Keep your creativity flowing with Fishamble's #TinyPlayChallenge
In these challenging times, Fishamble - along with many of our colleagues in the wider Irish artistic community - is working hard to keep imaginations lively, communities engaged - and most of all offer people the opportunity of creative expression. We asked our audiences: Would you welcome the challenge of exploring your thoughts and feelings through drama? Do you have a dramatic story that you feel the urge to work out for yourself, and maybe share with your fellow citizens?
Below is one of the chosen plays from our global submissions.
Lights up on the kitchen/dining room of a modest three bed semi-detached house in Dublin. It is cosy, lived-in and spotless – a well cared for home. A worn out dog lies sleeping in his bed beside the fridge. MAUREEN and DECLAN, a married couple in their 50’s enter at a pace.
/ indicates the next line cuts off a character mid sentence.
MAUREEN No, I’ve had it!
MAUREEN I mean it this time!
DECLAN Calm down love/
MAUREEN NEVER the appropriate response Declan!
DECLAN Sorry, I know, I do know that, isolation brain, just sit down till I make ye a cup of tea! DECLAN proceeds to make tea.
MAUREEN Tea isn’t going to fix this one pal!
DECLAN That’s a new one.
MAUREEN I know I said they were all welcome but I was only really being polite!
DECLAN You used to love them all being here!
MAUREEN I know! I did! I really did! For little SNIPPETS of time though!
DECLAN Well there’s no going back now I’m afraid.
MAUREEN One of them could go…
DECLAN And how do you propose to make that choice diplomatically?
MAUREEN I don’t know. Last in first out?
DECLAN Last in… like, last one of our children born, or last one to bag an other half? And just the biological offspring’s other half or does the child get the boot too?
MAUREEN You’re purposely complicating this.
DECLAN You don’t have the heart.
Suddenly the Friends theme music blares from the sitting room next door.
MAUREEN I could find it.
DECLAN Look at the place.
DECLAN Look at this room! Spotless!
DECLAN Well I didn’t do that.
MAUREEN What’s your point Declan?
DECLAN And look at Rusty! That dog hasn’t seen the likes of the walking he’s getting these days since he was a pup.
MAUREEN He’s worn out, the poor fucker.
DECLAN He’s delighted! And when’s the last time you cooked a dinner?
MAUREEN I cook!
DECLAN The roast of a Sunday and only because you won’t let anyone else near it for fear it won’t meet your standards!
MAUREEN There’s a very specific skill to gravy that young people do NOT appreciate.
DECLAN They won’t be here forever.
MAUREEN I know.
DECLAN And, isn’t it nice to have a busy house again, for a bit?
MAUREEN Busy is an understatement.
DECLAN I know the place wasn’t necessarily built to take 8 adults/
MAUREEN And three dogs!
DECLAN The other two are only small, Maureen.
MAUREEN I heard them last night.
MAUREEN From the attic. There’s that floor board that creaks, ye know. I couldn’t sleep so I was up reading and… they must’ve waited till the middle of the night but/
MAUREEN I believe the term is ‘TMI’.
DECLAN Not ideal.
DECLAN But hey, you want Grandkids so…
MAUREEN Declan! Jesus wept.
DECLAN It could be worse.
MAUREEN How? How could it be worse?
DECLAN Sure if they weren’t here, we wouldn’t be able to see them at all.
MAUREEN …I suppose.
DECLAN And you’d be sick of the sight of me by now.
MAUREEN gives DECLAN a quick kiss.
MAUREEN You’ve the patience of a saint.
DECLAN I learned from the best.
With that, the kitchen door crashes open to reveal AMY, ROCCO & DIMITRI, DECLAN AND MAUREEN’s eldest daughter and her two French Bulldogs. ROCCO & DIMITRI immediately run to RUSTY, waking him up to play, barking and scrapping. AMY is wearing a giant sombrero, is laden down with shopping bags & very excited about…
Clare Monnelly is a writer and actor. Her first play Charlie’s a Clepto was nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards (Best New Play, Best Actress) and the Stewart Parker New Playwright Bursary. Her second play minefield premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2019 and was nominated for three Fringe Awards (Best Design, Fishamble New Writing Award, First Fortnight Award). As an actor she has worked with Druid, the Gate, the Abbey and Livin Dred among others and on screen for RTÉ, Sky One and TG4. She is an alumnus of Irish Theatre Institute’s Six in the Attic programme.
Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by