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Him and Her

Posted septembre 16, 2018 By admin

A comedy by Jean-Pierre Martinez

About the exciting adventure of living together…

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This play has already been represented in Paris, Madrid, Montevideo…

Him and Her, Interactive Monologue Him and Her, Interactive Monologue
Him and Her, Interactive Monologue Him and Her, Interactive Monologue

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Jean-Pierre Martinez

A semiologist and a writer, Jean-Pierre Martinez has created a unique theatrical universe borrowing and blending elements from light comedy, black humour and the absurd. A powder-keg of a mix that is seducing an ever increasing audience. A script-writer for the French television series Avocats & Associés (France 2), he has written over a hundred television screenplays and seventy comedies for the theatre. He is one of the most frequently played contemporary playwrights in France and his plays have been translated in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Friday the 13th is his biggest play and has been performed in theatres all over the world, from Paris to Broadway, and from Buenos Aires to Mexico. All his plays are published by La Comediathèque and are available online (http://comediatheque.net). Originally from Paris but in love with Provence, he spends the best part of the year in Tarascon where he registered the Compagnie Libre Théâtre, of which he is a director along with Ruth Martinez.

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FULL TEXT OF THE PLAY

Him and Her, Interactive Monologue

A comedy by Jean-Pierre Martinez

For one, two, three, four… couples.

About the exciting adventure of living together.

The text of this play is to free download. However, an authorization is required for any public representation. To get in touch with Jean-Pierre Martinez and ask an authorization to represent the play :

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HIM AND HER, INTERACTIVE MONOLOGUE

Artists Entrance

1 – Wedding night

2 – Cherry time

3 – TV breakdown

4 – Quarantine

5 – Definition of love (through what it is not) and meeting again

6 – Carpaccio and Bacon

7 – Disappearance

8 – The world of sport

9 – Small talk

10 – Where do we go when we die ?

11 – Nightmare

12 – Furniture

Emergency exit

Artists Entrance

Dark. As if the show is about to start. However nothing happens long enough for the public to become unsettled. The light appears in a corner where two spectators, a man and a woman – strangers – are sitting side by side. The man looks nervously at a cinema/theatre guide, and then at his watch. The woman picks pop corn out of a huge bag, noisily stuffing handful after handful into her mouth.

Him – Sorry… Do you know what’s going on ?

Her – I guess we are waiting for the actors…

Him – Until now, only the audience were late for shows. If actors start doing the same…

Silence.

Her (worried) – Can I have a look at your guide ? In case the play has been cancelled…

He gives her his guide. But she doesn’t know how to take it, with her pot of pop corn in her hands.

Her (showing him the bag of popcorn) – Do you want some ?

He has no choice but to take the bag. She looks at the guide, but seems to be lost in it. He eats some pop corn with disgust.

Her – Sorry, I’m used to Time Out. I can’t find anything…

Him – And I don’t like pop corn…

She gives him back his guide, and takes back her pop corn.

Her – Anyway, it’s too late for a movie… We’re better off to waiting.

Him – I hope it’s worth it…

Her (worried) – Bad critics ?

Him (looking towards the public) – There aren’t many people…

Her – Well, the critics… They don’t mean much.. Sometimes, you see things, glorified by the critics. It lasts hours… but no one dares say they’re bored, for fear they sound like an idiot. Afterwards, they’ll tell you :  » That play was so deep, the proof : you didn’t understand a word of it… »

Him – Comedy is a different kettle of fish. If people don’t laugh during the show, they won’t tell you after : « Only a critic can understand how hysterically funny it is ».

Her – Are you a critic ?

Him (astonished) – Not you ?

Her – Actress…

Him – Of course…

Her – Only actors and critics go to the theatre nowadays… One in two spectators is an actor. It’s hard to tell where the stage is these days…

Him – You know the play ?

Her – Oh, no… But a friend of mine is performing in it. I came to see her… To do her a favour…

Him – Is she a famous actress…?

Her – She mostly does theatre…

Him – In that case… (Suspicious) You really are an actress?

Her (worried) – You don’t think I’m a good one ?

Him – Oh, no… You are very good.

Her – Actress by night and… museum attendant during the day.

Him – If you consider the modernity of the repertoire, it’s more or less the same job, isn’t it…?

Silence.

Her – I have no more pop corn.

Him – We might die before the show starts.

Her – Yes… It seems that they have forgotten us…

Him – In a few years, a cleaner will find our skeletons lying side by side, hand in hand…

Her – Hand in hand…?

Him – I think as the end grows near, we’ll become more affectionate towards each-other. We are like two shipwrecked souls on a desert island, aren’t we ? We don’t have much choice…

Her – You think they will give us our money back ?

Him (astonished) – Don’t tell me that you paid for this…

Her – Of course, not…

Him – Then…

They stand up in order to leave.

Him – We can always come back another time…

Her – If the play is still on. Which seems very unlikely…

Him – We could go to see another one.

Her – Is that an invitation…?

Him (showing an invitation) – For two.

Her – I hope that this time, it will start on time… What is it ?

Him (reading the invitation) – Him and her…

Her – Looks boring too…

Him – Sorry, I have to turn my mobile on…

Her – Oh, yes… I forgot to switch mine off…

They leave. Lights down.

1 – Wedding night

Him and her fall down on a couch, obviously exhausted.

Her – I thought they would never leave…

Him – They say that seven out of ten couples don’t have sex during their wedding night. Now I understand why…

Her – We could try to improve the average…

Him – You forget that we take off at 6.45 AM… From Luton…

Her – From Luton ?

Him – I told you ! I got the tickets on ebay…

Him – Why do the low cost companies have to take off from the most depressing town in England…? On the other hand, it’s true that when you leave from Luton, it makes anywhere look like a dream destination. Even Bratislava…

Him – They say that Bratislava is very beautiful… In spring…

Her – Don’t you mean Prague…?

Him – Similar region ?

Her – The Seychelles are beautiful all year round.. And don’t forget that spring starts only in two months…

Him – Oh, The Seychelles… Everybody goes there…

Her – It’s true that a honeymoon to Bratislava is a lot more original… We won’t meet lots of honeymooners on the plane… The only couple who mixed up Bratislava with Brasilia resold their tickets on ebay…

Him – We will treat ourselves with the Seychelles in a few years… For our wedding anniversary…

Her – Yeah. Our silver anniversary… When I won’t be able to get into my swimsuit… (Sigh) Life is unfair. We should inherit at 20, start working at 50 when we’ve finished our retirement, and procreate at 70, to have some company in our old age… And marriage would be at the end, a final vow…

Him – On the other hand, a lifetime without a mother in law… Is it really worth it…?

Her – Do you think I will still love you in 20 years ?

Him – Will you still have the choice…? When you can’t find a swimsuit that fits…

Her – I know a girl who said « no » on her wedding day, for a joke. She wanted to say « yes » immediately after but the mayor did not like the joke at all. She had to wait six months to get married for real…Turns out there’s a legal delay. Like for a driving licence. When you screw up, you can’t take it again right away. Did you know that ?

Him – No…

Her – This wedding was as boring as hell, wasn’t it ?

Him – People don’t marry just for the fun…

Her – Don’t tell me that they do it to go to Bratislava from Luton in the middle of the night. Or I’ll start asking myself why I said yes… What country is Bratislava in ?

Him – Well… Prague was the capital of Tchecoslovaquia…

Her – Then you don’t even know which country you’re taking me to for our honeymoon ! My mother was right : I really don’t know were I am going with you…

Him – Wait… Prague is now capital of Tchequia… Bratislava should be capital of Slovakia. Or Slovenia… Anyway, it’s in Europe ! We don’t even need a passport…

Her – And you, will you still love me in 20 years…?

Him – How could I not love my whole life long a girl who is ready to follow me to an unknown country of the EEC…?

She – If it’s a test then…

They kiss each other.

Him – I don’t want to hurry you, but our plane takes off in two hours. And it’s quite a long way to Luton…

2 – Cherry time

A couple, sitting on a couch.

Her – Did you see ? The cherry tree is in flower.

Him – Another year has past…

Silence.

Her – We’re happy, aren’t we…?

Him – Yes… (After a moment) We’re bored stiff, aren’t we ?

Her – Together ?

Him – Generally.

She thinks about it.

Her – We could buy another couch…

Him – What would we do with the old one ?

Her – Take a vacation…

Him – To go where ?

Her – Organise a party…

Him – To celebrate what ?

Her – The flowering of our cherry tree !

Him – They say that Japanese people do that, in spring. Invite friends round to contemplate their cherry tree, sipping tea…

Her – We should better hurry up. Some petals are already falling…

Him – So is some of my hair…

Her – Your hair ?

Him – It starts by one, and then you go bald before you know it… (After a moment) And who would we invite ?

Her – Friends !

Him – Friends…? We’ve got friends…?

Her – Probably…

Him – Anyway, people are always busy…

Her – You just need to give them notice.

Him – You invite them for a drink, they get out their diary… Instead of having a drink, you discuss about a possible date. Then they call you back to cancel and fix a new date… When I go for a drink, it’s right on the spot. In three weeks, I might not be thirsty anymore. There is no more improvisation !

Her – Maybe because people are afraid of being bored…

Him – You’ll see ! They will be busy. They will discuss a possible date. Meanwhile, the cherry tree’s petals will have fallen down…

Her – A carpet of petals is pretty too…

Him – Today it is sunny. But what the weather will be like in a month ? In addition to matching agendas, you have to consult the weather report. Inviting friends becomes even more complicated than foreseeing an eclipse. No… Instead of taking a chance on having fun with all this people in a month, I’d rather the guarantee of being bored with you right now.

Her – That’s so sweet…

Him – A few days ago, my best friend leaves me a message. I had not heard of him for months. I call him back right away to invite him for a drink. He tells me that he is busy, that he will call me to fix a date. I am still waiting. I never knew why he called me in the first place…

Her – Maybe he felt a little down…

Him – I don’t know if he did not feel so lonely after he called… In six months, he will probably call me again, and it will be the same. Is that what we call friends, now ? The same with the web ? They tell you that it is «friendly». You don’t even say hello to the guy next door, but with your computer, you will be able to chat with the Chinese in Esperanto. Do you know many Chinese people ?

Her – When I was a child, I used to communicate with my little neighbour by night, in Morse, with electric lamps. Even then it didn’t work very well…

Him – People are overbooked all the time. What can they possibly have so interesting to do, not to have a single moment to drink a coffee with their best friend without notice. I try to stay available. But nobody else ever is. So I get bored… You never get bored ?

Her – With you, never…

Silence.

Him – What about having this drink anyway ?

Her – The two of us ?

Him – Would you be available ?

Her – When ?

Him – Right now.

Her – Why not ?

Him – I’ll get the glasses.

Her – I’ll take care of the peanuts.

Somebody rings the bell.

Him – Are we expecting somebody ?

Her – No. Who can that be ? It’s almost dinner time.

Him – People are so bad-mannered. They won’t leave you alone, even at the week-end.

