Климовски Керен
Invited to the Feast

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  • Статья: Драматургия
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  • Аннотация:
    Victor Denisov. "Invited to the Feast". A one-act play.
    Genre: metaphysical drama
    Parts: female - 2, male - 4


  • You can also find а Russian version of the play "Invited to the Feast" ("Званый ужин") on lib.ru:
    http://lit.lib.ru/editors/d/denisow_wiktor_leonowich/gzvanyi_uzhin.shtml


    Victor Denisov "Invited to the Feast" - YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70-EdvL9Wg4

    Доп. информация о Денисове Викторе Леоновиче:
    http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Денисов,_Виктор_Леонович
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Denisov
    http://vk.com/id226758349
    http://vk.com/public59589955
    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007789813447
    http://www.proza.ru/avtor/elenastepanova/
    https://www.youtube.com/user/denisovvictor/videos
    Palitra Zhanrov V. Denisova
    Teatralnye eskizy treh pjes V. Denisova

    Контакты:
    e-mail: 445388@gmail.com


    Доп. информация о Климовски Керен:
    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Климовски,_Керен
    http://www.theatre-library.ru/authors/k/klimovsky_keren
    http://www.pokolenie-debut.ru/person/keren-klimovski_5723

    Контакты:
    e-mail: kerenklimovsky@gmail.com

    ATTENTION! All rights are reserved by the author and protected by the laws of Russian Federation and by International Law. The reproduction, publication, performance, translation or modification of the play is strictly prohibited without a written permission of the author.



    Victor Denisov

     


    Invited to the Feast


    A one-act metaphysical drama

    Translated by Keren Klimovsky

     

     

     

    Characters

    ELDERLY LADY

    ELDERLY GENTLEMAN

    YOUNG GENTLEMAN

    MIDDLE AGED GENTLEMAN

    SERVANT

    YOUNG LADY

     

     

     

    STAGE SET

    The stage is a half-empty, spacious room. A long rectangular table stands next to a closed window Center Stage. Young Gentleman and Elderly Gentleman, dressed in dinner jackets and black ties, and Elderly Lady, dressed in a white suit, are seated at the table facing the audience. There are two more empty chairs at the table. A massive chandelier is hanging above the table - this is the kind of a chandelier that could be in a ballroom, in a church or in a living room. The room's doors are plated with gold.
    The director should avoid excessive naturalism: even though the characters are constantly chewing, the food and drinks are just denoted, not represented realistically. The musical theme is "Dizzy, The Duck" (Dizzy Gillespie and Arturo Sandoval in Helsinki - To a Finland Station, 1983). Elderly Lady and Elderly Gentleman are looking questioningly at the Young Gentleman. The music ends. Silence. Then:

    Young Gentleman. That's how.
    Elderly Lady. Well then, I think it's great.
    Elderly Gentleman. It's somehow not really, not really.
    Elderly Lady. And what now? Now what?
    Elderly Gentleman. It can't be helped.
    Elderly Lady. Certainly - how could it be helped?
    Young Gentleman. You don't say.
    Elderly Gentleman. But next time...
    Elderly Lady. Maybe it's for the best. Only...
    Elderly Gentleman (smiles). We should be a bit more resolute.

    Young Gentleman yawns loudly.

    ANSWERING MACHINE. Monday. Eight twenty-six PM and forty-five seconds.

    Silence.

    Elderly Gentleman. As for the other aspect of the question, the exoticism has somewhat shocked me, so to speak. Of course, a bit of playing is quite all right, but this...
    Elderly Lady. I believe there's been a lot of playing - of different sorts, of all sorts...
    Elderly Gentleman. Obviously, there are certain limits, certain boundaries, after all, and if they don't exist, then...
    Young Gentleman. No boundaries means - you know. Chaos.
    Elderly Gentleman. What? Did you say "chaos"?
    Young Gentleman. Hmm.
    Elderly Gentleman. You know, you're absolutely right, I completely agree with you.
    Elderly Lady. I would even use a stronger word - mayhem. And yet...
    Elderly Gentleman (to Young Gentleman). Just don't think that I'm...
    Elderly Lady.We don't at all think so...
    Elderly Gentleman. Otherwise, this situation would be highly unlikely, which...
    Elderly Lady. Otherwise there would be...
    Young Gentleman. An unlimited chaos.
    Elderly Gentleman. And yet, I'm glad you're not...
    Elderly Lady. We're not only, but also...
    Elderly Gentleman. What if we might...
    Elderly Lady. Oh, c'mon. Be so kind and pass the salt.

    Silence.

    Young Gentleman. The scrambled eggs are - you know.
    Elderly Gentleman. I beg your pardon.
    Young Gentleman. The scrambled eggs are hard-boiled.
    Elderly Gentleman. You probably mean to say "the eggs are hard-boiled". Yet, I dare say, there are no eggs on the table. None: neither hard-boiled, nor soft-boiled, so to speak.
    Elderly Lady. Eggs for dinner? Wouldn't that be somewhat strange?
    Young Gentleman. The scrambled eggs are... you know. Hard-boiled.
    Elderly Gentleman. Here you go again claiming that the scrambled eggs are hard-boiled, but it is a well-known fact that only an egg can be hard-boiled. Scrambled eggs cannot be hard-boiled. Egg, not scrambled eggs.
    Elderly Lady. True, scrambled eggs are not likely to become hard-boiled, even when you cook them for a very long time - that still won"t do the trick. You probably mean linen. I can starch linen until it becomes hardboiled - stiff and hardboiled.
    Elderly Gentleman. You probably mean to say that they're hardly salted, if I understand correctly. And indeed...
    Elderly Lady. That makes the linen crispy and wonderful, simply wonderful!
    Elderly Gentleman. There's also a thing called hard-boiled detective, but that's a somewhat different...
    Young Gentleman. The scrambled eggs are you know.
    Elderly Gentleman. Indeed? Fascinating.

    Silence.

    ANSWERING MACHINE. Tuesday. 9 PM sharp.

    Elderly Lady. By the way, I try to take very good care of my health - in fact, this is my life's goal. First, it requires keeping a certain diet and consuming nothing but natural products. You should also check every product for the amounts of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that it contains, and for sugar, of course. You must weigh yourself after every meal, since your weight is not supposed to exceed the norm - not even by a gram. Second, it is highly important to receive nothing but positive emotions, highly positive ones, right? This is why you shouldn't take bad news close to heart - all kinds of afflictions, misfortunes, and murders. One must simply remain detached. Oh, you can show empathy, of course, how could one avoid empathy? But nothing more, nothing more...
    Elderly Gentleman. If your vacation"s a success, then it"s easy. A good vacation charges you with vitality for the rest of the year.
    Elderly Lady. Nothing more.
    Elderly Gentleman. My wife and I suppose that it is best to take a vacation twice a year - in the summer and in the winter. Those are two entirely different kinds of vacation: in the summer, you rejoice under the rays of tropical sun, you swim in the warm, tender sea, you work on your tan. A wintertime vacation is, on the other hand, much more calm and moderate.
    Elderly Lady. You should take care of your nerves, right? Science proves that nervous cells are not restored, and I fully agree with that statement. And yet, sometimes you stress over nothing and in situations that don't at all demand it.
    Elderly Gentleman. In the summer, we prefer mountains. The mountain air is so fresh, so invigorating, so healing. The appetite improves, and so does digestion, and, consequently, the mood becomes better. In wintertime, one can take a rest on the plain, so to speak, and this is when...
    Elderly Lady. Of course, in certain situations you can do nothing, absolutely nothing. Even though...
    Elderly Gentleman. Complete relaxation is possible. My wife and I suppose so. And yet...
    Elderly Lady. Last week I was forced to stress good and proper. Oh, just imagine: our second floor neighbor stands on her balcony and beats her god awful dirty carpet, and I happen to walk underneath the balcony, so the dust flies straight on me. Whole dust clouds, simply a dust whirl. I give reproof, I say: "are you insane or what to dust your carpet off the balcony, while there are people walking underneath?", and she says: "you're the one who's insane to walk underneath my balcony right when I'm beating the carpet." Well, how do you like it: I'm the insane one, since I walk underneath her balcony! Where else am I supposed to walk, do tell - where?

