stage directions in the modern hadley-play

there is a breed of play which Arran Mckenna christened ‘Hadley-plays’ – ie they’re by Hadley, and they could never have been written by anyone else. There are a few features which distinguish your Hadley-play from non-Hadley-plays (or ‘plays’): one is the use of unfeasible, impossible and all-too-often fucking beautifully fucked stage directions. The following are my favourite stage directions from Hadley’s work in the last couple of years. From Zara and the Sea (2007):

Little Sparrow: Some teaaa, Mr Crumblepie?

Crumblepie does not reply, because he isn’t real.

Little Sparrow: Why certainly!

Little Sparrow starts to pour Crumblepie a cup of tea.

Little Sparrow: I wonder, Mr Crumblepie, what might happen if I poured you a cup of tea… and never stopped pouring.

Crumblepie does not dare speculate.

If the actor or director given that direction does not perceive it as a beautiful challenge, they are not an actor or director. From Untitled (2007-8):

Without realizing, David has threateningly picked the grand piano up over his head.

FUCK YEAH. Any company not putting this play on right now can go to hell. And finally, the ending of THRILLING DRAWING ROOM MURDER MYSTERY AT HIGH SPEEDS (2008):

An Iron crashes through the wall of Theatre 3, enraged, its hide filled with arrows. It crashes through the seats of the audience, who applaud politely as they are trampled. The Iron is followed by a horde of eight year old boys and girls, thick browed, ape armed and bearded, all holding spears and bows, trilling with their tongues. They attack the Iron with their teeth as it desperately tries to escape. It crashes through the doors to the foyer, the bearded children follow, and they are gone, their howls quieten like the ocean. Everywhere the Iron was hounded is on fire now. The carpet smoulders and the curtains are on fire. The fire waltzes softly through the theatre, greeting the audience and shaking each of their hands. The actors are all on fire. The audience is all on fire.

And the theatre burns down.

The end .

2008 Poetry Slam Grand Final film on ABC website

On the television the other night, the ABC channel broadcast their 58-minute documentary of the 2008 Poetry Slam Grand Final at the Opera House, at which 18 poets from around the country came to perform across the evening, hosted by Miles Merrill and Andrew Daddo. Myself, Hadley and Omar Musa were representive for the Cancers. Omar won (after a slam-off with Perth poet Mark Lloyd) but what blew my mind was the variety and quality of the performances. All over the shop – bush poets, experimental, MCs, other varieties I don’t have words for…

and amid it all, Hadley’s beautiful ode to Jan Wawrzynczak, which tore me up on the evening and is still pretty gutting to watch now.

It’s up on the ABC website. See. Do.

sounds by chris finnigan and myself

the excellent senor chris finig met me this evening upon our arrival home and we proceeded to coil up in the tiny room we use for this purpose and we recorded sounds:

chris and david finnigan – track 4 sun drugs.mp3 …it’s a song about a song, like Kid Rock’s song about Sweet Home Alabama. if Lynard Skynard and Stars of the Lid were the same band, Chris and I would be Kid Rock.

chris and david finnigan – definitely drop to that.mp3 …we’re not AMM and we don’t think we are, but music can be entertaining to make, even for people who don’t know their way around the artform.

chris and david finnigan – one of the primary reasons god permits pain in our life.mp3 …pearls of wisdom from One Way FM.

chris and david finnigan – one thousand bonsai trees.mp3 …words by Pete Butz. I’ve wanted to do something with these lines for a long time… I hope this is justifiable.

chris and david finnigan – overlord.mp3 …From Overlord: Way of the Tiger, written by several dudes and printed by an optimistic publishing house.

updated ‘scripts’ section

To streamline (hopefully) the process of getting one of my scripts for performance if that (hopefully) is desired, I’ve reformatted the scripts page. In total now there are 17 scripts (seven full-lengths, ten short plays) uploaded as Word documents. There are numerous more in the Incomplete / Fragmentary category, which is the category you can go through and send me an email if you’re interested in any of the works. I’m happy to tackle an edit / redraft / new commission, to your needs.

Enjoy –

thucy script and sipat lawin images

I have just uploaded the latest version of the script for To heat you up and cool you down, to be downloadable for free, forever, and performed without charge.

The trade-off is, of course, that if you want to perform it you have to email me. You have to tell me about it. And possibly invite me. That would be rad. But yes, productions without end! Forever! Magic!

And speaking of magic: images from Sipat Lawin Ensemble‘s production of Thucy last month at Bobot’s Place in Manila. Much respect to Alison Segarra, Janessa Roque, Meila Romero, Lovely Balili, Sheenly Gener, Isabelle Martinez, Nina Rumbines, Kristine Balmes and Sofia Gonzales. Dig:

more on the To heat you up and cool you down page.