Lines from a play

DECEPTION – by John Finch

Lines from a play about World War 2 and the failed early post-war years seen in the relationship between Joe and the three generations of his family, of which he is the second.

 

JOE:    Your grandmother loved Jess…saw her as my salvation…Jess was nearly nine months pregnant when Jack died so I wouldn’t let her come to the funeral……..and I stood with mum at the cemetery and held her arm while the vicar said his piece……She didn’t cry…I suspect I was closer to tears than she probably was…….and it came into my head that it was deeper for her than tears……Tears were easy…..It was the resurrection and the life………”The sure and certain hope of the life of the world to come”…….She was hanging on every word…..for without it all the long days and the  light and darkness of the world she’d lived through were as nothing… I glared at the vicar who was mechanically dribbling out the comfortable words….I wanted the authority of Geilgud or the passion of Olivier…….

 And I looked beyond the cemetery at  the view;  the same view I saw when they buried my gran and my granddad……The pithead where he’d slaved for an eternity under the ground where I stood…….the slag heaps – all those tons of effort……It was where I came from…my north country roots….the culture of sacrifice and creation that had shaped the world that I’d inherited that made this country my own …… Words started to form in my head,,..,and then came the pictures…..and as I stood there I was beginning to write a play……..

 And  something Liz had once said when I asked her to read a play I had written came back to me over the years.

“You’re just using me, “she said.  “I’m just a character in a play to you.”

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