Educating Rita Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Educating Rita script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Michael Caine and Julie Walters movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Educating Rita. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Educating Rita Script


 

                   

- Afternoon, sir.

- Good afternoon.



 

                   

In dealing with this, Dr Bryant,



 

                   

do you think it's wise to pursue the

metaphysical nature of Blake's poetry?



 

                   

Dr Bryant!



 

                   

Mm?



 

                   

I was asking, Doctor,

if you think that in approaching Blake



 

                   

we should pursue

the metaphysical aspect of his poetry.



 

                   

Most definitely.



 

                   

Blake. They all get

so worked up about him.



  

                   

Blake. Do you know what he is?



  

                   

He is a dead poet. That's all.



  

                   

I'm sorry, Dr Bryant, but I can't agree.



  

                   

To dismiss William Blake

as a dead poet is "faseel".



  

                   

Facile.



  

                   

I've studied Blake extremely closely

over a number of years



  

                   

and I absolutely disagree

with your appraisal of his genius.



  

                   

Dr Bryant,



  

                   

I don't think you're listening to me.



  

                   

Mr Collins, I don't think

you're saying anything to me.



  

                   

- Doctor, are you drunk?

- Drunk?



  

                   

Of course I'm drunk.



  

                   

You don't really expect me

to teach this when I'm sober?



  

                   

Well, then you won't mind...



  

                   

if I leave your tutorial.



  

                   

Why should I mind? What do you want

to be stuck in here for anyway?



  

                   

Because we want to study literature.



  

                   

Literature?



  

                   

Look - the sun is shining!



  

                   

You're all young!

What are you doing in here?



  

                   

Why don't you all go and do something?

Go out and make love or something.



  

                   

Frank.



  

                   

- Julia.

- Darling, can I have the car keys?



  

                   

Yeah. Has your class finished?



  

                   

Ages ago. Don't forget -

Brian and Elaine for supper.



  

                   

- Now, you do know I'm gonna be late.

- No.



  

                   

Darling, I told you,

I've got a new student coming.



  

                   

- What time?

- Open University, very late.



  

                   

Though why a grown adult

should want to come to this place



  

                   

after putting in a hard day's labour

is beyond me.



  

                   

Dr Bryant?



  

                   

He actually said, "What is assonance?"



  

                   

Really?



  

                   

He didn't have a clue

what assonance was!



  

                   

Er, come in.



  

                   

Come in!



  

                   

For God's sake, come in!



  

                   

I'm comin' in, aren't I? You wanna get

that bleedin' handle fixed.



  

                   

Er, yes, yes, I meant to.



  

                   

No good meaning to,

you wanna get on with it.



  

                   

One day you'll be shouting, "Come in,"

and it'll go on forever



  

                   

cos the poor sod won't be able to get in

and you won't be able to get out.



  

                   

- And you are...?

- I'm a what?



  

                   

- Pardon?

- What?



  

                   

And you are...?



  

                   

What is your name?



  

                   

Me first name?



  

                   

Well, that would constitute

some sort of start.



  

                   

- Rita.

- Rita. Ah.



  

                   

Here we are.



  

                   

Rita? It says here Mrs S White.



  

                   

Oh, yes, that's S for Susan.

That's just me real name.



  

                   

But I'm not a Susan any more,

I've changed me name to Rita.



  

                   

- You know, after Rita Mae Brown?

- No.



  

                   

Rita Mae Brown

who wrote Rubyfruit Jungle.



  

                   

Haven't you read it?

It's a fantastic book, you know.



  

                   

Do you wanna lend it?



  

                   

Yes, yes. Well, thank you very much.



  

                   

OK.



  

                   

And what do they call you round here?



  

                   

Sir.



  

                   

But you may call me Frank.



  

                   

OK. Frank.



  

                   

That's a nice picture, isn't it, Frank?



  

                   

- Er, yes, I suppose it is.

- It's very erotic.



  

                   

I don't think I've looked at that picture

in ten years.



  

                   

But yes, it is, I suppose so.



  

                   

There's no suppose about it,

look at those tits.



  

                   

Do you mind me using words like that?



  

                   

- Like what?

- Tits.



  

                   

- No.

- No, you wouldn't.



  

                   

It's only the masses

who don't understand.



  

                   

It's not their fault

but sometimes I hate them.



  

                   

I do it to shock them sometimes.



  

                   

You know, like, when I'm

in the hairdresser's, where I work,



  

                   

I'll say something like,

"I'm really fucked," dead loud



  

                   

and it doesn't half cause a fuss.



  

                   

But educated people

don't worry, do they?



  

                   

It's the aristocracy that swears most.



  

                   

It's all "Pass me the fucking pheasant,"

with them.



  

                   

But you couldn't tell them that

round our way.



  

                   

- Aren't you interviewing me?

- Do I need to?



  

                   

Oh, I talk too much, don't I?



  

                   

Yeah, I know I talk a lot.



  

                   

I don't at home but I don't often get

the chance to talk to someone like you.



  

                   

Would you like to sit down?



  

                   

- No. Can I smoke?

- Tobacco?



  

                   

What? Yeah!



  

                   

- Was that a joke?

- Yes.



  

                   

- 'Ere y'are, do you want one?

- I'd like one...



   

                   

- but I promised not to smoke.

- I won't tell anyone.



   

                   

Promise?



   

                   

I hate smokin' on me own. Everyone

seems to have packed up these days.



   

                   

All afraid of getting cancer.



   

                   

Bloody cowards.



   

                   

- Would you like a drink?

- What of?



   

                   

- Whisky.

- Oh, yeah.



   

                   

My mate's got a drinks cabinet like that.



   

                   

Tell me, what made you

suddenly decide to do this?



   

                   

It's not sudden. I've been realising

for ages that I'm out of step.



   

                   

I'm    I should've had a baby by now.

Everyone expects it.



   

                   

But I mean, I don't want a baby yet. No.



   

                   

I wanna discover meself first.



   

                   

Do you understand that?



   

                   

- Yes.

- Yeah.



   

                   

I've, you know, I've tried to explain it

to me husband, you know,



   

                   

but, between you and me,

I think he's thick.



   

                   

Well, he doesn't want to see, yeah.



   

                   

- What's this like?

- Howards End?



   

                   

Howards End! Sounds filthy, doesn't it?



   

                   

EM Foster.



   

                   

- Forster.

- Oh, yeah.



   

                   

- What's it like?

- Read it. Would you like to borrow it?



   

                   

Yeah, all right. I'll look after it for you.



   

                   

If I pack the course in, I'll post it back.



   

                   

You haven't even started yet.

Why would you pack it in?



   

                   

Well, I just might, you know.



   

                   

Might think it was a soft idea.



   

                   

- What does assonance mean?

- What?



   

                   

- Don't laugh at me.

- Er, no.



   

                   

Erm, assonance, it's a form of rhyme.



   

                   

Erm, what's an example?

Do you know Yeats?



   

                   

- The wine lodge?

- No, WB Yeats, the poet.



   

                   

No.



   

                   

Well, in his poem

The Wild Swans At Coole,



   

                   

Yeats rhymes the word "swan"

with the word "stone".



   

                   

You see?

That's an example of assonance.



   

                   

Ooh, yeah,

means getting the rhyme wrong.



   

                   

I've never thought of it like that



   

                   

but I suppose it does mean

getting the rhyme wrong.



   

                   

I love this room.



   

                   

I love the view from this window.



   

                   

Do you like it?



   

                   

I don't often consider it.



   

                   

I sometimes get the urge

to throw something through it.



   

                   

- What?

- A student, usually.



   

                   

You're bleedin' mad, aren't ya?



   

                   

Probably.



   

                   

What are you lookin' at?



   

                   

Are you a good ladies' hairdresser, Rita?



   

                   

Yeah, I am. But they expect

too much, you know.



   

                   

Like, women come in the hairdresser's



   

                   

and half an hour later

they wanna walk out a different person.



   

                   

You know, but I mean,

if you wanna change,



   

                   

you've got to do it from the inside,

haven't you, like I'm trying to do.



   

                   

Do you think I'll be able to learn?



   

                   

Are you sure you're serious

about wanting to learn?



   

                   

I'm dead serious, yeah.



   

                   

I know I take the piss



   

                   

but that's only because

I'm not, well, confident, like.



   

                   

But I want to be. Honest.



   

                   

When, you know, when do you actually

start teaching me, like?



   

                   

What can I teach you?



   

                   

Everything.



   

                   

You want a lot.



   

                   

And I can't give it.



   

                   

Between you and me and the walls,



   

                   

actually I am an appalling teacher.



   

                   

That's all right most of the time -



   

                   

appalling teaching is quite in order

for my appalling students



   

                   

but it is not good enough for you,

young woman.



   

                   

All I know is -

and you must listen to this -



   

                   

all I know is that I know

absolutely nothing.



   

                   

And besides, I don't like the hours

of this Open University business.



   

                   

They expect me to teach

when the pubs are open.



   

                   

It's all right.

