Boxed in (and Vulnerable) – 2011

An excerpt from act one of my first play, performed January 2011 at a pop-up venue in Annandale, springboard performing arts.


JOSHUA: No. I care about you, Sam. And I wish I did understand. I don’t understand why I’m not seeing a therapist myself. I don’t understand why you’re not in an asylum, when anyone could see you’re insane! I don’t understand why something that was working before is so shit now. I don’t understand where you got this box from and how I ended up in it. I don’t understand why I’m in here. I don’t understand how I managed to end up with such a messed up bitch. Let me out of this goddamned box right fucking now, or you’ll never understand why you keep killing!

SAM (Smiling. This is what she was waiting for): No. Come on, Josh. We both know what this is. This is you feeling something. This is you taking hold of emotions you haven’t felt for years. You’re afraid, Joshua. Maybe I should be the therapist, because it looks like this is the way you can be saved. I am your God, Joshua. You have been saved. This isn’t the time for me to get remorseful, to wish I could undo the things I’ve  done, make everything fine and dandy. This is the time for you to thank me for healing you.

JOSHUA: No. Shall I tell you what this is?

Sam sits on the box

SAM: Go ahead.

JOSHUA: This is me telling you you’re a spoilt, damaged young lady with all the power of a cigarette in a dark alley and none of the warmth. This is me telling you that when my body’s found, the hardest job for the police will be trying to work out why you killed yourself. This is me telling you that you’re broken, and unless you come here right now and open this box, you will be broken for life; and no one – not one person on  this planet or any other will care as much as I do about putting together the pieces. This is me telling you that I love you and every one of those pieces individually is why I love you.


SAM: There are pieces missing.

JOSHUA: That’s life, Samantha. That’s the part everyone has to deal with.

SAM: I don’t want to.

JOSHUA: Then why have you waited until now? We’ve been talking for at least two hours – hell, we’ve been together for at least six months. Do you really have to lock a man in a box to tell him that you’re actually a damaged soul that needs to be looked after? Do you have to drug and torture him to make him a friend? Because you know what? That’s not friendly, that’s psychopathic/

SAM:                              JOSHUA:

How…/lovely                 and eventually you will be found/ out –

SAM: Eventually you’ll be/found –


JOSHUA: And they’ll put you in prison. No, worse, they’ll put you in a mental ward where people like me will try to make you talk all day, and when they can’t make you talk, they’ll pump you full of drugs to keep you so happy you’ll want to kill yourself. Is that what you want? You’ll never have a friend in the world, you’ll have no one to trust, you’ll be completely alone.

(Pause) Is that what you want, Samantha?

There’s a silence.

Is that what you want?


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