Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dramatis Personae

The audience were settled in their seats. The lady from Yapton in the stalls, and the Gorse Fox behind her.

The first player made his entrance. An elderly man (let's call him Strop) stomps onto the train, looks around then thunders to the area that will become the stage. He sits. Crashes his hand onto the table, and harrumphs.

The audience isn't yet sure if this is part of the play, but settle back down.

Enter the the second player. A big  young man in the prime of his life. Let's call him Marcus, because he had an immensely arrogant manner, seemed to be oblivious of those around him, and he looked remarkably like a clean shaven Marcus Brigstocke. As he entered, Marcus was talking loudly into the headset of his mobile phone. The audience all looked up.

It wasn't clear at first, but the play had started. Marcus continued to bellow into his phone and as the audience swelled as the train neared departure time, it was evident that the conversation was at no risk of winding down, and was to be conducted at a volume that brooked no non-participants.

The train moved off. The Gorse Fox put on his own headset to watch iPlayer (he never was one for theatre). The lady from Yapton put on her DVD player to watch the next episode from a boxed set of  24. The train pulled out of Victoria, crossed the bridge and passed Battersea.

By now everyone was getting fed up with Marcus and his high-volume call. The audience kept looking up, looking at each other and rolling their eyes. Being British, however, we just put up with it. All except Strop.

Strop snapped. Leapt from his seat and wrested the phone from Marcus. He then told him to shut up and in no uncertain terms that the train passengers were fed up with him and his phone. Marcus leapt across the aisle and fought for the phone. Blows were struck and there was an extensive use of Anglo Saxon expletives as Strop tried to keep Marcus from his phone. Eventually prising it free, Marcus called the guard and demanded the attendance of the Police.

So it was that we waited outside Clapham until the Police arrived at the station and the play moved into its final act. Strop slunk off down the train as Marcus awaited the Police. Then they went, carriage by carriage to find him (the train doors having remained locked throughout).

As part of the finale, the Police came back to ask for witnesses (audience feedback). WIth the exception of the Gorse Fox, everyone remained dumb, claiming to have seen nothing. The Gorse Fox gave his name and contact details... the train was released, and the journey home continued.

1 comment:

Patrick Cox said...

Well done, GF. Marcus will, no doubt, win his 'assault' case, but hopefully the judge will mitigate the sentence due to the provocation. Remarkable how everyone else suddenly suffered total blindness and deafness though ...