Pádraig Lynch

Biography

Since graduating as an actor from the Drama Centre in the early nineties Pádraig went on to work at the National Theatres of Britain and Ireland as well as working as a producer and theatre director. As an actor Pádraig developed an insight into text by  bringing life to the words of classical playwrights, film and television writers and contemporary dramatists. As a journalist he has written feature articles for The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller and the Irish Times. He has also worked as a writer and adaptor for a number of community theatre companies. Pádraig teaches acting, writing and stage directing for adults with learning difficulties at Citylit. And as a bilingual English/Irish speaker has written and adapted work for the stage in both languages.

Synopsis

Byor Macbeth imagines the world in 2225 where English has been designated a colonial/racist language and proscribed for over 200 years. In it, a group of academics investigating a resistance movement which attempted to stop the eradication of English present the staging of an ayahuasca-fuelled performance of Macbeth on the occupied site of the Rose theatre in London. As performance gives way to ritual, the lines between the past, present and future blur…

My cohort

Playwriting & Screenwriting 2020

Byor Macbeth

Script Extract
Scene 8

THE JUDGE: This court is in session. I have in my hands a document written in the sacred year of 1580  outlining the confession wroth by the holy officers who serve this court for the glory of God and for the protection of his sacred realm on earth and in heaven.

The court respond with an Amen that echoes around the chamber. TheJUDGE address the tortured woman directly.

JUDGE: You have confessed of the most bawdy, and sacrilegious crimes. Namely, that you, a heathen, gypsy woman did knowingly partake in the most wanton performance of a wicked and blasphemous play. That against the strictest laws of Queen Elizabeth, you appeared as a witch and called forth the devil in the most shameless evocation that has ever been witnessed in the Christian, Capital of this realm. The PROSECUTOR will now read for the court the particulars of the charm as quoted by you.

The PROSECUTOR reads slowly in a dull dry voice.

‘Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood,
Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visiting’s of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! ‘

JUDGE: Tell the court if this is the charm you spoke and how and in what form the devil came to you and how you were conjoined with him?

The WOMAN is silent

PROSECUTOR: Your honour, this gypsy  woman cannot speak our Christian, English tongue. She speaks a gibberish bog Latin that her tribe call Sheltu, A language no prettier to the ear that the snarling of curs. It is only through satanic possession that she is able to speak the soft and delicate tongue of our native England, when she partakes of her whorish performances.

JUDGE: Answer woman if this be true, speak to me in English now and you can disavow your accusers..

The woman tries to speak but her tongue has been damaged during the torture session and she cannot articulate.

WOMAN: ahh, uuss ot gimegge

JUDGE:  So you would mock this court with gibberish and doggerel. You cannot speak English unless it be by the agency of the Devil, is that not so?

WOMAN: lease.ese I bug. ( blood starts to flow from her mouth)

JUDGE: See how the good Lord in his infinite mercy seeks to cleanse the sewer of your treacherous mouth with the sweet red  blood of our saviour. What further charges are laid against this vessel of the devil?

PROSECUTOR: Your Honour, We have diverse accounts from witnesses that she did co join in sexual and unholy union with Beelzebub in full view of the public. The devil came to her in the form of a three head hound, the very shape of Cerberus. And that this union has spanned a male demon childe who has been spirited away from the eyes of Christians.

JUDGE, Where is the progeny of this sacrilege?

PROSECUTOR: This Dogboy fiend cannot be located nor will the wanton even under the severest torturing give up of its whereabouts. It is our fear and convictions that when the moment is most opportune for the beast that this hell child will emerge as the anti-christ and wake in deception amongst Christians to destroy our sanctity of our city and lead us all into hell fire and damnation..

JUDGE: What was the occasion of the birth of this thing.

PROSECUTOR: Your Honour, on the black occasion of of the devils birth, the ground itself did quake as if in terror of the thing that was being spewed and spawned by this creature of Hell.

JUDGE: Has the creature a name?

PROSECUTOR: Shakespeare is the name we hear whispered by her brood. It is prophesised that he if he survives he will run through this realm like a rabid dog and will do much to slander the reputation and tranquillity of men’s minds weaving a literature that will lure them away from the sacred book.

JUDGE: We must set the dogs upon this fox fiend, before he can grow virile and dangerous. Is there no scent at all to be had of it. Will she not divulge its location.

PROSECUTOR: No your honour she does use her craft so cunningly that we cannot discover the whereabouts of the thing.

