The Moon Cut Like a Little Book

I am pleased to let you all know that my theatre play ‘The Moon Cut Like A Sickle’ has just been published by those lovely people at the Drama League of Ireland.

Thanks guys!

Here’s a picture of the book because I know you won’t believe me otherwise.

It’s a neat publication called New Irish Writing 2 and I’m in there between Henry Hudson and James E Reid – which is quite a comfy place to be - except that Henry is all-elbows.

My play is written for a teenage cast of five boys and seven girls.

Here's a brief synopsis:

Terry and his friends love to drive their cars fast around town but now that Terry is finally due to get his own car – the fastest of the lot – his girlfriend Lisa is worried that he will come to harm. After all, his brother Joe was killed out on the roads racing his car, history may well repeat itself.

After being dragged to see a production of the Greek play ‘Lysistrata’, Lisa has a great idea.

In that play, the women stopped their men from going to war by…

... 'tell you what, I’ll let Lisa explain in this little extract:

Yes and we could stop our guys in just the same way.

From going to war?

From driving like idiots.




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

They... withdrew.


...drew, that's right.

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

Not 'where', 'what'?

Okay. What did they 'withdraw'?

You know.

Lisa... what the hell did they withdraw?

Everything... their favours.


Hang on... you mean...

She makes an ambiguous gesture with both hands.

I do.

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

MADGE snickers.

Yeah, sure.

Shut up you.

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

MADGE snickers again.

I said shut up.

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.



Until they stop.

Until they stop.

Or at least... Slow down?



If you want to hear more, there's a radio piece which RTE One (the National Radio Channel) did about the first production. You can hear it ... no, sorry, you can't anymore, they took it away.

And if you fancy a copy of the little book, contact Ask for Dara and tell him I sent you (he'll charge you more that way). I think it costs fifteen euro including postage.

But really, I’m not trying to flog you a book.

I always think plays are a bit like blueprints for houses – it’s much more fun to see the actual house than the plans.

That's why I’d prefer you to see the play.

So, if you’re a youth theatre group (or know one) who might be interested in a one hour play for a nice-sized cast of 15-16 years olds – a play which has proved itself in a few productions to date – a play which has entertained audiences and delivered a heart-felt kick in the teeth to them too – and, equally importantly, a play which has engaged the young casts right through the rehearsal and performance stages… well, let me know.

I’d like you to see it.

And I have lots of other plays too. I’ll throw in a post now and again about one, to see if you might like any of them.

Finally, for fun, I might as well give a copy of the book away. The first commenter who answers this random question can have a book posted to them by me. The only thing is they'll have to tell me their address and I do tend to come around and raid the fridge.

Random Question: What lady links 'Mack the Knife' with 'From Russia with Love'? There's probably loads of answers but the one I have in mind is the only one that counts.

You don't have to know the answer. This is the internet, go and look it up.


Anonymous said...

Hearty congrats, Ken. Seeing your name in print must be thrilling, no? That's a very cool accomplishment.

The snippet of conversation between the ladies has me curious for more now.

Nicely done on all counts mate. :D

And I'm withholding an answer because I'd feel like I cheated -- getting advance notice of this new post on twitter and the ability to flex my google-fu too fast -- hah.

Good luck to whoever tries for the answer!

Debbie said...

I cheated and found the answer. So, while I will send it to you, I will leave this open for someone more deserving than myself.

However, should you ever want to raid the fridge, I'll leave the key under the mat!

Anonymous said...

=( I'm knackered so I didn't read your whole post and I haven't been coming by. I've been chipping away at getting the house ready for my dinner/cocktail party this Saturday and it's taking so much out of me.

But before I go on with more excuses, I wanted to say Congratulations! You've been published again!! So proud of you and happy for you Ken!! Woo hoo!!

j said...

Congrats on the publication!

As for the random question: Lotte Lenya? Or so google tells me ...

Anonymous said...


Shaken, not stirred...I cheated with Google, but hope I got it right:

Lotte Lenya was the wife of the song's composer Kurt Weill, and she also played the villian Rosa Klebb in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love.

Congrats on the publishing of "The Moon Cut Like Sickle" -- I've been lurking in the shadows but had to stop and comment tonight.

All the best,

Susan at Stony River said...


I'll go for Lotte Lenya.

My daughter's school has just started up their drama again after a hiatus of 20 years, with a production of Wizard of Oz; I'll pass it on. Lysterine-- ha ha!

Brilliant stuff. My brother was killed in a car crash. I've got to see this and have a good cry.

Thanks for great writing, Ken.

Rachel Fox said...

I grew up in one of those small towns where the guys all went out on the moors at night to race cars. Now I live in one again and my daughter will be a teenager soon enough. Hope the play does really well.

tashabud said...

