EXCERPT from PetBoy and the Bird's Dream.
Art Box, James Joyce Street, Dublin 1. November, 2016.

Pet Boy and The Bird's Dream is a live performance, written, narrated and directed by Sonia Shiel. It takes the shape of a staged read through, featuring intrinsic props, costumes and minimal set pieces, around which the action is performed, gestured and narrated. Written in the future conditional tense, it examines a fictional story from the past, that has yet to happen. Pet Boy and the Bird's dream acts as a continuous prologue, with a peculiar hindsight into a family's created legacy. It has been supported by the UCD Artist in Residence Programme, The Arts Council and DLR Co.Co.

Snail Operator, Perch Painter, Make-up and Lighting Crew:
Waki Kamino, Emiline Notari and Verna Kokkonen.

Kim Dongjin : PETBOY
Giri Kurichiyath : PRESENT NARRATOR

The full script of Pet Boy and the Bird's Dream will be published, along with Rectangle, Squared and others, by UCD Parity Press in 2018




DIRECTIONS: On a table sit rolled-up trees, like logs, bags of seeds, and a basin of pink powder with a larger than usual blusher brush. Paulie wears a jacket, Petboy has a basket and the Bird's Dream wears boots, eye shadow, hoops and a V-marked tracksuit. In the foreground a gymnastic style beam with a vertical stand juts thru centre stage, and on it stands the Bird's Dream. In the background a window, with its curtains drawn back, acts as a light box and is its single source. Throughout the performance, the stage directions and narrator's descriptions are bound together with the characters' improvisation, and their interaction with set pieces literally materialises a landscape word by word, while also telling the story of its pending devastation. Throughout the prologue two geometric wooden snails, one a real person and one made of material, both on wooden sticks, appear to move slowly away from each other, like billiards breaking in a reverse pulling motion. They are operated by the crew. There are two narrators, one - the present narrator, describes the action unfolding in front of the audience, the other - the conditional narrator, describes what the audience cannot see. The double dash symbol // indicates text or dialogue that is spoken at the same time. The ---represents a beat, or a pause and is used to space these concurrent phrases. The scene begins at a table.

PRESENT NARRATOR: A tableau of characters arrange the set around them accordingly, from a heap on the table, all-piled-up in a kind of predicted past-tense action. The Voice of a Bird's Dream is on a perch which is painted gold as she speaks. She appeals directly, to all the people.

DIRECTIONS: Light grows slowly throughout the monologue from behind the window, as if from dusk, to day, to heaven......

THE VOICE OF A BIRD'S DREAM: (continuous literation of flowers in latin,)
---/impatients, busy-lizzies, super-elfins, yew, icarus -----------/clematis, -- chedda, -- hydrangia ---- arboresence, annabel ------------/fuchsia, forget-me-nots, bleeding hearts, primroses, tweet /elm tree --

PRESENT NARRATOR: During this time everybody else gets up and puts the set into order, the birds hang up the trees and briefly look out through them. Petboy brings the eggs to them and puts them inside pockets of the bark, then hangs his empty basket on his shoulder. The snails are lowered to the ground tenderly and the body of a snail is pushed inside. The window is hung up, the flowers are arranged on its sill, with some falling perfectly onto the ground. The Voice of a Bird's Dream finishes her monologue and everybody sits down again at the table with their scripts. They tell the story of Paulie, her family's factory and how in a day it disappears. Paulie gets her face painted pink with a brush. When she has finished she paints the next person. The next person paints the next person and on an on, in an implication of consequence.

CONDITIONAL NARRATOR: From the moment that day begins, Paulie will feel untethered. And it won't be just Paulie, it will be everything in Paulie's world. It will be as if the trees are wandering out of the earth, a hundred roots at a time. And it will be as if all those roots have pulled up the mountains, brought them down the rivers and dumped them on all the cities. It will be that quiet. And it will be the quiet, that wakes everyone up.The factory of pink bricks, that has stood there making pink brick noise in Paulie's family for generations will be gone. Just dust on the ground, no warning, no announcement. And confounded people of people, of the same people who first worked there, for Paulie's great grandfather PetBoy, will have nowhere to go. And just like that, overnight, the wind, that has come knocking all these years on the hard factory walls and been sent away, will come charging through the open valley with nothing between it and Paulie's face, but pink.

