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WAKE ME UP WHEN YOU GO.

PLAY

BY

T.J. COLLETT.
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CHARACTER;

ED BONE.
LIZ TYLOR.
ROD STEIN.

LOCATION:

HOUSE AND GARDEN IN LONDON.

TIME: PRESENT.

All furniture is representative. Table and chairs represent dining room.


Sofa represents a lounge and a bed a bedroom.
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Act One. Scene One.

A dimly lit room. A light over centre stage. Table and three chairs lower centre stage.
Table empty. Ed is sitting on one of the chairs. He is in his late thirties, dark haired
and untidy in his dress. He looks out at the auditorium.
Ed: In the beginning was the word. But what was the word? I’ve
forgotten what the word was. I’ve searched through dictionaries over the
last few days, but I can’t find or think what the word was. And each word
needs other words to explain it and you end in a right muddle. (Pause.)In
the beginning was the word. Why a word? Why not lots of words? A
word signifies an important word. However, I’m lost for the word. Can’t
even remember what the word looks like. Was it a big word? Was it
short and squat like a fat man or was it one of those long and thin words
like a tall lady in a white dress with long eye lashes?(Pause.)I shall have to
ask Liz when she comes. She’ll know. She knows things. She has the
knack for knowing things that I’ve forgotten. And if she doesn’t know,
I’ll have to ask Rod. He knows most things. He’s one of those men who
seem to know everything. Like it was tattooed on his right buttock in
bright blue ink. (Pause.)In the beginning was the word. Or was it in the
word was the beginning? I just can’t remember which way it went. Liz
will know. Liz knows things. She’s bright as a polished coin. And has the
look of a knowing woman about her. You know what that sort of woman
looks like, don’t you? Liz will know for sure. (Pause Liz appears upstage. She
is clothed in a short black dress and has dark hair. She is in her late twenties she walks
down stage to the table and looks down at Ed.)What is the word?

Liz: What word?

Ed: If I knew that, I wouldn’t ask you would I? In the beginning was the
word. What word was it?

Liz: God. The word was God.

Ed: God? God was the word?

Liz: That’s what it says.

Ed: So God is the word? (Pause.)I knew you’d know. You have the
knowledge for these things.
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Liz: Do you want a drink?

Ed: Drink? Another word. So many words. You could drown in them.
(Laughs suddenly. Liz stands unmoved.)Drink? Yes, yes, tea.

Liz: Which tea?

Ed: Which tea? (Pause. Looks at Liz.)Oh, yes, Darjeeling. It’s a Darjeeling
day. The tea to have on a Thursday.

Liz: It’s Friday, Ed.

Ed: Friday? Is it? (Pause.) Oh, right then, then it’ll have to be Earl Grey.
Friday is Earl Grey day. (Pause. Looks at Liz.) Are you having tea?

Liz: I might. Do you want me to sit here with you for a while and drink
tea?

Ed: Yes, that would be lovely. Tea and Liz. Liz and tea. What better
combination could there be than that? (Liz walks slowly upstage and
disappears. Ed taps on the table.)Liz is a dream. Rod is a nightmare. You
don’t want to have a nightmare like Rod. But a dream like Liz is worth a
lifetime of Rod’s nightmares. He’s such a pig of a man. Such a know all.
He thinks he’s always right. He can’t ever imagine he’s ever wrong. But
Liz. She’s such a dream of a woman. I would dream of her my entire life
and dare not even look at her too long in case my eyes burn out for the
beauty of her. (Pause. Looks upstage. Looks at his hands as they tap softly on the
table.) I think if I had a choice between going to Heaven for eternity or
spending a night with Liz I’d choose…(Laughs suddenly as if something had really
struck him as funny.)To choose. That’s means free will doesn’t it? Oh, there
you go. Presumption. Always presuming. That’s me. Mr Presumption. Mr
Presumption of the Twenty-First Century. (Liz enters upstage with a tray. On
the tray are two mugs. She carries the tray down to the table and sets it down gently.
She looks at Ed and sits down opposite him.) I’m presuming again.

Liz: Are you now. Why are you doing that then, Ed? Haven’t you had
enough of that presumption?

Ed: Not that you’d notice.

Liz: Drink your Earl Grey, Ed. I’ve put your two sugars in. I know you
like it sweet.
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Ed: You’re such an intelligent girl. If there was ever an intelligent girl,
it’s you. Liz Tylor the intelligent girl. The girl wonder.
Liz: Drink up, Ed and let your mind relax. (They both sip their tea. Ed
smiles.)What’s so funny?

Ed: The way your lip curls around the mug. I love the way it does that.
It’s so, I don’t know. It’s so warming. Is that the right word? Words?
Word? You know what words do to me?

Liz: No, what do words do to you, Ed? (Looks at Ed.)Tell me what words
do to you.

Ed: They confuse me. I’m like a child in a sweetshop. So many damned
sweets to choose from that I’m sick to the stomach with the damned
things. (Sips his tea. Looks at his mug afterwards.) Do you know what
Wittengenstein said?

Liz: What did Wittengenstein say?

Ed: He said if…What did he say? It’s gone. I had it here a minute ago;
now it’s gone. Damn it! How can a man have an intelligent conversation
with a damned pretty woman if he can’t remember a damned thing?
(Pause. Sips his tea.) Earl Grey?

Liz: Yes, Ed, it’s Earl Grey. Can’t you tell?

Ed: Course I can. I know my tea, if nothing else. (Sips his tea slowly as if to
prove his point.)If that’s not Earl Grey then I’m a Dutch clergyman. (Sips it
again.)Yes, yes, that’s it.

Liz: So what did this Wittengenstein say?

Ed: Have you read his book?

Liz: What book is that, Ed?

Ed: It’s in here somewhere. (Points to his head.)Wait. I’ll have it in a minute
or two. (Pause. Looks intense.)You know what it’s like to be constipated?

Liz: Constipated?

Ed: Sure, you know. You can’t…Wait it’ll come in a moment I’m sure.
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Liz: Take your time, Ed. (Pulls up the hem of her short black dress until it is up
her thigh.)It doesn’t matter what Wittgenstein said, does it?

Ed: Sure it does. If I can’t remember what Wittengenstein said then I’m
done for. God, I studied the man for years…Witt. Gen. Stein. (Studies Liz’s
thighs.)Are they your legs?

Liz: Of course they are. Who do you think they belonged to, if not me?

Ed: Such a lovely sight. (Sips his tea as he stares at Liz’s thighs.)A thing of
beauty is a joy forever. You know who said that?

Liz: Keats?

Ed: Yes. He knew beauty didn’t he? Wonder if he ever saw a fine pair of
thighs? Do you think he did, Liz? Do you think he saw any fine thighs?

Liz: I’ve not read that he did, but I guess he could have done. (Pause.)Have
you seen, Rod?

Ed: Not in recent time. Maybe in time past.

Liz: How long ago?

Ed: Time past and time present are…

Liz: This morning? Was it this morning, Ed?

Ed :( Reaches out and touches her thigh.)Both contained in time…What was it?
Can you remember that?

Liz: What time did you see, Rod? (Pulls down the hem of her dress.)

Ed :( Looks at Liz.)Oh, I don’t know. Some unearthly hour. (Looks at his


wrist.)No damned watch. Where the hell did I leave the thing? Do you
know what I did with my watch, Liz?

Liz: No, I don’t. When did you see, Rod?

Ed :( Drains his mug and puts it down on the table with a thump.)He was out in the
garden smoking his head off at six o'clock this morning and the bloody
birds were singing at him as if in some ruddy symphony. (Pause.) You’ve
lovely thighs. I could gaze at them all day and night until I was blind.
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Liz: Where did he go after that?

Ed: To Hell, I hope. What’s it matter where the man went?

Liz: It matters to me. (Drains her mug. She stares at Ed.)You and he haven’t
had another fight have you? What is it with you two?

Ed: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus!

Liz: What?

Ed: Wittgenstein’s book. It came to me just then.

Liz: I don’t care a fig about Wittgenstein. I want to know where Rod
went. (Pause. Gets up, walks to the edge of the stage, and stares out at the
auditorium. Ed stares at her back and smiles.)He said he’d take me to see a man
he knew about some stage work. Said he’d be here for me. But he’s not.