    Together
    Elderly Gentleman. Life without vacation would be dull...
    Elderly Lady. Who's the insane one...

    Together

    Elderly Gentleman. My wife and I suppose so...
    Elderly Lady. Me or her?

    Together
    Elderly Gentleman. And I hope we will abide...
    Elderly Lady. How do you like it...

    Together
    Elderly Gentleman. By this rule. We certainly will...
    Elderly Lady. I'm not supposed to walk underneath her balcony!

    Together
    Elderly Gentleman. For the sake of our proper health.
    Elderly Lady. Certainly. What was my reproof good for? Well, I'm very  glad that at least you understand me.

    Young Gentleman yawns loudly. Silence.

    ANSWERING MACHINE. Wednesday. Nine thirty-four PM and seventeen seconds.

    Elderly Gentleman (to Young Gentleman). You know, last week my wife and I went to the theater.
    Elderly Lady. Really?

    A small pause.

    Elderly Gentleman (to Young Gentleman). I said we went to the theater - my wife and I.
    Elderly Lady. What did you see?

    A small pause.

    Elderly Gentleman (to Young Gentleman). Went to the theater. With the wife.
    Young Gentleman. Theater? Theater is you know.
    Elderly Gentleman. Still sometimes, I mean...
    Young Gentleman. Movies are cool. They're like life.
    Elderly Lady. What did you see, though? Because sometimes it happens that...
    Young Gentleman. Theater is all about aping.
    Elderly Gentleman. Well, that happens, of course, especially now, when the theater culture has significantly degenerated, so to speak. However, my wife said that it is absolutely necessary to make an appearance there, because lately everyone around us has been claiming that this is the most prestigious theater, so to speak, and the director is the most popular director of our times. Since...
    Young Gentleman. Movies are like life.
    Elderly Lady. I completely and fully agree with both of you. First, there's absolutely nothing to see - do tell: is there such a thing as theater today, is there such a thing? I mean, it's tremendously boring, isn't it? In the past, when there used to be real actors, there was still something to theater, but now...
    Elderly Gentleman. I must say we didn't receive any long-lasting impressions. Unfortunately, we couldn't just walk away, since people we know were sitting right next to us...
    Elderly Lady. Precisely, that's the reason I don't go the theater: you're destined to meet some idiot, and just the sight of her, just her smile, would ruin your mood for the entire week. Besides, the tickets are so pricy nowadays - it"s insane! I would much rather...
    Young Gentleman. Eat some mushrooms.
    Elderly Gentleman. I drowsed off, even though it was quite uncomfortable in every way. Taking a nap without a pillow is not the sweetest thing, as you can imagine, especially in a theater hall. Your poor head wobbles, so to speak, and if on top of that...
    Elderly Lady. I"ll buy shoes. What else to do when...
    Elderly Gentleman. A lady sits next to you, and it happens that you put your poor head right on her little shoulder, can you imagine how...
    Elderly Lady. I've been placed in such circumstances, such circumstances, and truly...
    Elderly Gentleman. This is uncomfortable.
    Young Gentleman. How's that?
    Elderly Gentleman. How? (A small pause.) Just so, putting your head precisely on the little shoulder of your lady neighbor.
    Young Gentleman. What lady?
    Elderly Lady. Well, I don't know... some kind of lady... I'd say this is quite uncomfortable.
    Young Gentleman. The lady's comfortable.
    Elderly Gentleman. Yes, I certainly agree: the lady might be comfortable, she might even be pleased, but my wife...
    Young Gentleman. Wife - why?
    Elderly Gentleman. Why? (A short pause.) Well, simply because she's right next to me.
    Young Gentleman. Something's like you know. I don't see it.
    Elderly Gentleman. Of course you don't see it - it didn't happen right now. Not right here either.
    Young Gentleman. What's not here?
    Elderly Gentleman. What? Not what, but who. My wife. My wife was at the theater.
    Young Gentleman. Theater's all about aping.
    Elderly Lady. Such circumstances. (Pause.) I wonder, is anyone else expected? We're in a great company, of course, and I sincerely delight in our conversation, and yet I wouldn't oppose to an appearance of another guest, well, under the condition that it's a person of our circle, right? I mean, it is so rare to meet people who understand you, so rare indeed. You hardly ever meet those people - especially lately. Decent people are so hard to find, as if they all went extinct like the dinosaurs. As if they"ve never existed, hm?
    Elderly Gentleman (to Young Gentleman). But my wife and I...
    Young Gentleman. Really.
    Elderly Gentleman. I beg your pardon, what really?
    Young Gentleman. Really - with your wife.
    Elderly Gentleman. But I didn't say anything yet, I"ve said nothing.
    Young Gentleman. Really - with your wife.
    Elderly Gentleman. I really did say...
    Young Gentleman. It was me who said "really".
    Elderly Gentleman. But really what? What really?
    Young Gentleman. Really - with your wife.
    Elderly Gentleman. Excuse me: if you really wish to hear what I have to say, stop interrupting please.
    Young Gentleman. I confirmed: with your wife - really.
    Elderly Gentleman. I did really...
    Young Gentleman. I'm the one who's really.
    Elderly Gentleman. Really what? What exactly are you really?
    Young Gentleman. You know.
    Elderly Gentleman. What do I know?
    Young Gentleman. You know - really.
    Elderly Gentleman. You don't say? How very interesting.

    ANSWERING MACHINE. Thursday. Ten and three PM, thirty-nine seconds.

    The "Dizzy The Duck" theme plays again. The door opens. Servant enters the room holding a broom and begins nonchalantly sweeping the floor next to the guests.

