Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Ákos Németh (Hungary)

The Webshop

A webáruház

Text Extract

MARTINA, MARCELLA (14 years old girls) – scene takes place in the present, in Budapest

MARCELLA: At the doctor’s, I’ll distract her.

MARTINA: How do you know she’s a woman?

MARCELLA: Pediatricians are always women. Men can’t stand kids, they get the willies if there’s a kid around.

MARTINA: I don’t know about that. My old pediatrician was a man.

MARCELLA: Well, he must’ve been pretty miserable. And an alcoholic for sure, that’s for sure. He hated kids secretly.

MARTINA: He liked me.

MARCELLA: You only thought he did. He detested you, believe me, detested you. From the bottom of his heart. All he had to do was look at you, and he hated you.

MARTINA: You don’t even know him.

MARCELLA: I know men. All they like about kids is making them. After that they skip out, as soon as they can. If a kid comes toward them, they get the creeps thinking about the consequences.

MARTINA: And how are you going to distract her?

MARCELLA: I’ll phone her from the waiting room while you’re in with her.

MARTINA: It’d be better if you came in with me.

MARCELLA: You’ve got to do that yourself. I’m only going as far as the waiting room with you.

MARTINA: And what’ll you say to her on the phone?

MARCELLA: Let that be my problem.

MARTINA: I’ve got to know what you’re going to say. I’m the one being examined, coughing and everything the way we discussed, and if you call while I’m in there, I’ve got to know what you’re saying.

MARCELLA: What do I know what I’ll be saying? I’ll come up with something.

MARTINA: I can’t cough while you’re on the phone.

MARCELLA: While I’m on the phone, you don’t have to cough. You have to cough only when she’s paying attention to you.

MARTINA: That’s good. Because I really can’t cough that much. Especially if there’s nothing wrong with me.

MARCELLA: You just go ahead and cough. And don’t give me any excuses, cough normally. Cough like this. (She coughs.)

MARTINA: I can’t do it like that.

MARCELLA: How then?

MARTINA: Like this. (She coughs.)

MARCELLA: No good. That’s a big zero. She’ll catch on.

MARTINA: I don’t care if she catches on. Why is it a problem if she catches on? Who cares?

MARCELLA: Because then what she’s catching on to is that you’re trying to get out of going to school, and she’ll call the police.

MARTINA: What are you talking about?

MARCELLA: Believe me, she’ll call the cops.

MARTINA: The cops are busy chasing bank robbers. They don’t have time for teenyboppers like us.

MARCELLA: Not those cops, the truant officers.

MARTINA: You’re a total idiot. Everybody’s always cutting school and nobody ever calls anybody.

MARCELLA: But now you’re committing medical fraud, that’s what they call it. Especially because you’re going to be stealing the prescription pad. So don’t go making excuses, just cough normally. If your coughing isn’t convincing, you’ll be suspicious right off the bat.

MARTINA: I’m really not in the mood for this whole thing.

MARCELLA: I’m only trying to help you.

MARTINA: Help me?

MARCELLA: I’m helping you so you don’t have to stay the way you are. Not the way you are, but different.

MARTINA: I don’t care about that.

MARCELLA: How come? Do you want to be the way you are? Do you? See what I mean? And anyway, this is no big deal. You go in, your lungs hurt, like this, you cough, like this, you stick out your tongue, like this, you growl a little, like this, don’t overdo it, meanwhile I call her, I say something, and you pocket the prescription pad and hightail it out of there. That’s it.

MARTINA: That’s it?

MARCELLA: That’s it.

MATINA: You promise nothing bad’ll come of it?

MARCELLA: Yes, you idiot, I do. Nothing bad’ll come of it. Will you do this much for me?

MARTINA: When you come right down to it, you’re my best friend.

MARCELLA: When you come right down to it, I’m your best friend.

MARTINA: Well, okay, when you come right down to it, you’re my only friend.

MARCELLA: Okay, so are we okay?

MARTINA: Well, but still… what’re you going to say to her over the phone? When you call her – what?

(English translation Eugene Brogyányi)


Two 14 years old girl Martina and Mercella meet by chance in an empty playground at night. It becomes clear from their discussion that both are lonely, their schoolmates don’t accept them moreover they are excluded from the company of the schoolmates.

Marcella is a very smart girl, perhaps this could be the problem with her. She competes in school competitions and she wins. She wants to be a mathematician, a space researcher, an astronomer, a brain surgeon etc., this changes every week, however she is talented indeed. Adults are fascinated because of her knowledge and maturity and it seems every way and possibility is open to her.

Her classmates look at her suspiciously, she looks down on them and thinks they are stupid. She communicates only with adults and thinks of herself as an adult in every respect.
She doesn’t have siblings, her mother, a family doctor secretary, has no partner.

Martina is different. She is inhibited though she would be naturally pretty but she tries to deface herself in every possible way, she often changes styles – dark, emo, gothic – in her clothing and attitude.

She is the middle child from three siblings, her parents are workers, common people with little money and even less free time. Her sister has been very sick for years and her parents had to concentrate their energies on this. She hangs out a lot with different people here and there.

Marcella and Martina are very different but they do have one thing in common: boys are not interested in them. Martina is overtly unworried by this. Marcella is secretly very annoyed about this. Both of them regard school as an unnecessary shit.
They discover soon how they can attract attention and win the recognition of their mates: by starting business with medicine, at first with trendy prescribed slimming drugs then with sedatives, stimulants, antidepressants, hallucinogenics.

At first they get the prescriptions easily with the help of stolen prescription pads. They have no idea of the trouble they are getting themselves into. The girls become very popular amongst their mates and they are considered very cool. Their behaviour has changed, they are becoming confident. Marcella discovers the financial part of the business too. She starts to enjoy money and, by using forged signatures, she makes investments.

Their activity attracts the attention of the drug dealers of the neighbourhood and the police as well but for the present non of them can find the girls.

Their business booms so much so that the girls decide to establish a webshop in order to circulate the goods. Dorina, Martina’s sick sister who is disabled and lives her life in front of the computer is involved in the informatics part of the development.

Among their costumers are strangers and adults as well. The clientele starts to become more and more bizarre in the ballet school (Martina takes ballet lessons), in the schoolyard, in the playground.

The two girls are already business-women who realise that they are addicted to their own goods financially but not just financially. For instance Martina makes much more money than her father who is a bus driver.

In the meantime they have problems with purchasing drugs, because the pharmacists have become suspicious. The prescriptions are obtained in a very refined way: they appear in emergency medical centres just before closing time if possible, between two crying infants. They never go to the same doctor, they lose their prescriptions, steal health insurance cards, make business with the prescriptions of their family members and eventually start forging.
Martina doesn’t lie to herself that she hasn’t become addicted to her own drugs, but the smart Martina is the emperor of life until the first sickness which forces to her to end up in hospital…


© Ákos Németh


1st Opening Kolibri Theater Budapest (HU) , April 29, 2011

M: 2
F: 3