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Myth in Greek & Roman world essay

This essay seeks to demonstrate how valid some form of knowledge and belief in mythology was, during the Classical era, in Athens. It remained a potent force in many different contexts, this will be evidenced by analysing four ancient primary sources.

The first is related to Performance: in ‘old comedy’. Specifically focusing on a section of Aristophanes’ ‘the Frogs’ (136-64.) work ‘, the second examines a source on ‘sacred disease’, by a possible Hippocratic doctor (I-II), The third primary source will explore the ‘Homeric hymn to Demeter’ (2) (1-495) and its relevance in classical society and finally the fourth source presented will look to the relevance and what’ mythos’ meant in terms of ‘logos’ during the Classical period by looking at one of Plato’s famous works ‘the republic’ (2.377b5-3.3.389d5). The main themes to be covered are the gods, life, ethics and the afterlife.

Myth’s continued appearance in entertainment gave playwrights a broader spectrum of themes to play out in relation to the God’s character traits, ideas of the afterlife and what was considered to be good and bad gods. Aristophanes play ‘the Frogs’ which won first place at the annual Dionysus festival is often looked at in a political context.

This essay simply seeks to look at the play from a more surface value perspective. This play proves that myth was indeed a powerful antidote to the serious more philosophical and everyday issues that Athenians were confronted with.

It depends on how informed the internal or external audience were as to how much an individual gained from the experience.
There is a scene that occurs that is completely sardonic where Xanthias expresses his discomfort of going to the underworld and a dialogue takes place between a corpse and himself whereby he is trying to barter with a corpse to go with Dionysus in place of him, “Hey you the dead one, I am talking to you, do you want to carry some luggage to Hades? “(136-64.).

This kind of baldy alternative take on Hades underworld shows how myth was still a huge inspiration for artists in Greek society in regards to the issues and questions relating to the Gods and the afterlife . Myth in this context was contorted and manipulated to tease an audience and provide entertainment.

Then contemporary audiences would have to have some familiarity with myth and Greek culture to fully appreciate the wit that Aristophanes regularly makes reference to. An example: Dionysus preparing to go to the underworld when Herakles is describing the directions to take: “Next …. Of hands”. Dionysus wants to know who these men and women are. Herakles tells him that (they are) ‘the blessed’ ‘the initiate’s’.

This reference is proof that outside of this play there is some other knowledge about the ‘Eleusinian mysteries’ –specifically the cult of Demeter. It appears that on stage nobody was safe from being mocked.

According to ‘Homeric hymn to Demeter’ (471-482) “Happy is the one of mortals of the earth. But those who are uninitiated into the holy rites and have no part are never destined to a similar joy when they are dead in the gloomy realm below”.

Cults of religious worship were colossal in Athens during the classical period even whilst supposed ‘scientific’ and philosophical debate was occurring. The exact rituals and full commentary of worship which occurred in this particular cult were kept extremely secrete. Modern excavations show that at the sanctuary there was holy place dedicated to Demeter (M&L, pg344). The cult did not discriminate class, age nor gender.

This was an annual and ritualistic event similar to the festival of Dionysus in that it attracted masses of people but for different and more serious reasons. The ‘Homeric hymn to Demeter’ contents are emotional, intimate, vengeful, god fearing and relies on the God and Goddess of fertility (which provides an under tone of birth and rebirth to the nature of worship) to carry on harvesting the crops so the mortal race could continue to survive.
The church and state stuck to a rigid programme of what was to occur on each day of this 9 day festival which took place during an important time in terms of agriculture produce is of concern.

The nine day celebrations tie in with the hymn “For nine days… her body.” (40-48). and is a particularly antagonizing quest for a mother looking for her daughter who had been abducted by Hades. It is believed a part of the myth of Persephone and Demeter was appropriated for ritualistic re-enactment. .This cult did not dissolve until it was repressed in Roman times.

This shows the unwavering worship of Gods of mythos despite other ways and methods of approaching myth during this period.

Another important area to highlight with regards to Greek mythology is the attitude towards medical treatment when it came to illness and the study of Biology.

Like in our modern day there are various methods and people to whom we can put our faith in to cure an illness.

The same can be said for the Classical period. This Hippocratic source talks about ‘the sacred disease ‘– (or Epilepsy as we know it).He states that: ‘in my opinion (it) is no more divine or more sacred than other diseases but has a natural cause.’ One could interpret this cause as not coming from a random bored God but coming from our complex brain and body which is divine because of its complexity in nature.

The source presents as wanting to reason and encourage people to look to alternative ways to curing maladies.
Instead to by following the norm by a “facile method of healing….consisting as it does of purifications and incantations” and then showing a reluctance to look at nature is pure ignorance. This source shows alternative thought that perhaps the Gods give us the internal make up to cure our own bodies. Indeed, this physician (II) has a strong opinion concerning the people who ‘christened’ epilepsy (mental illness) as a ‘sacred illness’. He terms them as ‘quacks’ and ‘charlatans’.

These supposed knowledgeable people ‘being at a loss’ in their ability to ‘cure’ or atone for an illness, have instead ‘spun’ as the Hippocratic doctor says “a plausible story and established a method a method of treatment to secure their own positions”.

He is not attacking people’s belief in the Gods. He is stating that respected people in the community had exploited ill people in their ignorance and that there is in fact a more natural way of finding a solution to the various ‘maladies’ by studying the body in its present ill state.
The majority of whom followed the Hippocratic non-traditional method of teaching did so for honourable means to genuinely find a cause and a solution to all illness even if s the prescription came in the form practical advice .Professor Helen King (Open University transcript on ‘Myth in Medicine conclusion) makes a valid point stating that ‘ Peoples beliefs about their bodies are complicated… Medicine doesn’t deal with questions like ‘Why me?’.

Treatment often went hand in hand with religious worship as one relates and attempts totreats the ill mind or body and the other relates and attemptsto treat our psyche .

Plato believed that the soul and the body were separate to one another. In his ‘the Republic’, a dialogue between Socrates and Adeimantus is essentially a discussion on ethics and morals as to what could be interpreted as the necessary elements needed to create a utopian society.

Socrates is not against the belief in the Gods –his argument is to do with content and how the ancient poets have portrayed the Gods in their epic poems; ‘the ones Hesiod and Homer .to people’ (2377. b5-6e.) He argues that these poets created ‘falsehoods’. Stories that make the Gods appear without virtues.

Socrates goes on to discourse (378.5c-e.). One critical viewpoint is that he doesn’t believe that children should be brought up on stories about Gods at war, killing their parents and stealing for example.

These kind of parables, he believes are not setting a solid foundation for people to model their own morals and code of ethics. Young people especially are impressionable .

There is further debate about what is good and bad and the two characters come to the decision that “Gods of course are really good and they must be described as such.’(379.10b.).

Socrates does state that if these stories need to be known then they should be censored to the correct and minimum of people. (378.5a.)

If one is to take on the idea that Gods are good then the idea that they are responsible for all that is not good is a contradiction. The overall summary of Socrates argument is that if people felt a personal sense of responsibility towards themselves to be good in this life then they should not have to fear the afterlife.

