Paisley has the power to take us right to the heart of another human being's experience in the space of a couple of hours in the theatre… the mark of a true playwright - Scotsman
Stellar Quines and Pitlochry Festival Theatre at the Traverse, Edinburgh - 23 Sept 1998
Rehearsed reading and discussion
Directed by Lynn Bains
Following the success of last autumn's Rehearsal Room, Stellar Quines return with the first public reading of Deep Rising - Janet Paisley's new play for 12 actors, jointly commissioned by Stellar Quines and Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
Set in 1745, and inspired by the intriguing true story of Colonel Anne Farquharson, Deep Rising explores sex, politics, power and loyalty with wit, humour and dramatic intensity. And Bonnie Prince Charlie is nowhere in sight!
Deep Rising is Janet Paisley's second play. Her first play, Refuge, also commissioned by Stellar Quines and seen at the Traverse and on tour last year, won the 1996 Peggy Ramsay Award. One of Scotland's most original writers, Janet Paisley has also won several awards for her poetry and fiction.
<box 80% round prose | Extract: Deep Rising> JESSIE ENTERS FROM KITCHENS WITH CLEANING THINGS.
MORAG: So we've queer fowk comin the day.
JESSIE: I'm at it awready. (CLEANS)
MORAG: Weel dinnae git cairried awa or they'll expect. Then ye'll hae tae keep at it the hale time they're here.
JESSIE: No gaun doon the forge?
MORAG: It's gey early yit.
JESSIE: He'll be up awready. (HEAD DOWN, POLISHING) Habit noo. (GRINS) Early risin.
MORAG: (AMUSED SHOCK) Jessie McBean!
BEHIND THEM, OUTSIDE, WILL LOOKS IN TRYING NOT TO BE SEEN.
MORAG: Still, steers a rare fire doon that forge, dis Donald.
JESSIE: An it's ay lit.
MORAG: Och, I mibbe will daunder doon.
WILL DUCKS OUT OF SIGHT.
MORAG: Mind an stoap whin ye see yer face in it.
SHE EXITS THROUGH KITCHENS. JESSIE CHECKS FOR HER REFLECTION, FROWNING. THERE IS A NOISE FROM DINING ROOM. JESSIE FREEZES.
JESSIE: Wha's there? (PAUSE) I ken it's you, Will. (LESS SURE) If you dinnae come oot this meenut, I'll shout fur Donald. An if he gets a grip ae ye wi his hoat tongs…
A SHEEPISH WILL ENTERS FROM DINING ROOM.
JESSIE: Will! Whit ae ye daen in the hoose?
WILL: Jist waantin a look at ye.
JESSIE IS VERY PLEASED BUT NOT ABOUT TO LET WILL SEE
JESSIE: Have I no polished every stick in that dinin room fur oor guests comin?
WILL: Ye're sae quick an tidy the wey ye move aboot.
JESSIE: (CONT) An no fur you tae be clompin through it wi yer big mucky boots oan?
WILL: I'd sooner be lookin at you than at the horses. Ye're bonnier than ony. Bonnier even than… than Pibroch. An he's the brawest.
JESSIE: Bonnier than a horse? (POINTS) Oot!
WILL: Do ye no waant me at aw, Jessie. No even a wee bit?
JESSIE: Oh aye, I dae, Will. I dae.
WILL: Ye dae?
JESSIE: Aye. I waant ye oot fae unner ma feet an back in the stable whaur ye belang. An I waant yer mucky boots oot ae here alang wi ye. (SWEEPS HIM OUT OF ROOM) So awa wi ye. Oot, oot.
AS WILL CATCHES A BLOW TO HIS SHINS FROM THE BRUSH A COACH IS HEARD ARRIVING IN THE COURTYARD
WILL: (WINCING) Och, Jessie.
