Out of the Wings

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La boda (c.1957), Virgilio Piñera

The Wedding, translated by Scarlett Theatre, Kate Eaton


In this scene, the incriminating conversation held by Luis and Alberto is overheard by Julia and Flora.
Sample text

Voices and footsteps are heard.

FLORA: (Taking Julia by the hand.) Quick it's them, let’s hide in the bathroom.

JULIA: Hide? What are you up to ?

(There is a knock on the sitting room door.)

FLORA: (Quietly.) Come on! (They disappear into the bathroom.)

ALBERTO: (Entering.) Flora!

LUIS: (Entering.) Julia!

ALBERTO: (Going to the screen.) Flora! (Pause. He looks through one of the chinks in the screen.) They've flown!

LUIS: (Looking as well.) And yet the servant just told us that Flora was dressing.

ALBERTO: (Dropping onto the sofa.)

Well as you can see, not a trace of my dearly beloved.

LUIS: (Sitting in an armchair, legs apart.) She will return my dear, she will return to the nest!  Your most dearly beloved Flora will return to the nest.  Just a few minutes more and all will have been consummated.

ALBERTO: (Sighing.) .. Consummated

LUIS: Eh! ... and from whence comes such a heartfelt sigh?  Flora is a beautiful, kindly girl, and above all incredibly rich.

ALBERTO:. You're jumping to the wrong conclusions. My love for Flora is sincere. Even if she didn't have a penny I would marry her.

LUIS: In that case ... why the sigh… I don't understand

ALBERTO:. I don't know… maybe I'm hungry.

LUIS: Tell me, have you… fondled her yet?

ALBERTO:. Of course .... We're young.

LUIS:. The full fondle or just a furtive fiddle?

ALBERTO: The full fondle. I am acquainted with all areas.

LUIS: Well go on, give me the gory details...

ALBERTO: How dare you...  I am a gentleman. (He sighs again.)

LUIS: One gentleman to another should e'er his pains relate. Observe how I employ the chivalrous language of mediaeval knights.

ALBERTO: A mediaeval knight would not have made so bold.

LUIS: Well you're not exactly a mediaeval knight either (Roars with laughter.) Come on you old devil, fill me in on your fondlings.

ALBERTO: You will get nothing out of me (He sighs again.)

LUIS: Did you lick her lips?  Did you tickle her thighs?  Did you brush against her breast?  Did you caress ....

ALBERTO: (Furious.) I'm warning you… (He sighs again.)

LUIS: Aha!  And so we sigh for the fifth time. Hmmmmm there's something fishy going on here. (Pause.)  Come on, I'm ready to hear your woes.

ALBERTO: (Standing.)  I swear to you that there are no such woes. It's hunger that's all, or maybe nerves...getting married isn't exactly child's play you know.

LUIS: I concede that it isn't child's play, but it seems to me that you are making rather a big deal out of something that even in the worst of cases could hardly be seen as a fate worse than death.

ALBERTO: Fate has been seen to play an important part in all human relationships (Pause.) put your five senses to work on what I am about to tell you…

LUIS: That depends. There are some cases that only require one sense, others - such as that which you wish to tell me about - seem to demand all five, whilst there are further cases in which the five senses are completely useless

ALBERTO: Anyway just listen: Do you think that if you loved someone with all your heart, you could overlook the fact of their having a serious defect?

LUIS: Physical defect or mental defect?

ALBERTO: Whatever.

LUIS: I can't answer you in the abstract, give me a firm example.

ALBERTO: I was speaking generally.

LUIS: So we're going to pass the time in speculative contemplation until Flora walks through that door. (Gestures towards the sitting room door.) I'm not playing that game.

ALBERTO: Oh what the hell!  We've got to talk about something, we can't stay here as silent as two shop window dummies.

LUIS: So be it. But I must warn you that I am going to be specific.

ALBERTO: (Surprised.) What do you know?

LUIS: So there is something to know...

ALBERTO: No of course there's nothing to know, I misunderstood what you were thinking.

