Moveable Type


Gravity, a radio play by Katie Caden

Moveable Type is a new podcast series and an aural counterpart to the Moveable Type Journal. On this page you can read the transcript for Episode 8, which features gravity, a play by Katie Caden.

This is the Moveable Type Podcast.


In today's episode, we are pleased to share with you our very first radio play. The play we will be sharing with you today is called Gravity and it was written by Katie Caden. Caden is an alumnus of Soho Writers Lab and has had her work performed at Vault festival, the Bunker Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre 503, Camden People's Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre. Her last show 'Paper Straws', produced by her theatre company PearShaped, won the Vault Origins award and her first play 'Are You Happy Now' was shortlisted for Lyric Hammersmith's Original Theatre Voices competition.


Caden's writing explores contemporary issues, and interrogates the way we live our lives today, experimenting with form and often using humour as a way to communicate serious issues. She writes to understand other people, and herself, exploring why we behave in the way we do? Why do we make poor decisions and repeat our mistakes? And what drives us to hurt each other or conversely express our love? Writing 'Gravity' in response to Unfeeling, the theme for this year's issue, allowed Caden to consider these things and, in particular, how people can express their love through their actions whilst saying they don't care, and conversely how we can tell people we love them and then behave like we don't. All the characters battle with these impulses and the push and pull between feeling too much and feeling nothing at all. Alongside this, Caden has included technology almost as an extra character, interfering with these dynamics, pulling attention away from the situation at hand, and impacting the characters' ability to feel to the fullest extent.



THERAPIST That must be really challenging for you -


LEANNE        (PAUSE) It’s a lot of responsibility


THERAPIST              Can you tell me what emotions that brings up?




            Do you feel worried? Do you feel sad?


LEANNE        I thought you weren’t supposed to put words in my mouth


THERAPIST               You tell me in your own words then




                        I thought we made an agreement


LEANNE        It’s my niece




            I need to pick her up.


THERAPIST               Can it wait a little while? We still have 15 minutes of our session.


LEANNE        This is the thing really. There’s just so much to do all the time. My life has just got very – busy.


THERAPIST               And how does that make you feel –


LEANNE        I’m sorry. Let’s put a pin in it this week.




THERAPIST               So I’ll see you next week?


LEANNE        If you want.


THERAPIST               It isn’t really about what I want Leanne




LEANNE        I’m just telling her I’m on my way.


THERAPIST               This is a two way street. It’s a relationship. But it feels – one sided. Do you want to keep coming?




LEANNE        (SIGHS) I guess the thing is I’m not like – depressed – or like anxious. So I don’t like – know why the university referred me really.


THERAPIST               The circumstances you have described to me sound very challenging and it would be fine for you not to be okay in your situation.


LEANNE        I really need to go and get Ellie now


THERAPIST               Well have a think this week about what I’ve said. And whether you are going to engage with these sessions going forward.




LEANNE        Bye


THERAPIST               Goodbye Leanne


LEANNE        (RECORDING A VOICENOTE) Hi Lottie – it’s me. Sorry sorry sorry I know I haven’t responded to your first message, messages... I thought I’d send a voice note as I’m walking. How European. I feel terrible. Things have just been – urgh. I need to pick up Ellie, she’s just finished football and I said I’d take her to Creams. Your question is… Can I get a drink tonight? Can I get a drink? I would love to but… I need to see really. I need to see what things are like with Sophia – you know. Whether I can leave Ellie, or whether I stay the night there or whether he needs to come back to mine. I dunno. I dunno. Sorry not helpful. Probably no -


SUPERVISOR            Leanne!


LEANNE        - but just text me where you are later and maybe I will.


SUPERVISOR            Leanne


LEANNE        Yeah, just let me know where you end up. (SHE ENDS THE VOICENOTE) Hi.


SUPERVISOR            I’ve been trying to catch up with you – about your chapter.


LEANNE        Yes sorry I’ve been (TEXT TONE GOES) busy.


SUPERVISOR            I mean the main thing is that it’s not finished


LEANNE        Yeah it’s a work in progress. And the deadline isn’t –


SUPERVISOR            It’s in two weeks. Can I schedule in some office hours for you? You say you’re not on campus much –


LEANNE        Today is an exception.


