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Excuse me old man, where can I find time,

love and contagious madness?


a nursing home drama by Christian Lollike.
Translated by Greg Hancomb

Nordiska Strakosch Teaterfrlaget APS


info@nordiska.dk

Cast:
Biermann
Don Otto
Vera
The Singer
Valentine
Mrs. Frauke
Bernhard
Oh Walter
A chorus of aged dead

Side 1

Music. Music. Music.


Old people,
In big, heavy coats,
Dancing, two and two.
Are they touching the floor?
I dont know.
They are the remains of a beautiful sleep.
The music disappears.
And with that, the aged too.

Side 2

Her, whats she doing? With pad dangling and faeces running down her leg?
The Singer
See my dress, its as blue as the sea,
everything I own is as blue as this.
Thats because I love everything thats blue
And because a sailor is my friend.

(note: from a Danish nursery rhyme. A suitable UK rhyme might be This Old Man)

Side 3

A young man is standing around waiting. Hes drinking coffee from a plastic cup whilst he looks nervously
down the corridor in front of him. Its as if he expected or hoped But wait, here comes a young man now.
Valentine
Youre ten minutes late.
Bernhard
Ten minutes? Whats ten minutes?
Valentine
Ten minutes is ten minutes I could have used to have worked my way into my beloveds sleep. We could
have dreamt together ten minutes longer, if you hadnt turned up late.
Bernhard
I apologise ten times.
Valentine
She gets up at ten precisely. We make love at twenty to. Now Ill have to ask her to get up at ten past ten
because youve turned up late. And as such, youve displaced her day by ten minutes. Ten minutes is
enough to change the world.
The young man whos just arrived shines a touch down the corridor.
Bernhard
Whats that?
Valentine
Where?
Bernhard
There. Theres something lying over there.
Valentine
Thats not anything.
Bernhard
Its a turd.
Valentine
Thats not a turd.
Bernhard
What is it then?
Valentine
It is a turd.
Bernhard
It looks like one of Don Ottos. Its the right size.
Valentine
Thats not one of Don Ottos turds. Its too brown. Don Otto had curried potatoes for lunch and chicken curry
for supper. If that was Don Ottos shit it would be much more yellow.
Bernhard
Theres something rotten here in Frydendal.

Side 4

Valentine
Im out of here. Im already 13 minutes late. Have a good shift.
Bernhard
You just need to clean that mess up first. It was done on your shift.
Valentine
According to my watch youve now been on shift for 14 minutes. And as such, its your shit too.
Bernhard
Don Otto is your client. You clean it up.
Valentine
Its not Don Ottos shit. Its the singers.
Bernhard
The singer would never do such a big shit. Her shit is light and elegant. And greener. Shes a vegetarian. I
changer her diaper every morning. This smells too much of tobacco and rotten meat. Its Don Otto whos
got the dodgy gall bladder.
Valentine
That is not Don Ottos! He had curry for lunch.
Bernhard
Peristalsis involves a palette of colours wider than the rainbows. It doesnt need rain, just green bile to
change yellow to brown. Just clear that shit up, and get off home to your girlfriend.
Valentine
If the gall bladder is such a good painter, then it can certainly change vegetables into brown shit.
Bernhard
No, because green and brown makes brown. Vegetables are green, and green and green gives makes
green. And now move Don Ottos shit.
The formerly so impatient young man now has to clean up the faeces. The other young man pours himself a
cup of coffee.

Side 5

Two old men are sitting down. They would both like to smoke, but only one of them has cigars. I think that
the one with the cigars is blind. Now theyre talking.
Biermann
Its very black.
Don Otto
Well it should be shouldnt it.
Biermann
But its more black than normal.
Don Otto
The sun has certainly been very good for the leaves
Biermann
Is it too dry?
Don Otto
or maybe it was those Cuban thighs
Biermann
Id like a Robusto.
Don Otto
Youd like a Cohiba?
Biermann
Yes, thank you.
Don Otto
But youve been banned from smoking, havent you?
Biermann
Im in charge of my own life, for a little while yet anyhow, so if I want to smoke
Don Otto
How old do you actually want to be?
Biermann
Ill smoke, and let Death do his worst.
Don Otto
How old do you want to be, Biermann?
Biermann
If youve got an extra one, then give it to me.
Don Otto
Because I hope you dont think that I can be bothered to be a hundred, alone, in a nursing home full of more
or less retarded souls.
Biermann
Just give me one of your Robustos.

Side 6

Don Otto
You already owe me six.
Biermann
Youll get them tomorrow.
Don Otto
Youve sung that song before; yesterday, as I remember it, and Ive got a good memory, and the day before
yesterday, and the day before that even, isnt that right?
Biermann
Walter has promised to buy me a supply of Caminantes tomorrow.
Don Otto
I dont smoke under the belt cigars, Biermann.
Biermann
Caminantes are good.
Don Otto
Youve no idea about cigars.
You smoke young, cheap cigars, churned out in their millions, and packed by hands that wouldnt know the
difference between an Indian beedi and a Cuban Havana.
This here Biermann, is a cigar that contains delicately spiced, honey sweet tobacco rolled between dark
thighs. It has then travelled thousands of kilometres in an ebony box to be enjoyed by a throat for which each
inhalation is like breathing through blue violets.
Do I really need to say that your Caminantes are not to my taste?
Biermann
The last time you didnt have any Cuban my Caminantes were good enough.
Don Otto
I might have smoked one, Biermann, but that was more to please you.
Biermann
If youve got an extra one, just give it to me, you can hear I need one.
Don Otto
As your friend, I have to think of your health.
Biermann
Give me one, or I wont help you onto the toilet, Blind Otto.
Don Otto
Im sure someone else will assist.
Biermann
Yes, Bernhard, should he help you?
Shall I call him, hmm? So he can hide the pot?
Don Otto
Oh yes, thats people; helpful, but with an ulterior motive, always with an ulterior motive, and ready to
blackmail. Is it actually you talking like this? Or is it one of your voices?
Biermann
Youve travelled through life in darkness, Blind Otto, but fortunately for you, youve got ears, and they on the
other hand are as big as the toilet Ive just shit in.

Side 7

Don Otto
Whos talking? Biermann, is that you?
Im hearing some very strange sounds.
Can you here them?
It sounds like a wet dog that is tired of barking.
Listen; woof, woof. Woof, woof.
Oh, if I only had a gun, then you should see that dog
Well, anyway. Can I offer you a cigar?
Well, Biermann, because that is apparently what youre called, its here you show what your pride is worth.
You accept. That surprises me.
Don Otto
Have you got a light?
Blackout.

Side 8

Her again
The Singer
See my dress, its as green as grass,
everything I own is as green as this.
Thats because I love everything thats green
And because a gardener is my friend.

Side 9

Finally a carer wholl help but more the he tries to help, the louder and more shrilly she sings
Oh Walter
Bernhard says that a sailor lost an anchor in her eye.
Its well and truly stuck, and it hurts.
Shes cried all the salt out of her ducts,
but the tears, there all still many tears.
Id better call Mrs. Frauke.
Where did she come from? And with a Smoking is not permitted sign under her arm
Mrs. Frauke
Did you say Frauke?
Oh Walter
Oh, its The Singer
Mrs. Frauke
I can see that Walter, and get those fingers out of your nose.
It might be that The Singer smells, and yes, she does.
But look at her; her lunch is running down her leg
Oh Walter
Oh, well thats because she wouldnt
Mrs. Frauke
But Walter, you know what you have to do.
Mrs. Frauke starts to sing:
Little sweet darling, throw your pad, and lets get changed
The Singer stops singing. Mrs. Frauke turns toward Oh Walter.
Your turn now!
Oh Walter
Little sweet darling, throw your pad, and lets get changed
Mrs. Frauke
And now the three of us!
Oh Walter
But Mrs. Frauke, shouldnt we be changing the pad?
Mrs. Frauke
Walter, we have to be people. People like no other.
Think about who we are, and what we are
Oh Walter
Were carers?
Mrs. Frauke
We are the hand that washes, the hand that feeds

Side 10

Oh Walter
Carers!
Mrs. Frauke
dresses, brushes hair, changes pads, cleans false teeth, makes coffee, tea and at the same time, we
are also the hand that holds, on the final day, when they go over the bridge, the hand that warmly waves
goodbye, goodbye
Is there anything more beautiful than every day holding a person by the hand, a person whos singing their
last verse?
Oh Walter
Frauke, youre so beautiful
Mrs. Frauke
We must always show respect, always have a spirit of sensitive understanding, always indulge them
Oh Walter
Always
Mrs. Frauke
help each other, ensure that they enjoy lifes last nectar, and not just when it suits us, but all the time,
Walter, our heart must be our compass every single minute of the day. Just think, theyll soon be dead.
Oh Walter
Theyll soon be dead ?
Mrs. Frauke
Yes, theyll soon be dead
Walter, youre crying
Oh Walter
Yes, theyll soon be dead?
Mrs. Frauke
Walter, be quiet! Wheres The Singer?
The lights go down.

