Act 1, Scene 1
A booklined study. Several plants adorn small coffee tables. A large desk dominates the centre of the room. Sat behind it is a man [Michael] dressed in a tweed jacket, sat in a padded leather chair, reading intently from a slim volume of poetry. Heavy curtains are drawn over a large window behind the desk. The door opens [stage right] and Jill enters. She is in her fifties, dressed in a pleated skirt, blouse, cardigan and a scarf.
Jill: Afternoon, Michael!
Michael: (eyes still fixed on his book) Oh, hello Jill.
Jill: I read your review of Kennethís latest in the TLS. (waits for reaction, there is none, Michael continues to stare at the book.) I do think you were a little harsh Michael.
(Michael finally tears his gaze from his book, which he flings onto the desk in front of him. He sits back in his chair with his arms crossed behind his head.)
Michael: Harsh! Jill, darling! (Pause). Yes I suppose it was a little. Poor Kenneth. Still. (dramatic pause) Perhaps thatíll teach him not to steal my wife.
( a pause for the audience to expel polite screams and murmurs)
Jill:(cross but amused) Michael. You are incorrigible. Will you never forgive that poor man. After all, that was at least 2 days ago now.
(a further pause to allow the audience to issue knowing laughter.)
Michael: But Jill, Kenneth was my friend. I think that (turning to the audience and mugging frantically) WAS THE MOST UNKINDEST CUT OF ALL.
Jill: (Also turning to the audience) O, WHAT MEN DARE DO! WHAT MEN MAY DO! WHAT MEN DAILY DO, NOT KNOWING WHAT THEY DO! (Pause for twenty minutes to allow the audience to laugh to show that THEY GET THE FUCKING REFERENCE, ITíS FUCKING SHAKESPEARE, RIGHT?)
A small room with a settee. Two youth are sitting on it, a girl youth and a boy youth. The boy youth is playing a football game on a console. The girl is reading a newspaper. The boy has scored on the football game.
Jill: Oh my god.
Michael: (distractedly) what is it?
Jill: Letís do something. With our lives, I mean.
Michael: (uncertainly) Ok. What?
Jill: I donít know. We could..go and see a play. Thereís one thatís just come out thatís supposed to be good. Letís see, itís called..íJill and Michael are laughing at you. Starring one or all of the Redgraves, and produced by an American film director or actor.í
Michael: (doubtfully) Whatís it about?
Jill: (reading) I donít know. I think itís a kind of dark comedy. Itís got good reviews.
Michael: I donít know. Itíll be pretty expensive.
Jill: Is that all you think about? Itís culture! Itís priceless!
Michael: Itís not priceless. Itís £26.50 for the stalls and £35.00 for the balcony.