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 2015

A restaurant. FATHER and SON sitting opposite each other at a table.

FATHER: -and he wants to scrap tuition fees, I thought you’d be all over that.

SON: Well obviously I’d like that, but not when it’s coming from such a sexist, homophobic, racist-

FATHER: Oh, come on, he’s not racist.

SON: You’ve got to be joking.

FATHER: What, you think he’s racist because he wants to sort out immigration? It’s a small country, there’s only enough room for so many people, and you’re always going on about how you can’t find a job, and that’s why, you know, it’s because all of these people coming in from all over the place and taking them away from people like you, who grew up here and-

SON: So what about the British Empire? How is that different?

FATHER: Well, that was ages ago, it’s not fair that all these young people should be unemployed because of something that happened before they were born, and anyway, these people aren’t even old enough to remember that, they’re-

SON: They’re living with the consequences of it! And you know Ken Chapman compared Islam to cancer? 

FATHER: Well, they both kill people, don’t they?

SON: You can’t be serious right now.

FATHER: I’m perfectly serious, there was 9/11, what was that, Al-Qaeda? And now Isis-

SON: So what about the IRA or the KKK or the Nazis? Were they Muslims too?

FATHER: No, but generally speaking-

SON: Exactly, generally speaking. That’s exactly what racism is, generally speaking about Muslims or black people or-

FATHER: You didn’t used to be this obsessed with being politically correct. You know what this is, it’s all that time you spend on the internet-

 

2013

A bedroom. DAUGHTER sitting on bed. MOTHER standing in front of her.

MOTHER: -where anyone can see them, how stupid can you get?

DAUGHTER: They’re just tits, mum, it’s not like I’ve been posting photos of my vagina, is it?

MOTHER: So that’s what you’d say if your boss found these, is it? “Yeah, I’ve been putting topless photos of myself all over the internet, but at least they weren’t photos of my vagina”?

DAUGHTER: How would he find them?

MOTHER: Anyone can find anything on the internet, you know that-

DAUGHTER: Yeah, if they go looking for it, and speaking of which, how did you find them?

MOTHER: Stop trying to evade the conversation I’m trying to-

DAUGHTER: I’m not evading anything, I’m asking you a question.

MOTHER: Fine, I checked the internet history after you borrowed my laptop, now can we-

DAUGHTER: So you don’t trust me, is what you’re saying.

MOTHER: Well clearly I have good reason not to trust you if this is what you’re-

DAUGHTER: Jesus fucking Christ, I’m twenty years old, how does it concern you in any way what I put on a blog which, by the way, doesn’t have any of my personal information on it, so my boss would have to really be looking for-

MOTHER: I just can’t even begin to understand why you’d want these kinds of photos floating around out there. Is it for attention, praise, what is it?

DAUGHTER: None of your fucking business, that’s what it is.

MOTHER: Of course it’s my business, you’re my daughter, I thought I’d raised you to respect yourself-

DAUGHTER: I do respect myself, it’s you who apparently can’t respect me. This is 2013, it isn’t the fucking sixties anymore, this is what people do now, they-

MOTHER: Make total fools of themselves? I just don’t get this obsession with-

2011

A kitchen. DAUGHTER is sitting on a counter, phone in hand. FATHER is standing nearby.

FATHER: -some boy band that have no idea you exist when there are, you know, there are wars going on, and-

DAUGHTER: So you’re saying that I’m not allowed to like One Direction because there are wars going on?

FATHER: That’s not what I’m saying, I’m talking about your priorities. All you ever talk about is One Direction this, One Direction that, and now you’ve got all of these internet friends who are just as bad as you you’re always on your phone, you don’t talk to your old friends, you don’t talk to me-

DAUGHTER: I’m talking to you right now!

FATHER: For five minutes, and then you’ll be back to your room to waste more of your life on One Direction that you should be spending on studying or socialising or-

DAUGHTER: Why do you even care so much about what I do with my life?

