The Lion and the Unicorn

CLEMENTINE Neville. Excuse my husband’s persistence....
CHAMBERLAIN I’m used to it. His stock in trade.
CLEMENTINE I think the burning question for everyone.... I don’t think this counts as politics....
CHAMBERLAIN What?
CLEMENTINE You’ve met the man several times now....
CHAMBERLAIN Three.
CLEMENTINE What....? I mean....
CHURCHILL What do you make of him? As a man?

(PAUSE. CHAMBERLAIN IS EXPRESSIONLESS)
CLEMENTINE I’m sorry. Is that not....?
CHAMBERLAIN No, no. I’m just.... You catch me at a disadvantage.
CLEMENTINE We’re being tactless.
CHAMBERLAIN No. It’s a question that should be asked. I thought… I used to think I knew how to judge men. But now I.... I’ve lost faith in my.... You see, I thought Hitler was – whilst ruthless, yes – at least someone one could do business with. Someone whose methods one could comprehend.... But he.... the world is not the place I thought it was.

(ANNE PUTS HER HAND ON HIS ARM)
ANNE He’s still shaken.
CLEMENTINE Inevitably.
CHURCHILL ‘Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry air....’
CHAMBERLAIN You’re entitled to crow, Winston.
CHURCHILL (SHARP) I’m not crowing! Give me credit please.
CHAMBERLAIN (PLACATING) All right, I....
CHURCHILL (GENTLER) But I do… I blame myself for not finding the way to… Had we been closer, Neville, you and I, perhaps…

(AWKWARD PAUSE)
CHAMBERLAIN Well....
CHURCHILL I tried.... I have tried. As you say, I never mastered the arts of diplomacy. (RALLIES) However the fact is we have to travel together now.
CHAMBERLAIN Yes
CHURCHILL We have to be agreed on what is the route. On what is the challenge.
CHAMBERLAIN I think we know that now.
CHURCHILL No. No, I’m not sure we do, Prime Minister.
CLEMENTINE Darling, please....
CHURCHILL Not all of us appreciate the nature of this beast crouching in our path. It is so far beyond what we have experienced in this fortunate land that we have no true conception of such alien mentalities.
CHAMBERLAIN I…
CHURCHILL You least of all, Neville.
ANNE Winston….
CHURCHILL I’m not casting blame, Anne. Your husband has too good a soul for this world. But now he has to understand. (TO CHAMBERLAIN) You have to learn the ultimate cynicism and turn demon too.
ANNE No politics remember.
CHURCHILL This isn’t politics, this is life at its starkest! This is the unknown street in the dark. This is the bear pit. We have to explore our blackest selves in order to comprehend what the monsters are about.
CHAMBERLAIN Do we have to become monsters also?
CHURCHILL Yes! That’s what you… what everyone in the nation must now realise. You cannot fight devils with an angel’s reasoning.
CLEMENTINE It’s too early in the evening for melodrama, dear. Diplomacy. Sit down and stop pontificating!

(CHURCHILL GRUNTS AND OBEYS)
CHURCHILL Bully. She’s the monster in this household
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