Ed: Stage work? You’re going to act again?

Liz: If Rod can become organized and get me to meet the man he knows
then, yes.

Ed: I used to know a man who was a director of…Damn what he was a
director of now? Could have been traffic for all I can remember. (Picks up
his mug and stares into it.)Tea’s gone. Empty mug. Time past and time future
are… (Puts down the mug.)Rod’s a pig. He speaks to me as if I were
something he’d stepped in. Me. (Suddenly laughs.)Rod is such a damned
hog faced git that if he came in here now I’d… (Laughs again.)

Liz :( Looks back at Ed.) Ed! If you don’t get control of yourself at some
time or other we’ll not manage to keep you here at all.

Ed: I’m lost, Liz. Can’t seem to find where I am. I’m lost, Lizzy. (Pause.)

Liz: Don’t panic, Ed. You’ll find yourself. You will. I know you will.
(Looks out at the auditorium.)

Ed :( Ed stares at her back and smiles.)Time past and time…Time. Time


gentlemen, please. (Pause. Light fades.)

End of Scene One.


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Act One. Scene Two.

Later in the morning. Rod and Liz are sitting on a green garden seat. Behind them is a
wall. Beyond that a scenery of houses and sky.
Rod: So how’s the guy, now? Is he still harping on about his first play?

Liz: No, not to me, at least not this morning. (Moves closer to Rod.)Are you
going to take me to meet this director today?

Rod: Sure, later. The bars are not open yet. He’ll be in the bar around
midday. He’s always in the bar at that time. (Rod looks at Liz’s black
dress.)That dress’s too dull. Don’t you have anything brighter? What
about that red dress I got you last month. Can’t you wear that?

Liz: I like this dress. It matches my mood.

Rod: This guy likes things to hit him straight away. He’s not going to be
hit by that one bit. Go change it before we go out. I’m not going to waste
my time seeing this guy if you’re not going to bother getting up nice and
pretty. He’s a busy man. He doesn’t have time to waste. He likes things
ready. (Looks ahead.)Ed’s beginning to wear me down. I’m not sure I can
stick him around much longer. I need a place where I can bring friends. I
can’t bring them here, not with him around. He hogs them from me with
his damned talk and stupidity and they feel uneasy. I can’t afford to lose
friends.

Liz: He’s having a bad time. He’s needs a bit of patience and
understanding.

Rod: Well let him go and find the place where he can find it.

Liz: We can’t just throw him out on the streets. He’d not last a day. He’s
going to be all right. Just needs us to be a bit patient that’s all.

Rod: I’ve had it with him. Do you know what he said to me this morning?

Liz: No. What did he say?

Rod: He said I blighted his scenery in the garden. Said I was a blot on his
landscape. The guy’s asking for a fight and he’s going to get it before the
day’s out if he keeps on.

Liz: Don’t you have a sense of humour? He was probably humouring


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you.

Rod: That’s not humour, baby, that’s rudeness to a degree I’m not putting
up with from no one, and certainly not from the likes of him. If you want
to play nurse with him then do so somewhere else. You need to be
focussed on us and on your acting. That guy’ll drag you down with him.
He’s bad news, honey, bad news.

Liz: I like him. He makes me laugh. He’s got a good brain. He knows
things.

Rod: Had a good brain, Lizzy, had one. He’s burnt out like some old guy
three times his age. He’ll not last. Find him somewhere if you’re worried
over him, but he’s going to have to go. I can’t have him drilling his idiocy
into my head when I’m trying to focus on matters. (Looks up at the sky.)In
the States I had better connections. Here things take longer. I can’t lose
those friends and contacts just because some guy’s losing his wits.

Liz: He’s going to pull through if we help. I know he’s a bit uneasy at the
moment, but we can help him through this, I know we can.

Rod: What am I some kind of psychiatrist? Do you think I’m the kind of
guy to waste my energy on a brain drain? No, way, honey, he’s all yours
if you’ve lost the taste for the stage. But not me. No, sir, not me. I’ve got
my sights on the big time again. This guy today could do us both a power
of good in our careers.

Liz: So, we abandon Ed? Is that what you’re saying? What is it with you?
You lost your humanity? Lost your soul?

Rod: Humanity? Soul? What? :( Laughs.) You some


kind of preacher, now? Forget that, Lizzy, I’m not into that sort of thing.
Had enough of that when I was a kid from my old man.

Liz: So we just let him fall into madness and stand and watch?

Rod: Who are you, some god? Things happen, honey. It’s no good you
going around trying to stop things. They just happen. Things happen.
Wars happen. Riots happen. Accidents happen. People die and kids are
born. That’s the circus of our existence. Get on or off, the ride’s a rough
one. (Pause. Sighs.) What has this guy done? Has he wormed his way in to
your mind like some parasite? Or maybe you’re in love with the guy?
Liz: Is that it? Are you jealous of him?
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Rod :( Laughs.)Jealous of him? Oh, now you have me really opening up


inside as if you’re one of the Marx Brothers. (Points his index finger at her.)
Get that idea out of that brain of yours, Lizzy, because it’s a silly idea.
Damned silly. Like some plan to take over the world with a new fangled
army of robots. ::( Touches his head.) Get real, Lizzy or give up any idea of
a return to the stage.

Liz: He’s harmless. He has humour and humanity.

Rod: May be he’s got the time to be humorous and spew out his
humanity, but I’ve got things to do and people to see if I’m not to rot in
this damned city.

Liz: Time’s one he doesn’t have. He needs us. Needs our understanding.

Rod: I understand him all right. The guy’s a fruitcake. He’s missing the
full pack and I don’t play games with a guy who’s missing the full pack.

Liz: Do you know what Wittgenstein said?

Rod: Who?

Liz: Wittgenstein.

Rod: What’s this Wittgenstein to me? What do I care what he said.

Liz: If you can tell me what Wittgenstein said then maybe you could…
(Pause.)Well, put yourself in the same damned league as him.

Rod: As whom? This Wittgenstein?

Liz: No, Ed. Ed knows what Wittgenstein said.

Rod: You want me to be in the same league as that nut?

Liz: He’s not a nut. He’s a sweet man. He’s got a sense of humour that
kind of tickles me.

Rod: What’s this guy done to you? He been touching you or something?
Are you and he having some sort of affair? (Looks at Liz intensely.) Is that
it?
Liz: Is that as you see things? Affairs? Touching? Hands, kissing, and
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screwing? (Slaps Rod’s arm, gets up from the seat, and walks down to the edge of
the stage.) You don’t know me at all, Rod, do you? If you think that of me,
then you just don’t know me at all.

Rod: So what’s the guy up to? He want you to play wet nurse with him?

Liz: A few years back you’d have given your back teeth to be in one of
his plays, now you run him down as if he were some kind of jerk.

Rod: His plays are not my scene. He’s too abstract. Too, off the wall.
(Gets up suddenly and goes to stand next to Liz.)Tennessee Williams, Miller,
The Bard, sure I’d give my back teeth for a large part in one of their
plays, but this guy he’s not for me.

Liz: He says I could play a lead part in his last play.

Rod: Directors won’t touch his plays these days. You’ll be lucky to get a
part in the chorus of a Euripides play if you hang around too long with
that guy. :( Pause. Touches Liz’s arm, but she shrugs him off.)Now, don’t get all
screwball on me, Lizzy, I’m thinking of you and your future. Us. You.
What we have together.

Liz: Why don’t you just get your head out of your backside, look at the
world with your eyes, and see things for what they really are. (Struts up to
the garden seat and sits down.)Ed’s a great dramatist. He knows things.

Rod :( Looks at Liz.) Sure, he’s a great dramatist, that’s why he’s not had a
play staged for so long. No one’s going to stage a play by a guy who’s
losing his grip on reality. You’re onto a lost cause their, baby, a long lost
cause.

Liz :( Pause. Looks at Rod.)So? Do I get to meet this director or not?

Rod: Later. I told you, he don’t get there ‘til midday, so ease up. Take a
walk. Go stretch your lovely legs and think what you’re going to do for
the audition if he gives you one.

