Free PDF of Breaking The First Wall

A short play.

I know, writing about Lockdown is a bit passé so my defence of the following is, I wrote this short play in late 2017; therefore I’m just showing off my weird skills of premonition. It depicted the way I saw society was going long before viruses sped up the process. People living their lives without leaving their very small apartments and their work, hobbies and social lives all conducted over the internet via a tablet.

The whole point of the play was to show a slightly dystopian future, little did I know that just over two years away the concept of the story would become commonplace, meaning it’s not so much of a plot anymore, more just a statement of 2020. What was intended to be an interesting concept is more run-of-the-mill now.

JEFF – Yeah fine, I’m in the middle of work so don’t have much time. Got a million things on.

DAN – Well that’s the benefits of being a man of leisure.

JEFF – Watching box sets all day on Netfilms and calling me when you are bored?

DAN – Not just you. Don’t think yourself special, I have a vast social life.

JEFF – So do I, and I’ve got more friends than you do.

DAN – Yeah but you’re a Requester. I’m an Accepter – I can’t remember the last request I sent. I get so many requests there’s some I’ve no idea I’d accepted, must have chatted to them somewhere before, some forum or other.

JEFF – So are you interrupting my working day to show off about your friends or that you don’t have a job?

DAN – I’m happy to do either, but was wondering if you were free this evening.

– Breaking The First Wall – Arthur Hofn

Until the 31st of July I have decided to give it away as a free PDF, which is attached.

As it is now after the 31st July 2020 you can find the play in Scene From My Mind, please see below.

The play itself is one of seven that you can find in my book, Scene From My Mind: An Anthology Of Seven Short Plays which I published earlier this year and all seven plays are for available for just £1.99 on Amazon here (or on the various links on this blog). – Also available on your own country’s Amazon if outside the UK and you wish to get it from there.

I’m just really hoping some of the other plays don’t come true…

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Scene From My Mind – Free This Weekend 2/3 May

Just trying to be helpful.

Simply because I love writing, or should that be, because I mainly exist in a world of my own imagination’s making, I occasionally look up the Opportunities page of the BBC Writer’s Room website. Sometimes there is a call for short plays from various theatre groups. Generally these have to be about ten minutes long and have a minimal cast and props etc. It’s a good idea to encourage new writers, and every now and then I decide to have a go.

I do love the theatre. Well I know what I like. The obvious names are there of course, Shakespeare, Chekhov, Wilde… to name a few but it’s a good list, including some modern stuff too.

My first submission, The Raw Bond, was sent several years ago and for a first attempt I’m still rather pleased with it. Of course I will never get halfway to the stage of those I’ve listed above (do you see what I did there?), but I can be inspired.

Having gone through them recently I noticed how, in at least three of the seven plays, the characters are experiencing some kind of lockdown. I say this because I think there might be a few people writing about lockdown now so it’s not exactly a unique idea. I just wanted to say I these were written before, sometimes years, we had any idea we would actually get one.

Curfew is about exactly that. Two tourists end up sharing a dorm in a hostel in a post war country when a curfew is announced. Breaking The First Wall was an observation about how we’ve ended up using a small tablet as our window on the world to the point it does nearly everything for us and therefore negating the need for many other items and reducing the need for us to actually leave our homes – it’s strange how much this is relevant now I wrote it in late 2017 (and ironic as I’m now offering the book as an ebook). Shelter Me is the short about the first few days trapped in a bunker.

These calls for scripts inevitably get hundreds of submissions for only a very few places (sometimes less than five) and as I’ve only sent in a handful I’ve yet to be selected. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the works I’ve put forward. In those hundreds that were turned down I’m sure there were many good plays.

Freed from prose (I do like writing in prose) I discovered writing scripts has its own challenges; for example filling in background information via realistic speech rather than just saying it in the text. It was nice to discover a whole new way of writing and all the problems that come with it.

What I also discovered was that I had found a home for some ideas that I knew I couldn’t make a novel out off. Rather than just wedge them into a plot somewhere I found they could breath and be more focused at the same time by just being a short play in their own right.

For example The Tragedy Of Queen Alexia came about by listening to Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics on BBC Radio 4. In the episode on Euripides she retells the play Medea and is amazing. Inspired by how miserable it is I decided to see if I could have a go at a short play based on Greek tragedy, and to see how miserable I could go. I don’t know exactly how accurately I’ve kept to the rules of Greek theatre (before anyone says it I know The Chorus are not speaking in proper metre), I’m not an expert, I’ve only seen a few of them and I was also going for short and minimal.

Therefore I’ve built up a small stash of these scripts. I’d like them to see the light of day so they’ve been published on a few websites over time. A while ago I put my favourites together in this anthology of short plays and published it on Amazon.

This weekend (2nd and 3rd May 2020 – from 08:00 Saturday GMT) I’ve decided to make the ebook free (normally £1.99).

I am not a professional playwright so this is a learning curve for me, I know the scripts are not perfectly presented for theatre use. However I enjoy reading published theatre scripts for pleasure and I hope you will enjoy these. Just click on the picture of Scene From My Mind in the sidebar, or on the link below, to be taken to the site where you can download the Kindle version for free.

Buy Scene From My Mind by Arthur Hofn

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