Her – I’ll go to see who it is…

Him – I’m not here for anyone.

She turns to him.

Her – And what if it’s a friend ?

He thinks about it.

Him – Tell him that our Japanese cherry tree is still in flower, and that he should come back when it has cherries…

3 – TV breakdown

A couple sitting on a couch, staring into space.

Her – Anything interesting on TV tonight ?

Him – I don’t know. Why ?

Her – Just like that… (After a while) You really don’t want us to buy another one ?

Him – When we had a TV, we couldn’t help watching it !

Her – That’s why a TV is made for, isn’t it ?

Him – We were totally moronic with the TV ! We didn’t do anything else !

They keep staring into space. Not doing anything.

Her (ironical) – What shall we do now ?

Him – What do you want us to do ?

Her – Nothing…

Him – It’s still better than watching TV… When there was only one channel, at least… But now, with the satellite…

Her (nostalgic) – When I was a child, we had no TV. I used to go watch it to at my neighbour’s…

Him (ironical) – You want me to ask the neighbour if you can go watch TV with him ?

Silence.

Her – We could talk.

He looks at her, upset.

Her – Since we no longer have TV, we could use the time to talk.

Him – Well… You first.

She tries to think about something.

Her – Do you love me ?

Him (shocked) – Could we do this… progressively.

He thinks about it.

Him – What do we have for dinner, tonight ?

Her – Wednesday, fish.

Him – Fish ? It should be Friday…

Her – Friday is chicken.

Him – A bit fishy, isn’t it…?

Silence.

Him – What kind of fish do you want ?

Her – I’ll go. I need to get custard, too… What about cod, for a change…?

Him – It’s a bit salty, isn’t it ?

Her – Not à la Française.

Him – That doesn’t involve custard does it ?

Silence.

Him – If ever you cheated on me, would you tell me ?

She looks at him, surprised.

Her – You mean : if you cheated on me, would I want you to tell me or not ?

Him – Also, yes…

Her – Why do you ask ?

Him – Just making conversation… Since we don’t have TV anymore.

She thinks about it.

Her – How do you want me to answer this ?

Him – Yes or no !

Her – Do you really think it’s that simple ?

Him – No ?

Her – Answering is already accepting the possibility that you could cheat on me.

Him – So ?

Her – It’s like if you asked me : if I murdered you, would you prefer me to go surrender to the police right after, or try to escape from justice ?

He doesn’t seem to understand.

Her – It supposes that I actually consider the possibility that you could murder me. That is the real question. The rest is irrelevant.

Him – But still, adultery isn’t a crime.

Her – It sometimes leads to crime…

He seems a little worried.

Him – If I cheated on you, you could kill me ?

Her – Anyway, if I did, I would most certainly surrender to the police. Justice has always been very lenient towards crimes of passion…

Silence.

Her – So, you actually consider the possibility of cheating on me.

Him – Ninety-five per cent of animals are polygamists. The rest form couples only for as long as it takes to raise their offspring. Proof that fidelity is not a natural thing…

Her – We are not animals. At least, women are not…

Him – There are still five per cent of monogamists among the animals ! It doesn’t make humans out of them. Why would fidelity be a criterion of humanity ?

Her – It is the foundation of the family, which is the foundation of society…

Him – So you won’t cheat on me solely to remain a good citizen ?

Silence.

Her – Is it that difficult for you to stay faithful to me ?

Him – No… I was just wondering if fidelity had the same meaning for men and women.

Her – So ? Why are men faithful, in your opinion ? When they are, of course…

He thinks about it.

Him – To avoid complications…?

Silence.

Him – Perhaps we should buy another TV.

4 – Quarantine

She is sitting on the couch. He arrives.

Him – It’s incredible. I just received another call from a friend of mine inviting me to celebrate his fortieth birthday. Unbelievable, isn’t it ?

Her – If you all were twenty at the same time, it is not so strange that twenty years later you could be forty more or less at the same time…

Him – I mean, what’s crazy is that I had no news from all this people for years… And all of a sudden, the phone doesn’t stop ringing !

Silence.

Her – Are you planning to go ?

Him – It scares me a little. They might have changed, it’s been a long time.

Her – Physically, you mean ?

Him – Physically, mentally… I hope they’re not too dishevelled.

Her (simpering) – What about me ? Are you sure I am not too dishevelled ?

Him – It’s different with you, I see you every day, you age little by little. But them, all of a sudden… It’ll be like The Return of The Living Dead… It’s weird, isn’t it, this sudden need to get together when people get close to their fortieth birthday…

Her – It’s called a birthday party, isn’t it ?

Him – They say that animals move closer to humans when they feel that the end is coming. It must be something like that. A kind of herd instinct. What could I possibly offer him ?

Her – A funeral contract…?

Him – It’s expensive, isn’t it ?

Her – I’m joking… What about you ?

Him – Yes, sure.

Her – No, I mean : Do you plan to do something about your fortieth anniversary ?

Him – What do you want me to do ? Any idea to preventing it ? Anyway, please, don’t organise a surprise party, okay…? If I haven’t seen all these people for years, there must be a very good reason.

Silence.

Him – How old are you, exactly ?

She looks at him, shocked, but does not answer.

Her – We should invite the neighbours for dinner one day.

Him – What for ?

Her – For nothing !

Him – They never invited us.

Her – Maybe they didn’t dare…

Silence.

Him – Just because we’re neighbours, it doesn’t mean that we need to be friends…

Her – The only friends we have live three hundred miles from here ! It could be nice to have friends next door…

Him – Well… From a practical point of view… It would cut travelling expenses. And hence reduce pollution. One could almost say that it is ecological to make friends with one’s neighbours.

Silence.

Him – What does he do, exactly ?

Her – I don’t know. Every morning, I see him leave home with a briefcase. Who knows where he goes. I’ll ask him next time, if you like…

Him – What about her ?

Her – They’re very discreet…

Him – Sounds like this dinner will be fun. If we don’t want to be intrusive…

Her – You’ll can always talk about yourself.

Him – They’ve got children, haven’t they ?

Her – Every day, three of them leave the house to go to school. I suppose they are theirs.

Him – Oh yes… A little, a medium and a big one… (Worried) Do we have to invite them too ?

Her – Oh, no ! I’ll specify that it’s a strictly adult evening. That way there’s no ambiguity.

Him – You were speaking about the neighbours in front, right ?

Her – The side neighbours ! The ones in front moved six months ago, after their divorce. Didn’t you see the sign « For Sale » ?

Him – No.

Her – And anyway, they didn’t have any children.

Him – Really…?

Silence.

Her – It wouldn’t be cleaning day, by any chance ?

Him – I’m afraid it is. (With a sigh) Housework is the foundation of the couple…

Her – That’s probably why a couple is called a household.

Him – And a triangle a « ménage à trois ».

She looks at him, surprised.

Him – Ménage means household, in French… When a man lives with two housewives…

Her – Three, in a house, can also be a couple with a child…

Him – Everyone has his own fantasies.

Silence.

Her – So ?

Him – You really think that now is the right time to have a baby ?

Her – It’s not a question of money, and you know it… Besides, we’re not so poor…

Him – We will be with a bunch of kids…! Look what happens in Africa, with the galloping population growth… I read a book years ago : «Black Africa Had A Bad Start». Well, it hasn’t got any better ever since… Today, nobody seriously thinks that Africa is in motion… Apart from the continental drift… The more babies people have, the poorer they are…

Her – Are you sure it is not the other way around ?

Him – Anyway, if poor people don’t have any children, the next generation, everybody would be rich… Look at the Chinese. They’re not allowed to have more than one baby, and they’re already much better off…

Her – Then, let’s start with one…

Him – When would we take care of this kid ? We don’t even have the time to sweep the floor !

Her – We would hire a cleaner.

Him – But we don’t have any room for this child !

Her – You could set up your office in the basement…

Him – That’s what I call a bad start… What about you ? Are you planning to stop working ?

Her – We’ll hire a nanny.

Him – In addition to the cleaner ? That’s no longer a « ménage à trois », it’s a small business ! I’m not sure I’m that entrepreneurial…

Silence.

Him – We won’t be able to go out in the evening anymore.

Her – We’ll hire a baby-sitter.

Him – I never realised just how much of a direct effect population growth has on employment.

Her – And consumerism…

Him – Diapers, baby-food, toys, medical care…

She – New car…

Him – Finally, you’re right. This baby will bring an end to the economic crisis…

5 – Definition of love (through what it is not)

Him – How long have we known each other ? Twenty years, at least ? (Silence) Why didn’t we ever sleep together, by the way ? We get along well, don’t we…? We could even have married ! It’s weird, I see you a bit like an ex. Though we never went out together… We almost did once, remember ? You forced me to drink. Or perhaps it was the contrary. We ended up at your place, completely drunk. We laughed our heads off all night long, but we forgot to sleep together. Maybe because we get along too well, precisely. It wouldn’t be spicy enough. We would get bored, in the end. It’s true, we laugh a lot together, but… I can’t imagine making love to a girl who is laughing. Well, there are different kinds of laughter. I can make a girl laugh to sleep with her. But sleeping with a girl who makes me laugh…! No, if I slept with you, I would feel like I was sleeping with a buddy. I mean a girl, but… Besides, I don’t like blondes. I know, you are not blonde. But you were when I met you… I didn’t know that it wasn’t your natural colour ! Doesn’t hang on much, does it? It is not that I don’t like blondes, but… It depends. It must have been the colour. You were too blond for me. Girls who are too blond, I don’t know, it puts me off. Physically. I don’t know why… It must be something to do with the skin-type. And now it’s too late. I will always think of you as a blonde who dyed her hair to become a brunette. Besides your are not really dark-haired… It is not light-brown, either. I don’t know how to call it… It’s neither blonde nor dark. It’s not that I don’t think you are sexy, right ? Anyway, all the guys think you are sexy. Usually, it’s rather motivating. But in this case… Really, I can’t think exactly why I never felt like sleeping with you… Is that what we call love ? I mean, the «je ne sais quoi» that makes us feel like fucking together, or more if inclined. We figured out what it is, can you believe it ! Through what it is not… Now, why did I marry my wife rather than you or another one ? Well, she liked me. It was easier. If she hadn’t liked me right from the beginning, would I have held onto her…? And if I had held onto her, would she have liked it…? We will never know. Mutual love is easier, of course, but it’s not so… How can I say…? Conquering without a battle makes the triumph modest. Besides, I wonder what she liked in me ? Have you got any idea… ? I could ask her, of course, but… If she asks me back… Sometimes, there are matters that are best left alone. A bit of mystery in the couple can’t hurt. Well, within reason. Once I went out with a girl. After a year or so, she ditched me. I asked her why. She told me that she was bored stiff in bed with me. A whole year ! Isn’t that taking discretion a bit too far… Now why did she go out with me for a year ? It didn’t even occur to me to ask… There must have been a reason ! Unless she lied. About my sexual performances, I mean… As a form of revenge… I’m not saying that because it hurts my male pride, right ? It just surprised me a little, that’s all. It’s true, I am a reputedly good lay. What about you ? No, I mean, really, don’t you want to tell why you never fancied going out with me ? (Worried) You don’t have to answer that, hey ?

