COLLIDER

Act One

(Darkness. Music — something to suggest vaudeville but not so obviously as to have lyrics. It fades out under.)

VOICEOVER: Particle physics is the unbelievable in pursuit of the unimaginable. To pinpoint the smallest fragments of the universe you have to build the biggest machine in the world. To recreate the first millionths of a second of creation you have to focus energy on an awesome scale.

(Lights up.
Cydney Lavelle, wearing a lab coat, gestures round the stage.)

LAVELLE: Welcome to CERN, to the Atlas chamber, the greatest scientific experiment the world has ever seen!

(Music, Gogol Bordello’s ‘Supertheory Of Supereverything’ plays. Enter Houghton, juggling, Martha burlesque dancing and posing and Goodman inviting the audience to ‘hunt the lady’ with his folding card table and three beakers. This all goes on for a few moments. Suddenly there is a burst of static and lasers. Music cuts everyone stops, looks cautious and unsure. Another burst of static and lasers.
Lights fade quickly. The ambient thrum of static also fades back.

SCENE 1 — (Office of Doctor Cydney Lavelle at the CERN facility. Thurs afternoon)

Lights up on a bare stage with a desk and three chairs: one on one side, two on the other. There is a file and a one page letter neatly placed on it. If there are any other objects on the desk, their arrangement suggests great neatness, bordering on the obsessive.
Lavelle enters, sits at what is clearly her desk, opens and reads the file for a few moments. She clearly doesn’t like what she is reading. She shuts the file, looks at her watch, picks up and reads the letter.)

LAVELLE: ‘Pastor Nathaniel Goodman, Church of the True and Risen Christ, Calhoun, West Virginia’. Sounds like a witch-burner from ‘The Crucible’.