There are other tutors, good ones.



   

                   

I will arrange one for you.



   

                   

Are you saying you want me to go?



   

                   

Goodbye, Rita.



   

                   

Wait a minute. Listen to me.



   

                   

I'm on this course, you are my tutor

and you're gonna bleedin' well teach me.



   

                   

There are other teachers.



   

                   

You're my tutor!

I don't want another one.



   

                   

- For God's sake, woman!

- But you're my tutor!



   

                   

I told you, I do not want to do it.

Why pick on me?



   

                   

Because you're a crazy mad piss artist



   

                   

who wants to throw his students

through the window.



   

                   

I like ya! Don't you recognise

a compliment?



   

                   

And when I come next week

I'll cut your hair.



   

                   

You will not be coming here next week.



   

                   

- I will be, and you'll be getting a haircut.

- I will not.



   

                   

You wanna walk round looking like that?



   

                   

- Like what?

- Like a geriatric hippy.



   

                   

See ya next week.



   

                   

Goin' the wrong way.



   

                   

Are you familiar with Forster?



   

                   

Yes, of course. Superb.



   

                   

Between you and me, I think he's crap.



   

                   

- You're a student, aren't ya?

- Yes.



   

                   

So am I.



   

                   

Brian, why don't you get Elaine a refill?

And yourself, of course.



   

                   

Well, as Frank hasn't arrived yet.



   

                   

- Lovely record, Julie.

- Yes, isn't it?



   

                   

I do hope Frank won't be too late.



   

                   

God, I forgot -

I meant to phone my publisher.



   

                   

- May I, Julia?

- Of course.



   

                   

Shan't be a minute, dear.



   

                   

All right, darling?



   

                   

- Lovely.

- Good.



   

                   

- Brian.

- Darling.



   

                   

It's Frank.



   

                   

Yes, yes, I know that, Morgan.



   

                   

I don't think you've even

read the contract.



   

                   

Morgan, you don't seem to be

listening to me.



   

                   

You realise that I'll probably

have to go to Jones.



   

                   

- Hello, darling.

- Hello.



   

                   

- Hello, Elaine.

- Hello, Frank.



   

                   

- You didn't go to the pub then?

- I changed my mind.



   

                   

Good. I'll see to the dinner.



   

                   

But Morgan, you don't seem

to understand how important this is.



   

                   

It is imperative that the book is

published before the next academic year.



   

                   

Yes, yes, yes, all right.

I'll phone tomorrow. Goodbye.



   

                   

Sorry about that - my publisher.



   

                   

Frank, I wanted to mention this

before we dine.



   

                   

Slightly embarrassing.



   

                   

Thing is, there's been

a bit of a complaint.



   

                   

A complaint, Brian?



   

                   

Yes, well, apparently, you were

a little drunk at your tutorial today.



   

                   

- No.

- No?



   

                   

- No, I was a lot drunk.

- Frank, why do you do it?



   

                   

When you've got...

Well, what haven't you got?



   

                   

- A drink, at the moment.

- Oh, Frank.



   

                   

The staff accept that you...

Well, we understand that you drink



   

                   

but it shouldn't be

displayed to the students.



   

                   

Do you know what assonance means?



   

                   

- Of course.

- Yeah? Go on.



   

                   

- Assonance.

- Yeah.



   

                   

Assonance is a rhyme,



   

                   

the identity of which depends

merely on the vowel sounds.



   

                   

An assonance is merely

a... syllabic resemblance.



   

                   

Assonance means

getting the rhyme wrong.



   

                   

I want to look like that.



   

                   

- OK.

- Is that a book you're reading?



   

                   

- Yeah, yeah.

- What's it called?



   

                   

- Of Human Bondage.

- Yeah?



   

                   

My husband's got a lot of books like that.



   

                   

What, Somerset Maugham books?



   

                   

No, bondage books.



   

                   

Oh.



   

                   

Oh, hello. I was just oiling it for ya.



   

                   

Ooh, sorry, Frank.



   

                   

- You can have that.

- Sit down.



   

                   

I love walking round this room.



   

                   

Rita, don't you ever just

come into a room and sit down?



   

                   

I don't want to sit down.



   

                   

I love that lawn down there.

All the proper students.



   

                   

What?



   

                   

Oh, yes, yes.

Now, er, this essay you wrote for me.



   

                   

It was crap.



   

                   

No, no. The thing is, Rita,



   

                   

how the hell can you write an essay

on EM Forster



   

                   

with almost total reference

to Harold Robbins?



   

                   

Oh, well... Well, you said

to bring in other authors.



   

                   

"Reference to other works

will impress the examiners," you said.



   

                   

Yes, I said refer to other works but

I doubt if the examiner will have read...



   

                   

- Where Love Has Gone.

- That's his hard luck.



   

                   

And it'll be your hard luck

when he fails your paper



   

                   

because he would

if you wrote like this during an exam.



   

                   

Oh, that's prime. Now, there's justice.



   

                   

I fail cos I'm more well-read

than the friggin' examiner.



   

                   

Devouring pulp fiction

is not being well-read.



   

                   

I thought reading

was supposed to be good for one.



   

                   

It is but you have to be selective.



   

                   

In your favour here

you've mentioned Sons And Lovers



   

                   

but this is all over the place.



   

                   

- Oh.

- It's very subjective and sentimental.



   

                   

Yeah - crap.



   

                   

No, there are things that are worthy in it.



   

                   

If you're going to learn criticism, Rita,



   

                   

you have to discipline

that mind of yours.



   

                   

- Are you married?

- What?



   

                   

Are ya? What's your wife like?



   

                   

For God's sake, is my wife relevant?



   

                   

- You should know, you married her.

- Then she is not relevant.



   

                   

I haven't seen her

in a long time, we split up.



   

                   

- Sorry.

- Why are you sorry?



   

                   

- Sorry for asking, being nosy.

- OK.



   

                   

- The thing about...

- Why did you split up?



   

                   

Why don't you take notes?

Then when you answer on Forster



   

                   

you can write an essay

called Frank's Marriage.



   

                   

Go 'way! I'm only interested.



   

                   

- We split up, Rita, because of poetry.

- You what?



   

                   

One day, my wife explained to me

that, for the past    years,



   

                   

my output as a poet had dealt

entirely with the part of our lives



   

                   

in which we discovered each other.



   

                   

- Are you a poet?

- Was.



   

                   

So, to give me something new

to write about, she left me.



   

                   

A noble woman, my wife -

she left me for the good of literature.



   

                   

Remarkably, it worked.



   

                   

You wrote a lot of good stuff, did ya?



   

                   

No, I stopped writing altogether.



   

                   

- Are you taking the piss?

- No.



   

                   

Come on, people don't split up because

of things like that, because of literature.



   

                   

Ah, you may be right.

But that's how I remember it.



   

                   

Now, let's get back to Howards End.



   

                   

- So do you live on your own?

- Rita!



   

                   

I'm only askin'!



   

                   

I live with a girl, her name is Julia,

she's a young tutor here.



   

                   

She's very caring, very tolerant,

and she admires me enormously.



   

                   

- And do you like her?

- I like her enormously.



   

                   

It's myself I'm not too fond of.



   

                   

- You're great!

- Aha!



   

                   

A vote of confidence. Thank you.



   

                   

No, you'll find there is less to me

than meets the eye.



   

                   

See? You can say dead clever things!



   

                   

I wish I could talk like that, it's brilliant.



   

                   

Rita, why didn't you walk in here

   years ago?



   

                   

I don't think they would've accepted me

at the age of six.



   

                   

- Now, come on - Forster.

- Oh, forget him.



   

                   

Now, listen, you asked me to teach you,

you want to learn.



   

                   

That's going to take a lot of work.



   

                   

You've barely had any schooling,



   

                   

you have never been in an examination.



   

                   

Possessing a hungry mind is not in itself

a guarantee of success.



   

                   

All right. I just don't like

Howards bleedin' End.



   

                   

Then go back to what you do like

and stop wasting my time!



   

                   

Go and buy yourself a dress

and I'll go to the pub.



   

                   

Is that you putting your foot down?



   

                   

It is, actually!



   

                   

Aren't you impressive

when you're angry?



   

                   

Oh, Rita.



   

                   

Denny?



   

                   

What the frig is goin' on?



   

                   

I thought I'd make these two rooms into

a through lounge. Improve the house.



   

                   

There's only one way you could improve

this house - by bombing it.



   

                   

It'll look great, this, when I've finished.



   

                   

Once I've got the plaster up,

you won't recognise it.



   

                   

Denny, come to the theatre with me.



   

                   

What? What for?



   

                   

If we went to the theatre

we could see the play



   

                   

and it would help me do me essay.



   

                   

I've told you, Susan,

I don't like you doing this, right?



   

                   

Just leave me out of it.



   

                   

- Where you goin'?

- Upstairs, with Peer Gynt.



   

                   

With who?



   

                   

It's a book, you prat.



   

                   

I thought we were going down

the Bierkeller.



   

                   

What for?