And meeting again

She arrives, with a big smile on her face.

Her (pleased) – Do you recognise me ?

Him (turning to her, embarrassed) – No…

Her (knowingly) – It was years ago, but still…

Him – Oh, yes, maybe…

Her (offended) – Maybe ?

Him – I mean, of course, I remember now… How are things going ?

Her – Not too bad… What are you doing here ?

Him – Well, nothing. What about you ?

Her (upset) – Did I change that much ?

Him – Oh, no ! Absolutely. Why ?

Her – You didn’t seem to recognise me a while ago.

Him – Sorry, it is just that I didn’t expect to see you again, that’s all.

Her – Anyway, you didn’t change, I can tell you.

Him – Thank you…

Her – So, what’s up ?

Him – You know, same old things…

Her – Still very talkative, hey ?

He doesn’t know what to say.

Her – Did you come back a long time ago ?

Him – From where…?

Her – Well… From there !

Him – Oh, yes… I mean, not really.

They stupidly smile, embarrassed.

Her (moved) – I’m very pleased to see you again.

Him – Me too…

Her (knowingly) – I have to go, now. Someone is waiting for me…

She hesitates for a while.

Her – We’re not going to shake hands are we ?

Him – Okay…

Taking him by surprise, she French kisses him.

Her (pathetic) – We might meet again some other time…

Him (upset) – Maybe, yes…

Her – Well… So long Paul !

She lets go of him, with tears in her eyes.

Him – So long.

She leaves, turning around one last time. They wave good-bye from afar. He remains alone.

Him (taken aback) – Paul ?

6 – Carpaccio and Bacon

A couple admiring a painting that we can’t see, and that is hung on an invisible wall.

Him – Panini, isn’t it ?

Her – Let’s see.

She gets closer and, leaning forward, reads the name of the painter above the frame.

Her – Not quite, it’s… Carpaccio.

Him – Of course…

They admire the painting for a while, and then move on to another one.

Her (playful) – Want to give it another try ?

Him – Okay…

He looks the painting carefully.

Him – Picasso…?

She glances at him to make him understand that he is wrong.

Him – Pissaro…?

Her – Pissaro… Picabia !

Him – Oh yes… I always mix them up.

They proceed to the next painting.

Him – Your turn ?

She looks at the painting carefully.

She – Manet…?

He reads the name above the frame.

Him – Monet !

She – Well…! It’s about the same, isn’t it ?

They go on.

She – Look ! They have got a lot of Bacon too…

He looks at her a little, not sure to understand. Then they go and look at the painting.

Her – It’s good, isn’t ?

Him – Yes, it’s…

Her – It’s Bacon.

Him – Yes…

Silence.

Her (thoughtful) – Sometimes, I wonder…

Him – What ?

Her – If I didn’t know it was Bacon, would I find it so good ?

He looks at her, surprised.

Her – If I didn’t know that these paintings are worth millions ! Let’s be frank. Imagine that you have never heard of the Mona Lisa. You come across at the flea market. For sale. Three hundred pounds. Can you say for certain that you would hang her up above the fireplace ? This dope with her silly smile ?

He thinks about it.

Him – We do not have a fireplace, anyway…

Her – No, let’s be honest, even if we have visited dozens of museums and hundreds of exhibitions, would we really be able to see the difference between a piece of shit and a masterpiece…?

Him – We’ll never be able to tell. You don’t see anything but masterpieces in museums. It’s not fair, by the way. In all museums, they should save a room to expose just really crap stuff. The principal of the placebo test, you see ? Just to check out if the other paintings are really beautiful, or if we find them so just because they told us that they were.

Her – Anyway… Going to museum, it’s like going to church, isn’t ? One goes there for the atmosphere above all.

Him – Fortunately, you can practice even if you don’t believe… The same as for love…

She looks at him, not sure she’s understood.

Him – I mean, the same applies to marriage… Look at us… We married in church… However, we don’t really believe in God.

Silence.

Her – Do you remember our honeymoon to Paris ? You took me to the Picasso Museum…

Him (nostalgically) – Of course, I remember…

Her – We were so excited… It’s only half round that we realised that it was the Carnavalet Museum…

Him – Yes… They’re both in the same area…

Her (smiling) – I did wonder why the preliminaries were taking so long…

Him – The preliminaries…?

Her – I mean, Picasso… His first period…

Him – Oh, yes, of course…

Silence. They start to leave.

Her – Did you heard of that artist who paints under the sea ? (He is not sure he understands). He puts on a wet suit, goes into the sea and paints corals.

Him – I must say I never heard of him. Any good ?

Her – Well, pretty good, actually…

7 – Disappearance

A couple, sitting on a couch. They seem to be bored. He starts looking for something.

Him – Do you know where the remote control is ? It seems to have disappeared…

She looks at him, surprised.

Her – But… we don’t have a TV anymore !

Him – Oh yes, quite right..

Silence.

Him – What would you do if I disappeared ?

She looks at him, astonished.

Her – Like the remote control, you mean ?

Him – Not like the remote control ! If I disappeared, you see what I mean…

Her – You don’t feel well ?

Him – I’m fine, it’s just a hypothesis.

Her – Haven’t you got a happier one ?

Him – I am older than you. I will probably croak first.

Her – You’re hardly three years older…

Him – Women live longer than men, anyway ! Besides, I could have an accident. A heart attack. Cancer.

Her – Me too !

Him – Maybe, but I asked first.

Her – Well I don’t know. Do I have some time to think about it ?

Him – Prevention is better than cure…

She looks at him, not sure of understanding.

Him – I mean, it’s better to forewarn.

Silence.

Him – Anyway I can tell you, I would rather be cremated.

Her – Why do you tell me that now ?

Him – Well, I won’t be able to tell you after, will I ? (After a while) It’s my nightmare, that is, to be buried alive. Not you ?

Her – It probably doesn’t happen very often.

Him – Well, once is enough.

Her – And to be burned alive, doesn’t that scare you ?

He looks at her, worried.

Him – I never thought about that… (After a while) Do you believe that there is a life after death ?

Her – Is it really something to hope for…?

Him – You wouldn’t have to worry about money, you know…

Her (surprised) – If there was a life after death, you mean ?

Him – If I were to depart !

Her – Oh, yes… I wasn’t worried.

Silence.

Him – I wouldn’t be mad at you if you married again, you know.

Her – Thank you.

Him – Well, you wouldn’t necessarily have to marry him though..

Her – Him ?

Him – The guy you would get hitched with. You’d better keep your independence.

Her – What independence ?

Him – It’s funny, though. I can hardly imagine you with another guy…

Her (offended) – Do you think nobody would want to live with me ?

Him – Oh, no. On the contrary. In fact, I think I would be jealous.

Her – When you’re dead, you’ll be jealous ?

Him – Absolutely…

Her – And what if I were to… depart before you do ?

Him (fake) – Well, there you’ve caught me unprepared. (After a while) If I were to get hitched again, would you be mad at me ?

Her – I wouldn’t be there to see it.

Him – But you would be jealous…?

She looks at him, suspicious, but does not answer.

Him – Who do you imagine me with ?

Her – Do you want me to introduce you to a girlfriend of mine, just in case ?

Him – For the children, there are godfathers and godmothers… For members of parliament, it’s is the same. There are substitutes. If one gets sick or dies, you’ve got a new one at the drop of a hat. It’s all organised…

Her – Yes… And for cars, there are a spare wheels… (Upset) You are not telling me that you’ve already found my replacement, are you…?

Him – Well, it’s not that easy, you know ? (After a while) Silence. The good thing about bigamy, is that in case of death, one is only half-widowed.

She looks at him, astonished.

She – Indeed…

8 – The world of sport

She is reading a women magazine. He is bored. After a while, he hesitates, takes out a sports magazine, and starts reading it. She notices it and looks surprised.

Her – You buy sports magazines, now ?

Him – Why wouldn’t I ?

Her – Well… And… you’re really going to read it ?

Him – I leaf through… To make up my mind…

Her – About what ?

Him – I don’t know. A lot of men read this on the tube. I just wondered what was so interesting…

Her – So, did you find out ?

Him – No…

She looks dismayed.

Her – Are you interested in sports ?

Him – Not much…

Her – Then it’s not very surprising that you do not find any interest reading sports magazines…

He puts his magazine away.

Him – Well… To be interested in sports is one thing. To feel every morning an irrepressible need to know if Luton beat Bratislava 3 to 1 or if the match ended in a draw is another thing. I don’t even know where Bratislava is…

Her – It’s the capital of Slovakia, isn’t it…

Him – Are you sure ?

Her – Or Slovenia…

Him – Slovenia ? Do you really think they can afford a football team ? It’s a very small country…

Her – Well, the Vatican is another one. And they’ve got a lot of money…

Him – Don’t tell me that the Vatican has also got a football team…?

He goes back to his sports magazine.

Her – But why does it matter so much for you, all of a sudden, to understand why men read sports magazines ?

Him – It would seem that I need to be reassured about my manhood…

Her – Well, too bad…

Him – Thank you.

Her – Listen, you can be a man without reading sports magazines.

Him – Really…?

She thinks about it.

Him – I don’t know… Do you want me to subscribe you to a car magazine ?

He looks at her, wondering if she is making fun of him. She goes back to her womens’ magazine.

Him – What about you ?

Her – Me ?

Him – What interest do you find reading womens’ magazines ?

She glares at him.

Her – You read them too…

Him – Well… Only for fun…

Her – I don’t read sports magazines… Even for fun…

Him (disturbed) – Do you find me effeminate, is that it ?

Her – But, no… All men read their wives’ magazines. It’s common knowledge. Why do you think there are so many advertisements for cars in womens’ magazines ?

Him – Well you don’t see many advertisements for washing machines in sports mags.

Her – And yet, football is a very dirty sport… You only have to see the number of football players in the advertisements for washing machines.

She goes back to her magazine. But he still seems preoccupied. She notices.

Her – Is there still something you are worried about ?

Him – No, I was just thinking about the differences between men and women…

Her – So…

Him – Take the clothes, for instance… Pants are no longer a male monopoly, but the skirt is still a woman’s privilege.

She looks at him, incredulous.

Him – The same with colours. You women can wear grey or pink as well. We have to stick to grey. Or brown… (After a while) You blame us for not liking shopping… But do you realise how depressing a men’s shoe store can be ?

She looks worried.

Her – You would like to be able to wear a pink miniskirt with stilettos ?

Him – No ! It’s just a simple statement of fact… You have stolen the best of our male attributes, and we did not receive anything in exchange. (He huffily goes back to his sports magazine) At least, we still have sports magazines.

9 – Small talk

She is reading. He stares into space. She notices.

Her (surprised) – What are you looking at that way ?

Him – TV…

Her – But we don’t have one anymore !

