THE WINDS OF CHANGE
© Allen Lyne
MUSIC UP. SPOT ON SEAN DARGIE CRACKING SAFE.
HE SUCCEEDS. GRINS TRIUMPHANTLY AT AUDIENCE.
SAFE DOOR SLAMS ON HIS FINGER. BLACKOUT. FAINT
LIGHT UP ON ACTING AREA. DARGIE AND CRUNT BACK
FURTIVELY ACROSS THE ROOM UNTIL THEY BUMP INTO
ONE ANOTHER. BLACKOUT. SYLVIA SMART CHASES A
GUINEA PIG ACROSS LABORATORY WITH A BUTTERFLY
NET. SHE CHASES IT OFF STAGE. CRASH. SYLVIA
RETURNS WITH ASIO AGENT IN NET. BLACKOUT. POLICE
PERSON SPLATT AND FARMER BROWN APPEAR IN
WINDOW. A COW APPEARS BETWEEN THEM THERE IS A
MASSIVE FART. BLACKOUT. ADOLPH HITLER APPEARS IN
A SPOTLIGHT. FART BLACKOUT. MUSIC ENDS
FAINT LIGHT ON OFFICE. BIRDIES TWITTER. IT IS EARLY
EVENING.THE CLOCK ON THE WALL SHOWS SEVEN
O'CLOCK. IT STRIKES THIRTEEN TIMES. SEAN DARGIE
ENTERS THROUGH THE WINDOW.HE IS DRESSED IN BLACK
TROUSERS AND SKIVVY WITH A BLACK BALACLAVA OVER
HIS FACE. MOVES TO DESK WITH FLASH LIGHT. SWITCHES
ON DESK LAMP. MOVES TO SAFE AND FIDDLES. CRACKS
COMBINATION AND REMOVES PAPERS FROM SAFE.
SOUNDS OF LOCKS OF MANY KINDS BEING UNLOCKED,
CHAINS REMOVED, BOLTS BEING DRAWN. DARGIE HIDES
THE PAPERS IN A VASE.LOOKS FOR A WAY OUT. RUNS
THROUGH OFFICE INTO LABORATORY. OPENS DOOR AND
FLASHES TORCH. DOUBLETAKES, SLAMS DOOR AND RUNS
TO CURTAINS UPSTAGE. PULLS CURTAINS BACK AND
DISCOVERS ASIO AGENT HIDING THERE. DARGIE RUNS
BACK INTO THE OFFICE AND DIVES OUT WINDOW AS THE
LAST BOLT IS DRAWN AND DOCTOR SYLVIA SMART ENTERS.
SOUND OF LARGE DOGS AND SCREAM. SYLVIA LOOKS OUT
OF THE WINDOW, SEES NOTHING AND SHRUGS. SHE MOVES
INTO THE LABORATORY AND SWITCHES ON THE LIGHT. SHE
CHECKS THROUGH THE DOOR. SATISFIED SHE MOVES TO
HER DESK AND STARTS WORK. SHE OPENS A DRAWER AND
TAKES OUT TWO ANTHRAX INFECTED HANDS. THERE IS A
FLASH AS THE ASIO AGENT TAKES A PHOTOGRAPH. SYLVIA
TURNS TOWARDS THE DRAPES AND SEES NOTHING.
SLIGHTLY BEMUSED SHE RESUMES WORK PUNCTURING
ANTHRAX BLISTERS AND TRANSFERRING PUS ONTO SLIDES.
COLONEL FIG ENTERS WITH AN OPEN CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE
AND MOVES TO THE DESK. SYLVIA TAKES TWO BEAKERS
FROM A DRAWER. FIG POURS CHAMPAGNE.THEY STARE AT
ONE ANOTHER, GLASSES RAISED.
I supervised the loading myself.
You are a very conscientious man
A handy trait I picked up from my school teachers.
We should celebrate project Burpenfart's completion
with something more substantial than a bottle of champagne.
Come on, let's paint the town red.
In Bourke? There's nothing to paint but the fence posts.
You don't understand what we could mean to each other.
Get up and stop grovelling on the floor. I hate it when you do that.
Forgive me. I've been unhappy since my wife left.
What became of her?
She ran off with the local parish priest.
The shame of it. And she an Anglican. Not that it mattered
I never loved her. Made me determined never to trust an
Irish Catholic again.
Well, water under the bridge.
FIG BEGINS TO CHASE SYLVIA AROUND THE DESK.
With you it could be different. Oh, I know there's twenty years
between us, but it wouldn't matter. Think of it, a marriage
between two really great minds. A brilliant administrative brain
like mine coupled with your scientific genius. Together we could
conquer the world.
FIG GIVES UP. HE IS WINDED.
I have all the worlds I want right here in this laboratory. Really
Colonel Fig, I must insist that you cease these silly emotional
Forgive me, doctor Smart. Forgive me, dear, devoted colleague.
You must miss your wife very much.