Side 11

I know that young man, its Valentine. But her, the old woman, I havent seen her before
Valentine
You must not steal
Vera
It wasnt deliberate.
I just wanted it to hold it.
It could be so soft.
Valentine
I know that its an illness, but no, you must not
Vera
How can an illness be a crime?
Valentine
steal. You must not
Vera
Yearning!
You have to understand!
I see it and I know immediately that it has to be held.
I pick it up, hold it for a while, and sense how it likes being in my hands.
and how deeply I can lose myself in it.
Do you know, its like being in love; you cant let go, just have to hold and hold and hold. And I suppose I
might keep hold of it a little too long, and perhaps more than others mightve, but no one will miss it more
than me..
Valentine
But its not yours is it?
Vera
Does that matter? If it means more to me than anything?
Valentine
It was a frozen chicken, Vera, a frozen chicken.
Vera
Im talking about something bigger, Valentine.
Valentine
There isnt anything any bigger.
Vera
How its going with your beautiful little goldfish, Valentine?
Valentine
She wasnt there when I came back from work on Saturday.
Were going kite flying kites Christine, kites.
I waited, Vera, waited and waited.
Sunday is kite day. And it was suddenly, way, way, way too much Sunday.
I turned towards her in bed, only to be met with nothing but duvet.

Side 12

She rang, in the morning, rang and asked when I wouldnt be home because she now wanted to pick up her
things. Her things are also my things, and now theyll be his things.
Shell become his and Ill be alone, and I said on the phone that Id never go out, and that there wasnt
anything called her things, not at all, Vera, as everything was shared. But suddenly her voice became his,
and the line went dead and I felt as if Id been hit by a huge, clenched fist.
Look, Vera, look at my cheek.
Vera
Beautiful, beautiful Valentine, nobody can love like you can.
Give me a hand.
She wasnt mature enough for you
She wasnt able to lose herself, Valentine, in your so soft eyes that see life so sensitively (from inside).
Those eyes which are bigger than the world. Thats what she realised. Realised that she wasnt big enough.
You have to be old to love someone like you.
Its your good fortune, Valentine, its your good fortune.
Valentine
I dont know if youre being sweet now but I think you are, I think you are.
Are you beginning to cry, Valentine?
Vera
You cry so nicely.
Valentine
Vera? Vera?
Vera
No, dont say it, Valentine, dont say it
Valentine
But but
Vera
No, I know what youre thinking, and it wont work
Valentine
youve taken my ring.
Vera
What?
Valentine
You slid it off my finger.
But Vera, youre sitting with Valentines engagement ring in your hand.
Vera
I thought you gave it to me.
Valentine
Maybe, Vera, maybe I did.
Blackout.

Side 13

So you two are at work then, or whatever it is you call it


Bernhard
Books should be read, passed around, read again, and passed around.
Books move us, and we must ensure they move too.
Exercise, masses of exercise for books.
Otherwise they remain on the shelf, getting all frustrated and crushed.
No, a book must be allowed to breath.
Whats that book, Bernhard?
Its a first edition of Dantes The Divine Comedy.
This is a book that definitely needs some exercise.
I found it in Don Ottos book case.
Its not like he can read anymore.
Oh Walter
Oh, and I found something today too, of great value, but
Bernhard
Good, well put it out in the garden with the other things.
You can take Dante with you. But be careful with him. He hasnt drawn breath in a in a long time. And it
might be that hes scared about being buried in the ground.
Oh Walter
But what I found, oh, cant be buried.
Its not anything we can hide in the garden, its more something I
Bernhard
Well sell everything when the old folk die.
Oh Walter
I think Ive learnt the difference between what is good for the soul, and what isnt so good.
Bernhard
Oh Walter, do you need a little pill?
Oh Walter
I dont want to be part of this anymore, not stealing. Its wrong, Bernhard, its wrong to steal from the old, and
weve got enough stuff in the garden anyway.
Bernhard
Listen here, my friend. I fully understand your concern, but youre forgetting one thing. The world is an ugly
old man. If we dont take the old peoples things, then theyll just stay on the shelf gathering dust. And then,
say, the Biermann family turn up, whove no doubt got enough money already, and sell his.. gold lighter, and
then start buying pointless sofas, unnecessary calories and all sorts of other rubbish with the money that
men like us know how to spend sensibly.
Right now, Im a medical student; in a couple of years I might be the surgeon who has the task of carrying
out a kidney transplant on Biermanns daughter. If I dont secure myself while Im studying, Ill have to work
even harder on the side. That will affect my studies, which ultimately may well have an effect on Biermanns
daughters kidneys. Do you understand Walter? Biermanns daughter would probably rather have functioning
kidneys, than a sofa that she cant get up from.
Oh Walter
Biermann doesnt have a daughter.

Side 14

Bernhard
Thats no doubt because Biermann is impotent, and thats no doubt because too many doctors didnt have
sufficient security whilst they were studying.
Oh Walter
Oh, well I still dont want to be a part of anymore.
Bernhard
That Mrs. Frauke, shes really lit your fire, hasnt she Walter?
Has she given you a golden halo, or what?
Oh Walter
She said once that everyone can be a better person than they are.
You too, Bernhard, you just need a little compass in your heart.
Bernhard
You mean a Ketogan in my pocket?
Oh Walter
She doesnt now anything about that!
Bernhard
Biermanns lighter is ugly, dont you think?
Oh Walter
Oh, he says that its made from gold.
Bernhard
Whos got the key to the drugs cabinet?
Oh Walter
But thats you. You took a copy of the nurses a long time ago
Bernhard
We need to get hold of that lighter, Walter
Oh Walter
But I dont want to do it anymore, I wont.
Bernhard
Youre right, we shouldnt steal from the old. We should show respect.
Oh Walter
Yes.
Bernhard
Have a spirit of sensitive understanding, indulge them
Oh Walter
Yes!
Bernhard
help each other!
Oh Walter
Yes!

Side 15

Bernhard
Id better return the key to the medicine cabinet
Oh Walter
Yes!! Oh, but, oh, that means I wont be able to get my Ketogan.
Bernhard
What does Ketogan mean for a person who has a compass in his heart?
Oh Walter
But I get real bad up here, Bernhard.
Bernhard
So the question is; who should I have a spirit of sensitive understanding for?
Who should I be ready to help, always and forever?
My friend, with his heavy, sad head, or a group of people who are going to die soon anyway?
Oh Walter
Oh, but cant you help all of them?
Bernhard
I cannot split my heart in two. That would be hypocritical.
You have to choose sides, Walter.
And be uncompromising in your choice.
Oh Walter
Shall I go out in the garden and bury the book?
Bernhard
If your hand happens to brush over Biermanns lighter on the way out, then Im certain that the nurse has
dropped a packet of Ketogan behind the medicine cabinet.
Blackout.

Side 16

Im inside Mrs. Fraukes head. Its night.


An old lady has dropped one of her crutches. Mrs. Frauke picks it up, and is about to give it back, when she
sees the old lady already has a crutch in each hand.
A telephone rings.
Another old lady falls down. Mrs. Frauke runs over to her, but when she holds out her hand to help, the old
lady just laughs out loud.
A telephone rings and an old lady lifts up her dress, and takes a telephone out of her stomach.
Helloooo, helloooo.
More old ladies fall down, and Mrs. Frauke has to let go of the receiver, help.
But the old ladies just laugh.

