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The Great Adventure   By: (1867-1931)

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First Page:

THE GREAT ADVENTURE

A Play of Fancy in Four Acts

by

ARNOLD BENNETT

1913

CHARACTERS

ILAM CARVE An illustrious Painter ALBERT SHAWN Ilam's Valet DR. PASCOE EDWARD HORNING Doctor's Assistant CYRUS CARVE Ilam's Cousin, a City Auctioneer FATHER LOOE A Catholic Priest PETER HORNING A Journalist EBAG A Picture Dealer JOHN SHAWN A Curate JAMES SHAWN His Brother, a Curate LORD LEONARD ALCAR TEXEL An American Millionaire A WAITER A PAGE A SERVANT JANET CANNOT A Widow MRS. ALBERT SHAWN HONORIA LOOE Sister of Father Looe

SCENES

ACT I ROOM IN ILAM CARVE'S HOUSE, 126 REDCLIFFE GARDENS

ACT II PRIVATE ROOM AT THE GRAND BABYLON HOTEL

ACT III JANET'S SITTING ROOM AT WERTER ROAD, PUTNEY

ACT IV LORD LEONARD ALCAR'S STUDY, GROSVENOR GARDENS

SPECIAL NOTE. Each Act is divided into two scenes, separated by a passage of time more or less short. The passage of time is indicated by darkening the stage for a few moments. No change of scenery is involved.

NOTE

The play was produced for the first time in London at the Kingsway Theatre, by Granville Barker, on Tuesday, March 25th, 1913.

THE GREAT ADVENTURE

ACT I

SCENE I

Front room on ground floor at 126 Redcliffe Gardens. An apartment furnished richly but in an old fashioned way. Fine pictures. Large furniture. Sofa near centre. General air of neglect and dustiness. Carpet half laid. Trunks and bags lying about in corners, some opened. Men's wearing apparel exposed. Mantelpiece, R., in disorder. At back double doors (ajar) leading to another room. Door, L., leading to hall and front door.

TIME. Evening in August.

ALBERT SHAWN is reclining on the sofa, fully dressed, but obviously ill: an overcoat has been drawn over his legs. A conspicuous object is a magnificent light purple dressing gown thrown across a chair.

Door bangs off. Enter ILAM CARVE in his shirt sleeves, hurriedly. SHAWN feebly tries to get up.

CARVE. Now, don't move. Remember you're a sick man, and forget you're a servant.

(SHAWN shivers. CARVE, about to put on his dressing gown, changes his mind, and wraps it round SHAWN as well as he can. CARVE then puts on an oldish coat.)

SHAWN. (Feebly.) You've been very quick, sir.

CARVE. I found a red lamp only three doors off. He'll be along in half a minute.

SHAWN. Did you explain what it was, sir?

CARVE. (Genially.) How could I explain what it was, you fool, when I don't know? I simply asked to see the doctor, and I told him there was a fellow creature suffering at No. 126, and would he come at once. "126?" he said, "126 has been shut up for years."

SHAWN. (Trying to smile.) What did you say, sir?

CARVE. I said (articulating with clearness) a hundred and twenty six and ran off. Then he yelled out after me that he'd come instantly.... I say, Shawn, we're discovered. I could tell that from his sudden change of tone. I bet the entire street knows that the celebrated Me has arrived at last. I feel like a criminal already, dashed if I don't! I wish we'd gone to a hotel now. (Walks about.) I say, did you make up the bed?

SHAWN. I was just doing it, sir.

CARVE. But what about sheets and so on?

SHAWN. I bought some this morning, ready hemmed, sir with those and the travelling rug

CARVE. Well, don't you think you could work your passage out to the bed? With my help?

SHAWN. Me in your bed, sir!

CARVE. (Genially bullying.) Keep on in that tone and I'll give you the sack on the spot. Now then. Try before the doctor comes. (Bell rings.)

SHAWN. The bell, sir excuse me.

CARVE. Confound

(Exit CARVE.)

(SHAWN coughs and puts a handkerchief to his mouth. CARVE returns immediately with DR. PASCOE.)

PASCOE. (Glancing round quickly.) This the patient? (Goes to SHAWN, and looks at him. Then, taking a clinical thermometer from his pocket and wiping it; with marked respect... Continue reading book >>




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