Liz: I might do a scene from one of Ed’s plays. Might do that. Might do
that with all my gutsy talent until this director falls on his damned knees
to offer me a part with a gleam in his eyes and his tongue hanging from
his thick lips.

Rod: You’ve really got some bee in that bonnet of yours this morning.
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Anyone would think you had shares in Ed’s damned plays.

Liz: I just like good plays. I don’t want to just be in a play, I want a good
part in a good play and I want to be earning money again, not doing walk
on parts for peanuts.

Rod: There are more actors out there, honey, than parts to play. It’s a
jungle in theatre land and only the best get the parts going. So you’d
better get yourself focussed and determined and go get that part. Leave
Bone to fend for himself.

Liz: Remember what I said about Wittgenstein.

Rod: Go stick this Wittgenstein and tell him to shut his mouth up. You’ve
got to train up for this part and forget all this nonsense, got it? (Pause.
Walks to the garden seat and sits next to Liz.)Now, let me see a smile. Let me
see those eyes of yours sparkle like diamonds on a dark cloth.

Liz: I’ll see Ed. See what he recommends for my audition. He should
know what a director wants these days.

Rod :( Sighs.)If you manage to get through to his brain ask him what day it
is and if he needs you to hold his hand through the damned minefield of
his madness.

Liz :( Gets up and walks off upstage.)I’m going for that walk and going to try
to get myself together for this meeting with your friend, but if I fail, it’ll
be because you’ve screwed with my mind with your pettiness.

Rod: Wait! Don’t go off in this mood. Just think will you. Think about
things. Think about us and your future as an actor. Don’t let Bone drag
you down with him.

Liz: I’d rather be dragged down with him into his madness than rise up
with the likes of you into the world’s madness of greed and corruption. :
( Goes off stage.)

Rod :( Shakes his head.)Women. God protect us from them. (Light fades.)

End of Scene Two.

Act One. Scene Three.


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An hour later. A blue sofa is lower centre stage. A door upper stage right. A curtained
window lower stage left. The room is dim except for the light over the sofa. Ed is
sitting looking at a book. He thumbs through it randomly, then puts it down on the
sofa beside him.

Ed: There’s more to life than is seen through the eyes of one man. Even if
that one is me. I can’t make sense of a simple book anymore. The print
just flows across the page like an infinite number of black insects, each
one moving in a different direction from those around it. It’s enough to
make you vomit. The mass movement of it. The black ooziness of the
damned page. (Pause. Sits forward and brings his hands together as if he were about
to pray.)I used to have a pen in my hand and could write a scene without
batting an eyelid or raising a sweat. Now, I can’t hold a pen without
having to stare at the damned thing wondering why it wasn’t writing
down stuff as it always did before. I’ve even got to the stage now of
hiding the pens and tearing up the paper in frustration and… (Pause. Looks
at his hands.)Why don’t you want to write anymore? Why do you just hang
there like condemned men to the gallows? (Moves his hands behind his
back.)And then there was none. He is left all alone. The dramatist is no
more. (Laughs suddenly for a few moments.)Oh, the westward stage is coming
on over the… (Pause. Sighs.)Did Moliere have this problem? Did Shaw or
Racine? (Sighs mildly.)No. No, just me. Just me Ed Bone. Bone’s losing it,
ladies and gentlemen! He’s fallen off the wagon! (Laughs.)And do I hear
applause? Is that what you call applause? (Pause. Door upstage opens and Rod
enters. He stops to look at Ed.)That’s not applause. Real applause should
sound like a hundred backsides hitting a marble slab over a two-second
period.

Rod: You should write that in your next play. (Moves downstage to the sofa.
Ed looks upstage.)It might raise a laugh.

Ed: What do want here? Can’t a man have few moments of peace and
tranquillity? (Rod stands by the sofa and looks at Ed.)You’re like my dismal
shadow. I can’t escape it.

Rod: Do you want to? I thought you could do with all the company you
could get.

Ed: Sometimes solitude is better than company is.

Rod: Solitude can lead to madness.


Ed: And some people can make you mad.

Rod: We’re going out.


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Ed: Who’s we?

Rod: Liz and me. We’re going to meet a director friend who may have a
part for Liz.

Ed: And what’s in it for you? Do you get a part too?

Rod: Maybe. If there's a part that I want and the money’s enough, then
yes, I could be lucky.

Ed: And who’s this director friend? Anyone I know or is he a nobody?

Rod: Nobody you know, that’s for sure. This guy’s got class. He knows
how to direct only the best plays and get the best actors for the parts.

Ed: Then I should know him. (Rod walks to the edge of the stage and turns to
gaze at Ed.)I know directors who are worth knowing. I know who’s who in
the theatre world. I’ve eaten and got drunk with the best. I know actors.
They’re my blood. They’re the stuff that runs through the veins of a good
play.

Rod: But not yours anymore. (Pause.)You’re a has-been, Bone. A once


upon a time dramatist who’s dried up like a pond in a drought.

Ed :( Looks at Rod.)Who made you the deathwatch beetle of the stage?


(Laughs.)You’re just a petty actor from across the Atlantic who thinks that
a few drawls and a few winks of his eye are called acting over here.
You’re just a screen dummy who learns his lines and smiles at the girls
and maybe beds them and thinks he’s another Marlon Brando or
Fairbanks or whosoever they have these day.(Laughs.)But in reality,
you’re just…Just who are you anyway coming into my lounge and
dirtying my floor with your size ten feet and your swagger?

Rod: Liz and I are out to lunch. You’ll have to manage the best you can
while we’re not here. You won’t starve I don’t suspect. You can always
crawl to the local bar and drink yourself back to some kind of sanity.

Ed: You’re all heart.

Rod: Not for you, I’m not. If it wasn’t for Liz you’d be out of here by
now and sitting in some gutter where your friends are.
Ed: I’ve met a few of your friends while I’ve been there occasionally.
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Dogs get everywhere, don’t they?

Rod: To think that people admired you once. Thought you worth the time
to talk to and write about.

Ed: Yes. Funny how some people have it and some don’t.

Rod: You’ve lost it. (Pause. Turns to look out over the auditorium.)Who stages
your plays anymore? Who even wants to? There’s not a play of yours that
is being performed anymore. Directors and the money boys aren’t going
to risk it anymore. You’re washed up like a drowned whale. And soon
your theatrical blubber will be stripped from you and you’ll just be bones.
(Laughs.)Bone will be just bones. (Laughs.)And even Liz will then realize
that you’re washed out and washed up.

Ed: You actors, you think you matter. You really think you’re gods don’t
you? Well you’re not. You’re just actors. Get that, Stein, just ac-tors.
You act. You pretend. You play a part. That’s all you do. Who’s going to
remember you when you’re too feeble to remember your name let alone
your lines? But us, dramatist, we’re like composers. We write the scripts.
We write the words. We set the scene. We… (Pause. Sighs.)Time past and
time present are… (Gets up from the sofa and walks towards Rod.)Do you know
about time, Stein? Do you know about anything apart from the lines on
some play or contract? Do you ever think about anything other than the
stage, the bank, or some sweet woman’s wiggle?

Rod: I’m not sure when we’ll be back. (Turns to stare at Ed.)Don’t wait up
like some landlady at some backstreet B&B. We’ll let ourselves in. You
catch up with your sanity sleep.

Ed: Truth is beauty.

Rod: And if you are up try to be sober.

Ed: A thing of beauty is a boy forever.

Rod: And don’t worry Liz with your old tales of what might have been.

Ed: Do you like boys, Stein?

Rod: She has enough to worry over without you bringing her more worry.

Ed: I’ve heard you like them young, pink, and very soft to touch.
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Rod :( Moves away from Ed and stares upstage.)She’s a gem of an actor. Men
like you aren’t worth one dram of her perspiration.

Ed: I’ve even heard you don’t mind the occasional bouncer if he’s rough
enough. (Moves towards Rod.)So you’ve met somebody who’s set you back
on your heels, goody, goody!(Laughs. Rod pushes passed him and moves
towards the sofa.)Somewhere over the rainbow, Stein?

