Natalya foreword



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BRIAN waves this away.
JACK

Ebba says you need a new generation every 20 years to stop it all getting ossified and corrupt.
BRIAN

(Dismissive) Oh, Ebba.
JACK

Bright lady, your sister.
BRIAN

She's arts!
JACK

So?
BRIAN

Not where it's at - not since Newton. Science is truth.
JACK

If you say so. And Michelene fits in to all this, huh?
BRIAN

She'll do. It's either her or some other woman. She's competent, and she won't get into my head which is a plus. Granted she's a shitbag -
JACK

Natalya certainly thinks so.


BRIAN

What does she know about it? It's not for layabouts and adolescents, marriage.
JACK

Too grown-up for me, I'm telling you.

MICHELENE, down right, tries on her veil - over the face - off the face, decides on off as when it is over the face she bumps into things. Ticks it off her list on her big pink pad.
BA crosses, sees MICHELENE'S pale jacket, slips it on with a quick look round, sees MICHELENE'S smart handbag, seizes with a grunty groan of pleasure and runs off with it.
CAROLLE, down left in her corner, sits alone, watching BRIEF ENCOUNTER, sips from a mug of cocoa and sobs into a man's handkerchief.
SCENE FIVE

EBBA and NATALYA. They are in the bathroom.
NATALYA

You have aperient? I had big lunch and forgot to...(mimes putting her fingers down her throat and being sick).
EBBA

Natalya!
NATALYA

Actually I didn't forget, but I was not with toothbrush...you must brush teeth after vomit or stomach acid melts enamel.
EBBA

Ugh!
NATALYA

(Points at EBBA.) What size?
EBBA

Twelve.
NATALYA

Ten is better. To be fat is not acceptable.
EBBA

Neither's shoplifting, thieving, lying and fraudulent conversion.
NATALYA

Ebba - you are liberal!
EBBA

There is such a thing as decency.
NATALYA

There is such a thing as survival. Come to bed.
EBBA

Nothing but a bloody tealeaf you are, matey. And you tried to seduce me. Which you are rotten at.
NATALYA

You would know, uh?
EBBA

Yes!
NATALYA

I am exciting for you.
EBBA

Bollocks. You climb into my bed and when I push you out you climb back in, drink my Evian water and snore your head off.
NATALYA

I snore?!
EBBA

No. But you do talk in your sleep.
NATALYA

(Alarmed) What? - What do I say...what? (Shakes EBBA.)
EBBA

Natale! It's in Russian!
NATALYA

Oh. OK. That's OK. Sorry.
EBBA

There's a lot about you we don't know, isn't there? (NATALYA shrugs, smiles charmingly.) You turn up here, having married my lover - you pinch my man, my bed...worst of all, my books! I don't know why I don't put on the one pair of shoes - the unacceptable turd yellow winkle-pickers, bought when I was stoned - that you haven't scuffed - and give you a smart, hard kick in the vagina. The only reason I don't is...I can't make up my mind. Are you straight, or are you crooked? Totally true, or totally and absolutely utterly false.
There is one thing I do know. (NATALYA looks up sharply.) You - my Tartar friend - are up shit creek. And you are frightened - I think very frightened - about something. Now don't seek to make moral profit out of my liberal concern just because I'm on to you.

You don't have to tell me a damn thing. It might, I daresay be a hell of a lot wiser for me not to know what you're up to, where you're coming from and why. On the other hand, I am your friend and benefactor, and I am trustworthy. I am an Englishwoman.
NATALYA

(Slight pause.) My brother is in trouble. He needs to leave Russia. The money I sent is for him.
EBBA

The ten thousand?
NATALYA

Is not sufficient.
EBBA

How much do you need?
NATALYA

A lot. I have seen your papers, you do not have enough.
EBBA

(Reacts to this snooping, rallies.) So you need to get him out. Well, that shouldn't be impossible. Does he speak English?
NATALYA

Yes.
EBBA

I'll talk to Jack. We'll sponsor him as a translator...a new English version of Tolstoy... Gogol...Pushkin.
NATALYA

You can do this?
EBBA

I should think so.
NATALYA

I owe you much debt. I was thinking, maybe he could marry Ba-bar-a but -
EBBA

But no. He couldn't. Bad enough waiting for you to leave it long enough not to look phoney before you file for divorce from my lover.
NATALYA

Bring Shura here I am in your debt forever.
EBBA

What has he done?
NATALYA

He is foolish boy.
EBBA

Not the Mafia?
NATALYA

Oh them. I work for them...pussycats. These is sods from Chechnya. Putin should get wise with those thugs, nuke all of them. They are louts. (She takes out a gun.) If you must...use this...but no...they are for making with cruel, and torturing people. I love my brother.
EBBA

Is that loaded?
NATALYA

(Waving gun about) You are safe. (Throws it in EBBA's lap) Replica. For frighten. Ebba, bring him here...I will repay...I promise.
EBBA

You're actually saying something you mean.
NATALYA

It is serious business. Help me. I will do for you big, big favour.
EBBA

I don't need big big favour.
NATALYA

Who knows? Maybe you will.



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