Earwig: Sonic Theatre Podcasts

Slug Love by Jo Clifford

March 03, 2021 Tron Creative Commissioned with Danny Krass & Finn den Hertog Season 1 Episode 5
Earwig: Sonic Theatre Podcasts
Slug Love by Jo Clifford
Chapters
Earwig: Sonic Theatre Podcasts
Slug Love by Jo Clifford
Mar 03, 2021 Season 1 Episode 5
Tron Creative Commissioned with Danny Krass & Finn den Hertog

JO CLIFFORD’S Slug Love brings sex, identity, family relationships and the pitfalls of human nature into orbit around these curious, sensual, and thoughtful molluscs.  Through the boundless and innocent imagination of a child, JO is able to hone in on these creatures, and begin a conversation.  They speak of pleasure, patience and the limitations of language, but indicate the limitless potential for humans to slow down, open up, and be much more meaningfully together.  This is juxtaposed with experiences from JO’s own life, where openness, love and togetherness have been scarce in the culture and habits of the human world.

Creator/Composer/Sound Designer: Danny Krass
Directed by Finn den Hertog
Performed by Jo Clifford, Harry MacDonald, Reuben Joseph & Jude Williams
Original music by  Danny Krass

Earwig has been commissioned by Tron Theatre with support from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, administered by Creative Scotland.

Show Notes Transcript

JO CLIFFORD’S Slug Love brings sex, identity, family relationships and the pitfalls of human nature into orbit around these curious, sensual, and thoughtful molluscs.  Through the boundless and innocent imagination of a child, JO is able to hone in on these creatures, and begin a conversation.  They speak of pleasure, patience and the limitations of language, but indicate the limitless potential for humans to slow down, open up, and be much more meaningfully together.  This is juxtaposed with experiences from JO’s own life, where openness, love and togetherness have been scarce in the culture and habits of the human world.

Creator/Composer/Sound Designer: Danny Krass
Directed by Finn den Hertog
Performed by Jo Clifford, Harry MacDonald, Reuben Joseph & Jude Williams
Original music by  Danny Krass

Earwig has been commissioned by Tron Theatre with support from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, administered by Creative Scotland.

Danny Krass:

Hi, my name's Danny Krass. Welcome back to Earwig your sonic theatre podcast specifically designed for listening on headphones. I am delighted to bring you episode five today- Slug Love by Jo Clifford, directed by Finn den Hertog. Our performers today are Reuben Joseph and Jude Williams as the slugs, Harry McDonald as Alex, Jo's grandson, and Jo Clifford as herself. Original music, sound design and production by me Danny Krass. So here it is. Slug Love by Jo Clifford.

Slugs:

Well, humans, we are slugs. Is. We is slug. Are. I are slugs. Am. We am slug. Our difficulty, humans, is that your language is so pitifullly inadequate. You lack pronouns. You lack the capacity to communicate the subtle dimensions of the inner life. Your language cannot begin to encompass the infinite experiential riches we wish to communicate. Especially English. This language, excels the splitting up, dividing, classifying the outer world in order to exploit and dominate it- very much to the world's misfortune. And to the misfortune of your own wretched selves.

Jo:

Wow, it's enormous.

Alex:

It's the largest slug there is.

Jo:

Eww, it's kind of disgusting.

Alex:

Don't say that, Grandma. Look what a beautiful colour it is. It looks just like a leopard, it really does.

Jo:

It's very slimy

Alex:

It's the slimiest slug there is. That's what keeps it safe.

Jo:

And that's how it began. My conversation with the slugs. It took months and months and months.

Slugs:

What a hurry you're always in. Slug-time. Slug-time. Sluuuuuug tiimmmeee. It takes it's time. It relishes. It elebrates. So much better than uman time.

Jo:

It's very hard.

Slugs:

It's eeeeeaassyyyy. Eating a leaf can take 200 years.

Jo:

Don't like eating leaves.

Slugs:

It doesn't like eating leaves. No wonder it is so unhapppy. The sensations it is missing. Our thousands upon thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of tiny teeth. Masticating, mmmmmmasticating, masticating, masticating like a symphony. And then the acids. The gorgeously delightful acids. So many different kinds of it chain and chemical reactions.