Side 17

Here we have the two old men again But Biermann, you look a little burnt
Don Otto
You smell of crematorium. Did Death look by, Biermann?
Biermann
Robustos. Theyve taken my Robustos. And I really need to smoke. They tell me that my lungs are a
mortuary, and that I cant get them replaced again. But Ive only had three pairs, and Ive been really happy
with Wilders lungs well, anyway, Id hidden one, which they didnt find, behind the toilet, and I decided to
smoke this, but my Ronson, my gold Ronson was gone, stolen, and I had to get that Robusto lit, so I crept
out into the kitchen, to the range and turned it on, but it wouldnt light, so I turned it right up, and suddenly,
BAM, my arm was on fire. I must have put the Robusto on the wrong element, and my arm on the right one.
Oh dear, And I really need to smoke
Don Otto
We must respect a ban on smoking
A wonderful laugh hes got that Don Otto. But what are you doing now? Unscrewing your walking stick to
reveal two cigars.
Biermann
Oh Don Otto, what sort of life is it they offer us here?
They wont even allow me a decent niggers arm any longer.
What sort of life is this? What sort of life is this?
All friends drying out like bluebottles in white window frames.
And what did they get out of the last years of their lives?
Lumpy custard, buckets of lumpy custard and overcooked cabbage and false, self-pitying glances from a
family that cannot wait to hear you draw your last, so that they can finally get away, move on, home to fight
over your estate. Brother and sister in holy battle for more things for the loft. Its pitiful, Don Otto, pitiful to be
so old. So pointless and alien to the world, so superfluous why dont they wish us any better?
As if its not brutal enough being held hostage by our own failing senses, with stiffening backs, and shaking
hands; the body is a prison, Don Otto, and here we sit, the one more mad in the head than the other, and
humbly thanking the people we ourselves spat out.
Thank you for imprisoning us in concrete, in the suburbs, which themselves are doing their best to die.
Thank you because we hardly have enough butter on our bread.
Thank you for the hearing aid.
And thank you for the loneliness, the silent guest that scrounges its way into our rooms.
Thank you world, because Im eighty, ugly, wrinkled and irrelevant.
The voices Biermann, is that what you can hear now? Go on, listen to the walls, theyre saying something
arent they?
Yes, and thanks to you,
And thanks to you,
And you, thanks,
Yes, thanks
No, thank you
Thank you.
Don Otto
Hey, hey Biermann, watch out for the voices. The voices.
Biermann
Oh, if Id been in charge everyone over sixty would be rewarded for putting up with life as long as they had.

Side 18

We ought to live in fine hotels with couscous, coffee and can-can.


No, we should have it better than that, we should travel, travel everyday have our own car, with six doors,
private chauffeur and a Jacuzzi on the backseat. We should visit Las Palmas and Las Vegas and
no, no, we should have it even better than that. That is to say that we should be rewarded, and then
Don Otto
Oh no, Biermann, oh no. Just enjoy your cigar and let me.
If you were regent, then all the old would live in marble palaces.
Wed have big, light rooms, with old Spanish mahogany furniture. The beds would be decorated with
sparkling diamonds and the sheets would be off the finest silk and smell of lavender. Cut glass doors would
open into a salon, where canaries would fly around statues and a big oak table would be covered in red
apples, pears, melons, water melons, lemons, raisins, figs, almonds, dried bananas, caramelised dates
this the fruit that would be waiting for us every afternoon. A polished staircase would lead down to a never
ending cellar full of wine bottles, barrels, jars full of oil and honey. From hooks would hang rows of smoked
ham, sides of beef and pig, wild boar, hare, pheasant and blue and red sausage, in a corner wed find
barrels with sauerkraut and dark blue olives. A winding staircase, bedecked in soft, dry moss, would lead up,
high up, into the palaces tower. From here, vistas of golden corn fields, woods and forests would stretch as
far as they eye could see. A waving row of poplars would follow a high banked, almost invisible river, which
would lose itself in the misty foothills on the horizon. Around the palace grounds, by the swimming pools and
the small theatres the aged would sit, and look like children.
Biermann
Stop. Weve got to get out. Away from here. Out into the world to build a golden tower.
Don Otto
A golden tower?
Biermann
A golden tower, I promise you, and that is just the beginning.
The old shall stand together, the tower will shoot up, and heaven will be pulled down.
Don Otto
Were too old, Biermann
Biermann
Don Otto, men like us are made from dynamite. We explode time, whether it comes at us head-on or from
behind. The bells will not ring for us. Were times final reckoning.
Don Otto
Im blind, and youre breathing heavily through borrowed lungs. You spit blood old man, and hear voices.
Biermann
My voices are calling me. Calling he who was once known as Killer Whale Killer Whale, killer whale, yes, I
hear you. I hear you
What did they call you, Don Otto?
Don Otto
Don Otto
Biermann
Precisely, Don Otto, which was what they called you.
Don Otto and Killer Whale.
Don Otto
Scchhhh did you hear someone too?
Biermann
I always hear someone. But I didnt know you heard them too.

Side 19

Don Otto
A size forty. I heard a size 40, with lacquered heal.
Biermann
None of my voices wear a size 40.
Don Otto
Mrs. Frauke
Mrs. Frauke, youre always there before we can say your name.
Mrs. Frauke
Who said Frauke.
Biermann
Were going out into the world to build a tower.
Mrs. Frauke
A tower?
Don Otto
A tower, yes.
Mrs. Frauke
A tower? A tower?
Biermann
A golden tower.
Mrs. Frauke
A tower? A tower? A tower?
Don Otto
The world is to be torn down and rebuilt
Mrs. Frauke
What is the council going to say, if I ask them for money for a tower?
The town hall already has a tower, what would the nursing home want with one too?
Biermann
We are going to build a tower
Don Otto
Where the aged will sit as kings
Mrs. Frauke
It could go in the garden.
and it would look very nice.
The only nursing home,
with its own tower.
That would put the council on the map,
yes, maybe even the world map.
Biermann
and look down on the marble baths and the small theatres.
Mrs. Frauke

Side 20

Frydendal will become famous, reputable,


the old will stream into town, move in here,
well expand, well create the kingdom of the aged.
Don Otto
We shall build the world a tower, Mrs. Frauke, from where you can see eternity.
Mrs. Frauke
If you want a tower in the garden, then you will have a tower in the garden.
Biermann
The world needs to see the tower.
Don Otto
Yes!
Biermann
Yes!
Mrs. Frauke
Yes!
Biermann, Don Otto and Mrs. Frauke
Yes!!

The lights go down.

Side 21

The trays are bought in. The smell of dinner fills the air. Teeth need to be put in.
Valentine
Are they your teeth?
Vera
Yes.
Valentine
But there are also some teeth over here.
Vera
So there are
Valentine
Vera, who have you taken these teeth from?
Vera
I havent taken any teeth from anyone
Valentine
They fit a mouth. And it isnt yours.
Vera
Are they not mine?
Valentine
Vera
Vera
But they were just lying there, smiling at me.
Valentine
Whose mouth do these teeth belong to?
Vera
Ask them.
So, are your dentures going to play along too, Vera?
Biermann
Hellooooo? What did you say? Hellooooo?
Don Otto, what are you
Don Otto
Peeth! Peeth! My Peeth?
Pomebody has paken my peeth.
I present: The talking teeths comedy.
Valentine (with Don Ottos dentures)
Why did you take me away from my own mouth?
Vera (with her own dentures)

