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Bunny

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A full-length play about smart drugs, performed at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden.

Bert takes smart drugs, which enable him to explain life, the universe and the role of the dead to his unheeding friends. The mysterious man upstairs has a more old-fashioned approach to self-improvement – become someone else.

Extract from Bunny:
BERT
So, my dear. How was your day?
HELEN
Terrible. I was threatened by a crowd of enraged chronic fatigue patients.
BERT
(TUTTING) A doctor’s life! Worse than a dog’s.
HELEN
They were fed up because one woman had got stuck in a store cupboard and starved to death because her cries were unheard. They chased me slowly down the street.
DAISY
Tell Jim about your theory of death, Bert. (to JIM) You’ve got to hear this.
BERT
My theory is that death is merely exclusion. The dead cannot join in anymore. They’re forced to crowd round and watch us.
(EVERYONE LOOKS AROUND THEM)
BERT
It’s what we’re practising for, with the television.
HELEN
No one’s watching you, don’t worry about that.
DAISY
So Bert, if you masturbate, do you think all your ancestors are standing round looking on?
BERT
I get under the covers.
WALRUS
Bert has a theory for every day of the week. They’re great value.
BERT
(BECOMING EXCITED) The thing is, I was reading about this new experiment where they’ve wired up the brains of rats so they can move a lever simply by the process of thought…
HELEN
How do they know what the rats are thinking?
BERT
Well, this leads me to think, stories for instance about telekinesis, Carrie and so on, they weren’t stories, they were predictions. A lot of myths and legends are not as you might think residues of the past but predictions of technologies to come. It’s like the opposite of collective memory. Traces of the future.
(WALRUS, NOT LISTENING, MIMES HITTING A CRICKET BALL AND MAKES A TOCKING NOISE WITH HIS TONGUE)
BERT
For instance, there is a theory that it is possible to get tiny robots, nanobots, which we are capable of creating now, and programme them to convert atoms of metallic rock into the structure of the brain. So with millions of nanobots it should in theory be possible to convert a large mass of rock, the moon, say, into an enormous brain which would of course be far superior to humans. There is a debate going on right at this very minute as to whether humans should ensure that they remain at the top level of evolution, or should risk creating their own masters.
(PAUSE)
BERT
So in other words stories about God were in fact not memories or myths but a prediction of the time when humans would eventually build him.
JIM
That’s most intriguing.
DAISY
Marvellous. Why don’t they do Jupiter and Mars and Venus at the same time, then we’d have a whole sky full of…
BERT
Gods! Exactly! See! It all starts to make sense! All those old stories! Traces of the future! (HE LEAPS TO HIS FEET IN EXCITEMENT)
DAISY
Bert, isn’t it time for your M-E-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N?
JIM
What condition are you being treated for?
HELEN
Hush.
BERT
(ASIDE TO JIM) She thinks I’m under the chemical cosh. She’s always trying to catch me out in mental illness. Many of her friends have succumbed, she’s always on the lookout.
JIM
Don’t let her push you into it.
DAISY
No whispering! (SHE GRABS JIM AND PULLS HIM AWAY FROM BERT) You teachers should know better.
JIM
I’m not a teacher, as I’ve said.
HELEN
What are you?
JIM
I’m a fire insurance investigator.
(LONG PAUSE. EVERYONE FREEZES)
BERT
He isn’t.
(EVERYONE RELAXES)
JIM
I’m a psychic.
HELEN
A psychic!
DAISY
Men aren’t psychics.
JIM
Why not?
DAISY
They don’t believe in it.
JIM
Well, I can prove I’m a psychic. I predict, by the end of the evening, I will have discovered who started your fire.
(PAUSE)
DAISY
What colour knickers am I wearing?
JIM
Purple. It doesn’t take a psychic to know that.

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