119: X-Stacy

18 Jul

Margery Forde’s X-Stacy is a play about families, drugs, rave culture, music and ecstasy. The play is aimed at young audiences and was first published in 1999.


Reading it now, the story still has power and relevance but some of the language feels dated. It’s interesting to see how quickly popular vernacular changes. The script is peppered with ‘man’ (as in “far out, man”) and there’s not a “like” to be seen (my personal bug bear when heard in the ” she was like really happy and then it was like she got upset and like started crying” – argh!).

Ben is filled with anger and pain. His little sister Stacy died six months ago after mixing too many different drugs and he blames everyone else to avoid exploding with his own guilt. His mum, Anne, has withdrawn into books and God and the two barely talk anymore. Then, to make things worse, his mum rents out Stacy’s room without telling Ben.

Zoe is the new boarder. She’s a DJ from Cairns, trying to get a gig in Brisbane when no one will give her a go.

ZOE: You guys are all the same. Your bloody testosterone warps your brain and you think you’re God’s gift to music. You think girls can’t play the decks. You think everything we spin is tamer than the stuff you do. Well that’s just a load of macho crap.

Ben’s best friend Fergus is a DJ about to hit the big time and his music (combined with ecstasy) is one of the ways Ben manages to detune from the world.

FERGUS: As you start to spin you feel this incredible surge of power. Doof! Doof! Doof! Doof! Like a heartbeat. You can feel it before you hear it. Doof! Doof! Doof! Doof! The power’s there in the lights and the turntables … the speakers and the music. The perfect sounds build and build until they explode with pure energy. You are one tribe, one heartbeat.

Margery Forde does a great job comparing spiritual ecstasy with drug fuelled ecstasy, which is Anne’s subject for her study as she tries to understand her daughter’s addiction and death.

ANNE: […] everything has to be instant. Do you know what I mean? Even ecstacy. They think they can just swallow or snort it or shoot it up into their veins.

Publisher: Currency Press

Cast: 4F, 3M

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