Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Old Scene Four

In which Diotallevi encounters a robbery, defies the Script, and is arrested.
Being rather antisocial with the other scenes in the Dramafeste play, the Old Scene Four has Forty times the irony and makes about one-tenth the sense of the current play we use. Despite being so supremely stupid, it has found landing place on this blog, of all places.

{Diotallevi walks dejectedly along the street. Out comes Robert, who is a robber, and who is called Robert for precisely that reason, although he does not realize that such a connection exists. Robert has covered his face with a wool hat and scarf, leaving only the eyes. He confronts Diotallevi.}

Diotallevi: (surprised) Robert? What are you doing here, late at night?
Robert: Well,
{A long pause}
Diotallevi: What’s the matter? I have to get home now.
{He tries to walk past him, but Robert moves to block the way}
Diotallevi: (loudly) Let me pass!
Robert: (gloomily) No, man, no.
Diotallevi: What do you want?
Robert: Do you have money with you now? I need it.
Diotallevi: (Searches all his pockets in a great show, producing only a two-euro note) Not much, Robert, two dollars, barely enough for the bus back home. Why?
Robert: (produces a gun, points it at Diotallevi and unravels the scarf) You have to help me, Dio, I’m helpless (weeps) My wife’s left me with my children, and my house burned down. Now I can’t even rent a place to live in! I know you’ll have a million dollars to give me, Dio, if I ask nicely.
Diotallevi: (sagely) You’re mad, Robert, to think that pointing this gun at me will make fortune appear in my pockets.
Robert: You’re hiding it! You’re hiding it because you don’t care about me! Everyone’s hiding things away from me! Why can’t I know the things I need to know? Why am I so confused about the world nowadays! What the hell am I talking about! You have the one million dollars. Definitely, because I say so! Get it out, or, or, I’ll shoot you!
Diotallevi: I don’t think so! The gun you’re holding is a fake.
Robert: What?
Diotallevi: Your gun is a toy, a prop. (sarcastically) The Director gave it to you, didn’t she? It can’t shoot. It can’t hurt. And it’s not supposed to.
Robert: I don’t care. I’ll shoot your face!
{Robert shoots Diotallevi, and gun shots are heard. Diotallevi squints, clutches his chest and bends down, as if shot. After Robert uses up his bullets, Diotallevi pats his body, and after finding no gunshot wound nor blood, straightens up}
Robert: Dammit, why are you still standing? The script requires you to get shot dead!
Diotallevi: No, it doesn’t!
Robert: I don’t believe this! (shakes his head fearfully, drops the gun, and backs away)
{Enter Police Officer and two constables. Constable 1 is carrying a medical kit}
Officer: Hey, hey! What seems to be the matter ‘ere?
Robert: This man… this man… he defies reality!
{Robert runs away offstage, with Constable 2 running after him}
Officer: (amiably) Oooh. How does he do that, then?
Diotallevi: (amused) Sir, that man tried to shoot me with a toy gun.
Officer: We saw it happening. In fact, he did shoot you with his toy gun. Only you didn’t get shot. (harshly) We want you to explain yourself.
{He pats Diotallevi heftily on the shoulder as Constable 1 picks up the gun}
Constable 1: Sir, I can tell you with good faith that this is a real gun. In fact, it’s an authentic Burleigh Brothers Mark 2 Musket, Collectors' Model.
Officer: I’m impressed. What’s your name, Constable?...
Constable 1: Constable 1, Sir!
{Constable 2 comes back on stage, panting}
Officer: I’m impressed, Constable 1.
Diotallevi: Oh, Constable 1. Constable 1?
Constable 1: (annoyed) Yes, Constable 1.
Constable 2: Hi, I’m Constable 2. (holds out hand)
Officer: Shut up! (stomps stage)
Constable 2: (retracts hand) Sorrysir.
Officer: Where’d you go, Constable 2?
Constable 2: I went to chase that man who’d dropped the Burleigh Brothers Mark 2 Musket Collectors' Model.
Officer: And you couldn’t catch him?
Constable 2: (still panting) No, man, he ran offstage.
Officer: It’s “sir”, you pillock.
Constable 2: Sorrysir. No, sir, he ran offstage.
Officer: Leave that guy, Constable, he’s innocent.
Diotallevi: Innocent? He was a robber!
Officer: He was following the script! You, on the other hand, weren’t! You refused to even fall! Let me have a look at your wallet.
Diotallevi: Why?
Constable 1: Just give him your wallet. We need it.
{Diotallevi hands wallet over to Officer, who pulls out a 1 million euro note. I shall not explain why it is a euro and not any other currency.}
Officer: (waving the 1 million euros at Diotallevi) One million dollars! You should have given this to him!
Diotallevi: [shocked] I didn’t know it was there!
Officer: You’re in big trouble, laddo… In fact, you’re under arrest for being uncharitable towards a fellow actor as well as undermining reality. Come with us to the station. You need some reconditioning.
Diotallevi: Uncharitable? To a robber? I didn’t know such a law exists!
Officer: Oh, now it does!
{Diotallevi attempts to rush away from scene, but the Constables hold him back and prevent him from escaping. They pin Diotallevi to the floor}
Diotallevi: I shall not be reconditioned!
Officer: Stay down, Diotallevi!
Diotallevi: Let me out!
Officer: Sedative!
{Constable 1 opens a medical kit and passes a fake syringe, whereupon the Officer jabs the imaginary point into Diotallevi’s arm. Diotallevi stops struggling and goes limp}
Constable 2: Shall we bring him to Doctor Lugh, sir? He’ll know how to sort him out.
Officer: Please do. Good job, constables.
{Exeunt with Diotallevi carried offstage by Constables.}