LUIS: Good, well let’s get down to brass tacks (Pause.) If the defect of the woman that one loves with all ones heart...Weren't those your words?

ALBERTO: (Impatiently.) The very same.

LUIS: Good.  If the defect of the woman that one loves with all ones heart is only a slight imperfection...

ALBERTO: Are you talking about a physical defect or a mental defect?

LUIS: For the moment I'm talking about a physical defect. (Pause.) If it is only a slight imperfection; for example a lazy eye, a large nose, or flat feet, then we have absolutely no problem in ignoring it.

ALBERTO: But suppose the defect were more serious.

LUIS: Then one would have to give it some thought. Let us suppose that the woman that I adore goes blind, or better still that she falls from the tenth floor of a building and although after a long struggle her life is saved she is terribly disfigured ... Good grief! wouldn't such an unexpected calamity completely obliterate the love we feel for her?

ALBERTO: I don't suppose that our love for her would die, but at the same time we might feel terribly frustrated.

LUIS: It's a difficult case. (Ironic.) Just as well then that no such calamities threaten our placid lives. You are going to marry a splendid example of womanly perfection. If we speak of these things then its only to fill the time and yet it can't help but leave a painful impression (Pause.) And it is a problem because if you rush to find refuge in the perfect soul of this physically imperfect woman, your own soul will protest

ALBERTO: I don't understand ...

LUIS: (Lighting a cigarette, handing another to Alberto.) Your soul will protest because it can do nothing with smoke. (He exhales a mouthful of smoke.) like this from my cigarette... Do you see?  (He exhales another mouthful.)

ALBERTO: (Sighing.) Like this... (He exhales smoke.)

LUIS: More sighs ... but luckily they're theoretical, isn't that so?  You radiate happiness. Mr Alberto-Perfection is going to get married to Miss Flora-Perfection and everything is perfection.

ALBERTO: What would you do in a similar case?

LUIS: You mean in the case of the disfigured woman?


LUIS: My dear boy, I can't put myself in anyone else's shoes. I'd have to fall in love first, and then she'd have to go blind or suffer a terrible disfigurement ... (Pause.) And you, what would you do?

ALBERTO: Let's leave it. (Pause. He looks at his watch.) We must wait patiently until the bride decides to put in an appearance.

LUIS: (Laughing.) Her mother must be giving her the final instructions. Even though the mothers know that their daughters know more than they do, force of habit and the memory of past glories ... if you get what I'm saying.(He rises.)

ALBERTO: (Getting up.) What on earth is the matter with me?  I feel cold. I need to go and get a drink.(To Luis.) Are you coming? (He goes towards the door.)

(Luis does not hear the last part of this speech.  He enters the boudoir and starts going through everything-, he takes the tops off the perfume bottles, opens the drawers of the dressing-table, pokes about in the hat-boxes.  He stops in front of the rail of dresses.)

ALBERTO: (From the door.) Lets go... ! What are you doing in Flora's inner sanctum?

LUIS: (From the boudoir.)Wait just a moment.

ALBERTO: Come on old man, I can't stand another minute confined inside this mousetrap.

LUIS: Come here a second and see what a strange little animal I've just found, I promise you won't regret it. (He has picked up the bra that was hanging on the rail and holding it by both ends awaits Alberto’s arrival.)

ALBERTO: (Entering the boudoir stops short openmouthed.  Long pause.  Extremely serious.) Luis, there are some things that one just doesn't joke about…

LUIS: What?  Are you serious?  No, you must be kidding, no ladies present eh? Men only ...

ALBERTO: (Furious.) Put that brassiere back where you found it. It's an intimate item of ladies clothing and you have absolutely no right ...

LUIS: (Still with the bra in his hands.) Don't be ridiculous old boy, you're starting to sound like a preacher " Beware the sins of the flesh"...

ALBERTO: Sorry. I'm all on edge.(Pause.) Come on, come with me to get a drink.

LUIS: If you were deeply in love with a woman could you ignore any grave physical defect she might have? (Whilst he is saying this he waves the bra around.)

