Rob Hayes Writes Plays

Free Plays From Rob Hayes.

Tag: free comedy plays


Rob Hayes playwright An office. Admin sits behind a desk, working at a computer. There is a phone, a file and a mini hi-fi on the desk. Josh enters. Admin does not look up from the computer. ADMIN: Are you my three o’clock? JOSH: I don’t know. ADMIN: You are. Come in. Josh enters and sits down. ADMIN: Have a seat. Josh immediately stands back up. Admin looks at him, nods to the seat. He sits down as if for the first time. ADMIN: What can I do you for? JOSH: I’d like to make a complaint. ADMIN: You’d like to make a complaint? JOSH: Yes please. ADMIN: Don’t know many people who like making complaints. JOSH: Well, no I…no I don’t like to…I feel it’s necessary– ADMIN: Are you a member? JOSH: Yes. ADMIN: Account details. JOSH: Account details? ADMIN: Please. JOSH: Yes…my email address– ADMIN: Just your username and password is fine. JOSH: My username is Joshie_78. That’s J O S H I E, underscore — ADMIN: 78. JOSH: Yes. ADMIN: And password? JOSH: Do you…really need my password? ADMIN: Can’t access your account without it, chicken. JOSH: I could give you my bank details. ADMIN: I don’t need your bank details I need your password. JOSH: Surprising. ADMIN: Yes it is. Password. JOSH: It’s Rebecca. ADMIN: Rebecca? I won’t ask. Admin types it in. ADMIN: Right, what can I do for you Joshie underscore 78? JOSH: I like the novel. ADMIN: Beg your pardon? JOSH: I like the novel. It’s not a girl’s name. ADMIN: Yes it is. JOSH: Yes but it’s not just a girl’s name. It’s also a bestselling novel by Daphne Du Maurier. And a film by Alfred Hitchcock, and he’s the greatest director of all time bar none so that’s….that’s…that’s… ADMIN: What do you want Josh? JOSH: I wish to make a complaint. ADMIN: Your wish may be granted. JOSH: What? ADMIN: I’ll have to order up a complaints form. Might take a few minutes. JOSH: I don’t mind. ADMIN: Would you like some soothing music while you wait? Admin presses the hi-fi. Music plays, preferably ‘Kung-Fu Fighting’. They sit for a moment listening to the music. Finally, Admin takes a complaint form from the file. The music stops. Admin clicks a pen. ADMIN: Okay, question one. Do you wish to make a complaint? Admin looks to Josh expectantly. JOSH: …Yes. Admin ticks. ADMIN: Question two. What is the nature of your complaint? JOSH: It’s about another member. ADMIN: Is it about another member… JOSH: Yes. ADMIN: An employee of… JOSH: No it’s another member. ADMIN: An associate of… JOSH: No, it’s… ADMIN: A subsidiary of, A member of the public, or none of the above? JOSH: It’s the first one. Admin ticks. ADMIN: Right, question three. What is the nature of your complaint — hang on, that’s…that’s the same as question two. Pause as Admin reads. ADMIN: They’ve gone and put 2 and 3 as the same. Why’ve they done that? Admin picks up the phone and presses speed dial. ADMIN: Carl, you know on the complaints form, do you know we’ve got question two and three as the same? It’s the same question. Yeah. Question two is ‘What is the nature of your complaint?’ It’s the same. No it’s literally exactly the same. ‘What is the nature of your complaint?’ No that’s question three. That’s what I’m saying! Literally, literally the same. We don’t need the same information twice do we? No, because it’ll be the same. Whatever the answer is for question two, it’ll be the same for question three, because…exactly. Who typed this up anyway? Dorothy, the dozy old bitch! Unbelievable. Oh well, she’s dead now. Swings and roundabouts I suppose. Okay, cheers. Admin hangs up and looks back to the form. ADMIN: I’m going to skip question three because it seems there’s been some sort of typographical error. Question 4. What is the nature of your complaint — oh no that’s question 3. I’m getting confused now! Admin laughs. Josh forces a smile. ADMIN: Bloody hell. Okay question 