   

                   

D'you know, they've got

eight different kinds of beer.



   

                   

Who'd have thought they'd have built

paradise at the end of our street?



   

                   

"Suggest ways in which... "



   

                   

"Suggest ways... "



   

                   

You know what's wrong

with you, don't you, Susan?



   

                   

Well? What is wrong with me?



   

                   

You need a baby.



   

                   

Oh, do I?



   

                   

How long is it

since you stopped taking the pill?



   

                   

Susan! When was it

you stopped taking the pill?



   

                   

Erm...



   

                   

December!



   

                   

I mean, that's nearly six months ago

and you're still not pregnant.



   

                   

I think we'd better get you to a doctor.



   

                   

It can't be anything wrong with me.



   

                   

I mean, fellas in our family only have to

look at a woman and she's pregnant.



   

                   

Oh, must be

because you're all cockeyed.



   

                   

Ha, ha.



   

                   

Come on, get ready.

I thought we were going to the Bierkeller.



   

                   

I thought you were studying.



   

                   

How can I do me essay

with you demolishing the house?



   

                   

All right, all right. I'll just finish this

and I'll get changed.



   

                   

Go on, hit it.



   

                   

Hit it!



   

                   

You can't just bloody belt it, you know.



   

                   

- Why not?

- It has to be taken down carefully.



   

                   

Ah, go 'way. Go on, hit it.



   

                   

Get out. What would you know about it?

It needs the small hammer.



   

                   

Oh, God!



   

                   

Oh!



   

                   

You're a mad bitch, you are!



   

                   

You're still my girl, aren't ya?



   

                   

I could be, if you play your cards right.



   

                   

- Hello, Frank.

- Hello, George.



   

                   

- Brian.

- I'm going to leave Elaine.



   

                   

- Brian, I don't think...

- You must leave Frank.



   

                   

No. No, he needs me.



   

                   

Needs you? Most of the time

he can't even see you!



   

                   

He does need me. He responds to me.



   

                   

Is that why he's always

four parts pissed?



   

                   

Recently he's hardly been drinking.



   

                   

I know it's taking a long time



   

                   

but he's starting to respond

to the security I can offer him.



   

                   

- Oh, Brian.

- Oh, Julia.



   

                   

Lesley, you promised me

an essay by tomorrow.



   

                   

Don't be so bloody crass, Morgan.



   

                   

- Julia?

- Yes, yes, I know that but...



   

                   

Have you got the text of Peer Gynt?



   

                   

I think so.



   

                   

No, I'm not presenting you with

an ultimatum, Morgan. I realise...



   

                   

- What's it for?

- My Open University student.



   

                   

Oh, yes. What's her name?



   

                   

- Rita.

- That's right, Rita.



   

                   

- When are we going to meet this Rita?

- Sometime, I suppose.



   

                   

Look, Morgan, our association now

has lasted eight years.



   

                   

- You must invite her to supper.

- Er, well...



   

                   

- She sounds fun.

- Yeah. Thank you for the text.



   

                   

- Unless I hear from you...

- Doesn't he have a phone?



   

                   

Goodbye.



   

                   

Frank.



   

                   

- Yeah?

- I think you ought to know that I, er...



   

                   

intend to leave my...



   

                   

...publisher.



   

                   

Well, that would help with

my phone bill considerably.



   

                   

- Bye. Bye-bye, darling.

- Bye.



   

                   

Frank!



   

                   

Hello.



   

                   

Forster!



   

                   

Friggin' Forster.



   

                   

I'll tell you what Forster does,

it gets on my tits.



   

                   

- Show me the evidence.

- Dirty sod.



   

                   

I can't understand what he's on about.



   

                   

It's no good, Frank - when it comes

to Forster, I just can't understand.



   

                   

You will, Rita, you will.



   

                   

Well, it's all right for you.

I just can't figure it.



   

                   

Yes. Well, do you think we might forget

about Forster for the moment?



   

                   

With pleasure.



   

                   

I would like to talk about

this that you sent me.



   

                   

- Oh, yeah.

- Oh, yes.



   

                   

Yes, well, now... In reply to the question,



   

                   

"Suggest how you would resolve

the staging difficulties



   

                   

"inherent in a production

of Ibsen's Peer Gynt"



   

                   

you have written, quote,



   

                   

"Do it on the radio. "



   

                   

Unquote.



   

                   

Yeah.



   

                   

- Well?

- Well what?



   

                   

Well, I know it's probably

quite naive of me



   

                   

but I did think you might let me have

a considered essay.



   

                   

Yeah, well, that's all I could do

in the time.



   

                   

We've been dead busy in the shop.



   

                   

- You write your essays at work?

- Yes.



   

                   

Denny doesn't like me doing this.



   

                   

He gets narked if I work at home

and I can't be bothered arguing with him.



   

                   

Rita, you can't go on producing work

as thin as this,



   

                   

not if you want to pass an exam.



   

                   

I thought that was the right answer.



   

                   

I sort of encapsulated all me ideas

into one line.



   

                   

It's the basis for an argument

but a single line is not an essay.



   

                   

You know that as well as I do.



   

                   

- What?

- I've done it.



   

                   

You've done what?



   

                   

Me essay.



   

                   

"In attempting to resolve

the staging difficulties



   

                   

"in a production of Peer Gynt



   

                   

"I would present it on the radio

because, as Ibsen says,



   

                   

"he wrote it as a play for voices,



   

                   

"never intending it to go on in a theatre.



   

                   

"If they had had the radio in his day,



   

                   

"that is where he would have done it. "



   

                   

Denny?



   

                   

Denny!



   

                   

Denny?



   

                   

I just shouted you.



   

                   

Denny...



   

                   

I don't want to have a baby,

not until I've discovered meself.



   

                   

Give 'em!



   

                   

- Denny!

- Get off!



   

                   

No, for Christ's sake...



   

                   

Hello?



   

                   

What's wrong?



   

                   

This is getting to be a bit wearisome.



   

                   

Whenever you come here, Mrs White,



   

                   

you'll do anything

except start work immediately.



   

                   

Come on.



   

                   

- Where's your essay?

- I haven't got it.



   

                   

- You haven't done it?

- I haven't got it.



   

                   

Don't tell me - it's been stolen.



   

                   

Whilst you were sleeping,

a group of Cambridge dons broke in



   

                   

and stole your essay on Chekhov.



   

                   

- Rita?

- It's burnt.



   

                   

What?



   

                   

So are the Chekhov books you lent me.



   

                   

Denny found out I was on the pill,

he's burnt all me books.



   

                   

Oh, Christ.



   

                   

I'm sorry, I'll get you some more books.



   

                   

Oh, sod the books.

I wasn't referring to the books.



   

                   

Why can't he just let me

get on with me learning?



   

                   

You'd think I was having an affair,

the way he behaves.



   

                   

- Perhaps you are having an affair.

- Go 'way, I'm not!



   

                   

What time have I got for an affair?



   

                   

Jesus, I'm busy enough finding meself,

let alone finding anyone else.



   

                   

I'm beginning to find me.



   

                   

It's great. It is, you know, Frank.



   

                   

It might sound selfish but all I want

for now is what I'm finding inside me.



   

                   

Certainly don't wanna go

rushing off with some fella.



   

                   

Perhaps he thinks we're having an affair.



   

                   

Oh, go 'way. You're me teacher.



   

                   

I told him that.



   

                   

- You told him about me?

- Yeah.



   

                   

- What?

- Oh, well, I've tried to explain to him



   

                   

how you give me room to breathe.



   

                   

You, like, feed me

without expecting anything in return.



   

                   

- What did he say?

- He didn't.



   

                   

I said to him, "You soft git,

even if I was having an affair



   

                   

"there's no point in burning me books.



   

                   

"I'm not having it off

with Anton Chekhov. "



   

                   

He said, "Yeah, I wouldn't put it past you

to shack up with a foreigner. "



   

                   

What are you gonna do, Rita?



   

                   

I told him, I'd only have a baby

when I've got choice.



   

                   

But he doesn't understand.



   

                   

Do you love him?



   

                   

I see him looking at me sometimes and...



   

                   

I know what he's thinking.



   

                   

I do, you know. He's wondering

where the girl he married has gone to.



   

                   

He even brings me presents sometimes,



   

                   

hoping that the presents

will make her come back



   

                   

but she can't, she's gone.



   

                   

And I've taken her place.



   

                   

'Good evening. Professor Bodkin

continues his lectures on... '



   

                   

- Are you coming to bed?

- In a minute.



   

                   

'... as you have already recognised,

it's a play remarkably rich in texture,



   

                   

'somewhat confusingly so in my case.



   

                   

'The interior life of the characters

is rarely evident... '



   

                   

Therefore, the tragic hero

will fall from grace



   

                   

because of this flaw in his character.



   

                   

There you have it.



   

                   

One is an outer emphasis...



   

                   

Er, excuse me a moment.



   

                   

Frank, Frank, I'm sorry,

I just had to tell somebody.



   

                   

- What's wrong?

