The Jocasta Complexity

A play set thousands of years ago about 15 year old girl who had her baby taken.

Original production June 2005 featured Kim Griffin as Jocasta, Sam Burns as Oedipus and Lajos Hamers in all other roles.

Description

Thousands of years ago a 15 year old girl had her baby taken from her because of a prophecy. She spends the next 20 years in bitterness until the advent of a young man into her life. Together, with love, they construct a new life and an empire. But the Gods have a different outcome in mind.

And in this century, a cosmetics queen has to deal with the truth about the younger man she married and the baby she gave up for adoption many many years previously.

Excerpt

( Jocasta emerges, raging She is dressed simply, with little make-up. The appearance of a 15 or 16 year old girl. Adjustments to costume and make-up indicate a passage of time)

Jocasta - That bastard! I swear to God, do you hear me Apollo? I swear that man shall never touch me again. Laius will never ever fuck me again. I am going to kill the bastard. I’ll kill the bastard (Collapses, crying) Oh my baby, my precious baby. (wailing). Ahh sweet Artemis, protector of women, what am I going to do? (rocking and moaning). My little darling, my baby boy. (sobbing). It feels … it feels like this huge hole inside of me. As though I’ll never be complete again. Why did he do it? What sort of an idiot believes in prophecies? What sort of a fucking deluded moron believes in the vomit of some drug infected mind. (gradually her sobs subside and she becomes grimly determined as an idea comes to her) I’ll fix him. He killed my child – I’ll make sure he never fathers another one. (calling) Teiresias! Teiresias!

Teiresias - (entering) Madam Jocasta?

Jocasta - Help me Teiresias.

Teiresias - Help you?Jocasta - Help me with the pain.

Teiresias - You are grieving over the inevitable.

 Jocasta - This atrocity was inevitable? Inevitable? Unnatural. It’s unnatural … it goes beyond anything. And you think it is …

Teiresias - I do not think anything.

Jocasta - In that way you are like other men then.

Teiresias - I meant I only have a little wisdom.

Jocasta - A little wisdom? And yet you say inevitable. (pauses) They say nothing is beyond your knowledge.

 Teiresias: Ah yes, the great ‘they’.

 Jocasta - Common knowledge shouldn’t be mocked. What is wrong with everyone knowing you are wise? If you are.

 Teiresias - To be wise is to suffer. (to self) And why did I forget this, who knew it so well.

 Jocasta - If that is so, you know why I called you.

 Teiresias - The king has sent the baby prince to die.

 Jocasta - Any other man would be put to death for such a crime. I would kill him myself but that would be … too kind. Too easy. And anyway – the people would say I was guilty of Laius’ death , as if it were greater crime than his killing his own son. And I would be punished. He won’t be. No, he won’t be though, because he is the king. A bad king who abuses his people and overtaxes them but still the king. It is so wrong. So wrong. No. No. I have something else in mind. But I need your help.

 Teiresias - I see where you are going.

 Jocasta - Do you? Then hear me Teiresias. I may not be able to kill Laius without the force of the law coming down on me, but I can certainly have you killed with impunity. After all, I am Queen. Unless you help me.

 Teiresias - Don’t do this.

 Jocasta - I have to.

 Teiresias - Spare yourself and me.

 Jocasta - Laius has killed our son. Because he fears his own death, he has killed my son.

 Teiresias - Most people fear death.

 Jocasta - Why?

Teirsias - Because they fear the loss of control. 

Jocasta - We are not just individuals in the greater scheme of things. Doesn’t Laius understand our immortality lies in our children? Out of my womb springs the future and he has just murdered it. (Pause) He can listen to all the prophecies he likes, but he will never be inside my well of prophecy again. Or any other woman’s. You will tell him that in one of your ‘visions’ you saw that Thebes will suffer a great disaster if he should dip his cock into the chalice of any woman – or the arse-end of any boy, ever again.

Teiresias - Madam, let me go. And let it go.  It will be easier for you to bear your sorrow with time.

Jocasta - You think so? You really believe that a mother gets over the loss of a child? That the pain is ever less?

Teiresias - (uncertainly) I think maybe it becomes easier to mask. That is all.

Jocasta - This is … not right in so many ways. Children are not meant to die before their parents. It isn’t … natural. And killing your own child isn’t natural. It isn’t part of the cycle. You will tell him, Teiresias, do you understand? He must be punished for this crime against nature. This … infanticide.

Teiresias - My telling him will not make it so. I cannot tell what I haven’t seen.

Jocasta - Yes it will. And you can. He believes in prophecies. Oracles. Soothsaying. Fortune telling. Call it what you will. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And he will become … unfulfilled. 

Teiresias - Then what will be, will be.

Jocasta - But you will tell him?

Teiresias - I will tell him … the truth. A swift and two-edged sword.

Jocasta - Can’t you ever just have a normal conversation? Go away. Do as I say.

Teiresias - Madam (exiting)