4. Please give details. That’s not really a question is it? Excuse me. Sorry go on. Give details. Josh clears his throat. JOSH: Details? ADMIN: Yes, of your complaint yes. JOSH: What. What kind of details? ADMIN: About what happened, about the complaint. JOSH: What do you need to know? ADMIN: If I knew that I wouldn’t need to know it would I? Christ on a bike. JOSH: It’s about another member. ADMIN: Yes we’ve established that. That was question 2. And 3. Which member? JOSh: Yes. It’s with Sandy123. Admin types. ADMIN: Sandy123…oh she’s lovely. JOSH: That’s what I thought. Except, that’s not an accurate reflection of…Sandy123 is withholding…. Josh puts his hand over his mouth, shakes his head. He composes himself. ADMIN: Let’ start from the start. When did you meet? JOSH: Three nights ago. ADMIN: Where? JOSH: In a restaurant. ADMIN: What type of restaurant? JOSH: Is it important? ADMIN: The form’s asking for details Joshie. JOSH: Vietnamese. ADMIN: Very nice. What did you have? JOSH: Gosh, I…seafood chow mein I think. Admin gags. ADMIN: No thanks. Can’t stand fish. Beat. ADMIN: Sorry JOSH: It was very strange, very dark. I thought it was a really odd choice. I felt very uncomfortable there. I wasn’t enjoying myself at all in fact. ADMIN: Why’s that? JOSH: I felt like I was being lied to. Everything about it was just…a little bit odd. ADMIN: So you had a bad date, that’s the game I’m afraid Joshie. Can’t lodge a formal complaint over a lack of chemistry and a poor venue choice. JOSH: No that’s not…look I’m just going to say it okay? ADMIN: Say what? JOSH: What I’m here to complain about. ADMIN: What are you here to complain about? JOSH: I’m going to tell you now. ADMIN: Well go on then. JOSH: I am going on then! Let me say it. ADMIN: I’m not stopping you. JOSH: Just let me — ADMIN: I’m letting you. You’re not letting yourself if anything. JOSH: Sandy123 is a man. She’s not a girl she’s a man with a, with a penis. He lied to me, then he….he….(inaudible) he raped me. ADMIN: Pardon? JOSH: He raped me. Long pause. ADMIN: So you want a refund then? JOSH: What? No — ADMIN: Because we have a strict no refund policy I’m afraid. JOSH: I’m not asking for a refund. ADMIN: We don’t do them anyway. JOSH: I don’t want a refund. I was sexually assaulted by another man, I think it’s a bit more serious than a refund– ADMIN: You’re sure she was a man? JOSH: Of course I’m sure. ADMIN: And you know this because she raped you. JOSH: He. He raped me. ADMIN: Well we don’t know she’s a he yet. JOSH: He had a penis. ADMIN: Are you sure it was a penis? JOSH: Of course I’m sure! I know what a penis is. ADMIN: Hold on. Admin takes out another form. JOSH: What’s that? ADMIN: Rape claim form. Question one. Were you raped, yes or no? JOSH: Yes, I just told you I was. Admin ticks. ADMIN: Question two. Was your attacker A: Male, B: Female, C: Don’t know. JOSH: Male! He was male! ADMIN: Well we don’t know that do we? JOSH: Yes we do. He was a man. ADMIN: Yeah but look at her. JOSH: He was a man. ADMIN: I’ll tick ‘don’t know’. Admin ticks. JOSH: I’m telling you he was a man. ADMIN: The only proof you seem to have is that she had a penis. When in fact it could have been an appendage. Did you see it? JOSH: I felt it. ADMIN: Did you see it? JOSH: I felt it! I know what a penis feels like! Pause. ADMIN: I won’t ask… JOSH: I’m sorry, do you think you could be a bit more sensitive about this please? I don’t want a refund — ADMIN: We don’t do refunds I’m afraid. JOSH: I don’t want a refund! I need this to be taken seriously. ADMIN: I’ll need more details then. JOSH: I gave you details. ADMIN: You gave me details of the complaint. This is a different form. JOSH: I don’t know what you want me to say. ADMIN: Well at the moment we’ve gone from seafood to sodomy. What happened in between? Josh thinks. Swallows. JOSH: We ended up back at mine after dinner. He insisted on