One moment, the stage is empty. Next moment, the whole company appears, shimmering. There is one younger woman, and one older, but otherwise they are all men in suits- ranks of them. The Author, a tall man, sixties, speaks.
Author This isn’t a play. It’s a story. It doesn’t pretends only to be a story. And what a story! How capitalism came to a grinding halt. Where were you on September 15th 2008? Do you remember? Did you even notice? Capitalism ceased to function for about four days. (…)
Chair of Mortgage Lender If it’s a play, it’s a Greek tragedy. You’re going along in a dream, then the Furies arrive and boy, do they wake you up!
Ronald The whole thing is a complete and utter fuck-up.
Howard I think of the whole thing as a Shakespearian tragedy, and like all great tragedies it ends with bodies all over the stage.
Ronald Without heroes.
Paul If you do write a play, make it a comedy. If it’s serious it’ll just be political crap. ‘One side’s right.’ ‘No, the other side’s right.’ Nobody wants to see that. Make it a comedy, because it is funny. Tragic, of course, but funny.
Howard holds out some sheets of paper.
Howard I’ve written it all out for you there. You can use it if you like.
David M I can see everyone wants to say it’s a story about greed and fear…
Financial Journalist It’s greed, isn’t it? It’s pure greed.
Jon M It’s greed, fear and complacency.
Harry People literally driven insane by greed.
Chair of Mortgage Lender Fear and greed drive capitalism. Capitalism works when greed and fear are in the correct balance. This time they got out of balance. Too much greed, not enough fear. Shocked, are you? Shocked? Prefer a different system, would you?
David Hare, The Power of Yes.
ASTROFF. Yes, ten years have made me another man. And why? Because I am overworked. Nurse, I am on my feet from dawn till dusk. I know no rest; at night I tremble under my blankets for fear of being dragged out to visit some one who is sick; I have toiled without repose or a day’s freedom since I have known you; could I help growing old? And then, existence is tedious, anyway; it is a senseless, dirty business, this life, and goes heavily. Every one about here is silly, and after living with them for two or three years one grows silly oneself. It is inevitable. [Twisting his moustache] See what a long moustache I have grown. A foolish, long moustache. Yes, I am as silly as the rest, nurse, but not as stupid; no, I have not grown stupid. Thank God, my brain is not addled yet, though my feelings have grown numb. I ask nothing, I need nothing, I love no one, unless it is yourself alone. [He kisses her head] I had a nurse just like you when I was a child.
Uncle Vanya, Anton Chejov
Rita. What were you terrified of?
Dieter. Well, if you want the whole story, I was reaching for the Scotch one night-
Anita enters, with a bottle of champagne.
Anita. Just opening this; I haven’t gone away!
Rita. We’re fine.
Dieter. And I was suddendly convulsed with pain and I was violently sick-it was quite horrible- and what had come up was somewhere between blood and treacle.
Dieter. I thought my God, that’s my whole liver.
The buzzer goes. Anita goes to answer it.
And I blacked out as usual and remembering nothing, but next morning, I was racked with shocking pain. I couldn’t move. I nearly died.
Anita (into de buzzer) Hi, sweetheart, come on up!
Dieter. So I lay in bed and thought long and hard.
Dieter. I thought, I’ve been trying to die for years; this must be what I want.
Anita. Cool, great! (She exists.)
Dieter. And then at some point in the afternoon I had a kind of a well, I suppose a-I’ve never really known how to describe it. It was like an incredible sense of calm, and I realised that I was no longer afraid. Because what had always terrified me more than death…was life. I was terrified of life. And I thought that if I chose, I could stop being afraid. I could decide to live. So, two tears later, here I am…trying to live.
Moira Buffini, Loveplay.
Do you love me?
Do I what?
Do you love me?
Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town,
You’re upset, you’re worn out,
Go inside, go lie down.
Maybe it’s indigestion.
Golde, I’m asking you a question-
Do you love me?
You’re a fool.
But do you love me?
Do I love you?
For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes,
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house,
Given your children, milked the cow.
After twenty-five years, why talk about
Love right now?
Golde, the first time I met you
Was on our wedding day.
I was scared.
I was shy.
I was nervous.
So was I.
But my father and my mother
Said we’d learn to love each other.
And now I’m asking, Golde,
Do you love me?
