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The Bird Trap

by Darren Donohue


Absurd Comedy Play: 'The Bird Trap' by Darren Donohue

“You see, Max, we’re in the organ trade. We buy and sell vital organs. Everyone has them. And everyone needs them. It’s a thriving industry.” says Mr. Rivendale, at the opening of this absurdist comedy set in a shady office. And so, Max’s indoctrination into his new job begins.  But it soon becomes apparent that this will be no ordinary first day.

Fevered office paranoia surrounds Max’s arrival. Mr. Rivendale suspects Max was hired to replace someone. But if he’s correct, then who’s for the chop?  Max gets to know his fellow employees, these include Mr. Crème, a lonely middle-aged man determined to take Max on holiday, and Sophia, a young woman who can’t remember who she is or why she’s working there, and Mr. Sala, a nomadic accountant, ostracised from the corporate world and now working out of a filing cabinet.  This desperate collection of characters, consumed by fear and paranoia, attempt to welcome Max and show him the ropes.

As the day unfolds, it also becomes clear that Mr. Rivendale is experiencing a midlife crisis. Triggered by Max’s arrival, he grasps for meaning and questions his purpose. But as he does so, the office begins to unravel around him, as though it were held together by belief.  When they receive news that Mr Bul, their mysterious superior is calling in, it appears that Mr Rivendale’s worst fears are confirmed.  Now, he must face the consequences of sacrificing his life in the service of an industry where everything is for sale but nothing has value.  What did Max learn from his first day? Can he escape the corporate quicksand, reach out to Mr. Rivendale and intervene to save him?

‘The Bird Trap’ is a wild absurdist comedy exploring the connections between citizenship and industry, questioning the domestication of humanity at the expense of our imagination.


50 mins approx


(4m, 2f, 1 junior)

  • Max - early 20s, soft-soul, overpowered with the enthusiasm and eagerness that accompanies starting a new job
  • Mr Bell - late 20s, weasel-like, little man
  • Mr Rivendale - 50s, captain of the ship, displays authority like a man who isn’t entirely sure what he’s doing
  • Mr Crème - mid 50s, moves like a shell fish inhabiting a shell three sizes too small for its body
  • Sophia - young woman with an ostrich-like neck
  • Miss List - late 30s, Mr Bul’s personal assistant, stern, foreboding
  • Mr Bul - 12, smartly dressed

  • Perusal Script (The Bird Trap)
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