‘Having no say is common politically but to not be able to say a word of sense or even nonsense at a young person’s funeral due to present not future shock is the story of my short one woman monologue called Speechless; it is written both for Mary Helen Sassman and my contribution to La Mama’s 50th.
I once attended a particularly gruelling funeral service where the devastated mother stood at the altar in order to present her oratory but was so devastated no words or wrong ones arrived but in the end it was so soulful and truthful and caustic about opiates and dope of all kinds it felt revelatory simply to be there and witness such honesty and sincerity at work. It was such an incredibly hard thing for the mother to do and she freely admitted that she had no idea what crystal meths were or what cannabis tasted like and also no concept of addiction in young people such as her only young son who has overdosed. I have never heard so wayward a speech nor so compelling a talk in a church in all my life and after the necessary sadness and numbness lifted somewhat it seemed like the play to write for La Mama as my offering and the chance to work on a new manuscript with both Mary Helen Sassman and Daniel Lammin who are both artists I think highly of but also feel ennobled to work with for this exciting short new work.’
Written by Barry Dickins
Directed by Daniel Lammin
Performed by Mary-Helen Sassman