Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Richard Hurford (Great Britain)

The Mystery of Jack and the Clones of Chaos

The Mystery of Jack and the Clones of Chaos

Text Extract

Jack, a thirteen year old boy in school uniform storms into his bedroom, flinging a school bag on his bed. He is furious and yells at the room.

You happy now? Are you?

He calms down, sits on the bed.

So I get home from school feeling fine. I’m thinking maybe I should have some toast or maybe I should have some crisps, but when I see Mum I lose my appetite. “Oh, it’s you” she says. Like who else is it going to be wearing my clothes and my face, but I don’t say anything because she’s using THAT voice. “I hope you’re in a better mood,” she says, “I don’t want another row like this morning.” And I honestly don’t know what she’s talking about. I can’t remember any row this morning, but there’s no stopping her. “I don’t want you to speak to me like that ever again, do you hear me? I won’t put it up it.” She’s really angry, but then she sighs and I can see she’s tired and god no, I think she’s going to cry. “I really don’t know you anymore, Jack,” she says . And then I understand what’s been going on. It wasn’t me who yelled at her this morning and slammed the door. It was one of them. They’re back.
He picks up a wastepaper bin that’s been kicked over, the contents spilled all over the floor. He notices an empty crumpled cigarette packet, picks it up, looks at it grimly.
I used to have my own bedroom. I really liked that. When I went out I knew everything would be just the same when I got back. But then they moved in. Now my stuff’s all over the place and there’s new stuff in the drawers and the wardrobe and under the bed. Someone else’s stuff. Someone’s been messing with my iPod and downloading music I never heard of. Someone’s been messing with my laptop and bookmarking sites I’m not into. Someone’s been in here when I’m not. I don’t understand how they get away with it. How do they get in? How do they make my own mother believe I’m someone I’m not? What are they? Ghosts? Aliens? Government agents?
He takes a concealed video camera from a shelf, hidden amongst some books.
Well, we’ll see now. Twenty-four hours captured on video. Every move, every word, every little thing they do to mess with my life. Who the hell are these people and why are they picking on me?
He presses the button on the video. Black out, sound of static.
Digitized Voice-Over
Tuesday, 11.38pm.

Lights up. Cool Jack is standing in the centre of the room, wearing a Diesel top. He sniffs the air.

Cool Jack
What’s that disgusting stink?

He opens the school bag and finds a can of Lynx deodorant.
What the hell is this? Lynx? Where did this come from? That chav’s been in again, hasn’t he? God, he has hasn’t got a clue. You don’t walk round stinking of camel pee if you want to be taken seriously. But seriously, he’s got no idea.
He opens the wardrobe.
I mean look at all this crap. But what does he expect? He lets his mum buy his clothes and she’s a total loser. Her idea of looking good is George Michael in the 80s. You have to take some pride in the way you dress, make sure you wear clothes that go together, stuff that’s right for different occasions. And it’s got to be by the right people. Diesel, Henley’s, Soul Cal, G-Star – not Tesco cos your Mum saw it on offer when she was doing the shop.
He takes a bin liner and stuffs handfuls of clothes inside.
That’s it. It’s all going. I can’t live in the same space with someone who dresses like this. He’s got to get himself sorted out or no one will ever take him seriously.
Lights down, sound of static.


A time-traveller from the future journeys back to 2010 to investigate the strange case of Jack, a thirteen year old boy who believes his life is being taken over by alien clones of himself. The clones look and sound just like him, but behave in ways he never would. They are messy, dirty, rude, destructive, obsessed with girls, clothes and music, sometimes childish, sometimes violent and frightening and get him into all sorts of trouble with his mother, his friends and teachers. When they invade his bedroom, Jack teams up with a famous female pop singer in a final battle to regain control of his life. The time-traveller is revealed as Jack, now grown up, revisiting his own adolescence and coming face-to-face with his younger self. A comedy-drama play about the confusions and battles of growing up, it runs for 45 minutes and is performed by one adult male actor and one teenage male actor with multi-role playing.


Richard Hurford (Original English Version)
German Version


Opening Night 2010, May 25 at Pilot Theatre Company, York/UK

M: 2