    Servant (in a singing voice). Enjoy your meal, gentlemen.
    Elderly Lady. Ah, what is he doing? But no, what is he doing!
    Young Gentleman. For the sake of neatness.
    Elderly Lady. What does it mean "for the sake of neatness"?
    Young Gentleman. He's sweeping.
    Elderly Lady. Some neatness - it's dust! Dust's flying right on us! Look - dust!
    Elderly Gentleman. My good fellow, is it really necessary to sweep right at the moment? Couldn't you wait, so to speak, until we finish our supper, and then you can tidy up as much as you please.
    Servant. Gentlemen, I truly regret to be a source of a certain inconvenience, but such is the nature of my job.
    Elderly Lady. But is it really necessary to do it right now? Why right now?
    Servant. I must sweep right now, or else my job will lose all meaning.
    Elderly Gentleman. I beg your pardon, I'm failing to understand you. You're probably not explaining yourself clearly enough.
    Elderly Lady. Why, clearly, this is difficult to explain: how could you raise a dust in the presence of guests, right?
    Servant. Gentlemen, I assure you, there is no dust.
    Elderly Gentleman. Is that so? How interesting. So what is the point of sweeping?
    Servant. The purpose of my sweeping is not at all raising dust.
    Elderly Gentleman. What is it then?
    Servant. It's for your sake.
    Elderly Gentleman. Fascinating.
    Elderly Lady. And what if not all of the present guests are sound as the bell, what then?
    Servant. I assure you - no harm will be done to your health. Quite in contrary.
    Elderly Lady.  Besides, not everyone is capable of inhaling dust.
    Servant.  I repeat: there's no dust.
    Elderly Gentleman.  Generally speaking, you could have at least used a mop. Let alone a vacuum cleaner... The absence of a vacuum cleaner in such a house is a bit strange, putting it mildly.
    Servant.  I use a broom.
    Elderly Gentleman. Using a vacuum cleaner is much more convenient.
    Servant. Those are the rules, gentlemen.
    Elderly Lady. In that case, we must open the window. This is absolutely necessary.
    Servant. I sincerely do not advise you to do so.
    Elderly Lady. Sure enough: it's windy today, and we might all catch a cold, right?
    Servant. That's not the only reason. You might get into a much more serious trouble.
    Elderly Gentleman. Interesting.
    Elderly Lady. And do you think that sweeping while people are trying to eat brings them joy? How lovely.
    Servant. Those are the rules, gentlemen.
    Elderly Gentleman. And who makes the rules?
    Servant. The Host of this house
    Elderly Gentleman. Lovely rules, I dare say.
    Servant. I cannot break them. Enjoy your meal, gentlemen. (Leaves.)
    Elderly Lady. What "meal" and what "enjoy" while this is going on...

    Young Gentleman yawns loudly. Silence.

    Elderly Gentleman. Rules, regulations - we can't do without them, they always exist, they persecute us even when we're on a visit. One could think I'm an uncultured person who is not used to them from the cradle. Disrespect - that's what it is.
    Elderly Lady. True - you can absolutely never know what to expect. You receive an invitation, you enter what seems to be a decent household. The company is pleasant, the wine is divine... But you'll surely come across that one person who is destined to ruin your mood - he'll be there, for sure. What tactlessness, what incredible lack of culture! I couldn't even imagine, I just couldn't imagine... I mean, this is simply dreadful! (To Elderly Gentleman.) Do you happen to have a tranquilizer? Every time I stress... But I wished... I promised myself not to stress over nothing... But dust... dust again... I simply... I simply can't!.. So, do you happen to have a tranquilizer?
    Elderly Gentleman. We know the rules all right. (Pause.)

    Elderly Lady shrugs her shoulders, gets up and walks to the corner. She walks with a noticeable limp. Silence.

    Young Gentleman (pointing at the fragile-looking table). The table is you know. It gives.
    Elderly Gentleman. Yes, I suppose. But, I beg your pardon, what does it give? (A small pause.) If it gives something, it's good to know what does it give and to whom. For example, I give you my table, and you give me yours. An  exchange, so to speak.
    Young Gentleman. Hm-mm.
    Elderly Gentleman. I don't quite understand. In fact, I don't understand at all. (A short pause.) And the reason I don't understand is because you didn't mention to whom you're giving the table. (A short pause.) To whom are you giving the table? (A short pause.) Well, if you don't want to tell me, don't - after all, it"s your business. Only...
    Young Gentleman. Hmm-mm - you know.

    Albinoni's "adagio" plays. The door opens, and Middle Aged Gentleman enters the living room. He wears a tatty, washed-out shirt with a dangling bow and paint-stained jeans. He is noticeably tipsy. Elderly Lady sits down again.

    Middle Aged Gentleman. Oh, why did nature give me this gift, if it's nothing but phantom, illusion, deceit? (He notices the others.) What's up, guys? (A short pause.) I said what's up! Sooo, what are we drinking, cognac? Brilliant. Who"s got any baccy?
    Elderly Gentleman. I'm very sorry, but we don't smoke around here.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. What do you mean? Why not? And where's the "no smoking" sign? I don't see it.
    Elderly Gentleman. The absence of a sign doesn't imply permission.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Well, I don't think so, you've got it all wrong: whatever's not forbidden is allowed, that's the one thing I know. (He takes a crumpled cigarette out of his pocket, lights a match on his heel and smokes.)
    Elderly Lady. Look, he's smoking. He's smoking!
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Congratulations, you've got sharp eyesight. Yes, I really am smoking.
    Elderly Gentleman. The sign "no spitting on the floor" is also absent, but it doesn't mean you're allowed to spit on the floor.
    Elderly Lady. He's taking a smoke!  I simply don't understand...
    Middle Aged Gentleman (to Elderly Gentleman). As for you, your eyesight is good for nothing: did you see me spitting on the floor? I didn't spit anywhere.
    Elderly Lady. Don't you dare. And stop smoking, please.
    Elderly Gentleman. There are rules, there are regulations...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Listen, why are you picking on me? A guy's tired, upset, he wants to have a drink, and you bug him with those regulations of yours.
    Elderly Lady. Mind you, the regulations are not ours, but the Host's. This house has a Host, you know.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. In that case, I pardon your beg. (Puts his cigarette out.) I respect the Host, I really do. (He walks up to the table and pours liquor into a glass.) I should catch up. So, to our health or what? (A short pause.) Let us be! (He empties his glass.)

    Young Gentleman yawns loudly.

