Castlemilk People's Theatre at Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh 9 - 24 August 1996
Directed by Andi Ross
Cast: Richard Conlon - Donalda Samuel
Castlemilk People's Theatre confirm their claim to serious consideration - Scotsman
In a Scottish farmhouse, a mother, son and niece are threatened by the mystery of Sooans Nicht as the winter solstice disturbs powerful passions and dark secrets.
The BBC radio prize-winning short story on which the play is based appears in Janet Paisley's Wild Fire collection.
Sooans or Sowans
Steep Oat husks, Sooans seeds and fine meal for a week.
Strain the steepings through a seive to remove all solid matter.
The liquids can then be thickened by heating and drunk or left to stand in a wooden tub or barrel for several weeks more to ferment and separate.
When ready, the liquor - Sooans Swats - is skimmed off.
Take the settled fine solid - Sooans - cook with water and salt and eat like porridge.
<box 80% round prose | Extract: Sooans Nicht> IAIN: This is guid. Is she no the best cook, Jenny?
EILEEN: Wha's she, the cat's mither?
JENNY: Ye better mak the maist ae it, then. While ye kin. Ah hear yer fancy wummin hus an appetite like a sparra.
JENNY: That's whey she's a haunshake like limp lettuce. Ken whit we yaised tae caw hur at the skil? The leech. She wis ay sookin up tae somebody an tryin tae stick on.
JENNY: Hudnae ony freends ae hur ain, like.
EILEEN: (TO IAIN) An dinnae you bother encouragin the bairn.
IAIN: Sorry. (TO JENNY) Ye shouldnae talk aboot hur like that, Jenny. It's no nice.
JENNY: Nice! An she is?
EILEEN: She's a guid catch.
JENNY: Is that whit she is, a fish? A cauld, cauld fish?
EILEEN: Hur faither's aywis been a worker. He's goat hissell a guid ferm there. Thur's plenty wid like tae git thur hauns oan that land.
JENNY: Aye weel, thur's no mony waantin tae git thur hauns oan his miserable dochter.
IAIN: (SMOTHERS ANOTHER LAUGH)
EILEEN: Haud yer wheesht, Jenny. Lit the laddie dae his coortin in peace.
JENNY: (AGITATED) It's Sooans the nicht.
EILEEN: (SURPRISED) Sooans? An whit wid you ken aboot Sooans?
JENNY: It's ma burthright.
EILEEN: Lassie, whit notions. Yer like an auld wife.
JENNY: Dinnae mak a ful ae me. Ah'm no a bairn. An ah'm no stuput eethur, whitever ye think. (TO IAIN) Dinnae dae whit's no in yer hert. She's nae right tae mak ye dae that.
IAIN: (SHOCKED) Jenny!
EILEEN: Jenny, stoap this.
IAIN: (TO JENNY) Ye cannae talk tae ma mither like that.
JENNY: Whey? It's Sooans nicht, Iain. The wurld stauns oan a peenheid. The hale year wull be fixt by whit ye dae the nicht. Dinnae go.
EILEEN: This wull stoap richt here, young lady! Dae ye hear me?
IAIN: (TO JENNY) Whit ae ye daen?
JENNY: (RISING) Ye dinnae hae tae go, Iain.
EILEEN: (RISING, TO JENNY) Leave this table. Ah'm warnin ye.
JENNY: (TO IAIN) Stey. Stey fur the nicht.
EILEEN: (SHOUTS) He's yer cousin, fur goadsake.
JENNY: Ah ken wha he is.
EILEEN: (IMPERATIVE) Sit doon.
JENNY: (MOVING TO IAIN) Ah feel it burnin me. Kin ye no see…
EILEEN: Stoap this!
JENNY: Gie me yer haun. (TAKES IAIN'S HAND AND PUTS IT ON HER BREAST) Dae ye feel it in ma hert?
EILEEN: (SHOUTS) Ya durty wee hoor!
(EILEEN SLAPS JENNY HARD ACROSS THE FACE. JENNY DROPS IAIN'S HAND. STUNNED, SHE STARES AT HER AUNT THEN, AS THE TEARS COME, TURNS AND RUNS FROM THE ROOM THROUGH TO THE BEDROOMS. IAIN HAS BEEN TRANSFIXED AND REACTS, RISING FROM HIS SEAT TO REACH FOR JENNY, TOO LATE)
EILEEN: Oh, my goad, whit'uv ah done. Whit'uv ah done noo. </box>