Playella | Eileen by Steven Barry

Eileen, (An 89 year old woman) sits in a comfortable chair in her room in a nursing home in present day Dublin. The clock ticks by slowly and the audience hear this. This is held for as long as is necessary to make them feel expectant and uncomfortable. The lighting changes to black and white/sepia and Eileen smiles. 

Patsy Kline’s ’Crazy’ plays as she watches a younger version of herself (18) waltz around the room with a young, handsome man. The young couple look at each other at the end of the song and giggle as they run off holding hands. The light snaps back and the clock is ticking again. 

The door bursts open and two nurses come in chatting. Niamh (20) and Mary (45). As they chat they absent-mindedly tidy the room. Neither of them pays any attention to Eileen.

MARY: Jaysus…you be careful now!

NIAMH: It’s me birthday Mary… I won’t be careful at all, yano how it is! I’m going all out to get meself a fella.

MARY: God, I’m not that old, ya know what I mean Niamh. I can still remember what it’s like to let me hair down.

NIAMH: I bet ya can ya dirty bitch.

MARY: Would you not watch your language.

Signals with her eyes towards Eileen but this elicits no response from Niamh.

NIAMH: Why don’t ya come?

MARY: Yeah I’m sure you’d love an aul hag like me cramping your style.

NIAMH: Yeah you probably wouldn’t enjoy yourself anyways.

MARY: Thanks very much…

NIAMH: Mind now Mary… I bet with a bit of slap and your baps hanging out you’d still be a ride! All the young fellas would be hanging out of ya.

MARY: Would you go away out of that!

Mary is blushing and laughing at the same time.

NIAMH: You aul wetser ya Mary!

The two nurses finally turn their attention to Eileen who has been sitting smiling the whole time.


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