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19 March 2014

The NS Competition: No 4315

By New Statesman

Set by J Seery
We asked for an excerpt from a play about Peter Pan by a playwright of your choice.

This week’s winners
First, a service announcement. The judge’s copy of “An Owl in a Sack Troubles No Man”, the book of competition winners, has mysteriously disappeared from the office. Does anyone have a spare copy? Please email first, as we don’t want to receive ten copies in the post. Superb effort this week. The winners get £25, with the Tesco vouchers also going to Nicholas Holbrook.

Samuel Beckett
Hook: Tick.
Peter: Eh? What’s that you say?
Hook: Tick.
Peter: What about the tock?
Pause.
Hook: Tocks are no longer available.
Peter: There used to be plenty of tocks. If I’m not mistaken, there was one for every tick. What happened to them all?
Hook: The alarm clock ran down, it needed winding.
Peter: Well, just wind it up. Where is it?
Hook: There are no more alarm clocks. The last one was dissolved by reptilian digestive juices.
Peter: Then where are the ticks coming from? I thought they were in the crocodile.
Hook: The crocodile has undergone a metamorphosis. He is now a handbag and two pairs of shoes. The ticks are coming from me. What you hear is an imitation of a clock – a remarkably skilful one, if I may say so.
Peter: But why can’t you do the tocks as well?
Pause.
Hook: I never mastered that part.
Nicholas Holbrook

Oscar Wilde
Lady Bracknell: You appear to be a very lonely man, Mr Pan. Tell me, how old are you?
Peter: One hundred and twelve but since I will never grow up, it is immaterial.
Lady Bracknell: It is, nevertheless, a good age at which to be lonely. Loneliness in a younger man would be an affectation; in an older man, an inevitability. Where are your friends now?
Peter: All dead, I fear. The Lost Boys were irretrievably lost on the Somme and Wendy succumbed to a combination of the Spanish influenza and the oriental variety. I last saw Tinkerbell waving from the stern of the Titanic as she left Cobh harbour.
Lady Bracknell: To lose a friend could be construed as unfortunate; to lose them all, Mr Pan, seems like carelessness. What happened to Mr Hook?
Peter: Eaten alive.
Lady Bracknell: And what, pray, devoured the scoundrel?
Peter (gravely): A crocodile.
Lady Bracknell: A crocodile?
Peter: Yes. His last words were “Floreat Etona” . . . or “Bad form!” I forget.
Keith Giles

John Osborne
The captain’s cabin of the Jolly Roger. Wendy is ironing one of Jimmy Hook’s silk shirts. Jimmy and the crocodile sit in shabby armchairs drinking tots of rum.
Jimmy: Oh, yes, we’re being so bloody egalitarian, aren’t we? We’re all pretending we’ve got so much in common, although one of us is a scaly, cold-blooded creature and the other one is a loudly ticking reptile. Never mind that I was an Oppidan. Never mind my blue blood. We all live in this great democratic black hole that sucks the life out of distinction and rewards mediocrity. Look at her, a real Darling. A plastic product of the invertebrate middle class. And as for you (pointing hook at the crocodile), you’re only half evolved. A throwback. Do you realise how sick I am of you and your ENDLESS BLOODY TICKING?
Wendy weeps. The crocodile pounces. Curtain.
G M Davis

Arthur Miller
Setting – Neverland, dusk.
Peter: This is Neverland, Wendy, a special place where a man can be anything he wants, anything he dreams. Only in Neverland. And if a man wants to be an eternal boy, why, that’s fine, too. Remember Huck Finn? You think a guy like me sells insurance, magazine subscriptions? Think again. I sell dreams, kid. Dreams of freedom. The open road, the wide blue ocean –
Wendy: The hot-sheet hotel?
Peter: Now I don’t want to hear that kind of –
Wendy: Tiger Lily’s place?
Peter: Respect, a man needs respect in his own house –
Wendy: And the boys are lost. To think I reattached your shadow. How long ago was that? What became of us, Peter?
Peter: Listen, I gotta leave, I have an appointment with an important client, a ship’s captain no less. He plays hardball but I can take him. You’ll see. (He leaves.)
Basil Ransome-Davies

The next challenge No 4318 By Leonora Casement
You are asked to sell, in the language of some kind of brochure, any well-known public figure. For example: “We will ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE your satisfaction in meeting Germaine Greer . . .”
Max 150 words by 3 April comp@newstatesman.co.uk

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