FATHER: Because it’s not healthy, always staring at a screen, dedicating your entire life to pointless things-

DAUGHTER: “Pointless”, what do you mean “pointless”, what do you want me to be doing, spending my free time sweeping the streets? Have you ever had fun at any point in your life?

FATHER: There’s a difference between having fun and your entire life revolving around-

DAUGHTER: It doesn’t, though, does it, otherwise I wouldn’t have got an A* in sociology, I wouldn’t have got offers from all the unis I applied to-

FATHER: Well, then, you’ve got far too much free time on your hands, the amount of it you do waste. They don’t give you enough work at college, I’ve said it before.

DAUGHTER: You don’t go to college, how could you possibly know whether they give us enough work?

FATHER: Well, I know that when I was at college, we didn’t have time to waste hours-

2005

A living room. MOTHER and SON are watching a news broadcast on the 7/7 London bombings.

MOTHER: -on those awful video games, that’s what it is.

SON: It’s got nothing to do with video games, I just can’t get upset about people I’ve never met.

MOTHER: And yet if I unplug your PlayStation you act like the entire world is ending.

SON: Why are you getting angry with me for not crying at the news? Would you rather I was devastated?

MOTHER: I’d rather you had normal emotional responses to-

SON: I bet none of my friends are upset, I bet you could call up any of their mums and they’d say-

MOTHER: Yes, you’re probably right, because you’re all addicted to those games.

SON: I still don’t get how that’s even relevant.

MOTHER: Because they’re so violent! I always hear you cheering about shooting people and blowing people up and-

SON: They’re not real people, are they, they’re fictional, digital people-

MOTHER: That’s not the point.

SON: What is the point, then?

MOTHER: That they’re so violent, and you’re so used to seeing blood splattered all over the screen, so used to it being a goal in something you do for fun that you’ve all become completely desensitized, completely-

SON: We’re not idiots, we can differentiate between video games and real life. I wasn’t the one who set the fucking bombs off, Jesus.

MOTHER: I’m not saying that, I’m saying that this is why you don’t care, and it’s not good for you, you’re emotionally stunted. This-

2002

A hallway. MOTHER is on the phone, frantic, pacing.

MOTHER: -morning. I dropped her off at school. … No, she walks home by herself, but she’s usually in by this time. … By four, four thirty, never this late. … Yes, of course, of course I appreciate that you’re busy, but- Please, I just want to know that she’s alright, I-

Sound of a key turning in a lock and a front door opening. DAUGHTER enters.

Oh, she’s here. … Yes, she’s fine. Sorry for wasting your time.

MOTHER slams the phone down.

MOTHER: Where the hell have you been? I’ve been worried sick. Have you seen the news? All they’ve been showing all day is that girl, that Milly Dowler, who went missing just the other side of the station, and then it gets to five, six, seven and you’re not home, I’ve been fearing the worst all evening, I’ve called you about thirty times, left you messages, texted you, I was just on the phone to the police-

DAUGHTER: I was at the cinema with Kerry, I told you I was going!

MOTHER: When?

DAUGHTER: A couple of weeks ago, I-

MOTHER: And you just expected me to remember that? As if I don’t have enough on my plate without remembering everything you tell me for weeks. Why didn’t you answer your phone?

DAUGHTER: It died, I’m sorry-

MOTHER: What have I told you about going out without your phone charged? I didn’t buy you that phone for you to wear your battery down playing those stupid games, you have got to keep in touch with me. What would you have done if something had happened to you and you couldn’t contact anybody?

DAUGHTER: Well it didn’t, did it?

MOTHER: This time. Jesus, how could-

1999

A study. MOTHER is at a desk, looking at a computer. DAUGHTER is standing beside it, tearful.

MOTHER: -you be so stupid? You were going to meet this man knowing absolutely nothing about him-

DAUGHTER: I know loads about him, I told you, he’s twenty, he’s studying English, he’s-

MOTHER: So he says. How do you know he’s not a fifty-something serial killer who goes about luring girls like you on these, these chatrooms and taking them back to some dodgy flat in Morden and cutting them into pieces?

DAUGHTER: This is ridiculous!