Rod :( Stops suddenly and glares back at Ed.)Those whom the gods wish to
destroy, they first make mad. You’re done for, Bone. The bell is tolling
for you and your damned plays.

Ed: Where’s Liz?

Rod: Gone for a walk.

Ed: Walk? What is she some kind of puppy to be trained?

Rod: What?

Ed: This walking business. Why does she have to go for her walkies?

Rod: Helps her think. Helps her get into her part.

Ed: If you walked around the world five times over you’d not get into any
of your parts with any talent. It takes talent to act. It takes great talent to
act like an Olivier or Guinness or Ellen Terry. You’re nothing but a
screen player who goes through the motions and…When will you be
back?

Rod: No idea. Don’t wait up. We could be late. (Turns and walks upstage to
the door. He stops and gives Ed a last glance and then goes out.)

Ed: Oh, what tangled web. Am I the fly? What did Wittgenstein say?
(Moves upstage.)Hey, Stein can you hear me? What did Wittgenstein say?
The light fades slowly.)The lights are going out all over the world, Stein.
(Walks upstage as the light fades.)Hey, Stein look out for those pink boys!
(Light fades and laughter is heard.)
End of Scene Three.

Act One. Scene Four.


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Early evening. Room dim except over the sofa where Ed sits holding a manuscript in
his hands. He opens the manuscript and stares at the page. He turns over pages and
barely looks at each one. Then he stares out at the auditorium with a vacant
expression.
Ed: And then there was…What was there? There was something or other
I know there was, but what it was seems to be beyond my recollection at
the moment. (Pause.)Time past and time present are both…Something or
other. Funny how these things slip through the holes in the memory. I’m
sure my brain has holes in it like a colander. (Pause.)Funny things
colanders. My mother used one quite a lot. I can remember her holding it
over the kitchen sink and seeing the water pour through holes…Yet,
damned blast it, I can’t remember what Wittgenstein said.(Gets up suddenly
and rushes to the edge of the stage holding the folded manuscript like a sword above
his head. He stares out over the auditorium.)There are holes in here. (Points to his
head with his left hand.)Holes that are maybe tiny, but the knowledge seeps
away gradually. One minute you know something, then it’s gone.
Vanished like the proverbial thief in the night. It’s like trying to cook a
certain dish, but you’ve lost pages of the cookbook and you’re stuck with
a load of ingredients and nothing to do with them because you’ve lost the
damned recipe. (Sighs. Lowers the manuscript by his side.) Where have all the
flowers gone? Flowers? What flowers? Do you see what I mean? (Looks
down into the auditorium.)How am I supposed to write a play when I can’t
remember what Wittgenstein said or where the flowers are gone? (Looks at
the manuscript.)My latest play. Well, what I’ve written so far. You know
what it’s about? (Looks at auditorium.)No? Nor do I. Not a clue. I’ve been
reading it through all afternoon and I can’t fathom out any of it. If Rod
were to see this, he’d laugh his Yankee head off. He’d split his sides with
laughter. I wish he would split his damned sides until his guts flopped all
over the lounge and he slipped on them and…Then there was dark. (Pause.
Looks at the manuscript. He waves it like a fan.)Liz. Now there’s a woman who
understands me. Not in the sense that she knows me in and out, but
artistically. As an artist of the boards, she seems to appreciate what I’m
saying. And she’s intelligent. She knows a good play when she sees it.
And she understands what it is I’m trying to achieve and gives me
support…Well, she would if I let her read my latest play which I’m not
going to because she’d not make sense of it. Liz. Lizzzzzz (This now
becomes like a bee buzzing.)Lizzzzz. Lizzzz. Lizzzzz. (Pause.)I mean would
you show Liz your latest play if it were so damned obscure you needed a
degree in dead languages to make head or tails of the damned thing? Of
course you wouldn’t. And they expect me to let them see this? (Raises the
manuscript above his head.)This is my testament. My last and final testament.
It contains all what I have left to say of any real importance.
But I can’t understand it. It’s beyond my understanding. It’s a complete
mystery to me what I’m trying to say. But I’m trying to say something
18

and it needs to be understood or else I’m going to end up completely


misunderstood. A lunatic whispering into the dark forces of the
approaching night. (Pause. Door upstage opens and Rod and Liz enter the room.
They are barely seen in the dim light but make their way downstage to the sofa and sit
down. They look at Ed.)I have visions of that very thing. I see a man
standing by a huge window peering out across a huge expanse of water
staring out and whispering things which float away from him before he
has the chance to know what it is he’s saying, and he attempts to grab at
the words before they go, but he fails and is standing there trying to stop
the flow of words…But fails. (Pause. Turns and sees Rod and Liz.)Oh, so
you’re back. Back from the dead? Was it an undertaker you’d gone to
see?

Rod: No. A director.

Ed: Same thing in the end.

Liz: How are you, Ed?

Rod: How is he? You can see how he. He’s losing it. He’s falling off the
side of the mountain of sanity. (Laughs briefly.)

Liz: And that’s funny?

Ed: So how was the director? Did he have anything intelligent to say?

Rod: What would you care?

Ed: Oh, I care, Stein. I care a lot about my Lizzy here. I wouldn’t want
her to be strung along by some director who was only interested in seeing
how far he could get with her before offering her a part in some
insignificant play or script he was carrying round with him.

Rod: This is a respected director, not some backstreet amateur.

Liz: But he offered me nothing substantial. Nothing for now. Only


promises for the future.

Rod: He has to decide these things.

Liz: When he’s sober, you mean.


Rod: He was sober. The man was not drunk.
19

Liz: He slurred when he spoke and his breath was like the inside of a
barrel.

Ed: Oh, one of those directors.

Rod: What do you mean one of those directors?

Ed: You know the type. He drinks to cover up his gradual awareness he’s
going nowhere or if he’s been anywhere he’s lost the map to where it
was.

Rod: Shut up you fool!

Liz: That’s right; take it out on Ed because your director friend failed to
deliver. (Moves away from Rod on the sofa. Each sits at opposite ends.)Ed
understands what it is an actor wants. What it is an actor feels. What it is
an actor seeks.

Rod: Oh, does he now. The man can’t remember what day of the week it
is half the time and he understands the great needs of the actor?

Liz: Yes. Yes, he does.

Ed: Lizzzzz. (Bee buzzing sound.)Lizzzz. Lizzzz. (Pause.)I’ve written a new


play.

Rod: You? A new play? (Laughs.)This I have to see. This has to be the day
I’ve been waiting for since I first set foot on the boards.

Liz: Rod don’t be so childish.

Rod: And maybe I should call the press and let them know that the great
dramatist has set pen to paper with his latest offering.

Ed :( Looks at Rod with a cold expression.)I wouldn’t show you my backside


let alone my play. Do you think I’d let your damned eyes see anything
new of mine?

Liz: What about me, Ed? Can I see it? (Gets up and walks to where Ed
stands.)May I have the privilege of reading it?

Rod: You don’t want to waste your time on reading his damned play.
You’ve enough to read without reading that.
20

Liz: What’s it got to do with you? Are you my keeper?

Ed :( Holds the manuscript close to his chest as if it were a precious item.)It has to
be seen only by those chosen to do so. I can’t let it be seen just by
anyone. Think of the scandal. Think of the ruin it might bring to those in
high office.

Rod: See what I mean, Honey? The guy’s lost the plot. He’s hanging on
by his fingertips to the edge of his sanity. Another week or so and he’ll be
singing solo like a canary.

Liz: Shut up!

Rod: What? Can’t you take the truth anymore? Has he captured you to
such a degree that you’ve lost your sense of judgment?

Ed: There’ll be bluebirds over the…Over where?

Rod: You’ve got to get him out of here, Lizzy or the guy’ll bring us all
into his twilight world and have us singing to a weird tune in cuckoo
land.

Liz: Shut up! Shut up! :( Puts her hands over her face.)

Rod: What now Lizzy? You and him want to set up a loonytoon house
together? You want to be known as the actor who married Bone the nutty
playwright? Is that it? Is that it, after all these years?