PRESENT NARRATOR: Paulie's pink face looks astonished at something in the distance. They all see in front of them, an unthinkable disaster. And then - they all look at Paulie.

CONDITIONAL NARRATOR: Paulie will see the faces of those around her like they've been skinned alive, she will think about what to say to those faces. She will remember PetBoy, and how he built everything up from nothing. Scraping a world together from selling an egg he had painted blue, as special. Everybody knew that was wrong, but it was the only wrong thing he ever did, and it was the very thing that did him. He bought the egg back for twice the price, but the factory ran like an old horse from day one.

PAULIE'S BROTHER: Cursed, every generation, cursed.

PAULIE: That's all in the past. You can't go wrong with bricks and mortar, its an honest living. We're lucky to be part of a legacy.

PAULIE'S BROTHER: Except when it turns on a dishonest turf.

PAULIE: Well dishonest turf, it may be but its ours, we've always made good use of it, shared it with the people, given them jobs, its been a good thing in the end and..

PAULIE'S BROTHER: And the doners?

PAULIE: We have one left. I'm meeting him for lunch.


PRESENT NARRATOR: Louis and Paulie stand and embrace over the table, one kiss on the cheek, Paulie takes off her jacket, hands it to the person next to her along the line until it comes back to her and sits slowly down as Louis says his line.

CONDITIONAL NARRATOR: Louis is Paulie's and the factory's last hope, everything else has already failed. At one point during lunch, right at the very beginning, after Paulie has removed her coat, Louis, will announce to no great drama, that..

LOUIS: I'm going to blow my head off..

CONDITIONAL NARRATOR: ....He's going to blow his head off - and Paulie's coat will be carried away from her, like a dingy in a storm. Paulie will find herself feeling her arms and legs and neck and face for blood and wishing they had been her words, not his. She will wish she had owned them - and not had to find something to say back.

PAULIE: If there are one hundred ways to loose your lover, I will think, there must a thousand ways to lose you mind and 10,000 ways to loose your chance, especially when your chance is one in a million.

CONDITIONAL NARRATOR: Whatever Paulie doesn't say will work and Louis won't kill himself that day. But Paulie will picture it every other one, wondering did it happen yet. Just now...was that it? Is this it? And every time Paulie thinks of Louis' it, she will think of her own it.

PAULIE:(echo) Just now...was that it? Is this it?

PRESENT NARRATOR: Three workers wipe the pink aftermath off their faces and weigh up the odds.

WORKER J. Well somebody fucked up - the whole thing is ash.

WORKER C. None of us have been following procedures to the button.


WORKER K: You know that more than anyone Stan. (jokingly to WORKER J)

WORKER J: I tell ya what if it had been me, I'd have taken that blue egg collection and sold it for a small fortune years ago.

WORKER C: Too late now.

WORKER K: It's a terrible thing though. Everybody's lost, the town will be empty, the families will be broken up and this old place will just grow - - flowers I guess, flowers all over.

DIRECTIONS: 3 WORKERS (K, J,C) hold up the painted trees and pop their heads out of them, while PAULIE is alone at the table for a moment longer tidying up. Pet boy rises with his basket and approaches the trees, raising his head and following sounds like a tennis ball.

CONDITIONAL NARRATOR: When PetBoy started collecting eggs from the trees he heard the birds crying, too....

PAULIE: ...And, he collected...

Directions: Paulie stares straight ahead and then raises her head and closes her eyes.

PRESENT NARRATOR: ..spoken to a voice in her head, above it..

CONDITIONAL NARRATOR: When this day is over Paulie will be alone, she will know now, that nobody suspects her. It was reckless and impulsive and - wrong, but its the only wrong thing Paulie's ever done, and it's still all in the future...

© Copyright.

The full script of Pet Boy and the Bird's Dream will be published in January 2018, along with Rectangle, Squared.

Pet Boy and The Bird's Dream, has been developed as part of Avocado - a UCD Parity Studios' Artist-in-Residence production, by the 2017 Arts and Humanities' Artist-in-Residence Sonia Shiel. It involves the materialisation of Shiel's own dove-tailing short-stories into a new play and will see its adaptation to film, performance, sculpture and installation with a series of events throughout 2016 and 2017.