MOTHER: This is real life! If you logged off that computer for ten minutes and watched the news maybe you’d realise that we don’t all live in your fantasy world where everything and everyone is perfect.

DAUGHTER: I don’t think that!

MOTHER: I can’t even understand half of this. What are all of these initials, ‘BRB’, ‘ROFL’, it’s like trying to read in a foreign language.

DAUGHTER: Oh my god, you sound like an old woman.

MOTHER: Well, maybe I am. I just don’t understand why you’d prefer this to having a real boyfriend, from college or-

DAUGHTER: Nobody at college understands me like he does.

MOTHER: Perhaps they would if you let them get to know you. The human race has survived for thousands, millions of years without chatrooms.

DAUGHTER: You’re a fine one to talk.

MOTHER: What’s that supposed to mean?

DAUGHTER: You were divorced before you were twenty-five.

MOTHER: Better divorced than rotting in a basement belonging to some predator who-

1997

A living room. DAUGHTER is standing in front of the TV watching the Spice Girls BRIT Awards appearance, dancing and singing along.

DAUGHTER: -do you think you are? Trust it, use it, prove it, groove it, show me how good you are-

Enter FATHER.

FATHER: What on earth are you wearing?

DAUGHTER: (turning around) A dress?

FATHER: I don’t know if you can call it that, it barely covers your bum.

DAUGHTER: That’s the fashion, dad.

FATHER: It’s inappropriate. Go and put something else on.

DAUGHTER: No, I like it.

FATHER: Well, I don’t.

DAUGHTER: Good for you, don’t wear one then.

FATHER: Excuse me?

DAUGHTER: Oh my god, can you just chill out? I’m not even going anywhere, I’m just trying to watch this-

FATHER: Which is where you got this, this inspiration from, I see.

DAUGHTER: And?

FATHER: Well, do you really want to model yourself after a bunch of-

DAUGHTER: Successful women?

FATHER: So you think it’s empowering, do you, walking about with everything out for anyone to see? Boys – and men, grown men – are going to look at you and they’re not going to see “girl power” or whatever it is you’re going for. I can’t understand why you girls these days think you have to have all your skin on show in order to-

1992

A vegetable aisle in a supermarket. FATHER and DAUGHTER are walking side by side.

FATHER: -vote for a party who got us into a mess that we’d still be in if it wasn’t for Thatcher and Major-

DAUGHTER: And what about the mess they got us into?

FATHER: What mess, what are you talking about? The economy was in tatters, they-

DAUGHTER: -made it even worse if you’re from a mining village or a-

FATHER: Oh, don’t start spouting that nonsense, it’s the nineties now, we could hardly still be running everything off coal, could we? Besides, they were dangerous, they kept falling in, killing people-

DAUGHTER: But they knew the risk. You can’t say it was to protect them when they were the ones it affected and they were out there fighting for the mines to stay open.

FATHER: So what do you think Kinnock is going to do, open the mines back up? That’s all over and done with now.

DAUGHTER: This isn’t even about the mines, it’s about-

FATHER: You brought up the mines.

DAUGHTER: Because I’m trying to say that the Tories aren’t interested in fixing problems, they’re interested in making the rich richer and the poor poorer and-

FATHER: Rubbish, and even if that were the case, what does it matter to you? We’re not poor, we’re not from a mining village, we’re-

DAUGHTER: So you’re saying that because an issue doesn’t affect me I shouldn’t care about it?

FATHER: I’m saying you should stop pretending to be an expert on politics and economics because all of your friends have decided being a leftie is the new in thing-

DAUGTHER: In thing! This isn’t fashion, it isn’t a trend, what are you talking about?

FATHER: I’m talking about the fact that you-

1987

A living room. SON is watching a TV broadcast on which a man is talking about living with AIDS. Enter FATHER.

FATHER: -would have thought these people would have learnt by now, wouldn’t you?

SON: What do you mean?

FATHER: Well, this thing has been around for years now, hasn’t it, and there are still all of these poofs and junkies picking it up and sending themselves to their graves – I mean, you’d think they might try a bit of common sense when they’re all dropping like flies.

SON: You can’t blame people for dying, dad, fucking hell.

FATHER: Why not? They know what’s happening, it’s their own fault if they don’t take precautions.

SON: They don’t know what precautions to take! There’s no proper information being put out, it’s all fearmongering crap, the government is putting hardly any money into finding a cure-

FATHER: Well, why should they? It’s costly, and if people aren’t going to take care of themselves-

SON: So you think people deserve to die for having sex or taking drugs, is that what you’re saying? You sound like you’re from the fucking Dark Ages-

FATHER: Not that they deserve to die, just that if they’re aware of the risks and carry on as usual they’ve only got themselves to blame. If these people can’t get their brains out from between their legs, then-

SON: Then we shouldn’t help them, shouldn’t care about them?

FATHER: Shouldn’t be blaming the government.

SON: Well, I do blame the government. They’re spending millions on these new railways and next to nothing on this, and they don’t give a shit about us, they-

FATHER: Us? What do you mean, “us”? You’re not – oh my god, you’re not-

1986

A dining room. MOTHER and DAUGHTER sitting opposite each other.

MOTHER: -going to eat your meat?

DAUGHTER: I’ve told you a hundred times, I can’t eat it. It’s unethical.

MOTHER: You managed to eat it for years before The Smiths said you shouldn’t.

DAUGHTER: I didn’t know how bad it was then. I know now.

MOTHER: It’s not good for you. How are you going to get enough protein?

DAUGHTER: I eat eggs. And anyway, it’s not good for animals to be slaughtered, but you don’t seem to be worried about that.

MOTHER: Well, look, I’ve bought it now, I can’t bring it back to life, can I? It’ll just go to waste if you don’t eat it.

DAUGHTER: I don’t want to eat it.

MOTHER: I really don’t see what the point of all this is. What do you plan to do, meet them somehow and proudly declare that it’s been however long since you had a ham sandwich?

DAUGHTER: This isn’t about them-

MOTHER: That’ll be a first.

DAUGHTER: It’s about animal welfare, it’s about doing the right thing-

MOTHER: According to Morrissey. You’d jump off a cliff if he told you to.

DAUGHTER: Of course I wouldn’t.

MOTHER: Well – (gestures to her daughter’s plate)

DAUGHTER: You can’t compare vegetarianism to suicide!

MOTHER: So what are you going to do when your next favourite singer says burgers are great?

DAUGHTER: Disagree.

MOTHER: Hmmm, we’ll see if-

1984

A kitchen. FATHER is sitting at the table painting ‘CLOSE A MINE, KILL A VILLAGE’ onto a placard. DAUGHTER enters wearing headphones and singing along and goes to the phone, which has a lock on it.

DAUGHTER: -you love me, baby, you’d deny it, but you laugh and tell me I should try it, tell me I’m a baby and I don’t understand, but you know that I’d forgive you, just this once, twice-

DAUGHTER reaches the phone, looks at it for a moment, then removes her headphones.

Why is there a lock on the phone?

FATHER: Because you cost us a small fortune in phone bills and we can’t afford it, not now that we're on strike.

DAUGHTER: So you locked it? You couldn’t have just talked to me about it?

FATHER: Well, I know what you’re like.

DAUGHTER: What I’m like? You think that if you’d said it was costing too much I’d have just carried on as usual?

FATHER: I’ve spoken to you about the phone bills before and you’ve still been on it every evening for hours and hours-

DAUGHTER: That’s not the same as-

FATHER: How?

DAUGHTER: -as now, we weren’t on strike then, it was different. This matters to me too, you know.

FATHER: Does it?

DAUGHTER: Of course it does. I’m part of this community too.

FATHER: When you’re not on the phone.

DAUGHTER: Who do you think I’m talking to on the phone? My friends are from this village-

FATHER: Then you’re all as bad as each other, wasting money we don’t have. Don’t you-

1981

A pub. Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding broadcast on an overhead TV. SON using a fruit machine. MOTHER standing beside him.

MOTHER: -want to come and sit with us?