Furthermore there is interesting discussion concerning the Gods and their changeability (379.10d.382a). This lengthy debate about there being something more wonderful than the divine form would only make sense. If there was a virtue better than goodness. Socrates again insists that poets must present the Gods as they are: good –virtuous and not in a way that allows them to assume many disguises lowering the basic morale of a society. “Nor should Mothers… children too cowardly.” (379. 5d-e.) It would appear that these snippets of dialogue from ‘the Republic’ reveals that Plato’s’ philosophizing was on other canonised version of the Gods.

These characters had strong views about how the Gods could come across as unreliable punishing, moody, and unstable and that these qualities could not instil unification of trust, virtue and stability in a society. One can clearly see that Classical philosophy was not mainly concerned with terminating myth but it questioned the beneficial effects certain mythological representation’s had on an individual and as a common people.

To conclude we can see that in antiquity Epic myth and Tragedy, Old comedy was never meant to come across as banal. Indeed people with influencing and fantastical ideas of Gods and the afterlife and the author’s agenda and ethics were displayed and debated about. Pre Homeric and Hesiod literature mythos was mostly told orally and so there were many contradictions and versions of myths and what mythical characters did. There were many determining factors. One for example, was the strength of the story teller skills, another was more concerned with demographics. One thing is certain is that Greek mythology was the inspiration and conversation /debate starter from many areas even outside of the western world for subject matter relating specifically to ethics, the afterlife and life and creation. A person can consider this as universal evolvement of thinking and it is not assumed that Greeks were the first humans to enquire on and seek reason on our existence through debate about mythology. There is simply not enough evidence to back this up. Finally Mythos on its own acted as a sacred harbinger to bring meaning to life and issues inside and outside of it.

Parted Flesh.

*This song & quote inspired a script  I’m working for my Degree in the Humanities.

Basic premise: a jury split over the  ‘ grey areas’ of a  high profile court case, A young man is accused of raping his wife to be.  Is he  absolutely guilty of  Raping his wife? One night of passion. Two stories.  What happened that night?  The evidence lies in the hands of 12 jury members.*

 

  ‘Now are they not twayne then, but one flesh. Let not man therefore put a sunder, yt which God hath coupled together.’  

 MATTHEW  19:6

‘Do you promise to tell the truth, so help you God?

Twelve

composed

In one gender.

Half a dozen men fester  in a room

Separating Sensationalism versus truth.

 

sweltering Summer days spent

In a  hyped media  playpen

Forecast for doom.

 Devising the fate of a boy

In touch with his truth.

A mistake , is he to fall?

Be punished for the ongoing debate?

Does it make it right?

 The boy continued a relationship with the sexually assaulted.

A girl’s

Public  claims  she is  fearful  of  her boy’s sinister

Fright on sight?

 

It’s never okay.

No means no.

Two people.

The truth.

 

Damn, that’s a blow

No drug could penetrate,

Mass guilt floods

Semantic fluid clogs the mind

Of a boy done wrong.

Easy to get cynical.

If

You were to decide his fate.

Where do you compromise your

values, beliefs,

Determine the facts?

Voices tear apart opinion after opinion

Silenced into cloud funded crowds offset to dissipate.

What is a worthy punishment?

Did she manipulate Boy to gain the upper hand to?

….Deal with the death of her paternal bond?

Cash in on emotional connections equivalent to living in the cult of the son of  I am.

‘Forgive me not or let me be free!’

,he pleads

Can we move forward?

Can we sever ties?

Chalk it up to experience.

Your Honour,

Vow to

Live without hubris.

 

His remaining  existence determined  by

A dozen eggs:

 The Jury.

 

Hidden behind Neon flashlights pointing to God’s hand

Directing the choir to  Man’s asunder demise?

 

asunder

Asunder is an adverb that means “into separate pieces.” So if you’ve torn your ex’s love letter asunder, you’ve forcefully ripped it into separate pieces — and rightly so.

Asunder comes from the Old English phrase on sundran, which means “into separate places.” It is a somewhat archaic and uncommon word and most of us know it only from marriage ceremonies: “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.” In most cases you can use its more common synonym “apart” and convey the same meaning, unless you want to express a particularly violent or forceful ripping.

 

Hard work pays off

I think I am going to faint.

TMA 3  results back in for my Masters.

83% a high merit and incredible feedback.

Current score

  • TMA 1 62% (Script genre)

  • TMA 2  82%  (Fiction genre)

  • TMA 3 83% ( Script genre)

Here is the 700 -ish word commentary submitted for my  TMA 3 and the feedback.

I believed I couldn’t do this MA. I believed I was shit at writing but maybe…… with practice I can be a better writer and achieve great things.al.

Using my words to change society -however insignificantly, is a goal of mine.

mahatma-gandhi-almost-anything-you-do-to-help-humanity-will-seem-insignificant-but-its-very-important-that-you-do-it

COMMENTARY TM3 Approaching script writing the Aristotelian way.

My challenge was to write a whole play in 18 minutes. I believe that there is too much exposition and would suit as a longer script. When I cut, or slowed certain dialogue-it’s original appeal became lost to a different type of play. The characters lost what made them unique.  This is where I rely loosely on morality play techniques. This story could have started in many ways. I felt it best to reveal the turning point and the how and why’s at the end of the play. It is linear and has a beginning, middle and end reminiscent of Greek Tragedy plays.

I often use a stream of consciousness technique to get into a writing zone. For scene 1, I started typing on a blank page and let characters come to my head and speak whatever they wanted.  This was how the first scene was produced. I was tempted to discard it until I received positive and constructive feedback on the TGF forum.

A possible subconscious influence for early drafts came from reading the chapter on David Edgars’ how to write a play, (chapter 2 page 17). In TMA 2, I focused on creating characters to reveal the plot and as exposition. Upon reflection, after reading the on-going debate about the primacy of plot versus characters, I think to an extent this true of, e.g., medieval genre morality plays.

Difficulties arose to make the characters more 3-dimensional when using archetypical/universal characters. I relied heavily on a strong plot to drive the narrative and the characters through to the conclusion of the script. TMA3-  plot informed the characters and their motives.

Other influences came from conversations with my blogger acquaintance, Clarissa Simmens( Simmens C. 2017) who is from Roma gypsy descendant, and my own great -grandparent’s lineage who fled the Russian 1918 revolution to live a life in the slums of Paris. The setting and background gave the characters more complex motives and inner conflict. Panacea is an old woman who was left with her second sight and not accepted by society or her Nephew.

In this world, it seems society is lured by visual aids. Vladimir was more ready to accept Eve’s gift of soothing people’s problems because of how she appeared outwardly. Vladimir is complex, he was left with third-degree burns from the 1903 revolution, lost his parents, went to live with his “strange” grandmother.

Hopefully, a writer will get a true sense of Vladimir’s character by the end of the play. He did what he had to do to survive. He is human. Flawed. He didn’t stop and analyse whether he should save baby Eve in the Revolution; instinct took over.  My inspiration for how he and Eve arrived in Paris (maintaining a high-status life during and after WW1) is taken from George Orwell’s book ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ set in 1925.  There is a reference to espionage and a secret Russian society, whom paid people to convert to communism after the war (Gutenberg.net.au. (2017).

