A man crouches downstage, staring into, or out of, a cage. He is talking to the chicken about to be slaughtered and plucked. What is his responsibility to its fate? Can you apologise to something before you kill it? In what circumstances is it okay to kill?
His workmates appear; rather less impressed with his philosophical bent. They laugh at his falling in love with a chicken, in wanting to fuck a chicken; the women of the bunch is offered up – fuck her instead.
Three men drive through night streets, doing coke off the dash-board. They yell and scream: about dads, about life, about women.
A man sits outside a night club: he’s not really feeling it tonight. A woman comes out and talks about running away, of having adventures, of seeing more of the world. Nah, he says. He’s okay here. They talk more, and soon, instead of discovering other countries and other cultures, they are exploring each other: hands touching material of silk, falling into bed together.
Three men stand on the edge of a bridge and try to get the nerve up to jump. They fail.
A young woman realises, despite all her plans for the future, she’s pregnant. This changes everything.
And finally I realise this is a play that does have a throughline, and it isn’t a series of isolated short stories. Patricia Cornelius’ The Call is written for four actors and thirteen characters: Gary (Tim Overton) is trying to find his way in a world where he doesn’t quite fit in with the crowd, and he suddenly finds himself with a baby on the way with his new partner Denise (Renee Gentle). In this new world he grows apart from his friends Chunk (Nic English) and Aldo (Guy O’Grady); and finds himself out of step with the new workmates (Gentle, English, O’Grady) in an ever cycling round of new workplaces he comes across in trying to provide for his family and find himself.