Pete Barrett Plays and More

Horror Plays

SURGEON: We’ve only performed a double hand transplant twice before. The first time, we sewed the hands on the wrong way round – on the plus side though, the patient did get a job in a freak show alongside Mackerel Woman and the Three-Legged Dwarf. The second time, we reattached the hands back to front. Tragically the patient could never use chopsticks again without his wife having hysterics. No, no, this time, I’m going to wipe that smirk off their faces, and I don’t mean with Botox.
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PHIBES: We are, but first we must explore the hidden depths of the mind. You see, you describe your parents as nice, normal people. But the mind has ways of pushing horrible things deep, deep into the subconscious. Hiding them away for decades, until they break through the surface in the most bizarre and pernicious ways. I had a patient once who had an overwhelming fear of pineapples. After three years of therapy I discovered he had informed his twin brother that the only way to eat pineapples was to swallow them whole. Of course his brother died in dreadful agony, his throat horribly distended into the shape of a pineapple.

WIGGINS: And I suppose you cured him of his fear of pineapples?

PHIBES:Not entirely no, but after extensive therapy, he could allow himself to be in the proximity of a tin of pineapple chunks for over two minutes without actually throwing himself out of the window. Fortunately I had moved to the ground floor by then.

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I started to think about it. First Germany, then here. What would a doctor want with corpses? In the war, the Nazis used to experiment on people. They made discoveries. Discoveries that normal doctors couldn’t, because normal doctors aren’t allowed to experiment on real people. They found out smoking gives you lung cancer, the Nazis. Did you know that?

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