Excerpts of a script developed in part with the National Youth Theatre and the NYT Rep company.

Excerpts of a script developed in part with the National Youth Theatre and the NYT Rep company.

...

Regina passes around some home brew and salutes to the sea

 

Regina:           To the sea

 

Etty:                The sea 

 

Manera:         The sea.  She protect on us and we respect on her. 

 

All:                  Simple as it was ever meant to be. 

 

Regina:           And we know the rules, the ways of the world. 

 

Etty:                And odd times be that she does gift on us surprises. Remember the dog she did wash ashore that time? I was out looking for fish and I saw he in the waves. Wild as a horse with a curl to his tail

 

Magda:           I remember - he that yapped like a seagull sounds. Artour we called him up. The year gone before last that was

 

Manera:         True, and share him we did. 

 

Simona:         I used to love when he’d sleep close by me, Artour. Used to think how he liked my bed best of all for he’d spend most eve’s aside me 

 

Magda:           For you’d feed him up more than we said to. Remember that bit too? What ever happened to Artour?

 

Regina:           He died. Do you not recall? Overfeeding perhaps, could be it Simona?

 

Simona:         No, age was upon him and the sea took him just how she gave him. Bless his soul. I shall thank on her for him too next month, now that you done remind me so

 

Manera:         I’m glad the sea took him back. He distracted from all that needed done round here. You know it to be true. Once he arrived not no mending or tending to fields as there should’ve been. 

 

Etty:                Of course, not at all glad to see he gone ‘cause you were scared of he, Manera? 

 

Manera:         I, scared of a little wag tail? No so. Tis like you all let some yap stop up your eyes from all else that needed doing

 

Etty:                Well I got rememberings on how you never even stepped near to pat him for fear. I think he was a blessing of the sea and she took him back when she wanted him again. 

 

Simona:         And we thanked her proper for him

 

Etty:                Aye, and she continue repaying us, see on Regina’s fish

 

Magda:           We watered her with wine and poured petals at her feet. And she was happy on it. And so was he, dear Artour. 

 

Manera:         Well the sea be deserving of our gifts for more than useless dogs and buckets of fish. For most because she keep on us an island, without her we be but an ugly foot to the mainland. She fill up the space between us and them, and so for long may we continue thanking her.

 

Etty:                True say. To the sea

 

The women drink to the sea again

 

Regina:           The sea

 

Magda:           The sea. She to who we owe all we have. 

In fact just now, this very moment, an odd thing she do gift us. It is I who finds it, wrapped in seaweed like a prize. I in the field aside the beach, picking carrots when I see… (She spots something and calls excitedly to the others) A man, a man, a man has come

 

Regina:           How say?

 

Manera:         What be?

 

Etty:                I think she said a crab, a crab she’s caught

 

Simona:         Oh I see, so she did, crab cakes for all tonight

 

Magda:           No, those are not the words I spill. But (calling) A man

 

Manera:         A man?

 

Regina:           A man?

 

Magda:           True say it, a man has come

 

Beat

 

All except Magda:    And one by one we women run, soil beneath our nails, fresh milk on our fingers and the taste of plowed fields to our skin. To the beach, sand sinking ‘neath our feet 

 

Women form a circle around Madga, reverential, looking at the man but too scared to go closer

 

Regina:           A thing of…wonder

 

Etty:                Of pureness

 

Manera:         Of beauty 

 

Magda:           And of more

 

Regina:           Why, he be tall as a ship’s sail and pure as the salt ‘pon my feet

 

Manera:         His arms look strong as the vines that grow tight round my chimney 

 

Etty:                He be carved of beauty, like some delicate soap 

 

Simona:         A gift of such strangeness, of new and of old that the women, 

 

All:                  We women 

 

Simona:         Could hardly believe it to be so

 

Magda:           Here he be, the man…this man

 

Regina:           But…how…Here?

 

Etty:                Honest true…a man has come? To us?

 

Manera:         Oh to thank the sea a thousand fold for such…such a gift as he…a                        real true man

 

Simona:         A man has come for us. A man has come for us, tis true…is it true?

 

Magda:           Aye so, tis true. Honest say, for here he lie. Come see, Regina and Manera, step closer Etty, fear not Simona. For he’s mine and/

 

Manera:         /What say?

 

Regina:           Yours, you speak?

 

Etty:                How so? We share all there be on this isle. Not no owning of any such thing

 

Manera:         True say. The crabs Etty catches be all of ours, just as the potatoes I pick make your dinner too. Where this wanting come from Magda?

 

Magda:           I not know where from but can say it be a sign from the sea. He is for me. Aye so, true enough we have shared all else but a potato is not a man. A crab is but a crab. But a man, this man, he is a thing aside. I found him so…he’s mine

 

Simona:         And what a strange thing this man did wash to shore with him. For not since many days past had any of the women here ever owned a thing. The island was for sharing, just as the sea belonged to all

 

Magda:           For first time in as long as I can think of I see a thing I got a wanting on just for me. Look to him and say we won’t be a fine couple together. Some things, such things, are not born to be shared in such ways

 

Regina:           No so, no way Magda. He be here atop our shore and he will be shared in equal parts as is all we find. Else, as the elder here, he’ll be mine if anyone’s

 

Manera:         I think not so, I do much of the crop picking so I could feed him full if he stay by me

 

Etty:                Manera, no way. I have the knowledge of brewing the wine you all let warm you, reckon he’d like to taste on it too 

 

Magda:           But…but he’s mine

 

Simona:         No

 

Magda:           True say he is. The sea done gift him to me. Tis like he carry a thing deep to his bones that speaks to me

 

Regina:           Tis not what’s deep to his bones you want woman

 

Magda:           No, serious speak. Upon him there some kind of remembrance written, of…of something…I know not what yet

 

Manera:         A very convincing argument. No, we should pull lots for him, so tis fair

 

Simona:         Or…we could ask him who he wants? 

