Photograph by Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan
On Sunday 24th June 2018, Fishamble and Irish Rail partnered to create a day-long playwriting workshop between Dublin and Bray called #PlaysonaTrain, taking place on train carriages and in Bray itself. 9 playwrights were chosen from a social media competition, and by the end of the day these playwrights had each written a short play based on trains.
LOVE ON A DART? by Eamonnn O'Shiel
A quite full Dart Carriage at Pearse Station, the station piano is playing the ‘Marino Waltz’. A man carrying a large bunch of flowers enters the carriage. He stands near centre stage and holds onto the strap above his head.
V.O.: This train is for Bray, Bre.
The tune changes to 'Something Stupid', a woman enters. The carriage is now packed She struggles through the ‘crowd to stand facing the man, close but not touching. She carries a handbag. She reaches up to hold the strap above her. She takes a step backwards, he takes a step forwards as the train starts to move. The flowers touch her face and as they return to original positions she sneezes.
Together they say:
HIM: Bless you.
HER: Excuse me.
She looks at the flowers.
HER: Oh, I'm sorry I think I dead headed your tulip.
Although their eyes never meet except when actually talking they are constantly looking at each other then away.
HIM: It's alright I can afford to lose a tulip or two.
HER: They're really beautiful.
Again we hear ‘Something stupid’ being played on a piano as the woman closes her eyes and waltzes around the carriage holding her handbag as if it were her dance partner. She returns to where she started from.
HIM: I'm glad you think so,.......serious brownie points needed.
HER: Ah, I see.
HIM: No, it's not what you think, they're for my sister.
HIM: Yes, for Mother’s Day.
HER: UhHu.....that was last Sunday week.
HIM: Yes, I've been away. Sarah, my sister minded the twins for me. She's a hero.
HER: Ah, I see.
HIM: She's been great really ever since......
HER: Ever since?.....Oh I'm sorry I didn't mean to....
HIM: Pry? No I'm sure you didn't.
She steps closer to him as the train stops. They are very close, touching.
HER: God I'm sorry, this train is so damn packed
HIM: It was.
HIM: It was packed. It's loosened out quite a bit now.
He takes a step backwards. We hear ‘Marino Waltz’ on the piano again and this time he waltzes about her, dancing with the flowers. He dances back to where he started from.
He steps back in to her as the train starts again. She doesn't retreat. Neither move. They are looking into each other’s eyes.
HER: The twins?
HER: You said your sister minded the twins for you?
He takes a half step backwards.
HIM: Oh, yeah, she's great. Loves them like they were her own, and those boys can be a handful sometimes.
HER: Twin boys? Really? What age are they?
HIM: Four…….and three quarters!
V.O. Next station, Sidney Parade.
HER: Oh shit I’ve missed my stop.
HIM: Oh, don’t worry, so have I.
‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off you’ plays as they drop the flowers and handbag to the floor and waltz together around the carriage.
Eamonn O’Shiel has been involved in Amateur drama in Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford for over 30 years. A retired Garda and graduate of Bray Institute of Further Education (Performing Arts) he is now trying his hand at writing for the stage and looks forward to developing this craft further.
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