JUDGE: Then set her to the rack till she confess.

PROSECUTOR: That would avail us not, your honour. There is one thing only that might make the hell hound reveal itself. We have secured the cord that fed the fiend when its Mother carried it in the womb. Bring it forth.

A woman brings in a covered silver platter and stands in the centre of the room. The Prosecutor walks over  to it and lifts up the lid. A red and livid, snake like cord is withering  on the tray, Behold the blood snake of evil, with which the serpent nourished the beast. Against nature it still has a putrid live.

PROSECUTOR: Now, Witch, you will divulge the hiding place of your monster or you will be strangled by the very livid snake that did enrich it in with in your foul belly.

The Woman panics, but remains silent.

JUDGE: So be it, let the sentence be carried out. Strangle her with her own filth

. The Prosecutor picks up the string of bloody flesh in his hands and walks over to the haplesswoman.

PROSECUTOR: Last chance, hell harlot speak or be quitted forever by this. ( He goes to place the cord around her neck ) .

Before he can do so. The Dogboy leaps from his place behind the chair and snatches the cord between his jaws and in full view of the astonished court gulps it down like a snake in one swallow. The court is in disarray and panic.

JUDGE: Beelzebub come amongst. Arroint thee fiend. Livid hell is rampant.

In the confusion the Dogboy breaks for the tunnel on the left and vanishes into the darkness.

JUDGE: Stop it, stop the fiend, follow it.

PROSECUTOR: Your honour, the earth hath bubbles in time that these hellish cyphers can transgress with ease. The dog will already be in another time and place where men mortal Christians cannot follow.it. 

JUDGE: What can this mean? That the devil can run at will to another time, another epoch?

PROSECUTOR: Yes, we believe that is so.

JUDGE: Then it cannot be persued.

PROSECUTOR: No, unless by a sacred licence

JUDGE: What licence?

PROSECUTOR: Sometimes to beat the Devil you must play him at you’re his own  game. Using his own means and methods.

THE  JUDGE: Meaning?

PROSECUTOR: We must avail of the potion and travel after this fiend and destroy it like any rabid animal.

JUDGE: What you are proposing is a grave sin and a damnable sacrilege. No man could be compelled to undertake such a journey. He would imperil his life, but worse he would also forfeit his soul forever.

PROSECUTOR: To stop the mouth of this blasphemous fiend I will sacrifice not only my life but also my immortal soul, which I will willingly give to the Devil.

JUDGE: A terrible thing, that only a fanatic could countenance. Why would you even considerate it.

PROSECUTOR:  I have had a vision of the plague that this creature carries in his mind. A world where men go muzzled like dogs, where women are masters over men and where good Christians are forced to pray to the devil. To save the world I will sacrifice my own immortal soul.

JUDGE: So be it. Go, but know the penalty. You will never see the blessed face of our Lord in heaven. But have by your own volition offered your soul for sacrifice.

PROSECUTOR: By your merciful grace your honour, give me leave to take this journey now  the hour of the crescent moon is near upon us.

JUDGE: So be it. Take what you need and let it be done.

PROSECUTOR: I have observed and noted the wiles of this witch well. To effect the journey I will take the serpent handled dagger that she uses to cut her flesh. I have remembered the incantations that she uses and I secured the potion that she and her followers imbibe. Called Aya But most importantly, I secured the text of the play Macbeth in which the words and symbols of witchcraft are obscured except to those who understand the secret means of back speaking practised by these Gypsy whores in the language they call Shelta.

JUDGE: Then let the devil’s passage be rendered open and the awful ceremony commence.

The Aya beings and the dog boy takes part.

The PROSECUTOR begins to intone the verse, but as he does so the woman back slangs the incantation into Shelta thus negating it and rendering it impotent. It becomes a battle between the to speakers that takes on the form of a diabolical cacophony that echo’s around the chamber.

PROSECUTOR Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood,
Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it!

WOMAN: Turry ye shi
A cradgies on beo  kens, tog pit ma here
And bog me from the nack to the ladfar
Toddy full in badness. soonie eyniks me lipa
Tus up the karas to agalt
So no grivide anak  gub me
Kam me bad nor keep me from the toddy.

The listeners cover their ears as the terrible verbal battle ensues, it reaches a piercing crescendo until the Prosecutor on the cusp of losing takes up the knife and brutally stabs at the woman.

BLACKOUT

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