At CFT, we want everyone to feel truly welcome and comfortable. While we try not to spoil anyone’s enjoyment by giving away ‘spoilers’ such as plot twists and narrative surprises, we also recognise that some people may find certain themes distressing. You’ll find a full synopsis below; please be aware that by reading this, the plot will be revealed.
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Thirteen year old Conor wakes from a recurring nightmare. It is 12.07am. In the morning Conor gets himself ready for school. His Mum’s latest round of chemotherapy has made her extremely weak. At school, Conor is bullied about his mum and her hair loss.
Conor wakes from another nightmare, again at 12.07am. This time the Monster emerges from the yew tree outside his window and pledges to tell Conor three stories. After that, the Monster says that Conor will tell his own story; it will be the truth, which Conor is most afraid of.
Grandma arrives to help out. She sees that Mum hasn’t been completely honest about the seriousness of her illness, and that Conor isn’t facing reality.
The Monster tells Conor his first story, illustrating that people sometimes need to lie, including to themselves. Characters, and humans, aren’t all totally bad or totally good. Most people are somewhere in between.
Mum’s treatment is not working as it should, so Conor must go and stay with Grandma whilst his mum is in hospital. His Dad flies in from America, where he lives with his new wife and child. Grandma’s house is very neat and tidy with valuable antique furniture and Conor does not feel at home there.
When Conor forces the hands of an antique clock to 12.07, the Monster appears once more. During Story Two the Monster tears down a building and Conor helps, but, to her horror, he is actually destroying Grandma’s living room. Conor visits Mum in hospital, where she has taken a turn for the worst. She is given a new drug but Dad tells Conor that he now needs to be particularly brave. Dad then returns to America and Conor is left once again feeling lonely and isolated.
The Monster’s third tale uses Conor’s frustration about feeling invisible to incite him into beating up his fellow pupil Harry, who ends up in hospital. Conor is collected from school by Grandma, who explains that Mum’s treatment is no longer working. Later that night Conor’s nightmare returns — he dreams that he is trying to prevent his mum falling off a cliff but she keeps slipping away from him. Conor admits that he just wants it all to be over but feels guilty for feeling that way. The Monster explains that the human mind is complicated and contradictory, and that Conor’s wish is simply to end the suffering and pain.
Collected by Grandma, Conor arrives at the hospital to say goodbye to his mum, shortly before 12.07am.