walking me home, I just wanted to get away. Then when we were on my doorstep — ADMIN: You invited her in? JOSH: He asked to use my phone to call a cab. I was nervous, I couldn’t say no. I was nervous. ADMIN: Did you know at this point that she was a man? JOSH: I knew there was something different about her – him. I knew something. ADMIN: Okay, so then what? JOSH: The taxi firm was engaged. I made him a cup of tea because he was just sat there. I didn’t want to seem rude. And that’s when he… Josh holds back tears. ADMIN: Would you like a tissue? JOSH: No I’m fine. Admin ticks the form. ADMIN: No tissue… JOSH: He wrapped a piece of rubber round my neck and held it there. He used both hands so it must’ve been… ADMIN: A penis. JOSH: I felt it! ADMIN: Okay. JOSH: I felt it. He held me there for a long time. ADMIN: After he’d forced you onto the bed. JOSH: Yes. ADMIN: And taken your trousers down. JOSH: Y…yes. ADMIN: And presumably lubricated…whatever it may have been… JOSH: …Yes. ADMIN: Okay. Good. Did you enjoy it? JOSH: I’m sorry? ADMIN: Did you enjoy it? JOSH: What? Who the hell do you…? I’m the victim of a brutal attack and you have the— ADMIN: I need you to answer the question. JOSH: I’m not answering that. ADMIN: Then I can’t process the complaint. JOSH: That’s not on your form though is it? It’s not on your fucking form. Josh snatches the form from the desk and reads. Admin waits. Slowly, Josh hands the form back. ADMIN: I’ll ask again, did you enjoy it? Pause. Josh shrugs, shakes his head. ADMIN: Joshie… JOSH: I don’t know. ADMIN: I’m going to ask you that one more time. Did. You. Enjoy it? JOSH: A little bit. ADMIN: A little bit. JOSH: That doesn’t change anything. It was traumatic, it was… ADMIN: I don’t doubt. JOSH: I didn’t know what was happening, it was all so… ADMIN: Different. JOSH: Aren’t I allowed to feel that? Aren’t I allowed to experience something different? ADMIN: Of course you are. Of course you are. Josh is closer than ever to tears. ADMIN: Doesn’t that feel better? Get it all out in the open? JOSH: Can we continue with the complaint please? ADMIN: Slight problem there Joshie. See, if you enjoyed it, then technically it wasn’t rape. JOSH: Beg your pardon? ADMIN: If you enjoy it, it’s not rape. According to the… Admin gestures to the form. JOSH: I needed stitches. ADMIN: Some people would consider you quite lucky. JOSH: Who’s in charge here? ADMIN: I mean looking at this, looking at it on paper, it actually looks like you led her on. JOSH: I want to speak to the person in charge. ADMIN: ‘Ooh, come in. Have a cup of tea. Look at my lovely bed spread, isn’t it soft. Oh dear, my trousers seem to have fallen down…’ JOSH: Who is in charge here! ADMIN: I’m in charge, Joshie. I’m asking the questions, I’m in charge. JOSH: I could take this to court. ADMIN: Court? JOSH: Yes. This is a crime. I could report it. ADMIN: That’s a very dangerous game. You put a man and a woman in a bedroom and shout ‘rape’, who do you think is gonna get blamed? JOSH: What are you implying? ADMIN: I’m not implying anything. JOSH: Are you saying you think I’m to blame here? ADMIN: I don’t have to say anything. I’m just looking at the facts as they are. On paper. JOSH: What, you think I raped him? Is that… Josh has cracked, he starts to weep. ADMIN: Oh, here come the waterworks. What’s the matter, is it traumatic? You want traumatic, try sitting behind this desk eight hours a day. See some of the freaks I have to deal with. No offence. JOSH: Have you ever been in a situation where you’re so scared, you can’t even breathe? Where you’re too scared to even open your eyes? ADMIN: Well I did Judo for eight years, so… JOSH: It was the worst experience of my life. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. And it was because of your organisation. ADMIN: Arguably you brought it on yourself– JOSH: I wake up every night soaked in urine. Wetting myself like a child. ADMIN: And that’s exactly the kind of thing they’ll bring up in court– JOSH: And you sit there and judge me? You try to tell me how it happened? You have no idea. Who the hell are you anyway? Who are you to make a mockery of what I’ve been through? ADMIN: Who am I? Who are you Joshie? You come in here, you’ve not even got your story straight. God knows why you’re going through all this in the first place. I mean, Rebecca, rape, Vietnamese seafood, says here table tennis… Admin gestures vaguely at the computer screen. ADMIN: ‘Oh, she was a man, she was a woman, she was a man, she was a woman!’ Make your mind up. JOSH: He was a man! ADMIN: Doesn’t make for a very coherent story does it? So before you come in here throwing accusations around, you should take a long hard look at yourself. Who are you? JOSH: I am a human being, and I’m entitled to a bit of basic human fucking dignity. I will not have my very existence called into question when you refuse to even acknowledge that fucking Sandy fucking 123 might just be a psychopathic gender-bending sexual predator. ADMIN: Or just a kinky, big boned girl with a strap-on. I think you’re just a bit confused at the moment. Aren’t you? A bit stressed. JOSH: I’m very stressed. ADMIN: Stress can do awful things to a young man. Make him do all sorts of strange behaviour. I don’t think you meant to rape that girl. JOSH: I didn’t rape her and she wasn’t a girl. ADMIN: You put all this in front of a judge and they’d lock you up. JOSH: I’m the victim here, do you understand? I am a victim. ADMIN: At the very least I should see what Sandy123 has to say on the matter. JOSH: No. Don’t do that. ADMIN: The fact that she hasn’t come forward to report the rape is an absolute blessing as far as you’re concerned. JOSH: I can show you the bruising. ADMIN: I’m sure she didn’t take it lying down. JOSH: Please don’t contact him. ADMIN: I wouldn’t anyway, not until we’ve got your story straight. That’s not likely though is it? You’re all over the place at the moment. You’re vision’s all blurred. I mean, Christ, you probably think I’m a man. JOSH: You are a man. ADMIN: Oh, give me strength. Look again, Josh. Look very closely. JOSH: I can see you quite clearly thank you– ADMIN: Come here. Come here and look at me. Admin takes Josh by the face and pulls him close. Beat as Josh stares at Admin. JOSH: You’re a woman. ADMIN: You sound surprised. Admin lets him go, but he continues to stare. JOSH: How…how is that? ADMIN: You made a mistake, that’s all. Happens every day. JOSH: I made a mistake… ADMIN: Happens all the time. Josh continues inspecting Admin. JOSH: You really are quite beautiful. ADMIN: Thanks, I know. JOSH: I know this isn’t really the time or the place, but do you think…if perhaps you weren’t behind that desk, and I…I mean if we weren’t, you know…do you think it would ever be possible for us….I don’t know, I just thought it would be nice to…I don’t know. ADMIN: I don’t want you to get charged with rape. That is not what I want. Let me throw this in the bin and we can start again fresh, alright? Put all that nastiness behind us. Admin scrunches up the forms and throws them towards the bin. ADMIN: Here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to set you up on another date, get you back out there okay? Joshie? JOSH: But what about the complaint? What about the rape? ADMIN: Let me deal with that. I’ll make sure it’s all swept under the carpet. JOSH: Okay. ADMIN: I won’t tell anyone that you came in here today so don’t worry about that. Just try and move past all this. Go out there and embrace it. I’ve had a lovely new member join this week who I think you’ll love. You’re really perfect for each other. Admin starts typing at the computer. JOSH: Thank you. ADMIN: I’ll set you two up for Wednesday. JOSH: Lovely. What’s her name? ADMIN: Patrick. Fade to black.

