We here at Tribe Theatre love the quantity and quality of student writing in St Andrews. For the final edition of the 2012-2013 academic year we wanted to showcase one more example of student writing. We Long Endure is going up the 26th and 27th of April in The Barron, and is written by Dominic Kimberlin, a second year and experienced St Andrews thespian. We Long Endure is the first time his work has been put on stage in St Andrews as well as his first time directing! 

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Here’s what he had to say about the show:

People are fascinating. Some in particular, but all in general. However, interacting with people can be stressful, particularly when trying to understand their behaviour. One difficulty emerges when you consider that, no matter how much research you do into theories concerning why people do things, it is impossible to ever know for absolute certain that other people exist at all. Of course, that’s something you have to assume anyway, otherwise conversation would be quite impossible, but as long as you attempt to interpret what people mean, you can never interact with anything beyond your own interpretations. Nonetheless, if interpretations are all we have, then research into interpretations is of the utmost importance.

A year ago I was reading about an idea from Daoist philosophy that all events consist of interactions between five fundamental elements, elements into which all things could be divided. Things that act in a certain way affect things in a certain way, which affect other things in a certain way, which then inevitably affects the first set of things. Each element creates and destroys other elements, fluctuating eternally between each and the whole undying. This was the beginning of We Long Endure and why there are five characters in the play.

Five elements sustain as one system. This system can be extrapolated outwards to describe not only the individual, but the interactions of individuals within an encompassing system. Individuals, composite of five elements, affecting other individuals in a certain way. There are numerous theories about how individuals manifest themselves in your consciousness, embodied in your interpretations. These theories are very useful in understanding why your expectations of individuals are inexorably linked to your own certain way of affecting them.

Gradually the boundaries begin to fall away. It become impossible to distinguish where the individual ends and your interpretation of them begins. Why do people act in a certain way? Because things of this kind act in such a way. Patterns of behaviour replicating themselves across the infinite, a unending series of  fractals expanding throughout all things, all events microcosmic of greater and greater events, unfolding again and again. A theatrical fractal. A theatrifractal.

Would it were that simple. No, all things must inevitably lead back to nothing as the ideas become irrelevant to anything meaningful. Thoughts march relentlessly on and we cannot rest in one place forever. All we recognise can be summarised in a single concept. The theatrifractal  becomes a Moebius strip. We are alone in our understanding. All things relate to one thing: ourselves.

Of course, the play isn’t actually like this. This is just why things happen in the play. The actual things themselves are both funny and interesting, which is largely due to the awesome cast who consist of some of my favourite people. The play is both a tragicomedy and a basement psychodrama. It is about people, but without people because there are no people in the play. The five characters do not have names. There are no names in the play except Rebecca’s. Her name is Rebecca.

 

Dominic Kimberlin

 

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And here is the excerpt from the show:

EARTH
Is that a knife?

METAL
Yes.

EARTH
Why do you have a knife?

METAL
My father gave it to me.

EARTH
Today?

METAL
Probably. It wasn’t there before.

EARTH
“Before” being?

FIRE
Well obviously not then.

METAL
Not “before being”. “Before being – ?”

EARTH
What?

METAL
I don’t know what. When the knife wasn’t there, that’s when I mean.

EARTH
What do you mean?

METAL
When it was before. When else?

EARTH
(After some time)
Your dad gave it to you.

METAL
My father gave me the knife, yes.

WATER
Why did he give you a knife?

WOOD
Maybe it’s symbolic.

FIRE
(Carefully stressing the ‘dic’)
It sounds in-dic-ative.

METAL
(Sharply)
Of what?

EARTH
(Simul.)
What?

WATER
(Simul.)
What kind of knife is it?

METAL
It’s a Sabatier blade.

EARTH
They’re used for cooking, aren’t they?

METAL
Yes.

FIRE
What d’you think you’ll use it for?

METAL
Cooking.

EARTH
Yes.

WATER
So he bought you a knife. That’s nice.

METAL
He didn’t buy it. He found it.

WATER
Where?

FIRE
In somebody’s chest?

METAL
In the street.

WATER
Which street?

METAL
(Becoming more agitated)
Just some street, does it matter?

EARTH
No.

METAL
Okay, don’t worry about it.

EARTH
Okay, I won’t.

METAL
I’m not talking to you.

EARTH
(Simul.)
You’re not?

WATER
(Simul.)
You’re not?

METAL
When I said “don’t worry about it”, what happened?

EARTH
I said “okay, I won’t”.

METAL
No, apart from that.

EARTH
I stopped worrying about it.

METAL
But it’s not “you”. The “you” that stopped worrying about it doesn’t exist. The “you” that is “you” didn’t decide to stop worrying, it just realised that it was no longer worrying.

EARTH
So what’s your point?

METAL
My point is –
(Drinks)
I don’t know. I’m just p***ing the time away.

FIRE
(Brightly)
I have my greatest revelations whilst p***ing. I often wonder why people disregard p***ing as a legitimately philosophical activity. There’s something humbling about it, this universal bond, this empathic link with every other living thing. Think about how many hours we spend staring into a porcelain bowl steadily filling with urine.

 (Pauses)

S***ing too.

WOOD
Are you done?

FIRE
It’s a time when one addresses the very nature of selfhood. When we’re confronted with this physical immediacy, wherein a part of yourself is ejected into the outside world. And we wipe away the remains and flush it away forever. As though we’re ashamed of it.

WOOD
You’re not ashamed of it. You talk s*** every day.

FIRE
My s***, certainly. I could never be ashamed of my s***. It’s a part of who I am.

WOOD
It’s every part of you.

FIRE
Are you ashamed of your s***? Tell me something. Do you wipe standing up or sitting down? Or do you hover?

WOOD
I’m sick of this s***!

FIRE
Aha!

WOOD
(Simul.)
Do you know how hard it is to talk to you?

EARTH
(Simul.)
It’s sometimes hard to talk to you.

METAL
Then don’t.

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We Long Endure goes up the 26th and 27th of April in the Barron Theatre. You can reserve your tickets on their Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/147425478770410/?fref=ts

Description and excerpt by Dominic Kimberlin. Information collection by Emily Grant.

Photo Credits go to Dominic Kimberlin and Helen Miller.