A Journey by Eva-Jane Gaffney
Lights up on an actor, mid 20s-mid 30s, sitting in the middle of the stage. They have a
suitcase and a bottle of water by their side. They take a deep breath in and out.
There are 4 lamps on the stage, all switched off. They are all different sizes and designs.
Is it sustainable?
Lamp #1 bings on.
Is it healthy?
Lamp #2 bings on.
Is it good for me?
Lamp #3 bings on.
Is it cruelty free?
Lamp #4 bings on.
Is it sustainable?
An bhfuil sé inbhuanaithe?
They take another deep breath in and out, this time is slightly more exasperated.
I don’t know sometimes, like.. you’d be a bit lost now and then, wouldn’t you? A bit
overwhelmed? Uaireanta sílim go bhfuil gach doras dúnta.
I mean, I just find it hard to understand, personally, tá sé deacair domsa é a thuiscint.
Agus tá sé deacair domsa labhairt faoi.
They stand up.
Ruby is ainm dom.
I don’t have anything to sustain.
I mean, I’m sustaining this hat and this jumper and this suitcase but I don’t own... things.
And it’s hard to focus on sustaining when you don’t have things… the big things..
Y’know? Níl siad agam.
Ní raibh siad agam.
An mbeidh siad agam?
They look at the plastic bottle of water beside them for a moment.
and then back to us.
No, I don’t own a keepcup.
I don’t own a home.
I don’t own a car.
Technically I don’t even own a wardrobe.
I rent someone else's.
Deartair nach bhfuil aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin. Should we stop saying that?
It’s hard sometimes y’know, everything on telly and online and on the radio is must-do
tips and tricks and life hacks but when you don’t have the required part of the
aforementioned life to hack it’s hard to deal with that constant advertisement of
We hear an audio mashup of ads and interviews promoting greener living, hybrid cars,
sustainable packaging, vegan and cruelty free products. Ruby mimics these along with
the track in her best range of voiceover voices. The lamps start to flicker.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there’s a huge emphasis on sustainability for my
generation, it’s just really not great that none of my peers have na rudaí mór. Things
have never been like this before.
Ruby is trying to fix the lamps but the stage keeps getting darker slowly, the ads still play
all fuzzy and distorted, Ruby has to be heard over this commotion.
We’re all looking to make this brighter future for ourselves and it’s making the present
really dark.. really, really dark.
The lights are very low now, we can just about see Ruby in the darkness.
Cá bhfuil an dóchas? There’s no doubt that we’re being seen and heard, but I don’t know
if we’re being understood. It’s not enough to only be understood by the people who feel
the same as you.
Tá súil agam go bhfuil an dóchas ionam.
Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil an dóchas sa pháistí.
Ruby gives up on the lamps. They continue to flicker in a low light.
Ach tá a fhios agam go bhfuil siad fíor-chliste chomh maith.
They can see that we’re worried, they feel it from us.
They know we don’t own our own wardrobes and they wonder why.
That’s why I’m going.
I need to stare at the sea for a while.
I need to go somewhere where someday I might own one of the big things.
She picks up her suitcase.
Eva-Jane Gaffney is an actor and voiceover artist from Dublin. Previous stage work includes HEROIN (2018), Rapids and Danny & Chantelle (Still Here). Screen credits include Wastewater, Rosie and Sing Street & Éirí amach Amú. She encourages people to speak what bits of Gaeilge they know no matter the level.
Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by