The Art of Balance
A modern and magical fable by Rachel Joyce.
Two women, a young man and a tightrope in the middle of an empty field. It is the art of balance and the transforming powers of the places that lie in the middle.
Sylvia .................................... Deborah Findlay
Celeste ................................. Niamh Cusack
The Young Man & Narrator ..... Joesph Kloska
Directed By Tracey Neale
Highly-strung Sylvia is a business woman whose boss has sent her on a course about stress and anger. She sets off looking for balance.com but instead she finds herself in an empty field. She is not alone. Also in this field is Celeste who is waiting for the secret of eternal happiness. "What do you mean eternal happpiness?" says Sylvia. Celeste replies "I saw an advert. It was on the self-help board at the health food shop. Below the article about ten things to do with mung beans. Learn the secret of eternal happiness, it said."
And so we have these two women. One looking for balance.com and the other waiting for Mr Happiness. As they look around the empty field with mild despair they realise, in amazement, that there are two wooden towers and between them a tightrope. Why is it there?
As the ladies ponder this thought and we learn more about them, there comes the arrival of a third person - a young Polish man. With growing wonder the women watch on as the young man climbs up and walks the tightrope. It is a thrilling and wonderful sight.
What follows is a fable about making connections where you don't expect - or want - to make them. It is about friendship, the true nature of happiness and learning to walk the tightrope. In other words, it's about magic; about crossing the line between what you have - and what you can't even imagine. Is it possible for anyone to walk a tightrope?
Rachel Joyce is a talented and imaginative writer who has written many plays for radio. Her most recent work includes a beautiful dramatisation of "The Portrait of a Lady" and a stylish adaptation of "Villette". Her moving Afternoon Play "To Be A Pilgrim" won the Peter Tinniswood Award for best drama in 2007.