This piece, which should last about 45 minutes, is a mock recording of a TV show called, appropriately enough, PILE UP.
THREE CAR PILE-UP pretends that the piece is a ‘live’ recording. That gives opportunities for advertising breaks, and audience participation generally with applause etc. We haven’t given the occupants of the cars names – in the script they’re just 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. Have fun choosing!
There are 26 parts in this play:
The set is simply a table with two chairs to stage right. As the audience enters the two presenters are sitting around chatting to each other and larking about. They have clipboards and have earphones round their necks, looking at lad mags, car mags, drinking ‘coffee’ from paper cups, and telling each other ‘top that’ stories. When it’s time to start the show they step forward:
PRES 1: Evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the set of M1 TV studios. Now we record tonight’s show ‘as live’, and this TV station has no more money than the average shopping channel, so a minimum of repeats please. Just a couple of rules. For continuity reasons, anyone who’s got a persistent cough, can they please hang themselves from the lighting gantry now.
PRES 2: And when we hold up the sign that says ‘APPLAUSE’ you applaud loudly with whistles and stamping of feet, and when we turn the sign round to ‘SILENCE’ you shut up. Immediately.
PRES 1: You lot don’t look too bright to me. We’d better practise.
(They take the audience through their paces. When they are satisfied the audience are ready PRES 2 says)
PRES 2: Okie dokie, ready everybody…
(He holds up the sign marked ‘SILENCE’. PRES 1 steps forward)
PRES 1: OK we’re rolling. Good evening and welcome to the M1 TV studios in Luton for the show that brings you the very best in total write-offs from across the country .
PRES 2: For the last in our series, tonight we head north to Cumbria.
PRES 1: Cumbria? Nothing but sheep up there mate.
PRES 2: That’s just where you’re wrong mate. Great roads. Wide open spaces. Hairpin bends. Paradise by the dashboard light.
PRES 1: OK, if you say so.
PRES 2: I do. Ladies and gentlemen we bring you: PILE-UP.
PRES 1: (He holds up the ‘APPLAUSE’ sign)
PRES 2: (stops him) One thing. We did NOT design the show’s opening credits.
(They shakes their heads in embarrassment, then they wave the APPLAUSE sign, the music starts, and the whole cast drag in a trolley laden with car parts through a dry ice/smoke machine. They drag it to the centre of the stage. At the end of the music the cast cluster into their individual groups around the car.)
PRES 1: Yeah, great wasn’t it? So let’s meet the stars of tonight’s show.
PRES 2: And it’s a big one. No less than three cars involved.
PRES 1: Wow. (He does engine revving noises and pretends to do racing gear changes)
PRES 2: All right, don’t get carried away. But I told you mate – Cumbria’s the place to be.
PRES 1: First off, direct from Burger King on London Road Carlisle, in their 7-year old Nova, it’s – the chavs!
(The chavs wave to the audience. ‘APPLAUSE/SILENCE’)
PRES 2: And over here, heading straight for uni in their 3-year old Polo, it’s – the geeks!
PRES 1: And last but not least, direct from mum’s hairdressing salon to Botchergate, in the 4 x 4 we have – the slags!
PRES 2: But no-pile would be complete of course without its supporting cast. A 3-car job brings the police, (wave), paramedics (wave), witness statements (wave), and because this really was THE BIG ONE a TV crew of 4 (wave).
PRES 1: Plus as it’s the last show, we’ve got a special section for you tonight.
PRES 2: We have indeed. A real commercial break.
PRES 1: That’s right. During the show two execs from Bullshit Associates will look at the psychology selling us our cars.
PRES 2: I hate car ads.
PRES 1: They’re crap.
PRES 2: Mostly.
PRES 1: Nah. They’re all crap.
PRES 2: Yeah. You’re right.
PRES 1: I’m always right.
PRES 2: OK applause please ladies and gentlemen and let’s open the show with: the build-up.
(‘APPLAUSE/SILENCE’. The geeks form a car and come to life)
GEEK 1: Seat belts on people!
(They choreograph this to do the actions in unison)
GEEK 2: Is this film any good then?
GEEK 3: Mr Field recommended it.
GEEK 4: What, for general studies or history?
GEEK 3: Both. Have you finished that course work yet?
GEEK 1: Haven’t started it.
ALL: (gasps – then again in unison) It’s due in next week!
GEEK 1: Yeah I know. Got a problem, that’s all. With Andrew.
GEEK 2: Let’s hear it then.
ALL: Yeah. Tell, tell, tell, tell (laughter)
GEEK 2: You know you want to.
GEEK 3: Come on then.
GEEK 1: Have you, like, done it with Jack yet, Geek 4?
GEEK 4: No. Have you done it with Andrew?
GEEK 1: (pause) Yes.
ALL: (gasps – in unison again) Oh Geek 1 you’re not pregnant are you?
GEEK 1: I don’t know yet.
GEEK 2: When was it?
GEEK 1: Your party.
GEEK 3: What, at my house? Yeeuck!
GEEK 4: I don’t think that’s fair though Geek 1. I mean, at Geek 3’s house.
GEEK 2: Yeah, supposing you are pregnant.
