The stage opens on Regina Carter waiting at the couch whilst her daughter, Mia, arrives home from school. She comes by almost comatose, hypnotised by the phone she is texting someone on.
Regina; Mia, I’m so glad you’re home. I really have to talk to you about something that’s been plaguing me at night.
Mia; (on her phone) Ohh…yeah. That’s awesome, mum…
Regina; Are you even listening to me? Take out your headphones, please…
Mia; Oh, no he didn’t! That guy is…(Regina takes out her headphones) MUM!
Regina; I’m sorry, but I don’t want to have to talk to a shop mannequin again. We’re having this conversation right now.
Mia; (irritated) What is it?
Regina; It’s your stuff. I’m confiscating all your electronic devices until the end of the week.
Mia; Come again?
Regina; You and your brother are way too focused on your toys and the twitter and the Facespace, so you can get your phone back this Friday. They’re all going into this crate, which I’m putting in the secret family hiding place…
Mia; The attic?
Mia; Oh. My. God. Are you kidding me? I need my stuff! This is so unfair, you’re treating me like a child!
Regina; I’ll treat you like a child when you act like a child!
Mia’s twin brother Josh enters, singing a pop song, and not realising the other two are in the room until a couple of seconds in.
Josh; Wow. That was awkward, just then, I really felt that awkwardness…
Regina; And you too, Josh; I’ve confiscated your PS3, your Blackberry and your Discman.
Josh; A, it’s called an iPod, and B, kill me now.
Regina; Believe it or not, you two, people survived before iPods walked the earth.
Mia; Like when?
Regina; Like back in my day! Back in the 80’s, I had a wonderful childhood, and I didn’t have any of the luxuries that you kids take for granted. You would not last one day in the 80s, Mia…
Mia; Oh no, the 80’s! Back when you could only start a computer using the friction between two rocks?
Regina; Go to bed!
Josh; But I just got home from-
Regina; GO TO BED.
The children lurch off to their rooms, while a visibly upset Regina goes to hers.
The stage dims, and the children both come out of their rooms.
Josh; Can’t sleep?
Mia; You, too? I can’t fall asleep without my iPod, and it haunts me to think of all the messages on my wall I’m not seeing…my friends probably think I’m dead, you know!
Josh; Yeah, my eyes are melting from not looking an at LED screen. We have to find our stuff.
Mia; And where does Mum keep all our junk?
Both; The attic.
They traipse up the stairs to the small attic, which is basically a wall displaying an unused Nintendo Wii console, a poster of Harry Potter/Avatar and a recent calendar.
Mia; Ugh, let’s get out of here ASAP…there’s a box of Troll Dolls over there that are totally going to haunt me in my sleep…check that red crate over there, would you?
Josh; Nup, it’s not here…but look at what I found!
Josh uncovers a box of records, but Mia is determined to find her phone.
Mia; Josh, I really don’t care at the moment, just help me look for my laptop…
Josh; This is awesome! Did you know that there was a band called ‘The Bee-yat-less”?
Mia; It’s pronounced “Beatles”, moron.
Josh; Whatever. I bet there’s a record player around here somewhere…Which one should I do?
Mia; Josh, it’ll wake mum, just ignore it! Don’t you want your PlayStation back?
Josh; (distracted) Oh, sweet, it works! How about the musical stylings of…Hits of Summer 1985?
Mia; (giving in) Fine. But just one song.
The record starts playing, at first slowly, but then picking up speed. The lights whorl around Josh and Mia, who become disoriented. The screen blackens completely during the song.
INSTRUMENTAL; RIGHT ROUND (LIKE A RECORD), DEAD OR ALIVE
The attic has changed, but the children are in the same clothes. The wall of the attic now sports a Tron poster, an unused Atari and several pieces of 80’s exercise gear.
Josh; That was so cool!
Mia; Nah, I don’t really like 80’s music or anything. (she grabs the record, and accidentally snaps it)
Josh; What was that for? I didn’t realise you hated it that much.
Mia; I’m sorry, it was an accident!
Josh; Nah, that’s okay, just…just shove it down the back of the box, and we won’t tell Mum. (He looks at the room, notices the poster on the wall) Hey, check it out; Tron. Remember that?
Mia; That poster wasn’t there before…
Josh; Yeah…I don’t remember it either. In fact, the whole attic looks a little…different.
