The Archive

Friday, 23 January 2015


Six actors sit at their own desk in a line. Each have a laptop. Behind the actors is a projector and a screen which displays a google search engine. With each monologue is an individual question. The actors type the question into the search engine as the question is projected onto the screen behind them. This remains on the screen until the next monologue, the new question is deleted and a new one typed.

How to grow strawberries?
Question is typed.
-          Begin preparing the soil by removing any weeds, adding manure and digging over
-          Place the strawberry plants every 35m in rows that are 75cm apart
-          Plant with the crown at soil level and water well
-          Place a net over the plants to prevent birds and squirrels from eating the fruit
Sounds easy enough. How do I put this to print? I think this is the on button? Alright, if I press that, okay it’s on now. Load the paper. Where’s the paper, okay, got it. No! Wait I need to load the paper, hold on, hold on. Right. There we go… printing.
The paper jams.
What? What are you doing?
Reads the printer screen, ‘Jammed’
Why! Why are you jammed? Why won’t you just print one bloody page! That’s all I want. I just want one page. One page, telling me how to grow strawberries, is that too much to ask for? Of course it is. Of course, when does anything I ask for ever happen?
Tugging the paper to come out of the printer. That’s all I want!
The paper is pulled out but he stumbles back with the force. He falls back to his chair.
That’s all I want.

How to whistle?
The actor is mute. The instructions are typed. For every section of instructions, the actor imitates.
Pucker up like your about to give a kiss.
Curl your tongue.
Start by blowing air over your tongue and through your lips.
Experiment with other ways to move your tongue, to make different notes.
He finally whistles clear and loud.
He types, ‘Fuck yeah!’

How to get pregnant?
Question is typed.
How to get pregnant fast. Yes! That is what we need, what we need. So, get genetic testing. Done that. Figure out when you ovulate. Hopefully never. Babe, do you know when you ovulate?
Heard from offstage-Yes I keep a note. Why are-
You should get these ovulation stick things though. Then we can try when you’re most fertile, so our chances will be higher, apparently.
Heard from offstage- What are you looking up?
Can’t hear you well babe. Get busy at the right time, yes established, thank you. Set the stage for super sperm. What? Apparently I need super sperm. Okay, so cut back on alcohol, that’s fine, don’t drink anyway. Tobacco and drugs. Ah shit, babe I need to cut back on smoking, did you know that it makes the sperm defective, I guess? Gonna have to get one of those things that thingy has, the electric versions. Eat enough nutrients, diet. Avoid hot-tubs, saunas and hot baths. Babe, hear that? We’ve got to throw out our hot-tub.
Heard from offstage- Can you come here please?
Shouts. What? You know I can’t hear you well from the bathroom when I’m in here.
Heard from offstage- Can you just come here!
He closes the laptop lid. And goes as if he’s about to get up then he sits back down.

How to get over stillbirth?
She starts to type, ‘How to get through’ she then erases ‘through’ and types ‘over stillbirth’
Why am I even trying?
They’ll send me to another doctors, a therapist, support group, pick me apart and pick me up a leaflet and it’s as easy as that to forget. Erase 24 months.
She types. How to stop feeling.

How to get your kids to stop asking why?
Heard from offstage- Mummy, why can’t I have cookies for dinner?
Because cookies aren’t really a healthy dinner sweetie. Now can you just leave Mummy for a bit, she’s just doing something on the computer? Go play.
Heard from offstage- Why won’t you come play?
I just said sweetie, Mummy’s on the computer.
Heard from offstage- Why are you on the computer?
Takes a deep breath.  I’m just looking something up, something to help Mummy.
Pause. She sighs and starts to finish typing the question reaching ‘asking’.
Heard from offstage- Why?

How to stop looking for answers?
They all type this question. And sit back in their chairs. Lights out. 

Megan Reece

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