The music in the piece serves as a device to vary the pace of the play. I hope that the melancholy moments of when Eve/ Panacea plays will give the audience a time to pause, or at the very least, vary or change the pace of emotion.

Genre: this play is not one type of play. I describe it as an experimental, immersive drama with elements of morality play themes because the characters do indeed impart the audience with a strong message.

Humans are complex. There is a clear theme of choices and consequences.

I don’t want to ignore any doubts about this piece: H.R. made constructive comments on the language and the exposition of the piece (refer to XX FEEDBACK (2017)).   I hope that the timelessness of dialogue and language could very well take place in Paris, or indeed a modern society setting of today. My choice of setting reinforces to emphasise that these stereotypical characters still function inside time. Does Eve deserve her fate? Probably not.

Time has moved on, wars still occur yet society still seems to dwell on escapism i.e. Piano music metaphor to deal with life, dwelling on people who seem to have the illusion of the perfect life/ status. Society still struggles with acceptance of identity, race, ethnicity, mental health status etc. We’ve made advancements in technology/society but what about advancements in what type of human we should strive to be?

 

MY TUTORS FEEDBACK –I have kept her name anonymous for obvious reasons.

PT3Thank you for handing in TMA03.

This TMA accounts for 35% per cent of your continuous assessment mark for the module.

There are three parts to TMA 03:

a creative writing element;
a commentary;
extracts of peer review contributions.

Write a stage script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a radio script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a film script ?18 minutes running time.
Please state clearly on the first page which medium (stage, radio or film) you are writing for.

Your script can be either a stand-alone work, complete in itself, or it can be part of a longer play or film. If the latter, it should be structurally resolved (e.g. it might be a complete act from a larger piece; it should not finish mid-action or mid-scene). If providing a section, provide a summary of the larger project ? no more than 200 words ? situating the submitted section in relation to the larger work and offering some context. This summary will not be assessed in itself, and it won’t feature in the word or page counts.

Your script should not be an adaptation of work by another author or an adaptation of a piece of your own work which has been submitted for an earlier TMA.

This part constitutes 15% of this TMA?s grade.

Write a commentary (700 words) about the process of creating your work, the context in which it was developed, and your relevant further reading.

WHERE YOUR TMA SUCCEEDED

A Fair Wish World is powerful piece about loss, vision (actual sight and second sight), mental health and how war and conflict shapes or rather twists people.  It’s full of big ideas and you work within a very imaginative immersive theatre setting.  Also you have two people, one of whom has apparently saved the other, when it turns out that Vladimir is more reliant on Eve.  History is full of unusually talented women who have surrendered their power to a man (Doris Day’s third husband was abusive and stole her money, Billie Holliday was permanently attracted to abusers).  There’s a link here to the depressing litany of young women and their exploitative lovers, so this theme has a timeless resonance (although Vladimir isn’t a villain).

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/the-music-industry-men-who-got-away-with-exploiting-female-pop-stars

There is an interesting piece I’ve linked below here about Peter Brook (he’s 91!!) and his latest production – how stripped back and bare it is and how for example a single piece of cloth can represent several things, eg a piece of cloth is twisted into a snake at one point.  This is, in my opinion, a true sense of live theatre, where the audience invests their imagination as opposed to being passive observers – as we are a bit with television. (Also it keeps costs down!)  So your idea of the immersive, promenade production is a good idea as well as showing that you are using the medium of theatre as fully as you can.

https://dctheatrescene.com/2017/03/31/peter-brooks-vision-battlefield-stage-kennedy-center-review/

All the characters resonate, but none more so than Panacea (I’ve got this image of Coco Chanel in my head) and Vladimir, the Russian aristocrat.  Panacea because of her contrasting powers and down to earthiness but Vladimir because it was only a few years since the entire Russian imperial family, the Romanovs with their five children were murdered at Ekaterinburg in 1918.  The British royal family offered mealy mouthed excuses for not offering them shelter but the real reason was they were afraid of a similar revolution in England, as I’m sure you know.  I read the play a couple of times before I read the commentary, so I wasn’t pre informed. I really like the way that Eve can ‘see’ certain things and how when her sight returns, it becomes a curse.  You may to have to indicate this quite strongly to the audience but it’s a bold and exciting idea.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NEXT DRAFT

I have a few suggestions for the next draft (and I really hope you continue with this play).  Firstly it would be to add some more movement to scene one it as it’s currently a little static.  I’m wondering if Eve could get up from the piano and be doing something – getting dressed perhaps in her evening finery?  Panacea could offer to help her lace her boots or maybe at some point she could loosen Eve’s corset so she can breathe or brush her hair?  You could even have Eve trying to find things which have been placed among the audience – depending on whether you want the audience involved or not.

(I recently went to a promenade production of ‘Jane Eyre’ in a stately home.  At one point, the actress playing Jane had placed the sketches she was going to show to Rochester on a piano and an audience member was leaning on the piano without realising.  There was an awkward un-Bronte moment as Jane tried to yank the sketches from under the audience member’s elbow!)

Because Panacea comes across as a slightly mystical character who just shows up, I wonder if she could be slightly earthier, in contrast to Eve’s more romantic language.   She does have some lovely moments such as her laughter over how useless mirrors are to her, but as much of the play is between her and Eve, and she is a magical creature, perhaps making her the more down to earth seeming would contrast more brightly with her supernatural gifts.  See my L4 comment.

In the final scene there is quite a bit of explanation and it feels just a bit squashed.  With maybe ten or fifteen minutes more you could find a way to blend in the back story a little more but I understand the difficulty of covering an entire play in eighteen minutes.

Overall, I think you’ve written a big, brave play, which tackles big subjects.  It has flaws and needs some development but it’s part of your development as a writer that you take some risks, and personally, I don’t think you can really tell whether a play has legs until you’ve heard it spoken out loud by other people.  But I’ve read it out loud and it packs a punch.

You’ve probably already heard of the London Playwrights Blog but if not, they publish opportunities every week.  There’s no substitute for

COMMENTARY

In your commentary you discuss the process of writing the play, in comprehensive detail including the difficulties, and with references to course materials and a commendably large amount of outside reading.

As this is an MA, a high level of both analysis and presentation is required, and your presentation is fine here.  It can be helpful when you are sick of the sight of your script/story to give it to a trusted friend or at least leave it a while to give yourself some space.

You don’t have to agree with course or outside materials, either, just show that you have reflected on the ideas within and show how they might have affected your own creative choices.    It’s also helpful to explain briefly what you intend to reflect on – such as characterisation, structure and dialogue (maybe picking one area you feel confident in and another where you may feel less confident).  Your tone is good, in that you are aware of your own style and what you are trying to achieve without adopting the I-have-achieved-a masterwork-and-now-I-will-reflect-on-aspects-of-its-awesomeness. Instead your tone is curious and questing and always willing to learn.

Thank you for the peer group references.  You have always been very active on the forums.  Also your references are very good.

