The Mill Cut Like a Sickle

A play for teenagers which I wrote called ‘The Moon Cut Like a Sickle’ is currently enjoying a five night run at The Mill Theatre in Dundrum, Dublin - thanks to The Balally Players.

I got to go and see it last night in what turned out to be an extraordinary experience for me. You see I travelled there on a little bus in the company of the majority of the cast from the original DoYou Playhouse production of 2006.

It was a great night – the studio theatre was full-to-the-brim (as it will be for the remainder of the run) and the cast were brilliant – really brilliant.

Afterwards, I was mooching around, chatting to my sister and her family (who travelled for the show… thanks Mags!), to the director and the choreographer and to anyone else who would tolerate me.

Suddenly I noticed that the original cast had vanished without a trace.

I searched all over – including outside – but there was no sign of them anywhere. I called all their mobile phones but nobody answered – they had all switched them off for the show. Perhaps they’d gone back to the bus. I was heading for the bus when I got a call from Ellen, one of the cast.

"We’re in the theatre" she whispered, in a ‘Where-the-hell-else-would-we-be?’ sort of a tone.

They were all in the theatre, the old cast and the new. They had got a bit bored with sitting around and had slipped back into the performance space. The Current Cast were giving an encore of some of their favourite bits from the play and the Castlebar Crew were replying by showing how they used to do the scenes, back in the day. I was in time to see most of what they did.

I’m going again tomorrow night.

I expect to enjoy myself again...

But nothing will top that.

Here’s a little smidgen of the play for you.

(Lisa is dragged to the local theatre to see a production of the Greek play Lysistrata – written in 411 BC by Aristophanes. The Athenian heroine comes up with a novel way of discouraging their menfolk from continually going to war. This gives Lisa a similar idea which she thinks she and her friends might use for encouraging their own fast-car-obsessed boyfriends to ‘slow-the-feck-down’.)

DAISY: In this great 'Listerine' play of yours, how did they stop their men from warring?

LISA: They... withdrew.

MADGE: With...?

LISA: ...drew, that's right.

DAISY: How do you mean they 'withdrew'? Where did they withdraw to?

LISA: Not 'where', 'what'?

DAISY: Okay. What did they 'withdraw'?

LISA: Exactly.

DAISY: Lisa... what the hell did they withdraw?

LISA: Everything... their favours.

MADGE: Favours?

DAISY: Hang on... you mean...

She makes an ambiguous gesture with both hands.

LISA: I do.

DAISY: I'm fifteen years old, I don't actually do 'favours'.

MADGE snickers.

MADGE: Yeah, sure.

DAISY: Shut up you.

LISA: I don't mean sex. We're all far too young for that.

MADGE snickers again.

DAISY: I said shut up.

LISA: I mean the things we do do - kissing and hugging and general ego boosting and...
just... riding around with them in their stupid stupid stupid cars.

DAISY: Withdraw.

LISA: Everything.

DAISY: Until they stop.

LISA: Until they stop.

MADGE: Or at least... Slow down?

LISA: Stop.

MADGE: Stop.

(c) Ken Armstrong


Jena Isle said...

That must be a nice play. Theater is not so much appreciated here but I would like to watch one of your plays...but geographical locations prevent me from doing so. Anyway, good luck for the rest of the "running." Break a leg. Happy blogging.

Jim Murdoch said...

Now those are the best kind of compliments, the ones you don't get straight to your face.

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Hey Ken,

Just wanted to say so far that I'm enjoying your blog....I'm a writer as well, working on finishing up a novel that's just about ready for the literary agent...

Also, entrecard is awesome. I've had more clicks from your blog than anywhere else I've used entrecard to advertise, and the campaign isn't over yet.

Have an awesome evening across the pond!

Fiendish said...

I have rarely had so much fun with a script as I did that evening. The new cast were great, and it is nice to hang out like a bunch of proper actors and "workshop" a bit.

(I did get a bit nostalgic for the old days, natch).

It will always be an excellent play, no matter who's in it. Well done you.

Anonymous said...

Sound like you had a ton of fun. The scene was wonderful, great natural dialog. I hope you have an equally great time tonight. Love your blog and your work.

Ken Armstrong said...

Thanks, guys, for these really nice comments.

I've just come in the door having driven three-and-a-half hours from seeing the last night of the play, where, quite deservedly, the cast got a full standing ovation.

So the curtain closes for awhile. As a character memorably said in William Goldman's novel 'The Colour of Light':

"On to the Next."

Anonymous said...

thought i should repay the visit, with my apologies for taking so long! i'm So far behind in my reading it's quite tragic!
nice place you have here...when i have some spare time {this year anyway!} i'll wander back and check the archives...