BEANFIELD

ACT ONE

(Lights up. The company are on the stage. Steamer is Chorus.)

CHORUS: Oh for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
the brightest heaven of invention:
this stage an open road on rolling downs
where helicopters sweep a crowded scene
of convoys, battles, flights and barricades —
(shrugging) and now a rather buggered field of beans.
Can this space, this former nightclub, hold
our woodland camps and bowers, and may we cram
upon these boards the government, the press,
the ancient stones and all estates who stood
against a simple wish to celebrate?
Think when we talk of ambush and affray
you see police made tough by fighting miners,
ramshackle trucks and rainbow buses smashed
like broken dreams into muddy wreck.
Let us, the ciphers to this great attempt,
on your imaginations work, and so begin
as all great enterprise in England must
by convening of a meeting and committee…

Scene 1

Steamer stands aside as the rest of the company become The English Heritage Chairman and three Committee Members. Steamer may react to things they say, or maybe just observe. The chairman does something calls the meeting to order. (Knocks, gavel?)

CHAIRMAN: Are we all met?
(After a pause.) We are charged to guard this nation’s stock
of tourist icons, profit-making sites,
we man the turnstiles into Merrie England,
keep vandals off the stones and ancient walls.
But these ten summers past druids, hippies —

MALE COMMITTEE MEMBER: Unwashed sorcerers —

FEMALE COMMITTEE MEMBER#1: Unlicensed unwashed sorcerers

CHAIRMAN: Have parties held around our stones as if —