Entr’acte (Antwerp) are publishing an illustrated libretto and audio CD release of my “posthuman play” The Happy Jug, with musician Kepla.
“I brought the happy jug home the day I found out about a grant, which would eventually lead me to write this play. The grant is a Paul Auster style narrative device, in that it makes me unanswerable to material demands, and projects my life into a boundedlessness vertigo … the happy jug a concrete marker of my vulnerable but precise re-emergence into the world of matteringlessness: theory.”
At this time, my wife Nina has migraines. She goes for an MRI scan but we hear nothing, her exhaustion apparently just an example of the general pressure of living under austerity. This austerity is due to be relieved when a left-leaning coalition gain control of government.
A year later, I smash the jug. The MRI scan is transformed. Nina now has a brain tumour which has been growing for more than fifteen years. The result of the general election is also rewritten.
The play follows the narrative of Nina’s consultations and brain surgery in the emotional aftermath of the 2015 general election, by speculating on the role of the jug.
The chapters are presented alongside slices from an MRI scan on opposite pages. The ‘cuts’ of the novel’s various voices, from medical diagnosis to speculative philosophy to love letter, replicated and echoed in the ‘cuts’ between MRI scans as the reader is encouraged to reconstruct the story for themselves.
by Nathan Jones
additional imagery by Chris Boyd
Design by Nathan Jones and Entr’acte
Script by Nathan Jones
Sound by Kepla
Including voice by Nina Jones, Imogen Stidworthy, Nathan Jones