    Elderly Lady (to Elderly Gentleman). Holy cow - he just swiped the entire glass. Who let him in, I wonder, who let him in?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. What do you mean "who let him in"? Aren't you a tease - "who let him in"? Who should let me in? Who let you in? Or do you think you're the chosen ones? Are you? Who chose you then? (He fills up another glass.) Who chose you?
    Elderly Lady. The Host. We were chosen by the Host, weren't we?
    Elderly Gentleman (to Middle Aged Gentleman). Stop that dancing before my eyes please. Everything was so calm and quiet, and you, so to speak...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. I don't mind sitting down. (He rearranges the chairs and sits down in the middle.)
    Elderly Gentleman. Now, that"s original.
    Elderly Lady. The chair on the right is the Host's chair.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. That's why I'm sitting here. I want to be closer to him.
    Elderly Gentleman. Isn't sitting on two chairs quite uncomfortable?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. What if I like it?
    Elderly Gentleman. If you like it, you might as well sit on the floor.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Here, you speak the truth at last. (He drinks more.)
    Elderly Lady (quietly). He's going to get drunk and make such a mess, such a mess... He'll turn the table upside down. (to Elderly Gentleman.) Come on, do something, or else he will... After all, are you men or... Aa! He's wiping his hands on the tablecloth, look, he's wiping his hands on the tablecloth! How dreadful! (A short pause.) I'm only wondering: how does the Host tolerate it?
    Elderly Gentleman. Pardon me, my good fellow, I'd like to ask you a question: do you have an invitation? This is a dinner party, and the ones present are, so to speak...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. And who are you - security?
    Elderly Gentleman. I'd really like to see your invitation.
    Elderly Lady. He doesn't have one, and he cannot possibly have one.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Hey, Baldie, let me alone, will ya? Things suck enough.
    Elderly Lady. We must urgently call the Servant. Where's the bell?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. What if I'm in trouble, what if I'm going through a drama - possibly the biggest drama of my life, a tragedy even, and you're harassing me with this invitation... (He takes the half-smoked cigarette out of his pocket, lights a match on his heel and smokes again.)
    Elderly Lady. Gentlemen, where's the bell? Where's the bell, huh?
    Elderly Gentleman. Could you at least refrain from dropping the ashes on the floor? This is highly uncultured.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. There's no ashtray, is there? Where else am I supposed to drop them?
    Elderly Lady. And you dare claiming that you respect the Host.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. I do. I really respect him. My respect is much greater than yours.
    Elderly Lady. It's a fine way you find to demonstrate your respect.
    Middle Aged Gentleman (puts his cigarette off into a plate). What, no more cognac? Give me some vodka then!..
    Elderly Lady. Aaah, he put off his cigarette into the salad, right into the salad...
    Elderly Gentleman (Middle Aged Gentleman). Haven't you had enough?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Did you see that? Security decided I've had enough. It decides everything for me, decides my entire life for me - all of my "do"s and "don't"s. (He grabs the bell from the edge of the table and rings. Servant enters.) Listen, get me something, be a pal.
    Servant. You'd like something to drink?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Now that's a man, he got it right away. None of that "regulations" shit...
    Servant. I'm afraid you're done with drinking for today.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. What do you mean I'm done? Since when am I done?
    Elderly Lady. Garçon, this cookie shows up without an invitation and kicks up a row: he puts off his cigarette into the salad, he spits, he wipes his hands on the tablecloth, which is...
    Elderly Gentleman (to Servant). This is actually rather strange: you're supposed to know who are the people you let in. So to speak...
    Elderly Lady. This is completely unacceptable. He doesn't use a knife, he screams and he swears. Let alone the fact that he's drunk beyond... Just look at the way he's sitting, oh my, look at it! He can't even sit straight on a chair. You see how drunk he is - can't even sit straight...
    Servant. Sir, please behave. And take the cigarette out of the plate.
    Middle Aged Gentleman (takes the cigarette out of the plate, to the Servant). I'm in a shitty mood today, get it? I'm in a rotten mood.
    Elderly Lady. Just listen to his screams! Just take a look at him! He's in a company of people in white dresses, in black ties - people wearing their very best. They've prepared to this dinner party, they've dressed up to the nines. And who is he? No one, some kind of a bum, right?
    Middle Aged Gentleman (to Servant). When you're in a shitty mood, you get...
    Elderly Lady. Ragged, dirty. And the way he smells - he simply stinks!..
    Middle Aged Gentleman (to Servant). You get into such a commotion. So what's the best thing to do?
    Elderly Lady. He reeks of sweat. Of sweat! By the way, the air here is not too fresh, this is why...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. That's right: to get drunk, and...
    Elderly Lady. Taking a seat at this festive table, next to this white tablecloth looking like this - have you ever heard of such a thing, pray tell? Garçon, you must show him the door immediately. Right away. We beseech you.
    Servant. Madam, this man has the same right to be here as you.
    Elderly Lady. Looking and behaving like this? Pray...
    Servant. He has an invitation.
    Elderly Gentleman. We didn't see it - he should show it to us.
    Servant (to Elderly Lady and Elderly Gentleman). I'm sorry, I'm done explaining.

    Young Gentleman yawns loudly.

    Middle Aged Gentleman (to Servant). See, old man, I'm an artist, or at least I considered myself an artist all my life. All my life - that's a long time, see, a long time. And what do I get in the end? Zit, I don't get zit. See, no one appreciates my work, no one buys it. I'm not even talking about an exhibition, not even mentioning an exhibition... I mean, to be honest, I did sell a painting at some point, but for a very-very cheap price, I won't even name it. It's not about the money, not at all, it's just self-esteem, see, self-esteem. I thought the rest would just follow. Hell it did. (A short pause.) You know what I do now? Copies, yes, c-o-p-i-e-s. Those are copies of the old masters, of course, but they are still copies. At least the copies sell once in a while, not too smoothly, but they sell. What does it mean then: that I wasted my life, that everything went down the toilet, what do you make of it? Let's take you - you're a Servant: you know where you work, you know why, you know what to do. What about me - what should I do? Why continue painting if no one fucking needs it, why, tell me! I don't even show my stuff anymore - what's the point? I'm scared, you know. Scared of the canvas. Cause the canvas is like a mirror. It shows your weakness, your complexes, your senility. Hey, buddy, get me something to drink, please. At least give me some grape - my soul's on fire.
    Servant. You're done for today.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. The color - that was the final blow. Just listen: when I was young, the colors were so bright: the entire universe was filled with bright colors. I sensed the taste, the smell of every color. I really did. I mean, that's interesting, old man. Let's say dark brown - it smells of coffee, imagine that! White has the tender fragrance of breeze, and it tastes like milk. Red - oh, red - that's aggression: it doesn't smell of wine, oh no, it smells of blood, you know how strong is that smell. The blue smells of the sea, of course, even though the sea is not at all blue. Did you ever see the dreadful color of dead people's lips?.. You know which one's the best? Green! Gosh, you have no idea how many shades it has: yellowish-green, greyish-green, blue-green, bronze-green, olive-green, Veronese-green, dove-colored green - there's no way I could list all of them. Green is a very warm color, it's the warmest one, it's even warmer than yellow. You think yellow's the sun? No, old man, there's a tint of withering in yellow, it's a decaying green, an aged green. I guess I've aged - the colors faded, they got washed out. Sometimes, in the mornings, I can"t tell one color from another - does that mean I"m turning color-blind? A color-blind painter, what d"you make of that, huh? (A short pause.) I can"t see a simple line, while it used to be... Oh, the lines used to be clear, extremely clear, the drawing was simple, and what nuances, what transitions!.. It's hard to believe in it now, but really... (A short pause.) Some time ago... I gave an announcement... you see.... a newspaper announcement. A painter is looking for a job. Well, you know, what if someone sees it and decides to have their portrait painted... Like some wife of a rich man - they usually want to have their portraits at home to capture their beauty forever. Guess what happened today? Someone calls me, and I come to the interview. Oh no, you can't even imagine the offer I got, what an offer... They offered me to.... To help them pick a wallpaper for their new apartment: "so that it matches the rest" - they said... So that's who I am - that good-for-nothing painter, which... (A short pause.) Hey, would you like me to paint your portrait? Don't think hard, I won't charge you, I won't, really, you're so picturesque, with this beard of yours, and your face - it's like a mask. Interested? Come on, say "yes".
    Servant. I'm much obliged, but not today. I must ask you again: please, behave, do not inconvenience the other gentlemen. They're invited here, just like you are, they have every right to enjoy themselves. Please.

    Servant exits. Silence. Middle Aged Gentleman crumples his cigarette butt, gets up, and tries to smoke it.

    Elderly Lady. I see that words don't find their way to him. Why didn't the garçon show him the door? This is a disgrace, simply a disgrace!
    Middle Aged Gentleman. I agree, this is simply a disgrace - no booze. Isn't that a disgrace?
    Elderly Lady. Look at him smoking again.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. If drinking's not allowed, what else is left? Taking a smoke.
    Elderly Lady (to Elderly Gentleman). Won't you do something, or do you want me to suffocate? (A short pause. Elderly Lady walks out of the table and goes to the window.) Garçon!
    Young Gentleman. The window doesn't open.
    Elderly Lady. Why doesn't it?
    Young Gentleman. Well, like. You know.
    Elderly Lady. What do you mean by "you know"? (A short pause.) And what does "doesn't open" mean? I don't understand. (A short pause.) Well, since there are no men in the room, I'd have to do it myself. I'll open it myself. (She climbs on a chair, but loses her balance.) Heeelp... (Young Gentleman catches her and seats her back at her place.) Auuu... Here, a man, at last! Thank you, thank you so much, or else I would...
    Young Gentleman. It's OK.

