TALLY HO

or The Unsentimental Education of Bessot Suarez

Edna is a primary school teacher in Kenya whose class has so many students in it (204) that she is losing her mind. So Edna runs away: followed by her stowaway student, Vee, 7, Edna flies to London on a carpet that has been in her family for hundreds of years. Thus begins Edna and Vee's odyssey through London, a city of dislocated souls and intersecting trajectories. Along the way, they cross paths with, among others, Bessot Suarez, a transplant from South Florida, presently in mourning for her father. Whereas Vee finds her center in London, Edna loses hers, and Vee must do everything in her power to keep Edna from falling apart.

An impressionistic universe made up of transitory moments, populated by a disjunctive community of transient world citizens, people who are of the world, but not fully in it, people on the periphery, for whom the idea of place is slippery and the notion of home is nearly nonexistent. Education is an overriding theme in the play: How, when, and where do we learn—about ourselves and the other? How does this knowledge equip us to navigate an increasingly peripatetic world?

 

development

NYLon Projects, Roundhouse Studio, London, 2012
2-week workshop
directed by Anna Gabriella Jone
design by Merle Hensel
music by Elspeth Brooke and Tres B
sound design by Ben Hillyard
lighting design by Lee Curran
stage management by Rosalind Doré

with Tres B, Chipo Chung, Jamel Shawn Davall, Tamzin Griffin, Ruvimbo Govera, Tony Guilfoyle, Jacqueline King, Rebecca Kiser and 30 young people aged 7-25 from Roundhouse’s Take Part programme

produced by Rosie Kelly and NYLon Projects
funding partners: The British Arts Council, NYLon Friends, Roundhouse, Skidmore College
 

Synchronicity /Emory Play Development Lab, Atlanta, 2006
1-week workshop
directed by Rachel May
 

honors

• winner, International Women's Playwriting Competition
   sheWRITES Women Playwrights Festival, Synchronicity Theater

 


[CAST: approximately 12]

Chipo Chung and Rovimbo Govera / Roundhouse workshop

 
 
 Rovimbo Govera and Rebecca Kiser / Roundhouse workshop, London, 2012

Rovimbo Govera and Rebecca Kiser / Roundhouse workshop, London, 2012

Shoreditch. The BIRD FEEDER is sitting on EDNA’s carpet. EDNA is standing on the pavement, eating more crumbs.

BIRD FEEDER
What is a place?

EDNA
(Eating more crumbs.) Mmmm. Delicious.

BIRD FEEDER
It is the piece of earth where your two feet are standing.
It is the pavement.

EDNA
The flagstones.

BIRD FEEDER
The cracks in the flagstones.

EDNA
The moss growing between the cracks.

BIRD FEEDER
The cigarette butts tossed into the moss.

(She picks up a cigarette butt.)

BIRDFEEDER
Got a light?

(EDNA lights it.)