The Secret Game


by Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

Book Cover: The Secret Game

Winner of the Mobil Prize for Playwriting, Ireland, 1995.

Is killing ever justified? This gripping drama examines the terrible choices of a teenage terrorist and a young mother in an exploration of contemporary morality.

On her way home from a traumatic weekend, Chris is seeking solace with her aunt near the Northern Irish border. Parking her car, Chris disturbs a terrorist hide-out in her aunt's barn. As Chris is held captive through the night, it becomes apparent that her terrorist captor is not the only one with a dark secret...

 

Published:
Publisher: Chiswick Books
Excerpt:

Very dim light comes up, revealing barely discernible large
double doors, the inside of the barn. The effect of the large
doors is created with light; first dark then lighter as the
doors burst open. The rosy, but dimming sunset is alluded
to. Sound of heavy rain. Sound of small car driving up
outside barn. Sound of it stopping. Sound of the doors
bursting open.
Headlights of the car blast into the barn and into the eyes
of the audience. Car drives in and stops. In the headlights,
the sleeping form of NOEL in a sleeping bag is seen for
a moment. He is immediately awoken and leaps up and
tackles CHRIS, pulling her out of the car and holding her
while he bangs the barn doors shut. CHRIS and NOEL
speak across each other.

READ MORE


CHRIS
Who are you?
NOEL
What the fuck!
CHRIS
Christ!
NOEL
Get out of it.
CHRIS
Let go. Who in the hell are you? What the
hell are you doing here?
NOEL
Bloody fucking hell, shut up will you?
CHRIS
Who are you? What are you doing here? Leave
me alone.
NOEL
Who are you? Be quiet can’t you?
CHRIS
What the hell are you doing here?
NOEL
Having a kip.
CHRIS
I can see that… you scared the life out of me.
NOEL
And the shit out of me…

CHRIS
What are you doing sleeping here? This is my
aunt’s barn. You have no right to be here. Get
out at once. Oh, you scared the life out of me.
Oh, this is too much. Who are you? What’s your
name?
NOEL
Couldn’t get a lift all evening. Bloody rain.
Thought I’d crash out. It’s been a cruel day. Not a
decent sinner on the road. Walked miles.
CHRIS
Who are you? Tell me your name. Where are you
from?
NOEL
Derry.
CHRIS
Where are you heading?
NOEL
To the city.
CHRIS
You’d better get moving so.
NOEL
In that?

Indicates the rain with a jerk of the head.

Have a heart.

CHRIS
That’s one thing I’m short of tonight. You’ve
scared the wits out of me. You’ve no right here.
You didn’t ask my auntie’s permission.
NOEL
Well now, I’m only resting, sheltering from the
rain for a wee while, I’m doing no harm. How do
you know I didn’t ask your auntie?
CHRIS
I just know. On your way young fella.
NOEL
Are you’s psychic?
CHRIS
I don’t have to be. I know my auntie.
NOEL
So do I. Nice woman.
CHRIS
She is. One of the best. How do you know her?
NOEL
As you say. One of the best.
Pause.
I’ve been around.
CHRIS
You’re too smart for your own good.
NOEL
You might be right or you might not. But you’re
not hospitable to a man on the road.
CHRIS
Will you shut up and get out of here.
NOEL
You have terrible manners for a good looking
woman.
CHRIS
I hate blather.
NOEL
You’ve your head screwed on. That’s a fine car.
CHRIS
There’s plenty of traffic on the main road.
NOEL
Mean bastards the lot of them. Always the worst
in the wet.

COLLAPSE