Natalya foreword



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NATALYA sits up, looks at him.
NATALYA

You must be brother. Brain...but spelt different.
BRIAN

I'm Brian. (He follows her off.)
BA tries to dance in the red shoes to lazy country music. She totters, topples - kicks off the shoes and dances barefoot, tossing her hair to the beat. She lifts her arms in enjoyment.
SCENE FOUR

EBBA and JACK, relaxing.
JACK

How was the book signing?
EBBA

Horrible as ever. I kept catching this little man's eye at the back of the queue. He never stopped staring. By the time he got to the table I felt like taking my top off for him.
JACK

I'll kill the bastard. (Nuzzles her.) So - there was a queue?
EBBA

Oh yes. All morning.
JACK

She's good, Michelene.
EBBA

Yes.
JACK

Great publicist.
EBBA

Yes.
JACK

Somebody has to do it.
EBBA

Do they?
JACK

(Sings) `Money makes the world go round' -
EBBA

What about art for art's sake?
JACK

Wrong century.
NATALYA enters with BRIAN.
NATALYA

This man is rapist. I am concussed. Ebba, pliz, I need bath with oil and everything nice...come and talk...wicked man! (She goes. EBBA shrugs, follows.)
JACK

Didn't know you were seeing Natalya. How's it going?
BRIAN

All right.
JACK

Pretty stunning, don't you think? There's something unusual ...other...about her.
BRIAN

Oh, that's just because her mind's not on it.
JACK

Oh? (Laughs.)


BRIAN

Prossies are all the same.
JACK

Prossies?
BRIAN

Prostitutes. The good-looking ones are never any good.
JACK

What?
BRIAN

Still, very professional woman. Doesn't waste time.
JACK

Christ. Bugger me. Can't believe you go in for that sort of thing.
BRIAN

(Simply) I haven't got time to take women out to dinner.
JACK

Sure but I mean...you don't seem - how did you get into it?
BRIAN

A friend of mine...we used to go fishing. I went round to see him one night, couldn't raise anybody, tried the back door, next minute his Mum had me flat on the eiderdown - ten quid. There's always a back door with a little woman. It's good, you know where you are.
JACK

Yes...yes, I can see - I mean, I've never thought of paying for it myself. Still. Well. There you are. How about now, though?
BRIAN

Now?
JACK

Now that you're getting married. Will you give them up...the prossies?


BRIAN

(Thinks, then) No. No, I shouldn't think so.
JACK

Won't she mind? Michelene?
BRIAN

Michelene?
JACK

Michelene. The woman you're going to marry.
BRIAN

(Vague) Oh...yes...
JACK

You are going to...marry her. She is under that impression. The arrangements on her side appear to be pretty well advanced.
BRIAN

Really?
JACK

Look...Brian...if you're not convinced that nuptials with the Maid Michelene are a good idea, shouldn't you -
BRIAN

No, it's all right.
JACK

So long as you're sure about it.
BRIAN

If it's what she wants. It seems to be what she's after.
JACK

How about you?
BRIAN

Mmm. Did you know they built married quarters on campus in the Sixties in America? (JACK, puzzled, shakes his head.) To encourage breeding - you need 180-plus IQs for astro-physics. Now we need brains for biology.
JACK

So you want to marry in order to have -
BRIAN

Jack, very soon I shall be able to keep you alive for 300 years.
JACK

Yeah? Hmmn.
BRIAN

What?
JACK

If you'd been able to do that 100 years ago, Victoria could still be on the throne.



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