Ed: Over where? :( Stares at the auditorium.)Is there a doctor in the house?
Can anybody tell me where the damned bluebirds go? Or what
Wittgenstein said?

Liz :( Removes her hands. She goes to Ed and puts her arms around him.)Come on,
Ed. Let’s get you to bed.

Rod: That’s it, Lizzy get the guy to bed. Tuck him up now. Let him
snuggle down in those sheets of his and never wake up until sanity
returns like the prodigal son.
(Liz leads Ed upstage by his hand. Rod laughs softly to himself. The light fades.)
End of Act One and Scene Four
Act Two. Scene One.
21

Early morning a week later. A bed centre, lower stage. Window, right lower stage.
Blue curtains drawn. Ed and Liz lay in bed. Liz is asleep. Ed is sitting up looking out
at the auditorium. He is dressed in old blue pyjamas. Liz is wearing a faded pink
nightdress. Ed sighs.
Ed: Isn’t it always the way? You think you’re still asleep then you realise
you’re awake and have been for hours and you watch the light gradually
rise through the curtains and like some cockerel you wait until it’s time
to…To what? What am I waiting for? What the hell am I waiting for? (Liz
stirs, but does not wake. Ed looks down at her.)I love the look she has when
she’s sleeping. A kind of innocent childlike look that is almost asking you
not to wake her, but let her remain a sleep until the dream is over, and she
can slowly open her eyes to a new day. (Looks up at the auditorium.)A new
day? Do you have that thing in the mornings? Do you wake up to a new
day and think, hey, I’ve had this day before. I’ve been done. I’ve been
had. This isn’t a new day? Do you? (Liz stirs again. Ed looks down at
her.)When I see her like that I want to be almost like a father, cuddle her,
protect her, and keep the damned world at bay. (Liz stirs and puts her right
hand out and touches Ed’s arm.)Little Liz. Lizzzz. Lizzzz (Becomes like bee
buzzing.)Lizzzz. Lizzzz. Liz is the business. The business. (Pause. Puts Liz’s
hand against his cheek. Liz stirs, but does not wake up.)Do you know what my
father used to say? No? Well, he’d say always be kind to women. Yes. Be
kind to women. It was like the Eleventh Commandment. Thou shalt be
kind to women. (Pause.)I don’t know why he said that. Perhaps his father
said that to him, too. A sort of handed down philosophical statement.
Handed down from generation to generation. (Pause. Puts Liz’s hand on the
bed.)My mother never said be kind to men. Never said anything like that.
Not even hinted at it. Not a word about men at all. Maybe my mother
didn’t like men that much. She wasn’t too struck on my father so maybe
she wasn’t too keen on men. Some women aren’t. It’s the way it is. (Liz
opens her eyes.)Be kind to women. Be kind to women, (Liz sits up and Ed
stops.)

Liz: You all right, Ed?

Ed: Yes, I’m fine.

Liz: What are you doing sitting up staring at the wall?

Ed: I have to stare somewhere. Might as well be the wall as the ceiling.

Liz: Why don’t you come and lay down?

Ed: I’ve been lying down.


22

Liz: Not while I’ve been awake, you haven’t.

Ed: What are you doing in my bed, anyway?

Liz: This is my bed.

Ed: Oh. (Looks around the room.)Is it?

Liz: Yes. You came in here last night.

Ed: Did I?

Liz: Yes.

Ed: Why?

Liz: To make love to me.

Ed: And did I?

Liz :( Liz sits up. She sighs.)You don’t remember?

Ed: Remember what?

Liz: Making love to me.

Ed :( Moves to the end of the bed and stares at the floor.)I can’t remember if I’ve
been asleep or awake all night. Did I sleep?

Liz: Not while you made love to me, you didn’t.

Ed: Was I good?

Liz :( Shakes her head.)How is it you can’t remember?

Ed: I want to remember. Believe me I want to remember, but I can’t


remember a thing. (Looks at Liz and smiles weakly.)You’re not having me on
are you? This is your bed isn’t it? I mean, you wouldn’t creep into my
bed for a few minutes just to pretend you slept with me?

Liz: No. (Sighs.)Ed what am I going to do with you?


Ed: You’ll think of something.
23

Liz: If Rod knew you were here, he’d go berserk.

Ed: Would he? Does he love you?

Liz: No. (Pause.)He doesn’t. At least not in that way.

Ed: What way doesn’t he love you?

Liz: He wouldn’t sleep with me to save his damned hide.

Ed :( Smiles. Then suddenly laughs.)Oh, you should have been a pink boy, a
pink boy, a pink boy; you should have been a pink boy to cuddle up in
bed. (Laughs.)

Liz: Hush! Or he’ll hear you. (Both sit in a few moments of silence.)He’s cross
with me.

Ed: Why?

Liz: Because of you.

Ed: Why because of me?

Liz: He thinks I should get you out of the house.

Ed: Get me out?

Liz: Yes. (Pause. Moves down to the end of the bed next to Ed.)But I won’t.

Ed: Where would I go?

Liz: I won’t get you out, Ed.

Ed: But where would I go if you did? (Suddenly gets up, walks downstage to
the edge, and stares out at the auditorium.)I’ve nowhere to go.

Liz: No one’s going to throw you out, Ed.

Ed: I write a play, which no one reads, and now I’m told I’m being
chucked out.

Liz: But you’re not being chucked out. I just said that was what Rod
wanted, not me. :( Moves downstage and stands next to Ed.)No one is going to
24

throw you out.

Ed: You said so.

Liz: I said Rod wanted that, not me.

Ed: Why does he want me out? What have I done to him for him to want
me thrown out?

Liz: He’s like that. You know what he’s like.

Ed: I write a play which no one wants to read or act in and all of a
sudden…All of a sudden? What’s all of a sudden?

Liz :( Sighs. Puts her arm around Ed.)All of a sudden, you’ve forgotten.

Ed: What?

Liz: It doesn’t matter.

Ed: It does matter.

Liz: It doesn’t matter if you’ve forgotten.

Ed: Doesn’t it? What does matter? Does anything matter? (Pause. Then he
laughs.)Oh, dear what can the matter be, oh, dear, what can the matter be,
oh, dear… (Pause. Stares at Liz.)Do you know what it’s like in here? (Taps
his head.)It’s like a big empty room. Occasionally people come in but they
go out again and don’t say who they are. Or if they do, I forget who they
are and the room’s empty again and I’m all alone. (Stares out at the
auditorium.)Is that madness? Am I going mad?

Liz: No. No, you’re not going mad. I won’t let you. :( Embraces Ed.)I won’t
let you go anywhere near madness. I will act in your new play.

Ed: You haven’t read it.

Liz: You won’t let me.

Ed: I will.

Liz: Let me read it, then I’ll act it.


25

Ed: It might be rubbish. I may have lost the way to write. (Pause. Looks at
his hands. Moves away from Liz.)It could be nothing but scribble. I might just
have scribbled a whole lot of rubbish.

Liz: Let me read it.

Ed: No. No, you’ll laugh at me and the whole world will know I’ve lost
the plot and I’ll be… (Puts his hands over his face. His speech is distorted by
this.)Laughed at. (Speaks louder.)I’ll be laughed out of the theatre world!

Liz :( Moves near him slowly.)It’ll be the best play you have ever written.
Your masterpiece. People will acclaim you the next Shakespeare.

Ed :( Removes his hands and stares at Liz.)Will they? Will they, Liz?

Liz: Yes. Yes, they will.

Ed: It’s not that good.

Liz: It’s your best play.

Ed: You’ve not read it.

Liz: I know it is.

Ed: You’re just saying that. You’re lying to me.

Liz: Then let me read it.

Ed: How can you lie to me?

Liz: I’m not lying to you. I’m saying what I think. And I think it’s your
best yet. (Pause. She embraces Ed.) Your best. Your best play.

Ed: Is it?

Liz: Yes. The best yet. :( Ed becomes childlike and lays his head against Liz’s
breast. She rocks him gently. Light fades.)
End of Scene One.

Act Two. Scene Two.


Late morning. Rod is walking up and down the edge of the stage carrying a
26

manuscript in his right hand. He is clothed in jeans and white shirt. Liz is sitting on
the sofa she is clothed in a short black dress.
Rod: I’ve got it! The famous manuscript. (He waves it above his head like a
sword.)The last play and testament of Bone.

