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Part 10. The Theatre by the Thames and Some Wayward Mobile Texts

Later Saturday afternoon.  By the River Thames.

Carmen, Ana and Maria

Carmen, Ana and Maria are walking along the Embankment near Westminster Bridge.  They have just passed the London Eye and are approaching the National Theatre.

CARMEN:  Anyway Maria, why were you so late?  Ana and I were hanging around for half an hour!

MARIA:     I was reading.

ANA:          Reading?  Where?

MARIA:     In my room, and I fell asleep.

CARMEN:  Ah, in your room, were you? Well, well. The point is that you kept us waiting.  Anyway, here’s the National Theatre.  Wait a moment.  I have all the information in my little book.  Yes, here it is.  The Theatre was built in the 1970s.  The first thing to catch the eye is the main tower, which is very tall.

MARIA:     Tall.  He’s so tall!

ANA:          Who’s tall?

MARIA:     Olly of course.

CARMEN:  But you said he was short.

MARIA:     Well, at that time I was blind. I never saw how tall he was!

CARMEN: (Reading her book) There are, in fact, three separate theatres in the building.  The Olivier Theatre is the biggest, and it’s named after Sir Laurence Olivier.  He was the big attraction in the 50s and 60s. 

MARIA:     Attractive.  He’s so attractive.

ANA:         Who’s attractive?  Sir Laurence Olivier?

MARIA:     No, Oliver of course, not Olivier! There’s a difference.

CARMEN:  Yes, I suppose there is. But you said Olly was ugly.

ANA:           Yes, you definitely said he was ugly.

MARIA:      Well, at that time I didn’t see clearly!

CARMEN:  Well, to the purpose.  The theatre has some very clever….   

MARIA:      He’s so clever.

ANA:           Don’t tell me.  Let me guess!  Oliver is!

CARMEN:  But you said he was stupid.

ANA:           Yes, you definitely said he was stupid.

MARIA:     Well, I didn’t realise how clever he was!

CARMEN:  (To Ana) There you are, you see.  It worked!  I told you it would!  Here’s the living proof.  She’s fallen in love!  And now she’s in love, she’ll be even worse than before!  (To Maria) Here we are.  This is the entrance.

Maria, Ana and I want to go on a guided tour of the building.  It takes about an hour.  The next tour starts in 5 minutes. 

MARIA:     OK.  Let’s all go!  (Her mobile rings) Wait a minute!

CARMEN:  Come on Ana.  Just leave her!  If we don’t join the tour now, we’ll miss it!

Carmen and Ana go on the tour and visit the three theatres in the National Theatre.  An hour later they come back to the entrance.

ANA:           That was great.  It was an hour well spent! It’s amazing how much of a theatre you never see when you just watch a play. Where’s Maria?

CARMEN:  There she is.  And she’s still on the phone! 

MARIA:  (On her mobile) OK then, see you tonight!  At seven o’clock! Ciao! (To Carmen and Ana) Right, where’s this tour?

CARMEN:  “Where’s this tour?”  What do you mean, “Where’s this tour?”  We’ve done it!  It’s finished!  It’s over!

MARIA:     Already?  Never mind.  What was the Oliver Theatre like?

ANA:          It’s the Olivier! Not Oliver! There’s a difference!

CARMEN: You should have seen it.  It was marvellous!

MARIA:     I meant to come. I’m sorry but I really meant to come!

The Imperial Hotel, Russell Square

Early evening

Carmen, Ana, Maria, Calum, Harry and Oliver all meet in reception.

CARMEN:  It’s seven o’clock, and we’re all here.  This is very punctual.

CALUM:    Well, Olly kept hurrying us along. He said we were going to be late!

CARMEN:  Yes, I know what you mean.  We had the same problem with Maria!  They have both suddenly become very worried about the time! So, we want to go to the theatre.  What do you suggest, Calum?

CALUM:    Well, I thought we could all go and see “The Mousetrap”.

MARIA:     What’s “The Mousetrap”?

CALUM:    It’s a whodunit by Agatha Christie. It’s on at St Martin’s Theatre.

MARIA:     Whodunit?  Whodunit?   Now wait a minute, Calum.  Shouldn’t it be “Who did it?”  In my grammar book…

CARMEN:  I know.  I know.  But it’s a whodunit.  That’s what detective stories are called here.  You don’t know who done it, I mean who did it, until the last moment. It’s a sort of joke I suppose.

ANA:          The English sense of humour!  Ha ha!

MARIA:     And what’s wrong with the English sense of humour?

ANA:          Maria, do you feel OK?

MARIA:     Of course I feel OK.  Don’t be ridiculous Ana!  You just don’t understand the English!

ANA:          Well, really!  That’s rich coming from you.

CARMEN:  Anyway, this play has been on in London for over 60 years.  60 years without a break! It’s in the Guinness Book of Records, so we must go.

ANA:          OK.

MARIA:     Um, well actually, I can’t go.

CARMEN and ANA:     Oh, and why not?

MARIA:     I’m… I’m doing something else.

CARMEN and ANA:     And we know what that is!

MARIA:     No, you don’t!  You haven’t any idea!

OLIVER:    I’m afraid I can’t go either.  You see, I’m doing something else too!

CALUM and HARRY:  And we know what that is!

OLIVER:    Oh no, you don’t!

CALUM:    Look, you two have been sending texts by mistake to everyone except to each other.  I’ve got one on my mobile, and so has Ana!

ANA:           Yes, listen to this from Oliver. (Produces her mobile and reads)  “Maria…”


ANA:           (She continues reading) “Darling!” 


ANA:           (She continues) “I love you more than I can tell.

An hour without you is an hour of hell!”


CALUM:    And here’s another from Maria, which I found on my mobile!

(Gets out his mobile and reads) “Olicito!


CALUM:    Te quiero más que ayer y menos que mañana!


OLIVER:    What does that mean?

CARMEN:  I love you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow!

ANA, CALUM, HARRY:       Ah!

OLIVER:    There’s no denying it, I suppose.  This is the proof.  Betrayed by our own mobiles.

MARIA:     Well, there we are then. London has changed. I have changed. Everything has changed. And now Olly and I are going to have dinner together. Bye!

Olly and Maria leave.

CARMEN:  So, all’s well that ends well, in the words of Shakespeare, who else!  Let’s make for the Mousetrap!  Let’s find out whodunit!