Theatre Scene: Popov, Milo & JB – He Died with a Felafel in His Hand

February 12, 2010

Down below is an old scene from a run of Felafel in Brisbane in 2009-2010. In the years the fucker’s been running, no-one’s ever noticed there isn’t actually a character in the Felafel or Tassie Babes books named ‘Popov’. I think he found his way in there thanks to an inspired Davo Sheehan type during a Slem production which went against the spirit of the original production, in which Slem engaged people who could actually fucking act.

Originally, the character on stage was written as McGann whose notable background was that he was an American.

In so many of the productions I’ve seen of Felafel, interestingly, be it performed as McGann or Popov, the male actor usually doubles up with the Decoy throughline. Similarly, unless you have plenty of actors on hand, they’ll generally triple up as the Lizard Man down the track.

Anyway, as a playwright I’m happy to discuss the technical aspects of the scene with anyone.

A few stand-out points:

1. In the Shakespearean manner, the higher status character of Popov gets to speak first;
2. The references to place have been utterly localised to suit where this production of the scene was taking place. In Wagga, there is a Wagga script; in Melb., a Melb script etc;
3. The central narrator employs first person address in harlequin to be in effect an audience member who just appens to be up there;
4. That convention is fucked around with as they break 4th wall and have a spitting contest at the audience;
5. Best way to sort out status among males on stage is to have blokey competitions;
6. The stylish way to suggest that a monologue about ‘fish fingers’ be said in a kiwi accent without lowering yourself to a hideous stage-direction is to give that character a very New Zealandish name.
A snippet from ‘Felafel’ copyright 2010, Bedak, Le Marquand & Neaylon.


POPOV: Hey yous, catamite boy, if that Seven Eleven in Spring Hill is opening 24 hours, why does they having locks on the doors fucking?

JB: (to audience) It was around this time Milo and I scored ourselves a new flat-mate, who went by the name of Popov.


POPOV spits at an imaginary target beyond the audience. It misses..

JB: Softcock.

MILO: (Hoiking gob) Right, stand back… I’ve got a head cold. (Fires it.. it dribbles down himself)

JB: Better than last show, mate.

MILO: Yeah, I been practising.

JB is marvelled at by POPOV and MILO as he noisily prepares his shot, bringing up a dangerous and bouncy chest goober. He lines up an audience member and nails it.

JB: Right between the fucken eyes!

JB: (to audience) Now, the three of us had a common bond in this all male abode.

MILO: (to audience) This was the place where I found and claimed as one of me own, a five-inch-long gorilla-pube I found in the shower.

MILO falls to knees, scratching his balls

POPOV: This was the house of the infamous “Who can be wearing the same fucking jeans the longest contest”.

JB: This was the house of the notorious Castle Blokenstein at Morningside. This was the house of “Men, Without Babes”.


JB: What the hell are you doing Milo?

POPOV: Can’t you see Johnny, Milo – he’s scratching his balls.

MILO: Nah, I got this fucken-tropical-super-jungle-rash so I been trying Popov’s ointment on it.

POPOV: Ointment? (tastes a finger-swipe)…Milo, that is my toothpaste…

MILO: (RISES) Jesus, Mary and Judas – what the fuck have I been brushing my fucking teeth with! MILO EXITS

POPOV: So Giovanni, what’s for dinner ?

JB: Fish finger pie.

POPOV: Fish finger pie?

MISS WAIPUKURAU as a CHEF enters with fish-finger pie & kebabs

MISS WAIPUKURAU: Share house artefact number two. The fish finger. Big dinner party this weekend, or just some friends dropped in unannounced? Surprise your guests with a fish-finger recipe. Fondues, casseroles, grills. Nothing impresses like a fresh fish-finger. From the casual sophistication of the fish-finger kebab, to a six course set piece dinner arranged around the magnificent, fish fingers in aspic. Your guests will be as surprised as you were on discovering this culinary masterpiece.


JB: Thank you madmoiselle. (to POPOV) Fish finger pie…it’s simple.
You get a dozen fish fingers, a couple of cheese sticks, wrap it in a heap of dough and bake the fuck out of it.

MILO enters with undone jeans

MILO: I just want yous all to know, I got rid of that toothpaste shit of Popov’s off me scrote without taking off me jeans.

JB: Jesus Bjelke-Peterson, wish you would take the fuckers off Milo.

POPOV: Ya, you have a very-stinky-little-pinky Milo.

MILO: Garn get stuffed, the pair of yous.

JB: Milo, mate, if you don’t change your strides in the next three seconds, I’m gonna hit you with the bloody hose.

MILO: I’m not dropping out of the “Triple Zed Don’t Change Your Jeans Contest” for anybody.

POPOV: Grab his arms Giovanni. (JB APPREHENDS MILO) The time has come, Milo. Either you are having the bathing, or your blow-up doll Wendy, with the four openings of love, she gets harpooning with a love-mullet up the clacker from me.

MILO: You leave my plastic Wendy out of this.

POPOV rips off MILO’S jeans and undies, throwing them off-stage.
JB & POPOV shake hands