I’m your wife.
But do you love me?
Do I love him?
For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him,
Fought with him, starved with him.
Twenty-five years my bed is his.
If that’s not love, what is?
Then you love me?
I suppose I do.
And I suppose I love you, too.
TEVYE and GOLDE:
It doesn’t change a thing,
But even so,
After twenty-five years,
It’s nice to know.
Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Fiddler on the Roof.
I hear you’re seeing a bit of Casey.
Casey. I just heard you were…seeing a bit of him.
Where did you hear that?
The funny thing was that the only thing I really felt was irritation, I mean irritation that nobody gossiped about us like that, in the old days. I nearly said, now look, she may be having the occasional drink with Casey, who cares, but she and I had an affair for seven years and none of you bastards had the faintest idea it was happening.
I wonder. I wonder if everybody knew, all the time.
Don’t be silly. We were brilliant. Nobody knew. Who ever went to Kilburn in those days? Just you and me.
Harold Pinter, «Betrayal».
«A quien dices el secreto das tu libertad», que diría Fernando de Rojas.
Aurelia: ¿El amor del gato y del perro?
Ramiro: Sí. Porque esos dos encantadores animales domésticos simbolizan los grupos en cuestión y hasta se diría que ambos están en el mundo para ser preferidos respectivamente por los seres que constituyen los dos grupos. El gato es todo egoísmo y frialdad, el perro es todo generosidad y efusión. Y así instintivamente les gustan los gatos a aquellos seres que necesitan amar y les gustan los perros a aquellos seres que necesitan ser amados: y el gato se deja amar de los que le aman y el perro ama a los que piden amor.
Aurelia: ¿Luego para saber si una persona necesita amar o ser amada basta con averiguar si le gustan los perros o prefiere los gatos?
Ramiro: Cabalmente. ¿No es sencillo?
Aurelia: Sencillísimo. Pero ¿y los que no tienen predilección ni por los gatos ni por los perros?
Ramiro: Esas gentes siniestras no necesitan amor ni ser amadas, ni tienen nada que hacer en el mundo de los afectos. Huya usted siempre de esas gentes: son las basuras de la humanidad.
Enrique Jardiel Poncela, «El amor del gato y del perro».
Tamara de Lempicka, «Autorretrato»
NORA. You’ve never really loved me. You just thought it was fun to be in olve with me-that´s all… It’s true Torvald. When I lived at home with papa, he would tell me what he thought about eveything, so I never had any opinions of my own. And if I ever had any ideas of my own I made sure to keep them absolutely secret and hidden, because he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He used to call me his little doll, and he’d play with me just I played with my own dolls. Then I came to live with you in your house…What I mean is, that I passed directly from papa’s hands into yours. You’ve always arranged things just so, the way you wanted them, and I simply adopted the very same tastes as yours-well, at least I pretended I did-I can’t quite remember- Anyway, I suppose it was a bit of both really-first one-then the other. But now, looking back, it’s as if I were a beggar living here-from hand to mouth. I survived by performing tricks for you, Torvald. But that’s the way you preferred it. You know it’s a terrible wrong that you and papa have done me. It’s your fault that I’ve made nothing of my life… Our home’s been nothing but a play-pen. I’ve been your doll-wife, just as I was papa’s doll-child. And then in their turn the children have been my dolls. I used to think that it was fun when you’d come in and play with me, just as the children think it’s fun when I go in and play with them. But that, Torvald, is all that our marriage amounts to.
«PATRICIA.- (Sin moverse.) Gabi… ¿qué es todo ésto?
GABI.- ¿A qué te refieres?
PATRICIA.- Todas estas oscuras jugarretas del azar… Como si él se riese de nosotros… Creíamos poder razonarlo todo y él nos demuestra los ciegos que estamos…
GABI.- Procuremos abrir los ojos.
GABI.- ¿Qué quieres decir?
PATRICIA.- ¿Seguiremos repitiéndonos, y no sólo físicamente?…
GABI.-(Después de un momento, sobrecogido) ¿Cómo si fuésemos ellos mismos, aunque nos creamos sus jueces?… (Se miran intensamente en el silencio.)
PATRICIA.- Que ese temor nos guíe. Es el que tal vez pueda hacerlo cambiar todo mañana. Y también a nosotros (…)