I came across this in such an old folder of my computer that I had to break through the cobwebs to get in. It’s an idea for a radio play which I’m never going to write but would quite like to put “out there”. If anyone writes it, let me know when it’s on!
This play follows the voices of three conversations between three couples. None of the individuals is ever named. They are simply six separate voices.
The central couple consists of a near-term pregnant woman and her husband walking around a small park, walking to induce labour. The small size of the park means that they circumnavigate it several times, in the process passing the two other couples, who are seated.
The narrative of the story follows the central couple for a time then stays with each of the other couples for a time before being picked up again by the central couple as they pass on their next “lap” of the park. This focus passes between them on a number of occasions, and the dialogue has continued out of the listeners earshot between visits. Some of the interest therefore is in inferring the missed parts of the conversation.
The couples discuss each other, and their presence affects the outcomes of the time for the other couples, or appears to – with a final twist.
Central Couple Story
Having a baby. Waters having broken. Stress caused by uncertainty and health concerns mingled with anticipation of the new life, and affect on their own life.
Incidental topics concern:
– visits from in-laws
– the bridges of Konigsberg(due to the path pattern of the park)
– effect on careers and work of the baby
Resolution: none – all these uncertainties remain unresolved at the end of the play.
A couple snogging in the park when first encountered. Relationship at a critical point of going further or falling back. Consideration of the pregnant couple brings home to the young couple that they do not feel as strongly as they should for the relationship to go further. Tensions emerge, they row and depart separately.
Mum and Son
The third “couple” is a young Mum and her toddler son who come into the park every afternoon. They engage in conversation about (amongst other things) growing up, and why people have babies, what it’s like for a mummy and daddy before they have a baby, and the impact of having a baby on them.
In a twist, the final comments of the central couple suggest strongly that she is (was) the female of the young lovers group and that he is (was) the young son. Stories that are set up to be occurring at the same time suddenly reveal themselves as being separated in time, but with enough ambiguity to suggest recurring truths.