By John McNeil
Two children playing "Mothers and Fathers" conclude their tea party by acting the same way as their parents.
( The stage is set with a child's table and three chairs. One of the chairs could be a small baby's high chair. Enter Jeremy and Jemima, two children who are playing Mothers and Fathers. Jemima is carrying a doll, and Jeremy a tray with toy cups and plates, teapot, plate of biscuits/cakes, etc.)
Jemima: (To the doll) While Daddy sets the table for us, Amelia, we'll sit you up in your special chair. You did wash your hands before tea, didn't you. Good girl. (To Jeremy) Careful, Jeremy. You know that tea set has been in our family for generations.
Jeremy: These plastic cups?
Jemima: They are not plastic! They are fine Wedgwood china, and very valuable.
Jeremy: If you say so. (Puts them down none too gently.) Can we eat now? I'm starving.
Jemima: Wait a minute, we're not quite ready. You read the paper just like Daddy does when he comes home, while I get Amelia settled.
Jeremy: (shrugs, picks up a newspaper and pretends to read).
Jemima: (Picks up a bib and ties it round Amelia's neck.) Here we go, Amelia. Keep your nice new clothes clean. (To Jeremy) How was your day at the office, Jeremy?
Jemima: I said, how was your day at the office, dear?
Jeremy: (keeps his head buried behind the paper) How do you expect me to read the paper if you are going to ask questions?
Jemima: Isn't that typical. I slave over a hot stove all afternoon to make you something nice for dinner, and all you want to do when you come home is bury your head in the paper.
Jeremy: Hold on a minute! You told me to read the paper.
Jemima: Don't try and shift the blame. Anyway, we're ready now, aren't we Amelia.
Jeremy: About time. What are we having?
Jemima: Our first course is Dandelion soup.
Jeremy: What!! (Pushes chair back violently) No way! Yucch!
Jemima: Dandelions are good for you.
Jeremy: I'm not eating poison.
Jemima: You always criticise my cooking.
Jeremy: After a hard day at the office I need something better than vegetarian junk.
Jemima: I'm only trying to look after your health.
Jeremy: What's wrong with my health?
Jemima: You need to think of your heart.
Jeremy: My heart?! I'm not fat. No-one could get fat on that stuff. Give me some real food. (He grabs a biscuit from a plate and takes a bite. A moment later, he spits it out.) Yucch! Playdough. (He frantically tries to pick the bits out of his mouth.)
Jemima: You shouldn't be so greedy. There are some real ones. But you didn't wait for me to show you. Just like a man.
Jeremy: First I'm fat, then I'm greedy, and now I'm impatient. I don't have to take this. I'm going to the pub. At least I'll find decent food and decent company there.
Jemima: Can't face up to the truth, huh?
Jeremy: (Raises his voice) The truth is, you're a nag, just like your mother. No wonder your father walked out.
Jemima: How dare you criticise my mother.
Jeremy: (stronger) Nag, nag, nag!
Jemima: (Crying) I hate you. And look, you've made Amelia cry with your shouting. You're not fit to have around.
Jeremy: Good. I'm going. (He stalks out.)
Jemima: (Shouts after him) Good riddance. (Rounds on Amelia) And you, stop your crying. (Goes to the doll.) I said, stop that crying. (Picks the doll up, shakes it hard, shouts), I SAID, STOP THAT CRYING! (Continues shaking the doll as the lights fade.)
© John McNeil 2000
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or at: 36B Stourbridge St, Christchurch 2, New Zealand.