Hello Ken,
A Big Congratulation to you!
I downloaded the RTE radio player just to listen to your play. As I was listening, I was telling myself that adulthood and maturity must have finally come to you. Then came your interview, and that was exactly what you told the interviewer! LOL. It was good to hear your voice there. Now I can connect your picture and your writings with a voice. "Perty" neat! Anyway, I think that this play truly has a great message to young people, especially to the teenage boys. And you're right on when you said that if the teenage girls can show that speeding does not impress them one bit then the "coolness" of it will lose its appeal. Speeding will not give them joy anymore. You're clever in how you would have the girls stop the boys to stop speeding. Since you're a man, you must know exactly what would take for the boys to stop driving like maniacs. Hehe.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Ken! I'm excited for you and truly wish I knew any teachers so I could pass your play along to them, but alas, my world is peopled with geeks

BTW, you are welcome to raid my fridge anytime you're in the neighborhood. The doors are never locked, but the Whippets guard me well, so beware the hounds of Kemar.


Free Money Maker said...

Hi ken I find a link back to my site from yours.Is it right ? Can you tell me the actual link where you have linked? If yes then very very thanks dude.Have added into my faves.Good luck ,keep blogging .Please knock me.

Anonymous said...

I love it!

I bet it would go well in our high schools over here - the road toll is ridiculous.

And I used the withdrawal technique on my husband - then boyfriend - when he smoked to great effect - so it does work!


Daisy said...

Congratulations, that's teh awesome!

Jena Isle said...

Hi Ken,

You must be in cloud nine for such a superb accomplishment, In my place of work, they are now into cultivatingt the love for stage plays and 2-3x a year they present plays. I remember I went to watch "Tuesdays with Morrie," which I expected to be boring, but they were great stage actors and I never knew that a play could be that interesting. Then there was Don Quijote. I could just imagine if your play could be enacted here, what a blast it would be!

The book, the book, I hope I could buy one someday , so I can boast to my friends about how I know the

Congratulations Ken, you deserve all these blessings coming to you.

My hats off to you, may you have more to come...

Btw, will the radio, work here where I live? well, I will have to try.


hope said...

Talk about deja vu! I'd just listened to that interview with you when I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago!

Congratulations! And for the record, you sound just as cheerful and friendly as you look. ;)

Matthew S. Urdan said...

That's awesome, Ken. Congratulations on the play and the publishing! "lysterine" that's as good as when the sidekick at the beginning of Titanic refers to Anastasia as anesthesia!

Contact Hollywood...they might be interested in making it into a sex ed film for teenage girls!


Ken Armstrong said...

Thanks guys - wot a nice bunch you are!

Jack: Ta mate - if anyone else said 'withholding the answer' I'd tut (tut) and say 'yeah sure' but not with you.

Debbie:... you.. ... cheated? :(
oh, I see on 'the answer' oh that's okay. I'll be round later regarding the fridge - hope you've got real Florida orange joice and not that T*opicana imported stuff :)

Reggie: 'didn't read the whole post? Didn't you read my declaration about you right at the end? Never mind, I've taken it off now (sniff)

Thanks Jennifer: you are the winner, I've tried emailing you but you're obviously hiding in the attic for fear that I will call with the book under my arm (howdy ma'am). I have an email in my 'about me' bit, mail me if you dare and I'll get posting'.

Roxy: Lovely to see you here and what a great (correct) answer. Unfortunately (as Jeff says on Survivor) I got nothin' for ya.
He also says, I'll go tally the votes, take a minute to stratigise and back up for grabs. But that's another story.

Hi Susan, I'm so sorry to hear that. Really. Good luck with the 15000 and mail me if you can - I tried yours not sure if I got it right.

Hi Free Money Maker: (bet that's not your real name) I drop on your regularly - you do nice work - the link may be in my EC faves, not sure otherwise.

Thanks Rachel, I fear for my little guys as well - the play is (mostly) light-hearted but there is pain at the core. We have to work to keep them safe.

Wow Tasha, great comment, thanks. I feel all grown up now but the little blog takes a few years off... some nights.

Thanks Margaret: mmmmm... Whippet :)

Hi Cellobella 'Husband *then * boyfriend, my God, that really *was* withdrawal wasn't it? :) (No I see what you mean really - I would have totally stopped smoking too or rather given it up so as to quit. :)

Daisy: You are my favorite cat, your praise means everything to me.

Jena: I have one for you. I promised it a long time ago. Remember? I do... :)

Hope: Listening to me on holiday? Can't think of anything worse. :)

Hi Matt: I rang hollywood but it was an answering machine.. ah well :)

Debbie said...

"T*opicana imported stuff :)"
that plant is south of me, but no, I squeeze 'em fresh, the oranges!

~willow~ said...

Congrats on getting your play published. That little conversation you tease us with sounds so so so so good! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Ken, that is great news, congratualtions! I know how wonderful a feeling it is to be "accepted" you know!!!
The best to you!

Anonymous said...

Uhm, k so:

1. I don't even know where to begin to look for the answer to your question.

2. I don't see how you couldn've managed to include a declaration for me into this post so I don't feel that bad ;P

3. I wanna see the play too!!

Dave King said...

Yes, indeed, many, many congrats Ken. And many wishes that it will do well - it should, from the extract given

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is nice! Everybody's proud of you surely. I wish I have the skill in writing :)

Kat Mortensen said...

