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 And here is the excerpt from the show:
EARTHIs that a knife?
EARTHWhy do you have a knife?
METALMy father gave it to me.
METALProbably. It wasn't there before.
FIREWell obviously not then.
METALNot “before being”. “Before being - ?”
METALI don’t know what. When the knife wasn’t there, that’s when I mean.
EARTHWhat do you mean?
METALWhen it was before. When else?
EARTH(After some time)Your dad gave it to you.
METALMy father gave me the knife, yes.
WATERWhy did he give you a knife?
WOODMaybe it’s symbolic.
FIRE(Carefully stressing the 'dic')It sounds in-dic-ative.
WATER(Simul.)What kind of knife is it?
METALIt’s a Sabatier blade.
EARTHThey’re used for cooking, aren’t they?
FIREWhat d’you think you’ll use it for?
WATERSo he bought you a knife. That’s nice.
METALHe didn’t buy it. He found it.
FIREIn somebody’s chest?
METALIn the street.
METAL(Becoming more agitated)Just some street, does it matter?
METALOkay, don’t worry about it.
EARTHOkay, I won’t.
METALI’m not talking to you.
METALWhen I said “don’t worry about it”, what happened?
EARTHI said “okay, I won’t”.
METALNo, apart from that.
EARTHI stopped worrying about it.
METALBut 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.
EARTHSo what’s your point?
METALMy 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.
WOODAre you done?
FIREIt'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.
WOODYou're not ashamed of it. You talk s*** every day.
FIREMy s***, certainly. I could never be ashamed of my s***. It's a part of who I am.
WOODIt's every part of you.
FIREAre you ashamed of your s***? Tell me something. Do you wipe standing up or sitting down? Or do you hover?
WOODI'm sick of this s***!
WOOD(Simul.)Do you know how hard it is to talk to you?
EARTH(Simul.)It’s sometimes hard to talk to you.
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.
Director, Adelaide Waldrop: When Millennium Approaches first premiered in 1990, AIDS had already been the subject of a few different plays, perhaps most notably in Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart (which premiered in 1985). However, what sets Angels apart is that it was the first play to deal with AIDS without being a play entirely centered around the AIDS epidemic. Instead, Kushner uses the topic of AIDS to investigate various elements of the American (and human) psyche. While the subject of AIDS is arguably less taboo nowadays (at least in Western culture) than it was in the 1980s and 1990s, the themes that are explored through a theatrical depiction of HIV/AIDS remain powerful and moving forces in any drama. The horrors of disease, the struggles of the dying, the effects on those caring for the dying -- Kushner explores all of these aspects of sickness. In Angels we see Kushner advocate not for accepting those dying of AIDS, but rather learning to live with the disease, and accepting it as a common enemy against which people must rally.I don't think Kushner's main goal in writing Angels was to publicise or problematise the AIDS epidemic specifically, but more to explore what it can reveal about the larger cultural identity of America, or (as it's called in the show) 'the melting pot where nothing melted'. Tribe Theatre: As I understand it, the main climaxes of the work come during the second part of the show, Perestroika, not during Millennium Approaches, the half you are putting on. What have you done to give the first part a sense of conclusion and climax since, presumably, you aren’t presenting the second half?Adelaide: While a lot of the more dramatic moments happen in Perestroika (characters wrestling angels in mid-air, a character climbs a flaming ladder to heaven, etc.), Millennium Approaches is definitely the more tightly constructed play. The whole show is a constant build towards a final climactic moment (I won't spoil it here!). In addition to that, Millennium Approaches -- as the name indicates -- particularly deals with the sense of a build-up towards the dawn of the third millennium. Though a lot of the conflicts aren't fully resolved in this part of the show, it ends on a climactic note that I think is even more exciting because it asks more questions than it answers.
Adelaide: The show does have a lot of cultural references specific to the setting -- not just the 1980s but America as well. However, I haven't changed any of them because I think they're key to establishing the setting of the play. Also, Kushner uses all small parts of the script, like certain cultural references, to make thematic connections between themes. That's a very important aspect of how the play works, so I wanted to be sure to keep all those elements.Angels in America goes up the 17th, 18th, and 19th of April in Venue 1. Tickets can be reserved on their Facebook event.Or purchased through the Union Website: www.yourunion.net/events Interview by Emily Grant Photo credits go to Angels in America: Millenium Approaches
3. There are a lot of great events happening around town with On The Rocks, what makes People Like Us special? Will: "People Like Us" should be viewed as a funny little radio playlet written by a bunch of friendly-faced students. It is only 15 minutes every evening from Monday 8th April to Friday 12th April, and should prove quite amusing. None of us has ever taken part in a LIVE radio play, and most of us have never even written a play, so who knows what will happen. Tune in to find out! We're all excited and would love nothing more than for everyone to tune in each evening - Only on St Andrews Radio. On the Rocks Photo credits go to 'People Like Us' and On the Rocks. The show summary is taken from the On the Rocks 2013 Programme.
