Tasmin Hopkins 68
Nine Plays in Seven Acts
To combat the increasing callousness of mankind
J Peachum, a man of business
Has opened a shop where the poorest of the poor
Can acquire an exterior that will touch the hardest of hearts
Through the partitioning wall at the right we hear a prosecutor's voice
In the lounge a body is laid out in a coffin on the dining table
Swathed in white sheets, a shroud covers the face
In the open country
A small, tumble-down chapel long abandoned
Dark poplar trees loom on one side
Beyond them the cherry orchard begins
The sky that shows around the dime white building is a particularly tender blue
Almost turquoise, which gracefully attenuates the atmosphere of decay
You can almost feel the warm breath of the brown river
A warm day in early August 1936
Outside the village of Ballybeg, County Donegal
There is a sycamore tree off right. One of its branches reaches over part of the house.
Upstage centre is a garden seat. The (unseen) boy has been making two kites and pieces of wood, Paper, cord, etc. are lying on the ground close to the garden seat. One kite is almost complete.
1 Enter Rodrigo and Iago
2 Enter Montano, Governor of Cyprus
3 Enter Cassio with two others
4 Enter Iago and Othello
5(2) Enter Othello with a light, and Desdemona in her bed asleep
The Poker night:
There is a picture of Van Gogh's
The kitchen suggests that sort of lurid nocturnal brilliance, the raw colours of childhood's spectrum
Over the yellow linoleum of the kitchen table
hangs an electric bulb with a vivid green glass shade
The poker players wear coloured shirts, solid blues, a purple, a red-and-white check, a light green – they are men at the peak of their physical manhood, coarse and direct
Powerful as the primary colours
There are vivid slices of watermelon on the table, whiskey bottles and glasses.
FUN AND GAMES: Set in darkness. Crash against the front door. MARTHA'S laughter heard. Front door opens, lights are switched on.
followed by GEORGE.
- A country road.
- A tree.
Mac the Knife takes leave of his wife
and flees from his father-in-law
to the heaths of Highgate.
That night Peachum prepares his campaign. He plans to disrupt the Coronation by a demonstration of human misery.
The beggars paint little signs with inscriptions such as I gave my eye for my king.
The view from the big windows is fading gradually into a still-golden dusk.
Two finished kites – their artwork still unseen – lean against the garden seat.
Tasmin Hopkins lives in London. Her poetry has been published in Lampeter Review, Neon, Envoi, and a variety of anthologies. She was a runner up in both the Cinnamon single poem and full collection competitions in 2016. In 2017, Cinnamon published her debut pamphlet Inside the Smile.