Queen of Seventh Avenue

Dominic Kimberlin is previewing the plays going up in Mermaids’ SAND (St Andrews New Drama) Festival, which runs from 3rd March to 9th March. In this article, he talks to Katie Brennan, who wrote The Queen of Seventh Avenue and who has provided not only a summary of the play and an insight into her creative inspiration, but also a brief excerpt from the play itself. 

 

The Queen of Seventh Avenue by Katie Brennan

Goes up: Monday 3 March & Tuesday 4 March: Venue 1, 7:30pm; Tickets £6

More information: The Queen of Seventh Avenue

Summary: 

1926. Manhattan.

The Bluebird Club is having trouble staying afloat. Jon keeps getting beat up by the suppliers, Rose can’t bring enough people through the doors, and they’re weeks away from going under. Enter Evie, Rose’s estranged sister, and Gus, a charismatic preacher haunted by years spent in the trenches. Together, the four of them will really give everyone something to talk about.

Featuring booze, flappers, faux philosophers, and vaulting ambition.

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What were your motivations behind writing this piece?

Katie: I knew I wanted to write a ‘sister story’, and I wanted to do something big and kind of flashy with it, especially after doing ENRON last semester —shiny theatre is what is really getting me excited at the moment. So this is kind of what came out of it. It’s also a love story (partly), a story about falling out of love (partly), and about empire-building. I’m very proud of everyone involved in it, and I’m really, really looking forward to Monday!

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Extract:

CHARLIE: Have you had enough?

(JON smiles. There is blood on his face.)

JON: I don’t know, Charlie, I feel like there was a little something missing—

(CHARLIE punches him again)

CHARLIE: You’re a real wiseass son of a bitch, you know that Jon?

JON: (wincing) I’d noticed, yeah.

CHARLIE: You’re a good kid, Jon, but this shithole isn’t pulling its weight. Mr Rothstein has made a certain investment, and he told me to remind you what happens when you don’t hold up your end of the bargain.

JON: I know what he’s done for us, Charlie, that doesn’t mean I can make five hundred fucking dollars appear—

(CHARLIE HITS HIM AGAIN)

JON: I’ll stop.

(CHARLIE hits him again. He pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and begins polishing the blood from his knuckles while JON breathes heavily through his mouth)

JON: Just give me ‘til the end of the month.

CHARLIE: You know he won’t like that.

JON: Can you tell him I said please?

CHARLIE: Tell him you said it, or are you gonna actually say please?

JON: Fuck— Charlie, will you tell him I asked politely? I was deferential?

CHARLIE: What the hell does that mean?

JON: Would you open a dictionary, you stupid sonuva-

(CHARLIE HITS HIM AGAIN)

CHARLIE: That was for the dictionary crack.

JON: I figured. (beat, and this costs him a lot) Please, alright?

CHARLIE: You got it, kid. Ice that face, wouldja? Don’t wanna worry your pretty little wife.

JON: Fuck you.

CHARLIE: See you at the end of the month, Jon.

 by Katie Brennan

 

Dominic Kimberlin

 

Photo credits: Katie Brennan