Liz: How did you get hold of that?

Rod: It was lying around so I picked it up. The great play. The last and
final play of a lunatic dramatist. (Laughs.)You want to see it? You want to
let your eyes run over this?

Liz: You stole it.

Rod: No, Honey, it was lying over there on the damned sofa. My only
sin is picking it up and reading it. And what a waste of time that was.

Liz: Put it back. You’ve no right to be reading someone else’s


manuscript.

Rod: What’s it to you? Just another burned out dramatist puking out more
rubbish for us poor actors to put our talents to. Who watch us trying to
make sense of it and moan like she-cats when we fail. :( Offers it out to
Liz.)Here read the damned thing. See if it makes sense to you.

Liz: No. Not unless Ed wants me to read it. You shouldn’t have it. It’s
private. It’s like part of his soul.

Rod: No. Once the guy puts pen to paper, Honey, it’s the right of every
actor worth his or her salt to read it and try to make sense of it. Nothing
more, nothing less. Just that. The reading of a play to see if it has any
merit for the stage.

Liz: Even if it had, you wouldn’t recognise it. You hate Ed. You wouldn’t
say even if it had merit for the stage.

Rod: I’m not blinded to his faults as you are. I see him as he is.

Liz: You see him as a failure before you start to read. You’re no judge of
plays. You’re just an actor. Just a mere actor of parts.

Rod: What’s it to you if he’s a failure or not? The guy can’t write
anymore and that’s a fact. It’s as plain as the stars at night. Plain as truth
always is. The guy’s burned out. He’s a hollow reed and that’s the truth.
27

Liz: What do you know of truth? You’re too biased to know anything
objectively.

Rod: Oh, sure I am. I’m the great pretender am I? And he’s the one and
only great playwright? Sure you’re so objective. (Pause.)Read the damned
thing. (Holds out the manuscript to Liz.)Read it. Get your eyes to run through
this and be satisfied. It’s damned rubbish. Nothing can come from
rubbish except rubbish. There’s nothing in here that a kid couldn’t write.

Liz :( Stands up and snatches away the manuscript from Rod.)You’re so hateful at
times. Ed has the right to a fair hearing as much as anyone else. Why do
you rage at him so much? What’s he ever done to you?

Rod The guy’s a fraud. There’s nothing except fraudulence written large
all over that damned thing.

Liz :( Reads the manuscript slowly.)This is brilliant! (Looks up at Rod.)Radiant.

Rod: Rubbish. It’s nothing but damned rubbish.

Liz: It’s beyond your talents to bring to life. It needs a great actor to bring
this out. (Pause. Stares at Rod.)What’s he done to you for you to hate him
so?

Rod: I can’t bear second raters. He’s second rate and he knows it.

Liz: You can’t deny his talent in this. God forbid you can’t! :( Holds the
manuscript in front of Rod like a dagger.)This is the play to make him.

Rod: Or break him, once and for all.

Liz :( Holds the manuscript to her breast.)I’d die for the right to act the main
part here.

Rod :( Laughs.)So he’s caught you in his web of madness too. (Laughs.)
He’s actually done it. He’s made you as foolish as he is. You think
there’s
merit in that damned thing? You’ve lost it too, Honey. You’ve lost the
damned plot of what dramatic art is all about.

Liz :( Kisses the manuscript.)This is holy script. This is Ed’s best play yet.
28

Rod: No. No, Baby, this is not art. This is the pukish rubbish of a failed
man. Nothing can redeem him now.

Liz: You’re just jealous of his talent.

Rod: The guy’s a complete screwball.

Liz: And you’re just a second rater yourself.

Rod: Me? A second rater? (Laughs.)What do you have in common with


him? You in love with him or something? No one can waste his or her
time or energy on this. It’s not worth candle wax. It’s barrel scrapings.

Liz :( Hits Rod with the manuscript.)This is a masterpiece!

Rod: You’ve lost it!

Liz: You never had it!

Rod: You’re lost.

Liz: He’s written the best play I’ve read in years.

Rod: What do you know of plays? You’re just a woman.

Liz :( Takes the manuscript and kisses it.)In the beginning was the word.

Rod: That’s right make a mockery of all that’s art. This should be burnt
before it corrupts all other art. I can’t stand by and let such utter nonsense
make you or anyone else take this as dramatic art.

Liz: You’re just a worm ball!

Rod: Throw it away! Cast it to the flames! For such rubbish is fit for
nothing else.

Liz: You’re not getting your hands on this again. Ed’s going to have it
back. You shouldn’t have had it without his permission. This is his to
have and to hold.

Rod: And may it burn to ashes. (Attempts to snatch the manuscript from Liz but
fails.) Give it here. It’s nothing but corruption to all actors and the world.
29

Liz: I want only the truth of what he says here to be spread. It’s such a
play that it will split the world in two.

Rod :( Laughs.)Oh, my Sweet. Such nonsense. Here bring it to me that I


may tear it to shreds and save you and the world from such a bad
influence.

Liz: No.

Rod: Here. Give it here. (Tries to grab the manuscript but Liz runs off upstage
with it.)If you so much as show that play to anyone your career is done for.
I shall make sure you never act again. Your name will be taboo.

Liz: I’ll show it to whomsoever Ed wants it shown.

Rod: The guy’s a complete head case. No one’s going to even look at it.

Liz :( Holds the manuscript against her breast and stands upstage with it.)Ed shall
have it back. You had no right to take it. You’re just a cruel man!

Rod :( Laughs.)Take it. Take the damned thing and shove it up Bone’s
backside. There it can cause no harm to any, but him. (Laughs.)Take it! Go
with it! Let Bone have his damned play and may it damn him for forever
for the loser and lunatic he is. :( He claps his hands hard.)He’s nothing. He’s
nothing. Just a has-been. Go take it to him! Let his dammed eyes search
for something of merit in it.

Liz: This will make him. It’s the best play he’s written.

Rod: Go. :( Makes gestures with his hands for her to go.)Go suck up to his
lostness and drown with him in his mediocrity.

Liz: I love him.

Rod :( He hears nothing of this, but smiles.)Take him around with a lead like a
dog for the fool’s worth nothing. (Laughs and walks upstage and out of the door.
Liz watches him in silence. The light fades.)

End of Scene Two.


Act Two. Scene Three.

Late afternoon. Rod and Liz are sitting on the sofa. Ed is walking back and forth
30

across the lower stage. In his right hand, he is holding the manuscript. He is muttering
to himself, but it is not understood by either of the other two. Suddenly he stops and
stares at them.
Ed: Thieves! Cheats! I thought I could trust you, Lizzy. I thought you at
least were trustworthy. Him I didn’t expect anything from, but you?

Liz: He found it, Ed. He was the one who had it. I merely brought it back
to you.

Rod: You read it too.

Ed: My new play and you both touched it and read it. How could you?
Why?

Liz: It’s your best play ever, Ed.

Rod: It’s utter rubbish and if you had an ounce of artistic honesty left in
you, you’d burn the damned thing.

Liz: Shut up, Rod!

Ed: My new play. (Holds it by his fingertips as if it were suddenly


unclean.)Contaminated. (Holds it between finger and thumb.)Tainted. Stained
with your blood. (Runs and places it on Liz’s lap and then runs back to the edge of
the stage.)You’ve spoilt it. You’ve soiled it with your hands and eyes.
(Pause. Brushes his hands against his trousers.)I’m infected now by your
humanity and sins. I’m ruined. (Looks out over the auditorium.)They have
dirtied me. (Points behind him at the two on the sofa.)Polluted as if they had the
damned pox!

Liz: Ed, please listen.

Ed: Fouled on by them as if I were some…Some? Some what?

Rod: The play’s utter nonsense and you should be thankful I discovered
that before the theatre world. You’d be a laughing stock!

Liz: Shut up! You’re a laughing stock. People think you’re a second rate
actor, but are too kind to say so.

Rod: Only second raters would say that.

