Friends by Theatre of Eternal Values

(Austria)


FRIENDS

Written by

STEVE JONES

In co-development with

VANESSA PAYER

and

EVA MARIA NEUBAUER

Along with additional creative input from:

REINHARDT WINTER

FRIENDS

Scene 1 – the ego and super-ego behind the curtain

The play starts in darkness. In the middle of the stage is a yogi meditating.

A LIGHT shines against a paper/linen wall revealing TWO shadows – the EGO and the SUPEREGO.

The ego and super-ego are dressed in BLACK , with bathing-hats corresponding to the colours of the right and the left channel, yellow and blue.

The ego starts babbling:

EGO

Okay. Let’s go over this once again. Pick up the bread, walk the dog, go to the dry cleaners, pick up the bread, walk the dog, go thoughtless, pick up the cake– Cake? Cake? Where did that come from? Chocolate? Mmmh. No. No I can’t. I mustn’t. If eat chocolate I’ll catch on liver. If I catch on liver I’ll get angry. If I get angry I’ll kick the dog. Why would I kick the dog? Do I have dog issues? Mmmh. Note to self. Introspect on dog issues. The dog! Mustn’t forget. Dog food. Mmmh. Wonder what dog food tastes like? Doesn’t look that bad actually. Well the dog seems to like it. What was that? Oh yes. Note to self. Must remember to go thoughtless. Now where was I? Cake. Yes. No! It’ll make me fat. Just one? Why not. No! I’ll get addicted and I’ll get fatter and fatter and fatter then I’ll die. Who’ll pay for the funeral? The baker? But…we hardly know each other. Oh God, I’m late.

Then the super-ego starts whining

Super-ego

I don’t feel so good. It’s so cold outside. I wish I could go back to bed. It looks so snug. So warm. So cosy. But…then I’ll miss my train. Then I’ll be late for work like always. They don’t greet me. They don’t like me. I’ll have to pretend I’m sick. Then I’ll feel guilty. Of course I’ll feel guilty because I am guilty. I feel guilty even thinking about it. But that bed…so…tempting. I wish I cold just fall asleep right now. Sleep. Sleep. All day long.

She shivers.

The following text of Ego and of

Superego is read alternately! (See DVD) Ego starts…

EGO

Why am I meditating? I should be buying dog food, walking the dog, going to the dry cleaners and…./ hang on a minute. This isn’t going to work. There’s not enough time./ Okay, switch to Plan B. I walk to the bakery with the dog./ Does the baker sell dog food? Why on earth would he sell dog food? He’s a baker! He bakes bread!/ Which means…my dog will starve./ Then he’ll whine./ Then he’ll howl./ And then the baker will get angry and won’t sell me any chocolate cake./ But that’s good isn’t it?/ Yes. That’s good!/ Must really start thinking about going thoughtless..

SupER-EGO

It’s so cold. Why is life so hard?/ If only I lived in Hawaii. In the sun. By the sea./ But…then I’d feel bad. I’d feel bad because I feel good./ Maybe I don’t deserve to live in Hawaii./ Only Hawaiians deserve to live in Hawaii./ I’m an imposter./ What am I doing here? /Better fly home now and be miserable/…and cold./..and depressed./

Scene 2 – FIRING SCENE

The yogi rubs his head, not too exaggerated, just enough to show that he’s having a difficult meditation.

There is a time lapse between the mutterings of the ego and the yogi. In the beginning the ego is just emitting thoughts from the depths of the agnya chakra. However as the time goes on the yogi identifies with the ego. When the Ego steps out from behind the shadow wall – LIGHTS UP

Light behind the paper wall goes out.

Ego

What is it with her, huh? What’s her problem?

(Imitating his colleague’s voice)

“I hope you made the right decision.”

(Talking to himself)

Of course I made the right decision! That guy was an idiot. Good riddance.

Yogi

…an idiot.

EGO

You had to fire him. No choice.

YOGI

Absolutely.

EGO

So why the subtle jibes, ey?

(Imitating his colleague’s voice)

“He’ll be missed”.

(Speaking to himself)

He’ll be missed! He was an incompetent imbecile who couldn’t organize his way out of a paper bag. He won’t be missed at all. A complete–

Yogi

Idiot.

