New scripts, both about sex, for download

Alright you know how I pretend to be a playwright? And yet, on this website, no new plays! I mean for ages no new plays! Which, okay, I was in the Philippines working on Battalia Royale, and in London researching a new play at the University College London Environment Institute, but neither of those pieces are for public sharing (yet). So, you’re right to be suspicious. WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST FEW MONTHS?

So in response to that suspicion, those allegations, these bileful accusations: new scripts! Two of them, from this year – one produced, one not. Up online, for free if you want to produce them.


image by frosty

Sex Advice For Straight Males Play
This three-scene extravaganza is a whirlwind epic that takes in a school classroom in the future, a bomber aircraft in the middle of a warzone, and an emergency surgery. Most of all, though, this play is about teaching some critical sexual skills for heterosexual males. I dare you to take this advice seriously. At the same time, I dare you to dismiss it. It’s complicated, like sex with straight males.


image by ‘pling

This Is Patient Zero: A Christian Guide To Intimate Sexuality
Okay this is a little difficult to explain, but if you have a read you will understand. Patient Zero is two plays in one. On the one hand, a Christian Youth minister presents a talk for young married couples providing Biblical advice for attaining sexual satisfaction. On the other hand, a discussion and comparison of three viruses: Ebola, Influenza. Which is the best? Find out!

Patient Zero was dramaturged and directed by barb barnett, written and performed by me, for serious theatre, and was performed at the 2011 Adelaide Fringe and the You Are Here festival in Canberra.

The deal is the same as ever – all the scripts on this website are free to download, to produce, so long as you give me a yell and let me know what you’re thinking. Go on, produce them. No more living in fear, k?

Sex Advice For Straight Males Play


image by frosty

SEX IS WHATEVER YOU MAKE IT WITH THE PERSON YOU ARE WITH AND EVERYTHING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE LAST ONE MEANS NOTHING
– Hadley, 2011

This three-scene extravaganza is a whirlwind epic that takes in a school classroom in the future, a bomber aircraft in the middle of a warzone, and an emergency surgery. Most of all, though, this play is about teaching some critical sexual skills for heterosexual males. I dare you to take this advice seriously. At the same time, I dare you to dismiss it. It’s complicated, like sex with straight males.

Download Sex Advice For Straight Males Play.doc

One thing to add: there were originally four scenes in SAFSMP, but I was unsatisfied with the final scene and took it out. HOWEVER, a couple of the people who read the script said that it was just as good (or at least no worse) than the other three scenes. For this reason, it seems only righteous to include it as a bonus piece, for anyone who wants to really get to grips with cissexual heterosexual male sexuality. It’s set in prison and it’s (partly) about whether sex toys emasculate dudes. What do you think? I don’t know! I couldn’t possibly know what you think!

Download Bonus Sex Advice Scene – Prison.doc

This Is Patient Zero: A Christian Guide To Intimate Sexuality


image by ‘pling

Okay this is a little difficult to explain, but if you have a read you will understand. Patient Zero is two plays in one. On the one hand, a Christian Youth minister presents a talk for young married couples providing Biblical advice for attaining sexual satisfaction. On the other hand, a discussion and comparison of three viruses: Ebola, Influenza. Which is the best? Find out!

Download This Is Patient Zero: A Christian Guide To Intimate Sexuality.doc

Patient Zero was dramaturged and directed by barb barnett, written and performed by David Finnigan, for serious theatre, and was performed at the 2011 Adelaide Fringe Festival and the You Are Here Festival in Canberra.

you will be alright

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things getting very, very real in Manila

I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW THIS HAPPENED BUT IT IS AMAZING.


santa cruz gallery bird. image by sam burns-warr, terror by that evil yellow gaze.

I’m literally in the middle of one of the most exciting processes I’ve ever been involved with, and as much as I’m pinching myself every few minutes it remains real, indeed it feels as if it’s becoming realer all the time

In Malate with Sam Burns-Warr, Georgie McAuley and Jordan Prosser, working with the Sipat Lawin Ensemble on new play BATTALIA ROYALE, inspired by Koushon Takami’s Battle Royale, in the middle of a month-long process which the director JK has christened the ‘United Nations blood-flood’, and, well, that’s as good a description as any.

Last week in a Buddhist temple near Harrison Plaza in Pasay, we gathered in an upstairs rehearsal room and gave the performers a set of parameters: build a scene that has this, this and this (a group of girls making dinner go from domestic companionship to brutal meltdown in less than three minutes, soundtracked by Sleigh Bells’ Infinity Guitars), and 10 minutes later the scene was ready to watch, and it was stunning.


sipat lawin actors building scenes out of the barest ingredients, on the spot. image by sam burns-warr.

Each actor took on a character to study and created a Facebook page for that character. Now we’re coming home from rehearsals and reading the conversations our characters are having with each other – asking ‘how would they say this?’ and then we can check by looking at the chats they’re having with their friends. I can’t express to you how fucking eerie it is to have a character in a play you’re writing add you on Facebook. Also magical.

Soon we were throwing more and more complex scenes at the performers, scenes with brutal outcomes, watching them throw back incredible impros at us, all four of us scribbling madly away, then sitting with them unpacking and analysing the choices behind those impros, digging into the characterisations and the relationships, incredible articulate discussions tearing into every aspect of the story and the world, and watching the cast explode into sophisticated fluency, fine-tuning their understanding of what we’re looking for


our performance space, in fort santiago. image by sam burns-warr.

man every night unfolding into some new creative world
even a simple game of Creepings Up unfurls new shapes and details and you find yourself hungry to write it all down
standing overflowing with ideas and energy on the street outside a gallery in Intramuros or at the base of the CCP monolith

and then with my fellow playwrights, hours spent sitting in cafes in Malate, on Adriatico Street and Mabini Street, chewing over ideas, fleshing out images, debating moments of narrative, exploring the endings, coming to a shared aesthetic, a combined understanding, and then late at night after rehearsals are done drinking mango shakes and reading out each other’s old scripts, flooding to some kind of sense of finite awareness

now today was that much beloved moment in the process, the index card moment, the day when the four of us and JK the direcor and Ninya the stage manager sat together in the lobby of the CCP with every scene written out on 60 index cards, and we arranged them in order from beginning to end, giving this thing a spine. Then from there, rushing straight to hours and hours of writing, desperately turning this sudden sense of clarity into script on a page.


another glimpse of our theatre space. image by sam burns-warr.

I think, and I don’t think I’m the only one in this process who’s thinking it, that this is a pretty special project.

Oh also if you’re in Manila (why wouldn’t you be? why wouldn’t you be?) come to Penguin Cafe in Malate this Sunday night for Sipat Lawin’s showcase of short performances including me and Jordan and Sam and Georgie. I’m gonna do some kind of new mix incorporating some pieces sliced out of Sun Drugs. It’ll happen, I swear it will.


sipat, and us, chilling in fort santiago. image by sam. yes.