Virtual Reality: Synopsis

Cast: 4 male / 3 female
Note: Virtual Reality is not available for production.

One by one, four scenes are highlighted on stage. Alex alone at a restaurant; Cassie auditioning; a gardener working; Penny recording a TV segment.

At the restaurant for his birthday dinner, Alex is joined by his business partner, Barney, and literary-agent wife, Beth. Alex’s wife Penny also turns up late talking on her hand-free phone. Beth, rather the worst for alcoholic wear, tells Alex how important he is to Beth and his (unseen) son, Daniel. In contemplative mood, Alex talks to Penny about identity, unaware she is actually on her phone. Everyone but Alex leaves and he is left alone until Cassie, a poor actress and waitress, asks about him and actually listens to him. It transpires Alex has invented Viewdows - large screens which generate pleasant images to offer a view where there is none. Alex gives Cassie a lift home and she invites him in for coffee, but he later falls asleep while she rehearses for another audition.

The next morning, Alex tries to tell Penny what happened, but she has her personal stereo on. Alex rings Cassie to apologise and invites her to visit his showroom. Cassie agrees and Alex and Barney show off the new McGregor version of the Viewdow, which shows a gardener going about his daily tasks in a virtual garden - although Barney is disturbed by rumours the McGregors have been malfunctioning. Alex and Cassie go for lunch and then to her flat and to bed. Barney confides in Beth as to whether there is anything wrong with Alex and Penny’s marriage.

Cassie is ill from half-a-bottle of wine and falls asleep while Alex ponders on the meaningless nature of his life. When he next sees Cassie, he tells her he is considering having an affair. She seems non-commital, but says things will change if he does.

Alex moves in with Cassie and, as Beth predicted earlier, things begin to go wrong for everyone. Alex tries to impose his tastes on Cassie, Penny begins to falter at work and Barney has discovered someone is selling knock-off McGregors, which are endangering the business. Beth leaves Barney, angry that Alex didn’t want her and Barney blames Alex.

Cassie and Alex fall out when she agrees to work with film director Lec on a reality movie about Alex and her life. Totally isolated and unable to turn to Cassie or Penny, Alex finds himself back at the restaurant, which has bought a knock-off McGregor which doesn’t actually have the gardener in it. Alex looks at the Viewdow, steps into it and dons McGregor’s clothes and tools and begins to garden.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.