REST

by Jeanette Cronin
Photo: Walid Ahmad

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REST

by Jeanette Cronin

When we make a decision, no matter how seemingly minor or innocuous, no matter how grand or profound, there is no turning back. We can attempt to qualify, amend, retrospectively smooth the edges, but history has been made and the only way is forward.

In a lonely place by the side of the moment, at the edge of possibility, two women facing a lifetime in the wrong groove, on the wrong team, try desperately to change course.

After an unexplained incident FIFI and CHERRY find themselves battered and bruised in a desert landscape. Neither seems sure how they got there or whether they should stay. An unknown force pulls them toward a void, a void which they instinctively sense has a oneway door.

As they contemplate their situation we learn that they are mother and daughter, but not in the simple sense. Just as they are beginning to reconnect their reverie is broken by the arrival of Cherry’s partner, Slade, who is also bruised and battered and covered in blood...

Gradually we learn our characters each inhabit a different pocket in time. Fifi, in that moment just after the heart stops beating, but the brain is still thinking; Cherry, before the heart stops beating and choice seems still possible and Slade, when death has been thwarted and survival is all.

The final image, a projection of a smoking car wreck, is the missing puzzle piece. Our three characters have been involved in an accident and Fifi, sick of the shit-hole paradigm she has been suffocating in all her life, has taken advantage of the situation and seized the opportunity to help Slade, her daughter’s abusive partner, into the afterlife.

This title appears in:

Alpine Fellowship Theatre Prize (2020 nominee)