Two houses, each perched on a mountain top, stare at each other across a deep valley. Prompted by their alarm clocks, a man and a woman talk about the small things – parquet floor zigzagging down corridors, the memory of mother’s breasts, brown sauce and soggy chips. But these minutiae disguise a bigger story of brutality and unfaltering loyalty which emerges horrifically through the chit chat.
The Small Things was first performed by Paines Plough as part of the ‘This Other England’ season at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, in January 2005.
Of the play, Walsh says, “I have no memory of writing The Small Things. I knew I wanted to write about my then living mother trying to keep my dead father alive – by talking to him. But what came out was very surprising and like other plays I have written – I got out of the way of it. It became a love story about survival in a violent world and a celebration of the small things we cling to. It is also an ode to language, to talking. It is still my favourite play of those I have written. It is imagistically the largest and was the start of my obsession with play structure.”
Lighting & Set Designer Paul Keogan
Composer & Sound Designer Mel Mercier
Associate Sound Designer Anthony Hanley
Associate Costume Designer Valentina Gambardella