- Last night, Frank, I went to the theatre.



   

                   

- I thought it was something serious!

- It was.



   

                   

It was Shakespeare!



   

                   

- I thought something happened to you.

- Something did happen to me.



   

                   

It was fantastic.



   

                   

Macbeth, it was. I bought the book!



   

                   

Oh, it done my head in.



   

                   

I thought it was gonna be dead boring

but it wasn't, it was electric.



   

                   

Wasn't his wife a cow?



   

                   

And that bit where he meets Macduff

and thinks he's all invincible.



   

                   

I was on the edge of me seat

because I knew!



   

                   

I wanted to shout out and warn Macbeth!



   

                   

You didn't, did you?



   

                   

No!



   

                   

They'd have thrown me out the theatre.



   

                   

Macbeth's a tragedy, isn't it?



   

                   

- Right.

- Right.



   

                   

Well, I... I just wanted to tell someone

who'd understand.



   

                   

Rita, I am honoured that you chose me.



   

                   

Well, I'm sorry I disturbed you.



   

                   

Rita, wait a minute. We're near the end -

why don't you come in?



   

                   

- Oh, no, Frank!

- Come on, you'll find it interesting.



   

                   

In you come, don't worry about it.



   

                   

This is Mrs White, she comes to me once

a week for an Open University course,



   

                   

and she'll be joining us

for the rest of this tutorial. You sit there.



   

                   

Now, erm, where were we?



   

                   

Ah, yes - tragedy.



   

                   

We must not confuse tragedy -

well, the real tragedy of drama -



   

                   

with the merely tragic.



   

                   

Let's a take a tragic hero,

Macbeth for instance.



   

                   

We see that the flaw in his character



   

                   

forces him to take the inevitable step

towards his own doom.



   

                   

Whereas, what we read in the newspaper

as being tragic -



   

                   

er, "man killed by falling tree" -



   

                   

is not a tragedy.



   

                   

It is for the poor sod under the tree.



   

                   

- What are you laughing at?

- It's tragic, yes, absolutely tragic,



   

                   

but it is not a tragedy

in the way that Macbeth is a tragedy.



   

                   

Why?

Because the tree...



   

                   

- I wish I could think like they do.

- It's quite easy, Rita.



   

                   

Oh, it is for you, and them.



   

                   

I just thought it was

a dead exciting story, Macbeth.



   

                   

But you lot, you see all sorts

of things in it, don't you?



   

                   

It's fun, tragedy, isn't it?



   

                   

All them, they know all about

that sort of thing, don't they?



   

                   

Rita, what do you do on Saturdays?



   

                   

- I work.

- Well, after you finish work.



   

                   

- I dunno.

- I want you to come over to the house.



   

                   

Why?



   

                   

Julia's organised a few people

to come round to dinner.



   

                   

You want me to come? Why?



   

                   

- Why do you think?

- I dunno.



   

                   

Because you might enjoy yourself.

Will you come?



   

                   

- If you want.

- What do you want?



   

                   

- Yeah, all right, I'll come.

- Will you bring Denny?



   

                   

- I dunno if he'll come.

- Well, ask him.



   

                   

All right.



   

                   

Christ, me customer!



   

                   

She's still under the drier, she'll come

out looking like a friggin' Muppet!



   

                   

I was at a house once where they served

chocolate mints with their coffee!



   

                   

My husband?

Oh, he's an electrician, you know.



   

                   

There's a marvellous Chinese takeaway

just at the end of our street, you know.



   

                   

Have you seen Macbeth?

By William Shakespeare?



   

                   

'Aldershot   Southend  .



   

                   

'Cardiff   Wrexham  .'



   

                   

- Are you gonna change your mind?

- No.



   

                   

What will you do?



   

                   

I'm going to the pub with your mum and

dad. That's where you should be going.



   

                   

But we're not good enough

for you now, are we?



   

                   

'Millwall   Mansfield  .



   

                   

- 'Port Vale  ... '

- Denny, he invited us both.



   

                   

Come on, change your mind,

come with me.



   

                   

You might actually like him.



   

                   

Oh, might I, actually, Susan?



   

                   

Well, isn't that actually actually nice?



   

                   

Well, sod you.



   

                   

'... Grimsby  .'



   

                   

Oh, great!



   

                   

That's me stop!



   

                   

Stop!



   

                   

Oh, sod it.



   

                   

? But that's OK



   

                   

? Who needs all that talking?



   

                   

? Who needs all that walking?



   

                   

? When we can do

? We can do



   

                   

? What we want to



   

                   

? I'm not dreaming of other women

and I love you



   

                   

? But it's always



   

                   

? On the way



   

                   

? I'm so happy that you're so happy

that we're so happy



   

                   

? Together



   

                   

? That's OK



   

                   

? Who needs all that talking??



   

                   

Of course you could've come.



   

                   

- I couldn't.

- Why?



   

                   

I'd brought the wrong sort of wine.



   

                   

Christ, I wanted you to come! You didn't

have to dress up and bring wine.



   

                   

If you go out to dinner,

don't you dress up?



   

                   

- Don't you take wine?

- Yes, I do but...



   

                   

- Well?

- Well, what?



   

                   

You wouldn't take sweet sparkling wine.



   

                   

Does it matter what I do?



   

                   

It wouldn't have mattered if you'd walked

in carrying a bottle of Spanish plonk.



   

                   

It was Spanish.



   

                   

Couldn't you just relax?



   

                   

It wasn't fancy dress,

you could've come as yourself.



   

                   

Don't you realise what all those people

would've seen



   

                   

had you just come breezing in?



   

                   

They would've seen someone

who is funny, charming, delightful.



   

                   

I don't wanna be

charming and delightful.



   

                   

Or funny. What's funny?

I don't wanna be funny.



   

                   

I wanna talk seriously with the rest of ya.



   

                   

Don't wanna come

to play the court jester.



   

                   

You weren't being asked to play that

role. I just wanted you to be yourself.



   

                   

Yeah, well, I don't wanna be meself.



   

                   

What's me, eh? Eh? Some stupid woman



   

                   

who gives us a laugh

because she thinks she can learn,



   

                   

that one day she'll be talking seriously,

confidently, living a civilised life?



   

                   

She can't really be like that

but she's good for a laugh.



   

                   

If you think you were invited just to be

laughed at, you can get out now.



   

                   

You were invited

because I wished to have your company.



   

                   

Yeah, well.



   

                   

I'm all right with you, here in this room,



   

                   

but when I saw those people

you were with, I couldn't come in.



   

                   

I just seized up, cos I'm a freak.



   

                   

I can't talk to the people

I live with any more,



   

                   

I can't talk to the likes of them

at your house



   

                   

because I'm a half-caste.



   

                   

I decided I wasn't coming here again.

I went to the pub.



   

                   

'They were all singing, all of 'em.



   

                   

'Denny, looking happy. He'd just got

a few days' holiday from work.



   

                   

'And me mother, not really on top form,

something was worrying her.



   

                   

'Probably me dad.



   

                   

'They were never really

love's young dream.



   

                   

'Our Sandra, in love.



   

                   

'Her fiancÚ, about the same.



   

                   

'And her mates, all of 'em, singing...



   

                   

'oh, some song they'd learned

from the jukebox.



   

                   

'And I thought, "Just what the frig

am I trying to do?



   

                   

"'Why don't I just pack it in, stay here



   

                   

"'and join in with the singin'?"'



   

                   

- And why didn't you?

- You think I can, don't you?



   

                   

You think because you pass a pub

doorway and hear them all singing,



   

                   

you think we're all OK,

that we're surviving with the spirit intact.



   

                   

? Together



   

                   

? That's OK?



   

                   

'I did join in the singing



   

                   

'but when I turned around,

me mother had stopped singin',



   

                   

'and she was cryin'.'



   

                   

I said, "Why are you crying, Mother?"



   

                   

And she said, "There must be

better songs to sing than this. "



   

                   

And I thought, "Yeah,

that's what I'm trying to do, isn't it?"



   

                   

Sing a better song.



   

                   

That's why I've come back

and that's why I'm staying.



   

                   

So let's start work.



   

                   

Now, big smile in a minute.

Big smile, big cheese, all right?



   

                   

All in, all in.



   

                   

Right, here we go.



   

                   

Cheese!



   

                   

Great, great. Now, just one more.



   

                   

Big smile, now, come on there, love.



   

                   

Here we go.



   

                   

Great.



   

                   

- Now, smile.

- Well...



   

                   

that's the last of you lot off me hands.



   

                   

Mind you, I don't know why some of you

bother getting bloody married.



   

                   

Smile! Lovely.



   

                   

- What's that supposed to mean?

- You're still not pregnant.



   

                   

- Smile.

- Lovely!



   

                   

How old are you now, Susan?



   

                   

   Dad.



   

                   

You're not, you're   .



   

                   

Been married six years

and still no babby to show for it.



   

                   

Here's your sister, two minutes married

and she's already four months pregnant.



   

                   

Lovely! Lovely!



