New Plays from Finland
Jack and Olly are childhood friends who have ended up working together in Jallu’s car repair business. Due to an unpleasant incident at work, the university-educated Olly has been forced to resign from his position as a principal, while Jack, with his vocational degree, has worked in the garage his entire life. Jack has decided to help Olly in his time of need and gave his friend a job at his garage. But the business is suffering from a lack of customers, and the men take radical action to save the company.
Having lived in different worlds, the men in Garage provide each other with a new mirror on their lives. In Olly’s view, they are fundamentally similar, but will the discrepancy in their backgrounds have too much of an impact on the men’s friendship in the end? Is the class society really history?
Garage is a play about self-respect and self-regard, the fissures between the classes, and changes in the contemporary workplace.
(Olly is working on the engine, cleaning the cover bolts. Jack is sitting in the office booth and tapping away at a computer. The radio is on in the workshop: Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire. Olly is listening to it, turned up high. Jack’s phone rings.)
JACK (into the phone)
Jack’s Service Garage... Hang on. (to Olly) Ol, turn the wireless down would you, can’t hear myself think. (phone) Look. Trust me. There was no other choice but to replace the whole engine. It was you that said bugger the cost you want that motor running, wasn’t it... I’m not trying to say anything. Yes, I know it’s a Volvo but it’s not like it’s the latest model. Yeah...We’re giving it a new heart, same as you having the old ticker fixed last year. Yeah. Joke. Trust me, I’m telling you. I’ve been doing this a long time and I know when an engine needs a total overhaul. Come down next week and pick it up. It’ll be like having a new car. You can burn some rubber in the car park at Tesco’s. All right?
Hey boss. You got a minute...
Hold on. What are you doing?
I’m cleaning these threads. They’re pretty rusty.
JACK (distracted by his phone)
Hello... Now I’ve gone and pressed something on this new phone. (to Olly) For goodness’ sake use the vise-grip pliers, they’re safer than the ordinary ones.
There’s not that much difference between them.
Don’t teach your father how to suck. There’s a huge difference between them. Vise-grip pliers have jaw-locks so they don’t scratch the bolts. You scratch a bolt and it can crack. Like what happened to Joe’s old Escort. His engine cover came flying through the bonnet and had his girl-friend peeing in her pants.
Oh this one guy from technical college. Dead now. Like the rest of my friends.
What’d he die of?
You never heard of the Chinese guillotine?
Well, he was putting the plug back on the oil pan when the jack collapsed. He was pinned down by the car. His wife was watching The Bold and the Beautiful at the time, Ridge was snogging Logan. Meanwhile Joe was being slowly crushed to death.
Wasn’t he using a separate trestle? Any fool knows you can’t go under a car that’s only held up by a jack. Didn’t they teach you that at college?
Course they did, first thing. But anyway this jack was made in Hong Kong, that’s why it’s called the Chinese guillotine.
I see... Maybe his brain was affected by too much paint-stripper. You once said they all used to sniff it.
No I never.
Translated by Eva Buchwald
Nordic Drama Corner Ltd
- Korjaamo (Finnish, original)
- Garage (English)
- Opravna (Czech)
- Garaaz (Estonian)