Alex:

Grandma?

Jo:

Yes?

Alex:

Do you think slugs are happy?

Jo:

Oh, I don't know. Maybe.

Alex:

I think this one's happy. I've just given a lettuce leaf.

Jo:

But don't tell your mother.

Alex:

I don't like lettuce.

Jo:

Oh, slugs do, but it's hard to tell if they're happy. So they don't have expressions. They don't have brains. They do have a highly developed nervous system.

Slugs:

Extend optical tentacle 1. Ahhhhh. Beautiful beautiful world. Extend optical tenticle 2. Oooooo. We can look in two directions at once. Amazing. Sensory tenticle one. Mmmmmm. Feeling in 24 dimensions. Sensory tenticle 2. Yummmmm. Taste thousands upon thousands of flavours.

Jo:

Home loving creatures. And travel out to find each other. And I too on a journey to find myself.

Slugs:

On your pitiful two legs. Way out of contact with the world. Whereas we crawl deliciously through all the slimy substances, following each other's delectable scent.

Jo:

Alex, you're covered in mud

Alex:

I'm being a slug.

Jo:

Don't tell your mother.

Slugs:

And through all the infinitely rich tapestry of scents and tastes and textures that permeates our utterly delectably unspeakably gorgeous and delicious world. One stands out and calls us with its promise of inexpressibly infinite delight. The scent of our so so so so so so so so desireable other, even at a distance. At a distinctly diminishing distance, I can taste you. I can smell you, closer and closer and closer.

Jo:

It's like they have their own built-in Gaydar.

Alex:

Grandma?

Jo:

Yeah.

Alex:

What's Gaydar?

Jo:

It's a way men have of a meeting each other.

Alex:

Did you have it when you were a man?

Jo:

Oh, I didn't need to. I had your other Grandma, and your mum and your aunty Katie.

Alex:

Will I have it when I'm a man?

Jo:

Oh, I don't know, love. You might. It all depends.

Slugs:

And we follow the scent as we must over and through and beyond every possible obstacle, knowing the journey is as wonderful as the arrival at the destination itself.

Jo:

I can't remember how many times I've been told I'm a threat to the family. As if I didn't have a family. A family that matters more to me than the world.

Slugs:

Closer. And closer. And closer and closer.

Jo:

How many times have I been told I'm unnatural because males have penises and females have vaginas, and I have a little bit of both.

Slugs:

And then I can see you, and you can see me and smell you in the most overwhelming and extraordinary way.

Jo:

Churchgoers relishing the thought I will go to hell and they will go to heaven.

Slugs:

And we climb slowly up and up we climb and then as we meet on the branch of the tree, on the branch of the tree of sexual pleasure we begin to wrap ourselves around each other.

Jo:

Me with my breasts that started growing when I was a middle aged Professor. Me with my tiny penis that can give and receive so much pleasure. Me and my scrotum empty now but so amazing and sensitive to the touch. Me and the deep, deep muscles by the sacrum, the muscles at the root of orgasm. These are places for which we have no words beyond the cold definitions of the clinician. But the slugs will teach us.

Slugs:

And we lick and we feel and we smell each other in every dimension. And we can hang together from the branch of the tree, suspended on a silver thread gently spinning in the moonlight and then from just beside the sides of our heads our sexual organs slowly start appearing. Don't call them penises because they receive as well as give. They are longer than our bodies. These blissful organs in celestial blue entwining as our bodies are entwining, and expanding to form the most beautiful flower.

Alex:

Grandma, look up there, hanging from the tree.

Alex & Jo:

Wow!

Slugs:

And it is there in our own sweet and beautiful time that I give my seed to you. And you give your seed to me and we slowly spin blissfully.

Jo:

And I know this is the real reward of the blessed souls in heaven.

Slugs:

Slug love. For ever. And ever and ever and ever and ever.

Tron Creative:

Slug Love by Jo Clifford Jo Clifford 2021. This transcript is published by arrangement with Jo Clifford. All rights reserved.