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“Talking to the Pictures”

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Fogarty, Daly M. (Irish playwright, 1954-____), “Talking to the Pictures,”

a 37-minute abstract tragicomedy in English, set in rural Ireland, late 1960s,


  •  © 2000 by Daly M. Fogarty;  •  script/rights available from Daly M. Fogarty, 2, Ard Na Croise, Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland, e-mail marksully@tinet.ie, telephone (home) (0504) 22972.  •  Cited by Daly M. Fogarty, via ftp January 20, 2001; Fogarty says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Mammy (f), 65, narrator, wife of Daddy, mother of Girl; Daddy (m), 65, husband of Mammy, father of Girl; Girl (f), 19, daughter of Mammy and Daddy, unstable; Kelly (m), 70, the neighbour.

  §  Synopsis “Mammy narrates the story of how her daughter (Girl) tried to kill her, with occasional interruptions from the other three characters. She speaks and acts energetically and with a vivid and humorous descriptive style. Her energy contrasts with the stillness of all the other characters. She relates the deterioration in the girl’s psychological condition since childhood, all the while attempting to avoid the unavoidable conclusion that it was a result of abuse—mental but perhaps also sexual—by her father (Daddy) or the neighbour Kelly. During the narration she relates the tension surrounding the girl’s departure to England to escape her situation, her return in a seriously disturbed state and her final return after escaping from a mental institution. We see too the devastating effect on the narrator and on her husband, of the experience. The narrator, clearly quite eccentric, may in fact have been driven mad by it all though she is sustained by an odd sense of humour which distances her from the reality. Yet, she does, in the end, clutch at the truth, in all its horror.

  §  Comment “There is one set—a rural Irish kitchen, slightly modernised to 60’s standard, e.g., TV and fridge. Two photographs are required. One of the girl in formal seated pose. The other, of Daddy and Kelly, taken outdoors—they are dressed for a cattle fair. No changes. Some lighting effects required as per text. The play’s structure is essentially a monologue with frequent interplay between narrator and other characters. No production history—it’s just been written!”

  §  Themes abstract, Beckettian, child abuse, England as an escape for the Irish, family, incest, Ireland, Irish-English dialect, mental abuse, mental institution, psychological deterioration, reality, rural Ireland, insanity, sexual abuse, tragicomedy.

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