Scrap Heap was performed at The West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2003.





BOTH: Agh! Agh!
ACTION MAN: Alert! Alert!
BARBIE DOLL: Oh! My hair ... what's...? ... ugh!
ACTION MAN: Take cover! Take cover!

They scream and cower, hands over beads.

BARBIE DOLL: Wailing 1’m covered ... ugh! Rotting veg and beer cans and, ugh! dirty diapers.
ACTION MAN: Beware in-coming gulls! Incoming gulls!
BARBIE DOLL: Gulls? They don't eat plastic do they?
ACTION MAN: What? He peers at her. Who said that?

Action Man turns to face her.

ACTION MAN: But it can't be ... Barbie Doll, is that you?
BARBIE DOLL: Action Man! After all these years.
ACTION MAN: Let's think… who was it had us ... ?
BOTH. Together Susan and Mark!
BARBIE DOLL: In Harlow New Town. Those were the days….
ACTION MAN: Must be more than forty years…
BARBIE DOLL: God, we were so beautiful!
ACTION MAN: What’s happened to your face? It looks, sort of, smudged.
BARBIE DOLL: That was Samantha. Thank God you never met her. She gave me a face
lift. I wouldn’t like to think what Samantha might have done to you!
ACTION MAN: And the Lurex…what’s happened to the Lurex?
BARBIE DOLL: Oh, fuck the Lurex! Just look at my nails! For God’s sake get me off this tip.
ACTION MAN: I’m sorry Barbie Doll, I’ve had an accident.
He shows a footless leg.
BARBIE DOLL: Screaming Agh! Where’s your foot?
ACTION MAN: Happened in Iceland…
BARBIE DOLL: Iceland? On Active Service?
ACTION MAN: No, Mark left me in the deep freeze. Lost for three days in the raspberry ripples and me only in my jungle fatigues.
BARBIE DOLL: You could have frozen to death.
ACTION MAN: Nearly did. Foot snapped off like peanut brittle! His dad tried to mend me with Araldite, but I was never the same. It’s come off again in here…must be buried somewhere.

He looks around.

BARBIE DOLL: A war veteran, that’s what you are.
ACTION MAN: Garbage…that’s what I am.
BARBIE DOLL: Cheer up can’t you. We’ll find your foot when I’ve had a wash.
ACTION MAN: You’re joking! Sarcastically Perhaps this pool of sludge will suit you.
BARBIE DOLL: Struggling to move Shut up and help me out.
ACTION MAN: I would if I could…as it is…
BARBIE DOLL: You can pull can’t you? Here, take my arms and pull.
ACTION MAN: O.K. O.K. Kneeling, he yanks her hard.
BARBIE DOLL: Oh! Oh! Stop! Stop!
ACTION MAN: Whatever’s the matter.
BARBIE DOLL: I’m splitting!
ACTION MAN: You told me to pull.
BARBIE DOLL: It’s the joins. You’re pulling the joins.
ACTION MAN: Light dawning. Have you been glued as well?
BARBIE DOLL: That was Samantha again. She tried lipo-suction on me.
ACTION MAN: But you were so slim.
BARBIE DOLL: Getting angry Bloody Samantha. She made me diet, jog, work-out…each crazy fad…as though it would mean everlasting youth.
ACTION MAN: Poor Barbie.
BARBIE DOLL: Don’t you “poor Barbie” me…just be a bit more gentle…and if I wiggle my butt…
ACTION MAN: Like this?

He pulls and her legs come out of the rubbish.

BARBIE DOLL: Teasing Oh Action Man, you were always so strong!
ACTION MAN: I was, wasn’t I? He flexes his muscles.
BARBIE DOLL: Mocking My hero!
ACTION MAN: Just look at your legs.
BARBIE DOLL: If only I could find some clean water.
ACTION MAN: Peering at her legs They’re all bumps and blisters.
BARBIE DOLL: Samantha left me out in the sun.
ACTION MAN: Oh dear! Oh dear!
BARBIE DOLL: Must you? Let’s get out of here.
ACTION MAN: This isn’t the simpering kitten I used to know.
BARBIE DOLL: After forty years and four marriages simpering is not my style. Maggie saw to that.
BARBIE DOLL: Liberated was Maggie.
ACTION MAN: You mean she didn’t…didn’t play with you?
BARBIE DOLL: Didn’t play with me…despised me…dumped me.
ACTION MAN: Poor Barbie. That explains it.
BARBIE DOLL: I’ve had enough of this. Let’s get out of here.
ACTION MAN: I can’t, not until I find my foot.
BARBIE DOLL: You can hop. We’ll look for it on the way. Come on.
ACTION MAN: O.K. you’re the boss.

He struggles to his feet. Barbie Doll stands beside him. They are filthy and dishevelled. They teeter together, his arm across her shoulder. They stagger around trying to find a way off the dump.

ACTION MAN: Ow! He slips and sits down heavily.
BARBIE DOLL: What have you sat in now?
ACTION MAN: It looks like…grease. Can’t you see my foot anywhere?
BARBIE DOLL: It’s bad enough trying to get down, never mind poking through this stuff.
ACTION MAN: What do you think it’s like for me?
BARBIE DOLL: Listen, once we’re off here and I’ve had a wash, I’ll come back and look for your foot.
ACTION MAN: Do you mean that?
BARBIE DOLL: You can’t go on hopping for ever.
ACTION MAN: Gosh Barbie, you always were…
BARBIE DOLL: What? Get up for God’s sake.
Action Man stands up.ACTION MAN: Hang about. Do you see what I see?
BARBIE DOLL: Come on…come on…it’s grass…and a stream!
ACTION MAN: Leave me here. Go on…go on…and have your wash. I’ll be all right.

Action Man sits down. Exit Barbie Doll, running








Enter Barbie Doll supporting the hopping Action Man.

BARBIE DOLL: Look. I was right wasn’t I?
ACTION MAN: It’s perfect Barbie Doll.
He sits down and starts to cry.
BARBIE DOLL: What on earth…?
ACTION MAN: You went away…and I thought, “She’ll never come back” and I thought about my foot and how would I manage without you…and you did come back…

He sobs even more.

BARBIE DOLL: Oh for pity’s sake!
ACTION MAN: This place…just the breeze in the trees and the stream…
BARBIE DOLL: We deserve it.
ACTION MAN: Not me. I’m clapped out.
BARBIE DOLL: For goodness sake stop moaning. We can have a rest and in the morning we’ll make plans.

It grows darker. They lie down beside each other.

BARBIE DOLL: After pause I’m cold.
ACTION MAN: Come here. He puts his arm round her
BARBIE DOLL: After another pause It’s no good, I can’t sleep. I keep seeing the trash can.
ACTION MAN: Me too. Scary wasn’t it?
BARBIE DOLL: I’ve never been tipped out of a garbage truck before.
ACTION MAN: Choking to death…He site up and starts patting his pockets. Do you mind if I…? He holds up a small brandy flask. I feel so…so rejected.
BARBIE DOLL: I don’t! It’s a relief to be free of them.
ACTION MAN: He passes the flask to her.I thought I was a gonner…and it reminded me of Ken. Do you remember Ken?
BARBIE DOLL: Are you kidding. Susan married me to Ken!
ACTION MAN: Susan did what?
BARBIE DOLL: Did the wedding for Ken and me. No expense spared. Didn’t last long though. Ken just didn’t have what it takes.
ACTION MAN: Ken never told me he’d been married….and I thought we were close.
BARBIE DOLL: Susan gave Ken to that drip Duane. I missed him. But it’s like that isn’t it? First love…
ACTION MAN: I wouldn’t know. Mark wasn’t interested in girls…he didn’t get it…sex and all that. He expected me to be macho and then went and swapped me for Duane’s space-hopper.
Pause while they drink in turn.
BARBIE DOLL: So both you and Ken landed up with Duane…you poor bastards.
ACTION MAN: Duane sent us on Active Service together: Vietnam. He drinks.
BARBIE DOLL: I never liked him.
ACTION MAN: We had the hell of a time there.
BARBIE DOLL: You mean you enjoyed it?
ACTION MAN: Duane like being with the lads.
BARBIE DOLL: But you were killing people…
ACTION MAN: Duane said they were the enemy.
ACTION MAN: Ken died… He drinks and clams up. Pause.
BARBIE DOLL: Oh no! Whatever happened?

ACTION MAN: They all thought I was a hero…because I got them out…but Ken was injured …head twisted back-to-front…I said I’d return for him…but…
BARBIE DOLL: You didn’t go back?
ACTION MAN: I went back all right. But he died.


BARBIE DOLL: Comforting him. You tried your best.
ACTION MAN: No! Pause. I killed him.
BARBIE DOLL: Recoiling. You did what?
ACTION MAN: Sighing and drinking before handing her the flask. Ken was waiting for me…crying out…yelling my name…as if we weren’t surrounded by the Goddam Vietcong! “Get me out, get me out man!” He clung to me…clawed me, crying his bloody head off. He told me he loved me…he’d do anything for me…
BARBIE DOLL: Ignoring the flask. He said he loved you and you killed him? How could you?
ACTION MAN: Shaking his head wearily. I felt sick…disgusted…all mixed up. And I was terrified. The Gooks were hiding everywhere.
BARBIE DOLL: You left Ken and ran away!
Action Man stands up, tottering. He gets his gun out.
ACTION MAN: I shot him… He aims his gun at Barbie …straight through the back of his twisted head. He pulls the trigger, which just clicks.
BARBIE DOLL: Screams Agh!

Action Man drops the gun.

ACTION MAN: He didn’t see a thing. Then I lay low ‘till all the noises died down… He crouches. Felt like a life-time. When I got back to base all the lads said I was a hero.
BARBIE DOLL: Disgusted. You betrayed Ken.
ACTION MAN: Protesting. Duane made me do it.
BARBIE DOLL: How could you… how could you?
ACTION MAN: I don’t know Barbie Doll… I wanted to be a hero, but really I was scared, a coward…in the end even Duane got sick of me and chucked me away.
BARBIE DOLL: I thought you were supposed to be brave. My poor Ken.
Barbie Doll moves away from Action Man. She picks up the gun and throws it out of sight. She stands by herself, shivering. Time passes until Action Man crawls over and tentatively puts his arms round Barbie Doll’s legs.
ACTION MAN: Don't you think we should forget them, Barbie? What good did they do us? Pause. They used us for as long as it suited them and then...
BARBIE DOLL: Slowly It's true ... Mark and Duane wrecked you ... and Susan and Samantha wrecked me. As for Maggie; she left me up in the attic.
ACTION MAN: We have to survive without them, somehow...
BARBIE DOLL: At least we're free to try aren't we?
ACTION MAN: Free! Free? Oh hell, I'm scared!
BARBIE DOLL: Being independent... for the first time in our lives ... it’s frightening.
ACTION MAN: 1 need you so much, Barbie Doll ... without you to help me 1...
BARBIE DOLL: Just look at me! I'm a wreck. I've always been such a gorgeous chick ... butnow... how can you bear to touch me?
ACTION MAN: 1 think you look just fine.
BARBIE DOLL: Well, that's a relief. So now we can be what we want. She kneels.
ACTION MAN: And when my foot's fixed we'll find a place...
BARBIE DOLL: 1 think 1 can get to sleep now. Delightedly. And tomorrow…tomorrow we’ll re-invent ourselves.