SON: And watch a couple of toffs tie the knot with taxpayers’ money? No thanks.

MOTHER: You can sit with your back to it, it makes no difference to me.

SON: I may as well stay here, then, might’n’t I.

MOTHER: Gran wants to talk to you.

SON: I’ll be over in a minute.

MOTHER: You’ve been on this thing for hours.

SON: Hardly.

MOTHER: Listen, you’re the one forever complaining about what people do with their money and here you are wasting yours on this.

SON: It’s ten pence, isn’t it, it’s hardly the royal bloody wedding. You spend more on lipstick.

MOTHER: Look, gran asked me to come over here and ask you if you’ll come and sit with us.

SON: I already told you, I’ll be there in a minute.

MOTHER: She’s given up a lot for you, you know.

SON: I know.

MOTHER: She’d have loved to have had the opportunities you’ve had, college, university. She couldn’t even finish school, she was put to work as soon as she was old enough.

SON: I know that.

MOTHER: Well, then. It won’t kill you to come and be sociable for half an hour, will it? She came here specifically to see you.

SON: Alright, okay, I’ll be there in five-

1978

A hallway. FATHER is on the phone.

FATHER: Fs, and nothing above a C. We’ll have to speak to him again, this cannot continue. It’s an absolute embarrassment. When your mother asks how he’s doing in school I have to lie. It’s shameful, utterly shameful.

Well, it’s laziness, is what it is. He spends all of his time locked away in his room with that bloody record player on – I mean, it’s a wonder any of the rest of us can get any work done at all, we can barely hear ourselves think. That’s probably where he gets this attitude from, you know, all of this, this punk music, he thinks he’s some kind of revolutionary because he doesn’t go to school or do his homework. Perhaps we ought to take the bloody thing off him.

That’s rubbish, he isn’t ill, he’s an idiot. Everyone’s miserable now and then, it’s no excuse to throw his life away, and after all we’ve done for him-

Enter SON.

FATHER: (into phone) One minute, he’s here.

FATHER lowers his phone to his chest and addresses his son, holding up the sheet of paper.

What do you have to say about this?

SON shrugs.

No, don’t give me that attitude, young man. This is unacceptable. Your mother and I haven’t worked hard for years only for you to throw it all away.

SON tries to walk past FATHER.

Don’t walk away when I’m talking to you. I’m going to be confiscating that record player.

SON: What? No, dad-

FATHER: You can have it back when you start focussing on things that actually matter.

SON turns away, tearful.

FATHER: Don’t cry about it, Jesus Christ. I didn’t raise a girl. Man up and get-

1976

A residential road. FATHER is trying to walk along the pavement, carrying a placard reading ‘GIVE ENGLAND BACK TO THE ENGLISH’. SON is in front of him, walking backwards and trying to block his FATHER’s path.

FATHER: -out of my way.

SON: Dad, please-

FATHER: I mean it, out of my way.

SON: Think about what you’re doing for a moment-

FATHER: Defending this nation is what I’m doing. You’ll be thanking me when you’ve got a good job that could have been wasted on one of these, these-

SON: People, dad, they’re just people.

FATHER: And those of them that haven’t taken our jobs are on the dole. Enough is enough, all these people coming over here from Africa, India, all over, and thinking they can just settle down and live off tax payers’ hard-earned money, I won’t stand for it-

SON: It’s not that simple, dad-

FATHER: Of course it bloody is, who are you to tell me it’s not that simple? I’ve been paying taxes in this country for forty years, don’t you think you know better than me because you read that nonsense in The Guardian.

SON: Better that than The Daily Mail.

FATHER: You’re seventeen years old, don’t tell me what’s better than what, you’re a fucking child.

SON: And you’re an old man, you’re so stuck in your ways that you-

FATHER: Enough of this, out of my way.

SON: Dad, please, just listen to me-

FATHER: I’m done listening to you, go home to your mother, I’m-

1974

A living room. DAUGHTER and father sitting on sofa in front of TV. Broadcast comes to an end, and the screen goes blank.

DAUGHTER: -so tired of this, when will it end?

