Faith Abandoned

Adapted from the novel ‘Purple Ribbon’

Act One 

Scene 1 

A small kitchen area. Night time.  

A caddy of pots hangs above. A malcontent young man, DOMINICK, sits heat a table. His arms are folded. His head is down. He appears to be crying. His father, GABRIEL, enters. He too has dark hair with salt and pepper speckles. He is wearing the cross of the Wigan church around his neck.  He kisses is as he takes a seat across from the boy.  

GABRIEL 

Stop crying. 

DOMINICK  

Looking up and appearing more frustrated now than upset.  

How could you replace her so quickly? 

GABRIEL 

A man needs a wife. You need a mother’s guidance.  

DOMINICK 

Scowling at him. 

She’s not my ma mother, nor will she ever be. Her two brats are not my brothers. 

GABRIEL 

Reaching out and slapping his son.  

You will treat my wife with the respect she deserves.  

DOMINICK 

I’ll treat exactly how she deserves to be. 

GABRIEL  

Standing from the table and removing the Wigan cross from round his neck. He places it around his son’s neck.  

I’m not going to tell ye twice. If ye like ye can spend the rest of yer days hiding down here in the scullery with the staff and the mice or ye can take yer place upstairs. I have taken Miriam as my bride. Yer ma is in St Wigan’s embrace now. She’s not coming back.  

DOMINICK 

Clutches the cross around his neck. 

GABRIEL 

You’ll be taking the oath to the church soon. Your life will be dedicated so start behaving as such and come upstairs and show some respect to Miriam and her sons.  

DOMINICK 

Managing a sardonic smile. 

I’d much rather stay here with the mice.  

GABRIEL 

Slapping him again.  

You are a disappointment. I have high hopes for ye so stop acting like a petulant wean! Your brothers are showing you up. 

DOMINICK 

His lips tighten and he appears angrier. 

They are not my brothers!  

GABRIEL 

Shaking his head with exasperation he reaches up and collects one of the pots from the caddy. He whacks his son with it causing DOMINICK to fall from his seat.  

Get up. 

GABRIEL starts to lose patience watching DOMINICK collecting himself.  

Get up! 

DOMINICK 

Finally, he gets back on his feet. He sits back on the stool rubbing the pain from his face.  

GABRIEL 

You’re a child of St Wigan. Start acting like it.  

DOMINICK 

Speaking sarcastically. 

What do we have if not our faith? 

GABRIEL 

A whack with steel about yer head is what ye’ll have.  

NARRATOR  

Have faith.  


Scene 2 

A small kitchen area. Day time.  

DOMINICK is holding one of the pots. He is sat on the floor tapping the steel against it.  

DOMINICK 

Speaking in a chant. 

We are the children of Wigan and our hearts are pure and strong. We praise our beloved saint and so we sing this song. We know, we know, we know we can’t be saved but repent and you’ll be in his embrace.  

Entering the scene is the sister of DOMINICK. She is a young woman but older than her brother. NATALIE seems flustered.  

NATALIE 

It’s time for me to go. I’m getting a long way away from here.  

DOMINICK  

You can’t leave me on my own here. 

NATALIE 

Your place is with the church. Pa decided that long ago. My place is to marry well. I couldn’t have married much better than James. I will have a good life. I suppose I’ll have to perform ma wifely duties but I can do that. Oh, Dom! I’m getting out of here.  

DOMINICK  

I’m pleased for ye my sister, but what about those of us ye leave behind?  

NARRATOR  

Have faith. 

NATALIE  

Take the oath. It’s your way out baby brother. Give yerself to the church.  

Drawing on her cigarette.  

I guess this is farewell Dom. I don’t know when I’ll be back. If I’ll ever be back.  

DOMINICK 

Do ye even want to marry this man? You don’t even know him. Ye’ve only met him once.  

NATALIE 

That doesn’t matter. I’m getting off this island.  

Looking at her brother she gives him a scornful look. She takes another draw of her cigarette.  

You look like a wean that’s been sat in the corner. Stand up.  

DOMINICK  

Why should I listen to you? 

NATALIE  

Voice fading. Lighting on her starting to fade too placing more focus on DOMINICK.  

You have to get up.  

DOMINICK 

You all abandoned me.  

DOMINICK stands. The lights continue to lower and put more focus on him as he moves to centre stage. The figures of his family loom as shadows in the background.  

I took the oath that day. I swore I would never abandon those who followed me. I took an oath that would save as many souls as I could. I took an oath that in the name of St Wigan I would burn any who resisted. They abandoned me. They left me with all but a prayer. But that was all I needed.  

He clutches his Wigan cross. He grins sardonically as he looks up.  

Scene 3 

St Wigan Church altar. Night time.  

DOMINICK is stood on a church altar. He directly addresses the audience as though they are his congregation. He is wearing full Wigan robes. He has a purple stole around his neck with gold detailing. He is invigorated. He is more mature in appearance now. A melanin streak has formed through his dark hair.  

DOMINICK 

Brothers and sisters. We have gathered here today because we don’t want to be abandoned. I’m here to tell ye that you haven’t been abandoned and you never will be for as long as I’m head of our church. For too long we have wandered, lost and forgotten. Across the sea, in the city lies a place of fornicators, thieves, whores and every possible vice you can imagine.  

It was written that when St Wigan first came to our shores, he told the natives that they could not be saved but if they were to follow him they stood a chance of being forgiven. With the city descending into chaos, my brothers and sisters, they bring their filth onto our beaches. It is time to remind the city dwellers that their actions will consume them in Hell fire. I will tell them now as Wigan told us then, you cannot … CANNOT be saved.  

Scene 4 

City street. Night time. 

A single reporter stands centre stage. The noise of cries, chaos and burning sound in the background. The reporter, SANDRA, fixes her blazer and poses with her mic as though she’s about to perform a live broadcast. The Coldford Daily jingle sounds.  

SANDRA 

Coldford fire department were rushed to City Main in the last half hour as an out of control inferno tore through the lower floors of the Weir Hotel, leaving fifteen dead and another eight seriously injured. Although the cause for this hasn’t been confirmed the police department are suspecting extremist activity. As the fire department continue their efforts to evacuate the building more details will emerge.  

I’m Sandra Wake of Coldford Daily news. 

Cult deprogrammer, John Reynolds, finds a loved one in the hands of St Wigan’s zealous leader, Dominick Cole. Time is ticking before they are lost for good.

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