Side 22

You were just lying there, on an old court jesters glass topped table.
Valentine (with Don Ottos dentures)
Is this the mouth to which I belong?
Vera (with her own dentures)
I know a mouth where the spit is cleaner.
Valentine (with Don Ottos dentures)
But the old gums will miss me.
Who will chew and grind?
Vera (with her own dentures)
Youre not looked after properly. The gaps in between are too big and your front teeth are brown. You
wouldnt look like that if youd been really been appreciated.
Here youd be washed in clean water every night, and in the morning youd be flossed, and put into a soft,
warm mouth. Just look at me.
Valentine (with Don Ottos dentures)
But Im not like you. You fit those gums. Im made different.
Vera (with her dentures)
As a young set of dentures, I often used to think that you could only fit into one mouth, namely the one youd
been created for, but it turns out that that is not the mouth that you really belong to anyway, even though its
the one you fit.
But if you really want to go back to your owner, then Ill happily follow accompany you, then you can sit there,
pressed up against those hard jaws, and think about how it could have been.
But before we go, just let me ask; how often are you really missed by the gums so much want to return to?
Valentine (with Don Ottos dentures)
Always, without them knowing it.
Vera (with her dentures)
Sweet dentures ask for more, much more.
Valentine (with Don Ottos false teeth)
What do you mean?
Vera (with her own dentures)
Do you even know yourself where you want to be?
In the mouth you love, or in the mouth that loves you?
Valentine (with Don Ottos dentures)
Are they the choices?
Vera (with her own dentures)
Arent they?
The one you do because the top set wants to.
The other because the bottom set cant help itself.
Valentine (with Don Ottos dentures)
And nothing is ever changed around?
Vera (with her own dentures)
Yes. But first when you lying on the dentists mirror and know that youll never get the chance again.
Biermann
What did you say? Hallooooo? What did you say?

Side 23

Why its Don Otto, in Veras room.


Don Otto
Pera, you pief, you pief , you pief.
You have taken my peeth.
Youve paken my bloody peeth.

The lights go down.

Side 24

Mrs. Frauke rings her bell. Theres a meeting in Frydendals staff room.
Mrs. Frauke
Orientation. Orientation. Orientation.
Week 32 offers once more the opportunity for new loving, caring efforts.
We must as always try to meet all our guests wishes and demands.
And we have two gentlemen here, I think you can probably guess who, who are missing a view. Now, Ive
been in contact with the council regarding this matter on a number of occasions, and now they have finally
agreed to provide us with the funds to build a tower.
Bernhard
a tower?
Oh Walter
a tower?
Valentine
a tower?
Mrs. Frauke
A tower, yes, and its going in the garden.
Bernhard
the garden?
Oh Walter
the garden?
Valentine
the garden?
Mrs. Frauke
Is there a problem with building a tower in the garden?
Bernhard
You cannot build a tower in the garden. The grounds too unstable, its too soft. The tower will collapse.
Mrs. Frauke
Building a tower, Bernhard, is something that can get the blood to bubble in the old bones, and blood
bubbling activities are important for people in old age.
Bernhard
But the grounds too soft.
Oh Walter
The grounds too soft. The shovels will slip and slide all over the place.
Valentine
We just need to dig the garden up, so the foundations can go down deep enough. You could sort that out in
an afternoon.
Mrs. Frauke
Such sweet music to my ears, Valentine, very sweet indeed.
We have to think creatively in our daily work. Remember Bernhard; only those who dream move mountains.

Side 25

Walter has begun to think creatively, havent you Walter? Youve suggested that we chain down the
residents possessions here in Frydendal so that nobody can steal them.
Bernhard
That was Walters suggestion was it?
Oh Walter
But Bernhard, thats because I was scared that Vera might steal something belonging to us.
Valentine
Vera is not a thief! The things she borrows always come back again. Unlike the things that just disappear
from our residents shelves.
Bernhard
What are you trying to say, Valentine?
Oh Walter
Yeah, Valentine, what are you trying to say?
Valentine
That there are things being stolen from the old people here at Frydendal!
Mrs. Frauke
Guests, Valentine. From the guests here at Frydendal.
Bernhard
I dont know anyone who steals things here at Frydendal, apart from Vera, do you, Walter?
Oh Walter
No, do you Mrs. Frauke?
Mrs. Frauke
No, Vera has kleptomania in the blood. But then so did Queen Ingrid too. Theres nothing wrong with that.
Bernhard
Valentine, if youre going to accuse anyone other than Vera with stealing, then you really should come up
with some evidence especially if its someone here that you suspect. We cant have the staff going around
accusing each other of stealing, can we Mrs. Frauke?
Mrs. Frauke
Thats very true, Bernhard, very true. But Valentine, youre not accusing anyone here of stealing are you?
Are you?
Because if you cant prove it, then it means its not true, and that Valentine is a serious matter
Bernhard
Where are the things that have been stolen, Valentine? Hmm? Where do they disappear to, hmm? They
disappear into Veras room, or what Valentine, its you isnt it, who has the pilfering fingers, isnt it?
Valentine
Youd better watch your step.
Mrs. Frauke
do you still mean Valentine that there are other thieves than Vera? Because if you do, Valentine, then
Valentine
no, no, nobodys stealing.
Mrs. Frauke

Side 26

Good, and lets remember that this is a happy day for us today, weve been given money for a tower, and
now just need to find a place to build it.
I think we should all grab a spade, and go out into the garden to have a look at this ground.
Bernhard
And I dont think we should.
Oh Walter
And I dont think so either.
Mrs. Frauke
But I think we should.
Bernhard
Id like to use right of veto here.
Valentine
Your right of veto?
Oh Walter
Your right of veto?
Mrs. Frauke
But you dont have a right of veto.
We have a democratic personnel policy here, as you know full well, Bernhard.
Bernhard
Mrs. Frauke, I really dont think its wise to agree to all of the crazy suggestions our guests come up with.
Mrs. Frauke
We must take our guests suggestions seriously. They must be respected, and feel that we support them.
Bernhard
But they hardly know what theyre saying themselves.
Valentine
But thats no reason to ignore their wishes.
Mrs Frauke
No, and theyll have something healthy to get up for!
Bernhard
But if we dig up the garden, we risk them falling into the hole.
Valentine
Well just put something in the hole, when were not working.
Bernhard
Like what?
Mrs. Frauke
The coffins! Those we bought, and ate lunch on that time Biermann felt that the guests needed to get used to
what the future held.
Walter, youd like to help Valentine dig the garden up wouldnt you?
Oh Walter
Oh yes.

Side 27

Bernhard
Would you Walter?
Oh Walter
Oh no.
Mrs. Frauke
Yes, you would Walter.
Oh Walter
Oh yes.
Bernhard
You would?
Oh Walter
No.
Mrs. Frauke
Why not, Walter?
Bernhard
Yes, why not, Walter?
Oh Walter
Oh because Id like to spend some time alone in the garden first.
Then Ill have the chance to say goodbye to my flowers, and maybe find another garden they could live in.
Valentine
They can live in mine, Walter.
Mrs. Frauke
Then its decided. Meeting dismissed. Week 32 has begun.

Blackout.

Side 28

shes still standing there


The Singer
She my ress, its as an old oiler,
ee very thong town is as told asis.
Dats burr lah dumdi lah lah hole
And falalah tali falah lili illi lih...

Side 29

Be careful, tired Bernhard, they could fall out of the lifts, just wash them nice and carefully.
Biermann
Watch out for my pacemaker!
Bernhard, be careful wear you tread!
Don Otto
Watch out for my glasses?
I said, be careful wear you tread!
Biermann
Scratch me just there. No, there!
So scratch him, Bernhard.
Don Otto
Scratch me as well!
Scratch him!
Biermann
The waters too hot!
Then turn it down, Bernhard.
Don Otto
The waters too cold!
Turn it up, turn it up!
Biermann
The waters too cold!
Bernhard!
Don Otto
Im burning. Im burning!
Bernhard, where are you?
Biermann
Im freezing! Im freezing!
Help him, Bernhard, help him now!
Ive got soap in my eyes! Ive got soap in my eyes!
But Bernhard, no, what are you thinking? With that knife? And where did that light come from? Have you
gone mad? Why are you walking so slowly? No, youre not going to do it, dont do it!! Youre cutting their
throats. Look, the blood, look at it flow, you turn around, the blood blends in with the water, with the soap,
you turn around, to face the audience, smiling, the blood flows, no, no!!

