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John Parkinson
John Parkinson

La Fremdulo

    This is a short one act play that was deliberately written bilingually in English and Esperanto.
     
    LANGUAGE and CONTENT WARNING: adult concepts, language and xenophobia

LA FREMDULO is a play based on attitudes to foreigners, migration, and tolerance. It relies on the conceit/technique that both speakers only speak their own languages. In this original version, it has been written in English and Esperanto; but could possibly be adapted to use any two different languages. It is not intended to reflect either the writer’s opinions, nor general British opinions about the subject. It is meant to be a universal experience.

The two characters may be cast with any gender, the only stipulation is that FREMDULO should be aged 15 or older, and LOCAL at least 18 years older than FREMDULO. It is the writer’s opinion, that the play could work with two female characters, and this may potentially ask the most questions of the audience. If LOCAL was female, why has she forgotten that she had a child overseas? Was it due to willing or forced adoption at birth? Was it due to traumatic amnesia (possibly post-traumatic stress disorder) or mental health issues? This play doesn’t address these issues, but may pose these questions.

Also, in the UK, a LOCAL with such a xenophobic attitude, and a migrant or refugee to this country would most likely be male. The use of female characters could avoid these stereotypes.  

Unless the audience members are bilingual, this play is essentially two monologues. It is two mirrored halves. The actions, gestures, delivery and intonation by the characters must be as close as possible in each section; even with taking into account the use of both languages. It is desired that the ‘foreign’ language is pronounced as correctly as possible. However, this may not be completely paramount, as it is probably not going to be fully understood.

It would be quite pointless to produce a one language version of the play. It is deliberately and unashamedly bilingual.

 

LOCAL is sitting on a bench, looking at phone. They are clean and well-dressed. FREMDULO enters, possibly dressed in second hand or worn clothing, and walks over to LOCAL.

FREMDULO: Saluton, ĉu ĉi tie estas Feliĉa Valo?

LOCAL: I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.

FREMDULO: Iu diris al mi la nomon de ĉi tiu urbeto en via lingvo. Nu, kio ĝi estis denove? Ĉu ĉi tie estas Happy Valley?

LOCAL: Happy Valley? Yes, this town is Happy Valley.

FREMDULO: (to themselves) Do, finfine, Feliĉa Valo. Tempo nun por respondoj, kaj eĉ pli da demandoj.

LOCAL: What do you want?

FREMDULO: Mi serĉas iun, iun gravan por mi.

LOCAL: Why are you speaking that foreign rubbish? Can’t you speak English? (Slowly, loudly) Speak English!

FREMDULO: Jes, kompreneble mi povas paroli la anglan, la plejmulto da migrantoj povas.

LOCAL: Look, I’ve got better things to do than being stared at by a bloody foreigner.

FREMDULO: Unue, mi nur bezonas kompreni, ĉu vi estas la homo, kiun mi pensas, ke vi estas.

LOCAL: I’ve had enough of this.

FREMDULO: Mi opinias, ke vi vojaĝis al mia lando antaŭe, ĉu ne?

LOCAL: Just bugger off.

FREMDULO: Antaŭ multaj jaroj, vi estis soldato. Vi batalis en milito en Amikejo.

LOCAL: Amikejo? Did you say Amikejo? (LOCAL’s mood progressively darkens)

FREMDULO: Ho, vi scias pri Amikejo!

LOCAL: I thought your jabbering sounded vaguely familiar. Filthy bloody language, filthy bloody people.

FREMDULO: Kial vi pensas tion?

LOCAL: I fought in a bloody war to keep you little arseholes where you belong. It seems like one of the bastards has escaped. What the hell are you doing here? I’m going to call the police. You’ll be arrested, locked up and deported. Return to fucking sender.

FREMDULO: No, no police, please.

LOCAL: Ah, you do know English!

FREMDULO: Everyone knows … police.

LOCAL: (suspiciously) How much more do you know?

FREMDULO: No more, I know no more.

