Sunday, February 28, 2010


Donald Dunstan, a 46 year old electrician with a slightly tubby belly, massive sideburns and bushy eyebrows. Donald is unusually tall, clocking in at 6’7. His work mates call him ‘Duny’ (after the Australian slang for toilet) on account of his time specific bowel movements. He was originally born in Clacton-On-Sea, although now lives in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire with his wife and two children, a girl and boy, 21 and 17 respectively. He’s somewhat conservative in views and left school at an early age to pursue a vocation. A photograph of him with a bucket and spade and his parents on Clacton beach sums up his most consistently happy memory. He secretly hopes one day his family will settle there. His ambition is to retire as soon as possible, and his greatest fear is never being able to afford to.

Donald is the product of a fruitful day spent at The Royal Court taking part in a playwriting workshop hosted by Penpals and London literature developers Spread the Word.

Led by award winning playwright Alia Bano, (featured in today’s Observer) author of the critically acclaimed Shades, it was great to dedicate time to developing ideas for the stage amongst peers, and before long I had a pen portrait of the somewhat unexpected Donald. Here’s a typical conversation with Donald, using the 10, 9, 8, 7, 6… words game.

(Don and Friend are sitting in a pub)

Don: Lost my pension the other day. Company went completely broke.

Friend: Money’s safer under the mattress these days, you know?

Don: Until some sod breaks in while you’re away.

Friend: Heard about that, what did you loose?

Don: The cash that’s under the mattress.

Friend: Christ, that’s rotten luck mate.

Don: I know, I’m skint.

Friend: Next rounds mine.

Don: Whiskey, thanks.

Friend: Sure.

No comments: