Until I Get My Gorgeous Wings

by Adrian Hornsby

in development

A runaway girl returns to her home by the sea after a dislocating period in London. She drags a washing machine down to the beach and loads it with the clothes she wore there, and the sheets she slept in. She sits to wait as the tide rises. She watches, and thinks back through the things that happened to her.

A man sits in the kitchen of his ground floor maisonette, wondering where his wife has gone. Looking round at the white walls he is gripped by a sudden flashback of her removing a fleck of paint from his eye. He seems to hear her voice — at first distinctly — but then shifting and fragmenting as further snatches of his past whirl by him. A kaleidoscope of tormenting visions builds, driving him back toward the essential mystery of disappearance.

A mother waits in the back of a dark café for her adult son. He bursts onto the scene with a bewildering mix of cosmological paranoia, fantastical business schemes, and travel stories from China. Yet for all his fabulous energy, an uncanny desperation suggests somewhere a missing thread ...

Until I Get My Gorgeous Wings is a play about people attempting to achieve metamorphosis. They are all straining for some magical transformation, yet somehow seem to keep finding themselves again. The subtley interwoven narratives combine to suggest a larger story of connections and disappearances; lost pasts and déjà vus. As the cycle closes in, we find ourselves wondering what it means to try to change.

‘I go downstairs and get my things, though everything smells of London now — smells like everything else, like all the little houses all joined up to make a wall you can’t see past — is what that smell is. I watch them from the bus. With all those other people.’

Until I Get My Gorgeous Wings is written in a unique form of verbal counterpoint, with the actors' lines stacked like parts of a string quartet (see).

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Watch the opening of the film component of Act I

Until I Get My Gorgeous Wings (Act I, excerpt) from kmz on Vimeo.

directed by Adrian Hornsby, camera Bridget Stacey
body & voice Emily Randall


9 June 2007
The Space, London

3–21 October 2006
Union Theatre, London

26 May 2006 (work in progress)
The Laundry (warehouse space), London

Cast: Emily Randall, Tessa Nicholoson, Matt Warman, Melanie Gray, Gemma Robinson, Lydia Aers
directed by Tim Vincent-Smith

contact plays at kilometerzero dot org