The ecstacy and the agony…


A one-act play about how easy elation can turn to despair in the human condition. It’s set in the editor’s office of a major metropolitan newspaper.

As the curtain opens, Courier-Mail editor Chris Jones is reading at his desk strewn with papers. He looks up as one of his 12 deputy editors comes to the door.

Deputy Editor (carrying a printout): The ABC’s running with a story that the party leader has possibly breached new Queensland laws banning developers from donating to political parties. InQueensland’s running with it too.

Jones: (jumping up and punching the air with a fist): You fucking beauty. We’ve got her! (Shouting) Everyone in here now for a second editorial conference.

(Various people enter the room).

Jones: Okay, guys. We’ve got to drop everything we had planned at our earlier gathering. I’ve just been told…

Deputy Editor: Mein fuehrer….

Jones: That we’ve got Palaszczuk by the …. whatevers. We’ll devote the first 16 pages to the scandal. I want our coverage to make what Chris Mitchell devoted to the news that that dreadful Commie pinko Manning Clark had been awarded the Order of Lenin look like a newsbrief..

Deputy Editor: Mein fuehrer….

Jones: Maybe we’ll run an early special edition. Or even make it a liftout. I’ll get Des, Peter and Mike to write stinging column pieces…

Deputy Editor: Mein fuehrer….

Jones: Lads, we’re going to get the biggest bonus in the history of Newcorp…

Deputy Editor: Mein fuehrer….(hands outstretched, pleading)… please, I’m trying to tell you that it’s not their leader…

Jones: (trembling hand reaches up and touches the side of his head) .. You mean ours? Deb?

Deputy Editor: (apologetically) Yes. Sorry.

Jones: For goodness sake, people, there is absolutely nothing against the law for property owners to talk to or mix socially with politicians. It’s only illegal for them to donate to political parties. I’ll write an editorial about how these new laws vilify and criminalise property developers who are very much in their rights to push projects to governments that they believe will benefit the people of Queensland.

Art room editor: And I’ll start work immediately on a big 600pt splash heading … DEB DID NOTHING WRONG.

Jones: Not bad. But maybe as a backup we can run with some union thug declaring that he will decide who will be in the Palaszczuk ministry if, heaven forbid, she’s re-elected.

(diverse voices) We did that today.

Jones: Shit! Of course we did. Let’s get cracking people!