Regrets? Me?



I like being by myself: ‘Mary’, performed by Polly Kemp in ‘The End of the Line’. Photograph courtesy

‘MARY’, THE FOURTH monologue in the Ink Jockey podcast series The End of the Line, seems to be older than the women we’ve  heard so far. She ponders the way in which strangers feel it is their beholden right to barge into one’s life and ask intrusive questions, impossible to answer. Playing succinctly with language and self-love, Mary, played by Polly Kemp is similar on several levels to Sally and Skylar.

This is good, on one level: It’s where the overriding arc of the series reaches. It is not about why these particular women have chosen not to breed. It’s the fact that this renders them an oddity of sorts in the eye of a judgmental society. Veering away from the depths of psychoanalysis or medical drama, Mark Heywood and each performer in this series is taking this topic and running with it, immersed in popular culture and fleshing out women that you or I know or are.

Like any brainstorming session, the associations such a thing can yield are wide and universal, and Mary is a case in point: she’s confident in the woman she is. She ponders why people do not ask the parents of damaged or evil children if they’ve ever regretted bringing life into the world and laughs in the face of people’s tut-tutting about loneliness.

Her monologue is, however, still a rant, which slips around the reality of being at great pains to justify a personal decision. It’s taut and to the point, but the danger lurks of too much similarity in the iterations of this series. It doesn’t however, stop you from wanting to hear more. Listen to Mary here.

  • Mary is written and directed by Mark Heywood and features technical input by Hetty Hodgson. With music by Daisy Chute and Cerian of the Heard Collective, it is performed by Polly Kemp and it is the fourth in a series of podcasts collectively called The End of the Line.

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