Show Summary: “Norman Sullens, a struggling comedian with a struggling marriage, is approaching the biggest gig of his career. The problem is he has no jokes. Obsessive drinking, the impeding arrival of his mother-in-law and a nervous hallucinatory breakdown all come out in one night of hilarious poignancy and antagonizing one liners.”
Excerpt from Without a Punchline
Norman- [Slurs and shouts] Hello, hello? Honey, yeah I'm not going to make it home tonight. There has been an, eh, unavoidable conflict of schedule. You understand honey, don’t you?Mother-in-law-[Shrill] Who is this speaking?Norman- Unavoidable, yeah. I know you’ve got that old bat there but you’ll just have to ignore her all on your own tonight.Mother-in-law-What on earth? I demand to know right now who this is.Norman- It’s your husband Mary, you remember your husband, Norman, yeah? Well that’s me.Mother-in-law-Oh you wretched man. And why, pray tell, can’t you make it home tonight?Norman- Well, look baby I got into a fight with this baby seal and his bartender friend-Mother-in-law-Ah yes, bar. That was the word I needed to hear. That explains everything.Norman- Hey Mary, you sound funny. Did you do something with your hair?Mother-in-law-This isn’t Mary you blithering idiot, this is her mother. And we are currently both waiting for you to come home because Mary has cooked a delicious meal of-Norman- Of live goat?Mother-in-law-No, not of goat. Why goat?Norman- Of puppy dog tears?Mother-in-law-Why you foul man.Norman- Well, whatever it is it I advise you season it with as much gratuitous salt and fat and unnecessary shocks as possible. Thereby fulfilling your promise.Mother-in-law-I don’t follow. But then why should I follow the mad ravings and rantings of a drunkard like yourself who, even on the odd occasion when he is sober, only ever aspires to be a professional clown? I have never heard the like of it.Norman- I may be drunk, but you are ugly. And tomorrow I will be sober while you will be-Mother-in-law-Yes, that’s Winston Churchill, dear. So not particularly original.Norman- [Pause] Can you put Mary on?Mother-in-law-No.Norman- What do you mean no?Mother-in-law-There has been an unavoidable conflict of schedule and she can’t come to the phone. You’re talking to me instead.Norman- Oh I see what you did there. You referenced something I said earlier and then you gave it an ironic and witty twist. You’d make a terrific comedian.Mother-in-law-But at the risk of being a terrible husband. Speaking of terrible husbands Norman, when you going to give me a grandchild? I would so awfully like to tell my girlfriends that I’ve finally acquired a grandchild.Norman- Yeah, about that. There’s something I really need to tell Mary. Some news I got today, which might explain why I'm here. So if you could give her the phone.Mother-in-law-I'm sure I can pass the message on.Norman- No, it’s something that belongs between husband and wife.Mother-in-law-Oh, Mary has no secrets from me.Norman- Then Mary can tell you herself.Mother-in-law-[Pause] I see.Norman- It took you long enough. Play and Bio by Rory Mackenzie. Reporting by Emily Grant.Photo credit goes to On the Rocks. The show summary is taken from the On the Rocks 2013 Programme.
