The idea for my latest short play came to me while driving at night. It was a true ‘light bulb’ incident. I imagined two characters on stage, one holding a blazing light bulb and the other holding a lit candle. They were having an argument about something. My job as the playwright was to find out the cause of all the fuss – then ramp up the drama by turning the ‘conflict’ dial all the way up to 11.
The Light Keepers is different to other plays I’ve written. For one thing, it’s not about death – at least, it’s not about the death of a single person either on stage or off it. It’s also a play that is not set in suburbia, or even on our plane of existence! This could have played against me when I submitted it to the Cork Arts Theatre writing competition, but The Light Keepers was judged to be good enough to make it onto the shortlist and get two showings at the theatre.
I’m looking forward to seeing it on Feb 20&21, and holding my breath and crossing my fingers, toes and eyes on Feb 22 when the winners of the competition are announced.
Below is the synopsis of the play.
THE LIGHT KEEPERS
Ancient Prom has seen civilisations rise and fall, witnessed the birth of nations, watched the creation of art, science and culture. As the Keeper of the Light he has lit the way for the ascent of man.
Now, it seems, his time has come to an end. Young Menlo arrives with talk of a new era, a hi-tech future where the Light is fuelled by electricity, where people can have everything they need simply at the touch of a button.
Should Prom finally quench his flame and allow Menlo take over? Which Light would serve Man best? And which of the Light Keepers would be best to illuminate the future?