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. Audio of rain, continuous. Stage middle, a woman in late-twenties – Herself – sitting on left of armchair before a barricaded door, staring left as if into unfathomable depths. A man – Himself – appears from right of stage, pacing, sitting upon armchair, reaching right-arm out. Herself accepts his touch.
Herself: Would have wanted children.
Himself: Would a’ like to’ve been a dad.
Herself: Have sons.
HERSELF TWISTS TOWARDS HIMSELF.
Himself: Daughters, aye. Teach em bou butterflies. Bees.
Herself: They’ll be missed, bees.
Himself: But remembered.
Herself: Not remembered. Mythologised like all abused things.
Himself: Could’ve given our daughters mythic names. Naturey names.
Herself: Names like Roan. Willow. Ash.
Himself: There’ll be ash enough. In the end.
Herself: In an end we’ll see. We’d have been good parents in better times.
HIMSELF STARES AT HERSELF.
Himself: You’d be a mighty mother in monstrous times.
Herself: Burning times.
Himself: Dying times.
Herself: Times of silence and noise.
Himself: Big hard-boy noise.
Herself: Absolute bitches of words.
Himself: ‘Catastrophic.’ ‘Unprecedented.’ ‘Unimaginable.’
Herself: ‘Acidification.’ ‘Biocide.’ ‘Pyrocene.’
Himself: Biblical stuff.
Herself: Sci-fi crap.
Himself: What would her first words be?
HERSELF LETS GO OF HIMSELF.
Herself: Only one daughter?
Himself: There’d be only time and space for one, if one at all.
Herself: One’s enough.
Himself: Nuff to invest in.
Herself: Better be good first words. They’ll be the first of the last of all words.
Himself: Best teach her right.
Herself: No arsehole-words.
Himself: No ‘mortgages.’
Herself: No ‘quantitative-easing.’
Himself: No ‘ethnic-cleansing.’
Herself: No ‘asset-liquidation.’
Himself: No ‘algorithmic-governmentality.’
Herself: No ‘neoliberalism.’
Himself: No ‘vulture-funds.’
Herself: No ‘bear markets.’
Himself: Just actual bears.
Herself: Actual words.
Himself: Gorgeous useless truthful words.
HERSELF RISES OFF ARMCHAIR.
Herself: Then let’s teach her the language of soil and rain.
Himself: Like ‘Quagga?’
Herself: Yes! Quagga!
Himself: And ‘Eucalyptus.’
Himself: All the words.
Herself: The words that matter.
CEASELESS BANGING AT DOOR.
Himself: But the world’s been wrote off.
Herself: We’ve rode it into the ground.
Himself: Some more than others.
Herself: Oh we’re all complicit. In the screwing over –
Himself / Herself: –of each other.
Himself: Of everything.
HERSELF SITS AGAIN.
Herself: Everything that was to be hers.
Himself: What’ll we do?
Herself: Have sex.
Himself: Global-warming orgies.
Herself: Picture it. Us two. Riding. On the beach. Wave coming.
Himself: Fires spreading.
Herself: Birds falling.
Himself: Fish floating.
Herself: Us two going at it like beasts.
Himself: Riding back to our roots.
Herself: Best way to go out. Bang. Bang.
Herself: Middle-fingered F.U. to the apocalypse.
Himself: Get stuffed, Doomsday!
Herself: Piss off, Ragnarok!
HIMSELF HOLDS HIS HEAD.
Himself: Christ Jesus. We’re not even thirty.
Herself: She wouldn’t reach thirty.
Himself: Did our parents contend with this. Did theirs?
Herself: They’d their battles too. Their great wars.
Himself: But we’ve the war on everything. Must we accept the selfishness of bringing a daughter into a world upping sticks and checking out?
Herself: Then let’s not.
Himself: Not have a child?
HERSELF STANDS, LIFTNG HIMSELF FROM ARMCHAIR.
Herself: Not let this stop us.
AUDIO OF RAIN TURNS TO THUNDER. BANGING AT DOOR INTENSIFTING.
Himself: Let’s have a child.
HERSELF PLACES HER FOREHEAD AGAINST THAT OF HIMSELF, CRYING ANGRILY, DEFIANTLY.
Herself: Our wild child.
Himself: Our climate queen.
Herself: Our ecocide empress.
Himself: Our living breathing daughter.
Herself: Our daughter who’ll live and breathe.
Himself: Who’ll outlive this.
Herself: Outlive everything.
LIGHTS OUT. AUDIO OF STORM AND BANGING PEAKING, FADING.
Ryan is a twenty five year old artist and writer, who graduated from University College Dublin in 2017 with a Masters in Creative Writing. He is originally from Gorey in Wexford. He had formerly been teaching English before the virus, and he is hoping to pursue a career as a novelist, artist, and environmental activist. Most of his creative work explores issues of climate change, biodiversity loss, sexuality, mythology and spirituality. Some of his artwork is featured on his instagram account @ryan.murphy73550.
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