Mia; Where’s the Wii? And the calendar? Oh, wait, the calendar’s still there…
Josh; The date’s not the same, though; June 28th, 1985? You have to admit that’s a bit weird. Anyways, let’s get back downstairs; Mum obviously didn’t hide the stuff up here, after all.
Mia; Ugh. A whole week without technology, and I snapped one of Mum’s ‘priceless’ records. Could today get any worse?
As Mia says this, someone has already ascended to the attic; it’s Axel, the current owner of the house (in the 80’s) There is a long and pregnant pause between him and the twins.
Axel; What are you doing in my attic?
Mia; Your attic? Who are you, this is my house!
Josh; Yeah, what have you done with our parents?
Axel; Your parents? I don’t know! One minute I was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the next, I find some random stalkers in my house! Where did you come from?
Mia; We’ve lived here for 14 years, where did you come from? I came up to get back my stuff…
Axel; Get out of my attic, or I’m calling the police!
Josh; Fine…what’s with the clothes?
Axel; What do you mean?
Josh; Your clothes…did you borrow them from the Muppets, or…?
Axel; Not even, dude, these are the gnarliest threads around! Watch your mouth if you want to get out of going to jail, stalker…you can sit in the living room until I figure out what to do…
Mia; Did he just say ‘dude’?
Josh; And ‘gnarly’? Ugh.
Axel; You stay right here, and if I notice any spazzing, I’m calling the cops.
Mia; (to Josh) I can’t believe this. It’s like that record sent us to a different country or something…
Josh; Just calm down for a minute; look at the TV!
An ad for the Nintendo NES appears, before going to a cheesy, 80s style news report, where a big-haired announcer tells the day’s stories.
Newsreader; Welcome to tonight’s program, I’m Sandra Burke, and you’re watching In The News. Today marked the end of the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest, which was the 30th time this event has transpired. The winner for this year, for the first time ever, was Norway, with the catchy song ‘La Det Swinge’, by BobbySocks.
A small clip of the song plays.
Newsreader; Mmm, such tasteful clothing! Later on in the program, last week’s bombing and sinking of the Greenpeace Vessel Rainbow Warrior has taken on some serious implications for the French squadron that sunk the ship, and we’ll talk to the survivors of Hiroshima on the 40th anniversary of the horrific bombing that made the city a place of injury and death.
Footage of the Rainbow Warrior slides over into interviews with survivors of Hiroshima.
Newsreader; But first, a movie exclusive with this week’s newly released blockbuster, Back To The Future. Starring Michael J. Fox, this adventure film has just been announced as the highest grossing film of the year so far, and with the incredibly positive audience response it’s received, who knows when we’ll see a sequel? We talk to-
The TV cuts out.
Mia; Back to the future…back to the future! Josh, I don’t think that record sent us to a different country, it sent us to a different time!
Josh; What? Just because of a few retro ads?
Mia; No, think about it! That kid back there must be living in the house now, and we live here in 2011! I don’t know how, but by playing that record, we’ve been pushed back 30 years or so! That would explain the clothes…and the language…and the stuff in the attic. We’re in the 80’s, and I still don’t have my phone! This is a nightmare…
Josh; Wait, is the 80’s the one with disco?
Mia; No, that’s the 70s…
Josh; The one with the Spice Girls?
Mia; That’s more 90s, actually…
Josh; World War Two?
Mia; Not even close, the 80s! You know, shoulder pads? Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go? Material Girl?!
Axel re-enters the room without the two noticing. He is holding a brickish cell-phone.
Axel; I love that song! But seriously, get out of my house. I have the cops on speed dial!
Josh; That phone is huge! Maybe you should just throw it at us, that’d probably do more damage…
Axel; Dude, don’t diss the compact; this baby holds over nine phone numbers.
Mia; Look, we only just figured out what’s happened, and I know it sounds crazy, but we really do need someone’s help and you seem like a nice guy…
Axel; (flattered) Go on.
Josh; We’re from…the future.
Axel; (pause) Oh, wicked, no problem, man! I’m Axel, by the way.
He shakes their hands, and they recoil slightly at the horribly 80’s nickname.
Mia; So…you’re fine with it?
Axel; Sure thing, lady-dude! I’ve seen that movie Back To The Future and everything!
Josh; The second one’s better.
