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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Thursday, 8 March 2007

A tiny extract of my full-length play The Riddle which is 90 minutes long.

by Susan Abraham

(Drawing room. Julian pours himself a drink
from the drinks cabinet. Clare looks at Jack imploringly.
Jack shrugs his shoulders and stomps off angrily. Exits.)


(swings around to stare after Jack, a glass in his hand)


My, my…my beautiful…if your lover boy isn’t nursing his famous temper. A touch of fury underneath his skirts? Failing to age with grace, I might add.


Stop it, Julian! Haven’t you caused enough trouble already? I told you coming here was a bad idea.


Never mind me, darling. Never mind the bloody ruckus! Is he leaving you? Has it hit his thick head we don’t want him?


I…I told him not to go.


Looks startled. Laughs.

Oh, you fool, my dear. Ever the everlasting enchanting…

(walks up to Claire and tenderly strokes her cheek)

…magnificent fool.


You can very well stand there and insult me. But you’re the last person to know about love.


(Inches his face closer to Claire’s. Suddenly, in a fit of
anger, moves away. Stops to light a cigarette. Short pause)

Raving stark lunatic, your Jack. You don’t remember Claire. Or are we playing pretend games? Pretending that he didn’t maim you, didn’t bloody sickening destroy you and then you….of all the atrocities had the stupidity to marry the idiot.


Julian, please. Jack would never hurt me. Not deliberately. It was an accident. An accident darling, that’s all it was. Like you and me. We shouldn’t have met. And now, it wouldn’t have come to this.





Happened a long time ago. He wasn’t to know my scarf got stuck on the wheel. Jack had warned me that the silk you gave me was too dangerous, it was too long, that I shouldn’t have been standing, fooling around in the wind. He saw it coming, Julian. Of course, he couldn’t have seen when it happened. He was driving.


Oh stop the bullshit, Claire. The mooning and whining of Jack behind the wheel. Your everyday hero zooming into the sunset. Had I not woken up from my catnap at the back, on precisely the dot, you would have died, Claire.

(voice breaks into a whisper)


Please don’t Julian…

(Makes a bid to move towards the exit)

I have to go and see how Jack is. I have to see if he’s alright. God, knows how much you’ve upset him already.


(Gulps down his drink)

Games... games… I’ve had enough of game-playing for 20 years. I told you I’d come back.


I can’t run away with you, Julian. Jack needs me. I can’t marry you.


Hah! Which means you still love me.


(Covers her face with her hands)


Who’s asking you to Claire. I don’t want to marry you. I’ve come back for sweet revenge.


Oh shut up, Julian! I’ve heard enough.


(walks around the room as if he owns it)

Now...now...I’ve got a teeny-weeny secret...ripe to spill open and no, darling, you've got no option. Not you, not Jack....

Hesitates. Then Swears...

I'll finish that bastard off, once and for all.


(looks surprised)

What on earth are you talking about? I expect Jack to be back any minute. Now, you must go.


(smiles, short pause. Moves closer to Claire)

The delusion of a man seeks revenge. The delusion of a man derides all anxieties.


Listen to you this minute, Julian. You sound like a madman....

(A cat-and-mouse game starts between Julian and Claire. He gives chase round the room as she back away in fear. She moves clumsily, trips over things and almost falls at one point.)



I have a riddle, a riddle, Claire. What do you think my secret is…a son or a gun?

(comes very close to Claire…while she is still his breath is almost on her face)

Listen, listen Claire…


(cries softly)
No, no…

Picture Credit: Fun Draw

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