Playella | Motorway by Joe White

Playellas are Descent’s series of tiny plays for your new writing quick fix.

Motorway by Joe White

Summer. Early morning. A grassy embankment beside the M42 in Hopwood, West Midlands. Cars.

An old car sits dormant – the boot open, spewing white sheets and a muddy duvet.

TOM, 40s, has been focusing on a point offstage for some time. A mobile phone clutched hard in one hand. Eventually, EVEY, 17, enters. She leans against the boot and begins to smoke. Pause.

TOM: …Are you going to tell me where you’ve-

EVEY: … For a walk.

TOM: … For a walk? Down the side of the M42? Evey, you could have been killed.

EVEY: Only tiredness kills around here. Don’t worry. I’m perfectly awake.

TOM: Well. So am I. Now. Jesus… I thought the police might have… I don’t know… Jesus fuck-

EVEY:  I’ve never seen you like this. It’s quite sweet really. Not even when Riley’s brothers were waiting for you outside school.  Remember that? Even then, you held your nerve, didn’t you? We all thought you were so brave.

TOM: Where did you walk to, Evey?

EVEY: Why did we stop here for the night, sir?

TOM: Don’t call me that. Please. Do not call me that.


EVEY: Up there. About. Well I don’t know miles and yards and that. But about ten minutes walk up there. Not far. Before the next phone. There’s this post. A lamppost. And on this lamppost there are all these photos and flowers and cards and that. All wet and faded now, could have been there months. Years. I couldn’t read half of them. Even in plastic little covers. But I made out two things: A photo and a name.

TOM: Evey, please let me-

EVEY: The name is yours. Not Tom. Because it’s not a boy. But Henderson. Isn’t it? Annie. Annie Henderson. I thought, that’s weird. That’s really weird that I should be walking and stumble across this name. That’s weird. That is really weird, isn’t it?

But weirder still is the photo. She looks like me. Doesn’t she? 17 years old. Looks a lot like me.

Fucking. Terrifying.


Joe’s play Satellites will be performed as part of Descent Shorts on the 7th February at the Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone. More info

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