Side 30

Biermann and Don Ottos bodies hang, the heads have dropped back, revealing the deep, bloody wounds.
Bernhard runs his eyes over his victims, hes satisfied. He sits down, and lets his head drop between his
knees.
Biermann and Don Otto suddenly sit up, wipe off their wounds with their hands, and all the blood disappears.
Biermann
Im freezing! How many times do I need to say it!? Im freezing!!
Bernhard, what are you doing? Youre at work, get on with it!
Don Otto
Ive got soap in my eyes, Ive got soap in my eyes! Help me then
Towels now, Bernhard no, look out where you tread!
Biermann
Oh, it itches! It itches!! It itches!!!
Don Otto
Youve stepped on my glasses! Youve stepped on my glasses!
Blackout.

Side 31

Valentine, what are you doing here in Veras room outside of working hours?
Valentine
I just wanted to give you some flowers.
But I couldnt find any that really suited,
so I decided not to
Which is probably also for the best.
Vera
But, why?
Valentine
Well, its just because
Vera
Theyre beautiful Valentine
The lights go down.

Side 32

Mrs. Frauke, how proud you look, standing on that box. And all the others around you in the garden.
Mrs. Frauke
Two residents here have expressed a wish for a tower, a high tower, from which they can see the world. That
world they shall be allowed to see. This is why we are gathered here today.
We shall build a tower, perhaps not the tower our two residents had imagined, but a tower nonetheless.
Look at the blueprints there. That is our tower. Frydendals coming crown. Don Otto, you are the contractor,
and Biermann youll be the workforce
Biermann
Killer whale. Killer whale. Killer whale!
Mrs. Frauke
Be quiet, Biermann, be quiet when Im talking.
Don Otto, you are the contractor, and Biermann will act as the workforce.
The materials are lying here.
I couldnt get yellow stone and building regulations mean that we can only build a tower one and a half
metres tall, but Valentine has trimmed the hedge, so it will be possible to see the world outside.
So then, Don Otto, if youd like to lay the first stone.
Don Otto
No.
Mrs. Frauke
Youre right, its Biermann who should do it
Don Otto
Where are the herbs?
Don Otto sniffs the air.
Parsley, basil, tarragon, thyme, rosemary?
Biermann
Wheres all the greenery?
Mrs. Frauke
Walter and Valentine have dug the garden up to make room for you to build the tower.
Don Otto
Tower?
Biermann
There isnt any tower here.
Mrs. Frauke
Well, it needs to be built, by you. Youre the contractors
Don Otto
Why are we the contractors?
Mrs. Frauke
It was you who had the idea.
Biermann

Side 33

We cant have a tower here. The gardens too small.


Mrs. Frauke
But Biermann, you need to start building.
See, Ill put in the first stone here.
Biermann
What are we supposed to do with a tower?
Don Otto
Frauke, are you certain youre up to the job?
Mrs. Frauke
You have dreamt about this tower.
Don Otto
I never dream, Mrs. Frauke.
Biermann
Youre making this up.
Mrs. Frauke
No, but youve completely forgotten it we have to build it now
Don Otto
Rosemary, tarragon, thyme and parsley
The lights go down.

Side 34

Mrs. Frauke
No, I must carry on, be good and generous, always. Also when its difficult. Love, pure love, must be my only
concern!
Why are you two laughing, Don Otto and Biermann? Was the whole thing a set-up?
But I cant wash my heart with soap and water.
I must carry on! Rather a little Jesus in the blood, than a little Judas. Thats my motto. Also at night, when the
dreams come and tell me that
I know full well that I cant stop the activities of the night! But before I go to bed, I always say to myself,
Frauke, now you just pour yourself a nice cup of common sense.
Mrs. Frauke, why I didnt know do you drink?
Sometimes I drink two. And then I dance, just a little bit, around the room, not any fancy moves, just a little
bit with my arms, like this
Why, but you dance, Mrs. Frauke

Side 35

Now youre alone in your own rooms.


Valentine
Does she like me? Or are we friends?
Shes my client, my work, my best friend.
Vera
Does he like me? Or are we friends?
Hes just a child, a boy who looks after me, washes me and gives me wild ideas.
A boy who marks me feel strange inside and awakes old desires.
Valentine
No, this wont work. Id be a laughing stock.
Shes too old to love a boy like me.
Vera
No, this isnt going to work, its hopeless.
Hell be fired, and Ill be seen as some sort of child molester.
Of course he doesnt love an old woman like me.
Valentine
And what about me? Do I like her?
And if I do, can I love her too?
Do I love her?
Vera
No, Im so old, so old, so old.
A boy can love his mother, but can he desire his grandmother?
Valentine
How do you love an old lady that even time dropped ages ago?
81. Shes 81. And Im 23. 23.
Can I really love all the way up to 81?
Oh, if only I was another number, a higher number, a special number.
Vera
Hes 23. 23. And Im 81. 81.
If only I were just a young girl, with thick curls, and eyes that would have to look away for fear of shedding a
guilty tear.
Oh, Im far too old, far too old and what does fool experience help when Im this old? 81 and just as shy and
easily intoxicated.
Valentine
Theyre just numbers. Numbers that keep us apart.
If I was a dog, and could count dog years, then I could have multiplied every year by seven. No, that gives
141, that wouldnt help anyway. But if I was a turtle they live till 150, I would be young at 80 oh, if only I
was a turtle, so wed have 81, 23, 82, 24, 25, 83, 26, 84, 27
Vera
But its just time. And whats time?
The love that is true, would let time flow freely through and around the tyranny of numbers.
Two and three give eight and one. Four and five, nine and two. Six and seven, ten and three
Valentine

Side 36

Maybe shes just playing with me. Playing dogs and turtles. Seducing me. Maybe Im already seduced. Why
should she want to seduce to?
Vera
Maybe shes just playing with me. Wanting to seduce me. Oh, but Ive already seduced myself. Why would
he be interested in me?
Valentine
Because she wants to boast to her friends.
Vera
Because he wants to mock me in front of his friends.
Valentine
Because she wants to exploit my body.
Vera
Because he has compassion for me.
Valentine
Because shes right, and only an old lady can love as much as I do.
Vera
Because Im right, and only an old lady can love him as much as he deserves.
Can you not see each other? Yes
Valentine
Hello.
Vera
Hello.
Valentine
Hi.
Vera
Hi.
you can dance too.

Side 37

Biermann, calm down


Biermann
Helloooo Helloooo!!
Out, go away, out!
Don Otto
Biermann, where are you?!
Biermann
Stay out of my sight, little girl.
What did you say? Are you just a little girl?
Whats that doing there then?
Got you there. And you! And you!
Biermann starts hitting himself in the face.
Don Otto
Biermann, calm down, its the voices. The voices!
Biermann
Not that music. No, not that music!
Don Otto
Biermann, stop, your madness, its catching!
Biermann
You dont belong here! Go, leave now!
No, I cant hear, I, I!
Don Otto
Killer Whale, let them come, Im with you know, out of your head and in here.
Yes, let them come to me, because Im
I am Don Otto, pile driver of the mind! The man who milks the brains moths!
Biermann
There she is!
Don Otto
Thats the first one, yes. I felt her breathe.
Biermann
Where?! I dont see anyone!
Don Otto
See with my eyes
see the small, dear girls, see them, their eyes alight with mother of pearl and wild echoes.
They breathe heavily and damply when you stroke then under the chin.
And there are women. The big dark ones, with purple mouths and yellow eyes. They are so fertile that their
toes are snails.
Biermann becomes frightened, and begins to shake and hit himself in the face.
Biermann
There are still more!

