I always used to think I was a bit loopy because I created characters in my head and-and acted them out. My family teased me and people must have thought I had multiple personality disorder (it was the 80s/90’s). My daughter does the exact same thing and I now realise that my mind creates stories and the best way to reveal those stories is by writing them down.
Here is the second draft for my TMA 3. I’ve finished the entire second draft this morning. YAY!
I’ve taken inspiration from the morality plays that were popular in medieval times. I hope that my tutor will see the relevance this play has in the message it sends out despite setting it nearly 90 years ago.
I think that all three characters have a bit of me inside them. I’m working on making the characters more well rounded. The next two scenes I’ve written shows a different side to the characters.
The play is set in the mid-1920’s -after the World War one and the Russian revolutions.
I want to thank Clarissa @ POETURJA for helping me develop an intriguing plot with her grimoire and insight into her ancestry of being a descendant of the misunderstood Roma Gypsies.
There is still a lot to polish and make it submission and MA worthy
Let me know what you think.
CAST LIST: (so far)
VLADIMIR- always wears gloves
THE CROWD- actors and the audience
LOCATION: Paris, 1925
SUGGESTED STAGE DIRECTIONS (my undeveloped vision) bare stage – (audience act as the crowd for further scenes) are seated in a circle. All action takes place in the centre of the audience. Characters sit amongst the audience or come from behind to enter the performing stage. All props are simulated by actor’s mannerisms and minimal props. A box can be at table, piano, bench. To evoke sensory surroundings multimedia like audio-piano music/ screens/ lightening etc. used to set the scene example to create the illusion of shadows, or people, to set the mood of the scene.
EVE is already playing as the audience find a seat.
NOTE TO SELF: BE VISUAL include all people who will be in the each scene setting. Hot seat 20 question for characters
EVE sits playing the saddest most melancholic piece of music at an old piano, in the jardinière outside. She sits in the centre of the room.THE CROWD sit and stand around her forming a circle. EVE plays on as the audience find a place to sit. EVE is absorbed in playing her music. After some time EVE stops playing. Bangs on the keys of the piano and begins to cry. EVE cries and cries and cries. Nobody comes to her. EVE stops crying.
EVE: Who’s there? I know someone there is there. Show yourself.
(EVE seems to gaze through the audience. A spotlight comes up and sweeps across the audience illuminating them. The room goes dark. EVE begins to play again –a wild angry, jazzy piece of music.EVE plays until she falls off her chair. From out of the audience PANACEA, plainly dressed in dark colours approaches EVE. PANACEA attempts to help her up)
EVE: Who are you?
PANACEA: Hush, I am but an old dear who admires your music.
EVE: How did you get in here? This is private land. If you are Vladimir’s friend…
PANACEA: Who? I was merely directed to your playing.
EVE: I tell you what I told him. No. I won’t do it.
PANACEA; Do what, dear?
EVE: You don’t know?
PANACEA: No. I found the gates open and was guided by your playing.
PANACEA: You seem almost… disappointed.
EVE: I made the right choice. It doesn’t matter.
PANACEA: A problem halved and all that.
EVE: Yet I feel so guilty
PANACEA: You seem /quite
EVE: I don’t even know who you are. I can’t even….
PANACEA: As you can see I’m rather old, nothing special – just a mere human – an old lady –nondescript
EVE: You blend in with the crowd.
PANACEA: Almost like I don’t exist.
EVE: But people can see you and you –you can see them?
PANACEA: Yes. I do and I suppose seeing they do. It is not the same as looking
EVE: All I want is to be see the people Vladimir says we help.
PANACEA: You have such a gift. The world must hear this and your face is –
EVE: He did send you! Times have changed. These new admirer’s talk so strange. So many people are poor. I wonder how we can maintain our standard of living just because I have a gift. How can they just ignore and approve?
PANACEA: Approve? I don’t see many who wouldn’t. We do have mirrors nowadays.
PANACEA: They don’t do me any good.
EVE: they aren’t much good to me either.
PANACEA: Who is Vladimir?
EVE: Someone. Someone who wants the best for me.
PANACEA: You have had a disagreement?
EVE: I can’t shift this feeling -Something doesn’t add up. How can one girl ease the suffering of a nation- a world trying to make sense of all the lives lost? All those men dead.
