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A Night in Provence

 

FREDSorry – we’re not going to any hotel. It’s a villa holiday we booked, and we’re staying.
MAURICEThen it seems there is only one thing to do.
FREDWhat’s that?
MAURICEWe have to share.
JUDYShare?
FREDShare?
MAURICEWe share the house. It’s big. We can be separated. We can be private. We stay here together.
JUDYBut you don’t understand. We’re not the only….
FRED(STOPPING HER)  Shush!  (TO MAURICE) How long you here for?
MAURICETwo weeks, like you.
FREDYou mean we spend the whole holiday here together?
MAURICEWhat else can we do? Either we fight a duel with the
pistols, or we have to share.
FREDWell, I dunno….
JUDYCould be quite fun, Fred.
FREDWhat about cooking and everything?
MAURICE(SHRUGGING)  Some nights you go to a restaurant, some nights we go. We take in turn.
FREDWhat about the rent?
MAURICEYou pay half.
JUDYThat’d be fair.
FREDI dunno.
MAURICEHave you another idea?
FREDWell… bit of a funny arrangement.
MAURICEIt’s called the Common Market. I know you British don’t like it, but maybe you can try.
FREDWhat if we don’t get on?
MAURICEYou are always free to leave.
FREDYeh, thanks.
JUDYI think it’s the best way, Fred.
MAURICEIt is the only way.
FREDWell, all right, but…
JUDYBut Fred – you’ll have to say to them…. I mean, what about….?  (NODS TOWARDS THE SECOND BEDROOMS)
FREDYeh. Look, there’s something we should, er….
MAURICEI know, the bedrooms. This is easy. We take the first
bedroom here. You have all the other rooms over there. You have two bedrooms, you have your own bathroom, you have….
FREDOh no, no, no…
MAURICEWhat?
FREDThat bedroom’s ours. We’ve already moved in.
YVETTE(JUMPING IN)  Ah, non! Zis bedroom is ours!
JUDYNo – it’s ours. Our cases are in there.
YVETTENon! Absolument non!
MAURICENo, you see it’s our own personal bedroom, this. We have our clothes in the cupboard, we have all our things in the bathroom….
JUDYOh, Fred!
FREDWell I’m sorry about that, but we’ve already picked that room. My wife’s set her heart on it, you see. I’m afraid that’s part of the deal.
YVETTENon! I must have my bedroom. It’s not fair!
MAURICEPlease. For the sake of the entente cordiale.
FREDListen, chum – you can stick the entente cordiale up your vive la France! We’ve given in on the bloody house – we at least get to choose bedrooms.
YVETTENon! Maurice!
MAURICE(HOPELESSLY)  Qu’est ce que je peux faire?
YVETTE(LOSING HER COOL)  You are terrible, you English! You are selfish, you are bad!  You have no morals. I despise you!
FREDOh well, that’s a good start. I can see this is going to be a very friendly holiday.
YVETTEMaurice!  (SHE BURSTS INTO TEARS ON MAURICE’S SHOULDER)
JUDYOh gawd, Fred. Now look what you’ve done.
FREDIt wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t me started hurling abuse.
JUDYWell, we have sort of pinched their home, haven’t we?
FREDYou wanted that room!
JUDYWell, I know, but…
FREDAre you going to take their side now? Whose fault is it this all happened in the first place?
JUDYWell, I can understand how she feels. We could perhaps give them their bedroom….
FREDNo! That’s not negotiable.  I’m not listening to
you-know-who at it all night long on the other side of the wall.
JUDY(INDICATING THE OTHERS)  Well they’ll have to, won’t they?
FREDThey’re used to it – they’re French.
JUDYFred!
FREDThey’ll be at it the same time themselves. They can all
heave ho together.
MAURICEWhat is this?
FREDNever mind.
JUDY(WHISPERING IN HIS EAR)  You’ll have to tell them.
FREDI will, I will. Let’s all calm down first.
MAURICEOkay. We make a deal. You have the bedroom first week – we have it second.
YVETTEOh, Maurice…
MAURICEShh.
JUDYThat’s fair, Fred.
FRED(GRUDGING) Well, all right. We dunno who’ll be in whose bedroom by then anyway – ha, ha?
JUDYFRED!
FREDOnly joking.
YVETTEThis is affreux! The holiday is spoiled.
JUDY(CONSOLING)  Don’t worry, love. It’ll work out. It’ll be quite fun once we’ve all settled in.
YVETTEYour husband is a pig!
FREDThanks.
JUDYHe’s quite nice really – once you get to know him.
YVETTEThank you, I don’t wish to know him. I don’t wish to be near him!
FREDPity. Wouldn’t mind being near myself.
JUDYFred! What’s the matter with you?
FREDWell I’ve got as much chance with her as with you, haven’t I?
JUDY(HISSING)  Bloody hell, Fred! Just because I won’t
strip off the moment we get in the door! Good job I didn’t, isn’t it? They’d have walked right in on us.
FREDYeh, well that would’ve started things off with a bang, wouldn’t it – ha, ha? Might have been a lot more fun that way.
JUDY

You’re impossible sometimes.

(TURNS TO THE OTHERS)

Er…. yes well, there is something else actually.

MAURICEWhat?
JUDYThere’s something we haven’t told you. Fred?
FREDWhat?
JUDYCome on, Fred. You’ll have to tell them.
MAURICEWhat?
YVETTEWhat?
FREDYes, well…. um…. it’s a bit awkward actually.
MAURICEWhat?
YVETTEWhat?
FREDThe thing is, you see…. (PAUSE)
MAURICEWhat?
FREDWe’ve got some other friends coming.
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