I’ve given you a high merit for both the script, and the commentary, an overall high merit pass of 82%  As mentioned, scene one is a little static, and the final scene has a slightly ‘expositiony’ feel, but these are very fixable.  What I would suggest now for the script is to read out loud and perhaps workshop it as the most difficult bit is letting it out of your head and into the mouths and bodies of actors.  You’ve done really well Tasha and taken risks with your writing.  Well done.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.

Kind Regards

MY  TUTOR

I can’t believe it’s Easter already. This will be the first Easter where me and my family don’t go and see my Gran in her care home. I’ve mixed feelings about this.

I don’t get to see my gran – 😦

I don’t have to go into a care home this year 🙂

credit to all the care workers out there who deserve a hike up on their wage. We should invest gratitude and time and resources to the people who look after the vulnerable people in society – in my opinion- of course.

We are all going to my Ma’s house on Sunday (family tradition). Gran will be in our thoughts.

How do other people celebrate Easter?

Happy-Easter-300x182

❤ Daisy xoxo

Fair wish World-scene one

I always used to think I was a bit loopy because I created characters in my head and-and acted them out. My family teased me and people must have thought I had multiple personality disorder (it was the 80s/90’s). My daughter does the exact same thing and I now realise that my mind creates stories and the best way to reveal those stories is by writing them down.

Here is the second draft for my TMA 3. I’ve finished the entire second draft this morning. YAY!

I’ve taken inspiration from the morality plays that were popular in medieval times. I hope that my tutor will see the relevance this play has in the message it sends out despite setting it nearly 90 years ago.

I think that all three characters have a bit of me inside them. I’m working on making the characters more well rounded. The next two scenes I’ve written shows a different side to the characters.

The play is set in the  mid-1920’s -after the World War one and the Russian revolutions.

I want to thank Clarissa @  POETURJA for helping me develop an intriguing plot with her grimoire and insight into her ancestry of being a descendant of the misunderstood Roma Gypsies.

There is still a lot to polish and make it submission and MA worthy

Let me know what you think.

CAST LIST: (so far)

EVE

VLADIMIR- always wears gloves 

PANACEA

THE CROWD- actors and the audience

AMERICAN MAN

AMERICAN WIFE

EUROPEAN WOMAN

LOCATION: Paris, 1925

SUGGESTED STAGE DIRECTIONS (my undeveloped vision) bare stage – (audience act as the crowd for further scenes) are seated in a circle. All action takes place in the centre of the audience. Characters sit amongst the audience or come from behind to enter the performing stage. All props are simulated by actor’s mannerisms and minimal props. A box can be at table, piano, bench.   To evoke sensory surroundings multimedia like audio-piano music/ screens/ lightening etc. used to set the scene example to create the illusion of shadows, or people, to set the mood of the scene.

EVE is already playing as the audience find a seat.

NOTE TO SELF: BE VISUAL include all people who will be in the each scene setting. Hot seat 20 question for characters

SCENE ONE

EVE sits playing the saddest most melancholic piece of music at an old piano, in the jardinière outside. She sits in the centre of the room.THE CROWD sit and stand around her forming a circle. EVE plays on as the audience find a place to sit. EVE is absorbed in playing her music. After some time EVE stops playing. Bangs on the keys of the piano and begins to cry. EVE cries and cries and cries. Nobody comes to her. EVE stops crying.

EVE: Who’s there?  I know someone there is there. Show yourself.

(EVE seems to gaze through the audience. A spotlight comes up and sweeps across the audience illuminating them. The room goes dark. EVE begins to play again –a wild angry, jazzy piece of music.EVE plays until she falls off her chair. From out of the audience PANACEA, plainly dressed in dark colours approaches EVE. PANACEA attempts to help her up)

EVE:      Who are you?

PANACEA:  Hush, I am but an old dear who admires your music.

EVE:      How did you get in here? This is private land. If you are Vladimir’s friend…

PANACEA:  Who? I was merely directed to your playing.

EVE:      I tell you what I told him. No. I won’t do it.

PANACEA;  Do what, dear?

EVE:      You don’t know?

PANACEA:  No. I found the gates open and was guided by your playing.

EVE:      Oh.

PANACEA:  You seem almost… disappointed.

EVE:      I made the right choice. It doesn’t matter.

PANACEA:  A problem halved and all that.

EVE:      Yet I feel so guilty

PANACEA:  You seem /quite

EVE:      I don’t even know who you are. I can’t even….

PANACEA:    As you can see I’m rather old, nothing special – just a mere human – an old lady –nondescript

EVE:      You blend in with the crowd.

PANACEA:  Almost like I don’t exist.

EVE:      But people can see you and you –you can see them?

PANACEA:  Yes. I do and I suppose seeing they do. It is not the same as looking

EVE:      All I want is to be see the people Vladimir says we help.

PANACEA:  You have such a gift. The world must hear this and your face is –

EVE:      He did send you! Times have changed. These new admirer’s talk so strange. So many people are poor. I wonder how we can maintain our standard of living just because I have a gift. How can they just ignore and approve?

PANACEA:  Approve?  I don’t see many who wouldn’t. We do have mirrors nowadays.

PANACEA:  They don’t do me any good.

EVE:      they aren’t much good to me either.

PANACEA:  Who is Vladimir?

EVE:      Someone. Someone who wants the best for me.

PANACEA:  You have had a disagreement?

EVE:      I can’t shift this feeling -Something doesn’t add up. How can one girl ease the suffering of a nation- a world trying to make sense of all the lives lost? All those men dead.

PANACEA:  Is he ONE of those sorts of men?

EVE:      What? A soldier, oh no.

PANACEA:  The Don Juan types.

EVE:      Don Juan? I can’t even visualise what that looks like

PANACEA:  You know- charming, good looking. A bit of a lothario. Gets the blood rushing to the ears.

EVE:      Oh no, nothing like that. (blushes) He’s more of a guardian- a brother of sorts.

PANACEA:  Well, has he hurt you, dear? Roughed you up?

EVE:      No, nothing like that. He cares for me. I owe him all this. I should be begging in the streets for my bread like the rest of them.

(Silence)

EVE:      Hello?   Are you still here?

PANACEA:  Yes dear. I will sit next to you then perhaps you can see better.

EVE:      That is part of the problem.

PANACEA:  Well, turn your face to me. I’m not exactly beautiful as yourself. I get that reaction all the time.

EVE:      I can’t see you.

PANACEA:  You are…

EVE:      Yes. I am –that is why I’m so flaming mad. How can he expect me to be on show? (takes on mock man’s voice) Entertainment is what the new World needs. The old world’s need. We are doing A service to our people, he says. I feel privileged -far too privileged.

PANACEA:  I wish I could feel the world the way you do. It’s unique.

EVE:      That’s the problem. Everyone always goes on about how unique I am. How lacking in sight makes me special. Everyone wants to take my picture with me or listen to my music, but then, soon, people seem to grow weary and they just disappear, and I’m left alone in the darkness again.

PANACEA:  Some people only come out when it’s dark, child.

EVE:      How would I know? My darkness is my light and I have nothing to compare it to.

PANACEA:  I blend in with the world. Just another face in the crowd

EVE:      You sound saddened by it?

PANACEA:  No, it’s just normal.

EVE:      That’s what I want. Normal. I feel everything.

