Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Liv Heløe (Norway)

In the window

Text Extract

It’s raining
We’re in the kitchen looking out of the window mum and me
The neighbour’s digging a hole in the ground
What’s he doing with that hole I say
I don’t know mum says
How’s it going at school mum says
Fine I say
What does that mean mum says
That it’s fine I say
How’s it going with your maths mum says
Fine I say
Does you teacher think it’s going fine too mum says
Yes I say
It’s raining more and more
There’s going to be a prom I say
A prom mum says
At school in two weeks I say
What fun mums says
Fun I say
You and dad shouldn’t’ ve had any kids I say
What mum says
You and dad shouldn’t’ ve had any kids I say
Why not
Look at me
I don’t understand anything she says
Don’t be stupid I say
Honestly she says
There’s dancing at the prom I say
Yes mum says
Do I look like I can dance I say
Why not she says
Can a midget dance
A midget
You’re not a midget
That’s exactly what I am
You’re not one of the tallest but you’re by no means
That’s exactly what I am I say the absolute shortest
The neighbour takes something or another from his pocket and puts it in the hole
Height’s not important mum says
But you have to be able to reach up I say You have to reach up
Then he shovels the earth back
Then he goes
You can complain to your dad mum says
I would if he was here I say
It’s not my fault that he’s not here mum says

A year passes

We’re in the kitchen dad and me
Dad’s got the car keys in his hand
Not much changed here dad says
No I say
Apart from you dad says
Have I changed I say
Yes dad says
How’s your mum dad says
Mum’s fine I say
Have you packed dad says
Yes I say
Diving mask flippers
Yes I say
Rain-clothes something warm
’S only for a week I say
Yes he says shall we go
Or shall we wait ’til mum comes so you can see for yourself how she is I say
No I don’t know dad says No let’s go
The neighbour brings out a watering can
Stops by the little sprig sticking out of the ground
What are the neighbour up to dad says
Watering I say
I can see he’s watering what’s he watering
Dunno I say
Can’t see anything there at all dad says Let’s go
OK I say

A year passes

Mum’s standing by the window
Hi I say
Hi mum says but doesn’t turn round
Is something up I say
No no mums says
I sit down
I’m hungry
It doesn’t look like there’s any dinner
Everything all right at work I say
Yes mum says
And the electric’s not gone up I say
No Everything’s fine mum says
Doesn’t quite look like it
I say how’s it going with that bloke
What mum says
That bloke
What d’you mean mum says
The one you’ve been meeting I say
D’you know about the guy I’ve been meeting mum says
Difficult not to I say
You’ve been singing in the shower
Laughing at stupid jokes
Saying yes to everything I asked for
Have I mum says
Yes What’s happened
She doesn’t answer
Doesn’t he want to be with you
No mum whispers He doesn’t want to be with me
She bows her head
Says I don’t know what to do
What can I answer
I say Is there actually anything you can do
I say You can’t force him to love you
I say You’ll just have to wait and see Maybe he’ll ring one day
He must go into himself Find out what he wants Maybe it was a bit much
What if he doesn’t ring mum whispers
Then he doesn’t I say It’s just the way it is
I get up go to the window
We stand beside each other looking out
The sun’s going down
There’s blossom on the tree
The neighbour ambles up
Looks at the tree
I wonder what sort of tree it is
The neighbour waves
I wave back
Cherry perhaps
The neighbour walks towards his house
I’m hungry I say Aren’t you
No mum says
You have to eat I say Let’s go out To a café
To a café mum says
Yes I say No discussions
Ok mum says
She puts her hands to her head sorts her hair out in the window
And then Then we both notice
in the window
That I’m taller than mum
I really am
I put an arm round her shoulders
We stand there a bit looking
Then we go to the café

Translated by Neil Howard
The text may be performed by one, two or three actors


Short text written for the PLATFORM 11+ Final Production FACE ME Time of Transition



1. P11+ premiere Pilsen / CZ, June 18, 2012 in FACE ME Time of Transition
2. Brageteatret Drammen / NO

M: 0
F: 1