Axel; The second one? Wow, you guys really are from the future! Wait until I tell my homeboys…
Mia; Ugh…homeboys? Look, Axel, it’s vital that we begin searching; we need to find this record, it’s called Hits Of Summer 1985.
Josh; Why? What for?
Mia; Well, logically, if that’s what got us here, that’s what we need to get to take us back. (to Axel) You see, we played this record in our attic, and now, here we are.
Axel; Why were you in the attic in the first place?
Mia; We came looking for our phones and stuff, after our stupid mum confiscated them…
Axel; If it’s stuff you want, you came to the right place; the technology in this decade is, like, state of the art! Nintendo NES, four buttons of fun!
Mia; While I am blown away by your space age technology, we have to stay on topic; do you have any idea where we can find the record we need?
Axel; Hits of Summer 1985…that record’s the bomb…I bet one of my friends has a copy!
Josh; (to Mia) It’s worth a try?
Mia; Let’s go!
CHOIR SONG; MATERIAL GIRL (SUNG IN UNISON/HARMONY)
Mia and Josh are led by an enthusiastic Axel to the local shopping centre. There are cliques of people everywhere dressed in neon clothes, which the twins are slightly intimidated by. Axel’s group of friends play on a ghetto blaster near a bench.
Mia; This is the shopping centre? It hasn’t changed at all!
Josh; Yeah, apart from the clothes. I think my eyes have Neon Rash.
Axel; Okay, everyone, listen up; gang, meet Mia and Josh, Mia and Josh, meet the gang. This is Magnet…
Axel; And this is…
Soph; (interrupting) I’m Soph. And who’s this? The itty bitty loser comitee?
Axel; Shut up! I told these guys you were rad!
Mia; Well, it’s been nice meeting you but we really have to…
Josh; Aw, come on Mia, I think we can stay a bit longer.
B-Dog; We were just about to go to a movie, actually.
Josh; I’d love to go to a movie, sounds great!
Mia; Oh, yeah, trapped in the 80s with no mobile, no computer, and my freaking brother, that’s just the ideal day out for me.
Josh; Well, ex-squeeze me.
The whole group of 80s children start laughing.
Soph; You said ex-squeeze me instead of excuse me. That is SO funny, you are SOOO funny!
Magnet; Yeah, you’re hilarious, man! Where did you guys come from?
Mia; You really wouldn’t be interested.
Josh; The year 2011!
Soph; Josh, why don’t you come with us to the movies? It’s this film called…what is it again?
Axel; The Neverending Story.
Josh; Well, how long does it go for?
Everyone laughs again. Mia is shocked that the group are so impressed by Josh’s crappy jokes.
Mia; (to herself) That’s not even funny!
B-Dog; Welcome to the group, dude, you’re a riot!
Mia; (sweetly) But Josh, remember? We can’t go to the movies now, we have to go pick out a record.
Josh; Yeah, but-
Axel; It’s just a movie, Mia!
Soph; Yeah, Mia, lay off. You’re about as much fun as…as a…as something that’s not fun.
Mia; Fine, I’ll go by myself. Axel, who else do you know who has that record?
Axel; Oh, yeah. Dudes; do you know anyone who has that record Hits of Summer 1985?
After a while of thinking, Magnet raises his hand meekly.
Magnet; I think Regina Carter has one, but…you know, it’s Regina Carter, so there’s kind of no point.
Josh; Did you just say Regina Carter?
Mia; Oh my god. As in our mother, Regina Carter?
B-Dog; Eww, she’s like 16!
Mia; I don’t care how old she is, if she has that record, we need to find her!
Axel; No use, guys. Regina’s a total ice queen.
Soph; She made our art teacher cry. By looking at him.
Mia; Well, I’m not your art teacher. I’ve stood up to mum before, I think I can handle her.
Gi-Gi; Handle who?
Magnet; The monster! She standeth over yonder!
Josh; That’s Mum?
Everyone motions Mia forward and she stands awkwardly in front of her own mother, who is decked out in neon and glitter.
Mia; Regina, I was wondering...
Gi-Gi; It’s Gi-Gi. Nobody addresses me by my real name.
Mia; Gi-Gi, then…a little bird told me that you have that record-
Gi-Gi; I have heaps of records, so what?
Friend; Yeah, and birds can’t talk.
Mia; The record Hits of Summer 1985. Anyway, I was hoping I could borrow it.
Gi-Gi doesn’t respond. Mia looks for something else to say.
