This is a one act play.
Before the third call, when the curtain is still down and the lights are up in the auditorium, crockery can be heard from backstage being smashed on the floor. Rather than frenzied destruction, it is systematic and, in a sense, celebratory, although there can be no doubt that it is motivated by an inconsolable rage.
As the smashing dies down the curtain lifts onto a dark stage.
It’s night. Graciela strikes a match in the darkness to light a cigarette, and the deflagration begins the slow illumination of the stage: the bedroom of wealthy people, tasteful with a few modern pieces of furniture. An old coat stand where some clothes are hanging which Graciela will make use of during her monologue, and will remain there throughout the drama.
The stage is essentially plain, ready to go through changes of place and time according to our sole protagonist’s state of mind. As she speaks, she will make the necessary alterations to transform the room. From time to time, a discreet maid will enter the stage in the shadows to make certain adjustments.
At the far right, sitting in an armchair, in a dark suit and with his face hidden behind a newspaper he pretends to read, is the husband. He is a mannequin.
In the different sceneries there will be vases and jugs of water, as well as boxes of matches and packets of cigarettes or cigar cases. Graciela will drink water whenever she wants to, and will light up cigarettes on irresistible impulses, then put them out almost immediately in the ashtrays nearby. More than a habit, it is a tic which the director can use according to what works dramatically.
The drama takes place in a Caribbean city with a temperature of 35 degrees centigrade in the shade and 90 per cent relative humidity. Graciela and her husband have returned from an informal dinner a little before dawn on 3 August 1978. She’s wearing a simple, warm earth-coloured suit with everyday jewellery. She seems pale and shaky despite the heavy make-up, but keeps an easy control for somebody who is beyond the point of desperation.
A nostalgic melody recurs throughout the play.
|0 males||0 males|
|1 female||1 female|
|1 (total)||1 (total)|
Entry written by Gwendolen Mackeith. Last updated on 4 March 2011.