ALBERTO: (Throwing himself at Luis in a fury in order to snatch the bra from him.) What do you know?

LUIS: I don't know anything; you're the one who knows something ... And you're going to tell me what it is right now. It's not that I want to know, but you're going to go mad if you don't tell me. You're just dying to confess everything.(Long pause. He puts his fists into the cups of the bra, then raises them level with his chest.) Tell me: Are Flora's tits as perky and proud as this?

ALBERTO: (Sighing deeply.) You bastard…

LUIS: (His hands still in the same position.) Answer me you old fox: are Floras tits as perky and proud as this?

ALBERTO: (Sighing again.) No, they’re more like… (Imitating Luis.) This… (He raises his arms level with his stomach.)

LUIS: (Imitating him.) It is completely clear then that Flora’s tits are like this…

ALBERTO: Like that.

LUIS: (Returning the bra to the clothes rail.) I understand your sighs now: young man of good fortune, ardent and willing, meets wealthy young lady, sympathetic, passionate...

ALBERTO: Virtuous ...

LUIS: Young man of good fortune, ardent and willing, meets wealthy young lady, sympathetic, passionate and… virtuous, but…

ALBERTO: (Imitating Luis’s tone.) ... But.

LUIS: With droopy tits.

ALBERTO: Exactly so. droopy and doubly droopy. You can have absolutely no idea just how droopy Flora’s tits really are.

LUIS: I can't understand it. She's still young.

ALBERTO: Barely twenty-five.

LUIS: There is nothing that can be done about droopy tits, (He returns to the sitting room, and sits spread-eagled in the armchair.  Alberto follows him.) And the worst of the matter is that they just keep on getting droopier.

ALBERTO: (Sighing.)  Nothing is perfect in this life.

LUIS: If I get married one day...

(Julia enters through the sitting room door.  Alberto and Luis get up.)

ALBERTO: (Shaking her hand.) Hey, why didn't you make some noise?  You came into the room like a ghost.

JULIA: (Laughing.) Maybe I am a ghost. I can pass through walls, listen without being seen and find out what people are up to...

ALBERTO: In that case you'll be able to tell me where Flora’s got to and what she's doing.

JULIA: She's having a press conference with her mother.

LUIS: I already told him that: the mama gives the final instructions.

JULIA: I'd pay a million to hear them.

ALBERTO: Entry prohibited. They are discussing private matters.

JULIA: But I could find out what those private matters were if I hid beneath the bed or simply stood behind the door.

ALBERTO: (Looking at her astonished.) What is the fascination with listening behind doors ... (Pause.) Do you do it often?

JULIA: As often as I can. It's stronger than I am.

ALBERTO: Would you happen to know if Flora practices this ... sport?

JULIA: It's her weakness. Especially if she thinks the conversation might be about her.

ALBERTO: I suppose she will have heard each and every...

LUIS: It's a dangerous activity.

JULIA: Don't you believe it: it's the only way of really getting to know people

ALBERTO: Do you and Flora often meet up in order to listen furtively?

JULIA: Sometimes

FLORA: (Entering suddenly.) Good evening.

ALBERTO: (Rushing to meet her and kissing her cheek.) At last... ! I thought you had been kidnapped.

FLORA: Secret lover kidnaps bride two minutes before she is due to be led to the altar by her future husband. Duel to the death between the two rivals. Blood wedding. All very Lorca-esque... (Pause.) But it won't be like that ... How will it be?

LUIS: Like this; well-connected young lady is united in marriage with perfect gentleman. Fanfare of trumpets.

FLORA: To think that in just a few minutes ... I feel giddy.

ALBERTO: (Kissing her again.) Giddy with joy. I promise to make you very happy. (Pause.) But you were just about to tell me where you had been.

FLORA: We left by that door. (She points to the door of the sitting room.)

ALBERTO: But that's impossible!  We would have seen you. We haven't moved from this room.

FLORA: Darling, the nearness of the wedding is making you nervous. We simply left by that door before you both came in ... through the very same door.

ALBERTO: Let us say that you could have left via the bathroom.