PANACEA:  To see is not-to-not feel.

EVE:      Yes, but there are these things – filters. If I could see maybe, my other senses would be diluted. Not so overpowering. Not so smothering, I feel unbalanced.

PANACEA:  Yes, a woman at odds with her world. I’ve seen years of the world. Felt it too. I often wonder what it would be like if I lacked in sight and well……

EVE:      It’s frustrating. I feel the need to increase all my other senses to make up for what I lack. If I could only see with these eyes, what other people see-

PANACEA:  What will you do about Vladimir?

EVE:      I trust him but he doesn’t understand.  He believes if I could see this world that my beauty would be lost. That me not seeing what I look like and the world looks like is what makes me- this “unique” word. I hate it.

PANACEA:  So, he saved you….

EVE:      from a life living on the streets, from the orphanage. With his business acumen, we are still able to afford all after all the devastation.

PANACEA:  Doesn’t sound like such a bad fella.

EVE:      He’s not. He just doesn’t understand how much I long to see Miss, Mrs?

PANACEA:  Call me Panacea.

EVE:      …Like the word? How droll.

PANACEA:  Yes, I was born with a gift to help those at odds with themselves.

EVE:      You can give me the sight I crave?

PANACEA:  It’s not a simple process. It requires/

EVE:      I don’t care. Name it. I have money. Anything. What is your price?

PANACEA:  Money is useless. The elixir needed to seal this contract is what is known as trading your essence.

EVE:      Essence? my soul?

PANACEA:  Not quite. I’m not the devil. Think of essence as an ingredient. If you barter, your unique essence say- to me. What makes you taste different from the other cookies of the world is your flavour- your essence. You want vanilla. You inherit my essence, I yours

EVE:      I wouldn’t even know where to find my essence. What would I gain?

PANACEA:  you could gain your sight.

EVE:      And you would want to lose yours! why?

PANACEA:  I’m an old dear. I’ve seen enough of the world. You, however, have so much living to do. You have these unique gifts yet you are not happy with them because you can’t see them like the others.

EVE:      You make me sound ungrateful.

PANACEA:  Now that is what you said. Not I.

EVE:      Forgive me. DO you have all your senses?

PANACEA:  (laughs)I can hear you. Your music. I see your apparent beauty. I feel your soft skin, smooth – no wrinkles. Untouched by sunshine. (breaths in to smell EVE)

EVE:      Why are you smelling me?

PANACEA:  I long to use my other senses more…I’m not going to eat you, this is not a fairy-tale

EVE:      I’m sorry. I feel so stupid.

PANACEA:  Never mind, it shows you have a highly active imagination. Much sought after in the world where vision is so vital to be a part of this world.

EVE:      How could you possibly have had enough seeing?

PANACEA:  Maybe it is because I met you. You captivate me.

EVE:      I wish I could see what you mean.

PANACEA:  Maybe your male friend is right. It would ruin you to see the world. (begins to get up)

EVE:      Where are you going?

PANACEA:  Leaving you to work things out. All feelings pass (small pause) eventually.

EVE:      No, that is an untruth. Mine grow. Intensify. Mine never leave. They haunt me day and night. Please don’t leave me alone.

PANACEA:  (sits back down) Will you play again and let me consider your eyes.

EVE:      I can’t see you, though.

PANACEA:  (frustrated)I know a way to access your essence.

EVE:      Panacea you can give me sight?

PANACEA:  If you want it as much as you claim, then perhaps it may work in your favour.

EVE:      Why?

PANACEA:  You question far too much and believe in far too little.

EVE:      Okay, I will play. What do you/ want?

PANACEA:  Play me a song that reveals everything about you to me

(EVE begins to play, looks at PANACEA. PANACEA touches EVES face, her lips and leans into EVE as if to kiss her. EVE stops playing.?

EVE:      What are you doing? You ‘re not one of those Lesbians are you/?

PANACEA:  Does it matter? (laughs) More a Thespian.

EVE:      what does kissing me must do with giving me my sight? I may be blind but don’t mistake that for being a fool.

PANACEA:  Me? Mistake you for a fool. (long pause)

EVE:      I apologise. I /just want….

PANACEA:  Have faith that what we do on this day will give you what you say you desire.

EVE:      I’m scared.

PANACEA:  Scared didn’t win the war.

EVE:      I never thought of it like that. Could we try again?

PANACEA: One more chance. In hindsight, I may change my mind and decide to keep my sight at this rate.

EVE:      No! I mean, it’s yours of course, but I really want to see.

PANACEA:  Let me taste your tears. (leans in to lick EVES tears) Such melancholy. Such innocence…. Play on, child. I must know your name.

EVE:      I can tell you. My name/is…

PANACEA:  (shouts) Don’t speak it. I will find your name. That is how I will find your essence. Now play.

(EVE begins to play, looks in the eyes of PANACEA. While EVE plays, PANACEA licks the tears from her face and begins to suck on the air of EVES parted lips. EVE falls to the floor. PANACEA looks down at her, PANACEA sits at the piano, begins to play a neurotic piece of music. PANACEA finishes the piece, gets up, nudges EVE with her foot.)

PANACEA:  I dedicate this piece to you. The essence of Eve – foolish. foolish Eve. (gets up leaves pushing past the crowd)

(Lights down)

SCENE TWO

(Outside in the garden, EVE sits at the piano playing – she keeps making mistakes. Stops and starts. VLADIMIR paces up and down wears gloves)

VLADIMIR: No. That is not it? Where is the haunting draw, the sweet enchanting forest where we forget all pain? Start again.

EVE:      (hesitates) Can you just listen, please.

VLADIMIR: I am. This is not good enough. (realizes) How many times, Cherie?  You are already behind and the show starts in less than a fortnight.

(EVE begins to play. EVE stops and puts her hands to her forehead. VLADIMIR stops pacing and rushes to EVE)

VLADIMIR:     I know I push you. You know I want the best for you. You have another headache?

EVE:           yes.

VLADIMIR:     (takes a bottle from his jacket) Here take one as precited. This is all nerves. The mind plays horrible tricks on someone who is utterly gifted.

EVE:           But don’t you find it most peculiar? What an unusual woman. It felt so real. Are you sure you didn’t see/her?

VLADIMER:      Mon Cherie, no more with this talk of absurdness’ have a duty to provide for our community. (motions to ENTOURAGE to make EVE presentable) ah, here come the publicity people. (to EVE) Not now, Cherie. Performance face – smile –a little more- higher. Manifique (ENTOURAGE fix makeup and hair, take pictures. Flashes of light and voices commanding EVE what to do. EVE poses then frowns)

PHTOPGRAPHER:  Turn left. No left. Chin up – Aliyah fix her make up. Liberty her hair is not staying static. Eve, place your hands just so. More delicately. Girl, move her into position.

EVE frowns, VLADIMIR with a wave of his hands clears away the entourage. Everything is quiet again.)

VLADIMER:      Cherie, what do you want me to tell you? An untruth. I saw you were fatigued, I found you at the foot of your piano. I picked you up and called on Doctor soigneur immediately.

EVE:           Please, Vlad. I haven’t stopped having nightmares. I don’t feel myself. The boy…He is Everywhere.

