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Volcanic Eruptions

A revived Robin Hawdon Play

PIERREWelcome to La Bonne Auberge, monsieur.
BORISI have a surprise for you.
PIERREA surprise?
BORISA big surprise! I bring someone to see you.
PIERREMe?
BORISAn old friend.
PIERREOld friend?.
BORISWho in the world would you be most surprised to see in your hotel?
PIERREI don’t know, monsieur.
BORISGuess.
PIERREEr…. the Queen? The Pope? Napoleon?
BORISWrong. It’s Madame Rachel Dudley!
 (PAUSE. PIERRE TURNS WHITE AND GRABS THE DESK FOR SUPPORT)
PIERRE(IN A HOARSE WHISPER) Rachel Dudley? Here?
BORISHere. She is outside. I am going to marry her as soon as she is divorced from that dog turd, John Dudley.
PIERREMarry her?
BORISYes, marry! She is leaving that piece of poop and coming to me. I am taking her for a quiet weekend together. She says this is her favourite hotel, so here we are. She wish it to be a surprise. (LOOKS AT PIERRE’S GLAZED FACE) Well? Is it?
PIERRE(NODDING DUMBLY) It’s a surprise, monsieur.
BORISA bombshell, eh?.
PIERRE(NODDING) You have no idea.
BORISShe is in the car. I get her.
 (STARTS TOWARDS THE DOOR)
PIERRE(GALVANISED INTO ACTION) No, monsieur! (BORIS STOPS)
It’s impossible! You can’t stay here! It’s out of
the question! It’s.... we’ve.... you’ve.... We’re full up.
BORISFull up? I made a reservation.
PIERREWe didn’t receive it.
BORISYes, you did. Your boy had it there.
PIERREWe did a bubble dook.... a dooking bubble.... we booked double.
BORIS(PICKING UP THE REGISTRATION BOOK) There’s my name. Brakowski. Jasmine room.
PIERREThe room is flooded, monsieur. Immersed, engorged! A slum!
BORISWell, you must have others.
PIERRENo, monsieur, no others.
BORISBut it’s out of season. (LOOKING AT THE BOOK) They’re all empty. Only two other people here. Mr....
PIERRE(WHIPPING THE BOOK OUT OF HIS HANDS) We’re decorating. All the rooms are incapacitated.
BORISBut this is disgraceful! I make the reservation days ago. Rachel tells me so much about this place. What charm! What hospitality! She say you are old friends.
PIERRE(DISTRAUGHT) Yes, we are, monsieur, but, er.... well you see, er....
BORISWell you don’t seem very friendly to me. If you can’t find a room for a great actress like Rachel Dudley when the hotel is nearly empty, why you stay open at all?
PIERREWe aren’t open. We’re closed.
BORISBut those other peoples....
PIERREThey’re leaving tomorrow.
BORISWell, we’ll leave tomorrow if....
PIERRETonight! They’re leaving tonight.
BORISBut you said....
PIERREI’m extremely apoplectic, monsieur. (CALLS) Louis! It’s quite impossible. (SHOUTS) Louis! My deepest commensurations to Madame Dudley.... (BELLOWS) LOUIS!
LOUIS(dashing out) Yes, papa?
PIERREThe furniture in the Jasmine room. Eject it!
LOUISWhat, papa?
PIERREThe furniture! It has to come out for the decorations.
LOUISDecorations, papa?
PIERREYes, idiot. After the floodings. We must continue the decorations!
LOUISBut, papa....
PIERRE(BESIDE HIMSELF) Evict the furniture! Out, out! (SEES GASTON COMING OUT OF MIMOSA) Gaston! Help Louis!
GASTONEh?
PIERREAidez Louis avec les meubles. Vite, vite!
BORISI protest! I don’t understand.
PIERREMy profuse apologies, monsieur. I suggest you sample the hotel down the road. It’s almost as good as this, and....
BORIS(ANGRY) I don’t wish to sample the hotel down the road! Rachel Dudley has her heart set on this hotel. She spent the most happy days of her life here.
PIERREShe forgets, monsieur – they were not so good. (TO LOUIS AND GASTON WHO ARE HESITATING BEWILDERED) The furniture! Out, out! (THEY HEAD FOR THE JASMINE ROOM)
BORISShe talks about the wonderful views....
PIERREYou won’t see them, monsieur, we get inscrutable fog at this time of year.
BORISThe peace and tranquillity....
PIERREThey begin army manoeuvres in the park tomorrow – explosions, guns, bombs!
BORISThe superb food....
PIERREIt’s declining. Two guests died of poison last month, and....
BORIS(BANGING THE DESK) Enough! It’s not acceptable! I am Boris Brakowski! I stay in the best hotels in the world! I get what I want! (STORMS TO THE DOORS) I’m going to tell Rachel. Wait till you hear what she says about this!
PIERRE(FOLLOWING HIM TO THE DOORS) Oh please, monsieur, don’t bring her in here. We’re in quarantine! Please, monsieur....!
 (He has to leap back from the doors as BORIS hurls them open, and exits. PIERRE turns back to the foyer and addresses the audience)
PIERREAh mon dieu! What can I do? England’s most famous film star here – with a piece of fluff. The world’s most explosive actress here – with a Russian typhoon. And furthermore – the critic from the Times newspaper arriving any moment. It will be a cataclysm! In walks the Times man to see the most famous actors in England ejaculating my wife’s dinners at each other!
 (PACES BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS, MUTTERING TO HIMSELF)
PIERREWhat can I do?  What can I do? They must not see each other They must not meet under any circumcisions!
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