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Choking The Butterfly

    by James Johnson

Clips from the 2008 production by Tinderbox Theatre Company.

BBC / Stewart Parker Trust Award 2009


Teenage conjoined twins Betty and Barney are left to their own devices in an abandoned button factory after an operation to separate them.

'Choking The Butterfly' a one act drama by James JohnsonThrown out of a cosy institution of bath times and warm needles they grew up in, they are now left with a suitcase packed with bottles of milk and cash - the land of milk and money they dreamed of as children. Betty is excited about her new existence as a singleton. Free of her parasitic twin she strides out into the world for work. Barney is smaller, weaker and as he relied on his sister for life, now that they are apart he sees death roaring towards him. Both individually meet the troubled yet charismatic Brody who introduces them to the dark underbelly of a contemporary society riddled with drugs and voyeurism.

Finally set free and equipped with all the money in the world can the twins survive separately yet stay together? And, after living so long without temptation, what now for two teenagers who naively name themselves after a pair of cartoon characters they watch on television?


70-75 mins approx



Barney – a young man, late teens / early twenties
Betty – a young woman, late teens / early twenties
Brody – a man, late twenties / early thirties

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