PANACEA: Is he ONE of those sorts of men?
EVE: What? A soldier, oh no.
PANACEA: The Don Juan types.
EVE: Don Juan? I can’t even visualise what that looks like
PANACEA: You know- charming, good looking. A bit of a lothario. Gets the blood rushing to the ears.
EVE: Oh no, nothing like that. (blushes) He’s more of a guardian- a brother of sorts.
PANACEA: Well, has he hurt you, dear? Roughed you up?
EVE: No, nothing like that. He cares for me. I owe him all this. I should be begging in the streets for my bread like the rest of them.
EVE: Hello? Are you still here?
PANACEA: Yes dear. I will sit next to you then perhaps you can see better.
EVE: That is part of the problem.
PANACEA: Well, turn your face to me. I’m not exactly beautiful as yourself. I get that reaction all the time.
EVE: I can’t see you.
PANACEA: You are…
EVE: Yes. I am –that is why I’m so flaming mad. How can he expect me to be on show? (takes on mock man’s voice) Entertainment is what the new World needs. The old world’s need. We are doing A service to our people, he says. I feel privileged -far too privileged.
PANACEA: I wish I could feel the world the way you do. It’s unique.
EVE: That’s the problem. Everyone always goes on about how unique I am. How lacking in sight makes me special. Everyone wants to take my picture with me or listen to my music, but then, soon, people seem to grow weary and they just disappear, and I’m left alone in the darkness again.
PANACEA: Some people only come out when it’s dark, child.
EVE: How would I know? My darkness is my light and I have nothing to compare it to.
PANACEA: I blend in with the world. Just another face in the crowd
EVE: You sound saddened by it?
PANACEA: No, it’s just normal.
EVE: That’s what I want. Normal. I feel everything.
PANACEA: To see is not-to-not feel.
EVE: Yes, but there are these things – filters. If I could see maybe, my other senses would be diluted. Not so overpowering. Not so smothering, I feel unbalanced.
PANACEA: Yes, a woman at odds with her world. I’ve seen years of the world. Felt it too. I often wonder what it would be like if I lacked in sight and well……
EVE: It’s frustrating. I feel the need to increase all my other senses to make up for what I lack. If I could only see with these eyes, what other people see-
PANACEA: What will you do about Vladimir?
EVE: I trust him but he doesn’t understand. He believes if I could see this world that my beauty would be lost. That me not seeing what I look like and the world looks like is what makes me- this “unique” word. I hate it.
PANACEA: So, he saved you….
EVE: from a life living on the streets, from the orphanage. With his business acumen, we are still able to afford all after all the devastation.
PANACEA: Doesn’t sound like such a bad fella.
EVE: He’s not. He just doesn’t understand how much I long to see Miss, Mrs?
PANACEA: Call me Panacea.
EVE: …Like the word? How droll.
PANACEA: Yes, I was born with a gift to help those at odds with themselves.
EVE: You can give me the sight I crave?
PANACEA: It’s not a simple process. It requires/
EVE: I don’t care. Name it. I have money. Anything. What is your price?
PANACEA: Money is useless. The elixir needed to seal this contract is what is known as trading your essence.
EVE: Essence? my soul?
PANACEA: Not quite. I’m not the devil. Think of essence as an ingredient. If you barter, your unique essence say- to me. What makes you taste different from the other cookies of the world is your flavour- your essence. You want vanilla. You inherit my essence, I yours
EVE: I wouldn’t even know where to find my essence. What would I gain?
PANACEA: you could gain your sight.
EVE: And you would want to lose yours! why?
PANACEA: I’m an old dear. I’ve seen enough of the world. You, however, have so much living to do. You have these unique gifts yet you are not happy with them because you can’t see them like the others.
EVE: You make me sound ungrateful.
PANACEA: Now that is what you said. Not I.
EVE: Forgive me. DO you have all your senses?
PANACEA: (laughs)I can hear you. Your music. I see your apparent beauty. I feel your soft skin, smooth – no wrinkles. Untouched by sunshine. (breaths in to smell EVE)
EVE: Why are you smelling me?
PANACEA: I long to use my other senses more…I’m not going to eat you, this is not a fairy-tale
EVE: I’m sorry. I feel so stupid.
