BOY: I’m trying to remember all the toilets I’ve ever pood in. All the bits of me I’ve left all over the place. I wonder where they all went after I flushed ?
GIRL: Into the sea, like everything, like plastic
BOY: But I wonder do they meet up again? I bet they do. I bet there’s one big floater somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean stuck together with plastic bottles
GIRL: And plastic bags and wrappers and those beer can rings that seagulls choke on
BOY: And what about all the baby teeth I lost? I was always swallowing them. I swallowed one on a bouncy castle. And one scoring a goal. And another one laughing at a joke. My last one is hanging on by a piece of skin. What if it ends up out the other end and out to sea? In a big poo island of plastic and teeth.
In June, I spent a week at The Ark developing the text with director Maisie Lee and performers Nyree Yergainharsian and Lloyd Cooney. We shared our findings with The Ark’s Children’s Council at the end of the week and, the following month, we presented a work-in-progress showing at On the Edge World Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences in Birmingham to an audiences of artists, producers and presenters. Sharing our ideas and listening to the feedback of audiences young and experienced has been invaluable. Peat began life as Elk, as an exploration of the extinct Great Irish Elk.
As development progresses, the elk itself started to take a back seat, as bigger ideas began to emerge – ideas of preservation, migration, extinction, life, death and mortality. The text which is now emerging is something of a slant on Hamlet’s gravediggers for young audiences – a metaphysical conversation rooted in the world and perspective of two 12 year olds.
Development and showing supported by The Ark A Cultural Centre for Children, Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland and Culture Ireland. Written by Kate Heffernan. Directed by Maisie Lee. Performed by Nyree Yergainharsian and Lloyd Cooney. Originally supported by the Arts Council’s Young People Children and Education Bursary.