Stage Directions: A Short Story -The Toast

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Some soldiers are leaning over the balcony. To the right there is a gigantic staircase, to the left, at the back, an old cistern surrounded by a wall of green bronze. Moonlight.

The sound of a door shutting is heard from below.

They do not move.

She waits, at the end of patience.

She waits, waits, listening with ears and eyes both, slowly here, slowly there, and hears only silence.

A broken plate glass window boarded up, glass all over the floor.

The maid, half-dressed, comes to the door.

Gropes distractedly about, seizes HELMER’S domino, throws it round her, while she says in quick, hoarse, spasmodic whispers.


She holds her face up to his.

He stifles her.

When finally they separate, they sit down, rather breathlessly, on the balustrade.

Wine is brought.

The Furies enter, laughing.

Enter the Chorus of Corinthian women.

The four people are: a woman dressed as the Blessed Mother, a man dressed as St. Joseph, and a large camel (made up of two people, a woman playing the front, a man playing the back.)

Enter two hundred women of the town.

A struggle ensues between Pirates and Police. Eventually the Police are overcome, and fall prostrate, the Pirates standing over them with drawn swords.

Enter a Messenger with two heads and a hand.

There is no scenery. All properties are imaginary and are pantomimed by the actors.


He stands gazing after her with an expression of horror on his face.

Enter the Tutor with the children.

Enter Agamemnon, Ulysses, Diomedes, Nestor, Ajax, Menelaus and Calchas.

Gloucester’s eye is put out.

Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches.

The soldiers rush forward and crush beneath her their shields.

Kissing the bookcase.

Triumphantly. Anxiously. With satisfaction.

Affecting tea-party interest.

The sound of a harp string breaking.

The rhythm of the rocking takes her into the tune, softly, and more tenderly.

The bodies of the two children are visible in the chariot.

She goes up the steps to the porch, but turns for a final word, almost of warning.

Exeunt all, except the Clown.

Exit hurriedly, pursued by a bear.

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