   

                   

Now, just the last one now, last one.



   

                   

Why don't you broadcast it?



   

                   

Nothing wrong with being pregnant

before you're married.



   

                   

Your mother was three months gone

before I married her.



   

                   

Smile!



   

                   

That's just what

I've always admired in you, Dad -



   

                   

you're overflowing

with innate sensitivity and charm.



   

                   

Thank you all very much.



   

                   

Say, Denny. Denny, I'm sorry for you, lad.



   

                   

If she was a wife of mine I'd drown her.



   

                   

If I was a wife of yours I'd drown meself.



   

                   

Hey, that was your father you insulted.



   

                   

Oh, sod off.



   

                   

It's dead easy, Susan -



   

                   

you stop going to that university

and you stop taking the pill



   

                   

or you're out.



   

                   

- Why?

- You know why.



   

                   

I don't, Denny.

All I'm doing is getting an education.



   

                   

Just trying to learn. And I love it.



   

                   

It's not easy, I get it wrong half the time,

I'm laughed at half the time



   

                   

but I love it because it makes me feel

as though I'm in the land of the living.



   

                   

All you try and do is put a rope around

me neck and tie me to the ground.



   

                   

Are you gonna pack it in, Susan?



   

                   

Did he say anything else to you

before you left?



   

                   

He said it's warped me,

he said I betrayed him.



   

                   

And I suppose I have.



   

                   

Where are you staying?



   

                   

Erm, me mother's. She said I can

go there for a bit and then...



   

                   

...then I'll get a flat.



   

                   

I'll be all right in a minute.

Give me a minute.



   

                   

- What was me Macbeth essay like?

- Sod Macbeth.



   

                   

- Why?

- Rita...



   

                   

Come on, I want you to tell me

what you thought about it.



   

                   

- Under the circumstances...

- It doesn't matter.



   

                   

Under the circumstances

I need to do this. What was it like?



   

                   

I told you it was no good.

Was it really useless?



   

                   

I don't know what to say.



   

                   

Yeah, well,

try and think of something, Frank.



   

                   

I don't mind if you tell me it was rubbish.

I don't want pity. Was it rubbish?



   

                   

No, no, it wasn't rubbish.



   

                   

It was a totally honest, passionate

account of your reaction to a play.



   

                   

- Sentimental?

- No, it was too honest for that.



   

                   

It was almost moving.



   

                   

But in terms of what you're asking me

to teach you,



   

                   

in terms of passing examinations...



   

                   

God. You see, I...



   

                   

Say it! Go on. Say it.



   

                   

In those terms, it's worthless.



   

                   

It shouldn't be but it is.



   

                   

But, in its own terms,



   

                   

it's wonderful.



   

                   

It's worthless, you said.



   

                   

If it's worthless, you have got to tell me

because I wanna write essays like those.



   

                   

I wanna learn and pass exams

like they do.



   

                   

Yes, but if you're gonna write that sort

of stuff, you're going to have to change.



   

                   

All right. But just tell me how to do it.



   

                   

Yes, but I don't know if I want to tell you.



   

                   

I don't know that I want to teach you.



   

                   

What you have already is too valuable.



   

                   

Valuable? What's valuable?



   

                   

The only thing I value is here,



   

                   

comin' here once a week.



   

                   

But don't you see? If you're gonna write

that sort of stuff, pass examinations,



   

                   

you're gonna have to suppress,

perhaps abandon, your uniqueness.



   

                   

I'm gonna have to change you.



   

                   

But don't you realise I want to change?



   

                   

Is this your way of telling me

that I'm not good enough?



   

                   

Of course you're good enough.



   

                   

- If that's what you're saying, I'll go now.

- No.



   

                   

Rita, I promise you,

you are good enough.



   

                   

You see, it's difficult for you

with someone like me



   

                   

but you've just got to keep telling me

and I'll start to take it in.



   

                   

With me, you've gotta be dead firm.



   

                   

You won't hurt me feelings.



   

                   

If I do something that's crap,

I don't want pity,



   

                   

I want you to say, "That's crap. "



   

                   

Here.



   

                   

It's crap.



   

                   

So we dump it on the fire

and we start again.



   

                   

- Frank.

- What?



   

                   

- I don't wanna go.

- You have to.



   

                   

Frank, I wish you were gonna be there.



   

                   

- You understand me.

- So will the tutors at summer school.



   

                   

- What if they realise how thick I am?

- They won't because you're not.



   

                   

Rita, my dear, you can do it now.



   

                   

Write the kind of essay you've begun to

write and you'll have nothing to fear.



   

                   

- I still wish you were gonna be there.

- So do I, Rita.



   

                   

Right, I've got your address in France,

so, er, I'll write to you, every day.



   

                   

So have a good holiday.

And don't drink too much, will ya?



   

                   

And no all-night parties.



   

                   

- I should be so lucky!

- I mean it.



   

                   

- Oh, do ya?

- Yes.



   

                   

All right, I'll go to bed at ten every night

with a cup of cocoa and Howards End.



   

                   

That's if Howard shows up.



   

                   

- Bye-bye.

- Bye, Frank.



   

                   

It's a pity I never brought my diary -



   

                   

"One should always have something

sensational to read on the train"!



   

                   

Oscar Wilde.



   

                   

'Dear Frank,

today was me first real day here,



   

                   

'and you know what?

I actually rode a bike.



   

                   

'How's France?

I haven't heard from you.



   

                   

'At first,

it was like I thought it would be.



   

                   

'I didn't know anyone

and I was gonna go home.



   

                   

'But, Frank, listen,

you would've been dead proud of me.



   

                   

'I was standing in the library, you know,

looking at the books



   

                   

'pretending I was dead clever.



   

                   

'Anyway, this tutor

came up to me and he said... '



   

                   

Are you fond of Ferlinghetti?



   

                   

'Frank, it was on the tip of me tongue to

say, "Only when served with Parmesan. "



   

                   

'But, Frank, I didn't, I held it back.

And I heard meself saying... '



   

                   

Erm, actually, I'm not too familiar

with the American poets.



   

                   

Well, if you like Ferlinghetti...



   

                   

'Frank, he started telling me

all about the American poets.



   

                   

'He wasn't even one of me official tutors.



   

                   

'There must have been hundreds of us

in this lecture hall



   

                   

'but when the professor finished

and asked if anyone had any questions,



   

                   

'I stood up.



   

                   

'Honest to God, I stood up. '



   

                   

Yes?



   

                   

'And everyone's looking at me.

I don't know what possessed me.



   

                   

'I was going to sit down but hundreds

of people had seen me stand up.



   

                   

'So I did it. I asked him a question. '



   

                   

Erm, I was... I was wondering

if you think that Chekhov



   

                   

was showing us the aristocracy

as, like, a decaying class.



   

                   

This view of a Chekhovian aristocracy

in decay,



   

                   

it is, I presume, one you've picked up

from Dr Palmer's book on Chekhov?



   

                   

- No, no. I mean, excuse me, but no.

- I beg your pardon?



   

                   

No, I didn't get it from that book.

I haven't read it.



   

                   

Er, you see, the way I see Chekhov...



   

                   

'Frank, you couldn't keep me down

after that.



   

                   

'I've been asking questions all week,

mostly about Chekhov



   

                   

'because, as you know,

I'm dead familiar with Chekhov. '



   

                   

Hello, Bursar. How are you?

A new term beckons.



   

                   

Dr Bryant, you're back

before term begins.



   

                   

Preparations, Bursar, preparations.



   

                   

I can't stand here idling,

there's work to be done.



   

                   

Frank!



   

                   

Rita!



   

                   

My God, what is this vision

I see before me?



   

                   

Do you like it? I've got a whole

new wardrobe. Do you like it?



   

                   

It's very nice.

Did you manage to get any work done?



   

                   

Work? We never stopped.



   

                   

Lashing us with it, they were.



   

                   

Another essay - lash! Do it again - smack!



   

                   

Another lecture - lash! It was fantastic.



   

                   

Frank, I could've stayed forever.



   

                   

Oh, Frank, I've got so much to tell ya.



   

                   

- Well, I'm free for the rest of the day.

- Great.



   

                   

I bought you cigarettes in the duty free.



   

                   

Frank, I've packed up.



   

                   

Congratulations.



   

                   

- Got a present for you.

- Oh? What is it?



   

                   

It's not much but I thought, you know...



   

                   

- Oh.

- Look, see what's written on it.



   

                   

It's engraved.



   

                   

"Must only be used for poetry.



   

                   

"By strictest order, Rita. "



   

                   

- I thought it'd be a gentle hint.

- Gentle?



   

                   

What are we gonna be doing this term,

Frank? Let's do a dead good poet.



   

                   

One of the greats.



   

                   

- A dead good poet...

- Mmm.



   

                   

- I've got just the man for you.

- Who?



   

                   

They overcomplicate him, Rita,

they overcomplicate him.



   

                   

You won't, you'll love him.



   

                   

I was going to introduce him to you

before but I was saving him for you.



