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The Diaries Of Adam And Eve by Mark Twain, adapted by Elton Townend Jones © Elton Townend Jones 2011. All Rights Reserved This e-script may not be copied or transcribed by any means electronic, optical or mechanical without the prior permission of the copyright owners or their agent. Photocopying this script without a suitable license is strictly prohibited. This play is based on material written by Mark Twain and is a work of fiction. The characters are entirely the product of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. ‘The Diaries Of Adam And Eve’ is fully protected under the international laws of copyright which are enacted in the UK as the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The right of Elton Townend Jones to be identified as the intellectual owner of the work has been asserted by him in accordance with the above Act. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this musical play, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the material contained herein. Published, and worldwide rights managed by : Stagescripts Ltd, Lantern House, 84 Littlehaven Lane, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4JB, UK Tel : +44 (0)700 581 0581 Fax : +44 (0)700 581 0582 sales@stagescripts.com www. stagescripts.com

Publication History: March 2013 : First Edition Stagescripts Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 06155216

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Cast Adam – the first man Eve – the first woman

Synopsis Relationships: whose idea was that? One of you wants to get things done, the other wants to chill out in the garden. One of you wants a minute’s peace, the other wants to talk (and talk and talk). One of you likes things the way they are, the other wants a project. One of you knows that eating that apple is wrong, but the other is going to eat it anyway. Relationships shouldn’t work, but somehow they do – so who did the groundwork? In this witty and modern adaptation of Mark Twain’s affectionate satire, Adam and Eve – the world’s first couple – confront their many differences to find successful ways of living and loving together. Whether they’re creating language, inventing fire, taming nature, or discovering love and death, what they learn about each other on the way will be familiar and funny to anyone who has ever experienced a close relationship. Tempted?

Playing Time The show runs for approximately 75 minutes, and has no interval.

Set and Props 2 x deckchairs 2 x newspapers 1 x portable sign: ‘Keep Off The Grass’ 2 x artificial potted trees 1 x quarter barrel (partially filled with water) 3 x willow trellises (could be hung from the rig) 3 x small pieces of Astroturf placed under the barrel and trees.

First Produced ‘The Diaries Of Adam And Eve’ first appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011. Produced by Dyad Productions it played at The Assembly Festival, George Square from 4th-29th August. Adam – Elton Townend Jones Eve – Rebecca Vaughan Directed by Guy Masterson Costumes by Kate Flanaghan Production Design by Elton Townend Jones Sound Design by Waen Shepherd Publicity images by Ben Guest Its UK premiere was at Market Place Theatre, Armagh, Northern Ireland, on 21st January 2012 Its Irish premiere was at Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Ireland, on 19th January 2012 Its US premiere was at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Kansas City, Kansas, on 6th December 2012

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THE DIARIES OF ADAM AND EVE General Setting: Garden of Eden manifest as a very British country garden. Adam’s deckchair, a shallow barrel holding a surface of water that can be peered into. Some potted plants and greenery. No flowers.

Scene One Garden Day (A sunny morning). Adam’s deckchair is set with a local newspaper (dated for the day of the performance), a banana and a thermos of tea.

Voice (Adam) Friday… Enter Adam. He is wearing a green Hawaiian shirt, rolled up light-brown linen trousers and is barefoot. Not scruffy, but very, very casual. He is drying his hair with a cheerful blue towel that can sit around jis shoulders easily. Heading for the deckchair he notices something in the barrel. He goes to peer in, trying to look around his own reflection, and sees something. He shrugs. He settles down in the deckchair, chills out with newspaper; a pig in muck, happy as a sand-boy. Eating a banana, he is about to pour himself a cup of tea, but he hears rustling noises off (made by Eve, unseen). He is disturbed by the rustling and a sudden animal instinct jerks him upright. He’s intrigued, but cautious. Dismissive now, he goes back to the banana and thermos. More rustling. He sits bolt upright, gets up, looks around. Nothing. He heads back to the deckchair but notices something in the barrel again. He peers in, interested and gets closer (he’s seeing a fish or two). More rustling noises off. He looks around. Nothing. He turns back to the barrel, and peers in close. An evil grin crosses his face – he’s going to catch a fish – he twiddles his fingers and pincers them to reach in. He is hit on his ear by a hail of nuts.

Adam

What the … bloody - ?!

He backs away in nervous dismay. There is stillness, quiet. He heads back to the barrel to repeat his actions. Another hail of nuts hits him. He backs off, but peers in the direction of the hail. He collects some peanuts and throws a few back. Another, larger hail is thrown back at him. Eve falls in from the wings, almost by accident, as if in spite of herself. She wears a summery dress (at first childlike but later able to seem more mature and even later perhaps a bit sexy), with a big straw hat, binoculars and a safari satchel. She is barefoot; a little girl, an Edwardian explorer, a female gardener – all at once. Maybe there’s something slightly wild-looking about her long hair (maybe leaves and stuff in it). Like the little girl who goes off an adventures and isn’t afraid to get mucky, but she’s also very much a woman. They freeze as they notice each other. They’re stock still in a standoff. Adam has never seen anyone else before.

Eve

I, ah…

Adam yelps and bolts off in terror.

Scene Two Garden Night (Moonlit).

Voice (Eve)

Saturday…

Eve is downstage addressing the audience, making notes in her notebook.

Eve

Almost a day old, now. Arrived yesterday. At least, that’s how it seems. And it must be so. If there was a day-before-yesterday, I wasn’t there when it happened, or I should remember it. It could be, of course, that it did happen, and that my attention was elsewhere. Very well. I’ll be watchful now, and if any day-before-yesterdays happen I’ll make a note of it. Best to start right and not let the record get confused. Some … (carefully selecting a new word to her), ‘instinct’ tells me that these details are going to be important to the historian someday. What a ‘historian’ might actually be is somewhat beyond me, but I’m sure my efforts will be appreciated by one. I feel like an … ‘experiment’, you see? I feel exactly like an experiment. It would be impossible for a person to feel more like an experiment than I do, so I’m convinced that that is what I am and nothing more. And if I am an experiment, am I the whole of it? No, I think not. I think the rest of it is part of it. I am the main part of it, but I think the rest of it has its share in the matter. (She looks about herself, around the stage and out into the audience). Everything looks better today than it did yesterday. In the rush of finishing up, the mountains were left in a ragged condition, and some of the plains were so 1


cluttered with remnants that the aspects were quite … ‘distressing’. Noble and beautiful works of art should never be hurried; and this ‘majestic’ new world is indeed a most noble and beautiful work. And marvellously close to being perfect, notwithstanding the shortness of the time. There are too many stars in some places and not enough in others, but that can be remedied presently, no doubt. (During the above, light has filled the stage. She is now sitting cross-legged, facing the audience. Adam returns, as chilled out as before and making for his deckchair. He doesn’t notice her at first. When he does, he yelps and maintains a stiff distance. She turns, relaxed, at his yelp and waves. Adam pauses suspiciously, looking at his own hand in order to understand waving). I was… (Adam is startled by her voice). I was wondering if you knew anything about… (Adam, having never heard anyone speak, cups his own mouth/head/ears, whatever, protectively). No, it’s just that the moon got loose last night and I… (Adam indicates his horrified fascination with the noise coming out of Eve’s mouth). So, anyway, the moon.