Not really, but she was all I had. You consider me too old for you?
My school girl days are far behind me, colonel
Not so far.
You come from a forgotten era of gallantry. Do you still see yourself
as the dashing subaltern?
I didn't do my share of dashing and there's the rub. I married young
to enhance my career prospects. Now my wife has gone I find it
impossible to know how to act in situations of potential seduction.
Your wife may yet return to you.
I doubt it. She's a very determined woman.
You are well advanced with the burpenfart antidote?
It is almost finished.
Yet you have already started on the Anthrax project?
When these hands arrived this morning, I became enthusiastic.
HE IDLY PICKS UP A HAND AND WAVES IT AT SYLVIA.
Brilliant, but undisciplined.
That is most unfair. I will not have you impugn me on the grounds
of lack of discipline.
But my dear Doctor, you did start work on the Anthrax project
before completing the Burpenfart antidote.
In my own time, Colonel Fig. In my own time. It is many hours
since my working day officially ended.
Once again I am forced to beg your pardon. We are so much
alike in so many ways.
FIG EXITS. THE ASIO AGENT COMES FROM BEHIND
THE DRAPES AND BRIEFLY INVESTIGATES THE
ROOM. OPENS DOOR STAGE RIGHT AND EXITS.
"WHAT'S THIS? NO LIGHTS. HELLO A BARRED DOOR.
WHAT'S IN HERE?"
SOUND OF DOOR OPENING. GRUNTS. SCREAMS. SOUND
OF LARGE ANIMAL FEEDING. A HUMAN THIGH BONE IS
THROWN ONSTAGE. 2001 THEME. BLACKOUT.
CRUNT IS ATTEMPTING TO CRACK THE SAFE. DARGIE
ENTERS BEHIND HIM. HE POKES A FINGER INTO CRUNT'S BACK.
Dropa da gun. Now turn around. Who are a you?
I'm a priest looking for communion. Do you require any?
I'm not a catholic.
That's my gun.
I didn't have a one of my own, eh.
I knew that!
Why does a priest carry a gun?
Communion can be rough sometimes.
Who are a you?
Mama Mia, you don't a like a yourself?
Mike Crunt. ASIOs top agent.
No-one listens. When I was in the army, every time an officer
asked my name I'd finish up on a charge. They used to say
"Why did you call this officer a Crunt, Crunt? I appeal to your
patriotism as an Australian, give me back my gun and don't tell
your boss I'm here.
I don't a work here, eh. My name is Antonio Dargie. Investigative
journalist for the Leftish News. D notice defying monthly
newspaper for the Australian Intelligentsia.
You have a low circulation.
But a high blood pressure... Maybe you a know what goes on around
They make fine fertilizers.
No one can buy the fertilizers here.
This factory produces for the export market.
That's a lotta shit.
Right on...! Give me back my gun and I'll tell you what
does go on around here.
You tell a me anyway.
I'll die first. (Dargie cocks the gun) It's a top secret plant
producing chemical and biological weapons for the Australian
government. Produced a very good line in bubonic plague last
year. Lately they've been working on project Burpenfart, which
makes people do just that. Next up it's a more virulent form of
It reduces morale without destroying buildings.
That's all I know.
What you do here?
A senior staff member is suspected of commie tendencies.
Give me back my gun and I'll get you your story.
You'd a do that?
Would an ASIO agent lie?
THEY SHAKE HANDS. CRUNT ATTEMPTS A JUDO
THROW AND STRAINSHIS BACK. THEY SHAKE AGAIN.
CRUNT EXITS THROUGH WINDOW. SOUND OF LARGE
DOGS AND SCREAMS. CRUNT CLIMBS BACK IN WITH
BLOOD ON HIS FACE. DARGIE MOVES THROUGH INTO
THE OFFICE. HE TAKES THE PAPERS FROM THE VASE
AND BEGINS TO READ. SOUNDS OF LOCKS AS BEFORE.
DARGIE REPLACES PAPERS IN VASE AND DIVES OUT
WINDOW. SOUND OF DOGS AND SCREAM. FIG ENTERS.
CROSSES TO WINDOW AND CLOSES IT. SYLVIA ENTERS
AND SURPRISES HIM. GOOD MORNINGS ARE EXCHANGED.
CRUNT HIDES BEHIND THE CURTAINS IN THE
LABORATORY. THE CLOCK STRIKES FOURTEEN AS SYLVIA
ENTERS THE LABORATORY AND STARTS WORK. SHE SPOTS
THE THIGH BONE.
Boris, have you been throwing your din dins around again?
A LARGE BEAR COMES THROUGH THE DOOR, RIGHT.
IT GRABS SYLVIA FROM BEHIND AND BEGINS TO MOLEST
Fig... Fig... Help.
What's wrong, Doctor Smart?
Can't it wait? I'm busy.
Help... Bear... Rape.
Tell him you have a headache.
FIG ENTERS THE LABORATORY WITH A STOOL AND
WHIP. HE WHIPS BORIS BACK TOWARD THE ROOM.
