A writer, Ray (Man A), goes down to the basement of his house to find a moment's peace and quiet. There, in the dark and the silence, he is thrust into the nightmare world of crime and death. Emerging from the darkness appear three other figures, Dashiell (Man B), Agatha (Woman A) and Dorothy (Woman B). As their names may suggest, these are all characters set loose from mystery and crime fiction plots to haunt Ray with the constant excitement and danger of violence and sexuality that inhabit the genre.

Quick Death has no single plot, but dozens of possible plots all crowding one another for dominance of Ray's psyche and for the stage. The text consists of over 50 short scenes, some only seconds long, separated by blackouts in the course of about 65 minutes of non-stop action.

In a breathless race to its terrifying conclusion, Quick Death combines word, action, amplified text and sound, light and darkness as it collects both Ray and the audience in an embrace of death and the desperate search to avoid it again and again.

The multi-column form of the text allows the interweaving of all the various theatrical inputs to be evident on the page. It therefore needs to read across the page and down the page simultaneously.

  • surreal thriller
  • 65
  • 4 total
  • 2 female identifying, 2 male identifying
  • 18+
  • adult, young adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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