Ed: Some what? Have I been corrupted? I was pure. I was as pure as the
31

Virgin herself was. (Pause. Turns and stares at Liz and Rod.)Unadulterated.
Uncontaminated by the world and its sins.

Liz :( To Rod.) You’re no actor. I’ve acted with the best and you’re the
lowest.

Rod: Who’s lying now? You’re only a woman so what’s to be expected.

Liz: How dare you upset, Ed.

Rod: Upset him? (Laughs.)I come not to upset him, but to bury him.

Ed: I was unpolluted by the stench of the world’s greed.

Liz: Ed, your play is a masterpiece.

Rod: What is it with you, Honey; you want this guy in your bed?

Ed: I was clean. Clean. Clean. Clean.

Liz:(To Rod.) I’ve had him in my bed. We made love. (Pause.)

Rod: With him? (Rod glares at Liz and then Ed.)You had him in your bed?

Ed: Untainted by the corruption of humankind.

Liz: Yes, and he was damned good.

Rod: He was in your bed? (Rod stands up and breathes deeply.)That man was
in your bed? (Liz stands up and walks towards Ed.)You made love to that?

Liz: Yes. At least he’s a man.

Ed: I was as wholesome as brown bread.

Rod :( Rod follows her and grabs at her arm, but she pulls herself free. They stand
and stare at each other. Ed seems unaware of them.)Now I’ve heard it all. Now
you’ve lost your mind. His sickness has tainted you.

Liz: I’d rather be tainted by him than be touched by you.

Ed: I was chaste. Unsullied. Uncorrupted. Innocent. (Pause. All three stare at
the auditorium.) Innocent as a child.
32

Rod :( To Liz.) What’s he got that’s so corrupted you?

Liz: Genius.

Ed: I remember as a child holding my father’s hand and thinking how big
it was.

Rod: Genius? (Laughs suddenly.) He’s no more a genius than I am. He’s a
fraud. He’s deceived you. He’s conned you, Baby, and you’ve been
pulled in like a dumb fish.

Liz: He has talent. He has the touch of God on his shoulder.

Rod: He’s a schemer of the lowest order.

Ed: It was a big hand. Hairy and clumsy.

Liz: I know he has that touch because he makes love like a god.

Rod: The guy’s a swindler. He’s swindled you and the whole damned
theatre world into thinking he’s got talent.

Ed: But I thought it a thing of beauty because it represented safety.

Liz: I’ve never made love to any man like I did with Ed.

Rod: His whole packet of dramas is one big racket. A big hoax. Deceit at
its worse.

Ed: And do you know what he said? He said…What did he say?

Liz: It was as if the world has suddenly stopped and held its breath.

Rod: The guy’s a fake. A counterfeit dramatist.

Ed :( Grabs Liz’s hand and takes her along the stage away from Rod. Liz and Ed gaze
at each other.)What did my father say?

Liz: Be kind to women. He said be kind to women.

Rod: You two deserve each other. Two nuts in a fruitcake.


33

Ed: Yes, yes, that’s it. Be kind to women. Do you know why he said that?

Liz: No. Why did he say that, Ed?

Rod: You’re mad. (Pause.)A damned foolish woman, Lizzy!

Ed: I’ve no idea. (Laughs.) My mother treated him like a laddered


stocking.

Rod: The guy’s crazy.

Liz: Perhaps your father loved her.

Ed: What? Loved her? He loved women, but her, no. He treated her
kindly, but he didn’t love her. He treated her like a lady, but he didn’t
love her. (Pause. Releases Liz’s hand.)What did Wittgenstein say?

Liz: I don’t know, Ed.

Rod: Who cares what this Wittgenstein said.

Ed: Maybe he said be kind to women, too.

Liz: Maybe he did, Ed. Maybe that’s what he said.

Rod: Lizzy come away from Bone. He’s tainting you with his madness.

Ed: Tractatus Logico Philosophicus!

Rod: What’s he on about now?

Liz: Shut up, Rod!

Ed: The perfect language mirrors the world.

Liz :( To Rod.) You only know shallow thoughts and feelings.

Rod: You’re being tainted, Honey, by this lunatic.

Ed: This ultimate language, pictures the configuration of reality.

Liz: Is that what Wittgenstein said?


34

Rod: If you mix with loony tunes, you get caught up in their crazy world,
Lizzy. You lose contact with the real world. You fall into the abyss of
insanity.

Ed: What’s real, Liz?

Liz: What?

Ed: What’s real? What is this reality?

Rod: Throw him out! I told you to get rid of him.

Liz: Will you shut up, Rod.

Ed: My father had large hands. My mother’s hands were small and
fragile. I never felt safe her holding my hand. Her hand was limp, thin,
and small. Not safe hands at all. Very insecure hands. Limp and white.

Liz: Did you love your mother, Ed?

Rod: If his mother had any love in her, she’d have drowned him at birth.

Ed: She said things like…Like what? Do you know what my mother
said?

Liz :( She cuddles Ed as if he were a child.)Did she say she loved you, Ed?

Ed: She may have done. I can’t remember.

Rod: See? He can’t remember. He can’t remember a damned thing.

Liz: I think she would have said that, Ed. Mothers say those sorts of
things.

Rod: Mine didn’t. She never ever mentioned that she loved me.

Liz: I’m not surprised.

Ed: My mother was a disappointed woman.

Rod: Who’d be surprised by that? One look at you and she saw her whole
life flash before her eyes.
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Liz: Rod, if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing.

Ed: Didn’t Wittgenstein say that?

Liz: Say what?

Ed: What you just said.

Rod: What’s with this guy, Wittgenstein? He your uncle or something?

Liz: If you can’t say something nice say nothing, you mean?

Ed: Yes. I’m sure that’s what he said.

Liz: Did he?

Rod: Who gives a damn what he said.

Ed: Or was it my mother? (Pause. Liz and Rod look at Ed. Ed moves out of Liz’s
arms and walks away from them.) Be kind to women, my father said.

Liz: We’re moving away from your play, Ed. Can I act in your new play?
(She walks to where Ed is standing.)I would love the main part.

Ed: I’ll have to think. I’ll have to think about that.

Rod: What’s to think about, Bone? Your play won’t get to the stage
anyway. No director worth his salt is going to risk anything by you these
days.

Liz: You certainly won’t be in it.

Ed: I need to think.

Liz: Rod’s not going to be in it is he, Ed?

Rod: What a dumb question. I’d rather sweep the streets than be in his
damned play.

Liz: That’s all you’re fit for.


Ed: In the beginning was the word. (Moves away from Liz again.)And the
word was…What was it? I’ve forgotten. (Taps his head with his right fist.)
36

Liz: In the beginning was the word and the word was God.

Ed: God? The word was God?

Liz: Yes.

Ed: Why God?

Liz: That’s what it says.

Ed: But why, God?

Liz: It’s in the Gospel of St John.

Ed: You know what my mother once said?

Rod: This is ridiculous. The guy’s rambling like a damned rose.

Liz: Leave him be. (Pause. Ed moves upstage to the sofa and sits down. Liz and
Rod watch him, then walk to the sofa, and sit down either side of Ed.)My mother
once said that if you don’t eat your vegetables you‘d never be clever.

Ed: Your mother said that?

Liz: Yes.

Ed: Mothers are very wise aren’t they? They say things like that don’t
they?

Liz: Yes. Yes they do. (Pause.) They say things like that.

Ed: I wonder what Wittgenstein’s mother said?

Liz: The same I expect. Mothers seem to say the same things.

Rod: What would your mother have said about your plays?

Ed: She didn’t like my plays. She never liked them at all. (Silence. Ed sits
and stares at his hands. Liz looks at the auditorium. Rod looks at Liz. Light fades.
End of Scene Three.

Act Two. Scene Four.


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Early evening of the same day. Ed walks around the sofa. The room is dim except
around the sofa. Liz is sitting on the sofa.
Ed: Do you know what being crucified is like? (Liz looks at Ed, but says
nothing.)I remember in some church somewhere, I can’t remember where,
might have been in Europe, might not, I can’t recall just where it was. But
there was this huge crucifix hung high above the altar. It was so life like
that it was frightening. As if, you were actually watching the actual
crucifixion. The Christ Himself was hung there with such a sad
expression on his face that you wanted to climb up there and get him
down. (Pause. Ed stops and sighs.)The hands were like claws. You could
almost feel the pain in your own hands by looking at them. I can
remember feeling nails in my hands. Strange isn’t it?