Him (with a sigh) – I know, but… It’s like if my legs had been amputated and I still had pins and needles in my feet…

She stares at him, and then goes back to her book. After a while, she looks at him again.

Her – It’s weird, today, I received a call for you on my mobile…

Him – Oh, yes, sorry, I forgot to tell you. I put your phone number on my answering machine at the office, so people I work with can join me during the holidays…

Her – The holidays ? But it’s a week from now !

Him – Well… At least, they have it.

Her (staggered) – My mobile phone number !? And meanwhile, for a whole week, I’m going to receive calls from « people you work with »…?

Him – I don’t know… Tell them to call me back during the holidays…

Her – Don’t you think it would have been easier for you to get one ?

Him – Me !? A mobile ! When I’m not at work, I like people to leave me alone. I don’t want them to bother me…

Her – So you prefer that they bother me !? I was right in the middle of a disciplinary committee at college, when a guy called me to ask when I – I mean when you – planned to submit your article titled « The wearing of G-string in the workplace is a human right » ? Don’t you think it doesn’t bother me ?

Him – You don’t switch off your mobile during disciplinary committees ?

Her (ironical) – Sorry, I forgot… Listen, a mobile is something very personal. You cannot lend it to anybody. Even your husband. I don’t know how to explain… It’s like a toothbrush…

Him – A toothbrush ? Well… If you want to use my toothbrush during the holidays, no problem…

Her – Well, a computer, then ! Would you let me use your computer if mine was disabled by a virus ?

He does not answer.

Her – And after the holidays ?

He seems not to understand.

Her – I’ll still receive calls for you !? It’s a good thing you don’t have anything to hide…

Him – After the holidays, I’ll tell them that I lost this bloody phone. Or even better, that it was stolen from me ! Mobiles are often stolen…

Her – Perfect ! That way, if somebody reaches me anyway, he will call me a thief ! Do I have to remind you that this phone is mine ?!

Him – Well, if you prefer, you can let me have it. And you can buy another one…

Her – Of course ! And then, when the people I know will call me, they’ll get in touch with you…

Him – I’ll give them your new number, and that’s all…

Her – You’re right, it’s much easier than you simply buying a phone for yourself. (Suspicious) Don’t tell me you’re using mine just to spare you the trouble…?

He does not answer. Silence.

Him – You’ll never guess what the butcher called me this morning…

Apparently, she doesn’t care.

Him – « Young man »… (Imitating the butcher) « And for the young man, what will it be today ? ». It’s the first time he’s called me that…

Her – Well, it’s the male equivalent of  » And for the young lady, what will it be today ».

Him – It’s scary, isn’t it, that the butcher could see us as « the young man and the young lady » ? It’s a good thing that we don’t go shopping together. He would be able to call us « the young couple ». (Imitating again the butcher) « And for the young couple, what will it be today ? ». Then, I think I would become a vegetarian on the spot.

Silence.

Him – Anyway, I’ve always found meat a little disgusting, haven’t you ?

Back to her book, she doesn’t answer. But he proceeds all the same.

Him – Chicken, at a push… True, it’s scary, a butcher’s shop, if you think about it. Bleeding flesh spread out everywhere. Entire animal carcasses in the cold room. All those innocent cows locked up in camps in the countryside, surrounded by barbed wire, sometimes even electrified; waiting to be dragged out to the slaughterhouse and be cut up… Poor beasts. At least, they don’t know what’s going to happen to them. When I see those huge guys, with those kind of white shrouds on their heads, taking the bodies of their victims out of the refrigerator truck, carrying them on their shoulders… Looks like the Ku Klux Klan…

She still does not react. He turns to her.

Him – Did you know that sikhs were strictly vegetarian ?

She finally looks up.

Her – Oh, by the way, no need to go to the department store for a bathroom neon. I dropped in this afternoon. (After a while) I came across our neighbour from in front. She was buying a huge suitcase…

He looks at her, seeming not to understand. A mobile rings. She answers.

Her – Yes…?

Her smile vanishes.

She (with pretend amiability) – No, this is his secretary speaking, but hold on a second, I’ll patch you through right away. Whom do I have to announce ? (She holds the phone out to him, exasperated) It’s for you. Your buddy Peter…

He takes the phone as if nothing had happened.

Him – Hello !

He seems to be a little embarrassed.

Him – How does this thing work anyway…?

10 – Where do we go when we die ?

They are sitting on a couch.

Him – Did you see the postman, this morning ?

Her – You’re expecting something ?

Him – Not really… But I always hope for a miracle when I open the mailbox. To be told I won a competition I didn’t go in for. That an old and loaded aunt I didn’t even know about died with no heirs. That they awarded me the Nobel Prize in advance for my future work… Every day, opening the mailbox, I am like a child in front of the tree, on Christmas Day.

Her – That’s right… Growing up, we don’t believe in Santa Claus anymore, but we still believe in the postman. Besides, there are some similarities… They both wear a uniform. They come by with a sack. They drop off packets, and you never get to see them…

Him – Well, the postman, you can see him on Christmas day, precisely, when he comes for his tips… (With a sigh) I hate Christmas. Every new year, there are less greeting cards in the mailbox, and more funeral announcements… (After a while) But why am I waiting for the postman as if he was the Messiah…? On the other hand, the Messiah’s father might very well have been the postman, right ? Because this story about the Immaculate Conception… Unless you believe in Santa Claus too…

Her – To get letters, you have to write some. Most people just receive answers. If you never send letters, don’t be surprised not to get any… I think I never received a letter from you…

Him (ironical) – Do you want us to write each other once in a while ?

She looks at him, wondering if he’s serious or not.

Him – What could we possibly have to say each other any way…? I would feel like I were writing to myself. Besides, we always write more or less to ourselves, don’t we ? There are people you write endless letters to… And when you finally meet them, you realise that you don’t have anything to tell them. No, definitely, writing has something to do with onanism…

She treats herself to a drink and lights a cigarette.

Him – You smoke now ?

Her (surprised) – Well, yes… I have been smoking for twenty years. Didn’t you ever notice ?

Silence.

Him – Did you know that every cigarette reduces your life by ten minutes ? (She does not answer) How many cigarettes a day do you smoke ?

Her (ironical) – According to my calculations, I should have died six months ago. Maybe I am…

Silence.

Him – The same with the mobile, right ? Not very healthy. They say that if you use it more than an hour a day, you are sure to get brain cancer. You better not go over your monthly contract… (After a while) By the way, you know what your daughter asked me this morning, while I was brushing my teeth ?

Her – No.

Him – Where do we go when we die ?

Her – What did you answer ?

Him – What do you think I answered ?

Her – I don’t know.

Him – Right. It’s exactly what I answered.

Her – So ?

Him – She told me : But dad, when we die, we go to the cemetery !

Her – And then ?

Him – Then, she went back to eating her corn-flakes. Apparently, she was happy to have taught me something; and a bit surprised that, at my age, I still didn’t know what was waiting for me… Incredible, isn’t it ?

Her – What ? That she asked you that ?

Him – No, that children are so able to accept simple answers to simple questions. A philosophy teacher would have spoken of metaphysics, immanence, transcendence, the whole damn lot… even God. Children are much more pragmatic. Besides, they are naturally atheist.

Her – They believe in Santa Claus.

Him – Well… Because theirs parents tell them that he exists, and that he will bring them gifts. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have invented him by themselves. If somebody told you that an anonymous benefactor would pay you a bonus at Christmas every year, you wouldn’t question his existence. But God never brought us anything for Christmas, and some adults still believe in him… Do you believe ?

Her – In Santa Claus ?

Silence.

Him – What’s incredible, too, is that it wouldn’t scare her.

Her – What ?

Him – The prospect of being buried ! You and I… we are wetting ourselves… Why not her ? (After a while) I’ll have to ask her tonight what she means exactly by «when we die, we go to the cemetery »… What do you think she means by that ?

She looks at him, embarrassed.

Her – Well… that.

Him – What… that ?

Her – When we die, we go to the cemetery…

He looks at her, astonished.

Him – Then you believe that too…?

Her – You don’t ?

Him – Well, of course… I mean…

He laughs at her.

Him – Wait, don’t tell me that it’s as simple as that for you too !

Her – In a way… It is.

He looks at her, mocking.

Her – I don’t know, a while ago, you thought it marvellous not to worry about anything. To be satisfied with simple answers to simple questions.

Him – Well yes, but… You’re not five years old !

Her – Ok, then. Go on. I ask you the question : Where do we go when we die ?

Him (taken aback) – Well… It’s not as simple as that…

Her – I’m listening…

Him – I don’t know, it’s… as a fact of matter…

Her – Fact of matter..? You mean as a matter of fact ?

Him – Where do we go when we die…? We go nowhere !

Her – We go to the cemetery !

Him – Well, if you want…

Her – Even if I do not !

Him – But, look… We go to the cemetery, it doesn’t mean anything ! One can perfectly well go to the cemetery whilst still alive, have a little walk around, leave the cemetery and go get lunch in a Chinese restaurant. What does that mean, go to the cemetery ? Besides, one can die and not go to the cemetery. When they don’t find the body ! You see ? In that case, you can’t say : When we die, we go to the cemetery. Can’t you see that it is not as simple as you think it is ?

Her – Well… Then if your daughter asks you again, what will you answer ?

Him – I don’t know… (He thinks about it) I will answer… When we die, we go to the cemetery… usually. If they find the body… When you are alive, you can also go to the cemetery… But when you are dead, it’s for ever.

Her (coughing) – Yes…

11 – Nightmare

He arrives wearing a blond wig, carrying a football ball, and acting like a child. After a while, she arrives behind him, wearing a man’s jacket and a moustache like Hitler or Chaplin.

Her (loud) – Guten Tag…

He jumps seeing her.

Him – But… Who are you ?

Her – I am… the baby-sitter.

He looks terrified. She brings out a packet of cigarettes.

Her (holding out the packet to him) – Do you smoke ?

He is about to take a cigarette, but prudently renounces.

Him – No, thank you.

Her – Natürlich. It’s forbidden… There is an ashtray, but it doesn’t mean a thing ! It’s only to avoid law-breakers burning the carpet… The same old things. They promulgate laws, but always have an afterthought in case they’re not respected… (She brings out a chewing-gum packet) Would you like a chewing-gum ?

Him – It gives me wind…

Her – You know why the subway’s cicadas are an endangered species ?

Him – There are cicadas, in the subway ?

Her – Or crickets, I don’t know. Well it’s because they ate cigarette butts. Since they prohibited smoking in the subway, of course, they are starving. Do you realise ? A whole ecosystem has been turned upside down… Well, they could start eating old chewing-gum…

Him – Not long ago, I saw an exhibition about animal life in urban surroundings. It’s not very well known, but there is an incredible fauna, in big cities like London. Even wolves. But thousands of them, you know ?

Her – Wolves ?

Him – Of course they only go out by night, in parks…

Her – You mean… foxes ?

Him – Oh, yes, maybe… Anyway, I never saw any of them…

Her – Because most parks close at night…

Sound of a door closed and locked. He looks scared.