Warm congratulations on your well-deserved success. I am intrigued by the theme of your play and as always, love to read your dialogue. As usually, we're strapped for cash (being a one-income family and with little hope of that changing for the foreseeable future) otherwise, I'd happily fork out for a copy of the book.

As to the question: I've no idea and I don't want to cheat. I'm mentally running through "Mack, the Knife" but haven't got past "The shark has, pearly teeth dear", so that's a bust! As for "From Russia With Love", haven't seen it in years, read the book once and still I don't want to cheat. I'm hoping some cerebral burst of ancient minutiae comes popping to the surface. Otherwise, I'll give it some time and check in again later.



Ken Armstrong said...

But Debs, when I was in Florida (hee) I heard that T*opic**** was made from oranges outside the state and I was appalled, I tell you, appalled. :)

Thanks Willow - I'm fairly good with dialogue... and very little else.

Thanks Carol, you're right, it is a nice feeling and the opposite is equally not nice.

Hi Reggie, happy birthday from all of us here at the blog (me) I am currently eating chili Doritos and drinking beer in your honour.

You're right, of course, there was *no* declaration - any declarations will be done in the proper way - by registered post.

Thanks Dave - you're doing great work at your blog - everybody go and see!

Thank you Marly, I have no doubt that you are inordinately gifted in your own special ways.

Hello Dear Kat - I love it that you are agonising over the answer to my question when it's already been done several times above. Would you email me when you get time? I want to ask you something innocuous. :)

Henson Ray said...

Very, very cool Ken. Congrats. Loved the little sample write dialogue very well...I'd love to see one of your plays performed. And I think the answer to your question is Lotta Lenya. She was in the original production of ThreePenny Opera, and also in From Russia With Love. Is that correct?

Ken Armstrong said...

Thank Henson, you are, of course right about Lotte Lenya but a few peeps beat you to it. :)

Lotte Lenya played the evil spiky-boot swingin Rosa Klebb in the second Bond outing 'From Russia with Love'. But she was also associated with Kurt Weill and the Threepenny Opera which produced Mack the Knife. She even gets name-checked in most of the later versions of the song, "Lotte Lenya, what about ol' Lucy Browne..." This was a revelation to me when I first spotted the connection so it's become a favorite trivia question of mine.

Fiendish said...

Warmest congratulations. A well-deserved publication if ever I saw one (and I have. For example, this one).

Delighted that the RTE One broadcast still gets a listen now and again, because of course, I'm in it (I think). If any readers of my blog were also readers of your blog, that would be a neat little bit of crossover right there ;)

You told me before about Lotte Lenya, and what's worse is, I forgot. I do know that she appears in most versions of the song (all the ones I know), but I didn't know she was a Bond villain. Nice question.

Anonymous said...

Wow Ken, big congrats. I'd buy you a drink, but it's such a long haul. Next time, yeah?

Ken Armstrong said...

Interesting comment, Fiendish.

You see, you *definitely* were my first choice of question for the book prize - ie, What blogger and friend of mine also features in the radio piece. I didn't because I didn't want to compromise your anonymity. But, look, you've come out of the closet on it yourself now and I'm chuffed you did because, as you know, I'm proud of what you did with/in that (and other) plays. :)

Still, I won't mention this interesting snippet anywhere else - not many will see it down here at the end of the comments.

Thanks for mentioning it though, nice. :)

tashabud said...

Ahhh...And I'm one of the few who's reading it right now. Anyway, I'm going to listen to RTE radio again to discover the true identity of your friend, Fiendish. LOL.

Fiendish said...

I find it funny how the whole "anonymous" thing has gotten relatively quite a lot of attention - I never even realised I was anonymous until someone pointed it out.

Anyway, when that Nanotales thing is published, I'll probably reveal which one of the names gracing the cover is mine, and the mystery will be solved.

Glad you thought of me for the trivia question though - I don't know if anyone would have guessed it...

Writing Nag said...

Congrats Ken! Wonderful news, it feels great to see your name in print doesn't it! Keep writing,

Rachel Fox said...

Went to listen to the clip and your voice doesn't sound anything like I imagined! So is Fiendish the actress interviewed then? I didn't hear anyone else her age. Did I?

I liked your bit about 'just trying to do it right'. Exactly. We're on a mission from cod.

Ken Armstrong said...

Fiendish: I think Rachel might have sussed it out... :)

Thankg Writing Nag: I was hoping you'd say "now get back to work" :)

Hi Rachel. yes. Mission from cod? :)

I think I sound like a complete prat so I will take the fact that that it was different to what you expected as a compliment. :)

Rachel Fox said...

OK how about a mission from bod then?

So she's an actress too, that Fiendish? Multi-talented people...don't you just hate them...I mean ...adore them...

Anonymous said...

Aw thanks Ken! And btw, you official win the title, "Greeted me on the most internet places"!!

You're the best!

Ken Armstrong said...

Rachel: We're on a mission from Bod (cue Blues Brother music (Peter Gunn Theme)) :) I remember 'Bod'.

Fiendish is a really good actor - really good. Fierce sickenin' altogether.

Thanks Reggie - you deserve every one. :)