THERE IS A FLASH AS CRUNT TAKES A PHOTO. THE
THREE OF THEM PAUSE CLOSE TO THE DOORWAY.
THEY ALL LOOK TOWARD THE CURTAINS. SYLVIA
LOOKS AT FIG WHO SHRUGS. SYLVIA SHRUGS. THEY
BOTH LOOK AT THE BEAR WHO SHRUGS. FIG
CONTINUES AND WHIPS BORIS OUT OF THE
LABORATORY. SOUND OF CAGE BEING LOCKED.
How the devil....
I don't know. (Proffers thigh bone)
Oh my God. Anyone we know?
Hard to tell.
I'll check the staff. Are you okay?
No. He thinks I'm his mother. Colonel, I must say
you were most awfully brave.
It was nothing. (moves toward the door. pauses in
doorway to strike pose) We soldiers are trained in heroics.
FIG MARCHES FROM THE ROOM.
SYLVIA RESUMES WORK AT HER DESK. SHE TAKES
A GUINEA PIG FROM A DRAWER, FILLS A SYRINGE,
INJECTS THE PIG. IT BURPS AND FARTS. SYLVIA
PULLS OUT SEVERAL BOTTLES, MIXES LIQUIDS,
FILLS ANOTHER SYRINGE.
Now, little piggy, this should be the antidote.
SYLVIA INJECTS THE PIG. IT BURPS AND FARTS
Hmmm, not quite.
CRUNT HAS COME FROM BEHIND THE CURTAINS
TO SEE WHAT SYLVIA IS DOING. HE BUMPS INTO
Who are you?
A defrocked priest.
Why are you wearing that collar?
Force of habit... I'm on the run from the Marist Brothers.
(The guinea pig farts) Could we open a window? It's a
bit close in here.
You shouldn't be here.
That's what Mother Superior said.
THE GUINEA PIG BURPS.
If you're really a priest, why are you wearing dark glasses
and a trench coat?
I don't have time to mess around. State your business or get out.
Oh, a tough broad, huh?
CRUNT MOVES TOWARD SYLVIA. SHE THROWS HIM
IN A PERFECT JUDO THROW. THE GUINEA PIG FARTS.
I said I don't have time to mess around... Who are you?
There's no need to be crude.
I'm Mike Crunt, ASIOs top agent and this cannon says I ask
the questions. Got it?
SYLVIA DISARMS HIM AND THROWS HIM TO ONE
SIDE OF THE ROOM AND HIS GUN TO THE OTHER.
I don't have time to mess around. (The guinea pig farts and burps)
Tell me who you are or I'll have to get heavy.
I really am an ASIO spy. Mike Crunt. My card.
Denture repairs? Pick up and deliver.
CRUNT HANDS HER ANOTHER CARD.
Mike Crunt. ASIOs top man. Also, songs sung outside your lover's
window after hours?
We have to moonlight. Our pay is a pittance.
What are you doing creeping around in here?
It's Fig I'm after.
Okay, it's Colonel Fig I'm after.
Make up your mind. Fig. Colonel Earnest Fig late of the Fourth
Australian Light Archers. Several years ago I served under his
command in Adelaide. I discovered him having secret meetings
with a KGB spy in the back stalls at the Roma Cinema. I blew
the whistle on him.
Fig is an ardent anti communist,
That's his cover. Your laboratory is bugged. I overheard your
conversation yesterday. Fig was probing for cracks in your
ideological armour. What did he say? (flicks notebook)
We'll paint the town red? Fig disappeared shortly after I
exposed him in the Roma Cinema. ASIO hired me as a
full time spy specifically to crack the case of the disappearing Fig.
You will arrest him?
Not just yet. First I want to know exactly what he's up to. Under
the official secrets act, I'm ordering you not to let on to anyone
that I'm here. You dig?
I don't give a Fig. Just keep out of my way while I'm working.
We got a deal. I'll just snoop around a little. Catch him off guard,
red handed, in the act, with his pants down and various other clichés.
Yes... Doctor who...? Which Doctor...? Yes... I am she. The truck
has cr.... The Burpen... fertilizer is alright? Don't let anyone touch
anything. I'll be right there. (replaces phone) I have to go out for
awhile. Don't snoop around in here. You could come down with a
terrible case of anthrax or bubonic plague.
SYLVIA EXITS. THE GUINEA PIG FARTS. CRUNT BEGINS
TO EXAMINE THINGS. HE HOLDS THE GUINEA PIG CAGE
IN ONE HAND AS HE OPENS A DRAWER AND PULLS OUT
A BEATING HUMAN HEART. HE STARES AT IT AS THE
LIGHT FADES. SONG: YOU GOTTA HAVE HEART.
Will Boris marry Sylvia? Will Crunt live down his name? Who gives a Fig?
If you want to know how this loopy play pans out; drop me a line and let me know you are interested in producing it.