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.
The Brood by Kate O'Connor
Aoife - the bride-to-be
Sinéad - the bridesmaid
Louise - a friend
They all speak in Munster accents.
Setting: the train departing Connolly, Aoife is adjusting her ‘bride-to-be’ crown while looking in a pocket mirror, Sinéad is busying herself with a bottle of Prosecco and a handful of plastic wine glasses, finally Louise comes rushing into the carriage, backpack on one shoulder, completely out of breath.
Louise: Jesus, sorry I’m late; the 49 took forever this morning.
Sinéad: We thought you were ghosting us Lou!
Aoife: Ah, would ya stop. You’re grand Louise, sure you’re here now. We’ve had fierce drama already, didn’t Eddie’s Mam do a shot of Sambuca on the Luas on the way in, and now she’s hanging off the loo!
Louise: Jesus, it’s a bit early for that isn’t it? And …. Well… like, she’s a bit over the hill for that kind of carry on, isn’t she?
Sinéad: oooh, ageist now are we?
Aoife: It’s her first hen, Eddie’s Dad told her that’s what him and the lads did on the stag and she thought we’d be the same.
Sinéad: Ah no, we’re ladies (stands up and gestures around the carriage). The aim of the game girls is ENDURANCE. The running order is: Bubbly, food, drinks, nap, don the rig outs, then a fine big dinner, and sure that’ll have us set up so we’ve a good run at the night.
(She does a little dance)
Aoife, it’s gonna be a mad one (cheers)
Aoife: (laughing) My last night as a single pringle. Are you ready, Lou Lou?
Louise: (grabbing a bottle of Prosecco and taking a swig) Yeah, bring it on!
Aoife: Wooh, we’re gonna find Louise a fine strap of a man, tonight. Road frontage and everything.
Louise: (face dropping and muttering under her breath) uh, for fuck sake. (Then, out loud) Ah it’s your night Aoife, it’s all about you. (Starts to sing out of tune) It’s all about you, it’s all about you baby.
Sinéad joins in and they sing a bar and then fade away as neither of them know the words.
A voice comes over the intercom announcing the departure of the train to Galway and listing all the stops. The girls busy themselves in their seats, putting coats on racks, and placing rubbish in the bin, readying themselves for the journey. Louise unzips her top to reveal a t-shirt with a picture of Aoife on the front, and the caption ‘Aoife’s Hen’.
Sinéad: Ah great, you got the t-shirt then.
Louise: Yeah, it’s a fab picture of you Aoife (she turns around to reveal a picture of a man on the back with the words ‘She gives great H-Eddie’).
Aoife: Thanks pet, it’s from our first holiday so it’s really sentimental.
The girls are all sitting now, with Sinéad and Aoife facing Louise.
Aoife: Oh Lou, are you bringing a plus one to the wedding?
Louise: No, all’s quiet on the homestead just now, and I’d rather just focus on having a fun day with ye anyway (she awkwardly adjusts her hair).
Sinéad: Y’know one of the girls in work signed up for Bumble, and she’s been on three dates with this lad from Bray, and she said he’s great. Like, he’s not a weirdo or anything.
Aoife: That sounds great, you should give that a try Lou.
Louise: Yeah (pauses) yeah, maybe.
Sinéad: What happened with that Darren lad from work? I thought you two were getting along really well.
Aoife: Eh, yeah - didn’t you guys score?
Sinéad’s jaw drops as she turns to look at Louise. Louise looks away and then back again.
Sinéad: Like, proper score?
Louise: Yeah, it was a stupid thing to do. We were just really drunk on a Friday night a few weeks back.
Aoife: Has he texted you since?
Louise: No but (pauses) but Sharon from Procurement mentioned the other day that (pauses) well, apparently he’s fucking engaged.
Aoife: NO FUCKING WAY. Jeeze, if he was a dog he’d be put down, that one.
Sinéad: And did you know he had a girlfriend?
Louise: Of course I didn’t. I wouldn’t of touched him if .. (she trails off and stares out the window).
Aoife: He’s a right wanker Lou. I’m sorry, but you have to get back up on the horse, plenty more fish and all that.
Louise: (sarcastically) Yeah, I’m sure there’s plenty more married men for me to fool around with.
Aoife: And what’s that supposed to mean?
Louise puts her face in her palms. Sinéad picks up her phone and pretends to be completely absorbed in it.
Louise: Sorry Aoife, I didn’t mean anything by that.
Aoife: I dunno why I ever told ye about that. It’s not that big a deal, it was just that one time and I was being a right mare around then, moaning about work all the time. Me and Eddie have put all that behind us now. I just wish everyone else would do the same.
Sinéad: (puts her phone down) Of course Aoife love, and sure you know him better than anyone.
Aoife: Like, every couple have their fights, you have to just ride the storm. That’s what being in a proper relationship is all about Louise.
Louise: (Now indignant) Ah here Aoife just cos I won’t put up with some lad being a dirty dog, doesn’t make me incapable of being in a relationship.
Aoife: Fuck off with your ‘hashtag me too’ shite. This is what love really is, it’s not all avocado and eggs on a Saturday morning (pause) ah, I don’t know why I’d expect you to understand.
Louise looks hurt, Aoife turns her head away.
Sinéad: (gently) Girls, let’s not ruin a great weekend with stupid talk about lads. Mates before dates, remember.
Aoife: Well, I didn’t start it.
Sinéad looks at Louise, gesturing to her to talk to Aoife.
Louise: Sorry Aoif’- sure you know I’m mad about you and Eddie. Ye belong together.
Sinéad: Yeah, like Brennan’s bread and cheese and onion Tayto’s.
Aoife: Or, like Harry and Meghan.
Louise raises a glass of Prosecco.
Louise: To the royal wedding of Aoife and Eddie.
Aoife: (raises her own glass) To finding Lou Lou a man.
Originally from Limerick, Kate lives in Dublin and works in digital content management by day to pay for many, many trips to the theatre at night.
Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by