1.1.1. Hello world
An empty stage. A narrow ramp runs along the back wall from stage-right. There is a hatch in the back wall, upstage-left.
IERUM enters and stands upstage-centre. She looks around the auditorium in awe.
IERUM. Hello world.
Music plays. The other eleven youngsters enter and join IERUM. As they dance to the music vigorously a projection on the back wall reads, ‘Twelve teenagers interviewed over five years, in their own words.’ A second projection reads ‘Their names have been changed to protect their identities.’ The music fades to a low level as ANNABELLA starts talking.
ANNABELLA. God is angry with the terrorism out in the world. I just, I know it and, I really and – I really, I hate to say but I do think that we will be part of the apocalypse.
LUAN. You hear my name everywhere, everyone’s just talking about me, everyone’s excited (Claps his hands.) about me. Yeah my dad, my dad, my dad was so proud I could just see, he was so proud. All my family members were like, ‘I put my name, our na– our family name on the map.’
ROBYN. We didn’t go away this year. Ah – we just had to – we had to buy a boiler this year (Laughing.) so it’s either a boiler or a holiday so (Laughing.) we got a boiler.
TAYLOR. My dad started crying when he found out I was on the twenty-threes team, ’eah. (Laughs.) I was there laughing at him, it’s funny. To me it’s just a team. Like playing for the local team.
MIA. I’ve stopped going out, I’ve got no friends, I’ve got no life. I’ve got no friends left.
EMILY. If, I’ve never, I never go anywhere. I’m quite stressed out at the moment. (Laughs.) So I’ve got Biology block test tomorrow basically on everything we’ve learnt this year. And I know absolutely nothing.
ZAC. Last week I had, I had, what was it, six concerts in five days? I’ve been finding it really hard to get into festive spirit cos everyone’s like ‘you’ve got all these pre-lims’ and not – they’re not even important but they’re like, they’re your first exams so like ‘ahhh’ and you got all the concerts ‘yaahhh’.
CALLUM. Cos I’m not like a, I’m not a fighter it sounds weird cos I wanna be a wrestler but I’m not like a fighter y’know, oh I don’t take pain very well.
AYESHA. Celebrities are like a big part of my life because I’ve always wanted to become one.
ALI. Kim Kardashian got robbed / I feel so sorry for her.
Oh, I need to start revising. I’m actually frightened, of life.
AYESHA. I wanna go Hajj so bad. And Australia I wanna getta tan.
ALI. I want to go to America so bad.
AYESHA. I hate you so / much.
ALI. I hate you more.
LUCAS. Mum, when you’re watching this, (Laughs.) I-I did have a girlfriend during exams, don’t be angry, okay? It was really good for me, m– really helpful. (Chuckles.)
A projection on the back wall reads, ‘IERUM, South London.’
IERUM. I switched, um, friends groups. Er, I’m hanging more round with Sienna, cos like, Sienna’s a quiet girl and she hangs around with, like, people like Amy and Charity and they’re, like, quiet people. And then, yeah cos of that, I think that if I continue hanging round with her then I will get myself into less trouble. I just think that it’ll be better for me cos when I’m with the other group I tend to get – I tend to find myself in a sticky situation sometimes but when I’m with the group that Sienna’s in everyfing’s like all calm… yeah. W– like, th-there’s nothing exciting that’s really going sort f– really exciting, so ’n’ it kinda bores me. But I can’t go back to the other group, and also I can’t be lonely.
Sometimes I doubt myself because of my colour. I – I just don’t think I’d fit in. I’m the only black girl who actually tried to attempt this. I’m, I’m, like, trying to copy them so I’m trying to become like them. So what I do, what they usually do, is they sit down and they talk quietly, and they, like, laugh poshly. So then that’s what I do too; I sit down, talk quietly an’ laugh poshly: ‘ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha’. Yeah somefing like that!
I just feel like if I get close to Sienna, cos I don’t really have my phone she has her phone all the time she’s on Instagram and stuff. And I don’t really have Instagram and all them apps, um, because my phone isn’t, like, an Apple phone, and whatnot. I can’t just suddenly tell her that my parents made a rule that I’m only allowed on my phones on Saturdays and Sundays. (Sighing.) I don’t know, mean like, children these days are pretty different. (Pause.) Yeah. W-we’re very different. It makes me feel, like, ohh, w-why can’t I ever be like them?
1.1.4. Fail at life
A projection on the back wall reads, ‘MIA, North Wales.’
Playground at MIA’s school.
MAGGIE. Who are we red army?
DILYS. Who are we red army?
MAGGIE. Who are we red army?
MIA. Hi, my name’s Mia Parry and it’s my birfday in November, can you all get me a present?
CHARISSE. No! (Laughs.)
MIA. And my dad’s Aaron Parry!
HELEDD. We’re all revising for our important exams / that are coming up in a few…
MIA. Cos we have exams in three weeks. / What?
HELEDD. Weeks. Cos we’re in Year 10 and it’s an important year. And we have to revise, otherwise we’ll get a bad mark and then we won’t get a good job.
MIA. Then you’ll fail at / life.
HELEDD. And then we’ll / just fail at life and you / just have to go on the dole an’ stuff. And you don’t / wanna do that. You just have to work hard and / be good.
MIA. Oh, I don’t mind.
ANWEN. Bell’s – bell’s gone. Bell’s gone!
MIA. Go on.
MAGGIE. But she doesn’t do anything.
MIA (laughs). / I –
HELEDD. She just fails at life.
MIA. / Yeah.
HELEDD. That’s what she wants to do – (Laughs.)
MIA. I fail at everyfin’.
HELEDD. Cos you don’t try. I’m not shutting up / (Laughs.)
MIA. Heledd ‘I love you’?
HELEDD. I love you too.
MIA. I know.
MAGGIE (murmurs). / A mother.
MIA. I’m –
They all sing ‘Jeremy Kyle’ by Lucy Spraggan.
MAGGIE. Robbed me there…
MIA. This is my jam.
I wanna be on The Jeremy Kyle Show it looks good. Um, I lost my dad, yeah, can you help me find ’im? (Laughs.) If I get caught with my phone I’m dead. Or I’ll get it taken off me again. You can’t see it but I’ve got, like, twenty quid in this bra, iPhone 5C in this bra.
MR WYN HUWS. Mia? Ga’i air.
MIA. Hi, sir.
MR WYN HUWS. Iawn? Ga’i air efo chdi plis?
MIA. What have I done wrong?
1.1.5. New Spanish teacher
A projection on the back wall reads, ‘LUAN, South London.’
LUAN’s Spanish lesson.
MISS RODRIGUES. Er, alright!
/ Er, I haven’t met most of you, I’m the new Spanish teacher, my name is Miss Rodrigues.
CRAIG. Ohh Spanish, my gaad.
CORNELL. Thank you!
CRAIG. Another one.
MOHAMMED. Another one.
CRAIG. / Another one.
JAYDEN. Another one.
CORNELL. Thank you!
NILES. Another one.
MISS RODRIGUES. And…?
LUAN. Our teacher’s been gone forev...