MY LIFE IS A SERIES OF PEOPLE SAYING GOODBYE
We pass from the land and we fly over the sea.
We say farewell and we say goodbye and we say adieu in a thousand voices.
‘My Life is a Succession of People Saying Goodbye’ is a Morrissey b-side. It’s also given me the title of my play about saying goodbye. It’s about loss and sadness and having to let go. It follows several scenarios where people are having to say goodbye to each other. It’s also an experiment in form.
In most plays, when you change scene lots of things change simultaneously: subject, location, character, actor, time. What if they didn’t change simultaneously? What I’m trying in this play is having the character change a little later than the actor, or have the location change before the characters. The aim is to create a tapestry of loss that tugs the audience along.
We recorded it on 15-16 February 2011 in a beautiful house in Balham and laughed the whole time. The brilliant cast is David Annen, Sean Gallagher, Frances Grey, Jenny Jules, Will Payne, Fenella Woolgar. David’s done two of my plays before (Here’s What I Did With My Body One Day, And So Say All Of Us) and Frances was wonderful in Cavalry. Jenny Jules I’d seen in Death and the King’s Horseman at the National, where she was tremendous. She’s great in this. Fenella Woolgar, whom I last saw playing Agatha Christie in Doctor Who, has a magnificently surprising turn as an ebonic youth. Sean Gallagher plays a disgraced Tory MP with a lovely mixture of contrition and anger. It is directed and produced by Polly Thomas and the sound designer is Eloise Whitmore.
The play was first broadcast on 4 April 2011 on BBC Radio 4; it was repeated on the same channel on 6 November 2013 and then on BBC 4Extra on 23 November 2015.
You can read the script HERE and listen to it below.