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Is There Anybody There?

    by Martin Paul Roche


       

Play Script: 'Is There Anybody There' by Martin Paul Roche

Synopsis

Sue has spent her life married to an empty space. Her husband. A man who wasn’t ever there; not with her anyhow. And she fooled herself into thinking her manufactured life had been manufactured by her. But a perfect life is not always what it seems, and her husband made her realise that.

When Sue meets Ann, an employee of her late husband, she finds a soul mate in more ways than one. And following a chance conversation, they hatch a plan to laugh, to drink, to joke and to make fun with impunity about the afterlife and those who ask the question: “Is there anybody there?” But life can bring with it unexpected turns and what begins as a joke soon becomes much more.

Play Script: 'Is There Anybody There' by Martin Paul Roche

‘Is There Anybody There?’ explores a range of emotions, expectations and fears. It questions what motivates us, what we want out of life ... and what we think about what might come after it. It explores friendship and what we expect from it and then within the cracks between relationships, what is really going on and what happens when it goes wrong and why.

Finally, it considers those times when we are alone and assess our lives with that inner monologue we all rehearse; what part of us is actually speaking and what part answers us back? The journey the characters go on begins and ends in two very different places and the question of the piece is not resolved ... that is a matter for the audience to decide. What will you decide? Was anybody there?

See 'Video Clips' above for a walk-through of the set.

Characters

(3f)

  • Sue    35/45. Attractive, slim. Always well, and expensively, dressed. She is self-assured, hard, bitter, in humour and in anger. Underneath and later, she is vulnerable, and her demons come home to roost.
  • Ann   35/45. Business like, ‘safe’, initially, but there is a feeling that now and again, her character suggests that there is more to her, unexpected, uncharacteristic. In the beginning, she comes across as a person who sees in Sue an opportunity to be somebody very different, have a laugh, take risks. A trusted friend. But in resolution, she is dark, manipulative, chilling.
  • The Woman 35/45. A complicated character and very difficult to read, judge, categorise who or what she is. She is controlled, unemotional, expressionless, detached, calm, precise, articulate. At no point is anything said which indicates the nature of what she represents. I think to have the audience never having any definitive answer is the crux of the piece; let them imagine who or what she is. For the premiere she was simply dressed: jeans, white T-shirt and bare feet.
If required, the actors/characters could be younger by making a few minor changes to their dialogue.


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