The yogi finishes off the sentences of the ego. The more he identifies with the ego the more fluid the relationship between them. The more they ‘understand’ each other.

EGO

She’s always criticizing you. You know that don’t you?

Yogi

Really?

EGO

Think about it.

The ego observes the yogi. Smiles. Knowing that she’s got into his agnya.

The yogi sits there and he starts feeling the pressure on his agnya. He puts his hand on his agnya.

The ego looks on – satisfied.

SuPER-EGO

Yes…but…

The ego looks on disapprovingly. A, “who the heck is that?”, look.

SupER-EGO

Yes, but . . . maybe she was right? Maybe you shouldn’t have fired him.

That poor man. Just imagine. He’ll have to go home and tell his wife and kids.

The super-ego now imitates the whole family scene with the father coming home to talk to his wife and kids.

SUPER-EGO

WIFE: “Hello, darling.

How was work ?

HUSBAND: I was fired today.

WIFE:

Fired! But…what about the house? We’ll be evicted. We’ll have to live on the streets.

CHILDREN: Daddy? What does fired mean?

HUSBAND: It means Daddy doesn’t have a job. No job, no money. CHILDREN: But you promised me a new bicycle, Daddy!

HUSBAND: I’m sorry, honey. We’ll be lucky if we can eat this month.

During this monologue the yogi starts to catch on both left heart and left Vishuddhi.

SUPER-EGO

Oh, God. I feel terrible.

It’s all–

Yogi

My fault.

SUPER-EGO

I should have–

Yogi

Given him another chance.

At this point we see the hand of the yogi switching from left Vissudhi to Agnya as the ego and super-ego fight it out.

Ego

(Hand on agnya)

Nonsense. You gave him three warnings.

SuPER-EGO

(Hand on left visshudi)

But what about the poor kids?

Ego

(Hand on agnya)

It’s not your problem. I wouldn’t lose a minute of sleep over it.

SUPER-EGO

(Hand on left vissudhi)

My new bicycle, Daddy! You promised!

Now the yogi has a hand on the Agnya and on the Left Visshudi at the same time.

Ego

The kid’s already got a bicycle. What does he need a new one for?

SUPER-EGO

Daddy! You promised!

The yogi utters a mantra out loud to stop the madness in his brain.

YOGI

Neti! Neti!

Then quietly.

Yogi

Not this. Not this.

At this point the ego and the super-ego get a terrible headache and disappear behind the paperwall.

The yogi returns into a state of temporary silence.

Scene 3 – Yogi and Ego

Not for long:

The ego appears behind the curtain again.

Coughs a little as if to clear her throat, to show, that she´s here.

EGO

Ehum.

No reaction from the yogi.

EGO

Ehum.

No reaction.

Ego

Psst.

No reaction from the yogi.

Ego

Psst.

No reaction from the yogi.

The ego is bored. Gets an idea.

He coughs loudly. The yogi opens one eye. Very loud coughing. The yogi turns round and gives the ego a very disapproving look.

Playing the innocent. The ego gives the yogi a, “Who me?”, look and looks the other way nonchalantly.

The yogi shakes his head and uses the technique of pulling his ego down.

EGO

(A la the witch in Wizard of Oz)

I’m melting! I’m melting! I’m melting!

The ego first makes fun of the yogi trying to pull him down. Then discovers, that he IS actually melting. The yogi stops too early. The yogi goes back into meditation.

The ego was afraid, but regains his strength:

EGO

Pssst!

No reaction from the yogi.

EGO

Bsssssssssssssssssssst!

No reaction.

The ego pulls out an elastic band and pieces of paper and uses the elastic band to fire them at the yogi.

The yogi brushes his Agnya as if a mosquito landed quickly on his brow.

She fires another one. This time he opens an eye.

She quickly hides the elastic band. He closes his eye.

She pelts another full force. This time he looks over at her. Again, she hides the elastic band and plays the innocent little girl. She whistles.

Silence.

These ego disturbances have induced a state of impatience in the yogi. BOTH the ego and yogi look at their watches.

EGO

So. How long have you been thoughtless?

The yogi looks at his watch.

Yogi

Three minutes.