JESSIE HEARS THE COACH
JESSIE: A coach! That canna be them awready! Oh michty, I'll hae tae wauken Mistress Helen. An me no feenished. She'll deeve ma heid aw day fur this. Och, awa you an see tae thur bags.
WILL: I'll be comin in again then?
JESSIE BRANDISHES THE BRUSH
WILL: I'm oot. I'm oot.
HE EXITS. FLUSTERED, JESSIE HEADS FOR UPSTAIRS, REALISES SHE STILL HOLDS THE BRUSH, GOES BACK TO GATHER HER CLEANING THINGS AND, AS JAMES AND ELIZABETH RAY ENTER, HIDES THEM AT HER BACK.
JAMES: Another mile, Elizabeth, and we were destined to be plagued with carbunkles.
ELIZABETH: Did we take the wrong road?
JAMES: Road? If they have such a thing in this tortuous country our halfwit of a driver has yet to find it.
ELIZABETH DRAWS HIS ATTENTION TO JESSIE WHO’S NOT SURE HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM. RAY REMOVES CLOAK
JAMES: James and Elizabeth Ray. Pray inform your master we've arrived.
HE THROWS CLOAK TO JESSIE WHO CAN'T LET GO CLEANING THINGS TO CATCH IT. THEY ALL WATCH THE CLOAK SLIDE TO THE FLOOR AT HER FEET
JESSIE: The Mackintosh gaed doon the oat field. He'll no be lang. Ye'll hae a drouth oan fae the stoor, I'll gang fur yill.
TO KEEP CLEANING TOOLS HIDDEN, JESSIE EXITS BACKWARDS TO KITCHENS. THE RAYS, WITH NO IDEA WHAT SHE SAID, WATCH HER GO.
JAMES: What madhouse have I brought you to?
ELIZABETH: Perhaps she thinks we're royalty.
JAMES: None the less worthy of being greeted royally. (WALKS TO WHERE HIS CLOAK LIES, LOOKING DOWN AT IT) Strange, strange behaviour.
ANGUS AND ANNE, EMBRACING AND BOUND UP IN LOVEMAKING, ENTER THROUGH MAIN ENTRANCE. THEY ARE DISHEVELLED, WITH OAT HUSKS IN THEIR HAIR AND CLOTHES, AND MEANING TO HEAD FOR THEIR BEDROOM HAVE OBVIOUSLY KEPT STOPPING EN ROUTE TO PURSUE THAT DESIRE - AS THEY DO NOW.
JAMES: Good grief!
ANGUS: Every time I hae ye.
JAMES MOVES TO BLOCK ELIZABETH’S VIEW
ANNE: Touch me, haud me.
ELIZABETH PEERS ROUND JAMES
ANGUS: I waant ye mair and again.
JAMES: Stop, stop! How dare you!
JAMES: In your master's house! Before his guests!
ANNE: (TO ANGUS. MEANING THEIR TIMING'S BAD) We're oot ae turn.
ANGUS: Oot ae… ah (TO JAMES) beg pardon. (TO ELIZABETH) Do proceed.
ANNE: (GIGGLES) Aeneas!
JAMES: What! You… I… !
ANNE: (TO ANGUS) I'm awa ben the bedchamber.
ANGUS HAS HER HAND AND WOULD GO WITH HER
ANNE: (PUSHING HIM AWAY, AMUSED) Tae chainge.
SHE EXITS TO MASTER BEDROOM
JAMES: Affrontery! How dare you embarrass my wife.
JESSIE ENTERS WITH ALE
JESSIE: This'll wet yer thrapple.
JAMES: The Mackintosh will be made aware of this.
AFRAID SHE'S DONE WRONG, JESSIE LOOKS TO ANGUS
ANGUS: I fancy he's already aware. Painfully so.
HE TAKES TANKARD OF ALE
ANGUS: Thank ye, Jessie. (TO JAMES) Angus, chief of Mackintosh. I presume you are Ray, (OFFERS HIS HAND) and maybe a wee bit premature? </box>