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POLAROID

by
Jeroen van den Berg
2000

English translation
by
Rina Vergano
CREATIVE TRANSLATIONS
for performing rights contact
Rosica Colin Ltd
1 Clareville Grove Mews, London SW7 5AH
(+ 44) 0207 370 1080

Polaroid was premiered on 9 September 2000 in Theater a/d Rijn in Amsterdam, the
Netherlands

CAST
DE JONGE
HENK/BARMAN
VOORTMAN/PETER
LYDIA/JOYCE
WEGER
THE NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
COACH

Chris Montanus
Frans de Wit
Ad Knippels
Trudi Klever
Boris van der Ham
Herman van Keulen
Ivar van Urk

THE PLAY IS PERFORMED ON A CIRCULAR REVOLVING FLOOR, SO THAT EACH SET


CAN BE REVOLVED OFF IN ORDER TO MAKE WAY FOR THE NEXT. IN THE PARTITION
ON THE REVOLVING FLOOR THERE IS A WINDOW WHICH CAN BE COVERED WITH A
PANEL, SO THAT EACH SCENE CAN BE PLAYED IN AN OPEN OR A CLOSED SPACE,
ACCORDING TO CHOICE. (SOMETIMES IT IS NECESSARY TO COVER THE WINDOW SO
THAT A NEW SET CAN BE PUT IN PLACE FROM BEHIND. THE PARTITION ALSO SERVES
AS A PROJECTION SCREEN FOR THE VIDEO).
Characters:
WEGER

One of the founders of WEGER, VOORTMAN & DE JONGE

VOORTMAN

The other founder of WEGER, VOORTMAN & DE JONGE

DE JONGE

Bought himself in to WEGER, VOORTMAN & DE JONGE

JOYCE

P.A. at WEGER, VOORTMAN & DE JONGE

HENK

Employee at WEGER, VOORTMAN & DE JONGE

PETER

Singer

LYDIA

Actress in TV soap THE STOCK EXCHANGE

THE BARMAN

Barman

VOORTMAN and PETER must be played by the same actor


LYDIA and JOYCE must be played by the same actress
HENK and THE BARMAN must be played by the same actor
THE NIGHTPHOTOGRAPHER A man with a bunch of roses and a Polaroid camera
COACH

Receives people onto his programme

1. HENK IN THE OFFICE


Henk, a man of around 40, fat, wearing a smart suit and tie, is sitting contentedly at a huge
desk. Apart from a photograph and a computer screen and keyboard, the desk is virtually empty.
The office is at the top of a high-rise office block, behind Henk is a large window, brilliant blue
sky.
HENK
(sitting contentedly at a desk) Our office. The mirrored faade towers over everything, reflecting
the whole city, and its not everyone who can take that, down there. Hear them growling. (opens
a window, the sound of the traffic grows louder). Their barks worse than their bite. And anyway,
youre so high up here, no-one can see what youre doing. Sometimes this floor sticks out above
the clouds. Down below its grey, up here the photo of your wife and children sparkles in the sun.
Think of us. (speaks to the photo on his desk) Im doing this for you guys. This here (motions
round the room) this is all for you. For us, my darling. (shows the photo). As if she knew that one
day shed be standing here on my desk, eh. As if she wants to say: well done, Im proud of you.
Her portrait is constantly illuminated by the sun here. The most beautiful woman in the world
deserves that.
(the sound of a siren in the distance) Hear that, theyre all beavering away down there, they all
want to get higher up too, stick out above the clouds, always be in the sun, lets be honest.
(walks to the window, looks out) Hello world. Plodders. From up here, I cant imagine your
chaos. (leans backwards) Up here its quiet. Thinking paradise. Up here you tower over
everything and still manage to keep both feet on the ground. What a perspective. God. (leans
back and forth in his chair) You can go any way up here. Forwards and backwards, left and right.
You can even do the opposite to what you say. Forwards and backwards, left and right. (moves
in the opposite direction to what he says, gets confused) Extremely difficult, have to work on it.
(concentrates, with his eyes closed) Forwards and backwards
Voortman and PA Joyce enter, are surprised to find Henk there. Voortman is younger than Henk,
but is unfortunately going prematurely thin on top. He is wearing a slightly more expensive and
fashionable suit than Henk. Voortman is an ambitious, but also nervous, man, who always
seems to be extremely busy. Joyce is very well-groomed, with black shoulder-length hair. She is
wearing a slightly over-showy dress as if she is on her way to a party.
VOORTMAN:
Whats going on.
HENK
(gets up quickly and stands by his chair) A very good morning to you.
VOORTMAN
Never mind that. Whats going on now.
HENK
Yesterday evening I forgot toVOORTMAN
4