PANACEA: Never mind, it shows you have a highly active imagination. Much sought after in the world where vision is so vital to be a part of this world.
EVE: How could you possibly have had enough seeing?
PANACEA: Maybe it is because I met you. You captivate me.
EVE: I wish I could see what you mean.
PANACEA: Maybe your male friend is right. It would ruin you to see the world. (begins to get up)
EVE: Where are you going?
PANACEA: Leaving you to work things out. All feelings pass (small pause) eventually.
EVE: No, that is an untruth. Mine grow. Intensify. Mine never leave. They haunt me day and night. Please don’t leave me alone.
PANACEA: (sits back down) Will you play again and let me consider your eyes.
EVE: I can’t see you, though.
PANACEA: (frustrated)I know a way to access your essence.
EVE: Panacea you can give me sight?
PANACEA: If you want it as much as you claim, then perhaps it may work in your favour.
PANACEA: You question far too much and believe in far too little.
EVE: Okay, I will play. What do you/ want?
PANACEA: Play me a song that reveals everything about you to me
(EVE begins to play, looks at PANACEA. PANACEA touches EVES face, her lips and leans into EVE as if to kiss her. EVE stops playing.?
EVE: What are you doing? You ‘re not one of those Lesbians are you/?
PANACEA: Does it matter? (laughs) More a Thespian.
EVE: what does kissing me must do with giving me my sight? I may be blind but don’t mistake that for being a fool.
PANACEA: Me? Mistake you for a fool. (long pause)
EVE: I apologise. I /just want….
PANACEA: Have faith that what we do on this day will give you what you say you desire.
EVE: I’m scared.
PANACEA: Scared didn’t win the war.
EVE: I never thought of it like that. Could we try again?
PANACEA: One more chance. In hindsight, I may change my mind and decide to keep my sight at this rate.
EVE: No! I mean, it’s yours of course, but I really want to see.
PANACEA: Let me taste your tears. (leans in to lick EVES tears) Such melancholy. Such innocence…. Play on, child. I must know your name.
EVE: I can tell you. My name/is…
PANACEA: (shouts) Don’t speak it. I will find your name. That is how I will find your essence. Now play.
(EVE begins to play, looks in the eyes of PANACEA. While EVE plays, PANACEA licks the tears from her face and begins to suck on the air of EVES parted lips. EVE falls to the floor. PANACEA looks down at her, PANACEA sits at the piano, begins to play a neurotic piece of music. PANACEA finishes the piece, gets up, nudges EVE with her foot.)
PANACEA: I dedicate this piece to you. The essence of Eve – foolish. foolish Eve. (gets up leaves pushing past the crowd)
(Outside in the garden, EVE sits at the piano playing – she keeps making mistakes. Stops and starts. VLADIMIR paces up and down wears gloves)
VLADIMIR: No. That is not it? Where is the haunting draw, the sweet enchanting forest where we forget all pain? Start again.
EVE: (hesitates) Can you just listen, please.
VLADIMIR: I am. This is not good enough. (realizes) How many times, Cherie? You are already behind and the show starts in less than a fortnight.
(EVE begins to play. EVE stops and puts her hands to her forehead. VLADIMIR stops pacing and rushes to EVE)
VLADIMIR: I know I push you. You know I want the best for you. You have another headache?
VLADIMIR: (takes a bottle from his jacket) Here take one as precited. This is all nerves. The mind plays horrible tricks on someone who is utterly gifted.
EVE: But don’t you find it most peculiar? What an unusual woman. It felt so real. Are you sure you didn’t see/her?
VLADIMER: Mon Cherie, no more with this talk of absurdness’ have a duty to provide for our community. (motions to ENTOURAGE to make EVE presentable) ah, here come the publicity people. (to EVE) Not now, Cherie. Performance face – smile –a little more- higher. Manifique (ENTOURAGE fix makeup and hair, take pictures. Flashes of light and voices commanding EVE what to do. EVE poses then frowns)
PHTOPGRAPHER: Turn left. No left. Chin up – Aliyah fix her make up. Liberty her hair is not staying static. Eve, place your hands just so. More delicately. Girl, move her into position.
