Johnny One Eye
Project for Stage, Film and Television
Stage Play (First of a Trilogy) – Completed
Film Script (of Stage Play) – Pending
TV Series Prequel – Pilot Episode Completed
‘A bad conscience is capable of making life interesting; no wonder that persons in despair clutch at the very last means of diversion.’SØREN KIERKEGAARD
Johnny One Eye has squandered the love of his life and bombed a multitude of second chances with spirits and substances. But when the chaotic wastrel learns of his estranged wife’s demise (or his sister, for a younger lead – I’ll write two versions)—and that she will not be coming back—he uses a lifetime’s guile to join her on this final journey.
Years of drunken, drug-stained madness perfectly qualify him for the scrambled reality of a Dementia home, and he rises to the challenge of his redemption.
Every drunk thinks he’s a comedian, and Johnny is well practiced at garnering laughs for less than worthy ends. Flying in the face of linguistic reductivism and formulaic narrative, the first 20 minutes is a pulverising one man show intended to live long in the memory—a cocktail of sparkling language, deeper meaning, comedic virtuoso, mime and piss-take pastiche—for Johnny is high altitude humanity, dressed in skilled stagecraft and the lower altitudes that raise pulses and break hearts in all the right places
– A pertinent weave of great writing emanates from the mouth of this literature-quoting drunkard…
– A graveyard provides the perfect set…
– And headstones an interim cast…
… to test the lie of Johnny’s life, surrounded as he is by the bones of friends and enemies, who didn’t get a last chance to shine before departing this temporal stage and reality groans through the cracks.
In the second half Johnny fulfills his newfound purpose, as the play is furnished from hundreds of pages written at the time of my mother’s illness.
In the sentiments of one of the characters, along a kindlier path Johnny might have conquered the stage or conducted the London Philharmonic. Instead, he directed the traffic when they threw him out of the pub (as did my One Eye’s Irish Grandad…).
Johnny is a universal story to be told in any local tongue, and scenes can be adapted for each locality. The play has everything and took years to get a balance of prosody, meaning and spectacle – a classic waiting for ignition.
Can be converted to a film script in weeks.