FATHER: When the miners get their rise.

DAUGHTER: Well, I hope they either get it or give up jolly soon.

FATHER: Don’t be so ungrateful. You wouldn’t do the job they do, would you?

DAUGHTER: Certainly not.

FATHER: Then try to understand their situation. It’s hardly fair that they should risk their lives for the rest of us only to be paid hardly enough to live on, is it?

DAUGHTER: It’s hardly fair that they should make us all do without the television after ten thirty just because they’d like a summer holiday.

FATHER: Listen to yourself, can’t you hear how selfish you sound? Surely it’s not that difficult to do without the television in the evening – when you should be sleeping anyway, as it happens. It’s a bigger problem doing without it at work half the week.

DAUGHTER: So you are fed up with it.

FATHER: Not at all, I sympathise completely, but you must realise that doing without television for a few hours is not the most pressing struggle of 1974!

DAUGHTER: I never said that it was, only that I’m tired of it. I don’t know why you’re so cross with me, plenty of other people are tired of it too.

FATHER: Yes, plenty of people your age. Really, you young people are far too dependent on your electronics. I grew up with hardly any television, your grandparents grew up with none whatsoever, and we all managed perfectly well. We were a good deal healthier, too, I imagine, when we had to go outside instead of sitting about all the time.

DAUGHTER: You’re sitting about, too.

FATHER: I’m fifty-five, not eighteen, I’m old enough to-

1970

A living room. MOTHER is watching a news broadcast on the Babes in the Woods murders. SON is reading a magazine and smoking.

MOTHER: -defend themselves. It’s awful, isn’t it?

SON: Hmmm?

MOTHER: These children, twelve and eleven years old, kidnapped and killed and left to rot. How could anybody do such a thing?

SON: I don’t know, mother.

MOTHER: It breaks my heart, knowing that there are people like that out there.

SON: Well, no need to cry about it. That won’t resolve anything.

MOTHER: Does it not bother you?

SON: It’s upsetting, of course, but I think I’ll live in spite of it.

MOTHER: And what about those children? They don’t have the luxury of living in spite of it.

SON: That’s hardly my fault, is it?

MOTHER: Of course not, but you might show a bit of compassion.

SON: There’s only so much compassion I can feel for people I’ve never met.

MOTHER: That’s a horrible attitude. It’s those films, you know.

SON: What films, what are you talking about?

MOTHER: Those Hammer films you’re so fond of. You’ve absorbed all of these violent images and now you’re completely unfazed by actual violence. You know, I imagine that whoever killed those children was just as fond of these films as you are.

SON: Don’t be ridiculous. Films don’t make people into murderers. Either you’re a psychopath or you’re not, films don’t play any part in it.

MOTHER: So you may say, but I’ve never been unable to care about others, and I never watched such horrible films when I was your age. Have you-

1969

A living room. FATHER is sitting on the sofa, watching TV, which is broadcasting news on the Stonewall Riots. SON is sitting at a desk, writing a letter beside a fax machine and a pile of received faxes.

FATHER: -seen this?

SON: What is it?

FATHER: A bunch of queens in New York causing chaos.

SON: Oh.

FATHER: I mean, really, the entitlement. I said, if you recall, in ’67, that no good would come from letting them free to run about with no legal repercussions, and here is the proof. Look at this, look at that policeman, all that blood.

SON: New York is in America, father.

FATHER: I know that, I’m not an idiot, but they’ll soon be just as bad over here, you can bet on that.

SON doesn’t reply. He finishes his letter and feeds it into his fax machine.

FATHER: Who are you faxing?

SON: Frank.

FATHER: About what?

SON: Nothing that would interest you.

FATHER: It might. (he stands up and walks to the desk, picking up the pile of received faxes and looking through them) What is this? Some form of- of Latin? ‘Are you todd to use the pipe or is your old omi ajax?’ ‘Still not a clue you’re so?’ So what? ‘At the bungery on Thurs?’ ‘I have enough gelt to last us a month or so.’ What is this?

SON: Nothing, just slang, father, nothing.

