Song and Dance is my most recent work. It is being rehearsed at the moment for its first outing; a staged reading as part of the PANSA playwright competition. Contact me on megan@improvision.co.za for more info, or to get the whole piece. Here are the first few pages.

Scene 1

The action takes place in a stylish and trendy open plan apartment in a cluster complex in one of South Africa’s big cities, probably JHB.

Lights up to reveal the apartment. A man, ANDILE, dressed in dark clothes and with a balaclava on top of his head, is having a quick look around before he puts down a tog bag and starts to unplug the flat screen TV. He mumbles to himself.

ANDILE

Yo, there is hardly enough stuff here to make a hundred bucks. It looked like this umlhungu had lots of money. BM, Rolex, iPhone, fancy shoes…

FIKILE calls from off stage

FIKILE

Andile man, I’ve been though this whole bedroom and there’s only cherie stuff in here; nothing for a man; no shoes, no clothes, there isn’t even a razor in the bathroom man.

FIKILE enters with a lady’s handbag, a tiny, cute leather jacket and an empty Blackberry box.

FIKILE

There’s nothing here man. This box is empty and I can’t even find the charger… I thought you said this guy was rich man. Where’s all his… things?

ANDILE

Shut up man, and look for the safe.

FIKILE

I’m telling you, there’s no safe. Nothing.

ANDILE

I’ve been watching him. He’s got watches, running shoes; Nikes, Merrels, Reeboks. UiPad, ulaptop. Where is that shit?

FIKILE

Angasi man. There’s nothing. I’m going to take this jacket for Ntombi. Cute hey?

ANDILE

Ag, what are you doing chasing after a baby like that? Has she even finished school?

FIKILE

I like her style man. She is a…

There is the sound of a driveway gate opening. They both stop and listen.

ANDILE

whispering

It must be one of the neighbours. Let’s wait until they go past.

FIKILE

I’m thirsty. Where’s the fridge?

The fridge is artfully disguised as one of the cupboards.

ANDILE

What? We haven’t got time for that shit man. Leave the fridge alone.

FIKILE

Why? What’s the rush? You said you saw the guy packing his bag in the boot of his BM like he was going away for the weekend. It’s only Friday night.

FIKILE finally finds the fridge. There’s not much in it either. He finds a light beer. He tries to screw off the lid. It’s not one of those. He opens a drawer and takes out a fancy garlic press and is dumbfounded as to how to open the beer. Finally he bangs it on the edge of the counter with his palm and the lid pops off noisily.

ANDILE

Stop that man. You are making too much noise.

FIKILE

Ag, you said yourself he is gone for the weekend.

ANDILE has been fiddling with the TV and it suddenly comes to life at top volume. He almost jumps out of his skin. There are no buttons to push to turn it down.

ANDILE

Shit! Shit! What happened? Shit, shit, there are no buttons on this thing.

FIKILE strolls over with the beer in one hand as he scoops the remote off the couch and presses it. The TV dies.

FIKILE

This is useless. I thought you said you’ve done this sort of thing before.

ANDILE

I have! Shut up. I just want to unplug this TV and then we can go.

FIKILE

Andile, where you going to put that thing? You think we can just walk around here with a TV and climb into a taxi back to ukasi? On a Friday night?

ANDILE

Go get a blanket off the bed man.

FIKILE

A blanket? In this house? There’s nothing! Just some shiny sheets on the bed. Waste of time.

ANDILE

Ok, shit man, then check the kitchen cupboards for anything small and expensive we can take. An iron, or a toaster, even the kettle.

FIKILE

Bhuti I don’t even know what any of this stuff is.

He holds up a weird juicer type thing and some other designer kitchen utensil.

ANDILE gives up on the TV. He sees what he thinks is a small electric heater. He goes to take it and gets a nasty shock. It is a bug zapper.

ANDILE

Yhu! What is that thing? Eina man! We have to find the cupboard with all the expensive things! The clothes, the shoes, the watches.

FIKILE

I’m telling you, nothing. Man, I thought this place, these people, were rich. I don’t understand. The bath is in the bedroom. In the same room. Angasi.

ANDILE

Even mina, I don’t understand. Where is the good stuff?

FIKILE

Let’s take what we have and go. It’s still early. We can go to the shebeen. Get some real beers.

ANDILE

No, no I need to look around again. There must be another room, another cupboard. This guy is loaded. I have seen him.

FIKILE

Yo!

FIKILE has moved back behind the kitchen counter. He takes out a huge bottle of vitamins or supplements.

FIKILE

R480. This stuff costs R480! What is it? Some kind of medicine. This guy must be sick, I’m telling you.

ANDILE

Sh. Did you hear that?

FIKILE

What? There is nothing in here either. No food, no groceries, no bread, nothing. Just a box of …

He reads from the label

“Japanese Wasabi Rice Crackers”.

ANDILE

Shut up!

FIKILE

What is a Japanese rice cracker wena?

He rips open the packet and stuffs a few rice crackers into his mouth. In the meantime ANDILE is looking around nervously and gathering together the bits and pieces of what they have identified as valuable enough to take. Suddenly FIKILE yells.

FIKILE

Yhu! What? No, no, no! Sies. Fuck.

He coughs, splutters and almost gags, spitting crumbs of wasabi rice cracker onto the floor.

Eina man. What the fuck is this shit?

ANDILE

Shut up FIKILE! Somebody is coming.

They both freeze and listen. A car door slams and the car alarm double beeps.

Hide!

FIKILE

Where? There’s nowhere…

ANDILE

Just shut up and…

The sound of keys. A key in the door. The two men stare at each other wide eyed. FIKILE opens a kitchen drawer and takes out a steak knife.

The door swings in.