Sean Farrelly, 21
Sean Farrelly is an aspiring novelist currently based in Dublin, Ireland. For him, writing is the ultimate escape, and he has been putting words on paper for as long as he can remember. Farrelly utilizes writing as a way to build community and make people laugh; he says it is cathartic to get out of one’s head and tell a story. He believes that in the current political climate, his purpose as a writer is to encourage imagination and empathy for those who are most unlike oneself.
As a member of a theater company, Farrelly divides his time evenly between plays and books. In 2017, Farrelly wrote his first full-length play, Friction, using verbatim interviews he conducted on university campuses about the normalization of sexual assault and rape culture in Ireland. The response to Friction was an eye-opening experience that cemented Farrelly’s dedication to writing. Farrelly is currently writing a play about the Irish education system with Creative Ireland, a culture-based organization, and plans to finish his debut novel by the end of this year.
Opening monologue from Bombshell, written for a collaborative project in conjunction with the Abbey Theater.
by Sean Farrelly
Granny is asleep in her bed as Tom is dropped off to visit her by his mam. He hovers around his elderly relative, unsure.
TOM: Hey Granny, I don’t know if you’ll remember me; my mam said that you probably wouldn’t. I’m Tom anyway; don’t worry if you don’t remember that. You can call me anything you like. So, I don’t know why I introduced myself at all really.
Oh, you’re asleep. Okay. So, do you want some tea? Wait, you’re asleep. I’m just talking to myself. Unless you can hear my subconsciously… like coma patients, or babies and Mozart.
You know, babies listening to Mozart when they’re asleep? I can’t play the piano. Only pricks play the piano. But I can make tea. You have tea there. It looks cold. Well, you can’t really tell if tea looks cold. I mean, it doesn’t look warm. Like there’s no steam rising out of it or anything. I think I’ll go make you some fresh tea.
But how do you like it?
I suppose I could taste that one there to see if there’s any sugar in it.
But what if you drank from it? I don’t want to drink your saliva. I mean, I don’t think you’re contagious or anything and I love you an all, but not in that way.
I mean, I’m sure you were lovely when you were younger. I’m not saying I would have gone out with you if you were my age. You are my granny after all.
I’m sure you had lines of eligible suitors queuing up to drink your saliva in your day but I just wouldn’t think it would be appropriate for me, your grandson. And it’s cold. The tea, not the saliva, well it’s not warm anyway.
So yeah, I don’t think that’s appealing at all, no offence.
I’ll just put in milk. I think that’s the common, decent thing to do if you’re making tea for someone else, though I don’t know if that applies to elderly people, I don’t see why it shouldn’t. There are just certain things elderly people just aren’t meant to do, like deep sea diving or laying siege to castles. Anything that might give you a heart attack…
Old people are really a very limited species now that I think about it.
Take loud noises for example!
I could listen to anything for ages and it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. But one bang or a surprise birthday party and old people are stone dead on the floor.
Oh Jesus, that would be horrible, wouldn’t it? Like, imagine all the planning that would have been put into it… birthday banners and the like. You’d invite all their friends and family over and then they’d just die. It would be really awkward. Like, it’d dampen the mood and everything, they’d probably even have to call off the party.
I suppose they could turn it into a funeral then, you know, cross out the birth part of “happy birthday” and write in death instead.
You’d kill two birds with the one stone then…
I’ll just go and make the tea.
(Tom exits the stage)