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: Am I on? Belinda
: No, no, no, no. Dotty
: No. Selsdon
: Oh, I thought I heard my voice.
: I'm starting to know what God felt like when he sat out there in the darkness, creating the world. Belinda
: And what did he feel like, Lloyd my dear? Lloyd
: Very pleased he'd taken his Valium.
: So, what's next on the bill? Lloyd
: Well, Selsdon, I thought we might try a spot of rehearsal. Selsdon
: Oh, I won't, thank you. Lloyd
: You won't? Selsdon
: No, you all go ahead. I'll just sit and watch. This is the beer in the wardrobe, is it? Belinda
: No, my dear, he wants us to rehearse. Selsdon
: Yes, but I think we gotta rehearse, haven't we? Lloyd
: Rehearse! Yes, Selsdon. Well done. I knew you'd think of something.
: Poor Lloyd. He'll choke on his Gummi Bears.
: Think of the first night as the dress rehearsal. If we can just get through the play once tonight - for doors and sardines. That's what it's all about, doors and sardines. Getting on, getting off. Getting the sardines on, getting the sardines off. That's farce. That's - that's the theatre. That's life.
: God, Lloyd, you're so deep.
: Alright, I see all that. Lloyd
: Oh no. Frederick
: I just don't know why I take them. Lloyd
: Freddy love, why does anyone do anything? Why does that other idiot go out of the front door holding two plates of sardines? I mean, I-I'm not getting at you, love. Gary
: Course not, Lloyd. I mean, why do I? I mean, Jesus, when you come to think about it, why *do* I? Lloyd
: Who knows? Gary
: Who knows. You see, Freddy? Lloyd
: The wellsprings of human action are deep and cloudy. Maybe something happened to you when you were a very, very, very small child that made you frightened to let go of groceries. Belinda
: Or it could be genetic. Gary
: Yes, or it could be... you know. Lloyd
: Could-could well be. Frederick
: Of course, thank you. I understand all that, but... Lloyd
: Freddy love, I'm telling you I don't know. I-I don't think the *author* knows. I don't know why the author came into this industry in the first place. I don't know why any of us came into it. Frederick
: All the same, if you could just give me a reason I could keep in my mind. Lloyd
: Alright, I'll give you a reason then. You carry those groceries into the study, Freddy honey, because it's just slightly after midnight, and we're not going to be finished before we open tomorrow night - Correction. Before we open TONIGHT!
: Right, from Belinda and Freddy's entrance.
[Poppy comes running onstage
: Oh my God, what's happened now? Poppy
: The police. Lloyd
: The police? Poppy
: They found an old man lying unconscious in the doorway just across the street... Lloyd
: Oh, yes, thank you. Poppy
: ...and they say he's *very* dirty and pretty smelly... Lloyd
: Yes, thank you, Po... Poppy
: ...and I thought, "oh my God," because-because when you get close to Selsdon... Belinda
: Poppy! Poppy
: ...no, no, I mean, if you stand anywhere *near* Selsdon, you can't help noticing this very distinctive...
[She sniffs and stops dead
: I'll tell you something, Poppy. Once you get it in your nostrils, you never forget it. Sixty years now, and the smell of the theatre still haunts me.
[He walks away
: Bless him!
: [Barging in from the house
] What the *fuck* is going on? Belinda
: Lloyd! Frederick
: Holy cow! Poppy
: I didn't know you were here. Lloyd
: I'm not. I'm in New York. But I can't sit out there and listen to two minutes, three minutes, one minute, two minutes! Belinda
: Lloyd! We're having big dramas back here! Lloyd
: We're having big dramas out *there!* This is a matinee, Love! There are senior citizens out there! "The curtain will rise in three minutes," we all start for the gents! "The curtain will rise in one minute," we all start running out again! We don't know which way we're going!
[Brooke has lost one of her contact lenses
: Which one is it this time? Brooke
: Left. Gary
: It's the *left* one, everybody! Poppy
: Left one. Belinda
] Left one!
[Everyone starts looking around for it
[everyone except Poppy and Tim are on-stage and have no idea where they are or what to do now
: I've got to get the 8:40 to New York! Poppy
: [Lloyd opens the door to find Poppy wrapped in sheets, playing Freddy's part
] Ah! House of heavenly peace! I rent it. Dotty
: Oh! It's the other one! And in her wedding dress. Belinda
: Yes, yes, it's their wedding day! All
: Oh! Belinda
: What a happy ending... to the... to the first act!... Of their new life together! And they just want to be alone in their new home... if only someone would pull the shades!
[Indicates that the curtain should come down
: [Tim enters in the black sheets, prepared to play Brooke's part
] Come in? Dotty
: Oh, and it's the mother of the bride. Tim
: Go out? All
: Pull the shades!
[Tim runs out to lower the curtain
: Last line? All
: Last line! Selsdon
: I'll tell you one thing, Vicky. All
: [Dotty slaps Vicky, who loses a contact lens and goes looking for it
] What's that, Dad? Selsdon
: When all around is strife and uncertainty, there's nothing like an old fashioned plate of, uh... curtain!
: You can't even get the door open.
[and, in fact, Gary can't
] Hold it. Frederick
: [entering with Belinda
] Yes, but this is Mrs. Clackett's afternoon off. Lloyd
: [a little louder
] Hold it! Frederick
: We've got the place entirely to ourselves. Belinda
: Look at it. Lloyd
: [Freddy tries to close the door but can't
] HOLD IT!
[they continue to try to open or close their respective doors
: And God said HOLD IT!
: And they held it. And God saw that it was TERRIBLE! Gary
: Sorry, folks. The door won't open. Belinda
: Sorry, folks, this door won't close. Lloyd
: And God said, "POPPY!" Frederick
: Sorry folks, am I doing something wrong? You know how stupid I am about doors. Belinda
: Freddy, darling, you're doing it perfectly. Frederick
: As long as it wasn't me that broke it. Lloyd
: [Poppy comes on stage
] ... And there was Poppy. And God said, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fetch Tim to fix the doors."