be the assassin

In all seriousness, I am not quite sure what this is. Going through some old drafts of scripts, I came upon this fragment from 2008. It’s been excised from my piece entitled World Creates Itself, but it doesn’t have a lot in common with that. It’s a monologue, but it’s a fairly schizophrenic monologue, to say the least. I don’t know what to say about it or do with it, but I am strangely charmed by it. What would this look like on stage? What could you do with this? I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know…

download be the assassin.doc

In March 2012, director Jessica Tuckwell and performer Andrew Johnston presented be the assassin in Sydney as part of Griffin Theatre’s experimental / short performance event Griffringe. Jess’ description of the script in the blurb for the event was interesting:

Who is Mr Swap? A villian? A hero? A nightmare? All of the above. be the assassin is a confusion of the brain and a mission in deciphering the real Mr Swap – a puzzle with no pieces and a mind so sharp it severs its own logic.
– Jess Tuckwell

image by jay christian

be the assassin

Dear Mr Swap. This is a questionnaire. It is. It is, this, it is. It continues. Dear Sir, Dear Sir, Dear Mr Swap: who are you?

Fucking right, who am I? That’s the question, right there, isn’t it? The question behind the questionnaire, so to speak? Who is me? Who is Mr Swap? What am I?

Okay, let me be honest. I’m a former soldier with an artificial intelligence implanted in my brain designed to take control of me when my adrenaline reaches a certan level, and I have been co-opted by a tribe of fringe scavengers who keep me at their beck and call by the drugs they have addicted me to, and they make me run errands for them – they make me scream with laughter when I get hit by capsicum spray and after enough time has passed I stop trying to remember who I was because really – really –

Okay, let me be straight with you – I came into being fully formed, just a few minutes ago, I stepped out from between the cedar trees and there I was, a grown adult – because you see the great man of the mountains, the evil Thin Man, he is so evil and cruel that the earth itself rebelled against his wickedness, and the earth created a being that could combat this evil, and that is me, that is Swap, and the earth blessed me with sidekicks – the north wind, the whirlwind, the storm and the icy wind, the tempest and the scorching wind. These are my servants, my disciples and my friends.

So! I can walk through a crowded room and yet all by myself be socialating! Hey buddy, you seen my wife around, she’s got a crazy curving ear that you could get lost in! I mean I don’t get jealous often, but when I sees another man or a lady peering at my woman’s curvy hearing shells I go wild with a razor!

I don’t. I never would. I love life in all its forms, every scrap of life that pivots under the sun, I dig it, I dig it, I love it all – no, captain, I never came that route, I stayed with the brigade all the way until the prince was safe back on his throne. I never was a lone dog, you know what I mean, I never was – oh no, no, I can’t even comprehend how you could develop that much self-esteem – I mean maybe if you’ve built a machine that gets better with age – I hear that’s impossible – did you hear that? The little guru told us at the last board meeting – Bernild brought in some of his own crackers, he makes crackers now –

I be the assassin.

Yes. And I be the king.

Yes. So, ah, me, gentlemen, let us have a flagon of… let’s put things in flagons! Here we go! Okay, so the servants have strewn straw all over the floor to soak up the ale, that’s helpful – and let’s just say there’s a huge bonfire in the middle of the feasting hall, and there’s something roasting on it. What’s roasting? Never mind. Now we shall drink and be merry, for our enemies are far from our walls! Ha ha ha! Quaff!

Meanwhile, outside, creeping through the snow – no, on horseback – creeping through the horseback, in the snow – it is I, the hash-ash-ash-ashien! Assassin!

creepy creepy creepy

Now inside, me, I’m the king, I’m the boss of the party. Bring me some more entertaining! Entertain the shit out of me! Entertain my balls off, you wretched crackslags! Yeah! Yeah! Dancing! And the dancing girls, like – Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Yeah, like this, dancing, prancing –

and every eye in the banquet hall is fixed on them – the dancing girls – the king gazes, drunk – meanwhile, in the walls, la la la, assassin assassin assassin –

Hey, Gwen, what’s happening!


Awesome, what are you up to? Out drinking, I guess.


Sorry, you’re in whose car?


You sure you’re all right? Who’s car are you in? Seriously, Gwen, where are you?


image from artwork