GEEK 1: That’s my funeral, isn’t it.
GEEK 3: Still, though, it’s not very nice is it. At my house.
GEEK 1: On your bedroom floor.
ALL: (gasps – in unison again) Too much information!
GEEK 1: Yeah, all right. I regret it, right.
GEEK 2: I hope you didn’t do it because Andrew’s got into Oxford.
GEEK 4: Can we stop talking about Geek 1’s sex life, please.
GEEK 1: Why, just because you and Jack don’t have one?
ALL 3: Oooh.
GEEK 4: We’ll get round to it after exams. If we still feel the same.
GEEK 3: Oh my god, Geek 4, you’re so like – programmed.
GEEK 2: It’s a big step. Uni should come first.
GEEK 1: Yeah well it will with me now.
GEEK 4: Get a move on Geek 1, we’ll miss the film.
GEEK 1: Only the ads and stuff.
GEEK 3: I gotta get some popcorn.
(Geek 1 accelerates and the car freezes. The slags come to life)
SLAG 1: I must have been really pissed at the time.
SLAG 4: So was I. I’d had 3 double vodkas and 2 pints of cider and black. And a couple of Reefs.
SLAG 2: Reefs?! 8 Bacardi and cokes. I wasn’t that pissed though.
SLAG 3: Where we goin’ tonight then?
SLAG 2: Walkabout.
SLAG 1: I got off with a lad in there last Friday.
SLAG 4: I thought they had an over-21 policy?
SLAG 3: Yeah, but only for lads though.
SLAG 2: Is that skirt Playboy, Slag 4?
SLAG 4: Yeah, so don’t spill your Orange Wicked down it.
(The car stops)
SLAG 2: Bloody traffic lights.
(They each take a cigarette out of a packet and light it. These movements are choreographed – in unison. The lights change. Slag 2 drives off. It is clear her driving style is clumsy and the occupants of her car keep being thrown forward and back)
SLAG 3: This your mam’s car, Slag 2?
SLAG 2: Yeah. She needs it for the salon. And to take me little sister to school.
SLAG 1: Can your mum give me some highlights?
SLAG 2: Yeah. She’s a hairdresser.
SLAG 1: No, I mean like cheap.
SLAG 2: Ask her.
SLAG 1: Can’t you ask her for us?
SLAG 2: Not really. I’d have to do it for everybody wouldn’t I?
SLAG 4: No, just your friends.
SLAG 2: Oh, bloody lights. Next time I’m jumping them.
(The car stops and this time they all take out chewing gum in unison.)
SLAG 3: Oh come on Slag 2. Ask her for us.
SLAG 2: I can’t. You know what she’s like.
SLAG 4: I don’t think she’s that scary. She’s only your mum.
SLAG 2: You ask her then.
SLAG 4: No.
SLAG 1: I don’t want to go to Walkabout.
SLAG 2: I do and I’m driving.
SLAG 3: Where d’you wanna go then?
SLAG 1: Dunno. Not Walkabout.
SLAG 4: Yeah but where?
SLAG 1: Dunno.
SLAG 3: You’ve got to say where.
SLAG 1: I don’t.
SLAG 2: We are going to Walkabout.
SLAG 1: That’s because you fancy the bouncer.
SLAG 2: What, him? You must be joking. Oh, bloody lights. Hang on, girls.
(Slag 2 accelerates through the lights. Their car freezes and we turn to the chavs).
CHAV 1: Fucking shut up will you.
CHAV 2: Yeah you’re doing my head in.
CHAV 1: Well you were dissin my car.
CHAV 3: It’s a NOVA , Chav 1.
CHAV 1: So what? What you driving?
CHAV 3: Fuck off.
CHAV 4: Yeah, you. I heard you went to school yesterday.
CHAV 3: I fucking didn’t.
CHAV 2: Yeah you fucking did. I saw you.
CHAV 3: Yesterday I was shagging your mum.
CHAV 1: What! She’s a minger.
CHAV 4: (To Chav 3) Yeah well I’ve done your dad.
CHAV 2: I’ve done your granddad.
CHAV 1: Wayyeee. I’ve done your grandma.
CHAV 4: I’ve done your whole family.
CHAV 3: Fuck off.
(He puts some music on – loud thumping music. They ‘dance’ around in their car seats. After a few seconds Chav 1 switches it off)
CHAV 2: What you do that for?
CHAV 1: Might need a new exhaust. I need to listen to the engine.
CHAV 3: You what?
CHAV 1: You heard.
CHAV 4: It goes vroom vroom.
CHAV 2: No that’s what a car goes. This is a NOVA. (He/she laughs too loudly at his/her own joke)
CHAV 1: Fuck off. I’ve got a car, right, and it’s a start.
(A few seconds silence)
CHAV 2: What were you doing at school Chav 3?
CHAV 3: Shagging that new PE teacher.
CHAV 1: She’s a minger.
CHAV 3: How do you know?
CHAV 1: I shagged her last week. Anyway, all teachers are mingers. I bet you never shagged your teacher Chav 4.
CHAV 4: Only in primary school.
CHAV 2: Where are we off anyway?
CHAV 1: I don’t know. I’m just driving.