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By Zekria Ibrahimi

ISBN: 978-1-78382-195-2
Published: 2015
Pages: 76
Key Themes: Mental Health, Plays, Scripts, Abortion, Relationships


This is a turbulent play about two people…

Two students at South London University…

They are bound together, yet they are tormented by, their love…

They go to Ilfracombe, North Devon, to discuss, away from the capital city, what they are planning to do…

The wrench of an abortion.

This thorny piece discusses the intersection and interplay of art and life, of life and death, and concludes…

That there is never going to be a ‘happy ending’, for all happiness is as shallow as a myth…

About the Author

Zekria Ibrahimi (born in 1959) is defined by his schizophrenia. It first hit him long ago, in his late teens. He is fifty four years old now, grey and frail, almost a pensioner, with all the aches and injuries of age, incontinent and impotent, lame and with constant tinnitus, and he does not always want to remember how, as an adolescent in the late 1970’s, he suddenly became afraid of everything surrounding him, and, worst of all, of himself. He would run around the countryside and knock at the doors of strangers because he feared the apocalypse was pursuing him … He would pick up rubbish outside in alleys and streets and hoard it in his not very palatial lodgings … He was always wandering away from home, searching for … what would never be found again … the straight route, the level way … He was a tramp, freezing during the nights in public toilets where he had various unsavoury insects as company on the cold concrete …

There were years of pain when his schizophrenia became almost his only companion- albeit a sadistic one, punishing him even as he hugged it. Perhaps, to echo both R. D. Laing and Emily Dickinson, it is the entire globe, it is general society, that is truly insane. Schizophrenics simply burrow all too deeply under the surface. They reach the very core of the savage reality in us all. Most varnish over the anarchic truth within through the superficial sham paraded as ‘civilization’. Schizophrenics prefer to be uncomfortably honest barbarians.

Eventually, after much psychotic shouting on Hammersmith Broadway, the hapless Zekria was confined at the Charing Cross unit in the West London Mental Health Trust. Following the unsafe unstable freedom of his schizophrenia, came the restrictions of Section 3. He would not have survived without the multi- racial compassion of the individual doctors and nurses in Charing Cross. Yet the overall SYSTEM remains an ogre of rules and restraints, and the INSTITUTION of psychiatry can be as cold and vicious as in the days of lobotomy and insulin shock.

He is an extreme liberal socialist, despairing of the tendencies towards cruel inequality and vicious intolerance across this planet.

Zekria is all too elderly, but still he muses about being locked up, drugged up, about how, with schizophrenia, the treatment can be worse than the disease…

Book Extract


But I thought that in modern art, what mattered was not technical capability, but the underlying idea.


It’s true that Damien Hirst, the man who’s decided to settle in my part of the country, is actually unable to draw and paint, but he would call himself an artist nonetheless. For him, the craft would matter less than the concept. Yet, in my own conscience, I am unable to untangle concept from craft. Hirst has an idea, and he then lets his assistants actually convert it into reality. Hirst’s approach is too aloof, too aristocratic, for me- depending on lackeys to do the actual work! I’m sure that an artist needs to get dirty with the oils and turpentine, with the clay and plaster, or he’s not truly an artist. Me, I simply don’t have the skill to make pencil and paint do my bidding. I’ve attempted to labour at an easel. The canvas rebels against me, becomes like some monster refusing to conform to my desires, and preparing to bite me every second. So I feel that I’m being honest to myself and others in resolving to be a commentator on, rather than a creator of, art.


(At last getting off her stool)

Such a sincere and oddly sad speech about your philosophy of art!

(She blows a kiss in his direction, as she prepares to exit offstage)

I’m just going to have a lie down in my room. I’m exhausted after the round of lectures, and the three hours I spent unhappily swotting, in the library, today. Books- they can drain the blood out of a person, like leeches! Books- they’re more exhausting than a day toiling on a building site!

Bye, Alex! Till tomorrow!


Bye, Verity. The dining hall, half- past twelve!

(Verity exits. Alex remains on his stool, pondering. He then jumps off his stool, and shouts…)

Love! It makes scoring a goal at the Wembley FA Cup final like nothing!

(He then exits, to the opposite wing from Verity.

The stage lights are turned off. When they are switched on, there is only a bed, with Alex seated on the left side, and Verity on the right, facing away from each other. The two are situated in Verity’s room on campus. Their problem is that they have just made love, after visiting the V and A together. They are only half- dressed. Alex’s sweetness and guile overwhelmed Verity, whose resolve to maintain some sort of decency proved no better than a scrap of grass carried away by a flood in Winter. She is almost trembling, and her head is not firm and high, but slumped down. Alex looks as strong and bold as ever, and he starts to whistle- whistling is a habit of his)


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