Forward to the Right

Written by Lily Ann Green
Directed by Lorcan Dunne
Performed in:
Studio Space at The Mill Theatre & Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray Bray Festival on Sat 27 January 2007

The Bray Festival takes place each year in January. The Balally Players entry for 2007 was 'Forward to the Right' by Lily Ann Green. The play was directed by Lorcan Dunne and featured two actors - the Prisoner played by Carol Hayes and the prison Guard played by Declan Brennan.

Mermaid Arts Centre
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co Wicklow


The play finished in fourth place, Carol was awarded 'Most Promising Young Actress' for her performance as Joan of Arc and Declan was shortlisted for 'Best Actor'.

Prison Guard and Joan of Arc
Declan Brennan as the Prison Guard and Carol Hayes as Joan of Arc
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The Story

The story centres on a French female prisoner (Joan of Arc) and her English guard and is set in the early part of the 15th century. It is about the effect her spirit had on people around her - in this case, her prison guard - and the consequences, for both of them, of holding firm to their convictions. This moving play is ultimately about truth and how conviction about it and commitment to it affects people. The setting is the Joan of Arc story and how she was tried for offences against England. Condemned to burn at the stake, Joan is denied a rosary, cross, or any form of service. The story revolves around the relationship that develops between the two characters in the prison cell.

First performed at the Ontario One-Act Play Festival in 1981, it won the Best Original Play and Best Production awards.

Prison Guard
Joan of Arc
Declan Brennan
Carol Hayes


Scene One

Outside the dark, damp confines of the prison, the world from which Joan has been taken is a violent one and she has seen many battles. Initially as hostile as he would be to anyone as despised as she was by his masters, the Guard treats Joan with contempt. However, he discovers that this young woman is far from ordinary.

Scene Two

Three months have passed when the scene begins. Joan has been escorted by her Guard to and from her cell to the courtroom on many occasions. Over that period of time, the Prisoner and her Guard have got to know one another. While there may not have been a meeting of minds, they have learned a great deal about one another and an understanding develops. Differences remain and they are not easy for the Guard to understand.

Scene Three

Joan has been executed - burned at the stake. The Guard is still refusing to acknowledge her powers as witchcraft. However, he now faces the consequences of the one thing he found in common with his Prisoner - an unshakable, stubborn determination to stand up for what he believes to be the truth.

Painting of Joan of Arc by Janet J.E. Chui © 2006


The Bray One Act Drama Festival, which started in 1978, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. The festival attracts performing groups from all over the country. From Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 January, three one act plays were performed each evening. The adjudicator was Myles Purcell.

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