   

                   

- Who?

- Read this.



   

                   

O Rose, thou art sick!



   

                   

The invisible worm

That flies in the night,



   

                   

In the howling storm,



   

                   

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy:



   

                   

And his dark secret love



   

                   

Does thy life destroy.



   

                   

- You know it.

- Yeah, we did it at summer school.



   

                   

- You did Blake at summer school?

- Yeah.



   

                   

You weren't supposed to.



   

                   

No, I know but we had this lecturer

and he was a real Blake freak.



   

                   

So you've, er, you've done, er, Blake?



   

                   

Yeah.



   

                   

- Songs Of Innocence And Experience?

- Oh, course.



   

                   

Well, you don't do Blake without doing

Innocence And Experience, do you?



   

                   

Thanks, Frank.



   

                   

Sure you don't want me to come in?

You never know who you'll meet.



   

                   

If I end up as a white slave

I'll send you a postcard.



   

                   

Go on! I'll see you at the tutorial.



   

                   

Yes?



   

                   

Erm... I've come about the advert.

You know, for sharing the flat.



   

                   

Wouldn't you just die

without Mahler?



   

                   

Oh! What am I doing?



   

                   

Come in, come in.



   

                   

Just through there, we're up the stairs,

sort of mezzanine level. Follow me.



   

                   

Well, this is it.

A small place but mine own.



   

                   

Do say you'll take it! You're positively

the first human being that's applied.



   

                   

Yeah. Yeah, I'll take it.



   

                   

What?



   

                   

I said I'll take the flat!



   

                   

Oh, what am I doing?



   

                   

This is madness!



   

                   

What do you...?



   

                   

- What do you do?

- Er, I'm a hairdresser.



   

                   

Oh, dear. By choice?



   

                   

I suppose so.



   

                   

What do you do?



   

                   

Oh, darling, a bit of this, a bit of that.



   

                   

I'm running a bistro

for a friend at the moment.



   

                   

Fascinating people. You'd love it!



   

                   

What did you say your name was?



   

                   

- Well, I've, er...

- Oh, Mahler!



   

                   

Wouldn't you just die without him?



   

                   

Hello, Frank.



   

                   

Hello, Rita. You're late.



   

                   

I know, I know. I'm terribly sorry, Frank.



   

                   

But, Frank, wouldn't you simply die

without Mahler?



   

                   

Frankly, no.

Why are you talking like that?



   

                   

I have merely decided to talk properly.



   

                   

You see, as Trish says, there's not a lot

of point in discussing beautiful literature



   

                   

with a ugly voice.



   

                   

But you haven't got an ugly voice.

At least, you didn't have.



   

                   

- Why don't you just be yourself?

- I am being meself.



   

                   

- Who the hell is Trish, anyway?

- Me new flatmate.



   

                   

- Oh. Is she a good flatmate?

- Frank, she's fantastic.



   

                   

She's dead classy, you know?

She's got taste, like you have.



   

                   

Everything in the flat

is dead unpretentious.



   

                   

Just books and plants everywhere.



   

                   

I'm having the time of me life.



   

                   

I am, you know? I feel young.



   

                   

Rita,    is hardly old.



   

                   

Yes, I know but I mean, I feel young.



   

                   

I can be young, like them down there.



   

                   

I want you to do an essay on Blake.



   

                   

I know you're an expert on Blake now



   

                   

but I haven't had the benefit

of your wisdom on the subject.



   

                   

Are you still on that stuff?



   

                   

Did I ever say I wasn't?



   

                   

- Well, no, but...

- But what?



   

                   

Why do it when you've got

so much going for you?



   

                   

It is because I have

so much going for me that I do it.



   

                   

Life is such a rich and frantic world



   

                   

that I need the drink

to help me step delicately through it.



   

                   

It'll kill you, Frank.



   

                   

Rita, I thought you weren't interested

in reforming me.



   

                   

- I'm not! It's just...

- Just what?



   

                   

Well, I thought you might have started

reforming yourself.



   

                   

Under your influence?



   

                   

But, Rita, if I take the oath -

if I repent and reform -



   

                   

what will I do

when your influence is no longer here?



   

                   

No, your going is as inevitable as...



   

                   

- Macbeth.

- As tragedy, yes.



   

                   

But it will not be a tragedy

because I shall be glad to see you go.



   

                   

Oh, thank you very much.



   

                   

Will you really?



   

                   

Be glad to see you go? Of course.



   

                   

I wouldn't want you to stay

in a room like this forever.



   

                   

You can be a real misery sometimes.



   

                   

I was dead happy when I came in.



   

                   

Now I feel like I'm having

a bad night in the morgue.



   

                   

- He's eaten it.

- He hasn't!



   

                   

Darling, could you take table   ?



   

                   

- Yeah, OK.

- That horrible man



   

                   

keeps coming in here to chat me up.



   

                   

Where are the real men these days?



   

                   

Why don't we get the likes of Shelley

and Byron and Coleridge in here?



   

                   

- I think they'd smell a bit.

- Oh, you are a love.



   

                   

Did you see

the production of Saint Joan...



   

                   

Can I take your order?



   

                   

Er, I'll begin with the pÔtÚ mackerel.



   

                   

Oh, yeah, that's very good, yeah.



   

                   

Really, it was beautiful.



   

                   

- It was written later than that.

- It was     .



   

                   

I know that Shaw wrote

Saint Joan in     .



   

                   

He didn't, Tiger. Shaw wrote it in     .



   

                   

Actually, Shaw wrote Saint Joan in     



   

                   

but the first production was in     

at the New Theatre in London.



   

                   

More wine, anyone?



   

                   

- Hi, Susan.

- Hiya.



   

                   

Hi, Susan!

Susan!



   

                   

- What?

- We want you to settle an argument.



   

                   

- What about?

- Lawrence's early works.



   

                   

I reckon they're a load of rubbish.



   

                   

- Hello, Susan.

- What's up?



   

                   

Hiya, Frank.



   

                   

I'm sorry I'm late. I got talking to some

students, I never realised the time.



   

                   

Well, well, well.

You talking to students, Rita.



   

                   

Well, don't sound so surprised!

I can talk, you know.



   

                   

You used to be so wary of them.



   

                   

God knows why. They don't half

come out with some rubbish.



   

                   

You're telling me!



   

                   

Do you know what one of them said?



   

                   

He said that, as a novel, he preferred

Lady Chatterley to Sons And Lovers.



   

                   

Right, so I thought,

"Right, either I can ignore this



   

                   

"or I can put him straight. "



   

                   

So I put him straight.



   

                   

- So you finished him off, did you, Rita?

- Oh, Frank, he was asking for it.



   

                   

He was an idiot.

His argument just crumbled.



   

                   

It wasn't just me, anyway.

Everyone agreed with me.



   

                   

Tiger was with them.

Do you know Tiger?



   

                   

Yes.



   

                   

He's dead mad, you know.



    

                   

He's only known me five minutes,

he's inviting me to go abroad.



    

                   

They're all going to the south of France,

slumming it.



    

                   

You can't go, you've got exams.



    

                   

Me exams are before the summer.



    

                   

Well, y-you've got to, er,

wait for the results.



    

                   

His real name's Tyson,

they call him Tiger.



    

                   

Is there any point in going on with this?



    

                   

Is there any point

in working towards an examination



    

                   

if you're gonna fall in love

and set off to the south of France?



    

                   

Fall in love? With who?



    

                   

My God, Frank, I'm just talking

to some students down on the lawn.



    

                   

Jesus, I've heard of matchmaking

but this is ridiculous.



    

                   

Well, stop burbling on about Mr Tyson.



    

                   

I'm not burbling on.



    

                   

Well? What's me essay like?



    

                   

It, er...



    

                   

It wouldn't look out of place with these.



    

                   

Honest?



    

                   

Dead honest.



    

                   

? Why are we waiting?



    

                   

? Why are we waiting?



    

                   

? Why are we waiting



    

                   

? Oh why, oh why?



    

                   

Poetry.



    

                   

Literature.



    

                   

What does it benefit a man...



    

                   

if he gaineth the whole of literature



    

                   

and loseth his soul?



    

                   

No but seriously, folks,



    

                   

there is something that I have always

wanted to ask you, and it is -



    

                   

have you seen Peer Gynt

on the radio?



    

                   

Er...



    

                   

assonance.



    

                   

Do you know... Do you know

what assonance means?



    

                   

Eh? It means getting the rhyme wrong!



    

                   

It's terrible, isn't it?



    

                   

Terrible.



    

                   

Taking the name of literature in vain,



    

                   

it's like pissing on Wordsworth's tomb.



    

                   

The difference between

the tragic and tragedy



    

                   

is inevitability.



    

                   

Come on, let's get him to his room.



    

                   

Did you know that Macbeth

was a maggoty apple?



    

                   

Not many people know that.



    

                   

Dr Bryant, the Vice Chancellor feels,

and we all agree,



    

                   

that this sort of thing

must never happen again



    

                   

or the consequences could be serious.



