Thursday, April 12, 2018

Play a Day: Rubbish

Christopher Fok
For Thursday I read Rubbish by Christopher Fok, and available at New Play Exchange.

On a personal note, I'm going a little mad. There are so many stories! So many characters! I did not have this reaction to reading a play a day last April. But I am also now listening to Clare Danes reading The Handmaid's Tale in the car, reading the aural history of Angels In America before I go to sleep, and holding auditions and meeting many new people for an outdoor production of Troilus and Cressida I am directing.

So many stories. So many people. So many characters.

Fok tells a magical and very real story about trash. There are so many words for trash; rubbish, yes, and garbage, waste, and refuse. This last seems best to communicate the idea of that which is worthless, discarded. It can be a very, something turned away, refused.

The setting is modern Singapore, where a law has been established making the collection of trash for the purpose of sale illegal. The protagonist, an eighty-eight year old woman for whom this law means the end to her livelihood, selling scavenged cans and cardboard. In the end, it is clear that people can be refuse, too.

A surreal story told with humor and heart.

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