SUPERVISOR            I have an hour free now.




LEANNE        I’ll email -


SUPERVISOR            You seem distracted


LEANNE        My niece – I’m – she’s finished her football practice –


SUPERVISOR            I want to support you but you need to tell me how


LEANNE        Let me look at my calendar when I get home


SUPERVISOR            Couldn’t you look now it’s on your phone right?


LEANNE        I’m sorry I’m just not in the – (HER PHONE RINGS) - headspace.


SUPERVISOR            Do you want to get that?


LEANNE        (BEAT) No.


SUPERVISOR            Please Leanne – just respond to one of my emails. Just tell me when you’re free. Don’t let the last two years go to waste.




SOPHIA          (ON ANSWERPHONE) Leanne. I’ve been thinking about things again and I think you’d be better off without me, I -


ELLIE             Who are you on the phone too?


SOPHIA          (ON ANSWERPHONE) - know you don’t want –




LEANNE        It’s just a message.


ELLIE             From Mum?


LEANNE        No. No. Urm one of my friends.


ELLIE             It sounded like my Mum.


LEANNE        Yeah similar. Ellie, I need to make a quick call.


(LEAVING A MESSAGE QUIETLY) Hi, it’s Leanne – can you – urm – do you mind just knocking on next door – urm – seeing what my sister is doing – she sent me one of those – urm – messages. Those messages I told you about. Sorry to ask. I’m not – nearby. Just text me telling me it’s all fine. If it’s you know – fine. Thank you.


Okay little man – so what’s it going to be? Ice cream or milkshake?




ELLIE             Can I go on your phone?


LEANNE        What are you going to do?


ELLIE             Go on Tiktok.


LEANNE        Hmm – five minutes. It’s not good for you. It will do stuff to your baby brain.


ELLIE             I’m not a baby.




LEANNE        Okay that’s enough.


ELLIE             I can just tell you what the message says.


LEANNE        No. Ellie. Give it to me.


ELLIE             I already saw the message.


LEANNE        We’ll go now if you don’t give me the phone.


ELLIE             It said ‘Not herself but okay’




ELLIE             And Lottie says they’re meeting at The White Horse at 8.


LEANNE        Give me my phone.


ELLIE             No need to yell.


LEANNE        I’m not. I didn’t.


ELLIE             When can I have a proper phone? My phone doesn’t do anything.


LEANNE        Not my decision.


ELLIE             All my friends already have iPhones.


LEANNE        You don’t have to be like everyone else.


ELLIE             I want to be though. Are you looking at Instagram?


LEANNE        No. I’m texting Lottie.


ELLIE             I can see you’re scrolling.


LEANNE        It’s work stuff.


ELLIE             For your PhD?


LEANNE        Yeah that’s right.


ELLIE             About addiction.


LEANNE        Who told you that?


ELLIE             You did.


LEANNE        Did I?


ELLIE             What are you doing now?


LEANNE        I’m emailing my supervisor.


ELLIE             Do you have to do it right now?


LEANNE        (PAUSE) No, no I don’t. You’re right. I don’t. Tell me about football.


ELLIE             We won! And I scored a goal.


LEANNE        Well done Ellie


ELLIE             Yeah and everyone said it was an amazing shot – I was running up the wing and then -


WAITRESS    Two milkshakes. I have peanut butter and I have… salted caramel. Can I ask that you pay for it now?


LEANNE        Urm… Yeah. Yeah of course. I can use my phone?




WAITRESS    Yeah that’s been declined.


LEANNE        Ah fuck. I need to – I need to – move some money. One second –




LEANNE        Sophia?


ELLIE                         Mum?


SOPHIA          Through here. Hey. Give me a kiss.


LEANNE        What have you been doing?


SOPHIA          Tidying the house.


LEANNE        Suspicious.


SOPHIA          Who are you texting?


LEANNE        Lottie. We’ve got plans tonight.


SOPHIA          You’re not staying tonight?


LEANNE        I’d rather not.


SOPHIA          What are you looking for?


LEANNE        I’m seeing what food you’ve got in.


SOPHIA          Well I don’t keep anything edible under the sink Lee.


LEANNE        Not necking tide pods then?


SOPHIA          Or in the cutlery drawer for that matter.