Adam Eve

Adam Eve

Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve

Adam Eve

Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve

Last night. It just slid down and fell out of the whole … ‘scheme’ … thing. Such a loss, it breaks my heart to think of it. I was just wondering if you might have had anything to do with it? Me? Well, there isn't another thing among the … ‘ornaments’ and ‘decorations’ that’s comparable to it for beauty and finish. I thought you might’ve hidden it, but… well, I’ve been watching you, following you around and… And what? Oh, nothing. But that’s what I’d do. Hide it, I mean. The core of my nature is a passion for the beautiful. It wouldn’t be safe to trust me with a moon that belonged to another person if that person didn't know I had it. I’d give up a moon that I found in the daytime, because I’d be afraid someone was looking; but if I found it in the dark, I’m sure I’d find an excuse for saying nothing about it. So what’s it look like? This moon. You’re joking, of course. Er. Not as far as I’m aware. It’s bigger than the stars… Stars? The little twinkly things? It’s big and white and pretty – and so romantic. I wish we had five or six. I’d never go to bed. I’d never get tired of lying on the moss-bank and looking up at them. Stars are good, too, though. I’d put some in my hair, but you’d be surprised at how far off they are. Would I? I tried knocking some down with a stick, but I never got one. I tried throwing stuff, too, till I was all tired out, but I never got one. (She mimes a ‘throwing’ action, lefthanded). Even when I aimed at the one I wasn't after I couldn't hit the other one, Do that again. What? (She does the throwing mime). This? You’re using the wrong hand. No, I did make some close shots. Right into the midst of those golden clusters forty or fifty times, and if I’d held out a little longer, I could’ve got one. What? Throwing like that? I was good enough to hit the back of your ear. You try it. No. I don’t think so. Someone could get hurt, and besides, it doesn’t work like that. The twinkly things aren’t as close as they look. I know! I made a basket and started for a place where the stars were close to the ground and I should have been able to get them with my hands, which would be better, anyway, because I could gather them tenderly and not break them. But it was farther than I thought, and I had to give it up. I was so tired I couldn't drag my feet 2


Adam Eve

Adam Eve

another step, and besides, they were sore and hurt me very much. I couldn't get back home; it was too far and turning cold; but I found some tigers and nestled in among them. It was adorably comfortable, and their breath was sweet and pleasant, because they live on strawberries. I’d never seen a tiger before, but I knew them in a minute by the stripes. (Almost to herself). You know, if I had one of those skins, it would make a lovely gown… ‘Tigers’? But I’m getting better ideas about distance, now. I was so eager to get hold of every pretty thing that I giddily grabbed for it, sometimes when it was too far off, and sometimes when there were thorns between it and me! I learned a lesson. I also made an ‘axiom’, all out of my own head, my very first one: ‘The scratched Experiment shuns the thorn’. Don’t you think that’s good? For one so young, I mean. ‘Experiment’? What’s that? Oh. It’s what we are. Or at least it’s what I am. I’m not exactly sure about you.

Eve starts scrutinizing every inch of Adam, getting in close, sniffing, etc.

Adam Eve

Adam Eve

Adam Eve Adam Eve

Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve

(Nervously). What d’you mean?

It’s difficult to tell quite what it is you’re for. I’m not sure I can make you out. We’re both ‘new creatures’, but my observations tell me you have low tastes and are not kind. You have the look of something designed for ungentle work. I think perhaps you’re a ‘man’. ‘Low tastes’?! I saw you. Trying to catch the little speckled fish. Haven’t you any heart? Haven’t you any … compassion for the little creatures? I’ve never seen a man, not until I came across you, scratching and lying about the place, but you look like one. And when I heard you speak… Well, it was the first time I’d heard speech – except my own, of course. Of course. What? Talking’s great, I love to talk. I hadn’t noticed. Oh, yes. I talk all day, and in my sleep, too, and I’m very interesting, but now I have you to talk to I can be twice as interesting. And what a thrill it was to hear you speak! When I hit you with that nut, I mean. I couldn’t understand the particular phrase you used, but it seemed awfully expressive. I feel sure that you’re a man. You do, do you? Of course, there’s every possibility that you might be a reptile… (Keenly). A reptile, eh? Yes, a reptile. I mean look at you… (Excitedly, expecting compliments). What? What? Go on. You certainly resemble a reptile, with that … ooh, that frowzy hair and those … blue? ‘Eyes’? Oh yes, definitely a reptile. I’ve studied a few, so I ought to know. Look.

Eve pulls out a small sketch/note book and shows Adam a drawing.

Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve

(Dismayed). What?!

See the resemblance? The resemblance? That… That’s a Coldskin Slimytongue! A what? I’m nothing like that! Feel me. I’m all hot and hairy. (Feeling him and patting him down). But you have no hips. You taper like a carrot. When you stand, you spread yourself apart like a derrick. Definitely a reptile.

3


Adam is suddenly uncomfortable as Eve’s patting moves back up his body. At the top, they look into each other’s faces: she. open and innocent; he, really nervous. They are really looking at each other for the first time.

Adam Eve

Er… Yes, Reptile?

Adam gestures at the sky, behind Eve.

Adam Eve

This ‘moon’ thing you were looking for. Is that it? (Spinning round to look). Oh. So it is! They’ve returned it. Oh, that’s wonderful, I’m so happy! What a relief to have such good neighbours! It’s very honest of them. I wish I could do something to show my appreciation. I’d like to send them some stars, we have far more than we can use, but… (She turns to address Adam, but during the above, he has slipped away. She calls for him because she cannot see him). Reptile? Reptile? (She cannot find him and is very disappointed and sad). Oh.

Scene 3 Garden Day (Sunny). Adam is sleeping in his deckchair with his thermos and newspaper as before.

Voice (Eve) Eve

Sunday… (To the audience). It is resting, apparently. But that’s a subterfuge. Sunday isn't the day of rest. Saturday is appointed for that. (She observes Adam). It looks to me like a

creature that’s more interested in resting than in anything else. It would tire me to rest so much. It tires me just to sit around and watch. I wonder what it’s for? I never see it do anything. (To the audience). If this reptile is a man, it isn't an ‘it’, is it? That wouldn't be grammatical. I think it would be a ‘he’. I think so. In that case one would parse it thus: nominative ‘he’; dative ‘him’; possessive ‘his’n’. Well, I’ll consider it a man and call it ‘he’ until it turns out to be something else. This will be handier than having so many uncertainties. Eve walks up to him, looks at him sleeping, walks around the chair restlessly, wanting to do something, to go out and have fun. Frustrated, she wanders off and exits.

Scene 4 Garden Day (Sunny).

Voice (Adam) Monday… Adam is in the deckchair, reading behind the newspaper. Eve comes on, eating a banana, and carrying her own, identical deckchair and newspaper (thermos too, but not fully visible yet). She sets up the chair and sits next to him. Adam notices but isn’t playing, and hides his recognition of what’s going on. Eve produces a newspaper and copies his reading manner .

Eve

Adam Eve Adam

(From behind the newspaper). This is fun, isn’t it? (Silence). Us, I mean. Me and you. Doing this. We’re having fun, aren’t we? (Silence). We are though, aren’t we? We’re having fun. Just sitting here. Resting. (Adam scratches himself). Scratching. (Silence).

Don’t be shy, I shan’t bite. I’m not shy. What was that? I am not shy.

Pause. Adam settles the paper, and reaches down to his thermos to pour a cup of tea. Eve produces her flask and does the same. She has a bigger and better thermos set-up than Adam not through the need for competition, but through better organization. Adam pours his tea, greedily drinks it, and Eve copies him. Adam goes back behind his paper. Eve copies him. Pause. Adam reaches for his cup, and Eve reaches for hers. Their hands brush together. Adam jumps up, throws his paper down, folds up his chair and collects his belongings. Eve realizes what he’s doing and, before he’s finished, she does the same, as if it’s a game and that he’ll be pleased she is mimicking his actions. 4


Eve

What are we doing now? Are we going for a walk? Oh good, I love walks. Where shall we go? Did you have anywhere in mind?

