The Paisley Suite – a set of brand new theatrical monologues about people in care and care settings.  Commissioned by Outspoken Arts Scotland

Writers:  Alan Bissett, Jack Dickson, Lisa Nicol, Zoe Strachan, Louise Welsh

Teas & Tucks
An experienced care worker spills the beans.

Ella is approaching that difficult time in her life, mid 50s and pondering early retirement. However, her life as a care worker sees her bound hand and foot to the care of some of the most vulnerable people in her community. She is single, overweight, works mainly nights and lives on takeaway food. Much as she loves her job, some of her clients are a nightmare. She always has a handy bottle of eye drops for those difficult clients. She’s not had much luck, been attacked by rabid dogs, had one or two falls in the snow and ice and just had the most awful diagnosis. In the final analysis, Ella decides it is time to wrestle with some of her life’s demons and spill the beans.

Lovely Peas
A misremembered memoir.

Edna has been stuck at home for the last ten years caring for her dying husband Jim. Now that he is gone, she too has gone into a bit of decline. Whilst the lovely care worker pops in everyday to make her tea she cannot for the life of her remember her name. However always a cheery coper, Edna relishes that tea every night remarking on the ‘lovely peas’, the same lovely peas she has with every meal. Her memories of Jim are not so dim and here she recounts their life together, the humour, the sadness, their grown up family long gone and uncaring who don’t visit.

Mr Connolly’s Last Vegas
An old man’s unfulfilled ambition.

Wheelchair-bound Mr Connolly hankers to return to Las Vegas where he visited regularly in his years as a travelling salesman. Surrounded by a sea of golden trinkets and tacky paraphernalia, he is convinced he’s sitting on a goldmine. An inveterate gambler, Mr Connolly recounts the many tales of love and loss on the highway to fame and fortune. Sadly, he won’t ever revisit Vegas since his iron lung wouldn’t be suitable for travel and his mass collection of cigarette coupons are now invalid.

A Tale of Two Sisters
Whatever has happened to sister Sarah?

Stuck in her top floor high flat Josephine, a former thread mill worker, is raging because her care worker is late, her poor sister Sarah has collapsed on the hallway floor just out of sight, and the leccy has gone off. Convinced it’s the fuel strike of 1974 she is insistent that the care worker get down to Lyon’s coal shop for a bag of grade one smokeless. Sadly, it’s not just the coal shop that gone it’s the manner of her sisters untimely demise that reveals the terrible truth about these troubled siblings.

The Registrar’s Last Entry
A final fall from grace for this once fine gent.

Mr Fleming lives alone in a grand Victorian house in Mansionhouse Terrace surrounded by his parent’s collection of grandfather clocks and priceless antiques. Years of dust, detritus and decay have put paid to the old range in his ancient kitchen and he can cook no more. Community meals come in everyday but on this day, Mr Fleming is nowhere to be seen. Fiercely independent he’s popped out in a taxi to Marks to get some quality nosh. Never mind the care workers almost breaking down the door out of sheer worry. After a long career, he can tell many a tale of the odd cases he’s had to register. But it’s his final entry that reveals his frailty as he’s found face down in the jungle of his back garden amongst all the community meals he’s repeatedly thrown out to the birds.

Genre

Theatre & Video

Themes

social care, health & well-being, mental health, isolation, loneliness, creative ageing

Supporters

Renfrewshire Council

Dates

Winter 2020/Spring 2021

Stewart Campbell
East End Murals