Selfish by Signe Lury
CONNIE and THEO, two women in their early twenties, are onstage together, but separate. They talk as if giving independent monologues but there should be a rhythm between them.
CONNIE: It was the third time we’d matched.
THEO: She messaged first.
CONNIE: I was drunk enough to send a message but not enough to make me creative or funny. She replied, though.
THEO: It’s been about five months now.
CONNIE: I wish I could just enjoy it – and I do, I think, when I’m with her I do just enjoy it – but when we’re not together and I’m alone I just start obsessing over next year, whether we’ll be together, what we’ll be doing.
THEO: I can’t even picture next year. I got an offer for my dream masters – this sculpture thing – and I think I’m going to turn it down. When I saw the offer I just thought, you bitch. You selfish bitch. Sculpture? Really? Now?
CONNIE: I get stuck in this mental whirlpool of trying to focus on the immediate future and not being able to think about the immediate future without thinking about the longterm future and not being able to think about the longterm future because we don’t have one.
We don’t, like.
THEO: Everything I do right now feels selfish.
CONNIE: We only have this decade to make some kind of meaningful change and if we don’t the world as we know it is going to fall apart. I mean, it already is in some places, but people here read that in the news and think oh it must be normal, it must be normal for countries like that to have tsunamis and 30 degree heat one day followed by minus 20 the next and floods that displace your entire home, family, life.
THEO: In my application I whinged on about my ‘environmentally-conscious practice’ and how it’s all about grassroots shit and if we set a new precedent everyone will follow. I only use recycled materials and I did a whole installation where I repurposed the sculptures I’d made, it’s a never-ending journey of reuse reduce recycle, I said, it’s really powerful and it’s going to make people think.
CONNIE: I don’t know what I want to do next year and I know I should do something but I don’t know what. I think I’m clinging on to Theo, clinging on to her because she’s there and she’s great and I just want something I can hold onto.
THEO: We’ve all entertained the thought that our art can change the world but I think part of being an artist is reaching that point where you’re like – that’s bullshit. That’s just justification for me wanting to do something that doesn’t involve numbers or spreadsheets.
CONNIE: I’m worried I’m using her. Using her for certainty and some kind of stability.
THEO: I know that wanting to just be with someone, away from the world and away from everything, I know that’s selfish.
CONNIE: People keep telling me that I should trust my gut. That only I know how I feel. That I would know if I was using her, taking advantage of her.
There’s a pause – a shift in dynamic.
THEO: I think I’m gonna turn down the masters.
THEO: I feel like I should be doing something more meaningful.
THEO: No idea what that is though.
CONNIE: Do you wanna come over?
CONNIE: You can stay with me for a while. If you want.
THEO: Yeah. I’d like that.
Signe is a writer, director, and actor, graduating this year from Trinity where she studied English & Drama. She’s a co-founder of Gift Horse Theatre, an environmentally-conscious company with a focus on reimagining classic texts. Writing credits include We Are Not a Muse (Edinburgh Fringe) and Tess (Gift Horse). She veers between believing eco-theatre will change the world and believing the world is about to end.
Insta: @signe.lury / @gifthorsetheatre
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