VLADIMIR:      And that is precisely why you were to take the prescribed pills for your disorder. We’ve all been through a lot (more patient) I can’t collude with these fantasies.

EVE:          I feel lost. No – I misplaced. Since Panacea, all I see is this boy. I feel more sickness in my heart/than ever.

VLADIMER:      Ha! What a perfect name for someone to help you regain your sight. (laughs) I love your imagination. You cannot grasp how important this next performance is. People ae coming seeking for jubilee, peace, coming from afar, the Americas, England. Important writers, artistes. Don’t you see?

EVE:           No, Vlad, I don’t.

VLADIMIR:      Come repose with me on our favourite bench in the jardinière. We can play our favourite game. (helps EVE up and walks to the bench in the garden both sit down)

EVE:          I don’t want to guess what the colours look like. Everything has become so triste. I know you want the best for me.for our community I – can we stop for today/ I..

VLADIMER:      (Sits EVE down on the bench/VLADIMIRE sits down and admires the Garden) Feel the wind. Smell the fleurs. This always lifts your spirits.

(EVE puts her hands to her cover her face and screams out)

EVE:           Don’t touch me!  (lights flicker in multi colours- EVE stands up and stumbles backwards. VLADIMIR rushes to catch her) Eve, what is it? Control your senses.

(Sounds of houses exploding. Windows shatter, Gun shots. Screams of men, children and women.EVE points to a war zone. EVE starts to run towards the noise of screams)

EVE:           The war. It’s started again. Run. Vlad.

VLADIMIR:      looks around to where EVE is running. Looks confused)

VLADIMIR:      Cherie, calm yourself. There is nothing there. Let’s get you back to your room.

EVE:         It’s happening. I have sight. Can’t you see? Hear?  What is wrong with you? They are shooting innocent people (A woman’s voices cries out as she is being raped. EVE runs to towards the attack, VLADIMIR stops her. There is a struggle, the cry of people burning alive and dying. Silence and then a BOY starts to howl in pain. EVE cries) That boy, he’s in pain. He’s oh – Mon Dieu -is ablaze

VLADIMIR:      Enough! (picks up EVE and attempts to take EVE back inside)

EVE:           There is a boy. He’s on fire. You can’t leave a child. (to DISFIGURED BOY) What is your name child?

VLADIMIR:     (firmly)There is nothing there.

EVE:           Look! That poor boy. (to BOY) It’s okay, we’re getting help.

VLADIMIR:      (looks back and puts EVE down on the piano chair.) Take these. Now.  You need to stop this. You want people to talk. Say how you are a crazy fool.

EVE:           Talk? About what? People dying. Innocent people. We are at war, again. Why did you not summon the staff to help? We were the closest to -that boy.

VLADIMIR:     There is no one there. (shouts). Nothing. No boy on fire. No war, you are hallucinating. Shut up!

EVE:           That boy. (looks up and past VLADIMIR’S shoulder. Frightened she points) There he is, right behind you. His face. (walks towards the DISFIGURED BOY) How can you be alive, child?

VLADIMIR:     Enough! I’m trying to look after you.

EVE|:        (EVE touches VLADIMIR’S face) You know I wouldn’t ever lie to you. The boy is a mess. Disfigured for life. Who will look after him if we don’t? (to the DISFIGURED BOY,in  darkness) Don’t be afraid- We can help you.

VLADIMIR:    (slaps EVE across the face) How dare you! You vexed wrench

EVE:           I’m not crazy. I’ telling you the truth.

VLADIMIR:     Who have you been talking to? Tell me now.

EVE:           Nobody, Panacea. She gave me. I can see…

VLADIMIR:      She must be some spy. I get it now. Oh Merde, alors!

EVE:           A spy? Why would you have spies? That is irrational.

VLADIMIR:      What witchcraft is this? (Grabs EVE’s arms) close your eyes, wretched girl. You ungrateful wretched girl. Everything I’ve done. For you.

EVE:           Why can’t you see him. He’s right behind you.

VLADIMIR:      I forbid you to speak. Spies trying to plot my demise. You see nothing – only what you have ever felt. You see the real me. (places EVES hands on his face)

SCENE THREE Pain

(It is the day of the concerto. EVE is led by VLADIMIR to her piano in the centre of the courtyard. It is a bright day. EVE sits down to play. EVE starts and stops. Composes herself. A collective intake of breath from a crowd. Silence. EVE looks around and then begins to play a song so painful tears stream down her face. There is the wail of cries from THE CROWD. They are being drawn into EVE’S song. The song takes on a hauntingly melancholic tone. MAN cries out from the darkness of the crowd)

MAN:      I thought you were here to light our sorrows not waddle in them

(THE CROWD murmurs in agreement. EVE continues to play. The melody grows more and more melancholic. Then furious and choppy)

MAN:      (to VLADIMIR) What’s wrong with the ole girl, Scar?  I want my heart to forgot about all my woes, little dove. Play something else. Play something else.

CROWD:    (whispers and chants over and over) play something else.

(EVE carries on Tears streaming down her face. VLADIMIR comes into the arena and whispers in EVES ear. EVE changes the tune to a more upbeat piece –one with more cheer and spirit. The crowd cheers- shadows draw closer to her like a moth to a flame. EVE bangs hard on the piano. EVE stands up. She looks to the crowd – the audience and points out at the AMERICAN MAN)

EVE:      How can you delude yourself – when last night your honest and loyal wife questioned you about your whereabouts/ You beat her. That is why she has pain around her eye. (All lights focus on AMERICAN MAN and his WIFE.   WIFE takes a hand to her battered eye to hide it.)

MAN:      What would you know about my whereabouts when you can’t even see?

EVE:      Your wife knows the truth, you should leave her to get on without you.

MAN:      You leave my business to me and you concentrate on yourself on entertaining us. Don’t need some woman thinking.

EVE:      (to WIFE) You know he’s with another. Day and night. He beats you because he knows she will never leave her husband. You don’t have to live like this. You don’t have to live with this abuse.

MAN:      (shoves  WIFE behind him) how dare you speak such lies.  You are a witch.  A temptress. An evil mark shows itself on you. You may be fair but those exotic features.

EVE:      No. the evil mark likes on you.

MAN:           You are supposed to be blind. What a charade – looks at this trickster (to THE CROWD) How would she know I am in the crowd if she has no sight?

EVE:          I’ve been cursed with sight.

THE CROWD:     (CHANTS) Gypsy! Gyspy! Gypsy

EVE:           I’m not a Gypsy! France is my home. You flock to me to forget about your vices, your impulses, your humdrum existence. I am not your remedy. I play from my heart. My heart sees what it sees.

VLADIMIR:      Eve! Enough, Sit down and play for your welcoming audience. (softer) Now.

EVE:           In my heart, I see your old man and you (she points to EUROPEAN LADY in the crowd)

You! that sparkly watch that doesn’t fit your wrist is from a day haggling at the market. Ripping off fancy men. After this show, you will sell all you have – including your flesh to escape from the world you despise.

LADY:          Trollope- we’ve heard the rumours Gypsy girl .