Adam starts to march away with the deckchair, flask and newspaper. Eve is right behind Adam with all her stuff. Adam about-turns. Eve is standing directly in front of Adam.

Adam

Eve Adam Eve Adam

Eve Adam

You, new creature, with your … long hair … are a good deal in the way. I don't like this. I’m not used to … ‘company’. Why don’t you just… I don’t know… Go … and bother the other animals. They’re very relaxed about this sort of thing. But we’re supposed to be together. We… And what exactly is that? What exactly is what? This ‘we’ business. I know I’m not fully conversant with all these new words that keep turning up all over the place, but I’m pretty certain I haven’t the faintest notion what this ‘we’ word could possibly mean. We. Us. You and I. We is what We are together. We is what We need to be if all of this is going to work. It seemed to be working just fine before you turned up.

Eve is hurt by this and rendered speechless. She hikes off, angry and upset, taking her deckchair and belongings. Adam is left alone, looking like he might just realize that he’d said the wrong thing. He sets up his deckchair.

Adam

(Sighing). New creatures.

Scene 5 Garden Day (Cloudy). Adam moves downstage, to address audience. Voice (Eve) Tuesday… Adam Cloudy today. (He licks his finger and holds it in the air). Wind in the east today. I think (pointedly) we shall have rain. Enter Eve. Skipping on full of the joys of spring, all her previous sadness now forgotten. She is eating grapes.

Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam

Rain? Really? Do you think we shall? Oh yes, we certainly shall. We shall. (To himself). Fortunately I have a shelter. (He notices something in the direction of the audience). Oh look. (He points). What? There, look. It’s a, ah… it’s one of those… You know. Can you see it? Where? (Impatiently). There. There. Right smack in front of us. It’s a whatyoumaycallit. I can’t find the right word. A wildcat! That’s it, a wildcat! Well, I do declare! If it isn’t a dodo! A what-what?! A dodo! Isn’t it sweet? What kind of word is ‘dodo’? It’s the name of that animal you’re pointing at. ‘Dodo’? Don’t you think it’d prefer something a little more on the edge? Like wildcat? No, it’s definitely a dodo. How d’you know? Because wildcats look like wildcats and dodos look like dodos. You’ve given names to everything since you turned up. When do I get a go? I didn’t think you minded. You looked sort of relieved that I’d taken it off your hands. Relieved? Why would I be relieved?

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Eve

Adam Eve Adam Eve

Well, it’s not as if you have a gift in that line. ‘Coldskin Slimytongue’? ‘Wiggly Wetbird’? ‘Barky Bite Beast’? You can't think of a rational name to save your life, so I’ve just been naming any new creature that came along in order to save your embarrassment. Well, thank you very much, I must say. And what’s wrong with ‘wildcat’, might I ask? You must admit that it has a certain… ‘vigour’. Like the dodo has a certain vigour? ‘Dodo’! Poor thing’ll be stuck with that now. Yes, it will, because the minute I set eyes on an animal I know what it is. The right name comes out instantly, as if it were an inspiration, and no doubt it is, for I’m sure it wasn't in me a minute ago. I seem to know just by the shape of the creature and the way it acts what animal it is. (Adam looks at her half in suspicion and half in heavily disguised wonder). Admit it, you’re impressed. Aren’t you? And a little bit jealous?

Eve chucks Adam’s cheek and walks off, happily.

Adam

(Peering in the direction of the dodo). Dodo indeed. It looks no more like a dodo than I do. (SFX: Sound of thunder). Here we go. I was right about that much. (He hurries to grab his huge green umbrella).

Scene 6 Garden Day. (Stormy, with lightning). Adam is standing under his huge green umbrella, looking really fed up. Eve is clinging to Adam. She looks thrilled by the whole thing. SFX: A heavy rainstorm with distant thunder.

Voice (Eve) Eve

Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam

Wednesday… (Very happy). This is fun, isn’t it? (Adam says nothing). Just the two of us. All snuggled up like this. It’s nice just to spend some time together without you having to be off somewhere doing whatever it is you do that doesn’t involve me. I don’t like it when you start getting all bold around that waterfall, though. Still, no waterfalls today, eh? Just us two. (Adam says nothing). Actually, I wanted your opinion, I’ve been thinking. (Adam raises his resentful eyes skyward). You said you wanted to call this place the Garden Of Eden – and you’re right, that is a musical and pretty name – but I’ve been doing some looking around the estate whilst I’ve been naming things and really I’ve noticed that it’s mostly woods and rocks and water. It’s not exactly a garden, is it? More what you might call a, well, a ‘national park’. Not that I’m entirely sure what a national park is, but if ever there was one then this is it. So I’ve decided to give it a new name, and I just wondered what you thought, but I’m thinking of calling it – what, with the mountains and lakes and what have you – I’m thinking of calling it (she clears her throat), ‘The Lake District’. Possibly Cumbria, for short. Can’t I even stand in the rain being miserable in peace? What have I done now? Don’t you like it? Do you never stop talking? Talking? Yes, talking. And naming things. I wish you wouldn’t. If there’s one thing guaranteed to annoy me more than inclement weather it’s you, Hoppy-Floppytail-ing on like this. (Upset). You don’t actually mean that? Do you? Look, I know it sounds like I don’t like you and so on, and I do, I really do, but it’s… (Interrupting). Oh good, that’s a relief because I love being with you and listening to your voice and everything… (Interrupting) …but that’s just it, that’s where we differ. I don’t want to upset you, but until you turned up I’d never heard the human voice before, not even my own. Aren’t you glad I came along then? What? With your endlessly new and strange sounds intruding upon the solemn hush of my dreaming solitudes? Your false notes all close and screechy, right at my 6


Eve Adam Eve

shoulder, right at my ear, first on one side and then on the other? Glad isn’t the word I’d use, no. ‘Happy’ then? How can I spell this out? It used to be pleasant here. And quiet. My life is not as happy as it was. (He walks off, taking his huge green umbrella with him). (Shuddering under the rain). Urgh! (Becoming really upset). Is this what you do? Is this what you were manufactured for? (She breathes deeply, trying to compose herself). This must be my first… sorrow.

Scene 7 Garden Day (Sunny). Eve is downstage, throwing ‘stones’ in direction of audience. She is aiming hard at apples in the Forbidden Tree.

Voice (Adam) Sunday… Adam enters, drying his hair on towel. On heading for his deckchair business, he notices Eve.

Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam

Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve

(Tentative, but not really paying much attention). So, ah… Where’ve you been? Away. Oh. Anywhere nice? No. I went and spent some time in the place where I first saw you. Sounds nice. No. It was a mournful place. Every single trickle of the waterfall spoke of you, and my heart was very sore. Oh. Do you, ah, know why? At all? No. It was a new feeling. A … mystery, you might say. I cannot make it out. They were heavy days, and I do not wish to think of them if I can help it. Oh. Right. It’s just that I, er, didn’t know if I’d see you again after the other night. (Brightening). Really? Did you miss me, Reptile? No. I thought you’d got lost in the fog, stumping about like you do. There was a lot of it about and, well… What are you doing? Trying to knock an apple out of that tree. A whattle? No, silly, not a wattle. See those fruit? It turns out they’re called apples. Are they now? You eat too much fruit, new creature. We’re going to run short, most likely. What did you say? Fruit. We’re going to run short. You said ‘we’. Well of course I said ‘we’. It must be rubbing off. (He suddenly realizes the implications of the stone-throwing). That’s the Forbidden Tree! Who says? “Who says?! ‘Who says?”! You know full well who says. And you’re not supposed to have anything to do with it – or its fruit. Besides, it’s Sunday. You do know what that means, I take it? Enlighten me. Well it’s my day of rest isn’t it? Aren’t they all? It was selected and set apart… (He realizes what she just said). How dare you! Oh, stop making rules. I’m only trying to get you an apple. Me? An apple for me? Who else? 7


Adam Eve

But those apples – if that’s what they’re really called – are forbidden. You’ll come to harm if you’re not careful. (She carries on throwing). If I come to harm through pleasing you, why should I care?

