Just what the World Needs
By Tony Moore
Genre: Political Drama
Cast: 1f 2m (2 additional silent roles that do require acting skills.)
Settings: Single stage
Approximate Length: 50 mins
Synopsis: Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
A young man has been arrested and is being held in an unidentified prison. He is being interrogated regularly by his own “Personal Inquiry Officer” who is attempting to condition him into a state where he will admit to any crime he is accused of.
Will she succeed or will he find the strength to resist the process?
History: Written following the Mohammed Haniff affair, the play reflects the writer’s strong feelings about individual freedom and freedom of speech.
It was produced by Spotlight Theatre Co at J’ahz Café for the 2008 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Reviews: Adelaide Theatre Guide
“…thought provoking and well put together…”
Review from private blog of Molokov-au.livejournal.com
“If you want a small taste of serious drama with a good sense of the potential Orwellian present (not future!) then go along and catch Scapegoat!”
Adelaide Independent Indaily Newsletter
“This play is an observation of what Moore has justifiably been struck by in the real world. The text avoids being overtly didactic”
Copies of Scripts and performing rights can be obtained from this website.
Please check on the Services page for information.
An original soundtrack exists for this play which can be obtained from this website.
Please contact us to make enquiries.
A shaft of bright white light floods across the stage and two guards, both powerful shapes, enter. They are completely dressed in black and even their faces may be invisible to the audience. They bring in a chair and place it on one side of the stage; they lift the young man from the mattress and place him in it. They do not use unnecessary roughness but are not gentle. They go off again and return with a small table and a chair, for someone. They stand to one side and a woman enters. She is dressed in a very severe civilian business suit. The only thing that stops it from being a uniform is that is has no insignia or badges. She carries a black leather briefcase. She places her briefcase on the table and dismisses the two guards, who leave. The door closes again and the shaft of light disappears. She sits, takes out a file from the briefcase, leafs through it, not looking at the man.
MAN: (Hesitantly.) What is this place?
WOMAN: Did I ask you to speak?
WOMAN: Then be silent.
MAN: But …
WOMAN: (She looks up sharply). Silent.
There is a long silence. After flicking through some more pages she looks up.
WOMAN: I am your best friend in the world at the moment because as long as we keep talking and you cooperate with me you will stay alive.
MAN: But what …
WOMAN: Be silent until you are told you may speak.
MAN: Where …
WOMAN: You are a slow learner aren’t you? (Without raising her voice she says) Come.
The door opens and we see the light again. The two guards enter and stand.
The two guards use tape of some kind to gag the man and then they leave. The door closes and the light goes.
WOMAN: By ignoring my instructions you have forfeited the right to speak during this session and you have also forfeited the right to be fed for the next twenty four hours. You have broken a rule. There are a great many rules but, put simply, as long as you do exactly what I say you will not be punished. If you disobey you will be punished and I will attempt to make the punishment suitable. Hence as you spoke out of turn you have been gagged. Do you understand? You may nod or shake your head.
The man nods his head.
She gets up, walks around the table and leans against the front edge, close to him.
Now, you are here because of a crime.
He looks up at her.
Yes, a crime. It is necessary to punish a culprit for that crime.
She starts to walk around him, circling.
Do you understand?
He shakes his head.
What do you not understand? It is very simple. You are guilty of this crime and will be tried publicly and punished suitably. Do you understand?He once again shakes his head.