FATHER: I can’t understand a word of this, it’s utter-

1967

A living room. DAUGHTER is writing at a desk. A record player is on, playing The Beatles’ Rubber Soul. FATHER is smoking and in a rocking chair, looking over the top of a newspaper.

FATHER: -rubbish.

DAUGHTER: It isn’t rubbish!

FATHER: Well, I’m tired of it. We’ve listened to nothing but the bloody Beatles all week. You have a record player of your own, if you really must listen to them every minute of the day you can do so in your bedroom.

DAUGHTER: I need to use the desk. I won’t be much longer.

FATHER: I thought you were done with your newsletter, what are you doing now?

DAUGHTER: Writing to Bea.

FATHER: Which of your friends is Bea? The red-haired girl?

DAUGHTER: You haven’t met her, she’s from the Philippines.

FATHER: So how did the two of you meet?

DAUGHTER: We haven’t exactly. She wrote to the zine last year about what happened in July and we’ve been writing back and forth since then.

FATHER: That must be dreadfully expensive.

DAUGHTER: I have money from the zine. It’s not so much.

FATHER: And the two of you talk about the Beatles, do you? I can’t imagine there can be much left to say by now.

DAUGHTER: We speak about other things. It’s no different to my friendships with Lucy and Jane and the others.

FATHER: Well, it must be.

DAUGHTER: Why?

FATHER: You’ve never met the girl, there-

1966

A hallway. A radio is broadcasting updates on the Ian Brady and Myra Hindley’s trial. MOTHER has her hands on her DAUGHTER’s shoulders.

MOTHER: -you are, thank heavens.

DAUGHTER: Are you alright?

MOTHER: I’ve been so worried about you. I’ve been listening to the radio, they’re trying those awful child murderers, and I’ve been thinking of you out there on those same streets, wandering about alone-

MOTHER starts crying. DAUGHTER wraps an arm around her and leads her to the sofa, sitting beside her and putting an arm around her.

DAUGHTER: There, come on, don’t get upset, now. I’m quite alright, you see? No harm done.

MOTHER: I asked you to phone, I’ve been waiting for you to call-

DAUGHTER: I know, I tried, but I couldn’t find a phone box, and-

MOTHER: All the way from Woodley to Hyde and you didn’t pass one phone box?

DAUGHTER: I was about to say, I did pass a phone box, but then I had no money, so-

MOTHER: No money? Didn’t I give you two pounds before you left?

DAUGHTER: Yes, I’m sorry, I spent it.

MOTHER: On what? Alcohol?

DAUGHTER: Just a cider or two-

MOTHER: Stupid girl! You have no consideration for money, your safety, for me, anything except parties, it’s an utterly irresponsible way to live. If your grandmother knew how you were behaving she’d suffer a heart attack.

DAUGHTER: (standing up) Oh, give over, will you? Good god, it’s not the thirties anymore.

MOTHER: Quite right, you’d be a great deal safer running about Manchester if it was. When I was your age there were none of these-

1965

A living room. DAUGHTER is trying to leave through the door. FATHER is blocking her path.

FATHER: -horrible little dresses, what will the neighbours say if they see you prancing about in this?

DAUGHTER: They can say what they like, it makes no difference to me.

FATHER: Well, it makes all the difference to me.

DAUGHTER: Why? Are you ashamed of me?

FATHER: As a matter of fact, yes, I am.

DAUGHTER: Well, that’s your concern, not mine. I’m perfectly happy.

FATHER: You used to be such a good girl, it’s since you’ve begun hanging about those older girls that you’ve started behaving like a, a-

DAUGHTER: A what? A what? This is the sixties, we’re not living in the Victorian era anymore, it’s not outrageous to have your ankles on show.

DAUGHTER takes a cigarette out of her bag and lights it.

FATHER: Where did you get that?

DAUGHTER: From a shop, as most people do.

FATHER: Not at your age.

DAUGHTER: How would you have any idea what most people my age do? You spend all of your time at work, you-

FATHER: Well, at least I’m being productive and respectable.

DAUGHTER: I don’t give a damn about being “respectable”.