EVE frowns, VLADIMIR with a wave of his hands clears away the entourage. Everything is quiet again.)
VLADIMER: Cherie, what do you want me to tell you? An untruth. I saw you were fatigued, I found you at the foot of your piano. I picked you up and called on Doctor soigneur immediately.
EVE: Please, Vlad. I haven’t stopped having nightmares. I don’t feel myself. The boy…He is Everywhere.
VLADIMIR: And that is precisely why you were to take the prescribed pills for your disorder. We’ve all been through a lot (more patient) I can’t collude with these fantasies.
EVE: I feel lost. No – I misplaced. Since Panacea, all I see is this boy. I feel more sickness in my heart/than ever.
VLADIMER: Ha! What a perfect name for someone to help you regain your sight. (laughs) I love your imagination. You cannot grasp how important this next performance is. People ae coming seeking for jubilee, peace, coming from afar, the Americas, England. Important writers, artistes. Don’t you see?
EVE: No, Vlad, I don’t.
VLADIMIR: Come repose with me on our favourite bench in the jardinière. We can play our favourite game. (helps EVE up and walks to the bench in the garden both sit down)
EVE: I don’t want to guess what the colours look like. Everything has become so triste. I know you want the best for me.for our community I – can we stop for today/ I..
VLADIMER: (Sits EVE down on the bench/VLADIMIRE sits down and admires the Garden) Feel the wind. Smell the fleurs. This always lifts your spirits.
(EVE puts her hands to her cover her face and screams out)
EVE: Don’t touch me! (lights flicker in multi colours- EVE stands up and stumbles backwards. VLADIMIR rushes to catch her) Eve, what is it? Control your senses.
(Sounds of houses exploding. Windows shatter, Gun shots. Screams of men, children and women.EVE points to a war zone. EVE starts to run towards the noise of screams)
EVE: The war. It’s started again. Run. Vlad.
VLADIMIR: looks around to where EVE is running. Looks confused)
VLADIMIR: Cherie, calm yourself. There is nothing there. Let’s get you back to your room.
EVE: It’s happening. I have sight. Can’t you see? Hear? What is wrong with you? They are shooting innocent people (A woman’s voices cries out as she is being raped. EVE runs to towards the attack, VLADIMIR stops her. There is a struggle, the cry of people burning alive and dying. Silence and then a BOY starts to howl in pain. EVE cries) That boy, he’s in pain. He’s oh – Mon Dieu -is ablaze
VLADIMIR: Enough! (picks up EVE and attempts to take EVE back inside)
EVE: There is a boy. He’s on fire. You can’t leave a child. (to DISFIGURED BOY) What is your name child?
VLADIMIR: (firmly)There is nothing there.
EVE: Look! That poor boy. (to BOY) It’s okay, we’re getting help.
VLADIMIR: (looks back and puts EVE down on the piano chair.) Take these. Now. You need to stop this. You want people to talk. Say how you are a crazy fool.
EVE: Talk? About what? People dying. Innocent people. We are at war, again. Why did you not summon the staff to help? We were the closest to -that boy.
VLADIMIR: There is no one there. (shouts). Nothing. No boy on fire. No war, you are hallucinating. Shut up!
EVE: That boy. (looks up and past VLADIMIR’S shoulder. Frightened she points) There he is, right behind you. His face. (walks towards the DISFIGURED BOY) How can you be alive, child?
VLADIMIR: Enough! I’m trying to look after you.
EVE|: (EVE touches VLADIMIR’S face) You know I wouldn’t ever lie to you. The boy is a mess. Disfigured for life. Who will look after him if we don’t? (to the DISFIGURED BOY,in darkness) Don’t be afraid- We can help you.
VLADIMIR: (slaps EVE across the face) How dare you! You vexed wrench
EVE: I’m not crazy. I’ telling you the truth.
VLADIMIR: Who have you been talking to? Tell me now.
EVE: Nobody, Panacea. She gave me. I can see…
VLADIMIR: She must be some spy. I get it now. Oh Merde, alors!
EVE: A spy? Why would you have spies? That is irrational.
VLADIMIR: What witchcraft is this? (Grabs EVE’s arms) close your eyes, wretched girl. You ungrateful wretched girl. Everything I’ve done. For you.