    

                   

Thank you.



    

                   

Sod them, eh, Rita?



    

                   

Sod them!



    

                   

- Will they sack you?

- Good God, no.



    

                   

That would involve making a decision.



    

                   

Pissed is all right. To get the sack, it

would have to be rape on a grand scale.



    

                   

And not just with students. That would

only amount to a slight misdemeanour.



    

                   

No. For dismissal, it would have to be

nothing less than buggering the Bursar.



    

                   

Frank, even if you don't

think about yourself,



    

                   

- what about your students?

- What about them?



    

                   

It's hardly fair if the lecturer's so pissed

he's falling off the platform.



    

                   

I may have fallen off, my dear,

but I went down talking.



    

                   

- Look, I'll see you next week, eh?

- We've got a tutorial.



    

                   

You're not in any state

for a tutorial, Frank.



    

                   

We'll talk about

me Blake essay next week.



    

                   

Hello, Rita.



    

                   

Oh. Hiya, Frank.



    

                   

I'm sorry I never made your tutorial,

it's just we're dead busy here.



    

                   

When you didn't arrive,

I telephoned the shop.



    

                   

- Which shop?

- The hairdresser's,



    

                   

where I thought you worked.



    

                   

- I haven't worked there for ages.

- Yes, so it seems.



    

                   

- You didn't tell me.

- Oh, didn't I?



    

                   

I thought I had.



    

                   

What's wrong?



    

                   

Well, it struck me that there was a time

when you used to tell me everything.



    

                   

I thought I had told you.



    

                   

Do you think I could

have a drink, please? Seeing as I'm here.



    

                   

Not for free, I'll pay.



    

                   

Who cares if I've left hairdressing

to work in a bistro?



    

                   

- I care.

- Why?



    

                   

Why do you care?



    

                   

- It's just boring, insignificant detail.

- Is it?



    

                   

Yes. That's why

I couldn't stand hairdressing.



    

                   

I don't wanna talk about

irrelevant rubbish any more.



    

                   

What do you talk about

here in your bistro?



    

                   

We talk about what's important, Frank,



    

                   

and leave out the boring details

for those who want them.



    

                   

Is Mr Tyson one of your customers?



    

                   

Look, for your information,

I do find Tiger fascinating



    

                   

like I find a lot of

those people fascinating.



    

                   

They're young and-and passionate

about things that matter.



    

                   

They're not trapped.



    

                   

They're too young for that.



    

                   

And I like being with them.



    

                   

Well, perhaps you don't want

to waste your time



    

                   

coming to my tutorials any more.



    

                   

Frank, we've just been too busy here.



    

                   

I haven't stopped coming altogether.



    

                   

All right. Come this evening.



    

                   

I can't. I'm meeting Trish soon,

we've got tickets for The Seagull.



    

                   

Oh, yes, well, when Chekhov calls.



    

                   

Oh, dear.



    

                   

You really can't bear to spend a moment

with me now, can you?



    

                   

Frank, that is not true.



    

                   

It's just that tonight I've got

to go to the theatre.



    

                   

As I was saying,

if you want to stop coming...



    

                   

Oh, for Christ's sake, I don't wanna

stop coming! What about me exam?



    

                   

Don't worry about that,

you'd sail through it.



    

                   

You really don't have to put in the odd

appearance out of sentimentality.



    

                   

I'd rather you spared me that.



    

                   

If you could stop pouring that junk

down your throat



    

                   

in the hope that it'll make you

feel like a poet,



    

                   

you might be able to talk about

things that matter



    

                   

instead of where I do and don't work.



    

                   

And then it might actually

be worth turning up.



    

                   

Are you capable of recognising

what does and does not matter?



    

                   

I understand literary criticism and that's

what we're supposed to be dealing with.



    

                   

Oh, literary criticism, eh?



    

                   

Literary criticism.



    

                   

Give me an essay on that lot

by next week.



    

                   

An assessment of a lesser known

English poet.



    

                   

Me.



    

                   

Yes, yes, Morgan!



    

                   

But it's the publishers I'm worried about.



    

                   

Frank...



    

                   

Brian was just passing,

he dropped in to make a phone call.



    

                   

Yes, yes,

I think you know why, Morgan.



    

                   

We can't go on like this,

things are getting ridiculous.



    

                   

The advance that they offered

was, as usual, inadequate.



    

                   

Brian.



    

                   

- I am an academic author of repute...

- Brian, I haven't paid the bill.



    

                   

Hang on, Morgan,

Frank's trying to tell me something.



    

                   

They disconnected us

this morning.



    

                   

Morgan, fuck off.



    

                   

- Frank...

- Yes, O faithful one?



    

                   

For God's sake! How could anyone

be faithful to you, Frank?



    

                   

Julia has at least tried

and what has she had in return?



    

                   

What have any of us had

in return, Frank?



    

                   

Only my soul, Brian,

which I must confess is very little.



    

                   

Frank, I'm leaving you. Brian and I are...



    

                   

Brian is leaving Elaine, and we're going.



    

                   

Congratulations, Brian.



    

                   

Better luck next time, eh, Julia?



    

                   

Hello, Frank!



    

                   

What the hell are you doing here?



    

                   

Where've you been, Frank?

I've been up to your room a few times.



    

                   

I went to see Julia,

she said I'd find you here.



    

                   

She's nice, Julia, isn't she?



    

                   

Are you sober?



    

                   

If you mean am I still this side

of reasonable comprehension then yes.



    

                   

Good, because I want you to hear this.



    

                   

This is brilliant. You have got

to start writing again, Frank.



    

                   

It is brilliant.



    

                   

It's... It's witty, it's profound.



    

                   

Full of style.



    

                   

Oh! Tell me again and again.



    

                   

No, Frank, it's not just me that thinks so.



    

                   

Me and Trish read them and she agrees.



    

                   

Why did you stop writing

when you can produce work like that?



    

                   

Now, what did Trish say? Yes -



    

                   

it's more resonant

than purely contemporary poetry.



    

                   

It has, like, it has in it a direct line

through to the   th-century traditions



    

                   

of, like, wit and classical allusion.



    

                   

Oh. That's marvellous, Rita.



    

                   

It's fortunate that I never

gave this to you earlier.



    

                   

Just think if you'd have seen this

when you first came.



    

                   

Oh, well, I'd have never understood it.



    

                   

You would've thrown it across the room



    

                   

and dismissed it as total shit.



    

                   

I know, but I could never

have understood it then



    

                   

because I wouldn't have recognised

or understood the allusions.



    

                   

I've done a fine job on you, haven't I?



    

                   

It's true, Frank. I mean, I can see it now.



    

                   

You know, Rita, like you,

I'm going to change my name.



    

                   

From now on I am going to insist

on being called Mary.



    

                   

Mary Shelley.



    

                   

Do you understand that allusion, Rita?



    

                   

What?



    

                   

Mary Shelley wrote a little Gothic number

called Frankenstein.



    

                   

So?



    

                   

This clever, pyrotechnical pile

of self-conscious allusion...



    

                   

is worthless, talentless shit.



    

                   

There is more poetry

in the... telephone directory



    

                   

and probably more insight.



    

                   

However...



    

                   

this has one advantage

over the telephone directory.



    

                   

It is easier to rip.



    

                   

It is pretentious, characterless

and without style.



    

                   

It's not.



    

                   

Oh, I don't expect you to believe me.



    

                   

You recognise the hallmark

of literature now, don't you?



    

                   

Why don't you just go away?



    

                   

I don't think I can bear it any longer.



    

                   

Oh. Can't bear what, Frank?



    

                   

You, my dear.



    

                   

You.



    

                   

Yeah.



    

                   

Yeah. Well, er...



    

                   

I'll tell you what you can't bear,

Mr Self-Pitying Piss Artist,



    

                   

what you can't bear

is that I'm educated now.



    

                   

I've got what you have

and you don't like it.



    

                   

I mean, good God, I don't need you.



    

                   

I've got a room full of books!



    

                   

I know what wine to buy,

what clothes to wear, what plays to see,



    

                   

what papers to read,

and I can do it without you.



    

                   

Is that all you wanted? Have you come

all this way for so very, very little?



    

                   

Oh, yeah, it's little to you, isn't it, Frank?



    

                   

Little to you who squanders

every opportunity



    

                   

and mocks and takes it for granted.



    

                   

Found a culture, have you, Rita?



    

                   

Found a better song to sing?



    

                   

No.



    

                   

You found a different song to sing.



    

                   

And, on your lips,

it is shrill and hollow and tuneless.



    

                   

Oh, Rita, Rita, Rita.



    

                   

Ohhhh, Rita!



    

                   

Nobody calls me Rita but you.



    

                   

I dropped that pretentious crap

as soon as I saw it for what it was.



    

                   

Nobody calls me Rita.



    

                   

What is it now, then, eh?

Emily or Charlotte or Jane or Virginia?



    

                   

Trish!



    

                   

Trish!



    

                   

Come on, we're gonna be late!