EGO

Three minutes?

YOGI

Maybe more?

EGO

Maybe more.

YOGI

Yeah. Five minutes. At least.

EGO

Pretty good.

YOGI

Yeah. Pretty good.

EGO

Completely thoughtless?

YOGI

Sure.

EGO

Whaa, Whaaa, Whaaa! What a yogi.

The yogi is starting to feel very good about himself.

YOGI

Thank you.

Silence. NOW the yogi is looking over at the ego.

YOGI

Do you think I’m a deep yogi?

Ego

Very deep.

YOGI

Deep enough to be a member of a sub committee?

EGO

Sub committee? SUBCOMITTEE!

YOGI

Council?

EGO

Think big!

YOGI

World Council?

EGO

The leader of the world council!

YOGI

You think so?

EGO

Absolutely! You’re indispensable.

The collective would be lost without you. No. The world would be lost without you.

YOGI

Yes, you’re right. I am indispensable.

EGO

You know the great thing about you.

Yogi

Tell me.

EGO

You’re so humble.

YOGI

Really?

EGO

One of the humblest yogis I’ve ever met.

YOGI

Well, if you say so. Wow. Humble.

EGO

I admire you.

The yogi enjoys this self satisfied state and THEN realizes:

He’s been duped.

He looks at the ego.

Yogi

Oh, no. Oh no, you don’t.

Ego

Yes, I do!

YOGI

No you don’t! I know your game. I know your little game.

He closes his eyes and goes into meditation.

Yogi pulls his ears.

Yogi

I am not the doer. I am not the doer.

The ego doesn’t like this.

EGO

Well thanks a lot!

The yogi opens his eyes. A bit shocked.

YOGI

What?

EGO

I am not the doer? Bit of a short memory haven’t you?

YOGI

How do you mean?

EGO

Who clinched that deal for you last week, then? Ey? The tooth fairies?

YOGI

No, well—

EGO

The Munchkins?

YOGI

No–

EGO

The seven dwarves?

YOGI

No, I–

EGO

Yes. I! Exactly. I. Me. Me. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, ME!!

The yogi thinks about this – fair point. He nods his head in silent agreement. He starts to believe in the ego.

EGO

You were good. Very good.

Yogi

Was I?

EGO

Oh, yes. You think anyone else would have been able to pull that deal off?

The yogi shakes a no.

EGO

Do you think she would have pulled it off? Mrs “He’ll be missed”? Never. No way. You’re the man.

Yogi

I was good. Wasn’t I?

EGO

We were good.

The yogi and the ego do high-fives.

YOGI

Way to go, bro.

EGO

Way to go, bro.

The yogi gets up. The ego has psyched him up.

YOGI

Whooo! Yes!

The ego takes out two cigars.

Ego

Cigar?

Yogi

Don’t mind if I do.

EGO

Now. Who is the doer?

YOGI

You are!

EGO

Bulls-eye! Follow me.

(A beat)

One, two, three, four.

This will give the cue to hit the play button as the yogi and the ego both say, in the same time as Peter Gabriel:

EGO

Hi, there!

Yogi

Hi, there.

Peter Gabriel’s BIG TIME starts playing and they dance.

PETER GABRIEL

I’m on my way I’m making it. I’ve got to make it show, yeah. So much larger than life. I’m going to watch it growing.

The place where I come from is a small town. They think so small. They use small words.

But not me. I’m smarter than that. I’ve worked it out. I’ll be stretching my mouth to let those big words come right out.

I’m heading up. I’m getting out. To the city. The big, big city.

I’ll be a big noise, with all the big boys. So much stuff I will learn. And I will pray to a big God. As I kneel in the big church. Big time. I’m on my way I’m making it.

Big time. I’ve got to make it show yeah.

Big time. So much larger than life. Big time. I’m going to watch it growing. Big time.

Suddenly the yogi’s attention is distracted by the super-ego who is creeping along the floor. See DVD for exact point of entry of Super-ego. The yogi stops dancing slowly.

Meanwhile the ego, blissfully ignorant is still dancing away on her own like crazy.

The ego turns round and does a double-take as he sees the yogi is completely entranced with the super-ego who is blowing bubbles.

