A short play adapted from the novel Purple Ribbon
Standing outside the Church of St Wigan, FATHER VERGER is greeting his congregates as they leave. He is approached by DELORES and her daughter TAWNY. DELORES Is dressed in a sombre black dress with a Wigan pin on her chest. TAWNY is dressed in a cheerful red dress with white polka dots.
It was a beautiful service Father.
Thank you Mrs McInney. I trust you are keeping well?
Turning his attention to TAWNY.
I would have thought you would have worn a more mournful outfit on account of your father.
Pa hated to see people glum.
Still, show a little respect.
Not paying much attention to the priest her focus is caught by someone waving to her from offstage.
Hi honey! It’s good to see ye. When did you get back?
Speaking to Delores.
Excuse me, ma.
TAWNY exits the stage.
Shaking her head
I’m sorry Father. i thought with Reuben’s passing she would pray with me. Every week is a struggle to het her to come along.
Looking over in TAWNY’S direction.
She needs the church’s guidance now more than ever. As her mother it is up to you to take care of her. Her immortal soul is at stake. St Wigan will impart the strength you need to correct her.
I don’t want to lose her.
They both look towards offstage where TAWNY has just exited.
Still looking after TAWNY.
DELORES is sat at home. The home appears draughty and uncomfortable. She is seated at a table centre stage where lighting is focused on a single empty plate and a Wigan book. DELORES is holding her Wigan pin in her hand. TAWNY is not present but her voice can be heard off stage in a dream like sound as DELORES reflects on her words.
Sounding as though she was in some pain when the words were spoken.
I am who I am.
Rests her hand on the Wigan book.
I was worried about you. You were my daughter and you were putting yourself in mortal danger. I wish you could understand. If you turned to the Church maybe you could find forgiveness.
Why can’t ye just love me for who I am?!
Sighing she sniffs back the emotion.
I do you love. You’re my daughter. You wouldn’t listen to me and you made me angry. I was losing you and I had to do something. Ye were embarrassing yerself night after night like a wanton hussy.
If your church is asking you do this what kind of religion is it! Help me Ma!
DELORES raises a napkin to her lips.
it was for your own good.
She sniffs again and composes herself.
You cannot be saved …
When Tabitha is sent to Hathfield Bay to meet her estranged grandma, she is given an inside look at the Cult of Wigan of which granny is a member.