red button theatre and film workers' co-operative

Forum & Community Theatre, Issue Based & Workshops.

FREEDOM COME FREEDOM GO

A Monologue

By

Dafydd Williams


An Afro-Caribbean man in his early sixties sits on an upturned packing case/tea chest.

He has a bottle of red stripe in his hand.

Lights Up

Brixton, it might as well change it to Brickstown

Cos dem taking de 1970s bricks down one by one

And dem ‘gentrifying’ de area.

Me know what a gentleman is ya kna!

Even though dat gentleman would not recognise his grandson now.

He came off de Windrush wid his hat and suitcase, looking and sounding every inch de gentleman.

You kna how him learn to count?

Playing Dominoes

Counting de white dots, den came de darts

Best practice a man can have for Mental arithmetic

Counting down on de darts.

Mental

Dem didn’t have such a ting in de 1950s

Harold Macmillan told my Grandad that ‘he’d never had it so good’

He had a damn cheek dat Conservative

You kna ya history,

Ya don’t want a ‘mental’ telling you ya own damn history

Do ya?

Mental, Loony, Nutter, Crazy

Ya kna once de white doctor in de white coat give you de diagnosis

Dat it den!

You got to take de pills

You got to take de injection in de batty!

Dey got ya!

Dem imprison your ancestors on a boat from Africa

Dem bring ya over to fill dem shitty jobs your lovely neighbour wouldn’t do

And den when you tink ya got it sorted

Dem come down wid de chemical cosh

Cos der is nuttin more dangerous to a white man dan an angry black man

And we got every damn right to be angry.

I’m furious on a damn daily basis as you go past on de bus wid ya headphones on

And ya ipad on shuffle

I’m watching ya!

I’m seeing ya! 

I don’t say you don’t work hard, you work too hard

And ya like to play hard don’t ya!

Ya come to take de first and last colony of Brixton back haven’t you?

Ya appetite for dem fancy latte’s kno no bound man

Ya kna how much de coffee grower is getting?

Ya kna how much de farmer is getting for his milk?

Ya certainly know how much dat stick thin man wid de beard is getting don’t ya?

But ya don’t check ya change do ya?

I know I seen ya! 

It only going to be a matter of time for you

Before ya realise dat its all a load of bullshit

what are you now?

Twenties, thirties?

You wait till you get to ya forties and fifties

den it will hit yo like a damn brick man

Ya been lied to by everyone

Ya tink what ya doing is worthwile

But charity begin at home ya kna?

Can ya spare some change?

I don’t like to ask ya in de middle of a dramatic monologue in a nice middle class theatre

But how am I going to get ya damn attention anywhere else?

Cos less people are giving now ya kna?

Cos nobody knows anybody else

Because community all gone man

And dat was another damn Tory

And a damned woman at dat!

I bet your parents didn’t do too badly out of her eh?

You wouldn’t be sat der now otherwise.

Don’t do what dat titled woman did though!

She felt so guilty, she gave it all away

She went to live in a squat

She went mental as well

I was on de streets in de eighties

Fighting Babylon

My Grandad was still alive den but he wasn’t happy

He didn’t stop me

Cos he realised dat Macmillan and Thatcher had been lying all along.

We always hear about dictator in other country

We don’t realise we hear about dem from our own.

Got arrested didn’t I

Did a bit of time didn’t I

Didn’t have to go very far

Dem put me in Brixton nick wid all me friends

Well me taught dey were me friends.

Dats another thing about getting older

You realise who da real people are

And ya know what by my age

There aren’t a lot of dem left.

So ya heard de old saying

“Give a dog a bad name”

Well what ya gonna do when ya come outta prison?

Nobody want to give ya job den.

Ya take a bit of weed, ya deal a bit of weed

Da weed get stronger

Ya smoking a lot of weed

De weed become a skunk

And you become a skunk head

And de next ting ya know

Ya standing outside Brixton Tube station reciting Martin Luther King’s Speech

‘Free at Last  Free at Last, Thank God almighty we are free at last’

And you are de last person in de world to realise dat you ain’t free

Cos de damn white doctor in de damn white coat

Tell ya dat ya had a ‘Drug Induced Psychosis’ and dem tink

dat you are seriously mentally ill

Well who am I to argue?

Social Services look after you den.

Well meaning types who wouldn’t know Mental Health if it parked on dem foot.

So come on den

Give me some change?

Come on, I seen ya buying your Lattes and ya Couscous!

It just you and me in here ya kna!

I’m outnumbered

I couldn’t do ya no harm

But I know ya scared!

I tell ya what, I know ya pay for ya ticket but I put my Rasta Beany down here

And I turn around on me tea chest

And I leave it completely up to you

Don’t Forget

‘Love thy Neighbour’

Lights Down: Music Plays https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FsDwwhQvFc

 

   

Red Button

Dixie Dickenson

Red Button Theatre began at the University of Glamorgan after the Artistic Director Dafydd Williams began planning with Keith 'Dixie' Dickenson for a Theatre Movement that would give voice to the underdog, to those on the fringes of mainstream society.

After the success of 'Catharsis' at the University of Glamorgan, the new company comprising Dixie, Richard Lewis and Alex Shaw began working on different projects. We have worked with Alan Osborne on realising his Oratorio 'This is the Day' at the Myfanwy Theatre, Merthyr Tydfil and our most recent work has been the acclaimed 'Lost Souls' Laundrette/Golchfa'r Golledig' which was staged at the Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre in August 2010.

In 2016, our focus concentrates on 'Theatre for Mental Health', we will be workshopping and improvising with Mental Health Service Users across Wales and the UK and those who self identify as sufferring with anxiety and depression and other Mental Health Conditions, to perform work which already has Mental Health as its theme as well as new work which we hope will offer fresh focus and challenge the stigma associated with Mental Ill-Health.


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