Poet Charles Kenning was once a darling of the literary world. Now a drink-sodden wreck, he's holed up in an inner city high-rise, unaware that agents of an American think-tank are monitoring his squalor. For both the Helicon Foundation and the British Cabinet have a use for him in their hi-tech struggle against urban anarchy and the strange powers of the Quantum Slut Crew. . .
©Paul A Green 2004
Soundscape frequently alternates throughout between boxy interiors and inner head space. Pulsing underneath and between the TERMINAL POET's (CHARLES) monologues is THE MIX, a sequence of hip hop/rap/dub/drum/bass/techno/ambient grooves.
Sometimes we hear THE MIX as if through a ceiling floor or partition wall, sometimes we're dropped right into the centre of it. Sometimes it's heard more distantly from wherever CHARLES is being monitored.
THE MIX resonates with voices shouting, fighting, insinuating, crooning, mocking — and voices from the past surfacing briefly.
Underlying the MIX is a layering of urban noir night noises, sampled and processed: sirens, car alarms, traffic, trains, fights, dog, gunshots, screams.
RUNEBERG: North American. West Coast Older (40/50s?).
DWORKIN: North American. Mid West Younger (20/30s?).
CHARLES the TERMINAL POET: very British, mid fifties, possibly undertones of public school RP. But deeply affected by alcohol.
HELEN SLATER. British 40-45, Southern RP. Trying to keep control. A Secretary of Culture and Media.
ROGER SULLINGTON: British mid fifties. Patrician RP? A Home Secretary.
NEWSREADER/PRESENTER: Either gender.
QUANTUM SLUT: North London female rapper. Ruff.
DUMP CRACKER: South London male rapper. Tuff.
PLUG, BITMAN, HORMONE: Voices from the streets, 2m 1 f.
A staged extract from the play was performed by New Theatre Works in the Studio Theatre of the Courtyard Arts Centre, Hereford, on March 5, 2004.
Dworkin — Lance Woodman
Runeberg — David Harding
Kenning — Mo Murrie
Helen — Julia Hawkesmoor
Sullington — Ashley Levi
Newscaster — Tom Bryson
Quantum Slut — Hetal Bapodra
Directed by Janine Sharp
Sound design by the author