    Silence. Young Gentleman walks up to Middle Aged Gentleman and snaps his lighter.

    Middle Aged Gentleman. Oooh, some light! (He smokes.) Grand merci. And I thought: no wine, no...
    Young Gentleman. An artist?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Hmmm... An arse-tist.
    Young Gentleman. What d'you paint?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. This and that... When I was young, I used to paint people. Satirical stuff, caricatures, see? They praised me, they said I had talent. They called me the new Hogart. They approved of my school. Then I became older, and I decided: that's not it. One should not paint the things he sees.
    Young Gentleman. I don't get it.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. You should paint the stuff you feel, the stuff you aspire to. You should paint the indescribable, the unimaginable. Only the most important, the very-very important stuff should be painted.
    Young Gentleman. I still don't get it.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Well, I'll try to explain... There was this day, a very foggy day, no ray of light. All of a sudden - I mean, no, not suddenly, you had to make an effort to look carefully - this tiny ray of light breaks through the fog: it was very lonely at first, like... like this glass. I continued looking in carefully: the amount of light increased - there was more and more of it, and then it flooded the entire space, the entire universe. I've seen it, and I realized right away where I should head - where I should head in order not to lose my way, what I should paint to make it more than just abstract scribble but... I mean, I - I thought I saw the light, but they... They don't care, they don't give a shit, cause they're used to something else. They don't understand, and they never will.
    Young Gentleman. Who?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Who? Well, the people.
    Young Gentleman. What if... you know? Keep it simple.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Keep what simple?
    Young Gentleman. Paint simpler stuff. Like portraits and shit. You make it pretty, and you get some dough.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. "Pretty" or "not pretty" has nothing to do with it. It's not about...
    Young Gentleman. You should make it - you know, pretty. If it's not pretty, no one would buy it.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. You really don't understand: I want to express what I find to be the most important, the outmost important.
    Young Gentleman. I still don't get it.
    Middle Aged Gentleman.  That's the thing, I can't really express it.
    Young Gentleman. Dude, you're like... you know.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Oh no, I see it, but I can't specify. I paint it, and I want the others to think into it and guess what I meant. I want them to take a really good look. Get it now?
    Young Gentleman. Solving crossword puzzles is a waste of time.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Don't get me wrong, I know that this path is not easy. It's hard, it's very hard. But it's the only one I can take, see?
    Young Gentleman. You should keep it simple. Then, when you become famous - do your puzzles...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Famous? Hm... I already didn't make it, didn't catch up, didn't catch on. This is the end!
    Young Gentleman. Time will show.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. I've got no time left, not anymore. (Loudly.) Nooone! What's most important - there's no hope. No hope at all, see? Noooone! (He inhales. A short pause. To Young Gentleman.) What are you up to?
    Young Gentleman. My own business.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. How much do you make? At this business of yours?
    Young Gentleman. It's all right.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Yeaah? Not me, not at all right. I've got no money. My wife ran off  - that's enough, she said, I waited for twenty years, enough is enough... I mean, I don"t need a lot, don"t get me wrong... But there must be something...What about those two - are they on your team?
    Young Gentleman. On their own.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. What, they've also got their own business? (A short pause.) Yeaaah: You've got something, they've got something, the ant's got something, the bee's got something, while me...
    Young Gentleman. Patsy?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Whaaat?
    Young Gentleman. Like... a loser?
    Middle Aged Gentleman (sighs). I guess. I didn't used to think so, but it shows. I didn't achieve anything in life, any-thing.
    Young Gentleman. Don't whine, I've got an offer. An OK offer. I've got this fence at my summerhouse. It's an OK fence - it's new, it's firm. I painted it myself, but it's not you know. So I want you to... Well, I mean... You're a painter, right? I'll pay you some OK dough.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Did I understand you right: you're offering me to paint a fence? Me - to paint a fence? What's wrong with you?!
    Young Gentleman. Well, you're like... a painter, and you've got paint. Or dry oil. I need a red fence.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Yeaaah... yeaaah... to paint a fence... To paint a fence red... Brilliant.
    Young Gentleman. Not brilliant, it shouldn't be brilliant.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. But I"m a painter, see, an artist. A-r-t-i-s-t.
    Young Gentleman. So what?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. So what what?
    Young Gentleman. Painters can't, like, paint a fence?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. That's my life's dream. To paint a fence. To paint a fence red.
    Young Gentleman. Dreams are crap. You can't gorge on dreams.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. I happen to be full, I'm full up to my eyeballs. No need for dinner.
    Young Gentleman. You should live by you know... deeds. Father used to say: "Don't chat - that's a waste of time. You get the urge to chat - go unload a car, and it'll go away. And you'll get some dough out of it, too." The times are you know... tough: do and take, take and do. All you do is "yatata yatata" You've got no occupation, that's why you whine.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. I've got no occupation, huh? What's wrong with painting for an occupation?
    Young Gentleman. You should be making dough. That's an occupation. (He walks away and takes a seat at the table.)
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Yeaaah... tough times... painting's not an occupation... Yeaah... (He walks slowly to the table and sits down.)

    ANSWERING MACHINE. Friday. Eleven PM, one minute, thirty seconds.

    Wagner"s "Ride of the Valkyries" plays. A flaunting Young Lady appears in the window. She looks like a warrior-woman: her piercing blue eyes are vulgarly made up on a heavily powdered face, she wears a long golden wig, a sparkling corset with a deep cleavage, which shows her large breasts. The tights on her long legs merge into brocade knee high boots. There's something shining in her hands. She speaks in a low voice and quite loudly, way louder than the others.

    Young Lady. How"s it going, freaking morons? (Jumps on the table.) Gutten tag - look at your mugs! Salut, slutties! Those are my overseas greetings. (Sings.) Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep. Missed that kiss-er?
    Elderly Gentleman (ducks down). Whoa!
    Elderly Lady (through clenched teeth). Who's that dolly?!
    Young Lady (turning to the guests). Sorry for the delay, black thighs!
    Elderly Gentleman (smiling). Oh, no, you're quite on time. Quite.
    Young Lady. I knew it. Nine nimble noblemen nibble nuts. Note it - a nightmare!
    Elderly Gentleman (smiling). Hmmm... Very curious words.
    Elderly Lady. Why through the window, can't you see the door?
    Young Lady. I'm a Valkyrie, I fly down to take the souls of the dead. I always get in through the window. Come on, Melvins, confess: who's kicking the bucket around here? You, Baldie?
    Elderly Lady. Say, do you have an invitation?
    Young Lady. Wha'? I don't get you, granny.
    Elderly Lady. Granny? You call me - granny? Just you wait, dear granddaughter!
    Young Lady. Come on, don't mess with me: you'll splash up a river, you'll foam and you'll fizz. Unless you're hard to please.
    Elderly Lady. Show the invitation right away, if you have it, of course.
    Young Lady. I've got everything, oh yes: for the boobs and for the ass.
    Elderly Lady. So show it - right away.
    Young Lady. To you? Wait, and you will see, Euridicee. (She turns with her back to the audience and makes vulgar gestures.) Well, did you check out my gadgets?
    Elderly Gentleman (getting up). Whoa!
    Young Lady. Does your mouth water? Or does it happen to be something else?
    Elderly Lady. Well, this is just... Garçooon!
    Elderly Gentleman. Totally fine. Totallissimo.

