The Cocktail Party
by T.S Eliot
A travesty in three acts
given him a bloody doctorate, but still nothing. Haven’t heard a thing from him.
George: You sure?
getting late, the chemist’ll be shut. Feeling feverish. Caught a bit of a chill
earlier in Keater’s motor. Never said knighthood. Don’t want one of those.
you want. Protocol. (Taps the side of his nose, departs to talk to another
how how generous it is of the University to offer honorary doctorates to those
who have devoted themselves to the interests of the town. It must be a
tremendous honour to receive such an award from your home town university.
with. With me it was talent. That’s life. (Sips her martini)
Lieutenant has to do, but he can’t sell his old one.
George: Exactly. Although ......
Bill: You surely don't mean ....
its vice-principle! People would think they'd gone out of ther collective mind.
George: An absurd idea, as you say. Absolutely absurd. Though, since you've
brought it up Bishop, .... (Puts his arm around the Bishop's shoulders, smiles
at him, and leads him way)
Suze: Dr. Suze if you don't mind.
George: Sorry, Dr. Suze. Anyway, get to work on him. What's your MO?
Suze: You know what the Bishop's like. Loves a bit of flattery.
George: Then flatter him. Appeal to his noble instincts. Yes that's it.
What's good for Bolton's good for the country, that sort of thing. Invoke his
Suze: How do you propose I do that?
George: I don't know. Sing God Save the Queen. Recite something out of bloody Kipling.
You'll think of something.
The Bishop enters, ushered along by Gordon. George ushers everyone into the toilet. He seats the Bishop on the lavatory, himself on the bidet. The other two sit on the edge of the bath.
University. Means I’ll be able to devote even more time to the job and the town.
Suze: I'm sure you can. A man of your charisma. Your ability to influence others.
Bishop: (With affected modesty, a coy smile) No, really, I'm not sure that I can.
the entire future of the University, indeed the nation, will be in jeopardy if
George can't move to Bolton. You and you alone hold the key. (She leans
forward, stares intently at the Bishop). You alone have the power to guide
others onto the path of righteousness. I look at you and think of Henry at
Agincourt, Wellington, Churchill, Bob Geldoff. It’s the burden men of your
stature are fated to carry.
elaborate gestures) on the road to Mandalay, where the flying fishes play. It
was an ancient mariner and he stoppeth one of three. April is the cruellest
month, I'll go now to Innisfree. I should have changed that stupid lock I should
have thrown away the key. Unravished bride of quietness, river deep, and
mountain high. (she finishes with a flourish and a Scots accent) Gie fools their
silks, and knaves their wine; a man's a man for a' that.
George: Well that’s settled. I knew you’d see the reasonableness of it Bishop. So
Gordon: Dr. Flash if you don’t mind. I don’t see a problem. It’s for the good of the
Flash, did you hear the one about the furtive ram imported from South Africa
to improve breeding rates up on Holcombe Moor? Krypton Factor, then
Krypt...... (a knock at the door. They freeze. The door slowly opens to reveal
the Leader of the Council)
just an idle thought, thinking off the top of my head, you know, from out of
nowhere really. (Assumes a grovelling demeanour) Wouldn’t it be wonderful
if the local council were able to find a partner with access to money to help
develop the town centre. Don’t you think it would be just marvellous?