The Phoned-In Fringe Show of 2026

(Darkness. On the stage, a single spotlight. One person, in a business suit, with a smartphone: the phone rings.)

“Hello, yes, it’s me.”

(Throughout the first speech, the person keeps moving around the stage, spotlight following, as if trying to find a good spot for their phone.)

“Yes, the signal is very bad. All of the tourists here, you know. They block the transmission, using their phones so much. Oh, here is a photograph of a beautiful castle. Here is a cafe where that lady wrote Harry Potter. Here is another cafe where she wrote Harry Potter. My, she got around a lot with her writing notebook and wizards. Here is a statue of a sweet little doggie. Here is a graveyard we are going to pretend is Hogwarts. Tourists are stupid. Ah, here the signal is better. No, I was saying nothing important. Now, please tell me what it is.”
(stands still)
“What? The entire budget?”

“What? I saw the power budget and I worried you had brought back a dinosaur.”

“You are kidding me.”


“Listen, I understand, there are problems with the budget. There are always problems with the budget in amdram, it is the nature of the game. Nonetheless, I cannot see how this is an effective solution.”

“Yes, I have heard and understood your explanation, I merely do not agree with it, and as the director-general of the time travel institute, I believe that I have some right for my views to be heard!”

“Yes, I know, you were assigned the job of managing our little theatre-group to introduce the idea of time travel and the risks of alternate dimensions to the world and that you were told to do this with an inadequate number of hours and a very limited budget and you have worked very hard, I hear you, I agree with you, and I fully and completely support you – up to a point.”

“How much money have you raised by this unscrupulous scheme?”

“What? Is that in millions?”

“Oh, in billions. I see. Yes. I see. Well, my goodness, there is no doubt that what you have done is unscrupulous, dangerous, and probably highly illegal if anyone knew enough about time travel to draft laws against it. But billions, I have to admit, is a highly cogent argument against your being charged with any of these things by our board of directors. Billions does make its own rules, doesn’t it?”

“So, let me summarise. To raise money for our amdram production for the Festival Fringe 2026 which introduces the idea of working time travel to the world at the International Festival, you have gone back in time ten years, invested our entire amdram budget in a hedgefund that bet on the pound falling after Brexit won the EU referendum, talked that little campaigning group into spending their budget on targeted facebook ads to change history so that Leave actually won the EU referendum and the pound fell and you made billions for the institute, you have brought this back to 2026, and you wish me to defend your behaviour to the board of directors. Well, billions is its own defence, and I will explain that you didn’t know what you were doing and it is a first offence and you will not do it again.”

“What, you thought no one would notice?”

“Why yes. Yes, people noticed. Yes, I think you should have known they would. Yes, I think I can say this amounts to criminal and reckless stupidity on your part: should you leave the institute, and I think you may have to, there will certainly be a place for you in the Tory Cabinet….”

(Spotlight vanishes.) (Curtain)

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