LEANNE        What are you going to make for dinner?


SOPHIA          I was thinking of ordering in.


LEANNE        No, Sophia, she needs something nutritious, she’s been playing football.


SOPHIA          Excuse me mother. What are you taking a picture of?


LEANNE        Nothing. Can I go and look upstairs?


SOPHIA          Are you kidding?


LEANNE        Nope


SOPHIA          I have nothing to hide.


LEANNE        Good




SOPHIA          Ellie. Come here. How was football?


ELLIE             I scored.


SOPHIA          You did not! You’re amazing. You are. You’re gonna go pro – I know it. You’re like fucking David Beckham.


ELLIE             Mum, he’s old.


SOPHIA          Ellie, don’t say mean things about David. Do you want pizza for dinner?




LEANNE        Are you going to be okay tonight?


SOPHIA          I don’t know what you mean.


LEANNE        You know exactly what I mean. Your message.


SOPHIA          I didn’t -


LEANNE        No – don’t do that.


SOPHIA          I don’t remember what I said.




LEANNE        Yes I’m at Sophia’s. I just dropped Ellie back.


SOPHIA          Who are you on the phone to?


LEANNE        Yes – he seems fine. He seems good.


SOPHIA          If that’s fucking Jason.


LEANNE        (TO ELLIE) Ellie – are you good? (TO SOPHIA) Jason says don’t swear in front of Ellie.


SOPHIA          Oh isn’t that just lovely that the two of you have your own little conversations without me.


LEANNE        He’ll pick Ellie up after school tomorrow. (TO THE PHONE) I’m not going to stay do you mind? (TO SOPHIA) Will you get her to school on time tomorrow?


SOPHIA          Ellie – your Dad thinks I make you late for school.


ELLIE             Mum never gets up in time for school.


LEANNE        No, it’s fine. I think she’s okay today actually. Bye. Speak soon. (SHE HANGS UP) I’m going now. Shall I take this on my way out? (BOTTLES CLINKING AS SHE PICKS UP A BINBAG)




LOTTIE          HEEYYY! Look who it is? I thought you were working?


LEANNE        Done for the day.


LOTTIE          You finished the chapter?


LEANNE        More or less.


LOTTIE          What do you want? Beer?


LEANNE        Yep yep – anything.


FRIEND          How’s your sister Leanne?


LEANNE        Yep yep – doing really good. On the road to recovery.


FRIEND          Oh I’m so glad to hear it. Honestly I don’t know how you do it. It must be soooo difficult.


LEANNE        I just need to make a quick call. It’s Sophia – I brought Ellie back from school. I put her art project in my bag – I’ll be right back.


            (SHE PICKS UP THE PHONE)


NEIGHBOUR There’s very loud music coming from next door. I just thought you should know.


LEANNE        How loud?


NEIGHBOUR Can you hear it? I think someone might call the police Leanne.


LEANNE        Have you asked her to turn it down?


NEIGHBOUR I knocked and there was no answer. Maybe she can’t hear.


LEANNE        Have you tried Jason?


NEIGHBOUR I didn’t think that would go down well.


LEANNE        I’m… out


LOTTIE          Here you go


LEANNE        I’ll call you back.


LOTTIE          – what’s up?


LEANNE        Sophia – I think she’s having a bad day. It’s been a bad week to be honest. Or month.


LOTTIE          Just don’t get upset about it.


LEANNE        I don’t get upset about it – because it’s not like I’m even – it’s not like she’s even Sophia when she’s like this – it’s someone else entirely


LOTTIE          Don’t let it spoil your night.


LEANNE        I can’t stay Lottie –


LOTTIE          Oh Lee. Take the night off!


LEANNE        I don’t know if I can.


LOTTIE          You’ve been MIA recently. Just have a night for yourself.


LEANNE        This night’s for you! It’s not for me.


LOTTIE          Oh I’m sorry it’s that unpleasant spending the evening with me.


LEANNE        It’s not you. It’s - I’m getting an uber –


LOTTIE          You literally just got here.


Why don’t you just talk to me and not think about it for a night?


Why aren’t you even looking at me?


Have you just opened facebook?


LEANNE        What no! I don’t know. Okay I’ll stay. I’ll just finish this drink.


