Leaving the Cave is a short, one-act play based on Plato’s, Allegory of the Cave. Socrates and a stranger ponder what they want in life. Socrates is tired of the rat-race but fears stepping out of it. Socrates asks, “But why should being happy in misery be worse than being miserable?” Having been freed from the cave of illusion, Socrates makes a fateful decision. Will he choose to go back to the cave, chained to the wall with his brothers or live in a world he doesn’t fully understand?
Cameron Corcoran is a Law graduate from the University of Sheffield, one of the top law schools in the United Kingdom. He has been writing plays for a couple of years and has had successes, most notably at scratch nights and at the Camden Fringe Festival.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
SOCRATES: Dressed in ordinary clothes. 20s Male; Holds a chain with a collar.
STRANGER: Dressed in ordinary clothes. 20s Either
(The stage is bare. There is an artificial orange light coming from the Stage Right Exit. The Stranger stands at the center of the stage, looking outwards. Skyward there are stars. Socrates enters: Stage Right, holding a chain and collar in his hands. He enters seeing the world: grey and miserable. He joins the Stranger at the center of the stage looking outwards.)
STRANGER (Points at the stars.)
Did you know that there is an angel on every star? (Pause.) Now there have been hundreds of billions of people in the history of this earth, but there are trillions of stars. Enough to wish upon and for an angel to hear. (Pause.) What do you want?
I don’t know… Money.
Money is just a means to get something you want. Often you don’t know, so you compile this means so that one day you can get what you want. But so much time is spent focusing on the means that you forget what the end is: what you want. So all this money is just there, doing nothing for no one.
Money will keep me safe.
Money buys you time. But eventually, no matter how much money you have, your time will run out. And that money’s worthless. (Pause.) So what do you want?
Honestly, just some respite. It might not get me what I want but it will give me a break from what I have. Just a few days to not worry about my job, my bills, my pay check balancing everything out at the end of the month. Honestly, I just need a break from all that. (A beat.) I know you think money is just a means. But at some point humanity became just a means; it no longer having a purpose, not really; it’s just part of the machine, being built for no particular reason. I’m sure once we had direction and meaning but now we’re just running in a circle – it saddens me to cling on to what we once were to justify what we are now. We’ve been running round for so long that we’re now entrenched in it. And we can’t go anywhere else.