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.
Peter: Eh? What’s that you say?
Peter: What about the tock?
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?
Hook: I never mastered that part.
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.
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
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.)
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 email@example.com