    Elderly Lady grabs the bell and tries to ring, but Elderly Gentleman snatches it out of her hands.

    Elderly Lady. What is it? What's wrong?
    Elderly Gentleman. Everything's fine.
    Elderly Lady. I repeat: what's wrong?
    Elderly Gentleman. As a consequence, we're in a very good mood now.
    Elderly Lady. Give me the bell! We should show her the door immediately. This is such an insult, such a... Don't you consider her company insulting?
    Elderly Gentleman. When the mood's good, life's beautiful, isn't it?
    Young Lady. You just can't bear it, cunt you?
    Elderly Lady. Give me the bell, give it back!
    Elderly Gentleman (to Young Lady, smiling). Where did you come from, flying by, so to speak? You're from distant lands, aren't you?
    Young Lady. I'm a foreign thing all right, but lately I'm mostly to be found in your provinces. I'm popular here. I"m so smashing, I cause lots of thrashing. That"s how it goes, limpy dicklings.
    Elderly Lady (to Young Gentleman). Please, take the bell away from him.
    Elderly Gentleman. Really. You really make a mind-blowing impression.
    Elderly Lady (to Young Gentleman). I implore you, ring the bell.
    Young Lady (to Elderly Lady). Cut out that ringing, you Naughty Dame. I happened to fly by, and I"m not going anywhere till I'm done pecking. (She jumps off the table and takes a seat next to Elderly Lady.)
    Elderly Lady (getting up). Such a company humiliates me, it's simply humiliating. (She walks to the door - it's closed.) Garçon, Garçooon!
    Young Lady (to Elderly Lady). Be like a kitty - warm up your ditty. I dare you to jump out the window.
    Elderly Lady (loudly). Garçon, Garçooon!
    Young Lady. Cut out the drama, you drama queen!
    Elderly Lady. Look who's talking!
    Young Lady. Clean the wax out of your ears!
    Elderly Lady. Just listen to yourself!
    Young Lady. Better than listening to you!..
    Elderly Lady. I haven't heard a nastier voice...
    Young Lady. Au, I fell, I'm not too well!
    Elderly Lady. In my entire life!
    Young Lady. Oh, pick me up, I can't get up!
    Elderly Lady. Nature's efforts are wasted on you.
    Young Lady. You're an old, foul glaring schnapps herring. And nature made me for something major.
    Elderly Lady. Me - a herring! Some shark you are!
    Young Lady. Yeah, the shark's still got some spark, and trust me- it"ll make its mark.
    Elderly Lady (loudly). Garçon! Open the door!
    Young Lady. Oh, man, she needs to go!  I bet she"s gonna flood the room!
    Elderly Lady (loudly). Open the door right away! Garçooon! Some dinner party that is, some guests! (She jumps aside, picks in her purse, takes out a cigarette, lights it and takes a smoke.)
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Look who's steaming now. Here goes the talk about the air...
    Young Lady. Go on, you lame thing, smoke up and sing.

    Elderly Lady turns away with contempt. A short pause.

    Elderly Gentleman. Why don't you... try something? We've got...
    Young Lady. The grub "s right on - grapes and salmon. The only prob is wine shortage.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. We sucked it all in.
    Young Lady. Don't worry, we've got our own. (She takes a bottle out of her corset and starts sipping.) Who wants some, who wants some?
    Elderly Gentleman. With pleasure. (He takes the bottle and takes a few sips.)
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Hey, leave some for me. C'mon, leave me some! (He walks up to Elderly Gentleman, takes the bottle and drinks it up. A short pause.)
    Young Lady. Why don't you, losers, ass out till you lose it? You're such bores - I could yawn myself to death.
    Elderly Gentleman. You're absolutely right - it's quite boring around here. Being short of women, so to speak...
    Elderly Lady. Swine! (Exhales smoke.)
    Young Lady. No music, no boogie-woogie.
    Elderly Gentleman. The party was meant to be of a somewhat different kind.
    Young Lady. You mean a gay one?
    Elderly Lady. She's a tart, not a shark!
    Elderly Gentleman. Oh, no, that's not at all what I meant.
    Young Lady. Cause I can't stand this lavender business.
    Elderly Gentleman. Quite an official reception, so to speak...
    Young Lady. You think I haven't been to receptions? People have such a blast there, they kick up their heels so high that the chandeliers fall off. Like I haven't been to those contra-ceptions. Jeez-Louise!
    Elderly Gentleman. Yes, you're quite right, but...
    Young Lady. "But" is up my butt.  And now I'm gonna make your day: I'll bring you some young blood, I'll turn you into studs. Come on, old farts, show me your arts. Let"s go skipping: hop-hop-hop, boogie-woogie.
    Elderly Gentleman. I would love to, but without music, so to speak...
    Young Lady. There"ll be music, there"ll be schmoozing...
    Elderly Gentleman. Hm... Such a curious word.
    Young Lady (to Young Gentleman). Hey, blondie-ho, how's your rhythm?
    Young Gentleman. Wha'?
    Young Lady. How's your freaking rhythm? Bang-bang-bang and the whole shabang.
    Young Gentleman. You're like, you know....
    Young Lady. Too bad, I wanted you to take off your boot and do some hoot-hoot-hoot. The Baldie and I are gonna hop around, won't we, Baldie?
    Elderly Gentleman. I'd love to, but...
    Young Lady. "But" is up my butt. (Jumps on the table.) All, right, come here, let"s tap together. (Sings.) We will we will fuck you! We will we will fuck you!1

    Elderly Gentleman climbs on the table. Young Lady grabs him and presses him tightly to her breast, then she starts beating her heels rhythmically on the table, while singing the "ta-ta-ta-ta" part of Ravel's "Bolero". Elderly Gentleman and Young Lady dance something that resembles a "lambada".

    Elderly Lady. How dreadful! My goodness...
    Young Lady (to Elderly Gentleman). Don't shake like a quake! Or is it fear? Don't worry, I won't pull you in.
    Elderly Gentleman. It's not... I...
    Elderly Lady. What a downfall! (Exhales smoke.)
    Young Lady (to Elderly Gentleman). Faster, faster. Feel the rhythm - hop stop, hop stop. Or did you forget what skipping is about?
    Elderly Gentleman. Honestly speaking...
    Elderly Lady. You turned a decent house into a whorehouse.
    Elderly Gentleman. You make me forget... what everything in the world is about.
    Young Lady. No shit, Sherlock. Forget, but don't schlep, don't you miss your step.
    Elderly Gentleman. I'm sincere.
    Young Lady. Come on, don't mess with my...
    Elderly Gentleman. No, really.
    Young Lady. Or did Connor get a bonner?
    Elderly Gentleman. Well... in a sense, so to speak...
    Young Lady. You're not the first one, jeez-Louise.
    Elderly Gentleman. Rrrr... (He suddenly grabs Young Lady's legs.)
    Elderly Lady. Oh, dear! (Covers her face with her hands.) The beasts! The beasts! (She runs to the table, grabs a silver spoon and puts it inside her purse.)
    Young Lady. I see you got the hang of it. Has it been so long since you got some booty?
    Elderly Gentleman. No, on my va... on vacatiooooo....nnn...
    Young Lady. Well, get some booty for the last, get some booty, Baldie. (Middle Aged Gentleman suddenly jumps on the table and joins the dancing couple.) You wanna hop in a threesome, dirty boy? They say "ménage a trois" overseas, while you folks call it "gangbang". Fake it till you make it, as long as you shake it!
    Young Gentleman (rudely). The table will collapse. You're totally you know.

