The Piano (1993)
Ada: There is a silence where hath been no sound / There is a silence where no sound may be / In the cold grave, under the deep deep sea. -Thomas Hood...
Ada: The voice you hear is not my speaking voice - -but my mind's voice. I have not spoken since I was six years old. No one knows why - -not even me. My father says it is a dark talent, and the day I take it into my head to stop breathing will be my last. Today he married me to a man I have not yet met. Soon my daughter and I shall join him in his own country. My husband writes that my muteness does not bother him - and hark this! He says, "God loves dumb creatures, so why not I?" 'Twere good he had God's patience, for silence affects everyone in the end. The strange thing is, I don't think myself silent. That is because of my piano. I shall miss it on the journey.
Ada: At night! I think of my piano in its ocean grave, and sometimes of myself floating above it. Down there everything is so still and silent that it lulls me to sleep. It is a weird lullaby and so it is; it is mine.
George Baines: Ada, I'm unhappy. 'Cause I want you. 'Cause my mind has seized on you and can think of nothing else. This is why I've suffered. I am sick with longing. I don't eat, I don't sleep. So, if you have come with no feeling for me, then go. Go. Go. Get out. Leave!
Flora: One day when my mother and father were singing together in the forest, a great storm blew up out of nowhere. But so passionate was their singing that they did not notice, nor did they stop as the rain began to fall, and when their voices rose for the final bars of the duet a great bolt of lighting came out of the sky and struck my father so that he lit up like a torch. And at the same moment my father was struck dead my mother was struck dumb! She never spoke another word.
Ada: I have told you the story of your father many many times.
Flora: Oh, tell me again! Was he a teacher?
Flora: How did you speak to him?
Ada: I didn't need to speak. I could lay thoughts out in his mind like they were a sheet.
Flora: Why didn't you get married?
Ada: He became frightened and stopped listening.
Ada: What a death! What a chance! What a surprise! My will has chosen life! Still it has had me spooked and many others besides!
Flora: [speaking to Aunt Morag] My mother met my father when she was an opera singer in Luxembourg.
Ada: [signing] That's enough.
George Baines: I have given the piano back to you. I've had enough. The arrangement is making you a whore, and me, wretched. I want you to care for me. But you can't. It's yours, leave. Go on, go.
Stewart: Where's your mother? Where's she off to?
Flora: TO HELL!
Flora: She says no. She says she'd rather be boiled alive by natives than get back on your stinkin' tub.
Head Seaman: You be damn fortuned I don't smack your puppy gob, young missy. Damn lucky!
Flora: [to Ada] I'm not going to call him Papa. I'm not going to call him anything. I'm not even gonna look at him.
Stewart: What do you think?
George Baines: She looks tired.
Stewart: She's stunted, thats one thing.
George Baines: I'd like to make a swap.
Stewart: What for?
George Baines: The piano.
Flora: She says its her piano and she won't have him touch it. He's an oaf. He can't read. He's ignorant.
Stewart: He wants to improve himself. And you'll be able to play it. Teach him how to look after it. You can't go on like this. We're a family now. We all make sacrifices and so will you! You will teach him and I will see to it!
George Baines: [to Ada] Ada, wait. Wait. Do you know how to bargain? There's a way you can have your piano back. Do you want it back? Do you want it back? You see, I'd like us to make a deal. There's things I'd... like to do while you play. If you let me, you can earn it back. What do you think? One visit for every key.
George Baines: [to Ada] Lift your skirt. Life it higher. Higher. Higher! Lift it higher.
George Baines: [to Ada] Undo your dress. I want to see your arms. Play. Two keys.
Aunt Morag: You know, I am thinking of the piano. She does not play the piano like we do, Nessie. Up. Up! No, she is a strange creature. And her playing is strange, like a mood that passes into you. Up! Now, your playing is plain and true, and that is what I like. To have a sound creep inside you is not at all pleasant. What's that?
Nessie: It's a pigeon, Auntie.
Aunt Morag: I should have waited.
George Baines: What happened? Tell me. Tell me! Where is she? Shh. Quiet down! Quiet down. Where is she?
Flora: He chopped it off.
George Baines: What did she tell him? What did she tell him? I'm going to crush his skull.
Flora: Nooo! No, no! He'll chop her up!
Stewart: What would you think if someone played a kitchen table like it were a piano?
Aunt Morag: Like it were a piano?
Stewart: It's strange isn't it? I mean it's not a piano, it doesn't make any sound.
Aunt Morag: No, no sound.
Stewart: I knew she was mute, but now I'm thinking it's more than that. I'm wondering if she's not brain affected.
Aunt Morag: No sound at all?
Stewart: No, it was a table.
Flora: Actually, to tell you the whole truth, Mother says that most people speak rubbish, and it's not worth it to listen.
Aunt Morag: Well, that is a strong opinion.
Flora: Aye. It's unholy.
Flora: I know why Mr. Baines can't play the piano. She never gives him a turn. She just plays whatever she pleases and sometimes she doesn't play at all.
Stewart: And when is the next lesson?