Natalya foreword



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EBBA looks at her, concedes the likeliness of this.
NATALYA

In any case, he gives me car.

EBBA

Your film producer?
NATALYA

Nah, nah. Porsche is from Gray-ham. You don't know him.
EBBA

A Porsche?! (Whistles.) Who's Graham?!
NATALYA

Swit man - very little but so generous -ach, I leave him in Liberty House! I am asking to him to hold tape measure, then I think - oh, my present for Ebba...I am close to Kaspia...nice shop...
EBBA

Hadn't you better go and get him?
NATALYA

De nada.
EBBA

He might want his Porsche back.
NATALYA

Too late, I already sold it. For you!
EBBA

(Unwraps a huge tin of caviare.) Natalya - caviare? - this must have cost a fortune!
NATALYA

(Calls.) Jack...vodka! (To EBBA) You don't mind I sleep with Jack?
EBBA

Well -
NATALYA

I like so much the English gentleman -
EBBA

Hah!
NATALYA

- without class system, what is left? Money? Not romantic. Duchess - Your Majesty... welcome to castle, Serene Highness.
EBBA

It's crap and you know it.
NATALYA

So the shy boy is King! - what you want from life...meaning? Ah - Jack -
JACK

(Enters.) Vodka.
NATALYA

(With a flourish) Blinis...creme fraiche...plates!
EBBA

Oh, these are beautiful! Where did you - ?
NATALYA

Thomas Goode. Nice shop.
EBBA

(Admiring plates) From Graham? The film producer?
NATALYA

I borrow. (EBBA winces.) The film producer... verflucht. (They sit on the floor and eat from the tin.) He wants me for film. Original script. Woman who hates herself. `Is cosmic!' I say, in Russia we know all this, and much more...it is banal, your script.
EBBA

And?
NATALYA

(Mouth full.) They like you to agree with them, film producers.

JACK

This is great.
NATALYA

Beluga. The best. Don't need lemon juice... egg, onion...only when caviare is bad.
JACK

Slanche! (They drink) Yow!

EBBA

My God, Natalya, do you always knock it back like that? Your liver!
NATALYA

Nah, nah, nah. All bad liver in Russia extinct centuries ago. Only warriors survive!
They knock back the caviare, and drink some more.
NATALYA

(Lying back) Oh I feel so good. Maybe I volunteer for good works. You think I am the type, Jack?
JACK

No.
NATALYA

(Sighs) You see? (To EBBA) I tried before, but I was refused.
EBBA

Why?
NATALYA

Wrong shoes.
EBBA

A guy gave her a car and she sold it.
JACK

How much?
NATALYA

Ten thousand.
JACK

What are you going to do with the dough?
EBBA

(Hopeful) Down payment on an apartment? In Honolulu?
NATALYA

It is sent already to Russia. To my brother.

JACK

He's in trouble?

NATALYA

Nah, nah. (She staggers to her feet.) I must go to clinic.
EBBA

(Alarmed) Why, what's wrong?
NATALYA

To sell blood. I am rare type...one hundred pounds each time.
EBBA

(She is getting drunk) Fuck, I'm only bloody boring A...he's even more boring...O.
NATALYA

He can sell his come. Intelligent, tall handsome Caucasian...good sperm fetch good price.
EBBA

Imagine...lots of little Jacks...
NATALYA

Very nice.
EBBA

He doesn't think so. You watch - he'll get up and leave the room.
JACK

It's that or fuck you both.
NATALYA

Later, when I am bloodless. He can be Dracula. (She picks up Ebba's coat, puts it on her shoulders and goes.)
EBBA

That's my only good coat.
Pause.
JACK

There's something...Bovary about her...don't you think? Come on, you find her intriguing.
EBBA

A bloody great pain in the ass, you mean. I'm not enjoying the complicity between you so don't be misled because I pretend I do.
JACK

A ship that passes in the night!
EBBA

Oh that's a good phrase, wish I'd thought of that.
JACK

You will, Oscar. (Lies back.) I'm sitting on Brighton Pier...thinking about you, of course... breathing in the good sea air...look out to sea - a boat...long way off.
EBBA

What sort of a boat?
JACK

Don't know, too far away. Sleek...comely. I watch it for a bit then a seagull yeeks and I throw it my cheese sandwich, and when I look up the boat is gone. That's it. C'est tout. A faint memory trace.
They embrace. She puts a leg over him.
EBBA

Is this me or her?
JACK

You. She's all warty and freckly.
EBBA

There isn't a wart on her.
JACK

She's a hooligan.
EBBA

You like hooligans.
She jumps him. CAROLLE's computer blows up.


