lundi 29 mars 2010

ON THE CHAIR LIFT by Jean-Baptiste Desforges

From "An Evening of words and theatre" performance at the Ecole Polytechnique on the 17 February 2010.

by Jean-Baptiste Desforges.

Acted by Mathilde Leclercq, Mathilde Paré, Pierre Salomon and Loic Was
(photos of them are seen here)

The scene takes place in a French ski resort. Four people are waiting for a chair lift to take them up the slope : two young American snowboarders, called Peter and Steven, and a British skiing couple, Mr. and Ms Smith. The boys are noisy and look coarse, the couple seems very distinguished.
The chair lift eventually arrives and picks them up, a little brutally.

PETER (very loudly) : Gosh, this one is fast! Feel it?
STEVEN (as loud) : Oh! Man! It has just kicked my ass!
(They put the protection bar down in front of them.)
Mr. SMITH (discreetly to his wife) : What a pleasure to get some rest, my dear, isn’t it?
Ms SMITH : You are perfectly right, my dear.
Mr. SMITH : And what a pleasure to ski on such delicious snow and in such sunny weather, isn’t it?
Ms SMITH : Absolutely, my dear.
PETER (still loudly) : Man! That slope was fucking good! Did you see my back flip?
STEVEN : Sure, man!
PETER : Almost killed a fucking young boy, man!
STEVEN : Yeah ! He should have learnt to ski before…
PETER : Did you see his mother, man?
STEVEN : Yeah, I thought she would kill you ! Mother’s are so nervous when you get close to their “lovely kids” .
PETER : Did you see her clothes, man? Her pink ski suit and her ridiculous hat? She almost killed me with her look, man. She’s living a century ago!
STEVEN : Man, she was so ugly ! I
wouldn’t even touch her with a stick !
(They both laugh loudly and coarsely. Mr. and Ms Smith seem annoyed and ill-at-ease.)
Mr. SMITH : Darling, would a piece of cake make you happy?
Ms SMITH : With pleasure, my dear, you are so gentle.
(He gives her a piece of cake. She eats with her little finger up. Steven and Peter look at them and begin to laugh.)
STEVEN (imitating Mr. Smith’s tone) : Darling, would you like a beer?
PETER (playing the same game) : Sure, Darling, you are so lovely.

(They both take a beer, open it, drink it straight down in one gulp then they both burp and laugh loudly again.)
Mr. SMITH (visibly shocked, discretely to his wife) : They must be American. Do you see how vulgar they are?
Ms SMITH : Doubtless, my dear.
STEVEN (to Peter): Those damned Brits are so hung up!
PETER : Sure, man!
(Suddenly, the chair lift stops.)
STEVEN (loudly) : Come on, man! Those fucking French chair lifts always stop!
PETER : Fucking French ! Nothing works in their country!
Mr. SMITH (to his wife): What a pleasant pause. Let’s enjoy the panorama. I love the panorama. Those mountains are so wonderful. Aren’t they?
Ms SMITH : They are, my dear.
Mr. SMITH : What about a cup of tea, my dear? I have some hot water…
Ms SMITH : Oh, my dear, you are so adorable.
(They begin to prepare some tea and to drink it, little fingers up.)
STEVEN (getting angry): Come on! I won’t spend the day on here because some French guys can’t build a chair lift that works!
(He lights a cigarette, and blows the smoke toward the Smiths. They grimace but don’t react. On the slope, a resort employee arrives with a loudspeaker.)
Mr. SMITH : Look, my dear, a resort employee has arrived with a loudspeaker. He will tell us what is going on.
Ms SMITH : Probably, my dear.
THE EMPLOYEE (in French, through the loudspeaker) : Mesdames et Messieurs, nous sommes désolés pour cette panne. Le moteur sera réparé dans quelques minutes. Merci de votre patience.
STEVEN : Oh, come on ! This fucking man can’t speak English like everybody else? I don’t know what the hell he told us!
Mr. SMITH (to Steven): Please, forgive my indiscretion. I think I heard you say you didn’t understand the message of that employee. Is that true?
STEVEN (a little destabilized) : Well... Um… Yes...
Mr. SMITH : He actually told us that the engine failure was impossible to fix quickly, and that we would have to wait one hour or two.
PETER : Gosh !! Damned French !!
Ms SMITH : Then he told us that people can jump from the chair lift if they would like, since we are not very high and the snow is very powdery under the chair lift.
STEVEN : Really?
PETER : Okay, let’s do that.
(Peter and Steven remove the protection bar from their side of the chair lift. They hesitate for a while then they both jump. We hear them screaming as they fall onto the snow, which is not powdery in the least. Then the chair lift restarts.)
Mr. SMITH : I think the journey should be quieter now. Don’t you agree, my dear?
Ms SMITH : You are perfectly right, my dear.


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