LOTTIE          If I double park you will you stay for two?


JASON (VIA VOICENOTE)             Hey Leanne – urgh sorry I know it’s late. I’ve got Ellie. I’ve taken her back to mine. Josephine rang. Look it got pretty heated – you should probably go over. She was like screaming and throwing stuff. She was razzed you know. I don’t know what happened today. She seems worse – can you talk to her? I just – can’t - you know. Can you go over there? I know it’s like – not your responsibility. But we’re getting divorced – so it’s not like – mine. Yeah. I know it’s been messy since your Mum died. But she can’t blackmail me. I didn’t want this to get dirty with Ellie – I wanted us to come to an arrangement between us – not with the lawyers and shit - but I don’t know – I don’t know – it’s not right for her growing up in that house. It’s hard for me cos I didn’t like – sign up to this – full time – you know. Didn’t think it was going to be a full time arrangement. But we’ll see how it all feels in the morning. After you’ve spoken to her. Let me know you’ve got this. Let me know you’re going.




LEANNE        Sophia?


SOPHIA (SHE’S BEEN CRYING)   Hey – you want to watch Selling Sunset?


LEANNE        What happened here?


SOPHIA          It was Jason.


LEANNE        Jason threw a glass did he?


SOPHIA          (MEEKLY) Yes


LEANNE        And Jason was the one playing music too I suppose?


SOPHIA          What music?


LEANNE        WHAT MUSIC? And what’s that?


SOPHIA          It’s tonic water.


LEANNE        And where’s Ellie? Is he upstairs?


SOPHIA          (SIGHING) The bitch next door dobbed on me.


LEANNE        I drop everything for you.


SOPHIA          I didn’t ask you to come over.


LEANNE        You’ve got the gravitational pull of the fucking sun.


SOPHIA          I get emotional sometimes. It’s Mum and the divorce.


LEANNE        Then I come running over and you’re just here watching some shit on TV.


SOPHIA          Now we can watch it together.


LEANNE        What would you do if you couldn't get in touch with me?


SOPHIA          You’re my family. It’s your job to protect me.


LEANNE        It’s not my job! I bloody wish someone was paying me.


SOPHIA          And you just pretend to ignore me all the time. I know you get my messages and then you don’t reply.


LEANNE        When you keep calling me saying you don’t want to be alive anymore, how I am supposed to know if you’re being serious or not?


SOPHIA          You should just presume.


LEANNE        What does that mean? Hey? Presume you’re fine? Presume you’re being serious? WHAT?


SOPHIA          (PAUSE) I’m joking Leanne aren’t I?


LEANNE        Well it’s a fucking shit joke.


I’m not picking up anymore. I’m not picking up ever again.


SOPHIA          Well don’t come crying to me if you regret that decision.


LEANNE        You’re not being serious


SOPHIA          Aren’t I?


LEANNE        No – because we’ve done this a hundred times before. But you’re not going to call anymore because no one is.




SOPHIA          What the hell are you doing?


LEANNE        You can’t call if I don’t have a phone.




SOPHIA          How are you going to find your way back?


LEANNE        I know the way


SOPHIA          Do you have your bankcard on you?


LEANNE        Nope


SOPHIA          And what are you going to listen to on the way home?


LEANNE        Nothing. I’m just going to listen to – the street – the sound of the street and the cars. And the night -


It’s going to be silent. And it’s going to be golden.




SOPHIA          Are you going to stay here tonight?


LEANNE        Yes.


SOPHIA          Do you want a drink?


LEANNE        No Sophia –


SOPHIA          A tea, a tea – I meant a tea.


LEANNE        Fine.


This is the last time.


SOPHIA          I’ll come with you to get your phone fixed in the morning.


LEANNE        I mean it.


SOPHIA          You want sugar?





LEANNE - Eve Colyer

SOPHIA - Regina Co

ELLIE - Sophie Edwards

JASON - Eliot Taylor

THERAPIST - Sarah Chambré

WAITRESS – Sarah Chambré

SUPERVISOR - Miriam Helmers

NEIGHBOUR - Sarah Edwards

LOTTIE - Oliver Toloza Chacon

FRIEND - Damian Walsh


The sound editing was done by Sarah Edwards.