18 play ideas from 2002 (David Finnigan)

Verity La Lies to Live By

1.
the protagonist wakes up in the middle of the night and sees that the moon is too bright
– that means the sun’s too bright
– that means the sun’s gone nova
– that means the other side of the earth’s been vaporised
– that means we’re dead come morning
he/she heads out on the town for one last party
2.
it is a play about a magical cigarette that gives whoever holds it unbelievable skills at dentistry. it is therefore a quandary, because to have the cigarette in one hand is bad for business, and sooner or later the board of medeceins will want to know why you insist on holding an unlit cigarette between two fingers while you’re performing dental surgery
3.
there is the black plague going on
4.
there is a school full of ghosts
5.
there is a parliament full of politicians preparing to commit seppuku
6.
a play about assassin rock – a rock jutting out of the surf on a windy beach – if you petition it in the right way, one of your enemies will die
7.
J-pop musical. a routine underwater expedition finds hulking machinery at the bottom of the ocean. the machines suddenly come to life as huge robots, divided into two warring camps. the robots DANCE and SING merry Japanese pop
8.
on-stage surgery – trepanning?
9.
on stage trundles a canoe on wheels, paddled by two likely sorts. it is a play set in the final tailspin of a dying whirlpool
10.
a magician performing at primary school assembly – showing them a trick called Russian Roulette
11.
woman on the run from the government
she has four stolen crowns in the boot of her car
she must deliver them to her contacts
the only people who can fence a theft of this magnitude
before she can reach the sea, take off her shoes, and walk in the sand
12.
dear audience. the game is Spot The Swap. what will follow is a 60-second scene involving five people. can you spot the moment when one person slips a baggie into someone else’s hand? (to be played on a dancefloor, in a market, on a boat in rough seas throwing passengers side to side)
13.
it is a play which takes place in a crowded room
there are a number of creatures of different species
they are chattering and sharing stories
they are aware or unaware that it is a pot over a flame
and they are slowly boiling into soup
14.
Front of House staff wear namebadges saying I WOULD EAT DIRT FOR YOU
15.
when you wake in the morning there’s a man standing there with a mission: before sunset you must kill an ostrich.
16.
we shall follow four assassins on their routes to murdering their victims: poisoning the king’s cup, a sniper at a water polo game… two others
17.
there are worlds in which you don’t go left or right for more than the width of a street. nor do you go backwards. bandidos leap out of dustbins and challenge you. defeat them all
18.
play set in summer. the Code of Hammurabi has been broken. it is a detective mystery