A script created with youths from London's estates in Wandsworth, Ladbroke Grove and Portobello.

Contact: charlie@sunofhope.org

An excerpt from Solenoid

Homage to Yoko and John D. With their true origins.
Oblomov Paradox

  • My name is Bond, Jane Bond Jane: stage out audience:I was sent to find out: Who is Oblomov? Some Sleephead from Russia? Or some dreamer.. of saviour's dreams?
  • Oblomov offered to sleep , O: Would you like to sleep with me?
  • J: She sits down next to him. (I said yes, I'll sleep and dream..Aside: To audience) I have to admit I was first sent by the CIA to sleep with him. They thought I could get him up and it might result in them finding out who he was and why everyone was talking about him. Why is there a Radio station in the Gulag Archepelago called Radio Oblomov which everyone is listening to? Well, maybe I can find out something of interest..
  • O: You are just a new reason not to get up!
  • J: Why are you considered such an important figure in Russia? What do you really do? You don't just sleep all the time?
  • O: Yes I do.
  • J: Look I've come all the way from America 'cos I'm curious, everyone is.
  • O: Well, there is nothing to say.
  • J:No-one just sleeps all the time.
  • O:I do. (Silence for fifteen seconds..)
  • J:What is your name?
  • O:I am that Russian. When the Revolution and trouble started in 1905 I went to bed. Anyway John and Yoko slept for peace on their honeymoon.
  • J:I know of that.
  • O:Anyway I was in love, and needed time to think I didn't want to miss (sighs.. deeply) the love of my life! Grushenka
  • J: But what did you do in the revolution? Were you a communist? A Lenin supporter? -
  • O: I am a subjective person.
  • J:What is that?
  • O: Have you read 'Zen and the Art of Bedmaking'?
  • J:No
  • O:Well, basically people say you make your bed and now you have to sleep in it. (stretch) In our scientific age there is a fallacy that you can be objective. But if there was no subjectivity you could not be objective. So the more subjective people there are the more likely that humankind will grow objective and into who they wish. Bed is a place for meditation. I am a monk of ...
  • J: Subjectivity. In order to be Objective. Surprisingly that makes sense! So how can I grow more subjective like you and be a revolutionary?
  • O: Close your eyes and it's day. Open them and it's night. You cannot see light without the light from your eye. But also as it says in the beginning there was darkness.. and then light was created. We cannot find light without closing our eyes first to observe darkness.
  • J:I knew Brecht.. He Brecht claimed grey was his favourite colour. He came from Hollywood exile after the war to Berlin famous for its grey, tinny skies. Did he know that the darkness and despair of revolution would lead to light eventually. Grey seemed a good compromise. A colour to believe in.
  • O:Have you noticed how similar the names Lenin and Lennon are? Is it because Lenin took Russia out of the War in 1917 as he said that the war was not to create peace but futile.
  • J:So he was the first hippy? That's why you have grown your hair long? He was a baldy, a slaphead though! Tell me more about you! (Exaggerates) I'm in love. You can't be seriously telling me that you have been sleeping for decades in the hope that it will win someone's heart.
  • O:Here look at this - a piece of a rainbow! It must be for you! I don't know. Here you are talking of love.
  • J:Well, who was this woman that you were so enamoured of that she revolutionised your life into man in a bed? What did she do to your mind? She must have taught you some form of yoga.
  • O: Anna Karenina
  • J:The witch! Thank you for that rainbow! (She examines it) Obli - you need to be kind to yourself. She pauses as she looks at the piece of the sky. Mind you, I like your surroundings out here in the Siberian semi-frost where the bears and Siberian leopards roam. You are obviously romantic man, into nature, I'm warming to you, I need a bear hug out here. (She shivers) The weather in New York is generally not quite so cool/warmer than here.
  • O: I was on the first train the peace train that Lenin sent to Russia. We played chess and he showed me some world championship games. He said that a position that looks lost might not be in fact with a sacrifice one might win from an apparently inferior position. Anyway for him chess was mental gymnastics We gave up though he said, the revolution is going to take all my mental resources.. He was coming with formulas that Trotzki had helped him. Love is the square root of sadness he said. Melancholy times x melancholy is= the sun.
  • J: So if you were on that train of thought, that love train what happened to the revolution? I know as a New Yorker I may not be brilliant or sharp of mind like a chess/sleepgrandmaster or a love doctor like you.. but it seems to have derailed! So you say you are Oblomov that Russian myth of a man who sleeps to avoid action! No wonder they needed a revolution in Russia! Lenin may have been the first hippy , but he believed in action! (She makes verbal notes to herself into a recording device like spy) Love grandmaster... His train that came to Russia was a train of thought, it didn't run over.. any of the Karenin family. But the revolution was sadly too late for Anna Karenina.
  • O:Revolutions come regularly. Think of Nietzsche eternal recurrence.
  • J:So how do you account for the sky collapsing? We would like to know what to do?
  • O:The sky collapses regularly. It collapsed in 1917 when we were on that train for Saint Petersburg. And it collapsed again in 1989 under the weight of contradictions in Russia and South Africa. The sky is made of broken dreams. When the pieces fall the poor benefit they can sell them... along with pieces of the Berlin Wall. they sing The sky belongs to everyone. It's cos people think the sky is theirs that it breaks. It is democratic. Everyone gets a piece. The broken pieces are like seeds some times. They grow then into plants. Some are exotic ones. For example the one that grew into a Japanese Princess was called Yoko, which then was transplanted to America.
  • J: Into her dictaphone: The sky is made of broken dreams /homeless sing "it belongs to everyone". Japanese seed Yoko transplanted all around the world. Tell me, Obli, really who are you? What is your surname? (She doesn't notice he has grasped what she is)
  • O:Oblomov Paradoxov
  • J:Your father was called Paradox? I know ov at the end of Paradoxov means you are the 'son of' Paradox. (She looks pleased that she sounds clevere and she has found out something she meant to) So Obli Paradox, where are you from?
  • O: My father is from the furthest reaches of Russia, almost Japan; he was a bedmaker. And played the balalaika. He used to sing in a hammock in the middle of Vladivostock to encourage people to buy his beds. But most of all he was a philosopher. He had fans in Japan. That is how he knew Yoko and how she became friends with Lenin.
  • J:Confused/dicta : Lennon is really Lenin, inspired by bedmaker. So you think that Lennon is a communist agent?
  • O:O Well, actually that is a much older story. You see in the Garden of Eden Eve gave Adam that apple, but then Yoko Ono came to Eden disguised as a butterfly and as she was photographing everyone's bottoms and found a seed from the apple, she grew it and brought an apple she grew to London to the Indica Gallery at the request of John Dunbar. John Dunbar's mother was from Russia, a close relative of my father. John invited Lennon to the Gallery where he ate the apple and said YES .. the rest is HISTORY. Eden is here, there and everywhere. She brought the innocence of 'Revolution no.9..' They were soon doing a bed peace and growing their hair.. as long as me. Probably sold some beds, futons and hammocks..too. But there was also a Japanese woman on that train too. People don't know that Yoko was there..from the start. She was a grandmaster - well, grandmistress..!
  • J:John grew apples with Yoko. Search for all applefarmers in mid West -So you gave me a rainbow. Is there gold at the end of it?
  • O:No. But there is a map.
  • J:What is the map of? Buried treasure?
  • O:No, it's of streets. They have no names. Wherever you are you can follow it though. Yoko found out on that train with Lenin, it's the pirates map to revolution.
  • Yoko will you support www.theworldmarch.org and our play

