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Pyrenees

A man has been found by climbers kneeling in the snow in a high Pyrenean pass unconscious and clutching the scallop shell carried by pilgrims to Santiago da Compostela. The Man has no idea who he is or how he got there but he speaks English and so Anna, a representative from The British Consulate in Marseilles is dispatched to speak to him and to establish his identity. On the terrace of a hotel, under the eccentric gaze of a hotel Proprietor who seems intent on causing trouble for her, she and The Man talk.  Gradually they begin to work out a story for him and as they do so they find themselves connecting on a deeper level. Their relationship is challenged when, the woman in room 108 appears – and she tells Anna that she knows who he really is.

The Man: Miss Edwards. Anna.

This is a little embarrassing.

I seem to want to hold you.

Anna: I see.

Pyrenees began with an image of an older woman taking off her walking boots on the terrace of a mountain hotel. This is an image I saw in 1998 when Lucie and I went camping in the Pyrenees. For some reason I knew this picture was at the heart of a play about marriage but it took nearly seven years for the story emerge. I wrote the first half – then I got stuck. Really horribly stuck. All I could do was draw stick figures. I simple couldn’t work the story out. A month later – drunk on red wine I heard Keith say the line ‘apparently you’re my wife.’ And the rest of the play tumbled out in a week.

Title: Pyrennees
Premier Place and Date: The Tron Theatre, Glasgow, 2005
Director and Producing Company: Vicky Featherstone, Paines Plough/ The Tron
Publication Details: Faber ISBN 057122850X
Translation Details: German
Foreign Performances: Germany, Los Angeles
Awards, Prizes: Best New Play – TMA Awards 2005
Characters: 4 (Male – 2 Female – 2)