Ego

Hey? Where is your attention?

The yogi ignores him completely. He is enchanted by the super-ego’s bubbles.

The ego stands there for a second.

She then puts on a pair of sunglasses and says:

EGO

I’ll be back.

The ego disappears behind the paper wall.

Scene 4 – Yogi and Superego

The super-ego by now is lying at the yogi’s feet.

He takes her by the hand.

SUPER-EGO

Remember…

YOGI

Paris.

SUPER-EGO

Ah, Oui,Paris…….

Merci, mon Cheri….You were so ..

YOGI

Free, without any care in the world…

SUPER-EGO

So free and sensitive…

YOGI

And young….

SUPER-EGO

You where a true poet, then.

You would have killed Yourself for LOVE!

YOGI

In the blink of an eye.

SUPER-EGO

So romantic!

What happened to those days? Those songs…..?

The yogi and the super-ego start singing part of a French song.

YOGI/SUPER-EGO

(singing)

darara-ratatatata…

SUPER-EGO

So long ago!

YOGI

Fifteen years.

SUPER-EGO

Remember …?

YOGI

The moonlight.

The river. The champagne!

SUPER-EGO

The champagne!

You ate , you drank….

YOGI

We danced!

SUPER-EGO

Remember le bistro dans la rue a gauche!

YOGI

La cage imaginaire!

SUPER-EGO

La cage imaginaire!!

And remember that film?

YOGI
How could I forget? JEANNE MOREAU!

SUPER-EGO
How she walked with her nightdress

in the night between Jule et Jim!

YOGI

So tragic…so real…so beautiful…

SUPER-EGO

It was your favourite film!

YOGI

It was her favourite film.

SUPER-EGO
CANDY, her name was Candy!

YOGI

Candy…

The super-ego gives him a hat and stick.

CANDY by Manhattan Transfer starts playing.

Song

FEMALE: Candy. I call my sugar candy. MALE VOICE: Because I’m sweet on Candy and Candy’s sweet on me. FEMALE: She understands me. My understanding Candy. MALE: And Candy’s always handy when I need sympathy…..

The ego appears. Stops the music brutally.

Ego

You’re a lot older now, of course.

(Beat)

No spring chicken anymore.

The yogi looks toward the ego. The ego knows how to get his attention. The yogi becomes self-conscious.

Ego

Still. You’ve aged well.

YOGI

You think so?

EGO

Oh, yes.

Scene 5 – Ego, Superego and Yogi “mirror and puppet-dance”

The yogi looks alternately into the faces of the ego AND the super-ego as if they were his mirror. See DVD.

YOGI

You think I could get away with twenty five?

EGO

Twenty two. Easily.

SUPEREGO

A bit of hair dye maybe.

He looks at his belly. He tucks his belly in.

YOGI

Are you sure?

EGO

Of course. You look great.

The yogi checks his muscles and preens himself.

YOGI

What do you think she’d say if she saw me now?

EGO

Oh, she’d be impressed. No doubt. You’ve done well for yourself.

YOGI

Yes. Your right.

EGO

I’m always right, my dear.

They continue the mirroring …

The music from the nutcracker ballet starts…

They start to control him like a puppet on a string ….

SUDDENLY

The spirit walks on and only the yogis attention goes on the spirit.

This causes the yogi to be released from his strings and the ego and the super-ego become puppets.

The yogi’s attention is on the spirit.

The yogi goes into a state of meditation again.

At the end of the music ego and superego freeze shortly.

Scene 6 – Ego and Superego meditating and quarreling

The ego and the superego both wake up again. They don´t understand what happened to them. They pick up a chair and sneak over close to the yogi.

The super-ego is snuggling up, cosily, drifting into sleep.

The ego observes. Puzzled.

Ego

What are you doing?

SuPER-EGO

I’m medi…ta…ting.

EGO

That’s not how you do it. This is how it’s done. Watch this. Watch.

The ego starts to meditate in a very show-off way. He’s talking in a very fast, pushy, assertive way.

Ego

You see? This is how you do it. See? Like this. See where my attention is. See? See? It’s easy. Just stop thinking. I can do that.

She looks at her watch and tries to go thoughtless for a second. Of course she can’t.

