© By Dave Duggan
A man, dressed in pajamas, slippers and dressing gown, wakes up in the waiting area of a hospital. The audience are his visitors. He tells them of the operation to have the truth cut out of him tomorrow, the truth of every thing that happened in The Troubles, between 1969 and 2005. He goes into spasms of pain and memory, during which ghosts, speaking in verse, take over his body.
The play is a dramatic response, using a medical metaphor, to the desire for Truth Recovery, by which Danny explores all the options and how they might impact on him, before agreeing to go through it.
From Scene 4, Danny:
If I open my innards to this truth recovery and let the world listen to the thrum of blood in my heart, the gush of bile in my spleen, the susurrations of air in my lungs, the drip, drip, drip of urine in my kidneys, the clatter of corpuscles and platelets in my arteries, when I sound them all from deep inside where the dead reside, will I be healed?
From Scene 6, Ghost:
With rolling thunder, shattering glass
The brimstone claimed me in one pass.
My clothes, my flesh were all consumed.
A flaming stench the world perfumed.
And stronger still the smell of time
That layered itself upon the crime
Till now it lingers over all
In wisps of smoke that rise and fall
To cover up the wrong was done
And blind the eyes of everyone.
But if the truth it be made clear
Then I will take my rest right here.
I want a solid cure forever
That this fiery pass of brimstone never
More will in this place be found
Acknowledge this and I’ll stay in the ground.
From Scene 8, Danny:
‘Tis I’ll be here. In sunshine or in shadow. All part of it.
Yes, I’ll talk to the Panel tomorrow. I’ll tell them that we’ve had this chat. Best to keep them informed. Keep everybody on board as they say. Yeh.
Will I go through with it? Let me sleep on it. Why don’t you sleep on it too? We could all do with a rest. Let’s try to get some sleep and then in the morning, we’ll see. Because, you know, it’ll be different in the morning. We’ll all be stronger. For facing the past full on, so our children can have their future, clear of the old hurts. They’ll have their own, but let’s be honest now, we don’t want to bequeath them this stuff, do we?
(Gets up to leave.) No. No need. I’ll make it on my own. Thanks for coming to visit.
I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
AH 6905 © Dave Duggan 2005
YEAR SETEarly 2000s, as talk of Truth Recovery enters public discourse
All across Northern Ireland in non-theatre venues such as Orange halls, community centres, Church halls, loyalist band halls, upstairs lounges of pubs, as well as in theatres.
Dublin Fringe, Dublin Dental Hospital, 2006
Tour of cities in Afghanistan, in productions in Dari and Pashto, AHRDO, 2008 ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7502344.stm )
“Dave Duggan’s script is full of interesting ideas about the dangerous legacies of our national history.”
Sara Keating, The Irish Times, 2006
“The concept of having the truth of the Troubles buried in Daniel’s body as physical pain - which sometimes makes him double over in agony – is novel and profound.”
Colman Higgins, www.fringereport.com, 2006
“A thrilling well-produced piece of drama that left me thinking for some time. Make a point of catching AH 6905 – it is one of the best pieces of theatre I have ever had the privilege of seeing.”
Catherine Spence, The Sunday Journal, 2005
“I find Duggan’s use of expressionist techniques, music and acting techniques, indirectly didactic methods and elements reminiscent of Artaud’s theatre of cruelty, quite fascinating in the context of truth recovery.”
Eva Urban, University College Dublin