Readings PIIGS 2014

Dayshift . Ireland

The play  Dayshift (‘Torn de dia’), by Darren Donohue is a choral work in which references to Kafka and Orwell coexist.  In Dayshift, the company becomes the symbol of oppression of the individual. Oppression grotesquely disguised as salvation, trying to convince the worker that within the company headquarters, he will find a full meaning to his existence. Standardization of all differences, inability to communicate, futility of entertainment to achieve happiness are the resources of the modern working life.  Day, the main character, in the course of a single day, from dawn to dusk, reminds us the initiation trip of Leopold Bloom of Joyce.  But while one walks around Dublin during that sixteen of June, Day remains closed within his company.

Torn de dia (fragment)


Escena 5

John from Filing

Day finds himself hopelessly lost in the corridors as they spin and revolve around him, creating the effect of a child lost inside a maze. He suddenly stands still as though someone called his name. He walks around one of the larger crates and it revolves, revealing a man inside by a window. The window is quite small and the man is pressed up against it. This is John, his tie should be elevated hinting to us he has been hung. 
John: Excuse me! I’m in a bit of a jam here – John from Filing. (He sticks his hand through the window and they shake hands) It seems the cleaners have locked me into my office again. Been here three days this time, incredible! But that’s the way things work around here. Something rotten at the core if you ask me but shh, mustn’t say things like that too loud now must we? No, I think not. The thing is – if you could just unlock the door, everything would be shipshape and tickitibu once more. Tickitibu, I tell you! (Catching his breath) Sorry if I’m ranting but not a lot of air gets in. It’s a disgrace really – expecting us to work under these conditions. But there you have it and you said that, not me. Is it your first day?
Day: Yes…
John: You have the look, I can always tell. You’ve got to watch yourself around here or better yet, have someone watch your back for you. You never know when someone’s about to stick a dagger in it. Make allies and know your enemies. I work in Filing for example. I know what you’re thinking: who did I kill to get the job? Well, you’re better off not knowing. But I could be a good friend to someone like you. I could show you the ropes, bring you into my circle, introduce you to Mr. Success! You need someone like me, someone with experience. I would show you where to sit in the canteen, where to put your coffee cup, how to clock-in on time, how to smile at your superiors, how to sneer at your underlings! I would show you where they hide the toilet paper! Tell you who to cover for, who would cover for you, how to be noticed, how toget promoted or how to make a worrying file disappear! Shhh… I can do it! They’ll devour you from your shoes up! How have you survived so long without me? Quick, there’s no time to waste! OPEN THE DOOR!
Day tries to open the door but it is locked.
Day: I don’t have a key.
John: Kick it in.



Darren Donohue

Darren is an award winning playwright/poet currently based in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. In 2013, he was commissioned by The Abbey and his play – ‘Home Game’ was presented at The Peacock as part of their Home series.  Also in 2013, his play – ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ won the Audience Choice Award @ Scripts, Ireland’s Playwriting Festival. In 2012, his play – ‘Tuesday Evening (following the news)’ was produced by Fishamble (the new play company) as part of ‘Tiny Plays for Ireland’ and recently published by New Island Drama.  Directed by Alice Malin, his play – ‘The Bird Trap’ was produced by Three Streets at The Lost Theatre, London. Interview with teh author  …

1.-How did the idea of writing this play come to you?

With “Dayshift” I wished to explore the consequences of sacrificing our common morality upon the altar of materialism. It looks at what happens when the human spirit in placed within an environment where everything is for sale and nothing has value. I utilised a strong experimental style, rich in imagery to tackle this issue.

2.-To what extent do you think this reflects the current situation in your country?

With the collapse of the Church in Ireland, materialism filled the spiritual void in our society. The “Things” people owned, their occupation and the pursuit of wealth gave people a new purpose and meaning to their lives. Of course, with the economic crash, all these newfound certainties were once more throw in the air. “Dayshift” reflects and explores this process using humour and an avant-garde approach to theatre.

3.-How would you define your style of writing?

I like to write toward an image, using dialogue and humour to disarm and hypnotise the audience, preparing them to accept the image I’m attempting to convey. A potent image can define a culture and a nation, become a compelling symbol of how we understand and relate to each other.

4.-What is theatre for you?

Theatre is our gateway into the marvellous.

5. Is there a relationship between the journey of alienation suffered by Mr Day and your daily life as a playwright?

The artist is always an outsider in society. This positon grants them an original perspective which filters into their work. In all my plays, I try to reimagine the world and our place within it. I want to sink beneath the surface of “everyday reality” to pluck at the delicate treads which keep us tethered to hope and salvation.



Marilia Samper

She is actress, director and playwright. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Settled permanently in Spain after living in different countries. Study performance at the Institut del Teatre in Seville, and works with various companies in the city, such as Viento Sur Teatro, La Matrona and Centro Andaluz de Teatro. Study director and playwright at the Institut del Teatre of Barcelona. Since then she has developed her career as writer and director, and has been represented on stage in most emblematic spaces of Barcelona.

Among her texts are: Pequeños Monstruos (Ivanow Festival Grec 2013), Udol (Teatre Lliure, Ars Theatre Q-2012), L’ombra al meu costat (T6 Project, TNC 2012 ), Pleasure and Pain (Beckett Barcelona 2011), among others. Among her directions, Pulmons by Duncan Macmillan (Beckett 2014), Si existeix encara no ho he trobat by Nick Paine (Sala Beckett 2013), Suïcides by Llàtzer Garcia (Teatre de Bescanó 2012).


Teatre-de-lEnjòlit Actors

Teatre de l’Enjòlit.

Company of actors formed by Elies Barberà, Albert Alemany, Marta Montiel, Jenny Beacraft and Arnau Marín. Among their shows are Potser somniarEn La Primavera perpètua by Elies Barberà, Corrüptia by Josep Lluís Fitó, Paella amb Botifarra by Iban Beltran and Elies Barberà, Si no ens paguen, no paguem! by Dario Fo and El setè cel by Caryl Churchill.

Translator into Catalan:

Rocío García Recuenco