By Mehr Gunawardena
“The Runaway Princess” is the darkly comic story of Mary Goggin’s escape from her repressive Irish Catholic upbringing, her drug addiction and career as a sex worker, and the purpose she eventually found in motherhood. This “hopeful tale of heroin, hooking, and happiness” laid bare both the pleasures and the dangers of escapism.
Resisting “evil nuns,” Ms. Goggin went into a downward spiral that led her to a gas station bathroom stall where she encountered heroin for the first time. It made her feel as though she were “made of gold” in a world where she felt hated, dirty and alone, so she became instantly addicted. She wasn’t going to lose the new freedom she felt.
She soon became an alcoholic, a hooker and a victim of domestic abuse. But a pregnancy became the saving grace that motivated her to get her life together. She “crushed rehab,” reconnected with her mother, who suffered from “the memory disease,” and resolved to stay put. She now had love, hope and purpose.
Ms. Goggin kept her performance light, interspersing witty and fun remarks throughout the harrowing narrative. This moments of comic relief were crucial, and made her voice balanced and authentic. Nothing could reduce the impact of this powerful tale about a princess who finally stopped running.
“Runaway Princess, a hopeful tale of heroin, hooking and happiness”
Written and Performed by Mary Goggin
Sept. 23 at 6pm, Oct. 27 at 6pm
Director: Dan Ruth
Photo: courtesy of the production
United Solo 2018
410 West 42nd Street
New York City
MEHR GUNAWARDENA is a writer from Sri Lanka who pursued her education and ambition in the United States. During her time at Clark University, she began experimenting with form and structure to make her writing as accessible as possible to all readers, while keeping true to her voice. She enjoys writing poetry and other fictional pieces with political and societal nuances, and is therefore drawn towards art with similar intentions.