Beyond the Pale

Available in Library

90 minutes
Set in Northern Ireland at the brink of the twenty-first century, and populated by Dubliners in search of a home in the North, this modern Irish play explores that ribbon of border that separates countries, lovers, brothers and friends.

Read Sample

SIOBHAN
...I don't know anything at all about you --

TERRY
Ask me.

SIOBHAN
What --

TERRY
Anything at all --

SIOBHAN
How do you get so many girls to fall for you?

TERRY
Where did you hear that?

SIOBHAN
They're all on about this one and that one. All your
conquests. Diseases.

TERRY
Stop.

Siobhan waits.
You really want to know?
You learn to spot the ones who will say yes.
I might rub up against someone - like an accident, and then
look them right in the eyes.

He looks in her eyes.
If you can really look someone in the eyes, you see -- you
discover exactly what's -- missing. Then you aim to fill it.

SIOBHAN
Rub how?

TERRY
I brush against a soft spot -- the wrist maybe. The nerve
endings on the inside of the forearm--

He takes hers. She winces.
I'm not going to hurt you.

She takes her wrist back and puts it in
her lap.

SIOBHAN
Maybe you can tell it without props.

She looks towards the breakfast room.

TERRY
So I make sure I've done my part of the job, gotten them
worked up with the idea that something exciting is about to
happen.
Then, in the end, they think it's their idea. Works a treat.

SIOBHAN
That's it?

TERRY
Hmm?

SIOBHAN
What do you talk about?

TERRY
As little as possible.

SIOBHAN
Do you ever feel sorry after?

TERRY
Nothing to speak of.

SIOBHAN
Do you ever get lonely?

TERRY
Not recently.

SIOBHAN
So you're happy.

He breaks away from her, looks around.

TERRY
Do you think we should buy this place? Fierce amount of
responsibility, having capital.

Cast Requirements

3 Dublin men, late 30s
1 Dublin woman, late 30s
1 woman from Wexford, 20

Set Description

A Big House in County Down, Northern Ireland

Honors

1st Irish Theatre Festival: Special Jury Award and nominations for Best Director, Actress and Production.

Press

"I've seldom encountered a show that flirts so brazenly with the dark, roiling parts of the human psyche." --Kyle Jarrow

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Press

"Everyone looks the other way as long as they possibly can, but the play culminates, inescapably, at the moment when we know that every bit of romantic fantasy is about to be annihilated by the relentless force of truth." -- Travis Chamberlain

"Immediately, Barbara Hammond's play establishes a modern context for the exploration of big, gripping, timeless issues-- ambition and longing, identity, aging, isolation and love." --Phoebe Lithgow

Production and Development History

Production: 1st Irish Theatre Festival, NYC (four-day site-specific production mounted in a Chelsea rectory September 2009).