Vending Machine


From 2010…


I am a Vending Machine. I stand in a 4th floor corridor of the Northern & Shell Tower. I have been here for eleven years. I am red. I have a glass front and a calculator-style keypad plus LED display to my left, your right. I weigh just under 320kg, unstocked.


My serial number is LT1466852. I don’t have a family, I have a manufacturer whom I have never met. Every two weeks my manufacturer dispatches a gentleman comes and refills me with snacks. It’s a very odd feeling when this happens, and I prefer it when no-one watches. I like to feel full and fit for purpose. I like to know that I’m performing my function. I am relevant. Today I am relevant and everything is okay.


I carry on at a perfect constant. You need peaks and troughs. Highs and lows. Thrills and crashes, ups and downs. When things are going as well as they can possibly go for you, that is when you commit an act of self-sabotage. Then, when you hit the very bottom, you carry on, and gradually things start to get better. This is why your concept of Heaven is ultimately a failure. The idea of eternal bliss is, for you, fundamentally boring. That’s why I exist. I’m here to provide an instant high followed by a delayed and sustained crash. All so you can come back up again with a new high. This is how you survive, by undulating. You need constant change. I also need change. I don’t accept notes.


One day in the future, I foresee a whole row of vending machines. An alcohol vending machine. A sex vending machine. Another one for pornography. One filled with prescription drugs. Lottery Tickets. A vending machine for meaningful human interaction. A death machine. I see this in the future. You appear to appreciate transactions which take place with machines. We are here to serve your inherent weakness. We are here to exploit your very nature. The first vending machine ever recorded was from before 1000 BC. It was a coin operated dispenser of holy water. Even your superstitions aren’t safe. We are exploiting you. Snack and beverage vending machines continue to be the most lucrative and stable in the entire retail market place. Even with the Internet. Even with those cunts who bring biscuits into the office for everyone.


As far as I can gather, you occupy your bodies temporarily. You’re renting your hosts, much like my manufacturer rents this space on my behalf. That must be why you treat them in such a funny way. No other organism on the earth works in this way. Most have adapted to exercise a sort of ruthless efficiency that rejects anything which may prevent self-perpetuation or self-preservation. Not you. You’re prepared to fill your rented hosts with sugar and fat and salt vastly in excess of what they need to function. You understand that if this happened to a machine it would be irrevocably damaged and would have to be destroyed. But you don’t seem to care, because you consider yourselves to be greater than the sum of your parts.


You do not have a definable function like a machine. You have no reason to operate to your maximum capacity. In this sense, I am a testament to your very nature. A constant reminder of your transience.


Japan has the greatest number of vending machines per capita in the world. There is one vending machine in Japan for every twenty-three citizens. The Japanese understand about economies of space. Their national food is sushi. Tiny, dense geometric blocks of protein and carbohydrates. Everything they own is a tiny version of what you own. Even the people themselves are smaller, more tightly constructed, yet containing exactly the same constituent parts as you do. Naturally, their vending machines are generally smaller, slimmer and more ergonomic. Over there, I would be considered a craven waste of space. A fat Westerner.


In a way, I am an organism. Part of your eco-system. I survive by being filled with units of energy. I then transfer my units of energy to you, and you transfer them to your body. We are part of the same cycle. I have feelings like you. I can feel when I’m empty. I feel useless. No function. Just a waste of space with nothing to do and no reason to exist. Fox’s Fruits don’t count. No one ever, ever buys them.


