SST9 First Draft – Katie Roberts

1 Jun

When I wrote my ideas post, I mentioned that I was considering using the carnival theme as a metaphor for deeper issues but that a part of me just wanted to write a poem about Portaloos. I decided that I wanted to be bit more playful with this poem so I went for the latter.

The Portaloo choice was also motivated by an idea for design. I will be travelling north on the day of the show so I can’t perform in person and will need to record my contribution either as an audio or a video piece. My interest and background in theatre design means that I have found the idea of being replaced on stage by some element of set quite exciting. What I would really like is to have a Portaloo in the middle of an otherwise dark and empty stage, door slightly ajar with light shining through, in a small cloud of smoke – a bit like a tardis. So if you happen to have a spare Portaloo knocking about, give me shout.

Here’s what I have so far;

I am the Portaloo
Let me transport you
Back to that sodden field in Somerset in 2005
Paddling in a pool of creamed sewage
As you glance down and realise
That you might just be today’s lucky 1000th customer
Whose bonus ball breaks free from the container
And you know all too well
That mixture on the seat
Isn’t quite the chocolate Angel Delight that it half looks like
And you wish that you could go back to those nights
Of cheap desserts and 7 o’clock bedtimes
When you couldn’t even have dreamt
Of a stench like this
You try to hold your breath for the entirety 
Of the time it takes to complete the act
But that 
Only means you have to gasp
And take it all at once
Like bitter medicine
Allowing potent particles to penetrate your airwaves
As though a drunken giant skunk has farted in your mouth
Like drowning in soiled underpants
Like Hell spat out a piece of itself upon you
I am the Portaloo
Nobody loves me
No one looks upon these plastic walls delightfully
They only ever queue out of necessity
Day after day
Men tuck their tips of fingers under t-shirts to open me
And women squat and hover nervously
Because they cannot bear to touch me
I will need to record an audio file for this, and may seek the assistance of fellow Mouthy Sebastian who is good at playing with effects.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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3 Responses to “SST9 First Draft – Katie Roberts”

  1. MouthyPoets June 2, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    Haha yes nobody loves me I am a portaloo so pathetic coming from te portaloo but so good I would like to see more humouresa/self pitting lines from the portaloo .neal

  2. deedenie13 June 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    The imagery in this is just so good. Especially “paddling in a pool of creamed sewage”. I am really liking the development of this, specially how ‘in your face’ it is and the boldness. I have never used a portaloo but this experience pretty much took me there. Only line that I think should be improved for a greater impact would be “for the time it takes to complete the act”, feels like it can definitely come across stronger if put in a different way.

  3. MouthyPoets June 3, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    Love it! Hilarious! Not sure about the ending though… I feel like I am left wanting a slightly bigger statement or a more specific, iconic image… if feels like the end of the story or dynamic is missing?

    Could you make a portaloo? They are quiet expensive I think, but we can ask the Playhouse… Laura said she knows someone too. Love the idea of how to stage it, hope we can make it happen!

    Debris x

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