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    by Anton Krueger

“…nothing in international politics happens by accident; everything is part of a huge plot that has been planned in advance, in great detail, and that has emanated from one sinister control center.”

A summary of the book ‘Podzhigatelei’ by Nikolai Shpanov, in ‘The New Terrorism (2001) by Walter Laqueur.


Drama Play Script: 'Axis' by Anton KruegerThe title of this play comes from George W. Bush’s declaration soon after the terrible attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, that there exists an “Axis of Evil”, a shadowy conspiracy which is, presumably, out to destroy the “Allies of Good”. It was this sort of sci-fi rhetoric which made the author wonder about some of the issues at stake in the current “war against terror”, since terrorists also seem to believe in a conspiracy being exercised against them.

The author started thinking about ways in which terrorism is represented in the media when he came across the true story of a western journalist who paid an Islamic fundamentalist group an enormous amount of money for an exclusive interview in their hijacked plane during a hostage crisis in 1977. This made him ponder the role the media play in terrorist activity, and gave rise to the formation of a rather absurd situation of actually having a talk show between a hostage and his kidnappers.

Hermes Trismegistus is a terrorist who claims to belong to an ancient cult called 'The Mystery Order of the Law of One'. He leads a group of militia men in taking over a theatre and holding the audience hostage. The militia has recently kidnapped Dr Edgar Vaughan, a dominant worldwide figure of capitalist success. They intend to broadcast a debate with Dr Vaughan on an Internet website, in order to reveal his nefarious ways to the world, and to expose his complicity in the 'New New World Order'. The show is to be hosted by one Dean Frazer, a failed documentary journalist who thinks he is superb at his job and claims to maintain an objective stance.

Ultimately, the website audience are invited to choose which of these three fanatics: Trismegistus, Dr Vaughan or Frazer, are to be executed. As the drama unfolds, as the debate rages on, television broadcasts and other news streams filter in from the outside world, as government forces steadily close in on the theatre.

The action takes place in real time, in the actual theatre where it is being performed. After taking over the theatre, the terrorists install various pieces of electronic equipment on stage; including four television sets in a frame, a computer console and an electronic scrolling message board. They also bring on a video camera on a tripod with which they project recorded images onto an enormous screen.

With a topical and tense plot, 'Axis' is very much a story of our time. The absurdity of Fraser hosting the talk show broadcast is in stark contrast to the underlying menace that is displayed between Trismegistus and Vaughan.


50 mins approx


(5m, 1f, 8m/f)

Hermes Trismegistus - casts an austere figure; something between Grytpype-Thynne (‘The Goons’) and Klaus Kinski's Nosferatu; a momentous mystery surrounds his every movement
Dean Frazer - a failed documentary film-maker, media personality and talk show host; wears an overly loud sports-jacket; has agreed to do the job solely for the money, and yet there are occasional glimpses of his genuine longing for the glamour associated with breaking an extraordinary story
Dr Edgar Vaughan - an extremely wealthy, elderly media mogul; his skin is taut, his eye are red-rimmed, and his emotional state, glacial
Three - bald and tattooed, used to be a bouncer, but was drawn to the movement on account of there being nothing better to do with his time
Two, Four, Five & Six - four militiamen/women on hand to carry out Three's orders. (More can be used if space and/or cast are available)
He - an actor, on stage at the time of the attack
She - another actor, on stage at the time of the attack
Four 'Plants' - four extras, posing as audience members. (All of whom have to 'die' from a gunshot).

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