Side 38

Don Otto
Killer Whale, theyve travelled far, and finally, finally they have found you. See, see what theyve have
brought for you, gifts, sweet wine, fruit and youth
Don Otto takes Biermanns hand.
Biermann
Youre pulling me, no, no, I dont want to go?!
Don Otto
No! Killer Whale, no. Theyre pulling at you wrinkles, from within cant you feel that?
Theyre tightening skin and bones, lubricating joints, straightening your back they are giving you your youth
back, feel it!
Theyve come to indulge you, sing to you, no, there is something else
Biermann
Youve brought guests with you!?
Don Otto
Yes, theyve brought guests! Theyve brought guests, Killer Whale. And they say that you know who they
are?!
Biermann
Know them !?!
Don Otto
Its your friends, all your old friends.
Theyve come to make you happy, they have!
I think they want to hold a party, yes, theyre nodding
they want to hold a party in your palace, Killer Whale!
Biermann
Party! In my palace?!
Well, come on out everyone, lets party!
In lifts suspended from the ceiling, out of the walls, everywhere, more and more arrive, both old and young
and dead and alive Biermanns hallucinations mix in with Don Ottos figures of fantasy, which again mix in
with the living residents and the dead friends Biermann and Don Otto and all their dead friends and
acquaintances stop, time suddenly stiff, frozen..
Mrs. Frauke
They dont dance enough. The guests. Not enough at all. They just go around looking like boiled vegetables.
Dragging their skin behind them, and but listen!? Whats that noise. Activity. And its 10. Listen! It sounds
like a party!?
Biermann pulls himself loose from the frozen state and begins to shake imaginary, real, and dead hands
Don Otto tears himself loose too, and continues to orchestrate the party.
Biermann
Hello, yes, hello and welcome, yes, you, and you, yes, welcome, good to see you, yes, yes, lovely dress,
yes very daring, yes, we must definitely have a chat later
Good to see you too
Evald, what a get up, and what a buttonhole!
What did you say!?
Oh, the queen, yes, yes, shes coming later
Wilder!
Don Otto

Side 39

Where?
Biermann
There, with the anenomies in his hand.
Wilder
They took my liver too. See, the beer runs straight through!
Wilder pours some beer through himself.
A pale, little girl suddenly appears in front of Biermann.
Biermann
And there, there is the happiness I never had, because she always avoided me!
Childhoods Elect
No, it was because you avoided me.
Biermann
No, you avoided me at graduation.
Childhoods Elect
But you avoided me at the annual ball.
Biermann
Why on earth did we avoid each other!
Childhoods Elect
Come, now theres a party, now we shall dance.
Childhoods Elect takes Biermann by the hand and begins to dance.
Biermann
Im as young like a swan!
The Singer arrives at the party, dressed up.
Don Otto
Her over there, she can sing!
The Singer steps forward between the living and the dead
Don Otto
Come on, open up that throat, sing!
she then begins to sing, beautifully.
Don Otto bows deeply in front of The Singer, and they begin to dance.
Wilder
Come on girls, show us your legs!
Mad old women in wheelchairs lift up their dresses, and begin dancing the can-can whilst they sing.
Don Otto
Suddenly theres a rushing sound. A sound as if a thousand terns where flying through the palace. You can
hear her, she lands, her sharp claws reflected in the floor. Shes landed, fallen out of her sleep, the owl
queen has arrived.

Side 40

Mrs. Frauke enters. She can only see the living guests.
Mrs. Frauke
Youre partying? Youre dancing!? Youre enjoying yourselves!!
Biermann
The queen! The queen is here!!
Mrs. Frauke
Queen and queen!?!
Don Otto
Dance queen, dance!
Don Otto, the old cavalier, is still dancing with The Singer.
Mrs. Frauke
Be careful with her, Don Otto, she has Alzheimers!
Biermann
Look, your majesty, Im dancing with my princess
Mrs. Frauke
Youre dancing with the air, Biermann!?
Biermann
I want to marry her!
Biermann gets down on his knee in front of Mrs. Frauke.
Don Otto
The queen stops her light footed dance.
Oh, she knows that she will come to miss her daughter, but she knows too that she will be happy with the
young suitor.
Her blessing is necessary, and no, she cant put off the decision any longer
She must and will accept the marriage
Mrs. Frauke
Shall I?
Will you take this princess as your lawful wedded wife, to live together in the estate of holy matrimony? Will
you love her, honour her, comfort her, and keep her in sickness and in health!?
Biermann
Yes!
Mrs. Frauke
And will you, princess, take Biermann, who is standing at your side?
Biermann
Yes!!
Don Otto
The queen looks with satisfaction at prince Killer Whale and his new bride. She places her hand on their
shoulders and blesses them.
Biermann
Party!! Party!!

Side 41

Mrs. Frauke
Not yet, Im not finished, Biermann!
I now declare you man and wife
Don Otto
The trumpets give a proud salute.
Long may the live! Hurray!
The old people lift up their rollators and blow into them.
The Old Dead and Alive
Hurray
Biermann
A toast to my princess!
Don Otto
Listen, theyre coming there, fawning.
The sons of the night to serve.
Four legs and snake like arms, theyre holding a silver bowl.
Now they wish for you to partake, but watch out Killer Whale.
These boys are dangerous, take only what you need, otherwise youll end up asleep.
In the arms of their father.
Bernhard enters, together with Oh Walter. The party slowly winds down.
Mrs. Frauke
Bernhard, what were imagining here is that Im the queen, in a kingdom in which the aged are now young,
isnt that right, Don Otto? And Biermann, well, hes just got married?
Bernhard
Mrs. Frauke, have you gone completely mad? The man is ill, look at him, he needs his medication!
Mrs. Frauke
Bernhard, I think in fact that its good for him to do this, to live this out.
Bernhard
Hes delirious! He needs to be admitted!
Mrs. Frauke
There are other methods, Bernhard.
Bernhard
You need to act quickly, Mrs Frauke, otherwise hell die!
Mrs Frauke
Not now, Bernhard, for now well play along.
Biermann is lying in the floor and looking up Mrs. Fraukes dress.
Biermann
What wonders would we not find around up there, my queen!
Bernhard
This is serious, he needs treatment.
Mrs. Frauke

Side 42

Stop that!
Biermann
Why, I just saw a fox licking its lips.
Mrs. Frauke
Now thats enough, Biermann, enough!
Bernhard
There you go, the man needs his medication!
Don Otto
And your head should be on a plate!
Don Otto, imagining that his stick is a sword, uses it to lash out at Bernhard.
Mrs. Frauke
Don Otto, what are you doing?
Don Otto
Beheading the dragon!
Mrs. Frauke
Bernhard is not a dragon
Don Otto
He stinks of dragon!
Mrs. Frauke
Don Otto, you mustnt hit the staff!
And Bernhard, you play along!!
Oh Walter
Oh, erm, it would appear the Biermann isnt breathing.
Mrs. Frauke
Rubbish!
Bernhard
Biermann isnt breathing!
Mrs. Frauke
Yes , he is!
Bernhard
Hes dead! Hes dead! Biermann is dead!
Don Otto
Killer Whale?! Killer Whale?!
Mrs. Frauke
Biermann! Biermann!
Mrs. Frauke, Bernhard, Don Otto and The Singer stiffen, as if time has stopped. Biermanns hallucinations
two old men, knitting
Biermann
What are you doing?

Side 43

The Old Men


Were knitting.
Biermann
Knitting?
The Old Men
Were knitting a veil.
Biermann
But youre both knitting from different ends. Youll never be finished.
The Old Men
Were knitting for eternity.
The two old men exit sniggering
A tired woman enters, wearing a sailors outfit
Sailor Woman
We havent got much time before we sail, so get a move on
Biermann
But wheres the princess?
Sailor Woman
Shes waiting for you over there
Biermann
I dont think I can breathe.
Sea Woman
Thats because you dont need to breathe.
Biermann
Am I dead?
Bernhard
He needs artificial respiration, now, now! Now!
Bernhard gives Biermann artificial respiration.
Mrs. Frauke
Weve killed Biermann
Bernhard
No, youve killed Biermann
Mrs. Frauke
But I just wanted to
Bernhard
You cant just be allowed to do what you want to! I had warned you, Mrs. Frauke
Oh Walter
He had warned you, Mrs. Frauke.
Biermann suddenly regains consciousness.

Side 44

Biermann
No, I dont want to go! I dont want to go!
Mrs. Frauke
Youve saved him! Bernhard, youve saved him!
Oh Walter
Bernhard, youve saved him!
The lights go down.