LUIS: Is there a way out through the bathroom?

FLORA: The bathroom leads through to my bedroom and my bedroom leads through to the main hallway. (Pause.)  But what does it matter whether we came in through the sitting room or left via the bathroom?

JULIA: You know how Alberto is a stickler for detail. He would have made a great detective.

ALBERTO: We have been here for a good fifteen minutes (Pause.) We spoke on the telephone at a quarter to nine and you told me that you were getting dressed; I told you that I would arrive at exactly nine o'clock (Pause.) Well I arrived at that hour precisely and entered this room accompanied by Luis, we called you, we went into the dressing room...

FLORA: You went into the dressing room...

ALBERTO: (Piqued.) Well I don't see anything wrong in that. We only did it after calling out for you several times ...

FLORA: But dearest it is you who is commenting on the fact not me. I was merely following your train of thought.

ALBERTO: We went into the dressing room...

JULIA: Not a trace of your love!

ALBERTO: (Exchanging glances with Luis.) What Julia, what did you say?

JULIA: Uh!  What's the matter?  I don't think I said a naughty word did I?

ALBERTO: Sorry, it reminded ... ehem ... No ,no, sorry, didn't remind me of anything. Is that an expression that you use a lot?

JULIA: No it's the first time that I've said it. It was utterly spontaneous, it seemed to go well with the deserted dressing room and the empty sitting room.

LUIS: It's a rather mournful expression. One hears it and it's as though Flora had gone forever.

ALBERTO: Might you not have heard it on some occasion and be repeating it now unwittingly?

JULIA: That's not very likely; I mean it's not a saying like for example: It never rains but it pours…

FLORA: Or " Walls have ears "...

ALBERTO: You lot are pulling my leg ... You can't possibly think ...

FLORA: (Ruffling Alberto’s hair) I'm pulling your hair not your leg darling. (PAUSE.) Anyway if anyone is pulling anybody's leg it's you. I think you must have started rather early on the champagne.

LUIS: He hasn't touched a drop. You have my word of honour, he's keeping it to drink alone with you.

ALBERTO: I hate sayings, they seem like grim-faced judges with long beards. (Forced laugh.) My father used to use them all the time; it made my hair stand on end. They're always used in response to some dreadful occurrence.

FLORA: Some are quite encouraging: God helps those who help themselves ...!

LUIS: That's a proverb

ALBERTO: What's the difference!  Proverbs are sayings. (Pause.) We went into the dressing room...

FLORA: Both of you at the same time?

ALBERTO: (Going towards Flora with a look of stupefaction on his face.) FLORA:.. ! (Talking to himself.) Can it be possible? (To FLORA:) What the blazes has got into you?  Where do you want it all to end?

FLORA: Nowhere. I say something perfectly innocent and you turn it into something of great significance. I shan't let another word pass my lips.

ALBERTO: Sorry, darling; I didn't mean to upset you.

JULIA: It must be nerves ...

ALBERTO: (Stupefied. To JULIA:) Now Julia don't deny it, that must be an expression that you use a lot. It's a saying that one hears all over the place, especially these days when everyone has trouble with their nerves ... Why only yesterday my mother broke one of her treasured Sevres plates ... (Pause.) When was the last time that you heard it?

JULIA: (Thinking.) Two hours ago.

ALBERTO: (Looking at his watch and talking to himself.) It's ten o'clock. We got here at nine. That means we've only been here for an hour (Pause. To JULIA:) From whom did you hear the expression?

JULIA: (Pointing to FLORA:) From Flora (Pause.) I dropped a bottle of perfume " It must be your nerves" she said.

ALBERTO: There was no penetrating odour of perfume in the dressing room. We would have noticed it.

JULIA: It didn't spill, the lid of the bottle was screwed on tight.

ALBERTO: It seems rather over the top to speak of nerves because a bottle of perfume falls to the floor.

FLORA: You're contradicting yourself: only two minutes ago you were saying how everyone is troubled by nerves these days and gave the example of your mother’s precious porcelain plate.

