Dialogue Extract

Stage Fright

 
(THERE IS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR. GRACE OPENS IT. MONSIEUR BONIFACE ENTERS BREATHLESSLY – LARGE, POMPOUS, EFFUSIVE)
BONIF
Madame! I come instantly!
GRACE
Monsieur Boniface.
BONIF
I apologise that such a distinguished client has problems in my hotel! What is the matter?
GRACE
The matter is theft, attempted murder, assault, trespass, false impersonation, conspiracy to defraud, adultery, slander, and a few other things beside.
BONIF
Ah mon dieu! All zese things?
GRACE
Well most of them.
BONIF
Who are all zese peoples?
GRACE
Suspects, all of them.
BONIF
All? Please explain.
GRACE
To start at the beginning. A couple of hours ago I ordered lunch here in my room. Someone somehow poisoned my Caesar Salad, and I passed out.
BONIF
Poisoned?
GRACE
With peanuts.
BONIF
Peanuts?
GRACE
That’s what was used. I know the symptoms. Fortunately I wasn’t badly affected, and when I woke up all these people were around me, any one of whom could have done it.
HAILEY
I wasn’t!
GRACE
I’ve only your word for that, darling.
BONIF
Who is she?
GRACE
My husband’s bimbo.
HAILEY
Don’t call me that!!
GRACE
Sorry. My manager’s bimbo.
HAILEY
Oh!!!
BONIF
Who is your manager?
GRACE
(POINTING AT OSCAR) Him. When he’s not being my agent.
BONIF
Eh?
GRACE
And my occasional husband.
BONIF
He is your husband?
GRACE
Most of the time.
BONIF
Eh?
GRACE
(POINTING AT JIMMY) The rest of the time it’s him.
BONIF
Eh?
GRACE
When he’s not being my lover.
BONIF
Eh?
GRACE
Supposedly.
BONIF
(POINTING AT ADAM) And who is he?
OSCAR
Her other lover.
BONIF
Eh?
GRACE
My leading man.
BONIF
Also your lover?
GRACE
According to my husband, who thinks everyone is my lover.
BONIF
Eh?
GRACE
When they’re not being my husband.
BONIF
Eh, eh, eh??
GRACE
So you see it’s quite complicated.
BONIF
Too complicated for me.
GRACE
Let me simplify, Mr Boniface. He (INDICATING JIMMY) found me unconscious and assumed I was dead, and he (ADAM) found him and me and assumed he was my husband who had murdered me, and he (OSCAR) found him and him and me and assumed he was my lover who had come to rescue me from him, and she (HAILEY) found everybody and assumed nothing at all because she’s a brainless bimbo!
HAILEY
Ohhhh!!
BONIF
I think I need to sit down.