The Arc, part VII: Our collaborative theatre project starts to turn on itself
Bush Moukarzel gives La Reine Claude a dark twist
Playwright and actor Bush Moukarzel. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
In the latest instalment to The Arc, our collaborative theatrical project with Dublin Theatre Festival, Bush Moukarzel has added to the contributions of Kate Heffernan, Stacey Gregg, Sonya Kelly, Deirdre Kinahan, Tom Murphy and Enda Walsh. The remaining playwrights in the project are Brokentalkers, Michael West, and Genevieve Hulme-Beaman.
Today at 6pm, the play will get a rehearsed reading as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Annabelle Comyn will direct, with Kate Stanley Brennan playing Karolina, Niamh McCann playing Paulina and Declan Conlon playing the part of Mulcahy. The show is open to the public. Tickets are €5, with proceeds going to charity. You can buy them via the festival’s box office, on 01-6778899 .
La Reine Claude, part VII by Bush Moukarzel
Mulcahy continues to sing
MULACHY And tho’ by the Saxon we once were oppressed,
Still I cheered, God forgive me, I cheered with the rest.
Mulcahy starts to hallucinate. He has been drugged. He hallucinates that the audience is his trompe l’oeil
MULCAHY Christ, they’re breathing. Stop them breathing.
PAULINA It’s an optical illusion, Mike. Makes the apartment look so much bigger.
KAROLINA Don’t tease him, Paulina
PAULINA Look at all your friends, Mike. It’s a full house. You’re very popular.
KAROLINA He’ll pass out in a minute.
PAULINA I want some fun before he goes.
MULACHY My guests have arrived. God forgive me. Have you been fed? Do you know where the toilets are?
PAULINA That really is a wonderful suitcase, Mike. I wonder what’s in it?
PAULINA Your suitcase. With the painting in it.
MULACHY Valuable artwork.
PAULINA What sort of suitcase can fit a painting in it? Must be bottomless.
MULACHY The suitcase was a gift.
KAROLINA From Mary Poppins?
MULACHY From a writer.
PAULINA I wonder what else is in it?
MULACHY. All sorts.
PAULINA Where did you get it from?
MULACHY Tom Murphy. I used to know him. We were great friends.
PAULINA You must know a lot of great artists. Knowing so much about art.
KAROLINA It looks very practical.
MULACHY. (increasingly delirious) The things you can take out from it. A wealth of objects.
PAULINA Anything of mine, do you reckon?
MULACHY stands up and walk to the front of the stage.
MULACHY. (out to audience) I swear to God they’re moving.
KAROLINA You’ve been tricked Mr. Mulcahy.
PAULINA You have something that belongs to me.
MULACHY Shut up and serve my guests! They look starving.
PAULINA and KAROLINA walk to the front of the stage and look out at the audience.
KAROLINA So life-like.
MULACHY That’s not like life. That is life.
PAULINA I wouldn’t call it that.
KAROLINA What would you call it?
PAULINA Ugliness, ugliness, ugliness.
MULCAHY What are you talking about? (about audience) They’re my guests.
PAULINA I’m joking Mr. Mike. It’s a line. From your friend, Mr. Murphy. I presume you know your art, Mike, being such a connoisseur? My brother said you were a great artist.
MULACHY Fuck your brother.
PAULINA A good artist borrows but a great artist steals, isn’t that right, Mick? That makes you a very great artist.
MULACHY Your brother didn’t understand art because he didn’t understand business.
PAULINA You’re right. What did he know? He ended up in a dumpster after all.
MULACHY I’m going to join my guests.
KAROLINA You can’t run through a mountain, Mr. Mulcahy.
MULACHY There’s a hole. Right here. I’m going.
He loses consciousness and falls into the audience
PAULINA Get the painting and hand me the carving knife.