Adam looks at Eve with a mixture of fascination and confusion. He looks in the direction of the tree.

Adam Eve Adam

Perhaps you’re right. I shouldn’t worry too much. (Still throwing). That’s more like it. No, I only say it because you’ll never get anywhere throwing like that…

Adam goes back to his newspaper. Eve exits.

Scene 8 Garden Early Evening. Adam is sitting in his deckchair, up to very little, reading his newspaper. Voice (Eve) Monday… Enter Eve with her own deckchair. Adam tries not to acknowledge Eve, who sets up the deckchair etc, tries to be still and read her own paper, but just can’t.

Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam

Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve

You really don’t talk much, do you? (Adam chooses not to acknowledge this observation). I think perhaps you’re not very bright, and you’re sensitive about it, so you conceal it. Eh? There you are, you see. ‘Eh’. Not much of a word, is it? ‘Eh’. But don’t worry, brightness is nothing. It’s in the heart that the values lie. Now you just listen here, new creature, before you… Eve. What? Eve. My name is Eve. That’s what you should call me. Eve? Very good. Do you like it? What? Do you like my name? I’ve no objections, but why it should be of any interest to me is… I’m telling you because I’d like you to use it. Whenever you need me, you can use it. Then it’s going to be superfluous, isn’t it? (Almost gobsmacked). You… where… (Interrupting). Now what? You… (Interrupting). Oh, don’t start making the water come out of those places you look out of again… Where did you…? (Interrupting). Where did I what? Where did you get that word? It’s not one of mine! Word? Superflu… ‘Superfluous’? (Suddenly proud). Yes. It’s a fine thing, isn’t it? I don’t know where it came from. The situation just seemed to call for it. Cometh the moment, cometh the man, I say. ‘Superfluous’. A word to watch, I’ll warrant. ‘Superfluous’. Look at it go. “It? It?”. You know full well I am not an ‘It’. I am a ‘She’. 8


Adam

What you are is superfluous. It’s all one to me. I shan’t be needing your name. And I shan’t be needing any superfluous She’s, whatever they might be. I’d much rather you left me in peace and did your talking elsewhere, but as you’ve shown no sign of ever doing so, allow me…

Adam walks off with newspaper and thermos. Eve looks after him a little despondently and then goes over to the pool. She peers over the edge.

Eve

(To the audience). This is where I come when I hunger for companionship. Someone to

look at. Someone to talk to. She’s not enough, that lovely pale woman painted in the pool above the fishes, but she’s something, and something is better than utter loneliness. She talks when I talk; she’s sad when I’m sad. She comforts me. Many are the visits I’ve paid her. She’s my comfort and my refuge when my life is hard – and it is mainly that. Sometimes she stays away. Maybe an hour, maybe a whole day. She doesn’t come if it’s very dark, timid little thing, but if there’s a moon she does. I’m not afraid of the dark, but she’s younger than I am. She was born after I was. (She cocks her head and listens at the barrel). What’s that? “Do not be downhearted, you poor friendless girl”? “I will be your friend”? She’s a good friend to me. My only one, it seems. She’s my sister. (To her reflection). I told him my name. I hoped he might show an interest if he knew what I was called. But he didn’t care for it. It’s strange. If he told me his name, I’d care. I think it would be pleasanter in my ears than any other sound. But he was more interested in his new word… which was surprisingly good. I just wish I could make him understand that without the riches of a loving heart, such intellect is poverty. No, he took no interest in my name. (She exits, sadly).

Scene 9 Garden Day (Sunny). Adam is in his deckchair, reading behind the newspaper.

Voice (Eve)

Tuesday…

Eve comes in, happy, carefree and covered in flower garlands, and places a sign (‘Keep Off The Grass’) next to Adam’s deckchair. She exits. Adam notices the sign in dismay. He spends a bit of time reading it. Eve enters with two very straight sticks and sits as close to the front of the stage as to be visible by those at the back, working something out with the sticks.

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(Furiously). New creature! New… I mean, Eve! Eve!

Yes, Nameless Reptile? I’d like you to explain this. It says ‘Keep off the Grass’. (Exasperated). I can read what it says. What I don’t understand is why it’s here. Well, someone had to start making something of the estate. It’ll make quite a pleasant holiday destination, one day. ‘Holiday destination’? Does that actually mean anything? To anyone but you, I mean. (Eve gets up to face him). Oh, don’t explain, I’m sure you can and probably will. No doubt at some length. Do you notice anything different about me? Eh? At noon, I stopped for the day and took my recreation by flitting about with the bees and the butterflies. Together we revelled in those beautiful, colourful, petalled creatures that catch and preserve the smile of the sun from the sky! If you’re trying to tell me that you’ve been playing amongst the flowers, then yes, I can see that. You’ve got some on you still. I gathered them and made them into garlands for us. To be perfectly honest, I’d hoped you were getting lonely without me around, so I sat in the shade and wished and waited. But you didn’t come. All that came – eventually, and long after mid-day – was that gnashing and growling noise you like to make. 9


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Gnashing and…!

Eve places one of her garlands about his neck.

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Here. Isn’t that lovely? I made that for you. Don’t we look fancy? Hmn. Don’t much care for flowers. They’re rubbish. And that’s the best you can do, is it? Dandelions, bluebells, foxgloves, snowdrops, poppies, orchids, tulips, roses – all rubbish?! Yes. And I wouldn’t know one from the other. Wouldn’t even want to. (He goes back

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behind his newspaper). (Working at her sticks and rubbing them together) And the worst of it is that he thinks it’s

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superior to feel like that. He doesn’t care for me, he doesn’t care for flowers; he doesn’t care for the painted sky at eventide. Is there anything he cares for, except lolling about, cooping himself up from the good clean rain, eating bananas, and lazily fingering the fruit to see how his properties are coming along? (Her stick-rubbing starts

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a fire that lights her face from the direction of the audience. She jumps back, deserting her sticks). Waaaauggghhh!!!! (Calmly behind the newspaper). I suppose I’ll regret asking you what the matter is now? (Terrified, staring into the fire/audience). I laid a dry stick on the dry brown grass and

tried to bore a hole in it with another one, in order to carry out a scheme that I had, and an awful thing happened! Did it now? (Still terrified). A thin, transparent, orangey film rose out of the hole! I think it’s a spirit! And is it? (Still terrified). Whatever it is, it’s very beautiful. Probably not a spirit, then, is it?

Eve steadies herself and creeps warily back towards the fire; alert, watching, and ready to fly.

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Shall I touch it? You can do what you like. It’s of no interest to me. (To the audience). I wish sometimes he’d bother to look at me. Right now, I’m sure this light makes me look all cunning and pretty, and all he can do is stare at the back of his eyelids. (She reaches out to the fire and touches it, delicately). OUCH! (She puts her finger in her mouth and dances from one foot to the other in pain, until it eases).