EVE: Why can’t you see him. He’s right behind you.
VLADIMIR: I forbid you to speak. Spies trying to plot my demise. You see nothing – only what you have ever felt. You see the real me. (places EVES hands on his face)
SCENE THREE Pain
(It is the day of the concerto. EVE is led by VLADIMIR to her piano in the centre of the courtyard. It is a bright day. EVE sits down to play. EVE starts and stops. Composes herself. A collective intake of breath from a crowd. Silence. EVE looks around and then begins to play a song so painful tears stream down her face. There is the wail of cries from THE CROWD. They are being drawn into EVE’S song. The song takes on a hauntingly melancholic tone. MAN cries out from the darkness of the crowd)
MAN: I thought you were here to light our sorrows not waddle in them
(THE CROWD murmurs in agreement. EVE continues to play. The melody grows more and more melancholic. Then furious and choppy)
MAN: (to VLADIMIR) What’s wrong with the ole girl, Scar? I want my heart to forgot about all my woes, little dove. Play something else. Play something else.
CROWD: (whispers and chants over and over) play something else.
(EVE carries on Tears streaming down her face. VLADIMIR comes into the arena and whispers in EVES ear. EVE changes the tune to a more upbeat piece –one with more cheer and spirit. The crowd cheers- shadows draw closer to her like a moth to a flame. EVE bangs hard on the piano. EVE stands up. She looks to the crowd – the audience and points out at the AMERICAN MAN)
EVE: How can you delude yourself – when last night your honest and loyal wife questioned you about your whereabouts/ You beat her. That is why she has pain around her eye. (All lights focus on AMERICAN MAN and his WIFE. WIFE takes a hand to her battered eye to hide it.)
MAN: What would you know about my whereabouts when you can’t even see?
EVE: Your wife knows the truth, you should leave her to get on without you.
MAN: You leave my business to me and you concentrate on yourself on entertaining us. Don’t need some woman thinking.
EVE: (to WIFE) You know he’s with another. Day and night. He beats you because he knows she will never leave her husband. You don’t have to live like this. You don’t have to live with this abuse.
MAN: (shoves WIFE behind him) how dare you speak such lies. You are a witch. A temptress. An evil mark shows itself on you. You may be fair but those exotic features.
EVE: No. the evil mark likes on you.
MAN: You are supposed to be blind. What a charade – looks at this trickster (to THE CROWD) How would she know I am in the crowd if she has no sight?
EVE: I’ve been cursed with sight.
THE CROWD: (CHANTS) Gypsy! Gyspy! Gypsy
EVE: I’m not a Gypsy! France is my home. You flock to me to forget about your vices, your impulses, your humdrum existence. I am not your remedy. I play from my heart. My heart sees what it sees.
VLADIMIR: Eve! Enough, Sit down and play for your welcoming audience. (softer) Now.
EVE: In my heart, I see your old man and you (she points to EUROPEAN LADY in the crowd)
You! that sparkly watch that doesn’t fit your wrist is from a day haggling at the market. Ripping off fancy men. After this show, you will sell all you have – including your flesh to escape from the world you despise.
LADY: Trollope- we’ve heard the rumours Gypsy girl .
VLADIMIR: My esteemed friends. – this is but part o the show. An experimental piece, if you like. Our eve here is tired. the gifted do sometimes have a bit of those head malaises, non?
EVE: You all pour your sorrows into me-I can only play what I see and feel and this is what you will hear tonight.
VLADIMIR: sit down (THE CROWD jeer at EVE. VLADIMIR forces EVE down into her seat.) Play. Do your job.
(EVE sits still, the light is dim, so dim and when she begins to play again she pounds at the keys with anger, cholere. EVE cackles sneers – kicks at the piano in rage)
EVE: Damn you – all of you! I’m not your plaster. I’m not your cure. I am a young woman who absorbs all your pain. I want to be free. free. Go all of you.
VLADIMIR: apologies friends. You heard of her fall. The accident? she has been unwell. (EVE doesn’t look at him or the crowd – she walks out of the circle of the crowd and into the dark. A moan comes out that doesn’t sound human. An animal sound of a cow being slaughtered. EVE stands and looks past VLADIMIR’S shoulder)
EVE: Panacea! You. What did you do to me?