Side 45

Valentine what are you doing wearing a blindfold? And Vera, why? Why are you turning Valentine around
and around?
Valentine
I cant find you
say something. Say something, Vera.
Take your shoes off, Vera
Vera
Something
Valentine
But why are you hiding?
Vera
Im not hiding.
Valentine
Then say something else.
Say something beautiful, with your hands
Vera
I dont dare.
Valentine
But I dare. I dare.
Watch out for Veras shoes, Valentine.
I can smell them. Youre close by.
Vera
Im here with you.
Valentine
But more, more with me.
Vera
Kiss me.
Valentine
I cant.
Vera
Kiss me.
Valentine
Where are you?
Vera
Im here with you.
Valentine

Side 46

I want to know what you taste of.


Vera
I taste of Valentine.
Valentine
But you need to taste much more.
Vera
Yes.
Valentine
I want to experience every wrinkle, Vera, experience your world, all your warm world.
Youve found her, Valentine
Vera
If you kiss me again
Valentine
Yes, Vera, what then?
Vera
Then Ill drop my stick.
Kiss her, Valentine!
Valentine
And when I kiss you again?
Vera, you kiss him

Side 47

Bernhard, youre being sick, and being sick, and being sick
Here comes Mrs. Frauke, perhaps she can help
Mrs. Frauke
But Bernhard? Youre all pale, are you ill?
And you stink. Badly.
Have you changed The Singer?
Why dont you say anything?
Your mouth usually runs away with you.
Is there something you want to tell Frauke?
You dont need to say it.
You can whisper it.
Whisper then.
Bernhard whispers.
No.
No.
No.
Oh no.
Valentine.
No.
No.
Vera.
No, no.
Sweet lord, what are you playing at?
The lights go down.

Side 48

Theres only darkness here. Darkness, and two voices.


Valentine
I have a little house.
Vera
Yes.
Valentine
A little house for two.
Vera
Yes.
Valentine
Were going to live there.
Vera
Yes.
Valentine
Where are we going to live?
Vera
In a little house for two.
Valentine
Yes, thats where were going to live.

Side 49

Here comes Biermann


Biermann
Ive decided.
Don Otto
What have you decided?
Biermann
And you must promise not to stop me.
Don Otto
Are you going to run off again?
Biermann
Swear!
My, how youre swearing, Don Otto.
Don Otto
What have you decided then?
Biermann
Ive decided not to be any older.
Not as much as a day older.
No, enough is enough.
This evening, its over.
How wonderful is to be able to say:
This evening, its over.
This evening, were going to turn off the switch in here,
and tomorrow Ill be having one last one for the road with all the other capricious souls,
Ill line up beside them, toast with them on the gangplank, and then cast one last look back it will be
amusing to see life backwards, before I step onto the boat that can only sail one way.
Don Otto
Yes, yes. You go ahead and walk onto the gangplank, Biermann.
Get in the queue with the others, but use your time wisely.
Buy a little duty free in Deaths kiosk, and before you hop on board please do wave when you see me from
the other side. Ahoy, comrade, and then you can sit there with the translucent one, he who holds the
rudder
Biermann
Have you any idea what it costs to keep an old fool like me alive? I cant even wipe my own arse. Don Otto,
Im nothing but trouble, both for myself and my surroundings.
Don Otto
But you want to die. Die, Biermann.
Sink down into eternal darkness.
Be somewhere without a face, a heart, hands, without a shadow.
Without anything at all. Be nothing.
Just an abandoned body that empties itself, and stinks of shit.
Biermann
It might well be that theyre just a choir of faceless, shadow free souls.

Side 50

But they have voice enough to call me, Don Otto.


Yesterday, they whispered something wonderful to me.
Don Otto
And what was that?
Biermann
That life was a little boat, tied loosely to the worlds quay.
When the knot loosens, the boat slips,
rolling off into the great silent nothing.
Don Otto
You wont get away with that easily, Biermann.
Biermann
I will die, and the tower will be my mausoleum.
I will lie in Frydendals garden, so you can always find me, and put flowers on my grave.
That is my last wish.
Don Otto
Do you think youll be allowed to die and disappear without being held to any form of account?
What about those cigars you owe me?
No, it cant be this evening , Biermann,
at least not until youve paid those cigars back.
Biermann
But you have to help me.
Don Otto
You want me to help you?
Biermann
You have to switch off my Pacemaker whilst Im asleep.
Don Otto
You dont need me to do that.
If death is such a lovely sailing trip, then you can just hang yourself, or throw yourself off the tower in the
garden. You have nothing to fear. Its just a little sailing trip, Biermann.
Biermann
I am the Killer Whale, and Im asking you a favour.
Don Otto
I dont kill my friends, Biermann.
Biermann
But I want to die.
Don Otto
Im not going to do it.
Biermann
Youre letting me down.
Don Otto
Youre my only friend, Biermann.
I dont want to sit here all alone, until I turn 900.
If you pull the plug, what am I going to do?

Side 51

Which of the remaining soft boiled heads am I supposed to talk to here?


Should I sit here on my own, and wither away like an old, used rose with flaccid thorns?
No, Killer Whale, if youre going to your grave, then Im going with you.
Biermann
Death has been laughing at me for too long.
Don Otto
Im not going to turn off your Pacemaker.
Biermann
My life is freedom, Don Otto.
If I cant be allowed to die when I choose, whats the point of living?
Trapped in a bloody prison, that smells of shit.
Weve had our spring.
The rest is just waiting.
Don Otto
So little needs to change for our lives to be wonderful.
Biermann
When you lie, Don Otto, you lie beautifully.
Don Otto
Youre a coward, Biermann, who doesnt understand how it easy it is to murder others.
But I know my rights, and I know my duties as a friend.
But just letting you choke, no, thats too awful a death, Biermann. If Im going to join you, then were going to
have to do it properly.
Pills, Biermann, pills and a flask of Regal. Thats a comfortable death. Well lie out in the garden, by the
monument, with flowers on our stomachs and surrender ourselves to the final
Biermann
We are going to die?
Don Otto
You didnt think that I would let you die alone did you?
Biermann
Together you want to die to with me?
Don Otto
Better to die together with you, than wither away here alone.
Blackout.

Side 52

Coffins, many coffins


are lying on the stage
Vera and Valentine
open, one by one
the many coffins
the aged rise up, get up,
are white, naked
the aged walk around, mumbling
form a circle around Valentine,
around Vera
The naked aged, white
come closer,
shutting Vera
and Valentine in
Do they disappear?
I think so

Side 53

Theyre so young now, the two lovers. So young, that everything around them is enlivened
Vera
Well go walking together. On the street. Hand in hand.
street noise people
Valentine
People will look..
people turn and look at them
Vera
and think that Im your grandmother.
Valentine
Everyone should see us.
Vera
I want to show you off to the whole world.
and theres the greengrocer
Valentine
Well stop in front of the greengrocers.
Vera
Steal his fruit.
he runs after them
Greengrocer
Stop, old woman, stop!
Valentine
And then well run.
Vera
Stop, and then hide ourselves under an awning
Valentine
Ill kiss you
Vera
Whilst we listen to people whisper
People whisper
Valentine
Whisper about us.
Vera
They will shout.

Side 54

Valentine
Well let them shout, all they can.
Vera
So we can really be ashamed
Valentine
by how shocked they are
Vera
Then we can kiss each other again.
Valentine
And again.
Vera
And again.

Blackout.

Side 55

Mrs. Frauke, you must just be practising? Seeing as Valentine isnt here.
Mrs. Frauke
Valentine
Ive heard something.
Something that I didnt want to hear.
But now I have heard it.
Are you listening to me, Valentine?
Ive heard something.
Something that I didnt want to hear.
But now Ive heard it.
And I dont want to hear it again.
Are you listening to me, Valentine?
I never want to hear it again.
But now I have heard it.
No, I dont want to listen to you.
Ive heard enough.
And now, when you go,
Ill never have to listen to you again.
Never again.
The lights go down.