Liz: That’s the power of art.

Ed: This wasn’t just art this was passion. I really felt the nails in my
hands as if this Christ had said to me Hey! You, feel the pain in here. And
I did.

Liz: How long ago was this, Ed?

Ed: I felt the nails as if I was hanging there myself.

Liz: Ed? How long ago was this?

Ed: And the look on the face was one of extreme agony.

Liz: Ed?

Ed: I remember looking at the face and thinking how can you convey that
pain and agony to the stage? I do. I remember asking that.

Liz: It was just a crucifix.

Ed: This was more than art. This was the sharing of something deeper and
more terrible.

Liz: Ed? Can you hear me? :( She rises up, takes Ed’s hand, and pulls him onto
the sofa.)How long ago was this?
Ed :( Looks into Liz’s eyes.)You have beautiful eyes.

Liz: Was it recently?


38

Ed: Those are the eyes of a woman in love.

Liz: Ed, will you concentrate. How long ago was this?

Ed: How long ago was what?

Liz: This church visit. The crucifix.

Ed: How do I know. It seems just a few days ago, yet at the same time, it
seems years ago. Do you know what it’s like to be in love?

Liz: Ed, you’re digressing. How long ago was this visit?

Ed :( Takes hold of Liz’s hand and kisses it.)I want to tell you something.

Liz: What?

Ed: I have been crucified.

Liz: You’re tired, Ed. You need to rest.

Ed :( Kisses Liz’s cheek.)I want to say something to you.

Liz: What?

Ed: I want you to…I want you…I want…I…What do I want, Liz?

Liz: Relax. (Pause.)You’re Ed Bone. Do you know that?

Ed :( Frowns.)Am I? Am I not the crucified?

Liz: You’re Ed Bone a dramatist.

Ed: Dramatist?

Liz: You write plays. Good plays.

Ed: In the beginning was…

Liz: The word.

Ed: The word? What was the word?


39

Liz: God was the word.

Ed: I remember what Wittgenstein said.

Liz: What did he say, Ed?

Ed: He said…How far could words express anything? What can words
actually say?

Liz: Ed? Are you going to rest?

Ed: How can I rest? The whole world is waiting.

Liz: Ed, please, listen to me.

Ed :( Rises up, goes quickly to the edge of the stage, and stares out at the auditorium.)
I remember my father saying be kind to women. Women were to him a
special breed. A kind of art form. He loved them. He would have loved
them all, but my mother…Mother? What did my mother say?

Liz :( Goes up to where Ed is standing and hugs him as if he were a child.)Rest. It is


too much for you at the moment.

Ed: No, no, she never said anything that made sense.

Liz: Did you love your mother, Ed?

Ed: She was at the foot of the cross.

Liz: What cross?

Ed: My cross. She was standing there looking.

Liz: Ed? Are you listening?

Ed: My father never knew what Wittgenstein said. He never wanted to


know.

Liz: Did you love your mother, Ed?

Ed :( Moves quickly along the edge of the stage as if he were a trapeze artist.)I want
you to play in my play. I want you. I want you. (Pause.)Have you seen my
40

new play?

Liz: Yes. It’s your best ever.

Ed: I want you to play the lead. I want you to be the main artist of my
play.

Liz: Do you mean that?

Ed: I said it didn’t I? (Looks out at the auditorium.)Never be a playwright. It’s


an arduous task writing plays. (Laughs.)I remember my first play being
performed by absolute amateurs and they almost killed the damned thing.
I don’t know why I let them. Why did I? Liz? Why did I?

Liz: You’re too kind.

Ed: I want to be crucified.

Liz: Come and rest, Ed. Come to bed and rest.

Ed: That’s what my mother said. She was always saying that.

Liz :( She goes to Ed, takes his hand, and takes him upstage.)You need to rest.
You’ve a lot to do tomorrow. You’ve got to try and concentrate. This
play must be produced somewhere. Time is very important.

Ed: Time past and time future…Time gentlemen, please.

Liz: Come to bed, Ed. Please come and relax and lay down your head and
find yourself again.

Ed: Mother said that. She was always saying things.

Liz: Come on, Ed. (Pause.)Come on and rest.

Ed: Night, night, ladies, Night, night. (He allows Liz to lead him offstage.
Lights dim and fade.)

End of Scene Four.

Act Two. Scene Five.


41

Late evening. Ed and Liz are in a bed together. The room is dim except over the bed
and wherever either Ed or Liz goes.)
Liz: Rod’s gone. He left this evening.

Ed: Gone? Gone where?

Liz: To hell for all I care.

Ed: So the Yank’s gone as he? Gone far, far away. (Laughs weakly.)He was
a good actor you know. Only not on the stage. He acted best in his every
day life, but on the stage, he was mediocre. Mediocre.

Liz: What about your play?

Ed: What about it?

Liz: You must get it on stage.

Ed: Must I?

Liz: Yes. It’s essential for you to be seen with a good play on stage again.

Ed: Is it?

Liz: Yes. It’s important for you to be seen again. Your play will save you
from…

Ed: From what? From what, Liz?

Liz: It will save you from the obscurity you’ve fallen into recently.

Ed: Oh, I’ve fallen have I? Fallen? (Laughs.)I hang by my hands, Lizzy.
Lizzzzzy. Lizzzy. Lizzzy. I’m the crucified. I hang for all time. I can’t
fall. I’m nailed up high.

Liz: Ed, please. (Wraps her arms about him.)Don’t do this to yourself. You
must focus your mind.

Ed: Do you remember last night?

Liz: Yes. We made love.

Ed: I had supper with a few friends.


42

Liz: We made love and you were wonderful.

Ed: And I was betrayed.

Liz: I’ve never made love to anyone like that before. (Kisses his cheek.)Ed
you and I were made for each other.

Ed: One of my so-called friends betrayed me.

Liz: And you said I could be the actor in the main part of your play.

Ed: He sat there and damned betrayed me. :( Pushes Liz away, moves out of
the bed, and sits on the edge.)The damned fellow betrayed me.

Liz: I want to be the lead, Ed. This is important to both of us. This is so
important that you must succeed.

Ed: And do you know what he did?

Liz: Ed, please, come back here to me. (Ed moves away from the bed and goes
to the edge of the stage.) It’s important that you come here to me.

Ed: Do you know what he did?

Liz: No. No, Ed, I don’t know what he did. What did he do?

Ed: He kissed me. Kissed me. He betrayed me, the damned fool, with a
kiss.

Liz: Who are you talking about, Ed?

Ed: That man who was here this morning.

Liz: Rod?

Ed: So that’s what he’s calling himself now is it? So he lies to all and
sundry? Not just to me. He lies to all.

Liz: Ed? Are you listening?


Ed :( Looks at the auditorium.)It’s done. You have witnessed it.

Liz: Ed Bone. Ed Bone?


43

Ed: A man whom I thought was a friend has betrayed me.

Liz :( Gets out of bed, runs to Ed’s side, and caresses him.)I can save you, Ed. I
can save you. Come with me. Back to bed.

Ed: Never trust a friend, my mother may have said.

Liz :( Leads Ed away from the edge of the stage towards the bed.)Trust me. I will
save you from your madness.

Ed: Too late. Too late. I’ve been betrayed.

Liz: Please, Ed. Please come. Please come.

Ed :( Allows Liz to take him to the bed where he sits down.)In the beginning was
the word.

Liz: The play will be staged.

Ed: And my mother said, “Be kind to God.”

Liz: We can make love and tomorrow we can act your play.

Ed: And my father said, “Be kind to your mother.”

Liz :( Lays Ed down in bed and lies next to him.)You and I, Ed. And your play.

Ed: What did Wittgenstein say?

Liz: Make love to me, Ed.

Ed: So that’s what he said. That’s what he said. (Smiles. They kiss. The light
gradually fades until all is dark. Silence.)

End of Act Two and Scene Five..