Book Cover: Jersey Lilies
Editions:Paperback - First Edition: € 8.99
ISBN: 978-1-910721-02-5
Size: 129.00 x 198.00 mm
Pages: 124
ePub: € 5.99
ISBN: 978-1-910721-03-2
Size: 129.00 x 198.00 mm
Pages: 124

JERSEY LILIES (1996): La Corbière, Les Yeux, and Le Crapaud.

A trilogy of one act plays for two actors. Inspired by events in wartime Jersey.
Jersey Lilies premiered in 1996 at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Dublin, performed by the playwright Anne Hartigan and actor/director Robert Gordon.

La Corbière is performed here as a one woman show (the text is also published in Anne's poetry collection Immortal Sins, Salmon press.)

It has two companion pieces:

Le Crapaud (The Toad)
A play for one man who plays dual roles: a Nazi officer and a slave worker. 
The Nazis brought men to Jersey from all over Europe, many died as they laboured building an underground labyrinth.

Les Yeux (The Eyes)
A play for a cast of two. 
Inspired by the work of two women: Claude Cahun, a French surrealist photographer, and her stepsister Suzanne. Together they worked their own unique form of resistance to the Nazi occupation of Jersey.

This surreal trilogy of plays explores three real events in World War II German occupied Jersey.  Jersey Lilies combines a reworking of La Corbière with two new plays. The tragic story of a boatload of French prostitutes shipwrecked, drowned and left to drift on the tide in La Corbière is echoed and amplified by Le Crapaud which exposes the terrible treatment of slave workers brutally slain by the Nazis, their bodies shamefully hidden, buried in the very walls they were building. The story of two surrealist artists involved in extraordinary resistance work against the Nazis is the source of the third part and the inspiration for the surrealist style of the trilogy.

Never safe, always provocative, sometimes controversial, Anne Le Marquand Hartigan combines forceful poetry with absurdist atrocity and surrealism in this moving trilogy.
Three tragic events from World War II Nazi occupied Jersey are explored in this avant-garde trilogy of plays from award winning Irish playwright, Anne Le Marquand Hartigan.
A boatload of French prostitutes is shipwrecked, drowned, their bodies abandoned to drift on the tide; a slave worker, brutally slain by the Nazis, shamefully concealed in the very wall he was building; two extraordinary sisters, stealthily and subversively working in the resistance.

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Publisher: Chiswick Books
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Excerpt:

One
La Corbière
Characters
All parts played by one woman
WOMAN
WHORE
Set
There is a rock centre stage, with a coat draped over it
and a swathe of white silk which spreads from the rock,
widening to downstage. A pair of high heeled shoes lie
downstage.
Scene One
The play begins in darkness. Sound of crashing waves.
There is a rough wooden cross upstage left as on slaves’
and prisoners’ graves. WOMAN sits on a rock with her
back to the audience.
WOMAN speaks in darkness, light slowly rising during
her first speech. Light from La Corbière Lighthouse pans
around and flashes into the eyes of the audience.

READ MORE


WOMAN
Corbière Corbière Corbière
Hair air Hair air air air air
Corbière bier Corbière bier Corbière bier
Requiem aeternam dona eis domine
Corpus Christi Corpus Christi
Lights up.
WOMAN half-turns.
Lot their lot got their lot Deserved
Their lot harlot harlot harlot harlot
WOMAN swings around suddenly.
WHORE
Rise up ye strong whores. RISE.
WHORE WHORE WHORE
WHORE WHORE WHORE
WHORE WHORE WHORE.
Har lot Har lot Har lot Har lot Har lot Har lot
Rise up ye strong whores.
Sisters rise up Strong.
Strong Sisters
Wronged Sisters.
I will weep for thee
mourn for thee
cry for thee
in the strong salt sea will long for thee
sing for thee sea sister water sister
we will howl for thee
banshee for thee
weep for thee as the salt sea seep for thee
Sinks down and lies over rock, as if drifting,
floating in the sea, rocking with the words on
voice-over.
slop clop clop flop smack lack back
the rock teeth the rock teeth the teeth
the grate grind grit growl the suck back
shoal grawl hiss hawl hiss hawl hiss hawl
gravel drawl drawldown suckback back
WHOOOORRRE.
Blackout. End of voice-over.
WOMAN walks downstage right. Spotlight on
WOMAN.
Nothing,
There is nothing.
Nothing but the sea.
Straight. Flat. Empty. Iron.
Terrible as tin.
A lining fallen from the grey sky.
Nothing.
All barbarities buried.
The rock teeth and ripped flesh.
Turns back on audience.
Our tears are salt and the sea,
the sea salt and our tears
weep
weeping the sea salt and our tears
weeping the salt from the sea
salt salt salt Assault
As if hit in the back on the word ‘assault’,
blackout and strobe light showing WOMAN
fighting and resisting attack in different poses,
ending on the rock, centre stage. Meanwhile the
following on voice-over:
assault rape salt rape sea
seasalt rapesalt
rapesalt weep asleep dead
beat beat dead
beatdead beatdead beatdead
salt salt salt salt salt
Bereft Bereft Bereft
WOMAN mimes contentment playing with the
white silk that lies over the rock.
Marriage home Mother child
good sweet clean bread home
bed sheetswhite Mother
now found safe clean
safe bread found soft
warm mother Baby pink clean
sweet home soft good warm
when now safe always together
Pure Good
warm bread white now food
warm cosy Mother sister child
gentle good Holy now gentle
never soft always good always
always all ways all ways
ways ways ways
With fear in her voice.
ways
ways
End of voice-over.
Apart Gap
Broken open now alert
Not alert Not now please
Stop. No. Not That.
Here. Don’t. Please stop
Don’t NO Not that
Mothersaid pleasedon’t
No not. I don’t
Is fighting off attacker, lying on the floor
struggling.
Varies voice with each phrase, from deep to light
to childlike to representing both the violater and
the victim.
Like this Like this
Like this Like this
Likethis Likethis
Like this Not that
Like this Notthat Like this
Notthat Like this Notthat
Not that
Deep voice.
that that that that that
Light voice.
this this this this this
Deep voice.
that that that that that
Is thrown aside, face down
WHORE

