I’s Down is an irreverent take on modern society. Especially focused on our dependence upon the ‘online world’, the cost, the social destruction and the frustration that this causes to parents of zombie teens. Robbie Taylor has written a play that takes this serious issue and whilst addressing the causes and effects that it can create within families steers the play through a maze of witty jokes and comedic moments.
The play sees Jim and Sharon who are the downbeat parents of two teens striving for freedom having just killed their kids. We later discover that this is part of a national chain of parents who are ‘freeing’ themselves. In this scene Jim has just confessed that he has killed their kids to his wife Sharon. Sharon has begun interrogating him as to where he got such a crazy idea.
SHARON: Well which Dave then?
JIM: The Dave that left 8 years ago and came back this week, we have been having lunch in the park together, Mr Hargreaves had asked me to catch him up.
SHARON: Ohhhhh….fat wife Dave, yeah, I remember him…what did he have in his packup?
JIM: Jesus, does it matter?
SHARON: So, I’m curious, kill me, on second thoughts.
JIM: He had the usual pack up things, drink crisps sarnies fruit,
JIM: yeah fruit
SHARON: Was it a pear?
SHARON: Passion fruit
JIM: What’s a pummelo?
SHARON: Fuck knows. Was it a pummelo?
JIM: Yes but it wasn’t a peach it was a Muller light yogurt,
SHARON: a yogurt…
(They both pause and share a moments respect for DAVE’S packup)
SHARON: There are a lot of fruit that begin with p isn’t there
JIM: I suppose, I have never thought of that before, especially not now, you know after I’ve just killed our kids and everything.
SHARON: No, I suppose not… but its strange anyw…
JIM: Pumpkin, another fruit beginning with P
SHARON: A pumpkin is a vegetable
JIM: Is it… how come pumpkin pie is a dessert then.
SHARON: I don’t know…chicken and mushroom is a pie and that doesn’t have fruit in it.
JIM: Guess so…
SHARON: So how come you got onto the subject of killing our kids?
JIM: Well, me and Dave always got on, we just seemed to pick things up as if we had never been apart, it felt comfortable to discuss our home lives and kids,
SHARON: Very Brokeback Mountain,
JIM: Ha bloody ha,…. anyway, it wasn’t me who brought it up, it was him
JIM: Well, do you remember he had two kids
SHARON: did he, I don’t remember… do I?…
JIM: Yeah well, he HAD, two kids…
SHARON: yeah you said… ooooohhhhhh, he killed his kids?
JIM: Two years ago… said it was the best thing him and Sandra did, saved them thousands, and you know what else,
JIM: They only have one computer and one television… between them
JIM: Yep, they have a phone each … they’re not animals
JIM: We can do this Shaz, think about it, when’s the last time we went away on holiday, just the two of us, it was before the kids came along, before the internet came along for Christs sake, when we had 5 channels on the tv, when the only phone in the house was guarded by your dad like Cerberus at the gates of hell, I still wake sometimes with my dad’s voice in my ears, ‘is it a local call, is it a necessary call, money doesn’t grow on trees, you know, you wait til its u paying the bills’.
well it is me paying the bills and I can’t afford to keep up with my kids keeping up with keeping up, Bens phone bill last month alone was what my first car cost, all I need is you to be with me babe.
SHARON: I don’t know Jim, people will already be missing them on line…
JIM: But that’s the beauty of it… we can be them, and gradually phase them out, it will be easy.
I don’t write for therapeutic reasons, or as a means of catharsis.
My dad had a Toyota Catharsis and it was a terrible ride, so I write for the simple reason that writing is easy, writing is a bumpless road paved with good inflections… once you don’t concern yourself with quality… or critique… or self-awareness… manage that, and writing is easy, honestly, so simple that even I can do it. Plays are hard though, as in technically, as in remembering who said what and to whom, that sort of thing, and poems, poems are hard, not just the rhyming, but the non-rhyming ones as well, and novels, they are sooooooo long and you have to be careful you don’t forget what they are about, and short stories are really hard, harder than novels because you have to say as much but not write as much… yeah, writing is really easy, really really easy.