Her – The cleaner locked the door… and took the key away.

Him – There are no windows… We won’t even be able to call for help…

Her – Don’t you have a mobile…?

He goes through all his pockets, and finally smiles with relief while bringing something out of a pocket.

Him – Oh, yes ! (His smile vanishes while he realises that it is not a mobile). Gosh, it’s the remote control I was looking for everywhere…

Her – Besides… there is not even a TV in here !

Him – Well… I guess we just have to wait for the postman to set us free tomorrow morning…

Her – Tomorrow, it’s Christmas Day.

Him – Oh, yes, that’s right, fuck…!

Her – You might be willing to lie down…?

He looks at her, terrified. She brings out a white sheet.

Her – If we are planning to see Christmas together, we better get comfortable… Which side do you prefer ?

Him – I have no preferences…

Her – Then, I will take this one…

She slips under the sheet. He does the same.

Her – Merry Christmas, then !

Him – Well, yes… Merry Christmas…

After a while, he screams and wakes up with a start. She wakes up too. He is no longer wearing his blonde wig, nor she her moustache.

Her – Are you all right, darling ?

Him – Well, yes… I must have had a nightmare. I dreamt it was Christmas Day…

Her (looking at him, surprised) – But darling… It is Christmas Day !

12 – Furniture

The stage is totally empty. He is there, standing. She arrives from outside.

Her (looking around, astonished) – But… Where is the furniture ?

Him (proud of himself) – You will never guess.

She stares at him, waiting for an explanation.

Him – A guy knocked at the door, this morning. An antique dealer…

Her (worried) – So ?

Him – At first, of course, I told him that we did not have anything to sell…

Her – And then…?

Him – Then I told myself that it didn’t hurt to ask him to value the whole stuff. The estimation was free. You’ll never guess how much he offered me for all this shitty things.

Her – How much…?

Him – More than enough to buy others.

Her – Then why did you sell them ?

Him – For a change ! You told me that you wanted to buy another couch.

Her – So…?

Him – You know perfectly well that if we had changed the couch, we would have had to buy another table to match it. Then, we would have to have changed the chairs, and so on…

Her – Well, maybe…

Him – It would have cost a fortune ! And what would have we done with our old furniture ?

She does not answer.

Him – This way, it’s much easier.

Her – And… meanwhile ?

Him – Meanwhile what ?

Her – Meanwhile we buy new furniture…

He looks the empty space around him.

Him – As far as I am concerned, I never liked over-furnished rooms.

Her – Well, now, it’s not over-furnished at all…

Him – Aren’t you happy ?

Her – Not to have furniture anymore…?

Him – But… you told me that you didn’t like our old couch !

Her – I never said that I didn’t want any furniture at all ! We don’t even have a bed anymore !

Him – But I just told you that… I thought you would be happy !

Her (conciliatory) – Listen, we will have dinner in a restaurant tonight, then we will spend the night in a hotel, and tomorrow we will go buy furniture. Alright ?

Him – Alright…

Silence.

Him – We still have to choose the style.

Her – Since we have to change, we better go for modern, don’t you think ?

Him – Okay… But then, we will have to redo the paintwork…

Her – Don’t you think you’re are a bit too perfectionist ?

Him – Modern furniture with this dirty paintwork ? It will clash…

Her (ironical) – We’d better move, hadn’t we ?

Him – Do you think so ? (After a while) At least, that way, it would be done very quickly… We turn the water and the electricity off before we go out, and we wouldn’t even have to come back.

She suddenly worries about something.

Her – Did you think about emptying the drawers ?

Him – Of course.

Her – What about your wedding ring ?

Him – My wedding ring…?

Her – The one you were keeping in the bedside table drawer !

Him – Oh, shit…

She does not add anything, but she looks staggered. So does he.

Him – It has been there for so long. I didn’t even think…

Silence.

Her – Have you got this antique dealer’s address ?

Him – No… He gave me cash, put the whole stuff in his truck, and left. (After a while, unconvinced) If he finds it, he will probably give us a call…

Her (bitter) – Yes… And if he doesn’t, you’ll always be able to change your wife… You’ll just have to choose a more modern one, to match the new paintwork and the new furniture.

Him – I’m really sorry…

Her – Why didn’t you ever wear the wedding ring anyway ?

Him – I did ! Before we got married… Remember ? I bought our rings in a bazaar in Yemen; to make them think we were married. Otherwise, they didn’t want to rent us a hotel room.

Her – Well, now that you sold our furniture, including our bed, we won’t have any other choice but to find a hotel tonight…

Him – Don’t worry. We live in a civilised country. They won’t ask for our marriage certificate…

Her – And after the wedding ? Why did you leave your ring in the drawer ?

Him – Well… I was afraid of losing it.

Silence.

Him – Are you angry…?

She does not answer.

Him – Come on, let’s go !

Her – Where ?

Him – To the hotel ! It will be like another honeymoon ! No more rings, no more furniture, no home anymore… We’ll start all over again !

Her – I still have my ring…

Him – You better take it off.

Her – Why ?

Him – You look married, I don’t. In the hotel, they will think we have an illegitimate relationship…

Her – So you’re giving me the choice between celibacy and adultery, are you ?

They leave.

Her – You have got a strange idea of marriage.

Emergency exit

Light on a couple, about to leave. He puts on his coat. She takes out a cigarette.

Her (enthusiastic) – So…?

Him (categorical) – Crap.

Her (shocked) – Crap ?

Him – Load of crap.

Her – You didn’t understand anything, then ?

Him – There was something to understand ?

Her – Oh, yes, of course…

Him (looking at her) – Of course what ?

Her – You get your revenge…

Him – What revenge…?

Her – This time I liked it, then you don’t… That’s really mean, don’t you think ?

Him – Wait, I didn’t like it, that’s all ! I’m not going to tell you that I liked it just to please you !

Her – You didn’t say that you didn’t like it, you said that it was crap. It’s not exactly the same !

Him – Well, I don’t really see the difference…

Her – It was crap, I liked it, so I am crap.

Him – You said it…

Her – I didn’t say it, Plato did.

Him – Plato says that you’re crap ?

Her – It’s called a syllogism. All women are mortal, I am a woman, so I am mortal.

Him – If Plato says so, then… As far as I am concerned, I just said that I found this thing dead boring. (After a while) Besides, I’m not even sure that your syllogism stands up.

Her – That’s right, go on…

Him – But… what did you like ?

Her – Everything !

Him – That’s rather vague, isn’t it ?

Her – What did you not like ?

Him – Well, I’d rather not get into details. You’ll get upset again…

Her – Me, upset ? Wait, I don’t care you didn’t like ! I liked it, that’s all. I feel sorry for you if you were bored…

Silence.

Him – We’re not going to argue about that, are we ?

Her – Sometimes, I wonder what we’re doing together…

He takes her gently by the shoulder.

Him – Come on…

Her – Next time, I hope we will both like it…

Him – Or at least that we will agree…

She looks at him.

Him – We might both get bored.

Her – Well yes… It’s a minimalist idea of harmony…

They leave. Dark.

Paris – Novembre 2011 © La Comédi@thèque – ISBN 979-10-90908-31-4

www.sacd.fr

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Il était un petit navire

Posted juin 3, 2018 By admin

Une comédie de Jean-Pierre Martinez

7 comédiens
Certains rôles sont indifféremment masculins ou féminins
3H/4F, 2H/5F, 1H/6F

Six personnages mystérieux sont bloqués sur une île par une grève de ferry. Ils ont tous une bonne raison pour vouloir regagner le continent au plus vite. Ils embarquent sur un bateau de pêche piloté par un passeur improvisé. Mais le prix à payer pour cette traversée sera plus élevé que prévu… Une fable humoristique sur les travers de notre société.

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Libre Théâtre – Ce seul en scène est une succession de neuf monologues. Quel est le point commun entre ces différents textes ?

Jean-Pierre Martinez – Toute écriture est une psychanalyse. C’est d’ailleurs aussi le propos de ce seul en scène. Le point commun entre ces neuf monologues… c’est qu’ils sont tous de la même plume. Je n’ai pas volontairement cherché à installer entre eux une résonance particulière. Les récurrences et les correspondances entre ces différents textes se sont imposées à moi. Lorsque j’écris une comédie, et j’en ai écrit beaucoup, je ne commence jamais les dialogues avant d’avoir construit auparavant une intrigue et avoir composé des personnages bien caractérisés. Pour écrire ces monologues, je suis parti sans plan et sans boussole. J’ai laissé la parole à mes personnages, qui ne sont en réalité que les différentes facettes d’une même personne : moi-même. Je n’irais pas jusqu’à parler d’écriture automatique, au sens de la littérature surréaliste. Par l’écriture automatique, on cherche volontairement à perdre tout contrôle sur ce que l’on écrit. Dans le cas de ces textes, j’ai naturellement utilisé tout mon savoir faire d’auteur, acquis pendant plus de vingt ans à écrire des scénarios pour la télévision ou des comédies pour le théâtre. Je sais comment générer un suspens, comment produire le comique, comment ménager une chute. C’est devenu chez moi une seconde nature. C’est plutôt dans ce sens que je parlerais d’automatisme. Par ailleurs, n’ayant pas besoin, justement, de focaliser mon attention sur la technique d’écriture, j’ai pu me laisser aller au jeu dangereux des associations d’idées. Celui-là même que l’on pratique en analyse. La cohérence de ces textes et le fait qu’ils se répondent entre eux provient donc avant tout de l’unité du sujet qui les a produits, avec son histoire, ses idées fixes, ses obsessions, ses questionnements… et ses angoisses. Je dois d’ailleurs préciser que ces neufs textes sont extraits d’un recueil qui en contient vingt-trois. En choisissant neuf de ces vingt-trois textes, et en les proposant dans un certain ordre, j’ai donc aussi contribué à donner à l’ensemble une unité, à la fois dans le contenu et dans le déroulé. La cohérence d’un texte peut provenir de la mise en œuvre très consciente d’une technique. Elle peut aussi résulter du libre court donné à la pensée plus ou moins inconsciente. Je dirais que dans le cas présent, la cohésion de ce spectacle résulte d’un mélange de ces deux procédés… Enfin, la mise en scène (jeu, accessoires, costumes, musique…) est là aussi pour souligner des correspondances qui autrement resteraient peut-être inaperçues.

