Playwright: Yasmina Reza (translated from the French by: Christopher Hampton)
Pages: 40 (wow – 40 pages packs a punch.)
Number of roles: 4 (Female: 2, Male: 2)
Spoilers: Ben has hit Henry in the face with a stick at the playground. Teeth fly. Highly strung parents Veronica & Michael (of 11 yr old Henry), and Annette & Alan (of 11 yr old Ben), discuss consequences in Veronica & Michael’s living room. Veronica serves clafouti & coffee. The boys are savages, they should meet and make up. Alan takes a call on his mobile about a pharmaceutical lawsuit. Veronica gets Michael to confess to setting his daughter’s hamster free on the street, and they posit that it is (most likely) dead. How did the boys start fighting? Henry provoked Ben – and has a gang. Michael & Alan bond over manhood. Alan takes a call. Annette feels sick and vomits all over Alan and a book of Veronica’s. Maybe the hairdryer will help save the book? Veronica & Michael express their disgust of Annette & Alan. The pairs speak in Woof-woofs and Darjeelings. Annette points out that both kids are snitches, and things heat up. Alan takes a call. Michael’s mother calls and is taking the Rx Alan is defending in court. Michael tells her to stop. Outrage over Michael’s alleged hamster murder and we’re all Neanderthals. Except Veronica, who bursts into tears. Alan is on the phone. Michael breaks out the rum. The men drink. The ladies drink. The couples start to turn on one another. Marriage & children ruin everything. Alan is on the phone and Annette is going to vomit again. Might is right. Veronica begins to beat her husband, and Annette throws Alan’s mobile phone into the flower vase full of tulips (and water). Michael & Alan try the hairdryer. Annette is getting drunk. Michael’s mother calls again, and talks to Alan. Veronica throws Annette’s purse. The boys break out cigars, and Veronica snatches them away. Claws come out on these four animals. Furious debate on the meaning of man, woman, and phony. Annette attacks the tulips. Veronica takes a call from her daughter who is worried about her missing hamster. Michael thinks it could be stuffing its face.
End of Play.
When does politeness and civility break into inevitable human savagery? Yeowza.
Feels like…: “In the Hall of the Mountain King” (Peer Gynt) by Edvard Grieg
I want to say…:“Henry was less attached to Nibbles.” (Michael)
Monologues: This text is dense and rapid fire. There are a few short monologues, but don’t think they would work out of context.