Side 56

The cases are packed. Everything is as agreed. Now theyll run away.
Valentine
Everyone knows. Everyone knows.
But nobody, Vera, knows how much.
Nobody dare say anything other than; forbidden fired.
Hah, even the walls are whispering it;
Out of the belly of the nice boy a sick pervert sprang, hah.
Everyone knows. Everyone knows.
But nobody knows how much.
They dont believe us. They think Im sick.
Think that nature has measured love up;
Were the same height, we can get married
Theyre missing a taste for miracles, Vera.
Well, I dont care, Ive got you, thats enough.
Come on, pack your things, come, were going home to my place,
to lie together, to sleep together,
to let dreams offset all numbers.
Vera
What sort of machine are you?
Valentine
Machine?
Vera
Are you new?
Valentine
It sounds as if youve got Don Ottos dentures in your mouth this morning, Vera.
Or are you just an ice queen, who every morning has to learn how to melt?
Well, you can take it easy, Vera, every morning Ill kiss the night away from you.
Valentine kisses the one he loves.
Vera
Stop that! Otherwise Ill call someone!
Valentine
Vera, whats wrong?
Vera
Im hungry.
Valentine
Has something happened, Vera?
Vera
Are you going to make something to eat, or what?
Valentine
But youve just eaten lunch.
Vera

Side 57

Have I?
Valentine
Vera, whats happened to you?
Vera
How do you know my name?
Valentine
Vera, what did you do yesterday?
Vera
Yesterday?
Valentine
Vera, for Christs sake, what did you do yesterday? With me?
Answer me! What did we do yesterday?
Vera
did we go out for a ride?
Blackout.

Side 58

Biermann and Don Otto are lying by the tower in the garden.
Don Otto
Are you certain weve taken enough pills?
Biermann
Weve taken all the pills that Walter and Bernhard have given me the last two months.
Don Otto
But weve been lying here for two hours now.
Biermann
Death takes it time.
Don Otto
Maybe Death is senile.
Biermann
Death forgets no one.
Don Otto
Is it a long way to eternity?
Biermann
We just need to round that buoy there.
Don Otto
Does he welcome us himself?
Theres Valentine?
Biermann
Valentine?
Don Otto
No, Death.
Biermann
Its Valentine, hes turning around and around like a drunken cockerel.
Don Otto
Valentine? Whats he doing here?
That must be Death, Killer Whale, or the lackey, whos going to take us down to the boat and up to the gate.
So weve almost arrived.
Biermann
I thought it would be a bit warmer here.
Don Otto
Move nearer to me.
Biermann
I cant.
Don Otto

Side 59

Were just one, two, three steps away now.


Biermann
Im no longer casting a shadow.
Don Otto
Thats because its dark, Killer Whale
Biermann
Yes, Don Otto, it is dark...
Blackout.

Side 60

Valentine, your pacing around and around in circles, and I understand, but do you understand, Valentine?
Do you understand what youre doing yourself?
Bernhard
Valentine?
What are you doing?
I didnt think you were here anymore.
Valentine
Im imaging time.
Bernhard
Youre doing what?
Valentine
Im looking at time from the inside.
I can march, march, march,
backwards and forwards.
I can also come to a halt
What are you doing now? Shaping yourself into a number?
and become a number.
Bernhard
A number?
Valentine
Yes, I am the number one.
And now, now Im marching again.
Because time marches on
All the time, marches on
Whoops, now Ive come to a halt.
What number am I now?
Bernhard
You are the number eight.
Valentine
You always know the time.
But now, now Im going to miss a strike.
And one more and one more and one more.
What number am I now?
Bernhard
You are the number seven.
Valentine, youve thrown yourself on the floor, but why, what do you want?
Valentine
This clock hand is drunk now, see how it turns, and turns, and turns, and points and points. It wants out, it
wants to march! March! And stop. And look around.
There is a forest! And in the forest there are trees, high pointers, like me, and by the tree a lynx, no a lion,
no, a wolf.
Whats the time, Wolf?!

Side 61

But the wolf doesnt care about time, so it moves on, through the wood, and down into the lovely valley. Ill
live here, says time, and stops! Bow wow comes to greet him, happy, and the little Bow wow pees, drip, drip,
this clock hand will never strike again!
Bernhard
Is it Vera? Is it because of Vera that it will never strike again?
Valentine
Who knows what Vera wants?
Can Vera see? Is she a dog?
Bow wow, Vera, bow dog.
What does a wolf say? Wow.
Bernhard
Has she left you?
Valentine
Where will the sun snow tomorrow?
Bernhard
Shes senile, Valentine, senile dement. It happens.
Valentine
I see two faces from the same side.
Both created by God, the hypocritical bastard.
I think she got a splinter in her eye. It struck her there, and she didnt even cry.
Bernhard
By senile dement, I mean that that the hand that shows thought out is rusted fast.
The thoughts dont know where to go, and end up getting confused with other thoughts and old ideas.
The face you saw yesterday, is now stuck in an old one today, so
youre going to need some help pulling the two apart.
And that help is right here.
Bernhard, where have you got all those pills from?
These will get the old brain cells going again.
But make sure you give her enough.
Enough, enough, enough, said the cockerel and crowed time in.
Enough, enough, enough.
Bernhard, are you leaving? But what about all those pills on the floor!? Valentine?
The lights go down.

Side 62

Mrs. Frauke is pacing around in circles.


Mrs. Frauke
It was right. It was. My stomach.
He made a mistake. Got involved with a resident. My stomach. Bernhard said. You cant do that. No, I
shouldnt blame myself. But think, what if its true. That he. If thats true. If he really. No. Shes old.
You cant. 81. My stomach. Make a fool of her. Bernhard said. And Valentine would never do that. But he
cant of. Either. He cant. Not that. My stomach.
He was Frydendals heart. He was. Always so happy and positive and willing to do so much, my stomach, he
was helpful, worked overtime, and good, and we have to be there so much for each other, but that much? It
is though very, very beautiful, and loving, but how loving was it? If it was that loving, which I know it wasnt,
so it definitely wasnt, my stomach, that loving. Of course he didnt love her. Thats what Bernhard said too.
Of course he didnt love her. My stomach. Does he love her? No. Does he? Well, yes, he might. But if he
does, he doesnt. But if he does, then Ive made a mistake, I havent, but if he does, and I have, then he
does, and she does, and they do, and then Ive, NO!
Then he was, Valentine, yes, him. Then Ive fired he who could have given Vera her youth again, he who
could have shown us the way into the kingdom where youth becomes aged! No, the aged young. Valentine,
where are you? Come back, youre the one that can turn grey to green! My stomach.

Side 63

Oh Walter and Bernhard, what are you doing at Veras?


Bernhard
Whats the time, Vera?
Vera
Is it time to eat?
Oh Walter
Whats the time, Vera?
Vera
Well, I dont know
Oh Walter
Yes, you do.
Bernhard
Because youve stolen my watch.
Vera
What did you say?
Oh Walter
Are you deaf?
Bernhard
Youve stolen my watch.
Vera
I havent stolen anything.
Bernhard
You never steal anything, right?
Vera
I dont know what the time is?
Bernhard
You need to get to know time, and what it is. Doesnt she Walter?
Heres my watch, Vera. So it was you whod taken it.
I think you need the time inside you, so youll always know when the bell has tolled.
Oh Walter
Go ahead and eat.
Bernhard
Eat the watch, Vera. Come on eat.
Time is difficult to swallow, isnt it Vera?

Blackout.

Side 64

Mrs. Frauke discovers Valentine dead.


She screams silently.
The Singer enters, sings her requiem.
See my dress, its as black as night,
everything I own is as black as this.
Thats because I love everything thats black
And because a dead man is my friend...

Side 65

The Dead and the living unite.

Side 66

Notes:
In creating Don Ottos fantasy about how the aged should live, Ive borrowed a number of lines from George
Perecs little novel, Things. George Perec is unfortunately dead. None the less, I hope to be able to return
them one day
Set designer Erika Eggert and I have worked closely together throughout the entire creation of this piece.
Along the way, Erika has provided images of both the characters external and internal lives. This has greatly
influenced how the piece has developed. However, the illustrations in the text should not be seen as part of a
set design, but rather as an atmosphere creating interpretation that corresponds with the text.
I would also like to thank Janek Szatkowski and Janicke Branth for dramaturgic and other advice, as well as
Anna Novovic and actors, for the fruitful work carried out on the material in connection with a workshop at
the National Theatre School.
Tina Thesbls insight, sense of drama and untiring support was and remains irreplaceable. Thank you.
Christian Lollike, March, 2001.

Side 67

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