The Reader's Doglist Association of Great Britain proudly presents another scintillating addition to the world of culture! Are you tired of the poor quality offered in the dramatic arts today? That's urrrright, you are! Nothing but a dreary regurgitation of drab lives in Reality TV shows and slop operas.
We have spared no expense to commission a new work from leading edge, Czech playwright Stanislav Dukla-Bluhurg and we are serialising this work exclusively in the Reader's Doglist as part of our new series 'Paff-Chair Theatre Presents..'
Stanislav Dukla-Bluhurg (7) crafts his artistic masterpieces at his retreat in the small Czech village of Dobrý Vecer Dekuji. Well done!
And what indeedy does Paff-Chair Theatre present?
'The Russian Thing'
by Stanislav Dukla-Bluhurg
The mystery of the bag...who was fiddling at the David Oistrakh concert?... the truth behind the magazine 'England'... What's Nina really doing in the library?.....Going to Mishas to watch him play guitar? A likely story! What's in the 'Chai' that Misha's Mama is forcing on everyone?
Who is 'Meester Smit' and what has he got to do with football?
It all fits together. Like boiled sweets.
The glamorous locations are beautifully crafted. You will feel yourself transported into 'the airport', 'an hotel', 'a street', 'the restaurant in the Hotel Peking', 'GUM department store', 'the hotel shower room', 'the football match', 'Red Square', 'a metro station.'
|Misha Kuznetsov ||a student|
|Boris Petrovich ||a tourist|
|Nina Gagarina ||another student|
|Tamara ||Misha's bit of stuff|
|Official ||an official|
|Administrator ||the hotel administrator|
|Vanya ||the hotel porter|
|Radio announcer ||a radio announcer|
|Misha's 'Mama' ||a mother|
|Man in Buffet ||man in buffet|
|Girl in Buffet ||girl in buffet|
|Boris' Mother ||another mother|
|Valya ||Boris' 'friend' from Kiev|
|Hotel maid ||lady of ill repute disguised as hotel maid|
|Woman in charge of shower ||a woman in charge of the hotel shower|
|Girl at football match ||a bowl of Borsch|
Every worthwhile dramatic work sholuld have a song! And the Russian Thing is no exception! Once you've heard the cast's rendition of the lyrically stunning ' Da Svidanya' you'll be bouche bée!
Last but not least, the snorkel!
Whetted your appetite? Well, let's get on with the show!
We present the first instalment of...
'The Russian Thing' by Stanislav Dukla-Bluhurg.
A TU144 airliner has just landed at Vnukovo Airport, Moscow. A student, Misha Kuznetsov and a tourist Boris Petrovich Maiski deal with their terror of the Russian aeronautical industry by engaging in animated conversation:-
|Misha :||Well, here's Moscow!|
|Boris Petrovich :||So this is Moscow, is it?|
|Misha :||Yes, it's Moscow. There's the airport building.|
|Boris Petrovich :||Are you a tourist?|
|Misha :||No, I'm a student. What about you?|
|Boris Petrovich :||I'm a tourist. Here is a briefcase. It is your briefcase. But where's mine?|
|Misha :||Here is your briefcase. Is the suitcase yours too?|
|Boris Petrovich :||Yes it is. Now where's my passport? Ah! There it is!|
An airport building. A woman official in a fetching brown uniform checks their passports and luggage. Something resembling a light fitting hangs from the wall at a jaunty angle. Sparks emanate from it. The official speaks to Boris :-
|Official :||Comrade, your passport, please.|
|Boris Petrovich :||Here is my passport.|
|Official :|| Are you a tourist?|
|Boris Petrovich :||Yes, I'm a tourist.|
|Official :||Where is your luggage?|
|Boris Petrovich :||Here's my suitcase.|
|Official :||Is the briefcase yours, too?|
|Boris Petrovich :||Yes, this is my briefcase.|
|Official :||Here's your passport. Thank you.|
|Boris Petrovich :||Thank you.|
Still in the airport building. A funereal dirge plays from a bakelite loudspeaker behind the official's desk. Misha approaches the desk. He winces as he inadvertently treads in something rather unpleasant on the floor.
|Official : ||And this is your passport, comrade?|
|Misha: ||Yes, it is.|
|Official : ||Are you a tourist, too?|
|Misha : ||No, I'm a student. Here's my luggage.|
|Official : ||Is that all?|
|Misha : ||Yes. Where's my passport?|
|Official : ||Here's your passport. Thank you.|
|Misha : ||Thanks.|
A Moscow hotel. At the desk of the Administrator. A large ceiling fan scythes the air menacingly, redistributing a thick plume of noxious smoke which billows from a huge cast-iron paraffin stove. Boris Petrovich approaches the desk with a nervous glance at the contraption above his head. He fears imminent decapitation but, in spite of this, maintains a confident air.
