Genie, Eliot Moleba

Spotlight falls on a big box, which is written: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! A boy (on a wheelchair) enters. He feels the box, slowly unwraps it and finds a big lamp inside. There is a whistle tune coming from the lamp (singing the happy birthday song). He hesitantly taps it. Nothing happens. He taps it again (and the tapping continues to make a brief tune). He gradually rubs the lamp and a GENIE comes out.

Genie: Finally, I’m out. Free at last, free at last. Thank you!

He approaches the boy but he reverses his wheelchair.

Genie: No, don’t run away. I just want to thank you.

He slowly walks closer and closer. He gives him a hand.

Genie: Handshake?

He slowly offers GENIE his hand. They handshake.

Genie: You see, just a handshake.

He nods.

Genie: Thank you! And to show my gratitude, I will grant you your 3 wishes.

He stares blankly.

Genie: What is your wish?

He stares blankly.

Genie: You do know who I am, right?

He shakes his head.

Genie: Are you sure?

He nods.

Genie: You’re kidding me, right?

He shakes his head.

Genie: How is that possible?

He shrugs his shoulders.

Genie: (Strikes a pose) I am the legendary GENIE!

He stares blankly.

Genie: You do know who Genie is, right?

He shakes his head.

Genie: He is only the most popular character on Aladdin!

He stares blankly.

Genie: You do know Aladdin, right?

He shakes his head.

Genie: It is only one of the most watched animated films of all times!

He stares blankly.

Genie: What do kids watch these days? Kid, what kind of childhood do you live? What’s wrong with the world today!

The boy shrugs his shoulders.

Genie: Never mind.

Turns to the audience.

Genie: (To audience) You guys know who I am, right? Yes! That’s me. (He strikes a pose) I’m the legendary GENIE.

The boy smiles.

Genie: Would you like me to grant you a wish?

He nods.

Genie: What is your wish?

The boy hesitates.

Boy: (In sign language) I want a voice.
Genie: Come again?
Boy: I want a voice so that I can SPEAK, like you.
Genie: Can you say that out loud?

He shakes his head.

Genie: Why not?
Boy: I can’t speak.
Genie: You can’t speak?

He nods.

Genie: OK. That’s a first. I think we have a problem.
Boy: How can you’ve super-powers to grant people’s wishes but you can’t sign?
Genie: What? (In a loud tone) You see, I n-e-e-d to H-E-A-R the w-i-s-h so t-h-a-t I can g-r-a-n-t it.
Boy: Why are you talking so SLOWLY, I can hear you, I’m mute not deaf!
Genie: (To audience) Did anyone get that? OK. Neither did I.

Pause.

Genie: Let’s try this.

He snaps his fingers, 50 drag queens and kings enter.

Genie: No, not you. Wrong party, go back!

He snaps again and they leave. He looks at the boy and shrugs.

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Eliot Moleba is a South African playwright, theatre-maker and director. He is currently one of the playwrights in residence for ASSITEJ SA’s Inspiring A Generation programme, The South African Royal Court Writers, and a theatre fellow with the DO School in Hamburg, Germany.

Contact Details:

Eliot Moleba
+27 (0) 78 357 7769
info@eliotmoleba.com
www.eliotmoleba.com