 

Le Crapaud
Characters
All parts played by one man
VOICE
THE NICE WOMAN
THE NAZI OFFICER
THE SLAVE possibly a Russian, civilian
WOMAN
OT GUARD
Set
There is a rock, centre stage, with a coat draped over it
and a swathe of white silk which spreads from the rock,
widening to downstage - as for La Corbière. Downstage a
bundle of rags, clothes, to give the feeling of, and to look
like, a body with arm extended. A shovel. A telephone.
Action One
Recorded and played as voice-over. Actor stands in silence
in blackout and flashes torch intermittently.
Lighting continuously changing: torch-light/dark/
match-strike/candle/out/flash of bright light/out. All
these from different parts of the stage, high up and on
the floor, upstage and downstage, playing with space,
creating underground, making other space than the voice,
sometimes approaching and sometimes receding.
Semi-dark or light as from afar, as in the light at the end
of a tunnel or light from under the cloth. VOICE might be
heard from telephone picked up by THE NICE WOMAN, or
an answer-phone, or voice-over.
VOICE
Stone
Axe
Deep breath.
Stone
Axe
Deep breath.
Stone
Deep breath.
Stone
Axe
Deep breath.
Stone
Deep breath.
Breathing (deep breaths).
Pause.
Breathing (deep breaths).
Pause.
As if hacking at stone.
AXE
AXE
AXE
Pause.
Blackout.
AXE
Breathing.
Torch flash.
Breathing.
AXE
Breathing.
AXE
Pause
Breathing.
Pause. Sound of body falling.
Stone
The word ‘Stone’ to be drawn out to last up to 10
seconds.
Action Two
THE NICE WOMAN, a tourist, with her family is visiting
the underground hospital.
Lights up on THE NICE WOMAN dressed in
raincoat and scarf, seated back to audience.
THE NICE WOMAN
Peculiar.
That’s what it is, Joe. Peculiar.
Pause.
I wish I hadn’t eaten that ice. I do.
I wish I hadn’t.
To a child.
Hold my hand Sylvia, there’s a good girl. Mind
your feet.
Pause.
Of course it wouldn’t have been all clean like this
I suppose. Well, when it was built it was clean,
because it was a hospital. Ugh. Down here in a
tunnel. Not very nice really. Not nice. But clever,
you have to give them that. Very clever. The
Nazis.
Oh look. These models are really life-like. Look
Sylvie, that’s the surgeon, that’s the nurse.
They’re doing an operation. No, love. To make
him better, to make the soldier better. They are
helping him to get better. No they’re not puppets,
they are models, made of wax I expect or plastic,
plastic it would be, wouldn’t it Joe?

Pause.
That’s a nasty story, Joe. I don’t really care for
that. A bit creepy. It looks so ordinary now. Yes
Sylvia, you’re right, a bit like the underground at
home.
Pause.
They went down there to be safe from the Huns.
Pause.
The Germans were Huns. The Nazis.
Pause.
They dropped bombs.
Pause.
On us. In London and other places.
Pause.
Well, because we were at war.
Pause.
We were fighting the Huns.
Pause.
Nazis.
Pause.
Germans. And they were fighting us.
Pause.
They started it.
Pause.
Oh, yes, we dropped back on them.
Pause.
They built this to be safe from…
Pause.
Yes. Well…
Pause.
Yes, that’s a Nazi doctor mending a Hun’s leg.
Pause.
To make him better darling.
Pause.
To drop more bombs?
Pause.
Well…
Pause. She laughs.
Yes. No. Well. Oh.
Changes the subject.
Let’s see what’s in here, shall we…?
I’d rather you shut up, Joe. I don’t want to know
about that. It’s not nice to think of that at all.
Bodies shovelled in behind these walls.
Pause.
That can’t be true.
Creepy.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Irish Times wrote:

Her characters hark back to Beckett ’s absurdist, dislocated figures and their self-referential monologues in which sound frequently communicates more than actual words. These men and women partake in symbolic rituals rather than sit around naturalistic kitchen tables and have their tea.

Irish Times wrote:

The searing lament in this play is for… all women, and how they are too often seen by men as throwaway flotsam.


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