EGO

See? I can do that. No big deal. Was I thoughtless? Was I? I think I was. What do you think? Ey? Ey?

The superego starts whimpering.

SUPEREGO

Leave me alone……………

Silence for a second as the ego observes the super-ego quietly whimpering, then crying loudly.

THEN:

Suddenly the ego starts crying too!

SuPER-EGO

Hey!

EGO

What?

SUPER-EGO

That’s my department.

Ego

No, it’s not.

SUPER-EGO

Crying, moaning and whimpering is my area. Thank you very much.

EGO

Who says?

SUPER-EGO

I say.

EGO

I say? Well, I’m sorry madam but there’s only one I around here and that’s me. Me, myself and I!

SUPEREGO

I!

Ego

I!

SUPEREGO

I!

Together:

I I I I I I I !

The SUPEREGO and EGO stick their tongues out.

They start quarreling like husband and wife.

Super-EGO

You’re always the same.

EGO

Here we go again. You’re always this, you’re always that. I’m not always anything.

SUPER-EGO

It’s always about you isn’t it? You. You. You. You don’t think of anyone else but yourself.

Ego

Of course I don’t! That’s not my job. I’m here to look after number one.

SUPER-EGO

What about me? What about my feelings? Have you ever, for one second considered what I might be feeling.

EGO

Ummm.

(Beat)

No.

SUPER-EGO

It’s unbelievable. You’ve admitted it, you see!!

EGO

Yes, I have. There you go. Satisfied? I admit it. I’m selfish.

SUPER-EGO

You don’t care! You just don’t care! You are not even ashamed about it..

The ego starts hitting himself.

Ego

Naughty selfish ego. Naughty, naught, naughty.

SupER-EGO

Oh, very funny. Why don’t you just go out with your other ego friends and tell each other how great you are.

EGO

Well it would be more fun than hanging around here. With you. Feeling miserable.

SUPER-EGO

Maybe you should try it sometime. See what it feels like.

EGO

Oh. Okay. I’ll pretend I’m you shall I? Okay, who’s this, then?

The ego starts mimicking the super-ego.

Ego

Oh I feel so bad. It’s all my fault. I’m a terrible person. I don’t deserve to be happy. I may as well throw myself into the Thames right now.

SupER-EGO

Oh, you’re always exaggerating

The following text of ego and superego is again spoken alternately.

EGO

And you always say I always exaggerate./ I mean for once. For once can you stop bringing up the past./ Who cares what I said on the 22nd January in 1957./ Move on, will you? Get a life!

SUPER-EGO

You have no feelings. You´re cold like a fish./ Always dominating me. / You don´t like me. You don´t love me./

The yogi is getting more and more confused as the ego and super-ego argue with each other.

SUPER-EGO

You drive me to drink, do you know that?

The superego takes a swig out of a bottle of wine.

EGO

Well, you drive me to cocaine!

The ego snorts some cocaine.

The yogi lets out a gasp of exasperation.

The ego and the super-ego stop their argument dead.

They look at each other and realize that their argument is really working and if they work together they can really distract the yogi.

They give each other a thumb’s up and high-fives.

SUPER-EGO

Way to go, sis.

EGO

Way to go, sis.

Music starts.

The spirit crosses the stage.

They get afraid and very cold, hide behind their chairs, which they take with them as they leave the stage.

Silence

Scene 7 – Klimax: Ego and Superego wALKING AND TALKING

The yogi is in silent meditation. SUDDENLY

The Super-ego runs across the stage.

SUPER-EGO

Candy. I call my sugar candy…

The yogi moves his right side to the left.

Then the ego strides on really LOUD and brash. Big ego! In the way of typical “American soldier”- singing:

EGO:

I am the Ki-ing of the Hood, Hu-Ha Hu-Ha,

were we good or were we good! Hu-Ha Hu-Ha

The ego walks off.

The yogi moves his left to the right trying to bring the ego down.

The ego and the super-ego appear and sing at the same time.

SUPER-EGO/ego

Chanson d’amour…..

The yogi is looking more and more confused.

EGO/sUPEREGO

Okay here’s the plan. Get up at six. Get out the door. No breakfast. Meditate on the tube. Walk in. Get the deal. Walk out. Pick up the phone. Check the plan. Are you on target? Good. Then move on. No time to waste here people! (finishing the French song)…Ratatatataa….

