humour nudity play questioning relationships

As Natural As Breathing

A One Act Play by David Grant

From the Novel:

Judy Dosh Saves the World!


Photo by 丁亦然 on Unsplash

The stage is in darkness except for a soft light revealing eight chairs placed in two rows of four on the apron of the stage, stage right.

The light reveals eight people sitting as part of an audience. They face centre stage. In the middle of the front row sit Father Ed and Judy. They talk to each other quietly, and then drift into thoughtful silence Father Ed is wearing a disguise consisting mainly of a fake Merv Hughes style moustache. A spotlight picks him out and he stands and walks to the front of the apron.

Father Ed:

“Some of you are probably wondering what I’m doing here in disguise. Well actually it was Judy’s idea but I’ll tell you how it came about. You see I am still a Catholic priest with my own congregation some of whom have pretty set and rigid ideas about nudity. And the play we have come to see tonight is all about nudity. Now I have got no problem with nudity because I am an artist who goes to life drawing classes and draws the nude figure. One of my regular models is a guy called Matthew. He was chatting to me a couple of weeks ago and said that he had been chosen to act in this new play called “As Natural As Breathing,” which is, as I’ve mentioned, what we are about to see tonight. Now the play examines the concept of what would happen if instead of finding the genitals sexy and forbidden we focused on the nose. So the actors are nude apart from hiding their noses, the new secret and forbidden area of the body. Matthew assures me that the play is also funny so I hope that he is right. I don’t often go out at night to the theatre or the movies, but I do like something which makes me think and also makes me laugh! I am not sure about this disguise that Judy has organised, but I suppose if it can fool any of my parishioners who might be here then it has done its job and is well worth it. We will see!”

Father Ed returns to his seat, where he chats to Judy for a while before drifting off into silence. A spotlight picks up Judy who walks to the front of the apron.


“Some of you are probably thinking ‘what is she doing here with that strange guy in a fake moustache?’ Funnily enough I was just sitting here thinking exactly the same thing! What am I doing with this guy and why am I here?

The only answer I could give myself was because I must like him in some way or another. Although God knows why? And I had better not say that to him because he is a Catholic priest. Which makes it all a bit funny because I am an atheist and atheists shouldn’t get interested in priests! Nothing much has happened between us but I think I hope something will happen!

Or is it all just a sexual thing on my part? I mean I am intrigued with him as a person but there is something physical there as well. Did I tell you about time I saw him naked? It was the same time we had that big hailstorm the two of us were going for a walk around Lake Monger when we were caught in the storm. We managed to shelter from the hail but still got absolutely drenched. So we ended up back at his place, which is a rectory attached to his church, to have a hot shower and get into some dry clothes. Let me explain, just before you start thinking that we showered together, that it wasn’t like that. We had separate bathrooms. And it should all have been completely above board. Except that I got a little curious. I got tired of waiting for him so snuck into his bathroom to take a peek at him in the shower! I know that was wrong but as I say I was just curious and it stopped there… Well actually it didn’t quite stop there.. I could see that he was having trouble washing his back so I sneaked up behind him, took the sponge from him and washed his back… And his buttocks. I mean it is all part of his back. But I kept my clothes on the whole time so it wasn’t as if we were showering together.. And he didn’t see me naked…

Although he has seen me naked, but that was on a different occasion. You see he is an artist and does the most amazing life drawings. When I saw his drawings at his place I asked him to draw me and he agreed and we did the drawings there and then…

Did I tell you about the time I did life drawing? It was at a hen’s night and everybody had been drinking champagne! We had this gorgeous male model who looked good naked! I tried to do a proper drawing of him, which didn’t come out too badly but most the others just sat around drinking champagne, doing quick sketches and having a good time.

Anyway, I digress. The reason why I am here with that guy in the fake moustache is to see this play “As Natural As Breathing” which was recommended to him by Matthew, who is one of his models. He was scared that some of these parishioners would see him at the play and report him to the church authorities. So I rigged up this rather good Merv Hughes moustache! And I must admit I’m quite pleased with it!

I must stop thinking these crazy thoughts and get back to watching the play which is about to start.”

The stage darkens. Slowly the soft light on the men’s table increases. Four men arrive they are naked except for nose bags they wear.

The spotlight picks out members of the stage audience who show various reactions to the nudity. Some are shocked some are amused slowly they get used to it.

Edward is busy whispering something to Judy. She battles to hear him but can’t understand what he is saying. Eventually he talks out loud:

“I said I have just seen Matthew! He is wearing the denim nose bag”

The rest of the stage audience ask him to be quiet:


There is another reaction from the stage audience as three woman appear. The women are drinking wine which they keep topping up from a bottle, while the men are drinking beers.

They are also naked except for their nose bags. The spotlight follows the expressions of the onstage audience.

After the onstage audience have got used to the nudity of the actors the spotlight focuses on the women on stage and a new woman appears……

To be continued in Part 2

As Natural As Breathing was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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