The Silence

Hello! We’ve had a brainwave.

As a theatre company interested in new writing, we thought maybe we should post up some pieces of new writing! So we called out and got a few responses, which we will be featuring on our blog over the next couple weeks. If you have a piece of new writing which you would like some feedback on or a platform to get it out there a bit email it over to us at: bareprojecttheatre@gmail.com.

This week’s piece is called The Silence and was written by Peter Wilding based on his experiences as a care worker. If you have any feedback for Peter, please email us so we can pass it on. Below is an extract, as well as the full downloadable version. Enjoy!

The Silence

Act I, Scene I

An elderly man, Brian, sits at his kitchen table dressed in shirt, tie and trousers, playing Scrabble on his own. A glass of water, a magnifying glass and a bank book are also on the table, along with a small radio. A second, empty chair is positioned opposite Brian. Occasionally, he squints at a letter or uses the magnifying glass to look at the board. The radio is on quietly in the background, the only barrier to silence. We observe Brian like this for five minutes. All subsequent scenes will begin with two minutes of Brian alone, with the exception of the final scene of Act I and the final scene of the play.

Eventually, a young man in a carer’s uniform (under a coat) enters the room. He doesn’t remove the coat.

David: Hello. [looks up briefly, smiling enthusiastically, then looks around the room]

Brian: [startled] Who the fucking hell are you?

David: I’m your new carer. I’ve come to administer your medication. [Looks back to Brian but he turns away immediately]

Brian does not reply and has not made eye-contact with David. He focuses on his game again. David now has his back to Brian as he reads through the careplan, puts on a pair of latex gloves and unlocks and opens the medication tin and studies the contents. Neither speaks during this time. A couple of times, Brian looks up at David, sighing and shaking his head in annoyance before going back to his game.

David: Are you ready for your tablet? [opens tablets bottle and taps one into his hand, closes and locks the tin]

Brian doesn’t reply. David walks over to him and tries to put the tablet directly into Brian’s mouth. Brian deflects his hand away aggressively.

Brian: What the hell do you think you’re doing? Fuck off! [gestures towards the door] Go on, get out, and don’t bother coming back.

David: I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have…I’ve just started doing this. [shrugs innocence]

Brian: Go on, get lost! I don’t want you.

David: [frowning] I need to write the notes in your careplan.

Brian: [raising voice] Get. Out.

David sighs, takes his gloves off and puts them in the bin.

David: I’m only trying to help you.

David leaves the stage. He has not removed his coat during the scene.