Tea Chests and Dreams

October 23, 2013

Tea Chests and Dreams, the new play from Dermot Bolger, opens at the axis Theatre this Wednesday. The story of five women, differing in age, generation and quite often class, it explores their thoughts as they all move into a house on the same street of a Dublin suburb over the space of 40-years.

“In a addition to the tapestry of imaginary life on stage there will be real life stories incorporated into the evening” says Bolger, whose own words will be prolouged with the stories of real women reading a loud their own remembrances of a first night in a new home.

“We’ve had wonderful stories sent in to us. One lady moved into a house and all that was there was a cement block. So she used it as a chair to sit on. The second night she used it as a table, then as a bedside locker. It’s about how she built her entire world around this block.”

The project started as a radio play five years ago. “It was 26 minutes long but I always felt that these characters had much, much more to tell.” Unable to write for over a year after his wife passed away suddenly in 2010 he found that by entering into these existing characters he could suddenly write again. “I was quite shocked on my first days to find myself just laughing at the comedy of what these women were saying to me and got back to writing through their voices.”

His last play, The Parting Glass, was a monolouged drama centering around a father, husband, son and friend and the way he related to the other men in his life. “When you look at the songs of Joni Mitchell, she goes straight to the heart of the matter. But Bruce Springsteen, he has to tell us three and half verses about his motorcar before giving us one about his woman. Soccer was a passport in, a way of giving the male perspective on the way things are. With women feelings are more direct, more immediate. So writing from a woman’s perspective allows you get more immediately to the heart of human stories.”

First Published in the Sunday Independent, 8th of April 2012


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