by Anne Le Marquand Hartigan
Size: 127.00 x 198.00 mm
The three short plays in this publication by award winning Irish playwright Anne Le Marquand Hartigan span her playwriting career from Strings in 1981, Cake in 1984 and In Other Worlds commissioned by Ohio Northern University in 2003.
Tackling the themes of relationships, marriage, deception and self-deception, through intertwined story lines, the plays link and re-link the recurring themes of Anne Le Marquand Hartigan’s work.
With running times of 45, 30 and just 5 minutes, the three one act plays offer a variety of options for short productions.
Publisher: Chiswick Books
Music continues while THE WIFE enters from left, crosses
to apron and takes it down, stands with back to audience
in front of sink and ties the apron strings behind her back.
She begins washing up.
THE HUSBAND enters, goes to the chair downstage left,
and sits. He is smoking a small cigar. He relaxes.
Music continues and develops a harsher tone and ends on
a note of discord. Silence.
THE WIFE sniffs.
I’m not sniffing.
You were sniffing. I’ve got ears haven’t I?
THE WIFE sniffs.
Did you fetch the paper?
And my cigarettes?
Where are they?
Haven’t you got eyes? There, beside you.
Keep your hair on.
Picks up the paper and reads. THE WIFE sniffs.
Would you ever stop that damn sniffing?
Keeping back to audience.
For God’s sake can’t you see? All I do here is
exchange this sink for the one at home. Let’s get
away, you say. A weekend in the west would do
us good, you say. Ha ha. Who does the preparing?
The food? The clothes? Organising the kids? Me,
me. You in there just chat and laugh…
Hey, stop that. I don’t mind the washing up.
That’s no problem, I’ll do the bloody washing up.
Why can’t you ask like a civilised person instead
of making this damn fuss over nothing? It’s not
worth crying over…
Furious and weeping.
You fool. You bloody silly fool. That’s no good.
Doing the washing up like some fecking martyr.
It’s not like that, it’s just…
They are face to face and glaring. Glaring like
fighting cocks. Silence. They are still.
THE MUSICIAN plays gentle, soft music. THE WIFE
unties the apron strings, takes apron off and hangs it up.
She now becomes THE DAUGHTER and moves downstage
to sit on the floor beside THE HUSBAND who now
becomes THE FATHER. He picks up the book and reads to
her. Music continues behind the monologue.
I liked the smell of your jacket, Dad, when I
sat on your knee when I was little and you read
stories to me, the stories your mother read to you,
Alice in Wonderland and the scary Water Babies.
You always read in a special sing-song sort of
voice and sometimes, when Mum was there, this
would make her smile. I knew she found it funny
and I’d try not to giggle too because you would
stop reading and sigh. You looked so offended.
And I liked sitting on your knee being read to,
even if your watch chain did stick into my ribs a
I liked it when you stroked my arm. Sometimes
you read the Fairy Queen.
Silence. They are still.