ALBERTO: It's true, I did say it. I shall pull myself together and from now on in I shan't seek to magnify mere trifles. For that's what they are, trifles. One should take more care with words; it isn't right to speak of nerves - Something as frail and delicate as nerves!- In the same breath as bottles of perfume and porcelain plates ... (Pause.) One should only speak of nerves when something of the greatest importance is happening. (Pause.) For example...

FLORA:(Cutting him off.)I’m horribly nervous, I've dropped ...

ALBERTO: (Cutting her off in turn.) ... the scissors. (Pause.) No, no, Flora we've already said that we mustn't waste time on trifles, your example just won't do.

FLORA: I wasn't going to say that I had dropped the scissors.

ALBERTO: Alright so you weren't going to say scissors, but you were going to say something along those lines, one of those everyday objects that we're always dropping.(Pause.) Obviously it's not going to be possible to remedy the situation using hypothetical examples. We need a real event, something crushing and catastrophic.

FLORA: I was just about to give such an example when you so rudely interrupted me.

ALBERTO: You are joking of course, yes it must be a joke. The night is full of stars, the air is balmy (Breathes deeply.) the scent of lilies and jasmine wafts into the room, hearts beat in time and there is perfect universal harmony. It would be a wholly implausible example.

FLORA: Don't be so sure ... catastrophes are always unexpected.

ALBERTO: Anyway, as I was saying, we went into the dressing room. That is to say Luis and I. Once there we could see with our own eyes that you ladies were not present. We returned then to the sitting room, Luis sat spread-eagled in that armchair (He points to the armchair.); I sat on the sofa and we started to converse.

FLORA: What did you talk about?

ALBERTO: Business, life, anything and everything, we were killing time. (Pause.) I am just clarifying for you that the conversation took place in this room.

FLORA: It's certainly more welcoming. The dressing room can be rather uncomfortable; there's hardly anywhere to sit. Besides there are boxes, dresses hung up on the rail, even a bra ... (She laughs.)

ALBERTO: (Serious.) I don't know what you're laughing about. It's an intimate item of clothing and you shouldn't leave it lying around (Pause.) Luckily, neither Luis or I ...

FLORA: Nevertheless, It's easy to spot (To Luis.) Maybe you saw it and out of delicacy ...

LUIS: I admit that I' find such things attractive when accompanied by their wearers. However brassieres left hanging from a clothes rail, I find incredibly boring.

ALBERTO: (Wiping his brow.) I don't feel well, my head is spinning. Despite the exhalations ... (Pause.) (To FLORA:) - Would you permit me to pass through to the bathroom?  I will take an aspirin. (He heads for the bathroom and closes the door, on his way through the dressing room he shoots a quick look at the bra.)

JULIA: (To FLORA:) Don't you think it might be better to hide it?  Alberto’s feeling poorly.

FLORA: According to his theory of bottles of perfume and porcelain plates a bra shouldn't be capable of upsetting anyone's nerves.

LUIS: Would you allow me to see it?  I should like to make quite certain that it won't upset me.

FLORA: As you wish, but you won't see anything more than a bra pure and simple.

(Luis heads for the boudoir.)

JULIA: (To FLORA:) Do you think he's overdosing on the aspirin?

LUIS: (In a low voice.) It's just a bra like any other bra.

FLORA: Seeing is believing. Do you think Saint Thomas knew what a bra was?

LUIS: (Speaking in Unison with FLORA:) Have you taken the aspirin yet?

ALBERTO: (Coming out of the bathroom with a look of dismay on his face.) You can hear everything! (Pause, loudly.) What are you doing standing there like an idiot?

LUIS: I asked Flora’s permission to look at the bra. Now that I've seen it I don't think that it's anything special.

ALBERTO: (Walking towards the sitting room followed by Luis.) Don't be a fool. I smell a rat.

LUIS: (As he walks.) I smell two rats ... the atmosphere is rather strained.

ALBERTO: Whilst I was taking the aspirin I could clearly hear every word that Luis was saying. (To FLORA:) If you don't believe me then shut yourself up in the bathroom and prick up your ears.

