vendredi 20 février 2009

An Afternoon of Words & Theatre 4: Qiu Gonghao

Dish Washer, by Qiu Gonghao
Staging by Agnés Fliscounakis and Hervé Desprets

This is a one act play with a husband and a wife, after dinner.

Husband: I’ve finished, darling.

Wife: What do you mean by that, Tom?

Husband: I mean, I’ve finished eating dinner, Jane.

Wife: And I should do the dishes. Is that what you mean?

Husband: I’d love to help, dear, but don’t forget that it’s Thursday night…

Wife: Right.

Husband: And I do the dishes only on weekends.

Wife: Listen, Tom. Our life needs a change.

Husband: A change? You do them 4 days a week and I’ll do them the other 3? Would that make you feel better?

Wife: No, a real change, Tom. A real one.

Husband: You do them on weekends and I’ll take the weekdays?!

Wife: No!

Husband: You’re challenging my authority in the family, Jane. It’s me who
makes the rules.

Wife: No darling, just a little change and there will be no tedious dish washing at all.

Husband: Are you asking me to take over the task of a woman?

Wife: No, darling, I am suggesting that we can by a dish washer, Tom. I’ve been asking you for one ever since the day we got married.

Husband: So you know the answer.

Wife: But I also want to know the reason.

Husband: Because it’s too expensive. We can’t afford it.

Wife: What! We can’t afford a dish washer which costs 300 bucks?

Husband: But it isn’t worth the price, Jane. You know those machines always do a bad job. We wash our dishes better then any dishwasher.

Wife: I am bored by the dreadful time spent washing dishes! It’s a waste of time!

Husband: Ok. So tell me, what will you do if you have 30 minutes of free time?

Wife: Talk with you.

Husband: Which means I will lose 30 minutes’ time of my own.

Wife: (Silence) That’s why you don’t want a dishwasher, Tom? You hate listening to me!

Husband: You said it, dear, not me.

Wife: Do you know how much time I have spent on this family? I make your breakfast, feed your dog, wash your dirty clothes, make the dinner and wash your gravy-covered dish, and you don’t have the least mercy for your pathetic wife?

Husband: Sounds bad eh?

Wife: What!

Husband: But think about me, Jane. It has been a luxury for me to have half an hour of my own after a hard day’s work. Am I asking too much?

Wife: Don’t you see I am comforting you and feel the pressure on you, and…

Husband: (shaking the wife’s shoulders) You are right, Jane. Our life needs a change.

Wife: A change? What kind of…? You mean, we’ll wash the dishes together from now on?

Husband: A real change, Jane. A real one.

Wife: Do you want to take over the washing?

Husband: No! Let’s make a deal. We will buy a dishwasher, and we will both have half an hour of free time, meaning that in that half hour you won’t try to bother me.

Wife: Bother you?

Husband: Or comfort me?

Wife: No way! That’s my answer, you selfish man! I’d rather do the dishes myself.

Husband: As you like, my dear.

Wife: But don’t forget tomorrow, Friday, it will be your turn to do them!

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