Whats going on now. If I meant yesterday evening Id ask what was going on yesterday
evening.
HENK
I can explain.
VOORTMAN
Youve already got a problem then, eh. If things need to be explained. Clarity Henk. Do you
know that word. Clarity.
HENK
Yes.
VOORTMAN
Well then.
HENK
Hallo Joyce.
JOYCE
Hallo Henk.
VOORTMAN
And dont ever touch that photo of my family Henk.
HENK
Youve got a beautiful wife Voortman.
VOORTMAN
My point exactly.
HENK
Of course.
VOORTMAN
Precisely. Get out.
HENK
Listen, Voortman, do you know that joke about the three members of the board who on the fifth
anniversary of theirVOORTMAN
Hey Henk. (looks at his watch) How much do you think I earn an hour.
HENK
No idea.

VOORTMAN
Be assured that these are expensive seconds.
HENK
Okay okay. (winks at Joyce, exits)
VOORTMAN
(slaps his lap with his hands) Come over here.
JOYCE
Whos going to do the speech this evening.
VOORTMAN
Eh.
JOYCE
At the party. Whos going to do the speech do you think?
VOORTMAN
We havent discussed it yet. (slaps his lap again) Come overJOYCE
I think you should do it.
VOORTMAN
Im more of a thinkerJOYCE
Youre far too modest.
VOORTMAN
Come off it JoyceJOYCE
Youve got presence. Leadership qualities. Something happens when you walk into the office
Hans.
VOORTMAN
I know thatJOYCE
Thats not enough.
VOORTMAN
OkayJOYCE
6

Youve got to take action, carve out a positionVOORTMAN


Youre right JoyceJOYCE
Of course. You have a right to it Hans Voortman. You are the obvious person to do that speech.
VOORTMAN
Thats why theres a big chance that I will do it Joyce.
JOYCE
Youve got to know for sure.
VOORTMAN
Of course of courseJOYCE
I dreamt of us last night. You were standing there. In a fantastic suit. A spellbound audience
hanging on your every wordVOORTMAN
Really?
JOYCE
And you only had eyes for me- You were so sexy HansVOORTMAN
(coughs)
JOYCE
Youve got to do it Hans. The times ripe for it. I can feel it.
VOORTMAN
And I will do it Joyce.
JOYCE
(sits down on his lap) Amazing. (kisses him, goes to leave)
VOORTMAN
(holds her back) Look at me.
JOYCE
Im not going to spend agesHENK
Just a moment.
7

JOYCE
(looks at him)
VOORTMAN
You do things to me Joyce. Honestly. (embraces her)
(pats him matter-of-factly on the back, whilst looking at the photo of Voortmans family) Are you
sure those are your sons.
VOORTMAN
Of courseJOYCE
Theyre so bloody ugly.
VOORTMAN
Put that photograph down- (tries to take the photo away from her)
JOYCE
It must be awful to have ugly children. How can you love them.
VOORTMAN
All children are ugly at that age.
JOYCE
Thats not trueVOORTMAN
Oh come off it Joyce, every afternoon classfulls of little monsters empty onto the streetsJOYCE
That whole family doesnt look like your family, not the way I know youVOORTMAN
Fucking hell. (takes the photo, walks away from her)
JOYCE
Dyou know Hans. I feel that we have a good combination of genes.
VOORTMAN
You cant feel that.
JOYCE
What sort of photograph would you have on your desk then.
VOORTMAN
8

Ive been sterilised.


