Family Plot

© By Daragh Carville

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Three generations of the Kerr family lie buried together, condemned to continue their bitter family arguments forever. But when young Emer, the last in the family line, arrives, the Kerrs are forced at last to come to terms with the true costs of the lives they have lived.

AUNT LIZZIE When I was a wee girl, I wanted to be a saint. Like Saint Bernadette. In her white dress. Or St Teresa. The little flower. That was my dream. I thought, if I lived a good life, if I didn’t sin. Steered clear of all temptation. Denied myself. A whole life, like Lent.
An then, to wake up here. All alone. On my own. I was that afraid. I wept and cursed an cried. Until yous started arrivin. One after the other. Thanks be to God. A bit a’company. Family.
MA Well you’ve fairly changed your tune.
DA Nelly.
FRANK Christ, what kind of a balls did we make of it all.
DA Ah Jesus we did our best. We did our damnedest.
MA Wasn’t good enough.
FRANK But. But if there was love, if there was love at one time, then maybe –
TESS No. No.
FRANK Now hear me out here, Tess. Let the dog see the rabbit, for God’s sake.
TESS No. There was love. But it died. We killed it. Killed it stone dead.
FRANK But now. Now we have another chance.
FRANK Tess, darlin -
TESS We had our chance, Frank. It’s over now. It’s over.
FRANK What are you talkin about? This is our chance. Now that we’re all here. Now that we’re all together again.

This is a play about buried secrets, ancient hurts and feuds. It is another oblique take on the Northern Irish situation, as a buried family is forced to come to terms with the way it has lived, and to consider the possibility of a future. The questions of the play include how do we put the past behind us and where do we go from here.

Further Infomation


Queens Drama Studio, Belfast






First produced by Tinderbox Theatre Company, Queen’s Drama Studio, Belfast 2005


The Stage commended the “mischievous, subversive spirit” of the play and The Vacuum praised the power and originality of the writing.