FLORA: That won't be necessary, I've already done the test, I've already heard.

ALBERTO: (Ever more anguished and intrigued.) What did you say?  You heard?  What did you hear? (Pause.) But that's not possible. There wasn't a soul in the dressing room.

FLORA: What do you mean there wasn't a soul ... ? there were certainly two people.

ALBERTO: Two people ... you don't think ...

FLORA: Two adult people, not adult souls, adult people.

ALBERTO: Were these people friends of yours?

FLORA: After a fashion...

ALBERTO: (Exploding.) What are you playing at?  There are two people in the intimate confines of your boudoir and you say they are friends of yours after a fashion, Who are you trying to fool?

FLORA: I'm not trying to fool anyone my darling. I reiterate that I am only following your train of thought, your allusions, your ... suspicions.(PAUSE) It is perfectly possible for two people who are friends of mine after a fashion to be within the intimate confines of my boudoir.

ALBERTO: Are you talking about people who used to be friends of yours but have betrayed your trust?

FLORA: You are way off the mark. It's much simpler than that. I'm talking about my maid and the butler.

ALBERTO: And they were talking?

JULIA: They talk all the sainted day. It is in the nature of maids and butlers so to do.

FLORA: Two nights ago I was in the bathroom putting cream on my face ...

ALBERTO: Then it was night-time

FLORA: It was night-time. Ten thirty pm. You had left early. (PAUSE)I was going to bed. I went into the bathroom. I had the jar of cream in my hand, I was just applying it when I heard voices…

ALBERTO: And knowing you my love, you thought it was thieves ...

FLORA: That thought did enter my mind, but I soon identified the voices.(Pause.) The presence of two such persons in my dressing room was not inconceivable. It so happens that the butler is in love with my maid. I would just like to make it clear before continuing with the story, that on those nights when I don't go out, the maid has to be in my boudoir from eleven o'clock onwards. That particular evening, as she was unaware that you had left early, she thought that she had time enough to be wit the butler. If we add to this the fact that I didn't make my accustomed entry through the dressing room then you will see that the maid and the butler believed themselves to be completely alone.

ALBERTO: (Snorting.) You are being incredibly longwinded darling. When are you going to get to the point?

FLORA: Have patience my sweet. (Pause.) anyway as I was saying I was applying the cream when I heard voices.

LUIS:. Which you identified straightaway.

FLORA: That's right. (Pause.) At first I didn't pay much attention. They were talking about their own affairs, but suddenly I heard my name ...

ALBERTO: Your name!  Your name in the mouth of those domestics!

FLORA: (Looking at Alberto with scorn.) She said that I was proud, he agreed and added that as well as being proud I was also mean.

JULIA: Mean!  Mean!  When you simply shower your servants with presents!

FLORA: That's life. (Pause.) She said that I was much older than I pretended; he said that I had already passed thirty-five ... Then she let out a great scream of laughter and said: "But you don't know the best bit: the young lady has ...

ALBERTO:(Anxiously.) What!  Just spit it out!  You are unbearable keeping us in suspense.

FLORA: I couldn't hear very well. I only heard: the young lady has...then she said something I couldn't make out and after that I distinctly heard the word 'droopy'.

ALBERTO: Well there's no need to make a mountain out of a molehill. It's quite possible that your maid said 'The young lady has ... a droopy eyelid'.

FLORA: Nobody says about another person that they have a droopy eyelid in such an unpleasant tone of voice. (Pause.) in fact so nasty was this tone that the jar of cream fell to the ground and broke into a thousand pieces. (Pause.) Yes Alberto: my nerves were all on edge and that's why the jar shattered. In spite of your brilliant theory the jar was smashed to smithereens because my nerves were completely destroyed. (Pause.) As might be supposed the noise alerted the slanderers to the fact that there was someone in the bathroom. I heard the butler leave the scene of the crime. Then I came out.

