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Part 11. Everything Comes Together


Saturday evening

Maria and Oliver are in a restaurant.

OLIVER:    Tomorrow we’ll go up the Thames in a boat.  Then we’ll go to Kew Gardens, and at Kew we’ll…

MARIA:     Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow!  Tomorrow I’m going to Madrid.

OLIVER:    But I thought you were here for another two days.

MARIA:     No, we only came for a week.  Just one little week. I’ve got to go to Madrid tomorrow!

OLIVER:    We could have gone up the Thames in a boat.  We could have spent the whole day at Kew Gardens. We could have…

MARIA:     We could have… We could have…  But we can’t.  We can’t do anything!  I’ve got to go to Madrid.  I hate Madrid!

OLIVER:    You said you loved Madrid. 

MARIA:     I know I did, but I’ve changed my mind.  London has changed! I have changed!  Everything has changed!  Tomorrow I’ll be in Barajas.  I hate Barajas!

OLIVER:    But you said….  Oh, never mind.  

MARIA:     I’ll send you a WhatsApp the moment I arrive there.  

OLIVER:    Cyberspace will be red hot with messages.   

MARIA:     Millions of texts!  A stream of texts from Piccadilly to Cibeles and back again!  Oh, Cibeles!  I’ve got to go back to Madrid!  At 9 o’clock tomorrow morning!  Tomorrow!  

OLIVER:    Well, here’s the waiter, and we haven’t even looked at the menu.  What on earth are we going to eat?

Outside St Martin’s Theatre

Carmen, Ana, Calum and Harry

CARMEN:  I really enjoyed that.

CALUM:    It’s the second time I’ve seen it.

CARMEN:  Oh.  When was the first?

CALUM:    I came with my mother when I was a boy.  I was only eight years old. And my mother went with my grandfather when she was a girl!  This is what happens!  People come and see ‘The Mousetrap’ and then later they bring their children, and then those children bring their children, and so on!

CARMEN:  It could go on for ever!

CALUM:    Well, it might!  It’s like the Tower of London or Big Ben!  It’s here for ever!  When The Mousetrap is no longer showing at St Martin’s Theatre, the kingdom of England will fall!

ANA:           Yes, I’d never have guessed that the murderer was …

HARRY:     Shhh!  Don’t say who did it.

CALUM:    You remember what they said at the end of the play.  “Tell your friends to come, but don’t tell them who did it!”
ANA:          Or even whodunit!

HARRY:     Or even whodunit!  Exactly!

CALUM:    This week we’ve seen two plays, ‘Much Ado’ and ‘The Mousetrap’. Do you realise that Shakespeare’s plays are mostly in blank verse?  Did you realise that? Think that in Shakespeare’s time the audience in the Globe loved listening to blank verse and came again for more, and yet today no one dares to use it?  The apprentices in the pit enjoyed ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and they never said, ‘Ah that’s no good.  It’s in verse. Doesn’t sound right. I want my penny back!’ Today no play in verse would last beyond the opening night or even until the first interval.  Why couldn’t ‘The Mousetrap’ be in verse?  

ANA:          Well, I have never given it much thought!   What’s more, right now I am getting very thirsty.

CALUM:    You’re so right, Ana!  I was digressing. It’s your last night in London, and so let’s all go for a drink.  All we have to do is find a pub with a table for four where we can sit together and round off your holiday.

CARMEN:  And make plans for the next one.

ANA:          And for your visit to Madrid.

HARRY:     Right. Where’s the nearest pub?


Breakfast in the hotel

Maria:         What a lovely city London is!

Ana:            But it’s raining!

Maria:         That’s nothing.  Nothing at all.  Just a few drops.  It’s sure to clear up in a few minutes!

Carmen:      But I remember you said as recently as last Sunday that…

Maria:         Last Sunday!  Last Sunday!  That was a year ago. Now I see things clearly!

Ana:            But you told us that…

Maria:         ‘My salad days when I was green in judgement.’  As somebody once said.  Today is what matters!

Ana:            And who said that?

Maria:         I did. Today and ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow!’  Days of bright sunrises, mornings to enjoy, afternoons to revel in, and evenings with glorious sunsets to look forward to!

Carmen:      She’s gone gaga.

Ana:            It takes them like that sometimes.  I’ve seen it before.  I remember my cousin met a man, from Granada he was, you know, with all the Andaluz charm, and after a day with him my poor cousin …

Carmen:      Never mind about your poor cousin. What are we going to do about Maria?  That is the question. That is the question! Whether tis nobler in the mind…

Ana:            To the point, please!

Carmen:      You’re right. This business with Maria is going to take us a day or two!

Ana:            Probably more, much more.  Now to pack, and then to the airport.  How much easier packing is on the way home.  No decisions.  No ‘Whether to pack this or not to pack this, that is the question.’ You just shove everything in.

Carmen:      Come on, Maria.  Stop daydreaming! We are off to Madrid!  Time to pack your case.  And let’s hope it doesn’t get lost on the way back!

Gatwick Airport

Carmen, Ana, Maria, Calum, Harry and Oliver have just taken the Gatwick Express to the airport.  Oliver is carrying a Harrods shopping bag.

CARMEN:  Well, here we are.  Leaving is always the worst part!  Goodbye everybody, and thanks for everything.

CALUM:    Bye, and safe journey back.

ANA:          Bye, and you must all come to Madrid soon.

HARRY:     Don’t you worry.  We will. 

MARIA:     (to Oliver)  I’ll come to London on the first bridge.

OLIVER:    The first bridge?  What bridge? London Bridge?  Tower Bridge?

MARIA:     No.  A bridge bridge.  A puente.  Four days’ holiday.

OLIVER:    Ah, I see.  A long weekend.  When?

MARIA:     In October.  The festival of El Pilar. I’ll have four days holiday. It’s the Pilar bridge.

OLIVER:    OK, not London Bridge, not Tower Bridge, but the Pilar bridge.   I’ll meet you here, at Gatwick Airport in October.  For the Pilar bridge! 

MARIA:     We are both mad, thank goodness!  What did Shakespeare say?  Lovers and lunatics are the same?

OLIVER:    Your Shakespeare’s getting better!  He said something like that!  “The lunatic, the lover and the poet, Are of imagination all compact”.  I think that’s what he said, but that’s enough Shakespeare for the moment!  You have to go now, or you’ll miss your plane!

CARMEN:  Come on Maria.  If you don’t hurry, we’ll all miss the plane!

ANA:           Hurry up!

CARMEN:  We’ve had a great time! A lot can happen in a week.

ANA:          Especially when you are young.

MARIA:     Young and in London.

OLIVER:    Bye.

MARIA:     Ciao Olly!

OLIVER:    Ciao Maria! I’ll be here at Gatwick in October.

MARIA:     So will I!  Ciao! (Goes)

OLIVER:    (Calling her back) Maria!  Come back! I nearly forgot.  This is for you! (He gives her a Harrods bag.)  Bye! (He goes)

MARIA:     What’s this?  Harrods?  A halter top!   The halter top by Roberto Cavalli!  But it’s more than £250.  He must have spent his life’s savings! Olly!  Oh, he’s gone!

(She turns and, clutching the Harrods bag very tightly, leaves with Carmen and Ana.)

OLIVER: (Going out of the airport.  Mumbling to himself) The Pilar bridge.  The Pilar bridge!  I must be going mad!

Oliver and Maria did meet in London in October for the Pilar bridge, but that, as they say, is another story.