‘THE SCHOOL RUN’
A Short Play
A tall, good-looking man, who is struggling with the pressures of early middle-age, and who regularly overuses the word ‘fuck’.
An eight-year-old boy, wiry, over-emotional at best.
Ollie’s younger brother, four. A feral wolf child, with the face and hair of a pretty little girl, but the empty black soul of a malevolent demon.
Narrator: The following play is based on real-life events, which occurred in a small town called Sandbach, in January 2019.
[The lights come up on a Living Room. Daddy enters stage right, wearing nothing but an ill-fitting towel. He is wet, and the impression is that he has just exited the shower. He looks harassed and hurried]
Daddy: Why are neither of you ready yet?!
Ollie: I’m ready!
Daddy: You’re not wearing socks.
Ollie: Oh, yeah.
Daddy: And you’re still watching that idiot play FIFA on YouTube. For the final time, turn it off. I said I wanted you both dressed and ready by the time I got out of the shower. Don’t do this to me again!
Isaac: Do what?
Daddy: Get me stressed and make us late.
Isaac: Can I have more cereal?
Daddy: No. You’ve already had two massive bowls and we don’t have enough time or milk. We’re leaving the house in less than ten minutes and I have no clothes on yet. Do you want me to do the school run in just this towel?
Daddy: Shut up. I’m going for a shave, and I want you both ready to walk out of the door by the time I come back downstairs.
[Daddy quickly exits stage left, clutching the small towel at his waist to save exposing himself as he takes the stairs three at a time. Both boys remain motionless, with Ollie staring at a laptop screen, and Isaac watching Scooby Doo on the television]
[The lights come back up on the Living Room. Both boys are in exactly the same position as they were at the end of Act I. Daddy rushes in stage left, now wearing a suit, and hurriedly straightening his tie]
Daddy: What the HELL?! Ollie, turn that laptop off NOW. Isaac, turn the television off and find your hairbrush. Ollie, put some fu… put some socks on NOW.
Isaac: I can’t find my hairbrush.
Daddy: Get Mummy’s instead then.
Isaac: Ok, Geoff.
Daddy: Stop calling me Geoff. Ollie, why are you crying?
Ollie: You shouted at me.
Daddy: Do you know why?
Ollie: No. I’ve not done anything wrong!
Daddy: Really? How about ignoring me and making us late for school yet again? How about not getting dressed before watching those stupid videos on YouTube? How about leaving your cereal bowl there for Isaac to trip over? We have the same conversation every fu…. We have the same conversation every morning, and, for once, I would like to arrive in the school playground without worrying that I might collapse at any given second. Go and get your bags, brush your teeth, get your shoes and coat on, and wait by the front door. We’re leaving in two minutes.
[Ollie runs off stage left, sniffling loudly. Daddy quickly brushes Isaac’s hair, then struggles with an orange ‘bobble’ as he tries to put it into a ponytail. At one point, when Isaac isn’t looking, he silently screams ‘FUCK!’, then punches the sofa next to him. He rubs his knuckles, evidently in some pain]
Daddy: Right, that’ll have to do.
Isaac: Does it look ok?
Daddy: Sure. Now, go downstairs, put your shoes and coat on, brush your teeth, and wait by the front door.
Isaac: Ok, Geoff.
[Isaac leaves stage left, followed shortly after by Daddy, who is still rubbing his knuckles]
[The lights come up on an entrance hall and front door. Both boys are now wearing coats. Daddy is putting his shoes on]
Daddy: Right, have you both brushed your teeth?
Daddy: Both of you?
Isaac: Actually, I haven’t.
Daddy: Do them. Now.
[Isaac dashes to the side of the stage]
Daddy: Ollie, have you got your swimming kit?
Daddy: And your £1 for swimming?
Daddy: Drinks bottle?
Daddy: What about the permission slip for your school trip?
Ollie: Hey, that rhymes!
Daddy: Shut up. Do you have your permission slip?
Ollie: It’s in my pocket.
Daddy: Is there anything else you need?
Ollie: My Match Attax.
Daddy: Balls to your Match Attax. Is there anything else you actually need for school?
Ollie: No. I have my Match Attax anyway, I was just saying.
[Isaac returns from the side of the stage]
Daddy: Isaac, have you got your school bag?
Isaac: Yes, Geoff.
Daddy: I asked you to stop calling me that. Do you have your drinks bottle?
Daddy: Have you both got your snacks for breaktime?
Daddy: And do you remember what you’re having for lunch?
Ollie: Roast chicken dinner!
Isaac: I’m having a packed lunch.
Daddy: No, you’re not.
Isaac: I AM!
Daddy: No, you’re fuc… you’re having chicken dinner, remember? I asked you half an hour ago and you agreed. You said you love chicken dinner.
Isaac: I hate chicken dinner! I want a packed lunch!
Daddy: Tough. We’re late, and I haven’t got time. You’re having chicken dinner.
[Isaac now starts to cry]
Daddy: Please, Isaac, we discussed this. I don’t have time to make a packed lunch. You told me you love chicken dinner. It’s just chicken, potatoes and veg.
[Isaac suddenly stops crying]
Isaac: Yay! I love chicken dinner!
Daddy: You little f-
Ollie: Can we play a game?
Daddy: What?! No! We need to leave, NOW.
Ollie: Can we play a game on the way?
Daddy: No. Look, I have a splitting headache, I’m stressed, and you two have again been no help whatsoever. He’s been up since 5.45am, you’ve both spent the past hour fighting –
Both: He started it!
Daddy: – I don’t care. You’ve both spent the past hour fighting, and I’m sick of it. We’re leaving the house and you’re going to have to run because we’re VERY late.
[Ollie opens the front door]
Ollie: Erm, Daddy….?
Daddy: What now?
Ollie: It’s raining.
Daddy: Oh, for fu….. right, put your hoods up. I’m just going to swap my coat for the waterproof one.
[Daddy quickly changes coats]
Daddy: Ok, now can we leave?
Ollie: Hang on. I can’t find my pound.
Isaac: I don’t have any shoes on. And I need a wee.
[Daddy starts to turn purple, and the stage lights fade to the sound of a scream]