    Elderly Lady recovers from the shock, grabs the bell and rings it. Servant enters.

    Elderly Lady. Finally, garçon, finally! What's going on around here, huh? Give me an explanation, since I just... I just... I never supposed that I was invited to an orgy. Oh, yes, an orgy - what else! I couldn't even imagine that such things are possible. Make them... this very instant... you hear me, make them get off the table this very instant... The table's for eating, not for their feet! And that dolly is here illegally - she came in through the window. She doesn't have an invitation, she doesn't have anything! Listen... I'm an understanding person... but some boundaries certainly do exist... this is a mayhem! I called for you, I shouted, but you... (The table suddenly collapses with a loud noise; the dancers fall on the floor.) See - that's what I was talking about!
    Young Lady. Talking - schmucking.

    Elderly Gentleman, Young Lady and Middle Aged Gentleman get up slowly. Elderly Gentleman reluctantly lets go of Young Lady.

    Elderly Lady. Where do we sit now, huh? Where do we sit?
    Servant (to Young Gentleman). Fix it, please. (Young Gentleman starts fixing the table. To Young Lady.) Madam, I must ask you to depart. First, you came in through the window
    Young Lady. Well, yeah, the door was closed, how else could I come in? Jeez-Louise.
    Servant. Second, you don't have an invitation.
    Young Lady. Oh, yeah? And they do?
    Servant. They do.
    Young Lady. So let them show those invites, let them show.
    Servant. They do, believe me.
    Young Lady. What's that discriminovulation? Are they better than me? How cum?
    Servant. Madam, your presence here is highly undesirable.
    Young Lady. Said who? (Pointing at Elderly Lady). That herring? We can marinate her right here. But I'm not gonna grub on her - there's nothing to grub on. With a schnapps or two - maybe.
    Servant. The Host said so.
    Young Lady. Whooo?
    Servant. The Host of this house.
    Young Lady. Oh, that one. He didn't make an appearance yet, did he?
    Servant. This is not surprising.
    Young Gentleman (getting up). The thing's you know. Like, I'm done.
    Servant (to Young Gentleman). Thank you. Madam, please leave the building. (He picks up the objects that fell off the table.)
    Young Lady. Aren't you the butt-ler of this house? Why the hell should I listen to somebody's ass? There are still lots of stuff on the floor, so keep on working, beardy, while we...
    Servant. I repeat: the Host didn't invite you here.
    Young Lady. Where is he, this Host of yours? He invites guests, and he doesn't even show up... That ghost of a Host.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Wow, she's like... totally.
    Servant. Madam, leave this place right away. Right away.
    Young Lady. Yeah right, as if I'm gonna listen to some ass and its ghost, who doesn't even exist. You know, fiction-friction.
    Elderly Gentleman (rubbing his bruised knee). Hmm... such curious words.
    Servant (to Young Gentleman). I must ask you one more thing: take her out of here please - to avoid trouble. I rely on you.

    Servant exits. Silence.

    Young Lady (takes a small file, which looks like a dagger, out of her purse and starts filing her fingernails). Man, I broke my little claw! (A short pause.) Why are all of you so quiet, huh, Melvins? You fixed the table, blondie ho', good boy, the Baldie and I are gonna do some more boogie-woogie. (Jumps on the table.) I'm sick of that "the host didn't invite you" bullshit: some cross boss, I know the likes of him, I blow the likes of him. "Didn't invite you" - I need this invitation like a playboy needs castration. I don't need no invitations, I fly wherever I please. The host didn't invite me, huh, where is that ghost? He doesn't even... ha-ha... he doesn't exist! Doesn't e-xi-st! (A short pause. Sings.) Cunt on me through thick and thin...2

    Young Gentleman suddenly jumps at the Young Lady, grabs her and takes her out of the room. Silence.

    Middle Aged Gentleman (walking about the room). What was this playful girlie babbling about? "Doesn't exist", "fiction-friction". (A short pause.) Why did she even come here? (A short pause.) There's something about her that I don't dig, but what? She's too active, I guess - she totally messed with our brains. (He finds a cigarette butt, lights a match on his heel and smokes. Silence.)
    Elderly Lady. Men are such scumbags. Lowly, base scumbags! (Seats at the table.)
    Middle Aged Gentleman. There's something... predatory about her.
    Elderly Lady. It's for a reason that I never...
    Elderly Gentleman (to Elderly Lady). That's a shame. You could have tried at least once. (Seats at the table, half-face to her.)
    Elderly Lady. I could have tried what? What?
    Elderly Gentleman. What you've never tried. (Keeps on rubbing his knee.)
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Man, the lives some people have! They do useful stuff. They fix tables, they paint fences. The ant carries a grass leaf, the bee sits on the flower. And me...
    Elderly Lady (to Elderly Gentleman). Not only are you a womanizer, you're also a bully. Then again, I've already said that.
    Elderly Gentleman. Oh, yes, a good holiday is quite favorable. Quite.
    Elderly Lady. There are no decent people left, they all died out - like dinosaurs. As if they never existed...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. I won't be able to do a thing anymore, not a thing.
    Elderly Lady. There's no one to socialize with, absolutely no one!
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Not a thing. That is it. Dim the lights, the show is over.
    Elderly Lady. And I did right not to...
    Elderly Gentleman. I wonder, where did he take her? To that little couch in the hall, I guess.
    Elderly Lady. Of course. That goes without saying.

    The door opens - Young Gentleman quickly walks into the room and takes a seat at the table. A short pause.

    Middle Aged Gentleman (to Young Gentleman.). Aha, so you do some painting yourself. So what was all of this fence talk...
    Elderly Lady. His hands are red. Red hands!
    Young Gentleman. The paint spilt. It won't come off.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Try gasoline - it'll come off right away. Trust me, I know.
    Elderly Lady. And what if?..
    Elderly Gentleman. So how is she? Impressive? Fiery? And the temperament? How's the temperament?
    Young Gentleman. She's OK.
    Elderly Lady. Is it really...?
    Elderly Gentleman. I mean in the sense of... Well, you understand.
    Young Gentleman. She's OK.
    Elderly Gentleman. I didn't doubt it for a second. I still feel those vibes, so to speak.

    Young Man smokes.

    Elderly Lady  (to Young Gentleman). In any case, I'm... I'm grateful. Oh, I understand everything, but what's to do?
    Young Gentleman. Hmmm.
    Elderly Lady. It was necessary, simply necessary to do it. At least for the sake of eliminating the chaos, the mayhem. Oh, I'm sure you know all of that.
    Young Gentleman. I do.
    Elderly Lady. Well, all in all... This was very nice of you, oh yes, very nice.
    Elderly Gentleman. Will she come back soon? (A short pause.) Soon? She presented herself as Valkyrie.
    Young Gentleman. She will.
    Elderly Gentleman. Sure enough. Time will come and...

    Silence.

