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 weekly submissions.
ALAN (40s) and MARGARET (70s) enter MARGARET’s house. MARGARET is holding two reusable shopping bags conspicuously. ALAN leads the way.
ALAN. I’m not the one telling you what to do, Mam. It’s the government telling you what to do.
MARGARET. Ah you’re enjoying it all the same.
ALAN. Waiting on you hand and foot? Sure every day is a spa day now.
MARGARET. Lording it over me.
ALAN. So you were in the supermarket out of spite?
ALAN. I did your shop for you on Tuesday. One shop a week, they’re the rules, I didn’t make them.
MARGARET. Well what were you doing in the supermarket then?
ALAN. Doing my shop. Yours on Tuesday mine on Thursday.
MARGARET. Well you should just do them together.
ALAN. Well I’ll be going a third time now by the looks of things. Since I didn’t even get in the bloody building today.
MARGARET. I could have walked home.
ALAN. You shouldn’t have left home in the first place.
MARGARET. I had messages.
ALAN. I did your messages. What messages?
MARGARET. I can run out of things, Alan. I might need other things.
ALAN. I’m sure you can but I’m just a phone call away when you need them.
ALAN. Give me your bags anyway. I’ll put them away for you.
ALAN. What do you mean ‘no’?
MARGARET. I’ll do it myself. I’m 72, Alan, I’m not dead.
ALAN. I’m not saying you are. Here, give them to me.
ALAN. Mam, give me the bags.
MARGARET. No, I don’t want to.
ALAN goes to take the bags MARGARET pulls them into her dramatically.
ALAN. What’s in the bags, Mam?
MARGARET. It’s none of your business.
MARGARET. Just head off, Alan. I’ll talk to you later.
ALAN. If there’s something else you need?
MARGARET. No, there’s nothing.
A tense pause
ALAN. I bought you three bottles on Tuesday. I didn’t even want to do that much but I did it.
MARGARET. I know.
ALAN. So what did you buy?
MARGARET. I bought some, Alan. Will you leave me alone.
ALAN goes to take the bags off MARGARET again, she doesn’t put up a fight.
Partly making a point and partly out of shock, ALAN, begins to unpack 9 bottles of wine out of MARGARET’s two shopping bags onto the living room table.
ALAN. Plus three makes twelve.
MARGARET. I’m going to the toilet.
ALAN. I thought we’d come to an agreement.
MARGARET. Leave me. I’m going...
ALAN. I can’t enable this.
MARGARET. (sharply) I wasn’t asking you to.
ALAN. You’re not allowed to leave the house.
MARGARET. So buy it for me then.
ALAN. I bought you three bottles. Three bottles on Tuesday.
MARGARET lets out a sigh of disgust.
ALAN. They’re gone I assume.
MARGARET. That’s my business.
ALAN. And how long will these last?
MARGARET. It is none of your concern. Now would you ever go and leave me be. Like a little Nancy boy clinging on to his Mammy, have you no life no? Nothing going on so you have to go snooping around in my own.
This hurts ALAN deeply.
ALAN. If you want the wine just ask.
MARGARET. Why so you can lecture me? My own son.
ALAN. Just put it on the list. I’ll get it.
MARGARET. Oh they’ll make a martyr out of you yet, Alan.
ALAN. A martyr out of me? By the looks of things you’re the only one around here that’s dying for a cause, Mam.
ALAN goes to the front door.
ALAN. Just put it on the list.
MARGARET watches ALAN leave. In upset, she takes one of the bottles of wine that’s been put on the table and swigs from it. She sits down and cries.
Caitríona Daly is a playwright from Dublin.
Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by