Come and Go

A dramaticule by Samuel Beckett

For John Calder

 

Written in English early in 1965. First published in French by Editions de Minuit, Paris, in 1966. First published in English by Calder and Boyars, London, in 1967. First produced as Kommen und Gehen, translated by Elmar Tophoven, at the Schiller-Theater Werkstatt, Berlin, on 14 January 1966. First performed in English at the Peacock Theatre, Dublin, on 28 February 1968 and subsequently at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 9 December 1968.

CHARACTERS :

FLO

VI

RU

(Age undeterminable)

 

Sitting centre side by side stage right to left FLO, VI and RU. Very erect, facing front, hands clasped in laps.
Silence.

VI : When did we three last meet?

RU : Let us not speak.
     [
Silence.
   
  Exit VI right.
     
Silence.]

FLO : Ru.

RU : Yes.

FLO : What do you think of Vi?

RU : I see little change. [FLO moves to centre seat, whispers in
       
RU's ear. Appalled.] Oh! [They look at each other. FLO
       
puts her finger to her lips,] Does she not realize?

FLO : God grant not.
    [
Enter VI. FLO and RU turn back front, resume pose. VI
    
sits right.
    
Silence.]
    Just sit together as we used to, in the playground at Miss
    Wade's.
RU : On the log.
     [
Silence.
     
Exit  FLO left.
     
Silence.]
     Vi.

VI : Yes.

RU: How do you find FLO?

VI : She seems much the same. [RU moves to centre seat,
         whispers in
VI's ear. Appalled.] Oh! [They look at each
         other
. RU puts her finger to her lips.] Has she not been
         told?

RU : God forbid.
       [
Enter FLO. RU and VI turn back front, resume pose. FLO
       
sits left.]
    
   Holding hands . . . that way.

FLO : Dreaming of . . . love.
       [
Silence.
      
 Exit RU right.
       Silence
.]

VI : Flo.

FLO : Yes.

VI : How do you think Ru is looking?

FLO : One sees little in this light. [VI moves centre seat,
         whispers in
FLO's ear. Appalled.] Oh! [They look at
         each other
. VI puts her finger to her lips.] Does she not
         know?

VI : Please God not.
     [
Enter RU. VI and FLO turn back front, resume pose. RU
     
sits right.
     Silence
.]
     May we not speak of the old days? [
Silence.] Of what
    came after? [
Silence.] Shall we hold hands in the old
    way?

     [After a moment they join hands as follows : VI's right
     hand with
RU's right hand. VI's left hand with FLO's left
     hand
, FLO's right hand with RU's left hand, VI's arms
     being above
RU's left arm and FLO's right arm. The three
     pairs of clasped hands rest on the three laps.
     Silence
.]

FLO: I can feel the rings.
       [
Silence.]

CURTAIN

 

 

NOTES

 


Lighting
Soft, from above only and concentrated on playing area.
Rest of stage as dark as possible.

Costume
Full-length coats, buttoned high, dull violet (RU), dull red (Vi),
dull yellow (Flo). Drab nondescript hats with enough brim to
shade faces. Apart from colour differentiation three figures as
alike as possible. Light shoes with rubber soles. Hands made up
to be as visible as possible. No rings apparent.

Seat
Narrow benchlike seat, without back, just long enough to
accommodate three figures almost touching. As little visible as
possible. It should not be clear what they are sitting on.

Exits
The figures are not seen to go off stage. They should disappear a
few steps from lit area. If dark not sufficient to allow this,
recourse should be had to screens or drapes as little visible
as possible. Exits and entrances slow, without sound of feet.

Obs
Three very different sounds.

Voices
As low as compatible with audibility. Colourless except for
three 'ohs' and two lines following.
 


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