JOYCE
Thats not irreversible.
VOORTMAN
I dont want to discuss it any more Joyce.
JOYCE
Okay. (silence, Voortman is unsure what kind of attitude to strike)
JOYCE
NervousVOORTMAN
(looks at his watch) Shit. (gets up) I must fly JoyceJOYCE
Hans. (Voortman stops by the door) Without me youd be a very conventional little man and you
know it. I add lustre to your existence. (exits)

2. IN THE OFFICE, WEGERS SPEECH


Weger is giving a speech, in front of a microphone. Voortman and de Jonge stand next to him,
exuding stability. They are lit by a bright spotlight, as if they are standing infront of a room full of
people. Weger is wearing a suit which is smart but sporty, he looks young and successful,
clearly the boss, the slick manager type. De Jonge is clearly the youngest of the three, looks a
little lost.
WEGER
Good evening. Its great to see you all on this marvellous evening and I mean that seriously, it is
a marvellous evening, if it was a crap evening Id say so, Im not here to spin you a line, Im here
to tell it how it is. At Weger, Voortman and de Jonge we dont beat about the bush. Thats just the
way we are and thats exactly what people want. Clear leadership, clear language, thats whats
made us big the past five years and thats definitely what will keep us growing in the future. And
if we dont keep on growing, then we dont keep on growing, I mean, growing, its only a word
after all, one of the many words that exist. Hans, Paul and I have always done exactly as we
wanted, done what we thought was good. Weve never taken the blindest bit of notice of how
things are done, or how things are supposed to be and gradually weve become what we are
today and yeah, I have to tell you that five years ago I wouldnt have expected it, that Id be
standing here today, because Christ, its really gone well. Were doing well, the companys doing
well. I could bore you all to tears with graphs and trading results, but Im not going to do that.
Anyone can project a slide of a graph, anyone can throw together a favourable trading result, it
doesnt prove a thing. That smile playing around Voortmans lips and that brand new suit of de
Jonges say more than any old prognosis. Look at the cars in our parking lot. Your lovely faces,
9

no jumpy chain-smokers, bloodshot boozy eyes, go and have a look at the coats hanging up in
the cloakroom, the ski-ing holiday youve just come back from. The lorry-load of sushi thats
going to be arriving any moment. Thats further proof that here at Weger, Voortman and de
Jonge we know what we want and we all go for it, just go for it, because we like it. Because we
want to work with you and you obviously rate us. Because whats it all about eh, that particular
atmosphere eh, our specific way of working. As a matter of fact I was talking to Hans about it just
now, for the first time in these five years, wasnt I Hans (Voortman nods enthusiastically) which
says it all really eh, everything just bowling along and now were here, but anyway, the outside
world always wants there to be a plan behind everything, an idea, but honestly folks, as far as
were concerned there are no ideas behind anything, but anyway, if theres a word you want to
hear then its the word performance that springs to mind. Thats the only thing that counts here.
Performances. Thats what makes the difference. Forget prior claims, jobs-for-the- boys, fixed
patterns. Thats 60s stuff. Baby-boom. We do it differently. Not to be awkward, or out of idealism,
but just because it agrees with us, because it suits us, and if we have to do it differently
tomorrow, then hey well just do it differently. See. Thats it. Thats flexibility. I mean. Ill come to
work tomorrow wearing shorts if someone can prove to me that thats better. Ill stop shaving,
wear coloured contact lenses. Whats more, Ill resign immediately if it turned out that someone
else can run the business better and you can all hold me to that, because I dont matter, just like
you dont actually matter either. Were all just links in that great big feeling called Weger,
Voortman and De Jonge. Youre just part of the chain, thats just as true for us as it is for you.
And thats why Im sayingBLACK OUT
The stage turns, Voortman and Weger off, De Jonge remains standing, Coach revolves on.

10

3. COACH AND DE JONGE


Coach receives De Jonge in a setting which looks like a talkshow, small side-table, two chairs.
COACH
(looks at an index card) Youre Paul and Im Coach. Welcome Paul. May I call you Paul.
DE JONGE
I erCOACH
Are you in a hurry?
DE JONGE
I dont knowCOACH
Have a seat then. (de Jonge sits down) Youve just been standing listening to a speech that was
much too long- what a load of rubbish, that man was just saying any old thingDE JONGE
Mm.
COACH
And now youre suddenly here. What a surprise eh.
DE JONGE
Yeah.
COACH
Mm. Yeah. Riveting conversationalist you are, Paul. (laughs at his own comment)
DE JONGE
Its all a bit overwhelming.
COACH
(still laughing) Look at that face, completely at a loss eh. Magic. God. Am I pleased to have you
on my programme. I mean it. Ive been following you all your life. Rest assured that Im a fan of
yours. Was. No. Am. Oh yes still am. I can still see the potential. And you. Do you think things
are still more or less okay.
DE JONGE
What am I supposed to say to that.
COACH
Everything you say can be used against you. (laughs) Come on Paul. Its not an exam, just blurt
something out lad, were having a friendly chat, were burbling on, pure entertainment. Who
11