SCENE THREE

NATALYA, feet up on the sofa, is reading. EBBA enters, laden with shopping. Begins to disgorge. Toilet rolls fall out. EBBA picks one up.
NATALYA

Disgusting.
EBBA

(Holding it up) Why?
NATALYA

This colour, that colour - ach!
EBBA

Whole forests felled for bourgeois butts -
NATALYA

So boring. all these choices. When can you think?
EBBA

Think? (Flops down, lies back.) Who thinks? Do you think? I don't. Thoughts...arrive, but that's different.
NATALYA

Because you are lazy and corrupt. You don't think of the depth...of what is for...only the frivolous.
EBBA

So what do you think about? Back in old Petersburg.
NATALYA

Survival. Bargain for parachute silk from air force colonel to make knickers, exchange for mascara. Queue for oranges - time for thought then, believe me.
EBBA

Oranges?
NATALYA

And when it is your turn they are green, and with withers.


EBBA

Withered. Shrivelled. Withers means something else.
NATALYA

What else?
EBBA

Part of a horse...here...
She touches NATALYA on the neck. NATALYA kisses her on the mouth.
EBBA

What did you do that for?
NATALYA

I thought you wanted. Are you not in love with me?
EBBA

(Squeaky voice) Of course not. Why - did you think I was gay? Homosexual?
NATALYA

Homosexual, heterosexual, what is the difference?
EBBA

You mean you'll sleep with anybody?
NATALYA

(Makes a hole with finger and thumb, puts in her index finger.) Not important.
EBBA

Who's corrupt now? All this pure talk about thinking.
NATALYA

I think so much better on back. (She smiles up at EBBA who laughs.)
EBBA

You're having me on.
NATALYA

Have you where? I don't understand.
EBBA

It's a phrase - it means, you're teasing me.
NATALYA

You never sell the body?
EBBA

Of course not.
NATALYA

Not from obligation? To pay debt - for nice meal?
EBBA

No!
NATALYA

Not even as apology...?
EBBA

No!!
NATALYA

Oh well. (She looks EBBA up and down)... maybe not.
The doorbell rings. EBBA looks at NATALYA who shrugs. EBBA exits to door. NATALYA picks up a book, puts her feet up on the sofa, out of sight of the others. EBBA enters, followed by MICHELENE.
MICHELENE

Look, I'm sorry. I'll have her some other time.
EBBA

I've told you, it's all right.
MICHELENE

Anyway, Ba much prefers being with you. It's this huge charity show and we're woefully under-handed.
EBBA

(Mildly) Short-handed.
MICHELENE

What?
EBBA

Perhaps I could bring her. To the show. She'd love it.
MICHELENE

Ba? No she wouldn't.
EBBA

She loves clothes.
MICHELENE

Sorry, I've got enough problems -
EBBA

What's the charity?
MICHELENE

Oh, some disease. Look, my job is to -
EBBA

I know, thoughtless of me.
MICHELENE

You'd better go and see what she's doing. Your room seems to be full of clothes, God knows what she's getting up to -
EBBA

Oh Lord, I forgot - Natalya's in there...I'll have to put Ba in the other - (EBBA rushes out, bowling over CAROLLE, hovering in the doorway.)
CAROLLE

(From the door) Sorry. Your door was open.
MICHELENE

Carolle! How's the article coming, I had a word with Ginette.
CAROLLE

Giselle.
MICHELENE

What? Oh. Anyway, we thought perhaps a little more -
CAROLLE

She said. More depth. My acupuncturist is just round the corner, so...kill two birds...
MICHELENE

Good thinking...Ebba loves your style...Christ Almighty!



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