Lease of Life - Graig Du Theatre Players

I will post a blog in the near future about what kind of work I will be inviting to be submitted from playwrights in the Rhondda. This will be a gradual beginning before more openings appear for others to contribute from different areas. The aim is to provide a fresh outlook for audiences and not rely on the usual stereotypical formula. I will also be posting a blog for any actors who may be interested in participating in the rehearsed reading that will take place at the Maes-yr-Haf Hall, Trealaw. 

In the meantime, I have included another extract from a short work I have written. This idea came about when we had another intriguing conversation with our old group about consciousness. Teresa has trouble sleeping at night. When she awakes in the morning, she still hears the strange voices that disturb her. Her hands, arms, and body belong to a girl in her twenties. Teresa is in her late seventies. Simon, her husband, has not appeared since going downstairs to make a cup of tea. Voices are heard from the garden. Teresa's fear increases when she cannot see her face in the mirror.

Half light. The large mirror in the centre of the stage swings gently as if by an invisible hand. Teresa, her face, buried in her hands, crouches in front of it, silent, attentive, as she hears the voices of Simon, her husband, and the Doctor off stage.

Simon:   If I were thirty years younger, you would not be standing here.

Doctor:    I fail to see your point, sir.

Simon:   My wife has just died. You referred to her as it.

Doctor:   I did not.

Simon:   Did you not see the look on the face of the nurse who was watching you? She was disgusted. A throwaway remark it was not. You said it will not live till the morning. 

Doctor:   I did not say those exact words. 

Simon:  I was a teacher of English for thirty years and your guttural tongue disgusts me. Has your pride been inflated because your diagnosis was correct? 

Doctor:  Your wife was struggling to breathe.

Simon:   I am aware of that fact. You did not show an ounce of sympathy when you told me in that little room that my girl had died. I have been married to her for sixty years. This act was insensitive. You probably have parents the same age as us. Christ help them if this was the way they brought you up.

Doctor:   I tell you that I did nothing wrong, sir.

Simon:   I wasn't even with her when she died because you were still carrying out tests. We all have to die sometime. That will happen to you in the future. I hope someone has the decency to tell your wife and children that there is no hope if you become seriously ill.

The light changes in the background to a cold yellow. Teresa raises her head, wiping her eyes, as she hears another mute conversation that grows in its intensity between an unnamed man and woman. She stands up, intrigued, listening.

Man:   The arrogance can be a bit disconcerting.

Woman:  Mundane I call it. Physicians believe they are superior to their fellow man.

Man:  Her facial expressions and the look of beatitude are what I was interested in. There was no pain on the old woman's face. The intrigue of a life lived to exhaustion, or exulation, is shown by the tranquility on a man or woman's face as they rest. This is a time when there is a vulnerability and possessiveness when they think of how ordinary their lives have become. A memory of invisible strands is the requisite to see how they endeavour when they are floundering.

Woman:  I am afraid that I disagree with you. If I inferred wrongly from your earlier assertion, please admonish me. You led me to believe that consciousness, no matter how long it has ceased, has no ability to recall previous events when time has no meaning. You and I can see that the impulses are understood by all who watch and can hear her speak even if she is mute. 

The voices stop suddenly; Teresa rises to her feet, giggling, as she dances gracefully across the stage.

Teresa:    There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in your philosophy. . .

 

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