    Middle Aged Gentleman. But still, what was this whole talk about the Host not existing, why did she insist? (A short pause.) If there's no Host, why did we come here? Why did we?.. (A short pause. Loudly.) Whyyy?
    Elderly Lady. Stop screaming, must all of you scream?! That one almost made us deaf with her screams, and now this one goes.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. In that case, our dinner party has no meaning - absolutely none. And there must be a meaning, you can't go on without meaning. You, youngster, what do you think? (A short pause.) I mean, what do you think about the host?
    Young Gentleman. You know.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. "You know" is not an answer. You must tell me what you think about the Host.
    Young Gentleman. I don't really give a shit.
    Middle Aged Gendleman. You don't give a shit about what?
    Young Gentleman. You know. We came to the feast - we stuffed our faces. That's cool.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Is that the only thing you care about? Just that?
    Young Gentleman. Hmm.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Yeaah (to Elderly Gentleman.) What about you, security? Where's the Host?
    Elderly Gentleman. I was certain that he will come, but since he didn't show up, then...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Didn't show up?
    Elderly Gentleman. Since he didn't show up - that means he didn't show up. He was busy or something like that.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Yeaah... (A short pause. To Elderly Lady.) What about you, you also believe that?
    Elderly Lady. What I believe doesn't matter. Not for you, in any case. I won't tell you a thing - no way!

    A short pause.

    Middle Aged Gentleman. Did all of you lose it or what... How come it doesn't matter? What matters then? (Loudly.) What matters?
    Elderly Lady. Stop screaming, how many times should I tell you!
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Y'a all are psyching out!
    Elderly Lady (pointing at Middle Aged Gentleman.). You're the psycho one here!
    Middle Aged Gentleman. You don't know shit... (Loudly.) Nut boxes! (Grabs the bell, rings it. Servant enters.) Listen, I beg you: tell me about the Host. Where is he and stuff...
    Servant. Don't you see him?
    Middle Aged Gentleman. To be honest with you, not at the moment... no. I don't see him. And they don't either. They don't either. And that one - she's totally...
    Servant. Well, I'm very sorry.
    Middle Aged Gentleman. But does he exist? Is he here?
    Servant. If you don't feel his presence, then...
    Middle Aged Gentleman. Then what?
    Servant. Try to feel it.
    Middle Aged Gentleman (loudly). Then whaaaat?!
    Elderly Lady. Stop screaming!
    Servant. Try.

    Servant leaves. Silence. Young Gentleman puts his cigarette off into the salad dish.

    Young Gentleman. That's how.
    Elderly Lady. Well then, I think it's great.
    Young Gentleman. It's somehow not really, not really.
    Elderly Gentleman. And what now? Now what?
    Young Gentleman. It can't be helped.
    Elderly Lady. Certainly - how could it be helped?
    Young Gentleman. You don't say.
    Elderly Gentleman. But next time...
    Elderly Lady. Maybe it's for the best. Only...
    Elderly Gentleman (smiles). We should be a bit more resolute.

    Young Gentleman yawns loudly. Silence.

    Middle Aged Gentleman (walks about the room). Oh, why did nature give me this gift, if it's nothing but phantom, illusion, deceit? (A short pause.) So, it's a deceit, all of it - a deceit?? A de-cieeet? (Pause. Elderly Lady, Elderly Gentleman and Young Gentleman get up and walk away upstage.) But how so, how so? You're the one who invited me here, I obviously wouldn't have come by myself. You invited me, and you must... you must give me directions, you must guide me. And instead - you're a deceit? A deceit?? I can't make it on my own, I can't, caaaan't! (Screams hysterically.) Host! Hoost! Hooooost! A deceit - really? A deceit?! Ha-ha-ha! (Roars with a hoarse laughter.)

    Elderly Lady, Elderly Gentleman and Young Gentleman cover their ears. Middle Aged Man jumps on the table, repeating "deceit", ties the end of his tie to the chandelier and tries to hang himself. The chandelier breaks off and falls on the table together with Middle Aged Man, breaking it again. Lights go out.

    Together.

    Elderly Lady. Oh my, he broke off the chandelier! Garçon! Garçooon! How dreadful, I don't see the bell.
    Elderly Gentleman. What is it again - can't one finish his supper in peace?

    Young Gentleman yawns loudly.

    Middle Aged Gentleman (standing on his knees on the table). Forgive me, Host, this is my fault, I killed the lights! I killed the lights!!

    ANSWERING MACHINE. Saturday. Eleven fifty-nine PM, fifty-nine seconds.

    The ancient floor-standing clock strikes midnight. The last strike sends a very bright ray of light across the front row, directed towards the audience. The light strikes the eyes of the audience so strongly that it almost blinds them. The musical epilogue (andante) of the final choral from Bach's "The St. John Passion" plays.

    Curtain

    Date of writing: 2013
    Date of translating: 2014



    ATTENTION! All rights are reserved by the author and protected by the laws of Russian Federation and by International Law. The reproduction, publication, performance, translation or modification of the play is strictly prohibited without a written permission of the author.

     

    Quotes from other texts

    1. The altered chorus line of Queen"s "We Will Rock You".

    2. The altered first line of Whitney Houston"s "Count on Me".

     

    Keren Klimovsky - short bio

    Keren Klimovsky is a playwright, a script writer, a writer of short fiction and a translator. She was born in Moscow in 1985. When she was five, her family immigrated to Israel. In 2004 Klimovsky was admitted to Brown University on a national scholarship. She double majored in theater arts and comparative literature (English, Russian, French) while simultaneously earning an MA in Slavic studies (which was made possible by Brown's 4-year combined BA/MA program.) She also studied playwriting with such masters of American drama as Bonnie Metzgar, Aishah Rahman and Paula Vogel. In 2014 Klimovsky earned a Ph.D. degree in Slavic studies (Brown Univeristy) (Dissertation Title: "Performing The Communist Myths: The Afterlife Of An Orphaned Myth")

    In 2012, Klimovsky has co-founded the KEF Theater company together with the musician, composer and performer Elias Faingersh (Malmo, Sweden). Up to date the company has produced three shows, which have received both national and international acclaim.

    Keren has published her literary work since the age of 15 - in Russian, Israeli and American periodicals, such as "Novaya Yunnost'", "Dialogue", "Neva", "Interpoeziya", "October", "Druzhba Narodov" and many others. Together with V. Klimovsky she translated Hanoh Levine's play "Bachelors and Bachelorettes" (Published in "Contemporary Drama", 2004). Her translations of Israeli poetry (Yakov Besser, Dalia Ravikovich, Yona Wollach, Roni Somek and others) are published in "Dialogue", "Interpoeziya", and the online-literary journal "Prologue".

    Keren became finalist and laureate of many prestigious drama festivals and contests in Russia, such as the Free Belarus Theater Contest, the Textura Festival, the Badenweiler Festival, the Premiera Festival. Five of her plays and experimental dramatic prose texts have received staged readings in Moscow, Perm, Ryazan' and other cities in Russia. Her play "Lullaby for a Grown Man" was staged by two small theater groups in St. Petersburg and Krasnoyarsk (2013) and published in the book "Eight" - a collection of contemporary Russian drama (SEIP Fund, 2013).

    Klimovsky's short fiction had won first and second prices at the Voloshin Festival (2011, 2013) and entered the short-list of the "Debut" Award - 2013 (a prestigious Russian award for young writers).

    The film "Rehearsals" (2013, 2D Celluloid Company) that Klimovsky co-wrote with the director Oksana Karas won the "best debut" prize at the Moscow Premiere Festival (2013) as well as the ORT National Channel prize at the "Take 2" Online Festival (2015).



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