Dan here again. But with a different hat on this time.

Normally I write for sports columns and the specialist gambling press, as I believe you know. I do racing tips, reviews of systems, scams and stuff. That’s what I’m in my element with as it were. With the occasional foray into the realms of high finance journalism, forex trading, the stock market, fruit machines and the like.

But seeing as I now find myself associated with a well highbrow literary organ I find some of this culture stuff has been rubbing off on me, so to speak, and I thought why not turn my hand to writing a play. Which is called playwrighting, or play writing. Same thing.

So as you could say I’m re-inventing myself. Or as you could say I’m reconstructing a new inner identity, adrift on the open sea of free-floating signifiers. See, I’m picking this up quick.

Now before I show you the play let me tell you something about the inspiration behind it. As you probably know, I’m fond of a flutter. And as some of you know who know me, I’m particularly partial to a flutter in the midst of a fog of nicotine smoke. The two go together in my mind, and in many other people’s minds to boot. Betting slip in one hand, fag in the other. That’s me.

And as you may know, the Queen in her wisdom has now decreed that you can’t smoke in the bookies anymore. Or in the office, or at the opera. Or in the taxi. Not even in the public bar. Not even in the Smoke Room. Not even in the Smoking Shelter unless it’s got less than three walls.

But as you probably may not know, there’s a little loophole in this draconian legislation. And that little loophole is: the theatre. It’s still perfectly legal for actors to smoke on stage, as long as it says in the script, or in the stage directions as it were, that the character smokes.

And when I say theatre, well in today’s postmodern condition any geographical space in which thespian activities can be undertaken may count as a theatre. It doesn’t need to have curtains and a box-office and those little tubs of ice-cream in the interval. As the Bard of Avon himself might have said, all the world’s a stage.

So without much further ado about anything, here’s this little one-act play I’ve creatively composed.

The play is:


The Thing


Scene: anywhere

Enter a Character

Character: Hello everybody.

[Character lights a cigarette. He or she then improvises, either a monologue on his or her own, or a dialogue with members of the audience. Generally with a lighted cigarette in his or her hand. This goes on for as long as he or she sees fit.]

The End

I hereby relinquish all copyright rights as playwright appertaining to the above play. It may be legally performed without further licence, for commercial gain or otherwise, in theatres, public bars, old people’s homes, working men’s clubs, community centres, schools, hospitals, oil rigs and the like. And the Queen can’t do a blind thing about it.




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