    Previous Reviews

    “I think that putting the homeless into a knockout housing elimination game is a cruelly accurate idea. And that the collapse of the sky could resonate in all kinds of ways, and also tie in with the theme of homelessness. I think there are some really piercing lines in the piece (eg that likeness of inner landscapes to the Grand Canyon). The crucial factor will be getting the right movement vocabulary (esp the transitions between robotic and non robotic; plus expressive and disciplined use of the compulsive hand-washing); also, environmentally, the spacial distinctions you succeed in making between Big Sister's Zone (which she controls) and what I think of as the Sky Zone, where the characters have individual freedom which includes the sense of poetry.”

    Irving Wardle (Independent on Sunday)


    “I find the work that Charlie Wiseman and 'Solenoid' is doing highly original and worthy of support. The ideas of the desert forming in Parliament and homeless children are both comic and satirical and think it deserves to be made both on stage and the big screen.”

    Tim West


    “Roy Davies and Danelle Harvey star in this comic and satirical farce that confronts the ethics of a television reality show that had the stated purpose ‘of housing one homeless person’ - whilst clearly brutalising the lives and livelihoods of other participants.Instead of the Big Brother  where merely viewers lives as celebrities are at stake this Big Sister mock-up of a nurse is meant to make us cringe with embarassment... Danelle, a singer and song-writer who is working on an innovative Traidcraft/Fairtrade project in collaboration with Live8 musicians is very much in tune and we feel her need as lead Mona for the house in renditions of her own songs ‘I need your tender love’ and a ‘Home’ in which the whole dilemma of the homeless is made very palpable. Big Sister is a satire intuitively directed by Charlie Wiseman and a work in progress for the next summer's Edinburgh Fringe. The lighting was obscure, but this is a dynamic and unusually original new work.’

    Brigitte Treacy 27.08.06 (Guardian)


    “The work deserves all the support it can get”

    Ken Branagh



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