Libre Théâtre – Malgré leurs différences, ces neuf personnages semblent en effet révéler chacun une part de notre humanité et de notre vérité commune. Est-ce finalement un seul et même personnage que vous mettez en scène ? Jean-Pierre Martinez – Je voudrais tout d’abord saluer la performance du comédien, Patrick Séminor, qui a su à merveille s’approprier cet univers assez complexe, à la fois dans le propos et dans le style. Le langage utilisé dans ce seul en scène n’est pas celui du dialogue de comédie. Encore moins celui du « one man show » ou du « stand up ». Même si le personnage s’adresse presque toujours au public, on est plus proche du soliloque et de l’introspection. Un discours frôlant parfois l’absurde voire la folie. Mais chacun sait que du propos de comptoir jusqu’au divan du psy, c’est lorsqu’on lâche prise que peut se révéler une vérité enfouie, dont la cohérence reste autrement cachée à la conscience. Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas… Ces neuf personnages, en effet, sont apparemment très différents entre eux. Mais ne jouons nous pas nous-mêmes des personnages différents selon les circonstances ? Le personnage que nous interprétons dans le cadre de notre travail, avec nos patrons, nos collègues nos clients… est-il vraiment le même que celui que nous sommes à la maison, en couple ou avec nos enfants ? Sommes nous vraiment le même homme (ou la même femme) lors d’un repas de famille, à une réunion de parents d’élèves ou pendant une virée bien arrosée entre ami(e)s ? Pourtant, « quelque part », nous sommes la même personne. C’est ce « quelque part » que j’ai voulu explorer, en espérant que dans ce « quelque part » qui m’est si personnel, je puisse finalement rencontrer l’autre (c’est à dire le spectateur, chaque spectateur) dans sa vérité la plus profonde.

Libre Théâtre – Malgré la charge émotionnelle de ces textes, les spectateurs, dans toute leur diversité d’ailleurs, rient dès le début du spectacle. Sans jamais que ce rire relève d’une cruauté gratuite. La connivence entre le personnage et le public, dans son extrême diversité, est très étroite. Comment définiriez-vous cette forme d’humour ?

Jean-Pierre Martinez – Au théâtre notamment, on ne prend pas assez l’humour au sérieux. Le véritable humour, plus que toute autre forme d’expression, suppose beaucoup d’humilité, beaucoup de respect, et beaucoup d’attention à l’autre. On n’a le droit de rire que de soi-même. Si en se moquant de soi on parvient à se moquer aussi des autres, non seulement ils ne nous en voudront pas, mais nous aurons établi avec eux une relation profondément humaine. L’humour authentique est encore plus désespéré que la tragédie, dans le mesure où il remet en question le sens lui-même. La vie est très souvent absurde, nous le constatons tous les jours. L’humour permet de partager avec l’autre ce sentiment tragique d’absurdité, tout en créant une complicité réconfortante. Ce spectacle est émouvant parce que chaque spectateur, au final, se reconnaît dans chacun de ces neuf personnages pourtant si différents entre eux, et apparemment si différents de ces autres que sont les spectateurs. Nous passons une bonne partie de notre vie à essayer de comprendre qui nous sommes, pour savoir ce que nous devrions faire, et donner ainsi une cohérence à notre parcours de vie. Car à la fin de ce parcours, ce n’est pas à « notre père » que nous devrons rendre des comptes, mais à l’enfant que nous fûmes et qui lui aussi nous a engendré. La seule grande question dans la vie, c’est de savoir si au bout du conte, nous aurons trahi ou pas nos rêves d’enfants.

Des valises sous les yeux

Posted avril 21, 2018 By admin

Une comédie de Jean-Pierre Martinez

Comédie à sketchs

Jusqu’à 30 personnages (hommes ou femmes)
Quand la vie se fait la malle…

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Plagiat

Posted mars 30, 2018 By admin

Une comédie de Jean-Pierre Martinez

1H/2F ou 2H/1F

Depuis la publication de son premier roman, couronné par le Prix Goncourt, Alexandre jouit de sa réputation d’auteur à succès, et en perçoit les dividendes. On l’attend au Ministère de la Culture pour lui remettre la Médaille de Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. C’est alors qu’il reçoit la visite d’une inconnue, qui pourrait bien remettre en cause cette belle réussite…

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Comme un poisson dans l’air

Posted janvier 3, 2018 By admin

Création Festival d’Avignon
Off 2018 à l’Espace Alya

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Le spectacle

Neuf monologues mettant en scène autant de personnages tourmentés, aussi à l’aise dans la vie qu’un poisson dans l’air… Une plongée drolatique dans les profondeurs de nos vies superficielles, pour explorer des thèmes aussi divers que la psychanalyse, le ménage, Dieu, l’ennui, la philo, l’amour, la politique… Un seul en scène humoristique à la manière de Desproges ou Woody Allen…

La vie, ce n’est pas la mer à boire, mais on s’en fait souvent une montagne. De ces montagnes à l’envers que sont les gouffres les plus profonds qui, alimentés par des cascades de rires et des torrents de larmes, en reviennent encore et toujours à la mer. Sans être philosophe, et sans s’allonger sur le divan d’un psy, à nos moments perdus ou pendant nos insomnies, chacun d’entre nous s’interroge sur le sens de la vie. En tout cas le sens de la sienne. L’existence ordinaire d’un être qu’on voudrait moins banal. À travers ces monologues croisés qu’on appelle dialogue, nous nous posons ainsi de petites questions sans grandes réponses. Ou même de grandes questions sans un petit début de réponse. À moins que le train train quotidien ne vienne soudain à dérailler pour nous précipiter, pris de vertige, au bord du vide insondable du sens. C’est en effet à partir d’un simple coq à l’âne qu’un fond tourmenté peut remonter à la surface, pour laisser entrevoir entre les vagues, tel un monstre marin, un sens interdit… qui constitue l’essence tragi-comique de nos existences ordinaires. 

 

La bande annonce

 

L’auteur

Jean-Pierre Martinez monte d’abord sur les planches comme batteur dans divers groupes de rock. Après des études de linguistique (à l’École Pratique des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociale) et de marketing (à Science Po Paris), il devient sémiologue publicitaire. Il participe dans les années 80 aux travaux de recherches du chef de file de la sémiotique française, Algirdas Julien Greimas, qui lui confie la direction de l’Atelier de Sémiotique Publicitaire du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Il exerce en même temps comme sémiologue consultant pour les plus grands instituts de conseil, notamment Ipsos.

Il entame ensuite une carrière de scénariste pour la télévision. Il a écrit une centaine d’épisodes de séries (cf. Avocats & Associés, Équipe Médicale d’Urgence, Enquêtes Réservées, Sur Le Fil, Extrême Limite, Studio Sud, Le Cap des Pins, La Vie Devant Nous, Indaba, La Dernière Réserve…). Il enseigne parallèlement l’écriture de scénario à Paris au Conservatoire Européen d’Écriture Audiovisuel.

Auteur de théâtre. Il a écrit plus de 70 comédies dont :

Vendredi 13, créée au Théâtre Montmartre Galabru à Paris en 2011 et jouée ensuite au Guichet Montparnasse en 2013 puis aux Blancs Manteaux en 2014, ainsi qu’à Broadway au Producers Club Theaters de New York en 2016. Cette pièce a été représentée en espagnol à Madrid, Dallas, Buenos Aires, Montevideo…

Strip Poker, créée au Théâtre de Ménilmontant à Paris en 2008, puis représentée à la Comédie Nation et au Théo Théâtre, ainsi qu’à Avignon au Théâtre des Vents. Cette pièce a été représentée en espagnol à Los Angeles, Miami, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Montevideo…

Les œuvres de Jean-Pierre Martinez sont représentées dans toute la francophonie, et notamment au Canada. Dix-sept de ses comédies, traduites en espagnol, sont aussi régulièrement montées en Espagne et en Amérique Latine. Il est aujourd’hui l’un des auteurs contemporains français les plus joués en France et dans le monde.

Jean-Pierre Martinez ne met habituellement pas en scène ses propres textes. Après Elle et Lui, Monologue Interactif, créée à Paris au Théâtre Darius Milhaud en 2007, il signe avec Comme un poisson dans l’air  sa deuxième mise en scène.

 

Le comédien

Au théâtre, il a joué a joué à la fois les classiques comme Molière (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme) ou Feydeau (La Puce à l’Oreille, Chat en poche, Ne te promène donc pas toute nue), et des auteurs contemporains comme Tonino Benacquista (Un Contrat). On l’a vu en 2016 au Festival d’Avignon dans une pièce de John Murrell adaptée par Eric Emmanuel Schmitt (Sarah ou le cri de la langouste).

À la télévision, il interprète régulièrement des rôles dans des séries (Caïn, Camping Paradis, Alex Hugo, La stagiaire, Candice Renoir…) et des téléfilms (La loi de Christophe, L’affaire de Me Lefort, Meurtres parfaits, Imposture…).

Au cinéma, on a pu le voir jouer avec José Garcia et Michaël Youn (dans le film Vive la France), ainsi qu’avec Alexandra Lamy (dans Vincent). Il sera bientôt à l’écran aux côtés de Virginie Ledoyen ou encore Daniel Auteuil.

 

La compagnie

L’association Libre Théâtre a été créée en mars 2015 par Ruth Martinez pour promouvoir la diffusion du théâtre, notamment en français. Elle est basée à Paris et à Avignon.

L’association a créé la même année le site Libre Théâtre qui met à disposition une bibliothèque numérique des oeuvres théâtrales du domaine public en téléchargement gratuit (plus de 750 œuvres recensées) : libretheatre.fr

La Compagnie Libre Théâtre a été créée début 2018 pour porter des projets, issus d’œuvres mises en valeur sur Libre Théâtre et des textes de Jean-Pierre Martinez. Selon les projets, elle pourra s’associer en tant que coproducteur aux montages de spectacles professionnels concernant le répertoire de La Comédiathèque, notamment dans le cadre du Festival Off d’Avignon.

 

Le texte

 

DOSSIER DE PRESSE

NOTE D’INTENTION

El Último Cartucho

Posted janvier 2, 2018 By admin

Una comedia de Jean-Pierre Martinez

2 hombres, 1 hombre y 1 mujer, 2 mujeres

Un dramaturgo al borde del abismo recibe a una periodista para una interviú que podría relanzar su carrera. Pero, a veces, en el teatro, las apariencias engañan…

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Ce n’est pas un drame

Posted décembre 30, 2017 By admin

Il est là, semblant embarrassé. Elle arrive, prête à partir.

Elle – D’habitude, c’est toujours toi qui m’attends… Tu n’es pas encore prêt ?

Lui – Si, si, je… Je mets mon blouson.

Elle – Ton blouson en cuir…

Lui – Je l’avais déjà avant de te connaître… Un cadeau de ma grand-mère… Ça ne sert à rien que je le jeter maintenant, non ? Je veux dire… Elle est morte, de toute façon.

Elle – Ta grand-mère est morte ?

Lui – Pas ma grand-mère ! La vache ! C’est de la vache…

Elle – Ouais… Celle qu’on a écorchée dans un abattoir pour que tu puisses te couvrir avec sa peau…

Lui – Mon prochain blouson sera en cuir végétal, je te le promets. Il paraît qu’on fait de très belles imitations, maintenant, à base d’ananas ou de champignons.

Il met son manteau, sans entrain.

Elle – Alors ça y est, c’est le grand jour ?

Lui – Oui, on dirait…

Elle – Je vais enfin rencontrer tes parents… Je commençais à me demander si tu n’avais pas honte de moi.

Lui – Qu’est-ce que tu vas chercher ! Ce serait plutôt le contraire…

Elle – Le contraire ? Pourquoi ? Tu as honte de tes parents ?