Mrs Wallo: Besides. You can’t ever really go back after something like that. Can’t concentrate. No use. To anybody. And there’s no need to make much money anymore. You get by on very little living alone- John: [Quickly.] So, er, what are you baking Mrs Wallo? Mrs Wallo: Ah yes, I should have said, we’re having a bake sale to raise money for the soldiers. John: Oh, for the ones returning? Helping them reintegrate, get jobs and therapy- Mrs Wallo: No, no dear, for the grave stones. We want to get the gravestones polished. [Pause.] John: Oh. Laura: And what are you making? Mrs Wallo: Sponge. John: Ooh, like a Victoria Sponge? With that nice jam and cream in the middle-? Mrs Wallo: No. Just plain, simple sponge John. Sorry to disappoint. John: Right. Mrs Wallo: Well, it’s not for people to enjoy themselves really, is it John? Men have died out there. [Smooths down her dress.] It’s to show respect. John: Of course, of course. Mrs Wallo: Don’t suppose jam and cream were exactly running through their minds in the crux of battle. John: No… I guess not. Extract from Bitter Root, Act 2. Night. John: I think we should throw the lilies out, don’t you think Laura? Laura: What, why?John: Because they’re starting to stink. And I think I’m allergic. Laura: How can you be allergic to lilies? John: I don’t know, but look, can you see- [John rolls up his sleeves, Laura looks away and cuts him off.] Laura: Well people have stopped sending them anyway. [John rolls his sleeves down.] John: They’re going brown too. Laura: Yes, and they started off so white… White as baby hair in fact... Do you remember when he first started growing hair? When it was quite white, and blonde, you’d never have guessed it knowing him now… [She realises she should have said ‘then’, but does not correct herself.] … With that scraggly brown mess it was always in… No, it wasn’t like that at all, it was all white – and soft. How do things - start off so white and end so - brown? John: They’re dying. Laura: [Louder.] Maybe they’re - choosing to die. Maybe they don’t like it here. You know, I was always endeared to plants, because they were alive and yet they never made a sound. I used to find it graceful. But perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps it isn’t graceful at all. To suffer in silence. After all, it’s so soon, so untimely, a flower’s death. It seems that almost as soon as they open themselves up to survey the world, they close in again. On themselves. And go brown. John: Laura, you’ve spent the last twenty years looking at desert flowers, ones that sprout new growth after long periods of drought. You know they’re not all as flimsy as these- Laura: I’ll throw them out in the morning. Extract by Joanna Alpern. Reporting by Emily Grant. Photo credits go to Joanna Alpern and On the Rocks. The show summary is taken from the On the Rocks 2013 Programme.
Excerpt from Just As It Is
(A group of St. Andrews students are sat around, trying to piece together the events of the night before. Suddenly, there's a knock from the 'door' part of the stage) RUDY (woken up by knocking, yells): Who is it?! CRAIG: Shush, Rudy, sleepy time. (JAMES, being the one closest to the 'door' part of the stage goes to answer it.) MARY (to JAMES): Daddy! NEIL: You're a father? JAMES: How long had I blacked out for?? MARY: Oh (looking sad), I'm sorry, was I not suppose to come at this time? I'm a little early, well, half an hour early, but what can I say, it's not every day you get to have brunch with your brand new academic family! JAMES: Ah...ok... MARY (reaches out hand): Mary. Do you not remember me? JAMES: Of course! Mary! (Turns back to Mary and faces others, frowns and shakes head. Turns back to MARY with straight face and exaggerated smile.) How could I forget you, Mary! My daughter! It's all coming back to me. We met in the u- MARY (interjection): Toastie bar. JAMES: Toastie bar! And we bonded over our sub- MARY (interjection): Where we're from. JAMES: Yes! Because we're both from Yo- MARY (interjection): Well we're not technically from the same place but it was close enough and dead exciting. JAMES: Of course. And we were drinkin- MARY: Lemonade. Well you were drinking vodka from a shoe. But I was drinking Lemonade, I'm not much of a drinker you see, (James turns to the others, like before, this time with a look of horror on his face.) I just came out with a few other freshers just to see what it was like. I had bonded with a few ladies from Sallies and we all thought it would be a great lark to get all dolled up and hit the town. (James turns back to her, smiling.) JAMES: That sounds lovely. Well, I'm really sorry but I'm afraid you don't have any other siblings yet, but this can be changed, soon enough. Whilst you're here, would you like to be shown around? MARY: Oh wow! That would be awfully delightful! I've never seen a real-life student house before! Mummy and Daddy always told such great stories about when they were students back at school and the great japes they had pulling pranks on one another. (NEIL and CRAIG have both gotten up from the sofa to join JAMES at the door part and begin to usher MARY towards the 'inside door' part of the stage as they go off stage Craig's voice can be heard.) CRAIG: I bet they did. Now have you ever heard of a chunder bucket before...? (All four exit.) Excerpt by Alice Shearon. Reporting by Emily Grant. Photo credits go to 'Just As It Is' and On the Rocks. The show summary is taken from the On the Rocks 2013 Program.