    

                   

Trish?



    

                   

Trish!



    

                   

God.



    

                   

Ambulance, quick.



    

                   

- Hello, Dr Bryant.

- Hello, Mr Tyson.



    

                   

Hello, Doctor.



    

                   

Oh! A table for one, please.



    

                   

Sorry, we're full.



    

                   

- Oh. I'll have a drink at the bar.

- You've had enough.



    

                   

- I haven't.

- You have.



    

                   

- I wanna talk to Rita.

- Never heard of her.



    

                   

- She works here.

- You must have the wrong place.



    

                   

- I'm telling you, Rita works here.

- Come on, out.



    

                   

- No.

- Yes.



    

                   

- Hello, Dr Bryant. What's wrong?

- He's pissed.



    

                   

- Mr Tyson, where's Rita?

- I told you...



    

                   

It's all right.



    

                   

- Have you seen Rita? She works here.

- You mean Susan?



    

                   

Oh, yes, I suppose I do.



    

                   

She hasn't been in this evening.



    

                   

I forgot to remind her

that her exam is tomorrow.



    

                   

She might be up at the Flamingo.



    

                   

Oh. Well, thank you, Mr Tyson.



    

                   

- Don't you think you're a bit...

- If you see her, will you tell her it's  am?



    

                   

- Yeah.

- Thank you.



    

                   

Thank you.



    

                   

Why?



    

                   

Darling, why not?



    

                   

Oh, Trish, don't. Come on, it's all right,

don't cry. You're still here.



    

                   

That's why I'm crying -



    

                   

it didn't work.



    

                   

It didn't bloody work.



    

                   

Trish.



    

                   

Look, you didn't really mean

to kill yourself.



    

                   

- You were just...

- Just what, darling?



    

                   

Poor Susan.



    

                   

You think I've got everything, don't you?



    

                   

Trish, you have.



    

                   

Oh, yes.



    

                   

When I listen to poetry and music...



    

                   

then I can live.



    

                   

You see, darling, the rest of the time,



    

                   

it's just me.



    

                   

That's not enough.



    

                   

Whoo!



    

                   

Hey!



    

                   

Do you know a girl called Rita?



    

                   

Forget Rita, I don't wanna

see you drinking.



    

                   

Dr Bryant, what are you doing here?



    

                   

- Lesley, have you seen Rita?

- What?



    

                   

- Have you seen Rita?

- Come and dance!



    

                   

- No, I can't!

- Come on!



    

                   

I can't dance! I can't! No!



    

                   

Bursar!



    

                   

Wake up, Bursar!



    

                   

Come on, man!



    

                   

Ah!



    

                   

Bursar! Join me for a drink.



    

                   

Dr Bryant!



    

                   

- Go to bed.

- Right.



    

                   

I will.



    

                   

Good night, Bursar.



    

                   

Susan! Where are you going?



    

                   

- For a walk.

- Do you want a lift? Come on.



    

                   

- No, it's all right, I'd rather walk.

- You missed a great party.



    

                   

Yeah, well. I'll see ya.



    

                   

- I saw your tutor.

- What?



    

                   

Your exam's this morning.



    

                   

Oh.



    

                   

Don't forget you're coming to France.



    

                   

Susan!



    

                   

Oh, hiya, Denny.



    

                   

- Oh, this is Barbara.

- Hello.



    

                   

- Susan.

- How are ya?



    

                   

- OK.

- When's it due?



    

                   

- I've got another three months now.

- It's gonna be a boy.



    

                   

- I hear you're doing well at the college.

- Well, you know.



    

                   

I hardly recognised you,

you look the part.



    

                   

Doesn't she, eh? Look the real student.



    

                   

Be on drugs and demonstrations next!



    

                   

Right, well, we gotta go. Going down

to the hospital for the checkup.



    

                   

- I always go with her.

- It's good to see you, Denny.



    

                   

Take care of yourself.

And look after them two.



    

                   

Oh, he does, you know, he's very good.



    

                   

- Ta-ra.

- See ya.



    

                   

At  am precisely,



    

                   

I shall instruct you to turn over

your examination papers



    

                   

and the examination will have begun.



    

                   

You have three hours.



    

                   

You may not talk to anyone.



    

                   

It is now nine o'clock. Please commence.



    

                   

Have they sacked you?



    

                   

- Not quite.

- Oh.



    

                   

Well, why are you

packing your books up?



    

                   

I made rather a night of it last night

so they're giving me a holiday.



    

                   

Two years in Australia.



    

                   

Did you bugger the Bursar?



    

                   

- Metaphorically.

- What are you gonna do?



    

                   

What do you think?

Australia is a paradise for the likes of me.



    

                   

Christ's sakes,

why did you come back here?



    

                   

I came to tell you you're a good teacher.



    

                   

Oh!



    

                   

Thanks for entering me for the exam.



    

                   

That's all right.

I know what it had come to mean to you.



    

                   

You didn't want me to take it, did you?



    

                   

I nearly didn't. I sat there for ages.



    

                   

I sat there thinking

while everyone was scribbling away,



    

                   

thinking about what you said,

about what you'd done for me.



    

                   

- What I've done for you...

- Shut up.



    

                   

I'm doing the talking. Frank, that's what's

wrong with you - you talk too much!



    

                   

You think you did nothing for me,



    

                   

you think I just ended up

with a load of quotes and empty phrases.



    

                   

Well, all right, I did

but that wasn't your doing.



    

                   

I was too hungry for it all.



    

                   

I didn't question anything.



    

                   

I wanted it all too much

so I wouldn't let it be questioned.



    

                   

Told you I was stupid.



    

                   

- You're not stupid.

- If I say I'm stupid then I'm stupid, OK?



    

                   

So don't argue.



    

                   

I mean...



    

                   

It's like Trish. You know?



    

                   

I thought she was so cool and together.



    

                   

I got home last night,

she'd tried to top herself.



    

                   

Yeah. Magic, isn't it?



    

                   

Spent half her life eating health food

and wholefood to live longer



    

                   

and the other half trying to kill herself.



    

                   

So I was thinking about it all

when I should've been doing my exam.



    

                   

Do you know what

the first question was?



    

                   

"Suggest ways in which one might deal



    

                   

"with some of the staging difficulties

in a production of Ibsen's Peer Gynt. "



    

                   

- And you wrote, "Do it on the radio"?

- No, I could've done.



    

                   

You'd have been dead proud of me

if I'd done that, wouldn't you?



    

                   

But I chose not to.



    

                   

I had a choice. I did the exam.



    

                   

Because of what you'd given me,

I had a choice.



    

                   

Anyway...



    

                   

that's what I wanted to come back

and tell you. You're a good teacher.



    

                   

I hear good things about Australia.



    

                   

Everything out there is just beginning.



    

                   

The thing is...



    

                   

why don't you come as well?



    

                   

It would be good to leave a country

that's finishing for one that's beginning.



    

                   

God, Frank, if you could get threepence

back on those bottles



    

                   

you could buy Australia.



    

                   

- You're being evasive.

- I know.



    

                   

Tiger's asked me to go to France

with his mob.



    

                   

- Will you go?

- I dunno.



    

                   

He's a bit of a wanker, really.



    

                   

But I've never been abroad.



    

                   

I've been offered a job

in London, as well.



    

                   

- What are you going to do?

- I dunno.



    

                   

I might go to France,

I might go to London.



    

                   

Or just stay here

and carry on with me studies.



    

                   

I might even stay here and have a baby.

I don't know.



    

                   

I'll make a decision.



    

                   

I'll choose. I dunno.



    

                   

Well, whatever you do,



    

                   

you might as well take this with you.



    

                   

- What is it?

- It's a dress, really.



    

                   

I bought it for an educated

woman friend of mine.



    

                   

It may not fit,

I was rather pissed when I bought it.



    

                   

An educated woman? What kind

of education were you giving her?



    

                   

In choosing it, I concentrated

on the word "woman"



    

                   

- rather than on the word "educated".

- Thank you.



    

                   

All I've ever done is take from you.

I've never given you anything.



    

                   

There is something I can really give you.



    

                   

Oh?



    

                   

Sit down.



    

                   

I said sit.



    

                   

I'm gonna take ten years off you.



    

                   

'This is the final call

for PA-   .



    

                   

'This flight connects at Heathrow



    

                   

'for Qantas flight    



    

                   

'to Sydney, Australia. '



    

                   

Frank, come on! Where've you been?

It's taking off in a minute.



    

                   

Your result arrived this morning,

I went to pick it up.



    

                   

- The gate's about to close.

- Just coming.



    

                   

Frank, we haven't got time.



    

                   

What does it say?



    

                   

Right, I've passed.

Now, will you get on that bloody plane?



    

                   

Let me see.



    

                   

You passed with distinction.



    

                   

I'm proud of you, Rita.



    

                   

I'm proud of both of us.



    

                   

- Sir, you'll miss your flight.

- Yeah, OK.



    

                   

- Frank.

- What?



    

                   

Thanks.







  

  

 
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