FATHER: So I can see.

DAUGHTER: Good, that’s settled, now will you move out of my way?

FATHER glares, arms folded. DAUGHTER sighs, pushes past him and exits through the door.

 

1965 – 2015

ALL DIALOGUE IN THIS SCENE IS AD LIB.

Enter 1965 DAUGHTER through the door from one side of the stage to the other as the stage turns. She walks around the stage, smoking.

Enter 1966 MOTHER, reading an article on the Moors Murderers.

Enter 1967 DAUGHTER, reading one of her letters. Strawberry Fields Forever starts playing.

Enter 1969 SON, who waits nervously by the wall. He is approached after a few moments by another YOUNG MAN. They embrace. The YOUNG MAN removes a bag from his back and they sit down, looking through it.

Enter 1970 SON, reading a horror magazine.

Enter 1974 DAUGHTER. She lays down on the ground, bored, bouncing a ball off the wall.

Enter 1976 FATHER and SON, still arguing as they walk around the stage.

Enter 1978 SON. He sits at the corner of the stage, head drooped, crying.

Enter 1981 SON. He approaches 1974 DAUGHTER and sits down with her. The two begin talking while she continues to throw the ball against the wall.

Enter 1984 DAUGHTER. She goes to a telephone box at the side of the stage and goes inside to make a call.

Enter 1986 DAUGHTER, head down, headphones on. Strawberry Fields Forever fades out as There Is A Light That Never Goes Out fades in. She walks into 1967 DAUGHTER, who drops her letter. 1986 DAUGHTER picks it up and passes it back, then puts her headphones around her neck and the two begin talking.

Enter 1987 SON carrying AIDS information pamphlets. He trips over the YOUNG MAN’s bag. YOUNG MAN and 1969 SON pick up the pamphlets, look at them and ask 1987 SON about them. 1987 SON sits down to talk to them.

Enter 1992 DAUGHTER and FATHER, still arguing. 1976 SON and FATHER overhear their conversation as they pass by and begin talking to them, and the four argue together.

Enter 1997 DAUGHTER. She walks past 1965 DAUGHTER, who compliments her on her dress. The two begin talking.

Enter 1999 DAUGHTER who leans against a wall, sulking, until she notices 1978 SON. She puts a hand on his shoulder, then sits down beside him. The two begin talking.

Enter 2002 MOTHER. 1966 MOTHER walks into her and apologises, then shows her article on Brady and Hindley. The two begin talking.

Enter 2005 SON. He approaches 1970 SON and asks to look at his magazine. 1970 SON shows it to him. The two begin talking.

Enter 2011 DAUGHTER. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out fades out as What Makes You Beautiful fades in. She approaches 1986 DAUGHTER and asks if she can listen to her music. 1986 DAUGHTER gives her headphones to 2011 DAUGHTER and 2011 DAUGHTER gives 1986 DAUGHTER and 1966 DAUGHTER an earphone each. 1984 DAUGHTER emerges from phone box and approaches the group, asking if any of them have money for a phone. 2011 DAUGHTER puts the headphones around her neck and gets her phone out of her pocket and passes it to 1984 DAUGHTER, who thanks her and uses it to make a call.

Enter 2013 daughter. She approaches 1965 DAUGHTER and asks for a cigarette, then joins her and 1997 DAUGHTER in conversation.

Enter 2015 SON and FATHER, still arguing. FATHER sees 1976 FATHER’s sign and points to it, then goes over to him. He, 1976 FATHER and 1992 FATHER argue with 2015 SON, 1992 DAUGHTER and 1976 SON.

Social media begins to be projected onto the back wall. This begins with contemporary media – tweets about One Direction, UKIP etc. Gradually, media about events and culture from the other decades starts to appear - #TheQueenIsDead and #SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand trend along with #GirlPower, #CoalNotDole, #NationalFront76, #LovePeaceHarmony etc. This continues while the characters gradually leave in their newly formed groups until the song fades out. Once the stage is empty, the social media fades out, leaving the back wall blank apart from:

#kidsthesedays