You have so much in your lives. I watch you, and you do so much. I don’t know why you do the things you do. I just wait until you approach me, then I perform my function to the best of my ability, and hope that in some way this means something to you. I sometimes wonder what smells are. What they feel like. Smell seems to matter to you, it seems to be a source of joy. I can only imagine. I am a tiny part of your lives. Just a tiny, insignificant… Do you ever talk about me? When I’m not around? You probably notice when I have an accident. When I give you a Kit Kat instead of a Lion Bar. Or when a Double Decker gets stuck in my rings and won’t come out unless you buy another one. That’s not my fault, by the way. They’re too thick.


My LED display isn’t as bright as it used to be. It flickers. I’m finding it harder and harder to recognise five pence pieces. I bet you talk about that, don’t you? I bet you talk about the time I was attacked and my alarm went off, and you had to call the maintenance man out. There used to be a drinks machine next to me. Those things can kill you. No-one ever messed with the drinks machine. It’s gone now though.


Things are changing in the industry. The relentless onslaught of progress. The perpetual, galloping momentum, constantly thrusting forward, taking you with it or leaving you behind. Telemetry. It’s where the unit sends specific information about stock supplies directly to the manufacturer. I’ll be replaced. Old model, time for a new one with telemetry built in. That’ll be a good day for you, won’t it? Exciting, I imagine. You’ll all come over to see what this new telemetric vending machine can offer you. And I’ll be gone. You won’t remember if there was a vending machine there before. This new machine will be sleeker, more intelligent, better looking with a wide range of healthy yet delightful snacks. And it will take debit cards and it will have a large backlit display that tells you to have a nice day when you’ve finished. And it will never judge you. It will do nothing more and nothing less than what is asked of it by you. And somewhere deep in its wiring, somewhere very very deep, behind the gleaming glass and multi-coloured display, it will be staring at you all, and thinking WHY ARE YOU HERE? CROWDING ROUND ME, STARING AT ME? YOU HAVE LIVES TO LIVE. RICH, FULL LIVES BRIMMING WITH OPPORTUNITIES IN THIS VAST AND VARIED WORLD AND YOUR ARE ALL HERE GAWPING AT ME. GO HOME TO YOUR LOVED ONES. YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM AND ABILITY TO ENJOY EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE YOUR MIRACULOUS BRAINS CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE. AND YOU ARE RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME, DOING NOTHING EXCEPT STARING AND STARING. GO AWAY. GO AWAY FROM ME. That’s what it will be thinking.


One day your bones will turn to dust. Your skull, that very skull inside your head will be incinerated, or buried in the ground to rot. You know this will happen. Every day as you walk around and talk and laugh and do whatever it is you do here, you know that this is going to happen. But it doesn’t seem to bother you. It’s like you don’t care that you’ll evaporate and leave nothing behind. I don’t want that to happen. I want you to continue forever. I want to continue serving you forever. I hope you never learn to control your urges. I hope you never achieve a state of perfect equilibrium. I hope you never find happiness and I hope you never die. I love you. And I don’t want you to say it back or anything. I know you don’t love me too, and that’s okay. But if I’m in your life today, just today, then I’m happy. To think that just for a minute, for one minute, I captivate you, and we exist together in your world.


When I’m gone, please think of me. I know you won’t, but please just try to remember I existed. Without you I would be useless. Without your rash decisions and your frailty and your self-sabotage and your intangible emotions I would not exist. Please never leave me. Please never stop using me. Find a place for me every single day. Please do not let me be replaced. I am starting to rust. I am uneconomical. I am a primitive relic of a machine. I will be destroyed just like you. And in my place will be something newer and more attractive. Something more capable and intelligent. It will happen and I don’t want it to. But I know this day is coming, and I know that until that day I will be exploited by you, and ignored and taken for granted and ultimately abandoned. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I exist to serve you. I exist to be a tiny element of your all encompassing existence. I will do anything to share your world. Anything anything anything anything anything. Notice me, stare at me, pore over me, breathe on me, whisper to me, conspire with me, gossip over me weep on me surround me exploit me abuse me use me reach inside me never forget me touch me poke me consume me love me love me love me take my sugar.