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Belle Fontaine

    by Nicholas McInerny


Drama Play Script: 'Belle Fontaine' by Nicholas McInernyGregory Saxon is exhausted after a long road trip. Not only does he arrive at the isolated religious community with a suitcase full of swatches to show his clients, but he is anxious to be done. He arrives at the curiously quiet community, where he finds middle-aged Sister Iris busy in the kitchen baking bread – part of the daily domestic routine. No one else is there. Iris is keen he makes his presentation to her alone, and especially so when she discovers he is a father for the first time.

Gregory’s tiny new born baby has vomited over some of the swatches. As he continues, showing her each colour – Tangier, Flambeau, Carmolito,  Gabbro, Persephone – symbolising the choices available, Sister Iris breaks down – admitting the religious leader, Brother Jonathan, has died – throwing the entire community into chaos.

Drama Play Script: 'Belle Fontaine' by Nicholas McInerny

The scenes in the kitchen, as Sister Iris struggles to convey the depth of their crisis, are contrasted with scenes of young Sister Louise alone in the Meeting House, as she to starts to question the very basis of the community and their reason to stay together.

Eventually – almost arbitrarily – Sister Iris pulls back from the abyss and allows something like normal life to resume. She finishes baking the bread, she choices the colours for their material for the next year, she dismisses Gregory almost abruptly. But on leaving we discover her weeping into the swatch stained by his baby, as Sister Louise decides she can no longer support the status quo, as ‘every moment matters’


(1m, 2f)

  • Gregory Saxon – late twenties
  • Sister Iris – late sixties
  • Sister Louise – middle twenties

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