Dialogue Extract (A Night in Provence)

by Robin Hawdon
FRED Sorry – we’re not going to any hotel. It’s a villa holiday we booked, and we’re staying.
MAURICE Then it seems there is only one thing to do.
FRED What’s that?
MAURICE We have to share.
JUDY Share?
FRED Share?
MAURICE We share the house. It’s big. We can be separated. We can be private. We stay here together.
JUDY But you don’t understand. We’re not the only…
FRED (STOPPING HER)  Shush!  (TO MAURICE) How long you here for?
MAURICE Two weeks, like you.
FRED You mean we spend the whole holiday here together?
MAURICE What else can we do? Either we fight a duel with the pistols, or we have to share.
FRED Well, I dunno…
JUDY Could be quite fun, Fred.
FRED What about cooking and everything?
MAURICE (SHRUGGING)  Some nights you go to a restaurant, some nights we go. We take in turn.
FRED What about the rent?
MAURICE You pay half.
JUDY That’d be fair.
FRED I dunno.
MAURICE Have you another idea?
FRED Well… bit of a funny arrangement.
MAURICE It’s called the Common Market. I know you British don’t like it, but maybe you can try.
FRED What if we don’t get on?
MAURICE You are always free to leave.
FRED Yeh, thanks.
JUDY I think it’s the best way, Fred.
MAURICE It is the only way.
FRED Well, all right, but…
JUDY But Fred – you’ll have to say to them… I mean, what about…?  (NODS TOWARDS THE SECOND BEDROOMS)
FRED Yeh. Look, there’s something we should, er…
MAURICE I 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…
FRED Oh no, no, no…
FRED That bedroom’s ours. We’ve already moved in.
YVETTE (JUMPING IN)  Ah, non! Zis bedroom is ours!
JUDY No – it’s ours. Our cases are in there.
YVETTE Non! Absolument non!
MAURICE No, you see it’s our own personal bedroom, this. We have our clothes in the cupboard, we have all our things in the bathroom…
JUDY Oh, Fred!
FRED Well 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.
YVETTE Non! I must have my bedroom. It’s not fair!
MAURICE Please. For the sake of the entente cordiale.
FRED Listen, 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.
YVETTE Non! 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!
FRED Oh well, that’s a good start. I can see this is going to be a very friendly holiday.
JUDY Oh gawd, Fred. Now look what you’ve done.
FRED It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t me started hurling abuse.
JUDY Well, we have sort of pinched their home, haven’t we?
FRED You wanted that room!
JUDY Well, I know, but…
FRED Are you going to take their side now? Whose fault is it this all happened in the first place?
JUDY Well, I can understand how she feels. We could perhaps give them their bedroom…
FRED No! 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?
FRED They’re used to it – they’re French.
JUDY Fred!
FRED They’ll be at it the same time themselves. They can all heave ho together.
MAURICE What is this?
FRED Never mind.
JUDY (WHISPERING IN HIS EAR)  You’ll have to tell them.
FRED I will, I will. Let’s all calm down first.
MAURICE Okay. We make a deal. You have the bedroom first week – we have it second.
YVETTE Oh, Maurice…
JUDY That’s fair, Fred.
FRED (GRUDGING) Well, all right. We dunno who’ll be in whose bedroom by then anyway – ha, ha?
FRED Only joking.
YVETTE This 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.
YVETTE Your husband is a pig!
FRED Thanks.
JUDY He’s quite nice really – once you get to know him.
YVETTE Thank you, I don’t wish to know him. I don’t wish to be near him!
FRED Pity. Wouldn’t mind being near myself.
JUDY Fred! What’s the matter with you?
FRED Well 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.
FRED Yeh, well that would’ve started things off with a bang, wouldn’t it – ha, ha? Might have been a lot more fun that way.

You’re impossible sometimes.


Er… yes well, there is something else actually.

JUDY There’s something we haven’t told you. Fred?
FRED What?
JUDY Come on, Fred. You’ll have to tell them.
FRED Yes, well… um…. it’s a bit awkward actually.
FRED The thing is, you see… (PAUSE)
FRED We’ve got some other friends coming.