hey mister. Can you see I’m up the duff?

DRUNK WRITER: (Ecstatic) No matter, it can be mine. Just call me Dad.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: Sorry, but my Dad…

DRUNK WRITER: Christ, he’s not the Dad…

THE GIRL PRINCESS: No. but it’s a secret…..so it’ll be gone soon after….

DRUNK WRITER: Don’t worry….I’ll be here….

AUCTIONEER: Scuse me you two. I am not happy about this. Lady, he has nothing.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: Don’t worry, I can type, I can do shorthand, I can cook, I can sew, I can ….

AUCTIONEER: I am not talking about you love. I am talking about him. He’s the one who’s got to have credentials. This guy is a walking financial crisis. He has no pedigree. No money. No future.

THE GIRL PRINCESS: He has. He needs me.

AUCTIONEER: Oh Jesus. Okay, Mother Theresa, sold!!!

Girl Princes Bursts into a song:

Can’t you see?
His need in me?
I look at him
My suffering goes dim
As I surrender all of me
So that he can be.

Can’t you tell
One day he’ll sell
I look at him
My hunger pains go dim
As I surrender all of me
So that he can be.


The Girl Princes sitting with a smiling Dummy on her knee.

DRUNK WRITER (Comes in – drunk) Hello. (Big drunken grin)

DUMMY (smiling) Hello. Where have you been?

DRUNK WRITER: Just had a few drinkies with the lads at the Beeb.

DUMMY: Did you get your cheque?


DUMMY: Did you cash it?


DUMMY: Where is the money?

DRUNK WRITER: I ….hang on….mmmm….well it was only a few drinks…mmmm

DUMMY: (Grinning wider)

DRUNK WRITER: Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain.

Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain.

Oh, the dark days are done and the bright days are here,

My sunny one shines so sincere.

Oh, Sunny one so true, I love you.

Dummy Begins to growl

DRUNK WRITER: Hey, Sunny….I’ve never seen you scowl before…..you know I love you.

OLDEST SISTER’S VOICE: The only good thing about that drunk is that he really loves you

Dummy growls louder

DRUNK WRITER: Hey…..Please don’t be angry….

DUMMY: I am angry….I have a right to be angry…

DRUNK WRITER: No, you don’t. You have never scowled before. I know you. You’re not a scowler.

DUMMY: I am now.

DRUNK WRITER: But you said you wanted me to need you, and you know that I do. I get depressed. You heal my soul. I get drunk. You wait for me. I get drunker. You come and fetch me. I know you like it – you must like it. Or why would you do it? I don’t know any man who has an understanding wife like you. My Sunny….

DUMMY: The sun has gone down, mate. Potty time is over.

DRUNK WRITER: Pardon? Now look here, you are sobering me up. Where is my Sunny. Where is my smile? Oh my god….this is the real you? It can’t be….Hang on, I know…we’ll see a marriage counsellor.

DUMMY: I wouldn’t be seen dead at a marriage counsellor’s

DRUNK WRITER: But we need one.

DUMMY: Need……?


I’ll need your need
till I bleed and bleed
And then turn blue
Pass right out
In fear of you
Seeing what I am
But then it’s too late
My need turns to hate
At the garden gate.

DRUNK WRITER: But I’ve never seen you angry…..you’ve never been cross with me.

DUMMY: Well enjoy it. Feel privileged at least….Cos not many people have an opportunity to ever see it……

DRUNK WRITER: Sunny one so ……….

(lights fade)

[End of Extract]

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