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Tell me you’re not dancing now? You know how I feel about dancing. (Through gritted teeth). No, I am not, as you put it, dancing. I am expending considerable effort in suppressing a new set of short and pithy phrases that encapsulate everything I’m feeling right now. (She steps back towards the fire, has a good lookand is hit with a sudden realization). Of course. I know what it is. What ‘what’ is? The new thing I’ve made. I know what it’s called. Course you do. It’s … ‘fire’! ‘Fire’? It won’t catch. But that’s what it is. I’m certain. More than that, it’s something that didn't exist before. I’ve added a new creation to the world's uncountable properties. (Now proud of herself). Fire, and… and, oh yes, these brilliant yellow and red flares are almost certainly flames. The very first flames in the world, ever! Oh? Really? And what are they good for, then? (Looking upwards at the flames now). They would appear to enjoy climbing trees, and flashing splendidly in and out of the vast, and increasing, volume of what is probably going to become well-known as… smoke. Oh, fire, I love you! You’re beautiful! (She claps her hands and laughs and dances in rapture). 10


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Eve

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Oh no, you are dancing… Of course I’m dancing. You would be too if only you’d show a modicum of interest. It’s so new and strange and wonderful! Is it me or is it getting hot around here? (He looks out from behind his newspaper and sees the raging inferno in the audience). What is it?! (He leaps forward, while staying to the rear of Eve). I told you. Fire. It was better when you weren’t looking. It’s moving away now. (Pointing in a generally forward way). Those are its flames and (pointing across the sky) that is its smoke. And no, before you say it, it has no use. It won’t shelter us from the rain or pick bananas from the trees. But isn’t it beautiful? How did it come? I told you. I made it. (Pointing at the front row at floor level). What are these? Cinders, ashes, that sort of thing. (Adam bends to touch them and then jumps back with a silent yelp of utter pain. The vilest words of response might just be about to burst forth from his mouth, but they don’t. Instead he runs offstage in pain). Oh that’s just like you. No interest in anything. (To the audience). But I am interested. Fire is beautiful, yes, and

someday it will be useful, I think. But it’s also given me a new passion. Quite new, and distinctly different from love, sorrow, and those others which I’ve already discovered. It makes me shiver and tremble and shudder, and it’s called ‘fear’, I think. And it’s horrible! I wish I’d never discovered it. I can tell it will be the cause of many dark moments, and might even spoil our happiness.

Scene 10 Garden Day (Sunny) Eve is still on stage, looking worried.

Voice (Adam) Friday… Adam enters, drying his hair with a towel and heading for his deckchair.

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Where were you? Eh? Where’ve you been? I was worried. I’ve been doing what I always do – I was having a bath. Did you dive off the waterfall again? Of course. But you mustn’t. Why? What harm does it do? It makes me shudder to think of the harm it might do if… You know… If I know what? If you missed. Missed? The lake. But it’s something I’ve always done. I like the plunge, and the excitement, and the coolness. That’s what lakes and waterfalls are for. They have no other use that I can see, and they must’ve been made for something. I’ve told you. They were made for scenery. What? Like the rhinoceros? And the mastodon? You don’t understand. No, I don’t think I do. I don’t want you to become… damaged. ‘Damaged’? Broken. Bent. Smashed. I don’t want you to get hurt. 11


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You don’t? Now why is that, d’you think? You wouldn’t understand. You don’t know about fear. Of course I do. Fear was that big orange thing that danced around the forest and turned the trees black. (He holds up his hand). Look. Where it… damaged me… Please don’t jump from the waterfall. Oh, Eve, please. Diving into the lake is my only pleasure around here! What else have I got?! (Angrily). What else have you got?! That’s what I said. If only you’d open your eyes, you… you… man, you! Oh, I’ve had enough of this. I’m too hampered here. (He deliberately knocks over Eve’s ‘Keep Off The Grass’ sign). I need to be alone. What? I need a change of scene.

Eve exits, taking her deckchair. She’s very upset.

Scene 11 Strange Garden (Gloomy evening).

Voice (Adam) Saturday… Adam (To the audience). So I left. Last Tuesday night. I travelled for two days, and set myself up here. Well, it’s more secluded, isn’t it? D’you like that? ‘Secluded’? I even ‘obliterated’ my tracks so she wouldn’t find me. Not bad, eh? You can’t imagine the peace. All that noise, gone. It’s like the old days. (Thinks). Well, nearly. (He looks about himself as if noticing the emptiness of it all for the first time, and kicks about his new ‘home’ despondently). All that interest, eagerness and vivacity… Perhaps I ought to remember

that she is very young, a mere girl, and make allowances. To her, the world’s a ‘charm’, a ‘wonder’, a ‘mystery’, a ‘joy’. She can't speak for delight when she finds a new flower. She’ll pet it and caress it and smell it and talk to it, and pour out endearing names upon it. And she’s colour-mad: ‘brown rocks’, ‘yellow sand’, ‘grey moss’, ‘green foliage’, ‘blue sky’; ‘the pearl of the dawn’, ‘the purple shadows on the mountains’, ‘the golden islands floating in crimson seas at sunset’, ‘the pallid moon sailing through the shredded cloud-rack’, ‘the star-jewels glittering in the wastes of space’. None of them has any practical value, as far as I can see, but colour and majesty are enough for her. She loses her mind over them. (Thinks). If she could quiet down and keep still for just a minute, it’d be a… ‘reposeful spectacle’. I think I’d enjoy spending time with her. In fact, I’m sure I could. As much as she drives me mad, she is a… remarkably ‘comely’ new creature. Lithe, rounded, shapely, nimble, graceful. Once – and do not tell her this – but once when she was standing all ‘marble-white’ and ‘sun-drenched’ on a boulder, head tilted back, hand shading her eyes as she watched the birds wheel across the morning sky, I recognized that she was … well, she was beautiful. Eve stumbles in (she’s heard all this) in full outfit, hat, binoculars, etc. Adam is horrified at the possibility that he might have been overheard.

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Not interrupting anything? I hope. How in the…? (Interrupting). How in what? My tracks. I obliterated my tracks so that you… (Interrupting). Ooh, ‘obliterated’. Very nice. Then, how?! Oh, I like it when you ask me things. It’s like permission. Permission? 12


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To talk. I know you’re not a talking person. “I’m not a talking person”, you said. Go on. I hunted you out. You did? Not alone, obviously. Well who else is there that could possibly have helped? There was this wolf. ‘Wolf’? Isn’t that the name you gave to the Growly Snarlbeast? Four days was a long time to be without you. And yes, it’s better to be alone than unwelcome, but I had to have company. I was made for it, I think. So I made friends with the animals. Why doesn’t that surprise me? But they’re just charming; kind and polite. They never look sour or make you feel that you’re intruding. They smile at you and wag their tail, if they've got one, and they’re always ready for a romp or an excursion or anything you want to propose. I think, unlike some reptiles I might mention, they are perfect gentlemen. But you still came looking for me. You must have been quite lonely. Even with your perfect gentlemen. Lonely! No, I should say not. There's always a swarm of animals around, sometimes as much as four or five acres; mottled and splashed with colour and rippling with stripes. And there's storms of sociable birds with all their feathery commotion, blazing with all the colours you can think of, enough to put your eyes out. The birds and animals are all friendly to each other, and there are no disputes about anything. They all talk, and they all talk to me. It must be a foreign language, though, because I can’t make out a word they say. But they often understand me when I talk back, particularly the dog and the elephant. It makes me ashamed. It shows that they’re brighter than I am. But we’ve had such good times. And I haven’t been at all lonely. Not once. Then why are you here? I just… I… Oh, Reptile, please come back. I do miss you. And what is it you miss? My diving? My silence? My unbrightness? My gnashing and growling? Yes, yes. All of those. And the huffing. I’ve made friends with so many animals this week. I’ve made long excursions and seen a great deal of the world – almost all of it, I think. But nowhere have I seen a creature that can huff and humph with all the intense authority of my Reptile. Your reptile?! Please come back, Reptile. And if I don’t? I’ll make those disagreeable noises you don’t like. You wouldn’t. I would. Oh, do what you like. I’m staying put. I’ll make the water come out of my… out of the places I look with. You will not. I will. You know I will. Oh, Eve… Please, Reptile. (Reluctantly). Maybe. But I came here on horseback and I’m pretty sure there’s only room for one up there.