Lui – Non, non, mais…

Elle – Tu as peur de quoi, alors ?

Lui – Mais de rien, je t’assure !

Elle – C’est plutôt moi qui devrais avoir peur. Tu me présentes à tes parents… Ça devient officiel. C’est presque des fiançailles, non ?

Lui – Oui…

Elle – Cache ta joie !

Lui – Écoute, j’ai quelque chose à te dire.

Elle – Tu me fais peur…

Lui – C’est au sujet de mes parents, justement.

Elle – Tes parents ? Quoi, tes parents ?

Lui – Ce n’est pas facile à dire…

Elle – Vas-y, je peux tout entendre… En tout cas, si c’est important, je préfère le savoir maintenant. J’aurais l’air moins conne…

Lui – Disons que ce repas, ça ne va pas être exactement ce que tu imaginais. Mes parents sont… Comment dire…

Elle – Ils sont sourds-muets. Ils s’expriment en langage des signes.

Lui – Non…

Elle – Aveugles ?

Lui – Non plus.

Elle – Ce sont des personnes de petite taille…

Lui – Pire que ça… Enfin pour toi, en tout cas.

Elle – Je vois… Ils votent à droite, et tu n’as pas osé me le dire ? C’est pour ça que tu ne voulais pas que je les rencontre avant…

Lui – Non, ce n’est pas ça.

Elle – Évidemment, je suis bête. Tu m’as dit qu’ils étaient libraires. On ne peut pas vendre des livres et voter à droite !

Lui – Rassure-toi, mes parents ne votent pas du tout.

Elle – Alors quoi ?

Lui – C’est au sujet de… Du repas… Enfin, de la nourriture, en général.

Elle – La nourriture…?

Lui – Je ne t’ai pas dit toute la vérité.

Elle – D’accord… Tes parents sont juifs, et ils mangent casher. Quel est le problème ? On peut être végans et manger casher ! C’est même beaucoup plus simple, en fait. C’est surtout la viande, qui doit être casher, non ?

Lui – Si… Enfin, je n’en sais rien…

Elle – Les fruits et légumes, c’est très œcuménique. Je suis sûr que le véganisme pourrait mettre fin à toutes les guerres de religion. À table, en tout cas, mais c’est déjà un début… En attendant de résoudre le conflit au Moyen-Orient.

Lui – C’est un peu plus compliqué que ça…

Elle – Quoi ? Le conflit au Moyen-Orient ?

Lui – Non, pour mes parents.

Elle – J’ai compris… Ils sont pratiquants. Pour leur faire plaisir, tu leur as laissé croire que leur future belle-fille était juive. Et maintenant, tu ne sais plus comment leur avouer que tu sors avec une goy…

Lui – Rassure-toi, personne n’est juif dans la famille.

Elle – Qu’est-ce qui te fait croire que ça pourrait m’inquiéter ? Tu me prends pour qui ?

Lui – Non, le problème c’est que…

Elle – Vas-y maintenant, ça devient flippant.

Lui – Mes parents ne sont pas vraiment libraires.

Elle – Comment ça, pas vraiment ? On est libraire ou pas. Comment peut-on ne pas être vraiment libraire ?

Lui – Ils ne sont pas libraires du tout… et ils ne sont pas aussi végans que je te l’avais dit.

Elle – Comment ça, pas aussi ?

Lui – Ils mangent des légumes, bien sûr, mais…

Elle – Ils sont seulement végétariens ? Bon, ce n’est pas un drame, non plus. Tu me crois sectaire à ce point ? Mais pourquoi tu m’as raconté qu’ils étaient végans ?

Lui – J’ai dit ça comme ça… Comme je savais que c’était important pour toi.

Elle – C’est avec toi que je vais vivre ! Tu partages les mêmes valeurs que moi, ça me suffit. On ne choisit pas sa famille, c’est bien connu. Alors sa belle-famille…

Lui – Je ne sais pas comment te dire ça…

Elle – Donc, tes parents ne sont pas libraires. Et alors ? Qu’est-ce qu’ils font, dans la vie ?

Lui – Ils tiennent la boucherie, juste au coin de la rue…

Elle (sidérée) – La boucherie…

Lui – La boucherie chevaline… Entre le cordonnier et bureau de tabac, tu vois ?

Elle – C’est une blague, c’est ça ?

Lui – Non.

Elle – Tu m’as dit que vous étiez tous végans dans la famille, à part ta grand-mère, et maintenant, tu m’annonces que je vais marier avec un garçon boucher ?

Lui – Je ne suis pas garçon boucher ! Je ne suis que le fils du boucher…

Elle – Et tu comptais me l’annoncer quand ? Le jour du mariage, pendant le repas de noces ! Entre le saucisson d’âne et le steak de cheval ?

Lui – Mais non ! Puisque je te le dis maintenant…

Elle – Je te rappelle que mes parents, eux, ils sont végans. Et ils sont très à cheval là-dessus.

Lui – À cheval ?

Elle – Si ça te fait rire, pas moi… Et maintenant, qu’est-ce qu’on fait ?

Lui – Moi, je suis vraiment végan ! Enfin, je le suis devenu après t’avoir rencontrée… Ça ne change rien pour nous, si ?

Elle – Tu connais la chanson de France Gall… Ça ne veut peut-être rien dire pour vous, mais pour moi ça veut dire beaucoup…

Lui – Tu m’en veux ?

Elle – Je vais avoir besoin de réfléchir à tout ça, en effet. (Elle hésite) Mais je ne vais faire ça maintenant. Ils nous ont invités, non ? Alors je vais y aller… Je ne suis pas du genre à me défiler, figure-toi. On reparlera de tout ça après. On y va ?

Lui – Le problème, c’est que…

Elle – Ah parce qu’il y a encore un problème ?

Lui – Je n’ai pas osé leur dire que tu ne mangeais pas de viande.

Elle – Non, dis-moi que ce n’est pas vrai…

Lui – Je ne suis pas sûr qu’ils auraient compris… Ils ne sont plus très jeunes… À l’âge qu’ils ont, ça ne sert à rien de les brusquer… Ça pourrait même les tuer, tu sais. Mon père a le cœur fragile…

Elle – Tu aurais très bien pu leur parler de ça, tout en les ménageant…

Lui – Disons que je n’ai pas su trouver le bon moment…

Elle – Bien sûr…

Lui – Tu pourras toujours manger les légumes… Tu n’auras qu’à dire que tu n’as pas très faim… Que tu es malade…

Elle – Tu sais quoi ? Je crois que c’est toi qui es un grand malade.

Elle retire son manteau.

Lui – Donc, tu ne viens pas…

Elle (horrifiée) – Une boucherie chevaline ?

Lui – Alors tu préfères abandonner à son triste sort un fils de boucher récemment converti au véganisme… Sans toi, je risque de replonger, tu sais…

Elle – Tu te fous de moi, en plus ?

Lui – Ne me regarde pas comme ça, j’ai l’impression que tu vas me tuer.

Elle – C’est vrai que là… Je t’avoue qu’il me prend des envies de meurtre..

Lui – Calme toi, je t’en prie ! Souviens-toi que tu es végane… et que pour toi le sixième commandement est le plus sacré des dix.

Elle – Le sixième…?

Lui – Tu ne tueras point !

Elle – Je vais t’étrangler, et j’irai me confesser après.

Elle s’approche de lui, menaçante.

Lui – Ne fais pas ça, je t’en prie.

Elle – Je ne sais pas ce qui me retient…

Lui – Alors tu as vraiment cru à cette histoire ?

Elle – Quoi ?

Lui – Mais enfin… les boucheries chevalines, ça n’existe plus depuis longtemps ! Au coin de la rue, entre le tabac et le cordonnier, c’est un Biocoop ! Si tu allais faire les courses plus souvent, tu le saurais…

Elle – Tes parents ne sont pas bouchers ?

Lui – Mes parents sont libraires, ils votent à gauche, et ils sont végans. Comme je te l’ai toujours dit.

Elle – Mais tu es dingue ! Pourquoi m’avoir raconté une histoire pareille ?

Lui – Pour voir jusqu’à quel point tu m’aimais… Maintenant, je suis fixé. Alors tu aurais refusé d’épouser le fils d’un boucher ?

Elle – Je ne sais pas… Non, probablement pas. Mais j’aurais fini par te tuer, ça sûrement.

Lui – Ça aurait pu être une tragédie, alors ? Les Capulet bouchers et les Montaigu végans…

Elle – Mais finalement, c’est encore une comédie de boulevard.

Lui – On ne se refait pas…

Elle – Ce n’est pas un drame.

Lui – Bon, on y va ? On va finir par être en retard.

Elle – Allons-y. Tu n’as pas oublié le gâteau à la carotte…

Lui – Rassure-toi, mon lapin, il est déjà dans la voiture.

Elle – Au fait, c’était une demande en mariage ?

Lui – Oui…

Elle – C’est sans doute la plus surprenante qu’une femme ait jamais entendue.

Lui – Je suis auteur de théâtre, après tout. Ça fait une semaine que je la travaille. Alors, quelle est ta réponse ?

Elle – Je vais quand même attendre d’avoir vu tes parents pour me prononcer.

Ils sortent.

Noir

Mélimélodrames

En vers et contre tous

Posted décembre 26, 2017 By admin

Ève est là, pianotant sur son téléphone portable. Alban arrive.

Ève
Alors  ?

Alban
Rien…

Ève
Rien  ?

Alban
Le poste était déjà pris.

Ève
Si tu n’avais pas mis une semaine à répondre à l’annonce, aussi…

Alban
C’était un poste de vigile. Je suis employé de banque.

Ève
Pour l’instant, tu es surtout un employé de banque au chômage. Qu’est-ce que tu comptes faire ? Trouver un job dans une autre banque ? Toutes les banques licencient, en ce moment ! Elles remplacent leurs employés par des boîtes vocales…

Alban
Merci de me le rappeler… Et toi, comment s’est passée ta journée  ?

Ève
Écoute, j’ai une bonne et une mauvaise nouvelle.

Alban
Je t’écoute…

Ève
Je suis allée voir mon gynéco ce matin.

Alban
Tu as un cancer ?

Ève
Je suis enceinte.

Alban
C’était la bonne ou la mauvaise nouvelle ?

Ève
Ça dépend un peu de toi en fait.

Alban
Un enfant… C’est ce qu’on voulait, non ?

Ève
Oui… Du temps où tu avais encore un boulot…

Alban
Alors qu’est-ce qu’on fait ? On le garde ?

Ève
Évidemment, on le garde ! En tout cas, moi je le garde…

Alban
Très bien ! Comme tu avais l’air de trouver que c’était un problème…

Ève
Le problème, c’est que le père de ce bébé soit au chômage. Je ne pourrai pas assumer un enfant toute seule… et avoir en plus une deuxième personne à charge.

Alban
Désolé d’être un boulet pour toi, mais qu’est-ce que tu veux que j’y fasse ? Quand on a été employé de banque toute sa vie, on ne sait rien faire…

Ève
Il y a des tas de boulots qu’on peut faire en ne sachant rien faire.