 

Simona kneels at his side, ignored by the rest

 

Magda:           You’re not listening to me. I saw him in the waves, floating he was…and he reminds me of…of…he is meant for me

 

Etty:                What are you talking on? You’re speaking a madness Magda

 

Manera:         Oh she’s lost it. We always feared there’d be one

 

Magda:           I not got madness in me. I speak to say he calls to me. S’all. I can’t explain it proper see, but look to him and…

 

All look to the man and see Simona. 

She is on her knees crouching over him

 

Simona:         He’s dead. The man. Our man. He’s dead. She’s gifted us a dead one. What are we to do now?’

 

Beat

 

Regina:           And before that second spoke not a one of us had questioned who he was or where he came from or why for the sea had washed him upon our shore. 

 

Beat. The women gather closer to Simona and the man

 

Simona:         Look to the stripes across his arm. Sewn tight to his coat. And his hands…cut open as if they speak of fight

 

Etty:                His shoes, but one left…scuffed tis true but still…polished up black. See?

 

Manera:         And the women 

 

All:                  Us women

 

Manera:         Here and right now, had a sudden remembering

 

Regina:           There was boots before

 

Manera:         Brown

 

Etty:                Green

 

Simona:         Grey

 

Magda:           And black boots before. Here on our isle. 

 

Regina:           There were men

 

All:                  Our men. Gone.

 

......

Simona:        And as sudden as all else the storm chose this moment to arrive, swept clear as she was out from the mainland, a whip in her tail for us

Magda:      What should we do?

Regina:     Quick before she lands proper…let us keep him

Manera:     Ok

Magda:     Alright

Etty:     Yes…yes

Simona:    He’s ours. Hurry

Women pick up the man and carry him

Manera:     And so it came to be that the women

All:     Us women

Manera:    Carried the man, gently as the sea had, across the beach and up the hill to the cut of a rock that ripped into the waters

They put him down, altar like on a cliff overlooking the sea. 

Regina:      And like a lighthouse, he shone to us, to each in a different way

One by one they kiss his cheek and step away 

Simona:       And the time that was lost now flowed from all sides. The years, gaping as an ocean, withered to a stream as we saw ourselves standing atop the beach front wishing and waving and blowing kisses as the men stepped to ships built for far away seas.

Etty:     Not our sea.

Magda:     Not our ships.

All:      No longer our men.

Magda:    And a sadness deep to the bones swallowed the island whole

Etty:      It grew from the tree tops and polluted the soil

Regina:     It turned potatoes purple and twisted carrots till they burst

Manera:      It sucked at the water wells and ground coal to dust

Etty:     It blew clouds that dropped rain, dark and heavy and a storm came strong as could be

Simona:    And the world turned.

Beat. Weather beats down upon the island. 

Regina:     We’d better away. Till the storm does pass us.

Women turn solemnly and walk home 

Etty:      And we each walked lonely back to the houses filled up with the ‘what if’s’ we’d collected and swept under carpets for years

Simona:      And that eve we each mixed a twist of our heartspace and a pinch of what was lost into our soup, and ate it all down, a hunger upon me like I’d never known

Etty:     And me. Starving I am

Magda:     Be there any more?

Regina:     And as a storm tore our land up we lay down to sleep and poured our heartspaces to the earth, missing what we had forgotten we had ever had

Manera:     And just like that, over the space of one eve, the rememberings of all that ever was fell like a blanket on all we had built. For we’d had men folk of our own, here on this isle

Etty:      Some tall as ship’s sails

Simona:     And some short as a shrub bush

Manera:      And we knew that those that was ours had been stolen away.

Regina:       And this knowing infected our blood and shone our eyes wide

Magda:     It salted our food and filled up our ears

Simona:      It ripped holes in our clothes and tore up our hearts

Etty:      And it put shoes on our feet and walked us fast up the hill

One by one they walk up to visit the man, forming a circle around him 

Regina:    What shall we name him? Before his body goes to rest tis right he should have a name upon him else he’ll not sleep deep…

Etty:      Could be an Arun? I recall one before with softness upon him, Arun…

Manera:     No, he is noble like a…a Ren. So he is. Sweet Ren

Simona:     I think he look a Leo, tis gentle round his eyes. Like a Leo…that’s who he be

Magda:      No so, he be a Jameson if ever there was one. For I think there was one before. And his fine nose, it be a Jameson’s nose I feel sure on it

Manera:     And the arguing went on until we finally decided upon/

Regina:    /Skye?

Manera:     For it was the most beautiful thing we could think on. Had we still had a working church atop our isle could be he would’ve been a Jesus but the days for belief in books were gone. These days we believe in the things that real be. The sea and the sky and all that flows inbetween

Regina:     Aye, Skye. That’s who he be.

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