13


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It really isn’t a problem, Reptile. For long distance or for scenery I ride the elephant. He hoists me up with his trunk, but I can get off myself; when we are ready to camp, he sits and I slide down the back way. Sounds uncomfortable to me. Oh, for comfort I ride a tiger, because it’s soft and has a round back that fits me, and they’re such pretty animals. Although… Have you ever wondered why the tigers live on grass and flowers, when the sort of teeth they wear would indicate that they were intended to eat each other? What? What a foolish notion. To do that would be to… ‘kill’ each other, if you see what I mean. That would introduce what, as I understand it, is called ‘death’, and death hasn’t entered the Garden. Not yet. If by death you mean the ending of things… Perhaps. I know by watching, that the stars won’t last. I’ve seen some of the best ones melt and run down the sky. Since one can melt, they can all melt; since they can all melt, they can all melt the same night. I suppose that might be a kind of death, yes. Call it what you will, but it’s a sorrow that will come, I know it. Oh, now I want to sit up every night and look at them for as long as I can keep awake. I’ll impress those sparkling fields on my memory, so that when they are finally taken I can, by my fancy, restore those lovely myriads to the black sky and make them sparkle again. Doubled by the blur of my tears, of course.

Adam looks at Eve, half-impressed, half-bewildered. He picks up his newspaper and joins her.

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I’ve got everything I need. Then you’ll return? For now. Yes. I’ll return.

Eve kisses Adam on the cheek. Adam is utterly surprised.

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I’ll go and start the elephant. (She exits).

Scene 12 Garden Day (Sunny). Adam is settled in his deckchair in the usual spot, reading his newspaper, but not hidden by it. The ‘Keep Off The Grass’ sign is back up. Voice (Eve) Sunday… Enter Eve, talking, and setting up her deckchair to join Adam. During her next speech she will start poring intently over her sketch/note book. Adam will pay more attention to what she’s saying.

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Adam

(To Adam). I learnt a number of things, while you were away. I’m educated, now, but I

was ignorant at first. I now know that it’s best to prove things by actual experiment. If you depend on guessing and supposing and conjecturing, you never get educated. Some things you can’t find out, but you’ll never know you can't, by guessing and supposing. No, you have to be patient and go on experimenting until you find out that you can't find out. Which is delightful! It makes the world so much more interesting. If there was nothing to find out, it’d be dull. Even trying to find out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying to find out and finding out. It does make me sad, though. Because by and by, when I’ve found out everything, there won't be any more excitements, and I do love excitements! The other night I couldn't sleep for thinking about it. (Jumping up and addressing the audience). If there’s anything on the ‘planet’ that she’s not interested in, it’s not in my list. Animals, for instance! There are animals that I’m indifferent to, but it’s not so with her. She has no discrimination. She takes to all of them. When the mighty brontosaurus came striding over, she regarded it as a welcome 14


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treasure. I considered it a calamity. That’s the lack of harmony that prevails in our views of things. (Still poring over notes). I wanted to domesticate it. (To the audience). I wanted to make it a present of the homestead and move out. (Still poring over notes). I believed that kind treatment would make it a good pet. (To the audience). I said a pet twenty-one feet high and eighty-four feet long would be no proper thing to have about the place, because, even with harmless intentions, it could sit on the homestead and mash it. Anyone could see by the look in its eye that it was absent-minded. Still, her heart was set upon having that monster, and she couldn't give it up. (Still poring over notes). I thought we could start a dairy with it. I wanted Reptile to help me milk it. (To the audience). I wouldn't. It was too risky. The sex wasn't right. Besides, we hadn't invented the ladder yet. (Still poring over notes). I wanted to ride it, and look at the scenery. (To the audience). Thirty or forty feet of its tail was lying on the ground, like a fallen tree, and she thought she could climb it, but she was mistaken. It was too slick. Down she came, and would’ve hurt herself but for me. And was she satisfied now? (Still poring over notes). No. (To the audience). Nothing ever satisfies her but demonstration. Untested theories are not in her line, and she won't have them. It’s the right spirit, I concede it. It attracts me. I feel the influence of it. Well, she had one theory remaining about this colossus… (Still poring over notes). I thought that if we could tame him, we could stand him in the river and use him for a bridge. (To the audience). So she tried her theory, and it failed. Every time she got him properly placed in the river and went ashore to cross over him, he came out and followed her around like a pet mountain. Like the other animals. They all do that. But failure’s no disincentive to her. She fell in the water yesterday, when she was looking at herself in it, which she’s always doing. She called it ‘drowning’, and said it was a ‘most uncomfortable experience’. This made her worry about the creatures she calls ‘fish’, so she ‘rescued’ them and put them in my bed to keep warm, but they don't seem any happier than they were before. Besides, they’re clammy and unpleasant to lie among when a person has nothing on. I don’t know where she gets her ideas from. (Looking up from her notes). I was made from one of your ribs. Eh? I was made out of a rib. Taken from you. (Clutching his ribs). You’re serious, aren’t you? Of course. He took a rib from your body and so I was born. (To the audience). This is… Well, doubtful to say the least. Why do you say that? Have a feel. Come on. You’ll let me touch you? Come on. Without making the noises? I won’t make the noises, come on, just feel. (Eve feels his ribs, tentatively. He wriggles, giggly). Not so soft, be firm. (Eve gets firm). Not that firm. Now … am I missing a rib? You’re putting on weight. I am not putting on weight. If anything, I’m a rib lighter, according to you. You are a rib lighter. You might not believe it, but it is true. (She presses a palm to Adam’s ribcage with respect and warmth). This is where I came from. At first I couldn't make out what I was made for, but now I think it was to search out the secrets 15


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of this wonderful world. I think there are many things to learn yet. By economising and not hurrying too fast I think I can make them last weeks and weeks. I hope so. Take the buzzard, for example… Take the whatnow? The buzzard – you know. What about it? Grass doesn’t agree with it. I think it was intended to live on decayed flesh. Ever since you made that orange burny thing – ‘fear’ or whatever it was – you’ve taken a decidedly ‘morbid’ turn. The buzzard’s going to have to get along with what’s provided. We can’t overturn the whole scheme just to ‘accommodate’ the buzzard. (He sighs). It’s moments like these when I finally see what the week is for: it’s to give me time to rest up from the weariness of Sunday. (He exits, with his newspaper).

Scene 13 Garden Day (Sunny).

Voice (Adam) Friday… Eve is facing the audience, mesmerized by the green apple she has just liberated from the Forbidden Tree. Adam enters, in a happy mood and is vigorously drying his hair with a towel. He isn’t really looking at Eve as he heads for his deckchair.