Mia; So…if you could give it to me…at some point…that would be great.
Gi-Gi; Have you ever come to one of my parties?
Mia;…um, no, but-
Gi-Gi; Have we ever been in the same class at school?
Mia; I…no, I don’t really-
Gi-Gi; Have you ever saved my life or had the privilege of talking to me before these five minutes started?
Gi-Gi; Then what makes you think that I’m going to pay any attention to your sad little request? I’m not going to give my things to some random chick I only just met! I have a TV. I have roller blades. I have a cell phone! (she pulls out an enormous brick of an 80s phone) And I’m not giving any of it to you, because I need my stuff.
Gi-Gi and her friends begin to walk away.
Axel; Gi-Gi, wait! Hear me out for a bit; I know that it’s kind of a weird request for her to make, but we’re tight…ish. And she really does need that record…
Gi-Gi is considering, and Axel’s whole group, including Josh.
Gi-Gi; Okay, Axel. Your nerdy girlfriend can come to my party tonight, even if she is a total Joanie. We’ll see how it goes. Dress nice, ‘cause it’s gonna be bodacious.
Gi-Gi and her posse leave.
Josh; And she’s the popular girl?
Mia; I can’t believe she talked to me like that! Especially since she gives me so much crap about all of my stuff in the future…
B-Dog; Are we going to see this movie or not?
Axel; Right behind you, dude.
The group moves off, except for the twins.
Mia; She was just so…
Josh; Rude? Self-Obsessed? A mirror image of you?
Mia; Say what?
Josh; Look, the reason you’re so confronted by Mum is that she’s just like a meaner version of you! You both have an obsession with your stuff, the only difference is that her stuff is out of date.
Mia; Just go to your movie, Josh. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Josh; Suit yourself, material girl, I’m having a great time with Soph.
Soph; Josh, hurry up, the movie’s about to start!
Josh; Speak of the devil…or should I say, angel?
Soph; (flattered) Oh my god! You’re so adorable!
The scene opens on the party, where small cliques of teenagers sit around the stage. A record player spins whilst Mia enters the party. She is now dressed in typical 80s garb, as are Josh and Soph, who are obviously falling for each other. Axel and his other friends are already at the party.
Mia; Okay, we just come in, have a drink, grab the record and get to the attic…
Soph; We can’t, Josh was telling me this amazing idea he has for a book! It’s about this boy called Harry Potter, and when he turns eleven, he finds out that he has magical powers, and he gets sent to this school for wizards! How wicked is that?
Mia; Yeah, really original. (She confronts him) Josh, if you tell one more person that you invented the iPhone or something, I swear-
Axel; Don’t have a cow, Mia!
Josh; Yeah, loosen up! It’s not like anyone will know; I mean, at this point, Harry Potter’s just an idea in the back of J.K. Rowling’s head. Anyway, Soph, Harry has this friend called Ron, and a lady friend called Hermione…
Regina’s group laughs and clusters around her. Mia listens in on the conversation.
Gi-Gi; Guys, you would not believe it. My mum confiscated my stuff today.
Friend 2; No way!
Gi-Gi; Way! She says I can’t go on the Atari until my birthday, and I’m not allowed to use my cell phone until two weeks after that!
Friend; That’s totally bogus! Don’t worry, babe, we’re here for you…
Gi-Gi; Shut up, I’m not done complaining yet. I can’t believe she would do this to me…I bet it’s cause she’s jealous. Like, I’m the raddest girl in school and I’m totally good looking.
Friend 2; Yeah, you-
Gi-Gi; I SAID I’M NOT DONE YET. I’m gonna be so much more kind to my future kids, Labrascha and Exon.
Josh; Sound like anyone you know?
Mia; I can’t believe it, you’re right! I am like mum…less neon, obviously, but still. Mum was just as stuff-obsessed as I am now!
Josh; And yet here you are. Don’t you think it’s kind of amazing that you can survive more than ten minutes in the 80s, where there’s no up-to-date technology?
Mia; Yeah. I guess stuff isn’t that important after all.
Mia; I said, I guess stuff isn’t that important after all!
Josh; I still can’t-It’s the music, it’s too loud.
Mia; The music…the music! Oh my god, do you know what record this is?
Both; Hits of Summer 1985!
Josh; Quick, I’ll grab the record, you get Axel.
Soph; Josh? Where are you going?