VLADIMIR: (carries on trying to calm the crowd) Please, apologies. She is ill. She – I will make sure you all are reimbursed for this terrible, I mean uneventful experimental performance.
EVE: Don’t just stand there. You lied to me. You lied. What is this curse you give me? Why?
(PANACEA comes out from the shadows and walks through the crowd and past VLADIMIR and EVE and sits down at the piano and begins to play that frenetic piece of music – ‘Eve’s Essence’. VLADIMIR freezes and goespale. The CROWD quieten.)
EVE: My song. (runs towards PANACEA) Give me back my essence-evil woman.
VLADIMIR: (catches hold of EVE by the arm) How can you know this song?
EVE: Now? Now you can hear what I hear. Why not what I see, your stupid fool of a man. Look! I implore thee.
VLADIMIR: (To EVE) Enough with these games. What is it you want from? Tell me. Who corrupted you?
EVE: That is my song. My essence. She is playing my song.
VLADIMIR: Your song. Ha! Who told you? Don’t make me strike out at you again.
EVE: You know this song? I’ve tried to remember since Panacea stole it from me. Sight she promised. A gift. A trade off. I’ve been bamboozled.
VLADIMIR: Don’t make me turn around and march over to that damn piano and chop it up then burn it. I gave you everything. After everything I did for you – for us. This. (THE CROWD is silent. Shadows of THE CROWD draw to PANACEA playing ‘Eve’s essence’.
EVE: I’m not doing anything. Please, Vlad. I would never hurt you.
VLADIMIR: Who found you at the orphanage? Took you in? promised to nurture you? Who promised to take care of my blued eyed Fair haired gypsy girl? you betray me- like this.
EVE: Gypsy girl?
VLADIMER: I can never forgive you. This is not the girl I knew. You are ruined.
EVE: Vlad, (looks over at PANACEA, eyes widen) Why is that boy there? ( to DISFIGURED BOY) come here. Stay away from her. (to VLADIMIR) Why is that boy close to her. He is beckoning you….
VLADIMIR: (begins to cry) You can’t do this to me.
EVE: Do what? See with your own eyes. Don’t do this to me! Make me out to be a mad vexed woman.
(PANACEA stops playing, abruptly.)
PANACEA: Don’t be afraid boy. (VLADIMIR jumps in fright) You can’t escape who you are. Don’t worry I can assure you I can’t see. Not even your bloodied parents anymore.
EVE What are you? What is she talking about?
PANACEA: You were all I had… you deserted me. And I’m evil? I didn’t choose this gifted curse. I was born with it – Just like Eve except she saw nothing
VLADIMIR: No, you are not real. I don’t believe it. (to EVE) Stop torturing me. You are playing with me.
PANACEA: Boy. I don’t blame you for leaving the revolution but to leave a lady to those priggish animals and steal my money.
VLADIMIR: Shut up You evil wrench. I left you for dead. It’s impossible. That was my family’s inheritance.
EVE: Impossible? what’s impossible? How do you know this creature? Answer me. Who is she?
VLADIMIR: No woman in your condition could have survived – in those conditions. I refuse to /believe this.
EVE: You know her. (PANACEA laughs)
VLADIMIR: These are… Eve, these are extraordinary circumstances I find myself in. Stop laughing your old cow. Stop it. (PANACEA begins to play ‘Eve’s essence’)
EVE: These are certainly not circumstances I foresaw. If you know something about this then spit it out or damn you both to hell.
VLADIMIR: (quietly)We never spoke of –well, I demanded that when I took you as my own we would never talk about how I found myself in that orphanage.
EVE: You are an honourable man. Are you not?
VLADIMIR: You were born in Romaine. The orphanage- was both of our home’s. Few places like that are kind and they were, especially during those times. Our country was in flames. Blood everywhere. Corpses. Vile acts. There you were- abandoned.
VLADIMIR: We survived. You were a baby. I didn’t know you were impaired. I knew what our people would do to a fair-haired Roma like yourself. We escapNo-one-one would suspect us, they said. They promised freedom, n new life. All I must do was help smuggle in weapons. You were the only one who wasn’t frightened of me. You only saw the good in me. Your lack of sight was my rebirth- our rebirth
EVE: Lies. Obsession with fame and my looks and glory and… I thought I was helping people.
