Developed by Louise Oliver and Michael Finnigan, and written by Conor O'Loughlin, an Irish playwright based in Scotland, God Forsaken is inspired by ancient myth but will be a modern exploration of the concepts of trauma, recovery and relapse within a wider exploration of how each of us must grapple with our own personal ‘underworld’. It will be an ensemble piece (with doubling required) comprised of two acts. Both acts will feel very distinct: where Act One is expansive, world-building and ‘lived-in’ or contemporary, Act Two is more claustrophobic and symbolic.
God Forsaken will tell the story of Sophie Owens, a 20-something New Yorker, picking up immediately upon her return to the city having completed a lengthy service overseas. Sophie tries to reconnect with her old life, friends and family but now finds herself at some distance from them. She also begins experiencing flashbacks to her service, represented by a Greek Chorus wearing military fatigues. Act 2 takes place on a Trident submarine, made active due to a fictional, global, military event, which in turn plunges Sophie back into service. This will include additional characters portrayed by Scottish cast members, reflective of the play’s transatlantic origins.
Ultimately, God Forsaken will be – despite its mythic origins – a timely play whose message is never so simplistic as ‘war is hell’ nor so contentious as to suggest there are easy answers to the questions it raises. It will tell the story of the journey of one woman, supported in her quest by forces benign and almighty, from new start to near annihilation and back to rebirth.
The project is currently in the early development stage, with workshops and script development sessions taking place in Glasgow and New York between September and October 2018. An early sharing of the work is planned to take place in New York in mid-October. Our goal is to pilot a transatlantic creative working model for small companies; the ultimate goal being to widen collaboration opportunities, to seek a broad range of perspectives and stories to inform the work we make and encourage internationalism in an increasingly insular world.