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I love that waterfall. I know you don’t like me being there, but ‘how wonderful’ it is! To see that water tumble down there! (He considers this). Hah! It’d be even more wonderful to see it tumble up there! Eh? (He notices what Eve’s up to). Hey! Not as good as ‘obliterated’. What? ‘Hey’; not up to the standard of ‘obliterated’ and… what was that other one I liked? ‘Superfluous’. Just what d’you think you’re doing, Eve? Ooh, look at you all angry. But that’s an apple! You’re about to eat an apple, aren’t you?! Oh, come on, Reptile. No one’s looking. Oh right, and that’s your justification for chancing any dangerous thing, is it? (Impressed). ‘Justification’. Oh, now that’s more like it! Very good. Let’s celebrate by getting you an apple, too! No! I don’t want to celebrate by getting an apple. Eve. What’s going on? What d’you mean: “What’s going on?”. Well, and I never thought I’d say this… Never thought I’d ever have occasion to say this, but… It’s been worryingly quiet around here this week. You’ve hardly spoken a word to me for days. Not that I’m necessarily complaining, but… Well. The question stands: what’s going on? Well, if you really must know… I’ve been spending time with a snake. I wondered why the other animals were looking so relieved. What’s so special about this snake? What would you say if I told you that we weren’t the only creatures that could talk? I mean, really talk. Like we do. Huh? The future really is in the best of hands, isn’t it? So you’ve taken up with a talking snake. What d’you want me to say? ‘I’ll be glad of the rest’? But we’ve been talking. The snake and I. The snake and me? Me and the snake. About the tree. Has he been putting ideas in your head? Not as many as this apple will! 16


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Look, Eve, I know this might appear to be my default setting, but I really don’t follow. The snake swears by the fruit of the Forbidden Tree. I think that’s what started him talking, because he says the result of eating this apple will be a great and fine and noble education. Eve, listen to me. I have it on very good authority – the best you might say – that eating that fruit will have another, more significant result. You know that ‘death’ thing I mentioned? Eating that fruit will introduce death into the world. But, Reptile! Don’t you see? This is marvelous! How could the introduction of death and decay into the world possibly be described as marvelous? Or is there another kind of marvelous you forgot to tell me about? Don’t you see? We can save the sick buzzard! What?! And solve the problems the tigers are having with their teeth! But… Eve… No. Listen. Eve. I am determined. Right now you are yes, but once you eat that apple it’s free will all the way, and I’m not necessarily sure that’s the best thing. Let’s go and… I don’t know… How about we go and make some flower garlands. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Eve? (Eve is staring intently at the apple). Eve. Throw the apple away. No, I shall not. I can see trouble coming. Oh, go and loll about resting. Let me get on with something useful. (Backing away). Eve…

Eve bites into the apple. Blackout (in which the deckchairs and the ‘Keep Off The Grass’ sign are knocked over). SFX: A sound of thunder and a wild, violent cacophony of animal noise; all hell has broken loose.

Scene 14 A Cave (Cold, blue and gloomy). Adam looks a little disheveled.

Voice (Adam) Ten Days Later… Adam I escaped that night, and rode a horse as fast as he could go, hoping to hide in some other country before the trouble began. It wasn’t to be. Dawn came, and one moment I was riding across this flowery plain where thousands of animals grazed, slumbered, and played with each other; the next I was caught up in a ‘frantic tempest’ of frightful noise as every beast attempted to destroy its neighbour. Eve had let death into the world. The tigers ate my horse! I asked them to desist and I think they’d have eaten me too if I’d stayed – which I didn't, because I’d discovered a new word called ‘haste’. I found this place, well outside the old place. It’s been a good few days now and I’ve been fairly comfortable, but… Well, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but without her about the place, I am beginning to feel a little bit… Eve (Entering and interrupting). Reptile! Adam Eve! You found me! Eve I found you! They jump into each other’s arms, excited to see each other. Adam pulls out of the embrace embarrassed and nervous, changing the subject.

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You saw the animals, I take it? Slaughtering each other. Yes. And you know why… Yes. That’s why I got out when I could – as far away from the action as possible. 17


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(Looking about her). [Insert venue or other name for comic effect]. A good choice. Far away from anywhere and quiet as the grave. The ‘grave’? Oh yes. The grave. Thanks to you and your apples I suspect we’ll be learning quite a lot more than we’d perhaps like about ‘the grave’. Do you know what a grave is? Not really. Me neither. It’ll come. It will. And anyway, you’re the one that caused this disaster. (Gobsmacked). I beg your pardon? The Serpent assured me that the forb… (Interrupting). The what? The talking snake. Oh, so he’s a ‘serpent’ now. Actually, he’s The Serpent. Definite article. Indeed. The Serpent assured me that the forbidden fruit wasn’t the apple after all. What? No. The apples were fine. It was the chestnuts that were dangerous. ‘Chestnuts’? I said I was innocent then, because I hadn’t eaten any chestnuts. The Serpent then informed me that ‘chestnut’ is a figurative term meaning an aged and mouldy joke. The kind you like to make. Meaning what exactly? Well. Do you remember the morning of the catastrophe when you admonished me for liberating an apple? You made one of your mouldy old jokes. ‘How wonderful it is to see all that water tumble down there!’ And then you said: “It’d be even more wonderful to see it tumble up there!”. Shortly after which all nature broke loose in war and death. The Serpent mentioned that very jest, and called it the First Chestnut. (Numbed at the prospect). And he said I was to blame? If only you weren’t so… witty. (Still a little shocked). Me and my radiant thoughts. Are you pleased to see me? (Shaken from his worry). Pleased to see you? Absolutely. (Finding his humour). D’you like that one? ‘Absolutely’. I think it’s already been done. Oh. Well. Anyway, yes, I’m glad to see you. (Eve opens up her safari satchel and produces an apple. She holds it out to him, and he looks at it in fascinated horror). To be honest the pickings have been meagre here. I don’t suppose you’ve got anything I could snack on? (Eve clearly hasn’t). Well, if you insist. It’s against my principles, of course. Then again… principles only have force when… one’s… well fed. (He takes the apple and bites from it, realizing it to be quite enjoyable. He now seems to notice Eve for the first time). You look different. What’s all that about? (Eve smiles at him, fully

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aware of a new-found sexuality). I’m not sure it becomes you. Does it become you? I don’t know. Have you been making fires again? I feel very hot right now. (Fully confident in herself). You’ll soon understand. You think so, do you? You do think so and you’d be right to… This… this apple is… so… and… (paying sudden and rapt attention to Eve) … I have to say that that is without a doubt the very best fruit I have ever seen…

Adam pulls Eve gently to him and they kiss.

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And is it the best you have ever tasted, my Reptile? My… Adam. 18


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(Taking in the new name). ‘Adam’? Yes! Oh yes, the very best. (He reaches to kiss her again).

Eve Adam Eve Adam Eve Adam

But I think there’s something you ought to know… I already feel as if I know rather a lot more than I did an hour ago… It’s been ordered that we work for our living hereafter. And so you shall. I said ‘we’. I’ll superintend.

Eve looks up at Adam, mouth wide open in amazement. Adam responds by locking her into another big kiss. Blackout on the kiss. SFX: The sound of a crying baby. Exit Eve.

