Scrounge by Amie Marie

Hello iceniPost,

Thank you again for sharing details of my debut, The Play About Theresa May.

I have a second publication coming out January 10th 2022 and would be delighted to share this review with you, by Calum Mcgee, for your website. Here is a little more context on my next work…

Carol is disabled. She must apply to the Department for Work & Pensions for welfare.

Abby applies for a well paying job assessing Personal Independence Payment claimants on behalf of the DWP.

A stage play based on real conversations between disabled people and assessors, doctors, and the public, as well as whistleblowers who have called out the “grave and systematic violations” (UN, 2016) of disabled peoples’ rights in the UK.

Shortlisted for the Snoo Wilson Award (2018).

Author Amie M Marie
Author Amie M Marie

Scrounge by Amie Marie

Marie’s second published play deftly blends philosophy and classical references with knife-sharp political and social criticism. With the character of Dino acting as the Classical Greek chorus and adding a bizarre poetry that runs throughout, the play flows incredibly well and ends in an almighty crescendo. Marie is clearly incredibly enthusiastic about the issue of disability benefits presented within the play and, whilst some of it reads like dystopian fiction, it’s almost all 100% true.

Whilst Marie’s first play, ‘The Play about Theresa May’, uses slapstick and incredibly visible comedy in order to portray the absurdity of the then-current political situation of the UK, ‘Scrounge’ is an all-too-real tragedy that less satirizes the awful situation many disabled people go through in Britain as it exposes the system for what it truly is.What starts off as a deep philosophical conversation with a seemingly omniscient character on a train then plunges you into reality with fantastically written characters and a clearly broken system.

Not a lot seems to happen within the play, there are three, maybe four settings; however it’s the dialogue where Marie’s skills as a playwright really shine through.She takes the mundanities of life: getting official, “brown envelope” post; a job interview; making a cup of tea, and centres whole scenes around them, emphasising the humanity of the characters. Characters such as Carol, a single mum living with her daughter and a clearly painful disability, are so sympathetic and full of life that it is impossible not to be moved by their actions and words, as well as the consequences of living under a system which dooms many disabled people to a really quite miserable life.

All in all I believe that Scrounge is an incredibly important play.The national discussion around disability benefits in the UK is one that, from my own personal experience, seems to often focus around those apparently claiming them fraudulently.The fact that the majority of this play, certainly the final interview at least, is taken almost verbatim from actual interviews and cases, shows just how difficult it is for real people (not conversational hypotheticals) to access the money and help they desperately need and therefore how this conversation needs to change.I very much look forward to reading more from Marie in the future.

Calum McGee