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.
A middle-aged man, looking in a mirror. Over the course of the text, he applies a full face of makeup, but the effect is merely to make him look healthier, younger and, if anything, more masculine. By the time he’s finished, he looks alive and confident.
It's all a bit shit, isn't it? Who woulda thought it could all fall apart THAT fast?
Jesus. I haven’t put on makeup in about a month. Why bother? Nobody wants to see me singing on the internet. My magic was live. You had to be there.
I haven’t qualified for the unemployment handout. Computer says no. Look at me. Middle aged poz drag queen finds self aggressively unemployed with zero support. Evidently glamour is non-essential. Joy is an unnecessary journey. Lip-synching isn’t a genre that the arts council wants to support. (I tried for their scheme too.) And since I keep not winning the Euromillions, it’s time to get a job. I need medicine. My income was always enough that I could live on it, but not quite fabulous enough to afford health insurance. I had a rather creative system in place to get my cocktail for you-know-what. It was just about working. And then Madame Rona showed up. (How many baby queens will use that name in years to come? And we will shout TOO SOON.)
A certain famous older queen - a stately homo - told me years ago that ladies like us don’t go through the change of life. But we reach a certain age, a turning point, when perhaps we choose something new. She did. But it looks like the choice is being made for me. Ironically I’d been calling the whole nightmare the rona-pause. (You can figure that out, can’t you? Whole world on pause? Well done.) But perhaps this is my change-of-life moment for real.
Subway was looking for staff. I’d be terrible. I would want to customise people’s sandwiches instead of making them according to the system. I would be trying to put glitter in the coleslaw. Could I work in Tesco? They’d have me heaving trollies around because I’m a man. I’d be far better suited to sitting on the till - judging your choices, doing that new dance we do, avoiding any physical contact while I hand you your change.
Christ, will I ever have sex again? I can barely cope with the idea of shaking hands. The stress! Where have you been? When’s the last time someone coughed near you? Have you eaten any pangolin recently? (And do you have a good recipe?) I contracted the last virus because of one stupid oversight. The gays should be leading the charge on this one. I feel like a martyr saying things like “I learned the hard way that the virus can reach anyone.” But it’s poxy true. And this one doesn’t even come after a night of passion! A jogger breathing on you as he passes you is enough.
Boots had a sign in the window. They’ve a new desk setup now where the staff talks at you. I’d be brilliant. World’s meanest door bitch. I know anti-virals, skincare products, and fake tan better than anyone. I could save so many lost souls from buying the wrong products. Think of all those kids saved from sharpie eyebrows and orange skin thanks to a caution from yours truly. Be the change you want to see in the world, eh?
Interview is at noon. I’ve only put on the tiniest kiss of product, since I’ve been indoors for seven weeks, since I’m technically immunocompromised. But hey - needs must. No lashes, of course. Just a little tinted moisturiser. Or, to give it its technical term: war paint.
I have to get it. A change is as good as a rest, right? Well, I’ve had the rest. Here goes.
Conor, erstwhile stage director, makes a weekly podcast about Hamlet and he has started writing a play. Find him on instagram, twitter, and facebook @conorhanratty.
Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by