ALBERTO: I suppose you read her the riot act

FLORA: I preferred to let her suffer, to keep her in an agony of suspense.(Pause.) Her face was a picture, an unattractive mixture of guilt and dissimulation, and when she encountered the impassivity of my own features she got more and more disconcerted. Resorting to the time honoured tactics of those who wish to verify if they have been overheard, she fired questions at me: was the young gentleman still in the house or had he left (her extreme perturbation prevented her from seeing that I was in my dressing-gown), had I been in the bathroom long, because she hadn't seen me pass through the bedroom. My answers added to her confusion, her doubts grew and grew, because each time that they were abating my feigned innocence would cause them to surge again.

JULIA: I wouldn't like to be in your maid's shoes. (To Luis and Alberto.) What about you two?

ALBERTO: (Putting his hands together.) 'Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil, Amen.(Pause, to FLORA:) Are you going to sack her?  Will you tell her that the walls had ears?

FLORA: I shall play with her as the cat plays with the mouse before killing it: I will calm her fears and let her forget the incident, then when she least expects it I shall pounce and squash her flat against those traitorous walls.

ALBERTO: I'm not trying to champion the cause of your maid, but everyone knows that everyone talks about everyone else.

FLORA: Yes, but not so that they can hear.  (Pause.) Darling (She kisses him.) Let's drop the subject of my silly maid shall we?

ALBERTO: (Rising to the occasion.) Yes of course! (Pause.) Nevertheless, do forgive me for going on: did you enter through the bedroom because you suspected something?

FLORA: Of course not sweetie, I didn't suspect a thing, not even with that innate suspicion that you insist is inherent in all human beings. I entered through the bedroom for the same reason that a few minutes ago I came in through the sitting room.

ALBERTO: Why did you come in through the sitting room?

FLORA: (Laughing.) Ask my legs. (Pause.) Honestly darling you're making yourself look quite po-faced and ugly with all this questioning. Change the subject, shall we?

ALBERTO: (Lost in his own thoughts.) Just suppose that you had entered through the bathroom...

LUIS: Then she would have seen an empty dressing room, a dressing room without maid or butler; and beyond, a sitting room where two gentlemen were sitting talking about business, about life, about anything and everything...

FLORA: No more, no less.

ALBERTO: Just suppose that from the bathroom...

FLORA: (Cutting him off.) Suppositions here, suppositions there ... bottles of perfume and porcelain plates. (Pause.) Will you never tire of playing the detective?

ALBERTO: Answer me just one last question. (Pause.) And please answer it with your heart not your head.

FLORA: I promise.

ALBERTO: What drove you to tell us about your maid's indiscretion?

FLORA: Have you gone completely crazy?  You, you drove me to it don't you remember?

ALBERTO: Did that story of the indiscretion have some hidden meaning?

FLORA: Oh you and your hidden meanings, stop trying to complicate matters. Any other questions?

ALBERTO: You haven’t convinced me. (Pause.) If I were to sum up this ridiculous soiree with a saying it would be: All talk and no action.

FLORA: Oh I'd agree with you there alright, no action at all, not one bit, just endless suppositions and jaw, jaw, jaw, jaw, jaw. (Pause, suddenly captivated looking at his tail coat.) Oh you were born to wear morning dress, it makes you irresistible.

ALBERTO: (Exploding.) You tell me not to play the detective, then you carry on with your sleuthing like some cut-price female Sherlock Holmes. (Pause, imitating her.) Oh you were born to wear morning dress, it makes you irresistible ... (Pause.) Tell it to somebody else... (Pause.) Crouched like a tiger ready to pounce, behind your innocent sounding words.

FLORA: I shall throw myself on you when the time is right. (Pause.) Is that what you wanted me to say? (Pause.) Come on, let's settle this once and for all! (To Julia.) They should have come to get us by now, could you find out what's going on?

(The door opens and a servant appears.)

SERVANT: Miss Flora the priest has arrived.

FLORA: (Stepping forward a pace.) Tell him that there will be no wedding because there are droopy tits.


The above sample taken from the translation The Wedding by Scarlett Theatre, Kate Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Entry written by Gwendolen Mackeith. Last updated on 18 June 2012.

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