|Administrator : ||Good morning.|
|Boris : ||Good morning.|
|Administrator : ||Your passport, please.|
|Boris : ||Here it is.|
|Administrator : ||Thank you. So you're Boris Petrovich Maiski?|
|Boris : ||Yes, that's me. Where's my room?|
|Administrator : ||Your room is Number Three. It's just over here.|
|Boris : ||Number Three? Thank you.|
|Administrator : ||Where's your luggage?|
|Boris : ||It's over there in the corridor. A brief-case and a suitcase.|
(to porter) :
|Vanya, there's the luggage in the corridor: a brief-case and a suitcase.|
|Vanya : ||Right.|
|Boris: ||Thank you very much.|
The hotel corridor, imbued with the stench of boiled cabbage, is dimly lit. A threadbare carpet does its utmost to hospitalize the unwary....
|Boris (to himself) :||Now, where's my room? (walks along corridor) Where is it? Number One... Two... Here it is! Here's Number Three! (opens door, walks in) How nice it is in this room! (sings) "Da svidanya, da svidanya, Vot portfel' e chemodan"......Now, where's my luggage? Not in the room? No, it's not here... Is it still in the corridor? (a knock on the door) Aaahh, here's Vanya! And with my luggage.|
Room Three. A sorry state. Boris Petrovich can only count himself lucky that he wasn't given Room Five with its integral lunatic. In contrast, Room Three is 'nice'. Shabby but nice. The walls took on almost a mediterranean hue, although closer inspection found this to be caused by a thick gunge of nicotine stains.
|Vanya : ||Mr Maiski?|
|Boris : ||Yes?|
|Vanya : ||Is this your room - Number Three? Here's your luggage.|
|Boris : ||Thank you.|
|Vanya : ||Not at all. Here are your suitcase, brief-case and bag.|
|Boris : ||A bag?|
|Vanya : ||Yes, here's your bag.|
|Boris : ||No, it's not mine.|
|Vanya : ||The bag isn't yours?|
|Boris : ||No. The case is mine, and the brief-case is mine, but the bag isn't.|
|Vanya : ||Well, there's a thing! Just a case and a brief-case - is that all?|
|Boris : ||Yes, that's all. Right. Thank you.|
The Hotel Administrator's desk. Strewn with dusty books, yesterday's lunch and a collection of broken gadgets. Misha approaches the desk. The administrator greets him with all the enthusiasm he could muster for an impending bout of diarrhoea.
|Misha : ||Good morning.|
|Administrator : ||Good morning.|
|Misha : ||Is Mr Maiski in your hotel?|
|Administrator : ||Who? Maiski? Just a moment... (checks through papers)|
|Misha : ||Yes, Boris Petrovich Maiski. Where is he?|
|Administrator : ||He is here. In Room Three.|
|Misha : ||May I use your 'phone?|
|Administrator : ||Yes, please do.|
|Misha : ||Thank you. (dials number... mutters:) Number Three...|
Room Three. An awful clatter as Boris thumps the radio into life, dials and knobs being jettisoned in all directions. Just then a painful creaking starts up from the telephone :-
|Boris : ||(phone 'rings') Aaah, the phone! Hallo! I'm listening.|
|Misha's voice on 'phone : ||Hallo, Boris Petrovich? |
|Boris : ||Yes, it's me, Maiski. Who's that?|
|Misha : ||It's me, Misha Kuznetsov. Ah good! You're in your room. Good morning.|
|Boris : ||Good morning, Misha. Where are you at the moment?|
|Misha : ||I'm in the hotel.|
|Boris : ||So you're here already? In the hotel? Splendid! I'm still here in Room Three. I'm listening to the radio.|
|Misha : ||May I come to your room?|
|Boris : ||Yes, please do!|
|Misha : ||Good. I'm just coming.|
From the desk... to the corridor... to Room Three. A journey fraught with danger.
|Misha : ||Where's Number Three?|
|Administrator : ||Just there, in the corridor.|
|Misha : ||Thank you (walks down corridor, muttering:) Number One....Two...aahh, here's Number Three! (knocks)|
|Boris : ||Who's there? Aaahhh, there you are, Misha!|
|Misha : ||What a nice room!|
|Boris : ||Yes, it's nice in this hotel. I've got a telephone and a radio. There's everything! I'm listening to the radio. (telephone rings) Hallo, Maiski here.|
|Administrator (on phone): ||Have you got a student, Kuznetsov, there?|
|Boris : ||Yes, he's right here in my room. Here he is.|
|Administrator : ||Mr Kuznetsov?|
|Misha : ||Yes, I'm listening.|
|Administrator : ||Your bag is here.|
|Misha : ||My bag? No, I haven't got a bag, only a brief-case.|
|Administrator : ||So the bag isn't yours? All right. Goodbye.|
|Misha : ||Goodbye.|
What has happened to the extra bag? What has happened to the Extraportion pudding? What awaits Boris Petrovich Maiski in the Hotel Shower Room?
Find out in the next thrilling instalment of 'The Russian Thing' by Stanislav Dukla-Bluhurg.
ONLY in the Reader's Doglist.
Paff-Chair Theatre is brought to you by arrangement with the Sulpi Entertainment Corporation.
All characters are largely fictitious. Devices of dubious quality and origin are not recommended for use in the home. You have been warned.
©2003 The Reader's Doglist Association of Great Britain