Alban
Je sens que tu vas me reparler du vendeur que cherchent tes parents pour leur quincaillerie…

Ève
Et alors ? C’est une honte de travailler dans une quincaillerie ?

Alban
Excuse-moi de ne pas sauter de joie à la perspective de vendre des marteaux et des clous sous les ordres de ma belle-mère.

Ève
Mais personne ne t’y oblige, mon vieux. Si tu veux trouver un autre boulot plus digne de toi, rien ne t’en empêche.

Alban
Je vais réfléchir…

Ève
Pas trop longtemps… Mon père a besoin de quelqu’un d’urgence. Depuis que ma mère n’est plus assez en forme pour le remplacer au magasin quand il fait ses livraisons…

Alban
Bon…

Ève
Si c’est toi, bien sûr, il te cédera le magasin en gérance quand il prendra sa retraite.

Alban
Et là, pour moi, ce sera perpète…

Ève
Tu serais ton propre patron ! Au lieu d’être un employé de banque…

Alban
Le magasin ne serait pas à moi. Je serais l’employé de ton père.

Ève
Au moins, ça reste dans la famille. Et quand mon père ne sera plus là, tout le bazar sera à toi.

Alban
Tu veux dire à toi…

Ève
C’est un peu pareil, non ?

Alban
Au lieu d’être l’employé de mon beau-père, je serai l’employé de ma femme…

Ève
Tu compliques trop les choses, Alban, c’est ça ton problème. Parfois, il faut savoir se contenter de ce qu’on a.

Alban
On en reparle demain, d’accord ? Je suis fatigué, là.

Ève
Fatigué ? Parce que moi, après mes huit heures de boulot, je ne suis pas fatiguée, peut-être ? Non Alban, je veux une réponse tout de suite…

Alban
D’accord, je vais te donner ma réponse… Je peux quand même passer aux toilettes, d’abord ?

Il sort. Ève se sert un verre, et le vide cul sec. Alban revient.

Ève
Alors ? Qu’est-ce que tu as décidé ?

 

Alban
Je me suis retiré un temps pour réfléchir
et je suis résolu à ne pas contredire
et la femme qui m’aime et l’enfant que j’attends
ni la mère ni l’épouse, surtout pas ses parents.

Ève semble prise de court.

Ève
C’est-à-dire ?

Alban
J’accepte de bon c?ur et je ferai sans faute
ce qu’on attend de moi et s’il faut que je saute
pour cela dans le vide et bien j’obéirai.
Sans le moindre regret désormais je serai
un papa pour mon fils, un mari pour ma femme.
En soldat inconnu je ranimerai la flamme
de nos passions noyées sous un torrent de larmes,
au nom de notre amour je reprendrai les armes.

Ève
Très bien… Je… Dois-je en conclure que tu acceptes ce poste de vendeur à la quincaillerie…?

Alban
Je vendrai des pinceaux et je vendrai des scies
chaque jour que Dieu fait et sans rien y connaître
j’irai même jusqu’à vendre pour gagner notre vie
des rustines de vélos et des boutons de guêtres.

Ève
C’est… C’est parfait… Papa et maman vont être contents… Justement, ils passent ce soir prendre l’apéritif… Je… Je te sers un verre avant qu’ils arrivent ?

Alban
Oui merci volontiers car j’aurai bien besoin
de quelque stimulant pour tenir le crachoir
à tes parents chéris et célébrer leur gloire.
À moins que par miracle ils remettent à demain
la visite vespérale dont ils nous gratifient
chaque jour en rentrant de leur quincaillerie.

Ève
Tu te fous de moi, c’est ça  ?

Alban
Pardon, moi me moquer de ma femme chérie ?

Ève
C’est quoi cette nouvelle façon de parler ? Tu te fiches de moi, et en plus tu te fiches de mes parents !

Alban
J’avoue ne pas saisir ma mie ce que vous dites
Aurais-je en quelque sorte manqué à mon devoir
en usant avec vous de propos illicites ?
Il me semblait pourtant vous avoir fait savoir
que je satisferai demain à vos désirs
et qu’importe les mots que j’emploie pour le dire.

Ève
Ok, j’avoue que c’est très drôle… Maintenant tu peux peut-être passer à autre chose, non ? Où est-ce que tu as appris à parler en alexandrins ? À Pôle Emploi ?

Alban
Ma chère amie je crains de bien vous décevoir,
Si mes mots vous irritent à mon grand désespoir,
je ne dispose hélas d’autre style que le mien
pour m’adresser à vous sans vous faire un dessin.

Ève
Bon… Le principal, c’est que tu acceptes de travailler au magasin. Je n’ai pas encore annoncé la nouvelle à mes parents. Je veux dire pour le bébé. C’est d’ailleurs pour ça que je les ai invités à prendre l’apéro. Ils vont être fous de joie. Et toi qui retrouves aussi du travail… Je crois que là, on peut sortir le champagne.

Alban
Je vais le mettre au frais et puis rincer les coupes
Trois suffisent car enfin en ce qui te concerne
Dans l’état où tu es même loin d’être à terme
Il n’est guère question que seulement tu y goûtes.

Elle lui jette un regard interloqué tandis qu’il sort. Le téléphone sonne. Elle répond machinalement, la tête ailleurs.

Ève
Allô oui c’est bien moi, si c’est vous sans ambages
veuillez bien s’il vous plaît laisser votre message.
Reprenant ses esprits.
Oui maman… Non, non, tout va bien, je t’assure… Oui, oui, je lui en ai parlé… Écoute, je suis assez surprise, mais cette fois, il a l’air d’accord pour accepter la proposition de papa… Non, non, il n’y a pas de mais… Mais… (Alban revient) Écoute, je te le passe, tu vas comprendre… (À Alban) C’est maman, tu veux lui dire un mot ?

Alban prend le combiné en souriant.

Alban
Le bonjour belle-maman, quand on parle du loup…
Nous parlions justement il y a peu de vous.
Votre fille m’a transmis les plans de votre époux.
Aurons-nous le plaisir de dîner avec vous ?
Un temps pendant lequel il écoute la réponse.
Je suis fort aise Madame de cet heureux accord
nous le célébrerons mais il faudra d’abord
que vous vous prépariez à un nouveau faire-part
qui pourrait je l’espère plus encore vous ravir.
Ma moitié s’impatiente de vous entretenir
et elle piaffe devant moi dans l’attente de vous voir.

Il repasse le combiné à Ève, et sort.

Ève
Oui maman… Quelque chose de changé ? Non, maman, ce n’est seulement pas sa voix… Oui, ce serait plutôt… Je ne pense pas que ce soit du rap non plus. C’est ça. Il parle en vers. Comme Molière. Non, je ne te dis pas que Molière parlait en vers. Je pense aussi que la plupart du temps, il parlait en prose, comme tout le monde…

Un temps pendant lequel elle écoute la réponse.

Ève
Maman je vous l’avoue, je suis au désespoir
Je pensais mon époux enfin digne d’être père,
en acceptant la charge d’employé du bazar
et voilà qu’il se met à réciter des vers.

Un temps pendant lequel elle écoute la réponse.

Ève
Je viens de te parler en alexandrins ? Alors moi aussi… Mais c’est atroce ! C’est sûrement une maladie. Je ne sais pas où il a attrapé ça. Tu crois que ça peut être contagieux ? Des vers qui sortent de notre bouche comme ça, sans aucun contrôle… C’est une véritable diarrhée… On va commencer par prendre tous les deux un puissant vermifuge. Oui, tu as raison, je vais aussi prendre rendez-vous chez un orthophoniste, et vérifier que tous nos vaccins sont bien à jour. Je sais, maman, pour être vendeur dans une quincaillerie, parler en alexandrins, ce n’est vraiment pas possible… Non, pour ce soir, il vaut mieux annuler. Tenez-vous éloignés de nous pendant quelque temps, on ne sait jamais. Tant qu’on n’a pas les résultats des examens, une quarantaine s’impose. La nouvelle que j’avais à vous annoncer ? Oh mon Dieu, c’est vrai… Et si lui aussi… Écoute, je vous rappelle, d’accord.

Elle raccroche, songeuse.

 

Ève
Jamais mère ne connut une telle avanie
depuis qu’Adam et Ève quittèrent le paradis
Nous étions ce matin des Français très moyens
et nous parlons ce soir en vers alexandrins.
Elle pose sa main sur son ventre.
Si les parents s’avèrent à ce point trop déments
ne vaudrait-il pas mieux ce serait plus honnête
de cet enfant maudit se défaire maintenant
avant qu’il ne devienne à son tour un poète ?

Noir

Alban et Ève

Trois

Posted décembre 26, 2017 By admin

Alban fait les cent pas devant Ève, assise, avant de se décider à parler.

Alban – Tu sais quelque chose ?

Ève – Non.

Il marche à nouveau en long et en large, avant de s’arrêter encore une fois devant elle.

Alban – Si tu savais quelque chose, tu me le dirais.

Ève – Bien sûr… Et toi ? Tu sais quelque chose ?

Alban – Rien. Je ne sais rien.

Un temps.

Ève – Ne rien savoir, comme ça, c’est insupportable…

Alban – Mais si on savait, est-ce que ce ne serait pas pire.

Ève – Va savoir.

Alban – Tu as raison, après tout, il vaut peut-être mieux ne pas en savoir trop.

Ève – Oui… Mais de là à ne rien savoir du tout.

Alban – C’est pourtant vrai… On ne sait rien.

Ève – Absolument rien

Alban – On ne sait même pas nager.

Ève – Non…

Alban – Et on ne sait pas marcher sur l’eau.

Ève – On ne sait pas lacer nos chaussures.

Alban – On n’en a pas.

Ève – On ne sait pas quelle heure il est.

Alban – On ne sait pas quel jour on est.

Ève – On ne sait pas lire.

Alban – À quoi ça nous servirait ? On n’a pas de livres.

Ève – Si on voulait des livres, il faudrait les écrire nous-mêmes.

Alban – Et on ne sait pas écrire.

Ève – Et puis tout ça pour n’avoir qu’un seul lecteur.

Un temps.

Alban – Qu’est-ce qu’on sait au juste ?

Ève – On doit bien savoir quelque chose, quand même…

Alban – Laisse-moi réfléchir… Ah si… On sait compter.

Ève – Ah oui, c’est vrai. On sait compter.

Alban – On recompte ? Pour voir si on n’a pas oublié ?

Ève – Ok. Vas-y, commence.

Alban – Un.

Ève – Plus un.

Alban – Ça fait deux.

Ève – C’est vrai.

Un temps.

Alban – Et après deux, qu’est-ce qu’il y a ?

Ève – Je ne sais pas.

Alban – Deux… Ça suffit, non ?

Ève – Oui. Pour l’instant.

Elle se lève et on voit qu’elle est enceinte.

Alban – Tant qu’on n’est que deux…

Noir

Alban et Ève