Two Tiny Plays for Ireland: 'Soul Mates' and 'Slanesman'
Maeve Binchy. photographs: matt kavanagh, alan betson
Colum McCann. photographs: matt kavanagh, alan betson
To mark the beginning of Tiny Plays for Ireland, here are two plays from the series, by Maeve Binchy and Colum McCann
In 2011, The Irish Times and Fishamble: The New Play Company put an open call for short plays of no more than 600 words. We received 1,700 entries, and a selection from new and established writers was produced at the Project, Dublin in March 2012. Tiny Plays for Ireland 2 features a new selection and runs at the Project until March 30th.
by Maeve Binchy
In the waiting room of an opticians. Two patients, waiting for their appointments.
Rose, nurse, late 20s, great reader of books who thinks reluctantly that print is getting smaller and that she needs reading glasses.
Kevin, teacher, early 30s, much mocked in his school for his owlish appearance, needs cool frames.
It is entirely interior monologues but they do acknowledge each other with nods and glances across the magazine table.
Rose: You know, they really know what they’re doing in this place, there’s no lighting here at all, anyone would think they were going blind. I never thought my eyes would go. I always thought it would be the legs, that I’d get ropes of veins like my mam, but no, they’re fine, they’d take me anywhere. It’s the eyes that died on me.
Kevin: I suppose he’ll say I’m a fool to want something trendy. I don’t even know what trendy is. But other guys wear glasses and the kids don’t say Too Whit Too Woo when they come into the classroom.
Rose: I had no idea how dark it was in here, I can’t finish the new Colm Tóibín, there’s no point in my picking up one of those glossy magazines, I’d only see the pictures.
Kevin: That woman across the room has the new Colm Tóibín beside her, never opened it, not once. Probably bought it to show off anyway. God, women are beyond belief. I mean, I thought I understood Hilary. And now it’s all solicitor’s fees the whole time and threats of palimony and demands for support. I mean, she lived in my house, and when it was over it was over. If it was her house, I’d have gone. It was never our house.
Rose: I suppose it won’t matter having glasses. Nobody sees me when I’m reading. Charlie just hated when I got lost in a book. I remember trying to tell him the story of My Cousin Rachel, and he didn’t even care whether Rachel was a heroine or a villain. “It’s only an old story,” he kept saying.
But there won’t be any more fellows in the near future, the flat’s too small for one thing. Charlie and I were always falling over each other.
Anyway, I’m too tired when I get off my shift in the hospital, all I need is a good bath, something to put in the microwave and my book.
Kevin: I wonder what Hilary would advise about glasses. She was always interested in how I looked, I’ll give her that. At the start, we were great pals; it’s lonely without her. I tell the lads that I’m playing the field, but I’m not really. I just go home after school, correct the essays, set up classes for the next day, read a bit, look at television.