VLADIMIR: You are. You were… The world with eyes is a hell of its own, I tell you. Your greatest gift was to give your heart to those who so desperately needed to forget – what they see- have seen.
PANACEA: Boy. How long are you going to drag this out? Get on with it. We shall make a man out of you yet.
EVE: (to PANACEA) Who are you?
VLADIMIR: (softly)My grand mere – she was – is (turns around see’s PANACEA is horrified) is… but how?
PANACEA: No, boy. I’m not a ghost, not a witch just cursed with unusual gift of seeing the past of every filthy boar piggish human. Yes, what are the odds? I should never have been discovered but life has its twists… and magic of sorts.
VLADIMIR: I didn’t mean to leave you.
PANACEA: I have been waiting for the right moment. Biding my time. Waiting to sense what kind of man you become- and Eve was truly a find.
EVE: you can’t see, Grandmere. Only the.
PANCEA: Past- I struck a deal with mad Bolshevik. I got more than I bargained for. The senile old man missed his wife –wanted to live in the past and I would settle for the future – we merely wanted it so much –we got what we wished for.
EVE: What have you inflicted me with?
PANACEA: How he adores you, loves you. You see Eve. Vladimir for all his grandiose gestures is superficial. Not the benevolent man he pretends to be.
VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere stop. I’m sorry. I was a child…
PANACEA: (ignores VLADIMIR) The only reason people accept him is because of you. Or what you had. Beauty, innocence, the gift to soothe all pain from others with your playing.
EVE: No, he has been there for me.
PANCEA: If you had eyes like I now do or indeed like the rest of this crowd you would see he is a monster. A disfigurement. You were his key to this fickle world accepting him.
EVE: What is she talking about?
VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere I was haunted by your recantations of my dead family. You terrified me. I still don’t understand this curse.
PANACEA: Maybe you understand it a little better now – it is your curse too. Life is all about lessons and there is as lesson to be learned here. Something about appearances etcetera etcetera… but what do I know? (starts to play – THE CROWD are lured by PANACEA’S playing, under a spell)
VLADIMIR: You must restore her. Grand’Mere –she is innocent. Please.
PANACEA: We all are at some point.
EVE: I wanted it so much. I wanted to see. How wrong was I?
VLADIMIR: give it back. Give Eve what is rightly hers. It’s me you seek to punish
PANACEA: (stops playing) Stop trying to fight it. You know what you really want to do.
VLADIMIR: She is an innocent
PANACEA: Used by the likes of you, boy.
VLADIMIR: I can take care of you. I have money, estate everything. Let me make it up to you.
PANACEA: Doesn’t work like that. I’m not some conjurer. I was merely born into this world with my fate and somehow that fate changed. I haven’t the answers.
EVE: But I don’t want this sight. I don’t want it.
PANACEA: Those touched can’t ever be untouched again.
VLADIMIR: But you. You see.
PANACEA: Keep up. I saw the future. Now I see nothing. Just like Eve. I feel and I play and I have what I want.
EVE: But if you can see the future, how is it I can see the past?
PANACEA: Obviously, I should have taken you for a fool. I think you are missing the point. I don’t decide how the universe decides. I saw an opportunity and I took it. I’m merely human after all. (starts playing again)
(EVE and VLADIMIR look at each other)
VLADIMIR: I’m sorry Eve. I was…
EVE: I can’t bear to live like this.
VLADIMIR: Yes. Life is…. You didn’t have to see that.
EVE: We can’t undo this? (unwillingly moves towards PANACEA.)
VLADIMIR: I’m sorry, mon Cherie but I can’t stop myself much longer. I must forget. I must forget if only for a while.
(VLADIMIR walks up to PANACEA and strokes her hair, kisses her, then listens to her play.
EVE: You can’t leave me. I can’t do this. Panacea please! (starts walking closer and closer to soft music) I will never forgive you but alas, I can’t fight this pain any longer. Make it go it away. (slumps at the feet of PANACEA who plays on. lights down.)
IF YOU MADE IT TO THE END. I SALUTE YOU 🙂
(copyright Daisy Willows/ Natasha Bodley)