The pair run frantically around the party as the music hits its climax, and the party guests have cleared away, leaving only dancers.
Mia and Josh lead the group to the attic, Soph clinging to Josh’s arm. Axel goes ahead to find the record player.
Axel; Okay, here’s the record player; drop the beat, y’all.
Mia places the needle on the record, and everyone sighs with relief as the music begins to play.
B-Dog; Be careful in the future, you guys.
Magnet; Have a nice time being slaves to your cyborg masters.
Josh; I’m pretty sure that hasn’t happened.
Magnet; It will. Believe me, it will.
They leave the attic after a while, and Axel hugs the twins.
Axel; It’s been wicked hanging with both of you, and Josh? I hope you write that screenplay about the girl who falls in love with a vampire, it sounds great.
Mia; Josh, I thought I told you…
Axel; It doesn’t matter, Mia…the truth is our time together has been the awesomest time of my life, and I just wanted to thank you both. I hope you get back your stuff, Mia.
Mia; Actually, I think I’m okay without it. Your stuff doesn’t need to define you; YOU define you, with your actions and words, your wishes and your dreams.
Axel; Okay, this is too corny for me, I’m sorry, I have to go…
Axel leaves promptly, leaving only the twins and Soph with the record player spinning away.
Soph; Oh Josh, I don’t know how I’ll survive without you! Your clothes, your hilarious jokes…
Mia; Are you freaking kidding me?
Soph; …I’m going now, Josh. But I’ll always be with you. I’ll always be right…here.
She runs across the room and places her hand on his heart awkwardly.
Josh; Mia, I don’t know if I can go back with you…
Josh; The 80s are great! The music’s awesome, the clothes are classy, and I have an amazing girlfriend.
Mia; Girlfriend? You met her this morning! You probably don’t even know her name!
Josh; Of course I do! Sophie…Sophia…Sophicles?
Soph; (flirting) That’s not it, silly! My name’s Sophia Huffin.
The twins both pause, especially Josh, who looks disgusted.
Mia; As in our geography teacher, Sophia Huffin?
Josh; OH MY GOD. I’M IN LOVE WITH MY GEOGRAPHY TEACHER.
Soph; Well, I do have an interest in sedimentary rocks.
Josh; GO, GO, GO!
The twins both grip onto the record player and the instrumental plays a quick and frenzied snippet of somethingsomething.
When the screen is lit up again, the backdrop has swivelled to reveal the modern wall and the twins are lying, exhausted on the ground, still dressed in their 80s clothes.
Mia; (checks the wall) Harry Potter poster…Nintendo Wii manual…and the calendar says 2011! We’re back, Josh! And just before you got any more familiar with Mrs. Huffin…
Josh; There are two things which I will never confess to; one, the unbridled joy I feel whenever someone plays ‘Single Ladies’, and two; what just happened with my geography teacher.
Mia; (faking ignorance) What did just happen with your geography teacher?
Josh; You know! I was just about to…oh. Sweet! Now let’s get to bed before Mum notices we’re dressed like extras from a Wham! video…
It’s too late. Regina is at the mouth of the attic, with a torch.
Regina; Mia? Oh thank god, I was so worried!
Mia; Why? What time is it?
Regina; It’s four AM! I heard these footsteps and you weren’t in your rooms, and…(she looks at them) Why are you dressed like extras from a Wham video?
Josh; That’s what I said!
Mia; We…uh…we just found these old 80s clothes up here, and…
Regina; Why were you up here?
Mia takes in a deep breath and confesses.
Mia; I came up here to get my stuff. I know what you’re going to say, and I get that it’s pathetic, but I really thought that I needed it. I was wrong. I can live without my stuff, and I think maybe I should, because…because it’s really made me think differently about myself.
Regina; Oh, honey, I’m so happy to hear you say that! I was actually coming to your room to give you back your stuff…(she holds a box full of their electronic devices) I thought about how acted when I was your age, and I have to admit; I used to be a little too focused on my stuff, too.
Mia; (faking surprise) Really?
Josh; I never would have guessed.
Regina; I think it’s a bit unfair to take away your stuff, considering that I used to have my own stuff…but it’s important to not be too dependent on it.
Mia; Yeah, and MENTIONS SONG TITLE! YAAAAAAY!
CHOIR SONG; SOMETHINGSOMETHING (SUNG IN UNISON/HARMONY)