A man wakes up in a hospital bed. A woman he doesn’t know is there to ask him questions. Two little girls have disappeared.
A room in a hospital. Paul asleep in a bed. Diane sitting on a chair at the foot of the bed. A puzzle on a table. Paul wakes up.
PAUL Fuck off.
(moving a piece of the puzzle) May I…? I know this painting. Renoir, isn’t it?
PAUL You speak English?
DIANE Like a native.
PAUL I’m sorry. I was still half asleep. I didn’t realise.
DIANE No matter.
PAUL Did the Embassy send you?
DIANE After a fashion.
PAUL I don’t speak any German. They wouldn’t let me go. I got a bit upset…
DIANE You can’t go yet.
PAUL Why not?
DIANE You haven’t finished your puzzle.
They want to keep you under observation for a while. Best be on the safe side.
PAUL But there’s nothing wrong with me. Just a few scratches.
DIANE Best not take any chances.
PAUL They locked me in.
DIANE Did they?
PAUL Why would they want to do that?
DIANE I should have thought that was obvious.
DIANE To stop you getting out.
It was quite a serious accident. You’re lucky to be alive.
PAUL Who says?
DIANE What do you mean?
At that speed there’s no telling what might happen. Don’t you want to ask me anything?
PAUL What about?
DIANE The accident.
PAUL Where’s my car?
DIANE There’s not much of it left actually.
PAUL Ah. Shit.
DIANE Can you remember anything, about the accident?
DIANE You don’t know what happened?
DIANE Don’t you want to know if there were any other victims?
PAUL What do you mean, victims?
DIANE In the accident.
PAUL Oh. No, I hadn’t thought of that.
DIANE And you don’t care?
PAUL Why, were there other people in this accident?
PAUL Well then?
DIANE You could easily have killed someone. You don’t have any memory of it?
DIANE There was a witness. A lorry driver. He saw you go off the road. He said you suddenly accelerated, veered off the road, went into a wall. He thinks you must have fallen asleep, then woken up with a start.
PAUL Yes, that’s probably it.
DIANE Had you been driving for long?
PAUL S’pose so.
DIANE Where were you going?
PAUL I was… Bavaria.
DIANE Really? You were going there, or coming back?
PAUL Going there.
DIANE When you had the accident?
PAUL When I had the accident.
DIANE Are you sure? You’ve forgotten the accident, perhaps you’ve forgotten Bavaria too.
PAUL You can’t forget Bavaria.
DIANE You remember it?
DIANE Where were you going exactly?
DIANE Why? What is there in Eggenfelden?
DIANE Was anyone expecting you? Is there someone I should tell?
PAUL No. Nobody was expecting me.
DIANE You’re on holiday?
PAUL Yes, that’s it. I’m on holiday.
DIANE It’s pretty, Bavaria. Do you know it?
DIANE You’ve been there before then?
PAUL A long time ago.
DIANE To Eggenfelden?
DIANE What’s it like?
PAUL It’s a dump.
DIANE Did you come directly from Sheffield?
PAUL No, I stopped off in London. I had someone I wanted to see.
DIANE Ah. Did you take the shuttle or just the regular ferry?
PAUL How did you know I was coming from Sheffield?
Théâtre du Nord-Ouest, 1999-2000. Broadcast live from the Cinéma MacMahon on the TV channel Direct 8 june 2005.
Théâtre du Méridien, Bruxelles, and on tour, directed by Bernard Yerlès, January 2003, spring 2004.
Rehearsed reading by Hélène Vincent and Yves Prunier at the Nouveau Théâtre d’Angers, April 2005
Folie Théâtre, directed by Christine Casile et Thierry Mourjan, sept-oct 2012