Steve Gooch - Playwright Dramatist Author Writer Editor

Free Time: Script Excerpt

Self-styled 'radical' poets of the 1930s discover the limits of their political beliefs at a Writers conference in Spain, 1936, when an anarchist street-poet gate-crashes their tightly-organised Party party.

Spanish Anarchist poster 1936

Staf: You're getting crotchety, d'you know that?

Wisden: If I hear any more gutteral guff in there about 'The R-role of the Wr-riter' I'll be more than just crotchety.

Staf: It is guff in translation. Imagine the hash we'd make of it in their language.

Wisden: I'm all right in Italian.

Staf: You think you're all right because the Italians help you out.

Wisden: 'Ze only way forward', 'We call on effry delegate' ... Don't they realise we already have consciences?

Staf: It's congress-speak, that's all. Precision suffers when there's a war on.

Wisden: Especially if you're losing.

Staf: Don't say that. We have belief on our side.

Wisden: Madrid will fall.

Staf: At least things are looking up now.

Wisden: Now Moscow's waded in?

Staf: No one else would.

Wisden: Quite. Action speaks louder. All right for your Hemingways or your Malraux, but some of us bunk off games.

(LUIS, a wounded soldier carrying a gun, comes on from the lobby. He is dirty and dishevelled. He is alarmed to see the two poets and goes straight behind the bar.)

Wisden: Aye-aye ...

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