originally commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for Schools
A voice-play, for children to make their own mouth-music, and devise their own games.
Humming and droning these words like a mantra, murmuring them, fracturing them, hissing them, six kids raid a rich man's house while he's away. In black envious games, with groan-jokes and ya-ya jingles, they play at being him, they act out their ideas of his opulent life-style. But he isn't away. He's secretly in his house all the while, and up to despicable crimes. The children find him...
BBC threw up their hands in horror when they received this. Refusing to temper it, or let them neutralize it in any way, I withdrew it. It now enjoys a life in stage-performance: student theatre, youth drama and the like - even, on one occasion, in a monastery. 30 years on, it's still regularly done.
Roughly 20 minutes' playing-time. 6 performers, gender immaterial.
Text originally published by Hutchinson in their Prompt series, vol. 2. Now available from my agent Mel Kenyon at Casarotto Ramsay.