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Bags

Written over four creative sessions by a group of adults at Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme September 2022

A play by: Lorraine Mulligan, Janice McLoughlin, Joy Whelan, Olivia McCarthy, Stephen McElroy, Nicola Clusker, Brian Dennis, Lenann Clarke and Ciara Tynan.

Setting: Dublin, Northside.

Characters:

Heather
Late 40s, Helps out in the community. Married with two kids. Very well spoken of in Portmarnock. Takes the train to save the environment. Banned from driving.

Nikita
Early 30s, very loyal, very honest, reliable.

Stubborn. Things have to go her way. A bit aggressive. Very popular, deadly buzz. Very liked in her community.

Derek
Heather’s husband, business man, controlling, narcissist, business is a cover for criminal activity, money laundering (keeps the money from Heather).

Joe
Nikita’s brother, very protective of Nikita, works on a fishing boat, a big fella, strong, fit.

Scene One

At home. Portmarnock. On the phone.

Helpline: How can I help you?

Heather: I can’t take it anymore.

Helpline: What’s your problem?

Heather: I’m being physically and mentally abused by my husband.

Helpline: Have you spoken to the police and tried to get a safety order?

Heather: He’s taken my phone and he was monitoring my calls.

Helpline: You need to get away and I’m going to give you some information. Please act on it.

Heather: What do I do first; he’s after destroying all of me clothes?

Helpline: The organisation Sonas is a great place for women and I’ll try and get you sorted but in the meantime we will send you a voucher for Pennys. Pack a bag now.

Heather: Thanks very much, I really appreciate your help.

Helpline: No problem. I try to do my best.

Scene two

On the Dart. Coming from Connolly. Northbound. Present day.

Nikita: Move your fuckin’ bags will ya?

Heather: Excuse me, you don’t need to be so rude. There are lots of other seats. Right there.

Nikita: That’s not the point, you have all your bags there and this is the seat I usually sit at - the window seat. Move all of your Pennys bags.

Heather: Excuse me - would you not speak to me like that please. There is lot of other windows on the train.

Nikita: I will talk to ya any way I want to talk to ya. You’re taking up seats and there could be elderly people that need them seats.

Heather: As I said there are lots of other seats and windows.

Nikita: If you don’t move your bags, I’ll move them for you.

Heather: How dare you I will report you.

Nikita: Go ahead and report me all you want, you’re the one with the bags and they shouldn’t be there. Ya can’t put your feet on the seats so why do you think you can put your fuckin’ bags on the seat.

Heather breaks down and cries.

Nikita: Ah here - I only asked you to move your bags, why are you getting so upset?

Heather: I’m sorry, I will take my bags off the seat. I’m just in a bad place at the moment. I’ve had an emotional few days . . . don’t mind me.

Awkward silence. Nikita hand’s Heather a tissue to wipes her tears.

Nikita (sings): Dry your eyes mate, I know you want to make him see how much his pain hurts, but you’ve got to walk away now. It’s over.

Heather giggles.

Heather (smiling): You’re nuts but I needed that laugh. Thanks, it’s ironic that you’re singing that because that’s my life.

Nikita: You’re not alone there love, they’re all the same. Tell us what’s the matter . .

Heather: How long have you got?

Nikita: Well, not long I’m getting off in Kilbarrack and we’re in Raheny.

Heather: Well, thanks very much you made my day.

Nikita: Everyone has a bad day. Why don’t you tell me and all of me mates about it up in Madigans. They’re up there waiting for me?

Scene three

Heather wakes up. Hungover. She is lost.

Heather: Where the fuck am I and where is my belongings gone?

She looks out the window.

Where am I, where is this place?

Heather goes into a trance and then touches her nose.

Ah jeezus, ahh me nose. I’m after been robbed, I blacked out, was I taking something? I need to get out of here.

Nikita walks in.

Nikita: Here’s a cappuccino, that will help you wake up. Jesus you had a good night last night.

Heather: Did I?

Nikita: Eh yeah!! I told you a problem shared, is a problem halved.

Heather: Shared? Really what did I say? How much did I drink?

Nikita: What didn’t you say and what didn’t you bleedin’ drink?

Heather: Oh dear lord, Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Nikita: The shower is in the other room. You’re Penny bags are on the bed. Get yourself sorted and we’ll see where the day takes us. 

Scene four

Madigans. Kilbarrack.

Derek (On the phone. No answer): Where the fuck is she?

Barman: I seen your other half here the other day.

Derek: Who was she with?

Barman: A group of girls. They seemed to be having a good time. Was it someone’s party?

Derek (shocked): Ah she was probably out with work friends.

Scene five

On the dart to Howth.

Nikita: I can’t believe you haven’t tasted Leo Burdocks chips before. Ah sure you are probably used to avocados and sweet potatoes.

Heather (Laughing): I’ve had chips before Nikita.

Nikita: So, tell me has the husband tried to contact you at all?

Heather: I just had a missed call and I’m not answering it. Actually, I’m just going to turn it off!

Nikita: Fair play to ya. Fuck him!

Getting off the Dart. Nikita brings Heather down the ramp because they have no tickets.

Heather: Why did we go this way?

Nikita: Ah shut up and just walk and I’ll tell you later.

They are queuing outside Leo Burdocks.

Heather: I don’t believe it, there’s Josh.

Nikita: Who’s Josh?

Heather: Derek’s friend.

Josh: What has you out here?

Heather (In shock): Chips. I’m just out here with a friend.

Josh: Okay Heather.

As he walks off he takes out his phone. Heather and Nikita walk down towards the west pier.

Nikita: How’s the head, how are ya feelin’ after eatin’?

Heather: I feel a nauseas, I think I need a Solphadine.

Nikita: Just drink plenty of water or we can walk up to Balscadden and go for a swim?

Heather: No, but I’ll go for a paddle.

Nikita: Right, c’mon.

They are walking up towards the beach when a car pulls up. Derek stays in the car.

Derek: Get in!

Scene six

Nikita (on the phone): Joe get up here there’s a bit of trouble with my friend.

Joe: Where are ya?

Nikita: I’m on the peer.

Joe: I’ll be with you in five.

Nikita: Hurry up!

Joe: Wot the fucks goin’ on?

Nikita (shouts): He’s tryin’ get me friend into his car . . . beep beep beep.

Joe hangs up the phone and starts running.

Derek gets out of the car and approaches heather.

Derek: What did I tell you, get in that fuckin’ car?

Heather (hesitantly): No . . . my minds made up. I’m not coming back!

Derek: Come on babe you’re causing a scene. Let’s go home and discuss it.

Nikita (looking at Heather): Don’t.

Derek: It’s none of your business!

Nikita: You’re a prick and you’re days of bullying her are over.

Derek grabs Heather and tries to pull her into the car. His elbow accidentally hits Nikita. Joe arrives.  

Joe: Do you like hitting girls, d’ye?

Derek: Mind your own . . .  

Joe hits him. Derek hits deck. Joe shouts at him.

Joe: Get up get up!

Derek stays down.

Derek: I’m really sorry.

Joe: I’m not finished with him. You’se get in the car.

Heather wants to drive so she gets into the driver seat and puts her big handbag on the passenger seat.

Nikita: Ah here you and your fuckin’ bags.

The two of them start laughing.