Scene 15 New Garden Day (Sunny). Adam is on stage alone. Throughout the following, he sets up his and Eve’s deckchair, before settling into his own. Adam We named it Cain. I was away hunting when Eve caught it in the woods a couple of miles from our new place. It ‘resembled’ us in some ways, so she thought it was a ‘relation’. In my judgment, it wasn’t one of us – it didn't walk! And the difference in size suggested a type of fish. Though when I put it in the water to find out, it sank and Eve plunged in and snatched it out before the experiment could ‘determine’ the matter. The new fish made her suddenly unreasonable about experiments, and when it complained, making its devilish noises, she’d pat its back and make soft sounds to soothe it. I never saw her do this with the other fish. And whoever knew of a fish that could laugh? I said it was probably an ‘enigma’. Eve admired the word, but I don’t think she understood it. Three months later, it was five times as big and going about on four legs. Its front legs were unusually short, indicating relations with the ‘kangaroo’ family, although, the true kangaroo hops and Cain never did. It had fur on its head too, like ours but finer. So although it had no tail and only one tooth, I decided that this ‘capricious’ and ‘unclassifiable’, ‘zoological’… ‘freak’ was probably some kind of bear. It wasn’t long before it was permanently on its hind legs – and saying ‘poppa’ and ‘momma’. This resemblance to words seemed purely accidental, of course, but it was still an extraordinary thing that no other bear could do. Fascinated, I took an exhaustive three month expedition to find another one, for Cain to play with. But I found none; and strangest of all, no tracks. I set a dozen traps, but they did no good. I caught every small animal except that one. But in the meantime, without even stirring from the home estate, Eve had managed to catch another one! I never saw such luck! I might’ve hunted in those woods for a hundred years and never run across that thing. When we compared new with old, it was perfectly plain they were the same breed. The new one was every bit as ugly as Cain had been at first. Eve called it Abel. By now, Cain was tamer than Abel was. He could laugh and talk. I assumed he’d learned this from being around the parrot. In fact, I was quite prepared for Cain to turn out to be a kind of parrot. After all, he’d been everything else I could think of since he’d been a fish. But, no, they were ‘boys’! Little copies of me! And there are some ‘girls’ now, too. Little copies of Eve. And Abel’s a good boy, but… (He notices something off-stage). Cain! (Speaking towards the source of his concern). If you’d stayed a bear it would have improved you! (To the audience). You know… After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve. In the beginning, I mean. At first I thought she talked too much; but now I realize that I didn’t talk enough. And I’d be sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life. Blessed be the chestnut that brought us closer and taught me to know the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit! It’s better to live outside the Garden with her, than inside without her. (He settles back into the deckchair and falls asleep).

Scene 16 19


New Garden Day (Sunny).

Voice (Eve)

Today…

Adam is in his deckchair, asleep. Eve’s deckchair is empty next to him. Enter Eve. She watches Adam, with deep love.

Eve

(To the audience). When I look back, the Garden’s a dream to me. It was beautiful,

surpassingly beautiful, enchantingly beautiful; but even though it’s long lost, and I shan’t see it again, I still have him, and am content. I love him with all the strength of my passionate nature. He loves me as well as he can. I don’t know why I love him, and don’t really care to know. It’s not on account of his brightness that I love him. No, it’s not that. He’s not to blame for his brightness, such as it is, for he didn’t make it himself. He’s just as he was made, and that’s sufficient. Over time it has developed, though never suddenly. But there’s no hurry. He’s well enough just as he is. It’s not on account of his gracious and considerate ways and his delicacy that I love him. No, he has lacks in this regard, but he’s well enough just so, and is improving. And it’s not on account of his industry that I love him. No, it’s not that. I think he has it in him, and I don’t know why he conceals it from me. It’s my only pain. Otherwise he’s frank and open with me. I’m sure he keeps nothing from me but this. Once, it grieved me that he should have a secret from me, and sometimes it spoiled my sleep, thinking of it, but now I put it out of my mind. It doesn’t trouble my happiness, which is otherwise full to overflowing. It’s not on account of his education that I love him. No, it’s not that. He’s self-educated, and does really know a multitude of things, but they are not so. Then why is it that I love him? Merely because he’s mine, I think. He’s good and strong and handsome, and I love him for that, and I admire him and am proud of him, but I could love him without those qualities. If he were plain, I’d love him. If he were a wreck, I’d love him. And I’d work for him, and slave over him, and pray for him, and watch by his bedside until I died. Yes, I think I love him merely because he’s mine and is masculine. There’s no other reason, I suppose. This kind of love isn’t a product of reasoning and statistics. It just comes – who knows where from – and can’t explain itself. It doesn't need to. That’s what I think. But it may turn out that in my ignorance and inexperience I haven’t got it right. But… It’s my prayer, it’s my longing, that we’ll pass from this life together – a longing which shall never perish from the earth, but shall have place in the heart of every wife that loves, until the end of time. And it shall be called by my name. But if one of us must go first, it’s my prayer that it shall be me; because he is strong, I am weak. I am not so necessary to him as he is to me. Life without him would not be life; how could I endure it? This prayer is also immortal, and will not cease from being offered up while my race continues. I am the first wife; and in the last wife I shall be repeated. Eve departs, with sad finality. Adam awakens. He seems a little unsure of where he is, and turns to Eve’s empty deckchair. With painful realization, he reaches to touch the empty seat with tentative fingers.

Adam

(To the audience). Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.

Blackout.

THE END

20


Reviews of the Original Edinburgh Fringe Production “Hugely entertaining… one to see with your significant other” (The Carrick) “Sheer pleasure… very funny” (Informed Edinburgh) “Great fun… the humour rarely lets up” (British Theatre Guide) “Comic and poetic; thoughtful and polished… compelling theatre” (Fringe Review) “Excellent… lively and witty” (One4Review) Full Review: British Theatre Guide “If you are looking for a show that will charm all of the family, this could be the one. ‘The Diaries Of Adam And Eve’ combines a good original premise; Mark Twain's wit updated in an anglicised adaptation by Elton Townend Jones, who is also Adam, and good acting under the sure direction of Guy Masterson. We all know about Adam and Eve and the familiar plotlines are all there, delivered from novel angles that regularly raise laughs. The pair live in an English country garden that is positively Edenic. Adam is a slob who spends most of his time reading the Metro and dozing in his deckchair. His partner, born an adult, is Adam's polar opposite. Rebecca Vaughan's Eve is interested in every aspect of the world, with the instincts of a naturalist and physicist rolled into one. Unfortunately for poor Adam, she also feels an intrinsic need to share any piece of information that she learns or creates, driving him to distraction. As an actor, Townend Jones plays second fiddle to the overpowering Eve but still gets his share of laughs. This is all great fun and the humour rarely lets up through an enjoyable 75 minutes.” Full Review: One 4 Review “If dealing with relationships between man and woman, both loving and confrontational, why not go all way back to the mythical first partnership? Writer Elton Townend Jones, who also appears as Adam, has successfully adapted the writings of Mark Twain’s ‘Diaries of Adam and Eve’ written separately and published over a number of years to produce a modern composite version of the story. In association with the excellent Rebecca Vaughan (Eve) and Director Guy Masterson, a lively and witty play has resulted. For much of the play it is the confrontation which is emphasised. Eve is loquacious, words pouring out of her mouth with excitement as she invents words, discovers concepts and even fire. Adam, on the other hand, simply wants to spend most of his time lolling around in peace and quiet. Despite Eve’s warmth towards him, he is not interested. He does invent one word – superfluous – but that is meant to be a put down to Eve. Real discord develops when Eve takes the first bite of the apple from the Forbidden Tree. However, their relationship changes when Adam is persuaded to take a bite as well. It takes on a sexual nature and Cain and Abel are the results. The play draws to a conclusion with Eve making a moving speech in praise of her man despite all his faults and weaknesses.”

21

The Diaries Of Adam And Eve  

(1m, 1f) Adapted from Mark Twain's original short stories by Elton Townend Jones. It’s the basis of every love story, every romantic ballad,...

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