Sunday, September 19, 2021
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A Midsummer Nightmare

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‘I SAY, can I help you? I’m the actor-director of this theatre and you can’t just barge in like that.’  

– ‘Er, what are you lot doin’ ’ere?’  

‘We’re rehearsing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be staged on June 21, Freedom Day, when all lockdown restrictions will be lifted. What’s it got to do with you?’  

–  ‘Well, as you can see from the badge on my hi-viz jacket, I’m a Covid Marshal authorised by NERVTAG.’  

‘Oh, you mean the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group?’  

–  ‘No, chummy, that’s old at. They’re now called Nerds Endlessly Renaming Variants, Terrifying All Gullible. I’m ’ere to tell you that Freedom Day has just been cancelled because of the Aardvark Variant, and a full national lockdown is bein’ immediately reimposed.’  

‘The Aardvark Variant?’  

   ‘Yeah, we’ve gone right through the Greek alphabet namin’ all the new variants, so now we’ve started usin’ the Oxford English Dictionary … all the way from A to Z.’  

But there are more than 600,000 entries in the OED.’  

– ‘Well, that should give us enough to be goin’ on with, shouldn’t it? By the time we reach the Zyzzyva Variant, we might be able to relax things a bit. Anyhow, your play’s cancelled and this theatre will have to be disinfected. Look at the mess you’ve made. What’s that ’orse’s ’ead over there on the stage? Are you doin’ The Godfather?’  

‘No, that’s my Bottom.’  

–  ‘Now don’t get lippy with me, matey. I’m only doin’ my job.’  

‘No, that’s a donkey’s head, as worn by the character I play.’  

– ‘Oh yeah?’  

‘Yes. That lady over there plays Titania, the Fairy Queen. She loves Bottom.’  

– ‘Bloody hell, sunshine, too much information. And who’s that la-di-da little bloke prancin’ round over there?’  

‘Puck.’  

– ‘Right, that’s enough foul and abusive language from you, my lad, especially in front of that little Asian boy.’  

‘No, you misunderstand. That’s the youngest member of our cast. He plays the changeling Indian prince who the Fairy King Oberon wants as his servant.’  

– ‘Fairy King? Servant? Indian? Changeling? That smacks very much of racism, sexism, transphobia, people-smugglin’ and modern-day slavery to me, pal. I’ll be reportin’ you to the Crimes Against Wokeism Unit.’  

‘But …’  

– ‘Shut it. You’ll all have to go home and self-quarantine for the foreseeable.’  

‘But when will this new lockdown be lifted?’  

 –  ‘The way this government works? Puck knows.’  

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Weaver Sheridan
Weaver Sheridan is a wannabe best-selling novelist, one of his efforts being the Fifties Franny series, available on Amazon Kindle books.

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