LOCAL: (returning to darkness) Police are useless, bloody soft touches. They’re on your side anyway. They let you fuckers ruin our country. You’ve stolen the ducks from our canal. You cause car accidents and stage insurance scams. You form gangs and rape our children.

FREMDULO: Mi ne povas kredi, ke mi aŭdas ĉi tion. De kie vi ricevis ĉi tiajn ideojn?

LOCAL: Too much happened in the war. What happened on tour, stays on tour.

FREMDULO: Mi havas ion vian, kion vi devas vidi.

FREMDULO reaches into pocket, pulls out fist, raises fist in front of shoulder. Simultaneously, LOCAL forms a fist and mirrors FREMDULO’s stance perfectly. They freeze for a few seconds in combative pose. Both relax poses and return to the original starting positions of play.

FREMDULO: Hello, is this Happy Valley?

LOCAL: Mi pardonpetas, mi ne komprenas vin.

FREMDULO: Someone did tell me this town’s name in your language. Um, what was it again? Is this Feliĉa Valo?

LOCAL: Feliĉa Valo? Jes, ĉi tiu urbeto estas Feliĉa Valo.

FREMDULO: (to themselves) So, finally, Happy Valley. A time for answers, and even more questions. 

LOCAL: Kion vi volas?

FREMDULO: I am looking for someone, someone important to me.

LOCAL: Kial vi parolas tian fremdan rubaĵon? Ĉu vi ne povas paroli la anglan? (Slowly, loudly) Parolu la anglan!

FREMDULO: Yes, of course I could speak English, most migrants can.

LOCAL: Vidu, mi havas pli bonajn aferojn por fari ol esti rigardata de bastarda fremdulo.

FREMDULO: Firstly, I just need to see if you are the person, who I think you are.

LOCAL: Sufiĉas jam.

FREMDULO: I think you have been to my country before, no?

LOCAL: Forfikiĝu!

FREMDULO: Many years ago, you were a soldier. You fought in a war in Amikejo.

LOCAL: Amikejo? Ĉu vi diris Amikejon? (LOCAL’s mood progressively darkens)

FREMDULO: Ah, you do know about Amikejo.

LOCAL: Mi pensas, ke via parolaĉado sonas iomete familiara. Aĉa bastarda lingvo, aĉaj bastardaj homoj.

FREMDULO: Why do you think this?

LOCAL: Mi batalis en sanga milito por ke vi aĉuloj restu tie, kie vi devus resti. Ŝajnas, ke unu el la bastardoj eskapis. Kion vi faras ĉi tie? Mi telefonos al la polico. Vi estos arestita, enfermita kaj deportita. Reiru al fekdamna sendanto.

FREMDULO: No, no police, please.

LOCAL: Ah, you do know English!

FREMDULO: Everyone knows … police.

LOCAL: (Suspiciously) How much more do you know?

FREMDULO: No more, I know no more.

LOCAL: (Returning to darkness) Policanoj estas senutilaj. Ili subtenas bastardajn fremdulojn. Ili permesas, ke vi fekuloj detruu nian landon. Vi ŝtelis la anasojn el nia kanalo. Vi kaŭzas aŭtajn akcidentojn kaj kreas falsajn asekurajn friponaĵojn. Vi formas bandaĉojn kaj seksperfortas niajn infanojn.

FREMDULO: I can’t believe I’m hearing this. Where did you get these ideas from?

LOCAL: Tro multe okazis dum la milito. Kio okazis dum la milito, restu ĉe la milito.

FREMDULO: I have something of yours that you need to see.

FREMDULO reaches into pocket, pulls out fist, raises fist in front of shoulder. Simultaneously, LOCAL forms a fist and mirrors FREMDULO’s stance perfectly. Slowly FREMDULO opens fist to reveal military dog-tags.

FREMDULO: (simply) Mummy/Daddy. (Use whichever is appropriate)


The author stipulates that this play is completely free for use in any media, although attribution might be nice. It was written as a thought exercise in both languages, and as a possible tool for spreading Esperanto to wider audiences.




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