VLADIMIR:      My esteemed friends. – this is but part o the show. An experimental piece, if you like. Our eve here is tired. the gifted do sometimes have a bit of those head malaises, non?

EVE:           You all pour your sorrows into me-I can only play what I see and feel and this is what you will hear tonight.

VLADIMIR:      sit down (THE CROWD jeer at EVE. VLADIMIR forces EVE down into her seat.) Play. Do your job.

(EVE sits still, the light is dim, so dim and when she begins to play again she pounds at the keys with anger, cholere. EVE cackles sneers – kicks at the piano in rage)

EVE:           Damn you  – all of you!   I’m not your plaster. I’m not your cure. I am a young woman who absorbs all your pain. I want to be free. free. Go all of you.

(Silence)

VLADIMIR:      apologies friends.  You heard of her fall. The accident? she has been unwell. (EVE doesn’t look at him or the crowd – she walks out of the circle of the crowd and into the dark. A moan comes out that doesn’t sound human.  An animal sound of a cow being slaughtered. EVE stands and looks past VLADIMIR’S shoulder)

EVE:           Panacea!   You. What did you do to me?

VLADIMIR:      (carries on trying to calm the crowd) Please, apologies. She is ill. She – I will make sure you all are reimbursed for this terrible, I mean uneventful experimental performance.

EVE:           Don’t just stand there. You lied to me. You lied. What is this curse you give me? Why?

(PANACEA comes out from the shadows and walks through the crowd and past VLADIMIR and EVE and sits down at the piano and begins to play that frenetic piece of music – ‘Eve’s Essence’. VLADIMIR freezes and goespale. The CROWD quieten.)

VLADIMIR:      How?

EVE:           My song. (runs towards PANACEA) Give me back my essence-evil woman.

VLADIMIR:      (catches hold of EVE by the arm) How can you know this song?

EVE:           Now? Now you can hear what I hear. Why not what I see, your stupid fool of a man. Look! I implore thee.

VLADIMIR:      (To EVE) Enough with these games. What is it you want from? Tell me. Who corrupted you?

EVE:           That is my song. My essence. She is playing my song.

VLADIMIR:      Your song. Ha!  Who told you? Don’t make me strike out at you again.

EVE:           You know this song?  I’ve tried to remember since Panacea stole it from me. Sight she promised. A gift. A trade off. I’ve been bamboozled.

VLADIMIR:      Don’t make me turn around and march over to that damn piano and chop it up then burn it. I gave you everything. After everything I did for you – for us. This. (THE CROWD is silent. Shadows of THE CROWD draw to PANACEA playing ‘Eve’s essence’.

EVE:           I’m not doing anything. Please, Vlad. I would never hurt you.

VLADIMIR:      Who found you at the orphanage? Took you in? promised to nurture you? Who promised to take care of my blued eyed Fair haired gypsy girl?  you betray me- like this.

EVE:           Gypsy girl?

VLADIMER:      I can never forgive you. This is not the girl I knew. You are ruined.

EVE:           Vlad, (looks over at PANACEA, eyes widen) Why is that boy there?  ( to DISFIGURED BOY) come here. Stay away from her.  (to VLADIMIR) Why is that boy close to her. He is beckoning you….

VLADIMIR:      (begins to cry) You can’t do this to me.

EVE:           Do what? See with your own eyes. Don’t do this to me! Make me out to be a mad vexed woman.

(PANACEA stops playing, abruptly.)

PANACEA:       Don’t be afraid boy. (VLADIMIR jumps in fright) You can’t escape who you are. Don’t worry I can assure you I can’t see. Not even your bloodied parents anymore.

EVE            What are you? What is she talking about?

PANACEA:        You were all I had… you deserted me. And I’m evil? I didn’t choose this gifted curse. I was born with it – Just like Eve except she saw nothing

VLADIMIR:      No, you are not real. I don’t believe it. (to EVE) Stop torturing me. You are playing with me.

PANACEA:       Boy. I don’t blame you for leaving the revolution but to leave a lady to those priggish animals and steal my money.

VLADIMIR:      Shut up You evil wrench. I left you for dead. It’s impossible. That was my family’s inheritance.

EVE:           Impossible? what’s impossible? How do you know this creature? Answer me. Who is she?

VLADIMIR:      No woman in your condition could have survived – in those conditions. I refuse to /believe this.

EVE:           You know her. (PANACEA laughs)

VLADIMIR:      These are… Eve, these are extraordinary circumstances I find myself in. Stop laughing your old cow. Stop it. (PANACEA begins to play ‘Eve’s essence’)

EVE:           These are certainly not circumstances I foresaw.  If you know something about this then spit it out or damn you both to hell.

VLADIMIR:      (quietly)We never spoke of –well, I demanded that when I took you as my own we would never talk about how I found myself in that orphanage.

EVE:          You are an honourable man. Are you not?

VLADIMIR:      You were born in Romaine. The orphanage-  was both of our home’s. Few places like that are kind and they were, especially during those times. Our country was in flames. Blood everywhere. Corpses. Vile acts. There you were- abandoned.

EVE:           No.

VLADIMIR:      We survived. You were a baby. I didn’t know you were impaired. I knew what our people would do to a fair-haired Roma like yourself. We escapNo-one-one would suspect us, they said. They promised freedom, n new life. All I must do was help smuggle in weapons.  You were the only one who wasn’t frightened of me. You only saw the good in me. Your lack of sight was my rebirth- our rebirth

EVE:           Lies. Obsession with fame and my looks and glory and… I thought I was helping people.

VLADIMIR:      You are. You were… The world with eyes is a hell of its own, I tell you. Your greatest gift was to give your heart to those who so desperately needed to forget – what they see- have seen.

PANACEA:       Boy. How long are you going to drag this out? Get on with it. We shall make a man out of you yet.

EVE:           (to PANACEA) Who are you?

VLADIMIR:      (softly)My grand mere – she was – is (turns around see’s PANACEA is horrified) is… but how?

Silence

PANACEA:       No, boy. I’m not a ghost, not a witch just cursed with unusual gift of seeing the past of every filthy boar piggish human. Yes, what are the odds? I should never have been discovered but life has its twists… and magic of sorts.

VLADIMIR:      I didn’t mean to leave you.

PANACEA:       I have been waiting for the right moment. Biding my time.  Waiting to sense what kind of man you become- and Eve was truly a find.

EVE:      you can’t see, Grandmere. Only the.

PANCEA:   Past- I struck a deal with mad Bolshevik. I got more than I bargained for. The senile old man missed his wife –wanted to live in the past and I would settle for the future – we merely wanted it so much –we got what we wished for.

EVE:      What have you inflicted me with?

PANACEA:  How he adores you, loves you. You see Eve. Vladimir for all his grandiose gestures is superficial. Not the benevolent man he pretends to be.

VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere stop. I’m sorry. I was a child…

PANACEA:  (ignores VLADIMIR) The only reason people accept him is because of you. Or what you had. Beauty, innocence, the gift to soothe all pain from others with your playing.

EVE:      No, he has been there for me.

PANCEA:   If you had eyes like I now do or indeed like the rest of this crowd you would see he is a monster. A disfigurement. You were his key to this fickle world accepting him.