They walk off stage.

This is exhausting for the yogi.

Now the yogi is pulling his right to the left AND his left to the right at the same time.

EGO and SUPER-EGO now come in fast and stay, running around the Yogis chair.

Super-EGO

Daddy. My bicycle. You promised!

The yogi puts his hand on his left Vissudhi.

EGO

Hey. Forget all that stuff. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

SUPER-EGO

I hate myself.

EGO

I love myself.

SUPER-EGO

I’m the worst.

EGO

I’m the best.

SUPER-EGO

The worst!

EGO

The best!

The yogi gets more and more frustrated. He shouts out to the ego:

YOGI

Sham!

The ego falls down.

Super-EGO

I haven’t given realisation to anyone in years.

YOGI

Ham!

The ego stands up and comes back.

Ego

I’ve given realisation to millions! I’m a super-yogi!

YOGI

Sham!

SuPER-EGO

Everything’s my fault!

Ego/SUPEREGO

Everything? Terrorism? Global warming? The African debt?

SUPER-EGO

All my fault!

YOGI

Ham!

The ego walks to the audience. This is played fast.

Ego

Did she (pointing at Superego) say I can’t forgive? Well she’s an idiot. I bet you I can forgive faster than she can. Wanna bet? Okay we’ll all start forgiving. Starting,…one, two, three…..

The superego to the audience.

Superego

Nothing EVER works out for me!

EGO:

Idiot.

SUPEREGO

I’m useless. Useless!

The yogi just shouts out in frustration.

Yogi

I am the spirit!

They fall down.

Yogi

I am the spirit. (4 times )

It looks as if the super-ego and ego are dying. They crawl on the floor like Gollum. Every shout of the Yogi hurts them.

They disappear – GASPING for their last breaths behind the curtain.

The yogi finally gets some relief. We see him relaxing finally.

Silence.

Scene 8 – Final assault – Delta Force

And then:

THUMP.

An object gets thrown over the stage.

A turkey, a rubber duck, spiders, demons, playing cards. Absurd objects from his unconscious.

Silence.

Then the ego and super-ego come out Delta force commando style.

They signal each other in MIME, commando-style as if they are covering for each other.

They start whispering and gradually get louder. Very fast, verbal BURSTS. They are working together AGAINST the yogi but still ARGUING against each other.

Ego

How long have we been–

Superego

Thoughtless?

EGO

At least–

SUPEREGO

Five–

EGO

Minutes.

SUPEREGO

That’s far–

EGO

Too Much.

SUPEREGO

Too little. It’s totally–

EGO

Amazing!

SUPEREGO

No point in–

EGO

Giving up. Keep on—

SUPEREGO

Crying.

EGO

Trying! Got to be positive!

SUPEREGO

Realistic.

EGO

Optimistic. The cup’s half–

SUPEREGO

Empty.

EGO

Full! And it’s…overflowing.

Beat

SUPEREGO

Still empty.

The yogi in one last gasp surrenders.

Yogi

I surrender.

Music/slow motion

The ego and super-ego STOP. They look at each other.

In unison they turn and fire on the yogi. BLASTING out both barrels. The final assault.

BHAM! The Yogi nearly dies, he whispers:

YOGI

I surrender. I surrender

The spirit BURSTS through the screen with a calyx of water.

The ego and super-ego die.

The spirit helps the yogi to his chair in motherly love, she gives him to drink, they smile. She stands behind him, raising his Kundalini

The yogi is left in silent meditation.

Music ends.

The spirit then whips out a camera.

Spirit

Okay children. Game over!

EGO and SUPEREGO wake up from death, changing into playful little girls.

SPIRIT

Take your places!

Music.

The ego and super-ego rise up down next to the yogi.

Spirit

Smile for the camera. Say cheese!

The yogi, super-ego and ego say:

All Together

Cheese!

One shot where the yogis has his arms on their shoulders. FLASH.

Another shot where they pull funny faces. FLASH.

Another shot where they pull funny faces. FLASH

Another shot together with the spirit. They are well behaved.

FADE OUT