Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Dogs that Follow at their Heels - Drama

I've written a number of plays over the years but never had one produced. The nearest to success was one called "Men in Black" [long before the film of the same name] which drew praise and a special interview (but not production) from the Abbey Theatre. Too many characters (aren't there always?), more suitable for TV, they said. The only TV station that replied was the BBC who gave it even more elaborate praise but said it was more suitable for the Abbey.

Tried the Abbey again lately with the Dogs that Follow. Six months wait. Then a "summary", the contents of which made me realise that the reader had read only a part of the first Act. Damning with faint praise. Rejected. So now, the whole play is available for any drama group or theatre to produce for free.

The following message is on my Facebook page:

Anyone interested in a new 2-act play "The Dogs that Follow"?   Read it here.  Would love if some drama group produced it. Please get in touch if you are interested.

Here is the summary you will see at the beginning of the script to whet the appetite!

[The play is set in midsummer 1978 in the graveyard of Drumcliff Co Sligo where William Butler Yeats is buried.
The action is around another grave near Yeats' where R.I.C Sergeant Joe Duffy his wife and two childen lie.
Two teachers, Jim and Niall arrive from Dublin to tidy the grave. Friends but with different viewpoints on women. Jim's wife Maeve is a niece of the dead infants. Her mother Mabel dislikes Jim.
Jim and Niall discuss women, love, Yeats' work, violence, Jim's trouble with Mabel. Yeats had written that men were like dogs that follow at the heels of women
Two female US students arrive to see the poet's grave and introduce a little banter
Mabel and Maeve arrive at the grave, Mabel insults Jim, rows with Maeve and has a panic attack

In the second Act, Jim is isolated in the graveyard at night after a break-up with Maeve. He encounters fairy dancers, young Mabel and later the ghost of WB Yeats. Young Mabel tells Jim about her father's death from pneumonia after he had been left out all night by an IRA volunteer group and how no-one in Sligo attended his funeral. Jim is overcome with love or infatuation for young Mabel and at her invitation they make love.
In their encounter with Yeats, Jim and young Mabel discuss with him his own influence on the rebels of 1916, and criticise his support for violence in his plays. Jim asks for his opinion of women, especially how to handle the powerful bond between mother and daughter.
As dawn breaks Niall has come with sleeping bags, Yeats and young Mabel fade away, Yeats shouting to the night his discovery of the new word, Ze, to replace “he or she”.   Jim recounts to a worried Niall his sexual encounter with young Mabel and his discussion with Yeats. Eventually old Mabel and Maeve arrive and are overcome with the warm reception given to old Mabel by Jim. All is changed utterly for the better – or is it? Old Mabel puzzles Maeve by saying to Jim “Don't think I've forgotten what happened in the middle of the night!”]

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