EVE:      What is she talking about?

VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere I was haunted by your recantations of my dead family. You terrified me. I still don’t understand this curse.

PANACEA:  Maybe you understand it a little better now – it is your curse too. Life is all about lessons and there is as lesson to be learned here. Something about appearances etcetera etcetera… but what do I know? (starts to play – THE CROWD are lured by PANACEA’S playing, under a spell)

VLADIMIR: You must restore her. Grand’Mere –she is innocent. Please.

PANACEA:   We all are at some point.

EVE:      I wanted it so much. I wanted to see. How wrong was I?

VLADIMIR: give it back. Give Eve what is rightly hers. It’s me you seek to punish

PANACEA:  (stops playing) Stop trying to fight it. You know what you really want to do.

VLADIMIR: She is an innocent

PANACEA:   Used by the likes of you, boy.

VLADIMIR: I can take care of you. I have money, estate everything. Let me make it up to you.

PANACEA:  Doesn’t work like that. I’m not some conjurer. I was merely born into this world with my fate and somehow that fate changed. I haven’t the answers.

EVE:      But I don’t want this sight. I don’t want it.

PANACEA:  Those touched can’t ever be untouched again.

VLADIMIR: But you. You see.

PANACEA:   Keep up. I saw the future. Now I see nothing. Just like Eve. I feel and I play and I have what I want.

EVE:      But if you can see the future, how is it I can see the past?

PANACEA:  Obviously, I should have taken you for a fool. I think you are missing the point. I don’t decide how the universe decides. I saw an opportunity and I took it. I’m merely human after all. (starts playing again)

(EVE and VLADIMIR look at each other)

VLADIMIR: I’m sorry Eve. I was…

EVE:      I can’t bear to live like this.

VLADIMIR: Yes. Life is…. You didn’t have to see that.

EVE:      We can’t undo this? (unwillingly moves towards PANACEA.)

VLADIMIR: I’m sorry, mon Cherie but I can’t stop myself much longer. I must forget. I must forget if only for a while.

(VLADIMIR walks up to PANACEA and strokes her hair, kisses her, then listens to her play.

EVE:      You can’t leave me. I can’t do this. Panacea please! (starts walking closer and closer to soft music) I will never forgive you but alas, I can’t fight this pain any longer. Make it go it away. (slumps at the feet of PANACEA who plays on. lights down.)

IF YOU MADE IT TO THE END. I SALUTE YOU 🙂

 

(copyright Daisy Willows/ Natasha Bodley)

 

Always look up-

‘Always look up wherever you go – those who walk with there eyes to the floor miss out on so much of life’ 

 

If you have followed my previous posts on from the start of doing my MA,  you will know it has been an ocean of tidal waves and tsunamis and, high tides and low tides.

These still waters of mine run deep.

My First TMA (tutor marked assignment)   Act one of a stage script about a homeless couple received a CLEAR PASS  of 62%

There were tears, miscommunication, fallouts, despair and I lost confidence in my writing abilities.

TMA 2 ( my second genre -Fiction writing)  I wrote a supernatural piece about a girl who (accidentally) commits suicide.

Lat night, my tutor emailed me to say she was having an issue submitting my marks via the online system and she didn’t want me to start worrying, so, she copy and pasted all the feedback and my mark into an email.

She gave me useful and extensive advice on what I propose to write for my EMA ( end of module assignment due in May 2017)

The second act to the homeless couple script.

Eeeeek! 

I do feel more supported, understood, challenged and more confident in achieving what I want to do with my writing for this piece.

Oh, the results for my TMA 2

82%   a HIGH MERIT.

I’m back to the marks I was getting when I was doing the final year of my BA in the Art and humanities.

I need to keep this momentum going. I don’t want to find myself under merit territory again.

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I invest a lot of time in people and the things and causes I dedicate my time to.

 

DAISY DOES VOLUNTEERING:

One thing I have had to put on the back burner is helping to  co-facilitate 12 weeks of WRAP (wellness recovery action plan self-management program) with the EIP   ( early intervention prevention ) team for people diagnosed with at least one episode a psychotic episode

I’m gutted. There were many issues that led me to distance myself from this.

Two beings:

Issues of funding and logistics.

I enjoyed meeting up the people I was going to work with. I loved their energy and enthusiasm.

A lot was promised and then not delivered.

 I felt the need to email my colleagues and tell them what I thought about how the course was put together- I was my usual blunt self and not very diplomatic.  Ooops…

I feel that if the NHS ( national health system) in the U.K. expects results from a new therapy or a new way of self-help/lifestyle and illness management program, then scrimping on pounds is not helping promote or inspire that WRAP works.

In the long term WRAP  (run properly) will most likely save the NHS money.

As far as I’m aware- nobody knows what is going on with this current  WRAP workshop. I haven’t fallen out with anyone. I can’t give all my energy into something if everyone doesn’t have the same vision.

For me, it needs more planning and preparation and I’m not going to be that person who just turns up to volunteer at a workshop to go –

‘Oh look at me, I’m making a difference’ – when I know, in my heart, the results this particular workshop can have on people’s lives if  it is implemented properly.

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I’m currently putting my energy into other charities I work with to see how I can help them.

DAISY GOES TO HER FIRST SESSION AT THE  ACTING PROGRAMME WORKSHOP :

I wasn’t nervous until I got to the place. I arrived early. It was bitterly cold and I hate the cold.

It turned out to be incredible.

We did a few  Actor warm-up activities such as being aware of filling the space and being aware of other Actors around us.

We did some improvisation and using our body exercises to convey emotion.  Loads of fun!

What a lovely bunch of people. I am definitely going to the next session next week. We all seem to have common goals and everyone is so unique and interesting.

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UNEXPECTED SURPRISE ALERT:

There is a possibility we may (or may not) put together a little something to perform to students at the university after the 8 weeks.  How awesome is that?

I do try and keep up with you all on here. It has been difficult but the more knowledge and confidence I gain in the above  areas of my life – the more time I will  get to have fun- one being reading blogs and blogging random stuff

DAISY LIFE UPDATE:

 It was my husbands birthday on Valentine’s day. We have a sleigh bed!

hi ho!  hi ho! it’s off to bed I go – ha ha! It’s massive – king size!

 

After the mid-term school holidays in February, my Bella – my daughter will be joining Year one ( she is in reception at the moment)  for her reading and writing class.

She has two mates with her who are excelling just like her and she is a bit of a whizz kid at Maths.

DAISY’S MENTAL HEALTH UPDATE:

Long story short. Pushing other people’s buttons to get an honest answer has been difficult -emotionally- to sit with – without trying to avoid the emotions by self-medicating.

I’ve been angry at myself for nearly destroying the best thing  I have in my life- my family – because, I believed ( with help) that someone cared more about me than they actually did.I put a lot of my energy into helping a person when they had a meltdown last year. It all got thrown back in my face.

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I finally know the truth. That is all I ever wanted. Now, it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie.

That’s it – all very boring but it’s all happening

Physically. I’m eating better and I have more energy. I haven’t lost weight which is something that terrifies me equally as putting on weight does.

 

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