knows, perhaps its leading somewhere, youre suddenly thinking. Blimey. That Coach isnt as
daft as he looks. Thats the way it works. Or perhaps youre thinking, that Coach, I cant get on
with him, he lives in such a different world, what an arrogant prat he is, he thinks he can say
anything he likes, its just as likely. Well see how it goes Paul. Ill just make a start eh, the first
question doesnt have to be original, I mean, (reads the question from a piece of paper) Paul
mate, how are things going?
DE JONGE
(surprised) Well, theyre going well.
COACH
(to the audience) And were off.
DE JONGE
How are things going with youCOACH
We were talking about you Paul. (slaps him on the shoulder). So things are going well with you.
DE JONGE
I think things are going well yes.
COACH
You should know eh, youre in the thick of it. Im glad that things are going so well with you.
DE JONGE
So am I.
COACH
So theyre really going well are they? I mean really.
DE JONGE
Listen. Theyre going fine.
COACH
Why cant I see that then.
DE JONGE
What.
COACH
If things are going so well with you. Why cant we see that.
DE JONGE
No idea.
COACH
12

Do you know what I see?


DE JONGE
God. How should I know whatCOACH
I saw a vague figure standing there, just then, during that speech. A poor excuse for what I
thought Paul de Jonge was. But you think its going well do you.
DE JONGE
Now listen hereCOACH
Im only asking. Perhaps Im not looking clearly.
DE JONGE
Its going okay. I mean. Its not bad.
COACH
Its going okay. I mean. Its not bad. What are we supposed to make of that Paul.
DE JONGE
Yeah well I erCOACH
Whats happened to the old Paulie, that kid who never wanted to go to bed on time. I can still
see him sitting behind his first drum-kit. Amazing. In the attic of a terraced house. You just
couldnt understand that the neighbours were bothered by it eh, you just thought that was
bourgeois. In fact you thought everything that didnt suit you was bourgeois, remember.
DE JONGE
That was more a sort of phaseCOACH
Nonsense. The discussions you got into with the tutors at secondary school, sleepless nights
you gave them. No-one could tell you anything. No future, no future, you really believed it eh.
You squatted a house, nicked most of your shopping, never a please or thank you, pure anarchy
it was. Fantastic, you were a real case, we laughed ourselves silly. And now hes standing there
in a smart suit listening to a terrible speech. Whatever happened to you Paul.
DE JONGE
Things change.
COACH
Oh. Is that it.
DE JONGE
13

I think so yes.
COACH
Things change. Any regrets?
DE JONGE
I find that such a big word.
COACH
Regrets? (indicates a small space with his fingers, as he says the word)
DE JONGE
Yes.
COACH
Paul. God.
DE JONGE
What am I supposed to say then.
COACH
You have to want something. Indifference doesnt get us anywhere.
DE JONGE
Jesus.
COACH
Exactly, well thats something.
DE JONGE
Fucking hell.
COACH
Just say spontaneously of your own free will that you have regrets. Id like to see you sobbing
your heart out here on the floor. Help me Coach, help me to become who I used to be. That
would be something.
DE JONGE
Jesus, I(silence)
COACH
Ive got all the time in the world you know.
(silence)

14

DE JONGE
Listen Coach, ICOACH
(silently lays several Polaroids in front of Paul on the table, points to them) This is the Paul de
Jonge that I know.
DE JONGE
Where did you get those.
COACH
From the archive. Just look at this. Is that great or what.
DE JONGE
Thats years ago.
COACH
Its lovely weather in that photograph. Thats because of you lad. Here (shows him other photos)
See that. The older you get the more miserable it gets, here, sleet, grey skies, look at the colour
of your skin. Here. Put them next to each other.
DE JONGE
Incredible.
COACH
Exactly. Do you see what I mean nowDE JONGE
I sort of understandCOACH
Its a shame. It doesnt have to be like that.
DE JONGE
I just wasnt awareCOACH
Youre not the only one. Here. (gives him a toothpick)
DE JONGE
Jesus Coach.
COACH
Yeah.
DE JONGE
Fantastic. (sticks the toothpick between his teeth)
15

COACH
(to the audience) We work from the outside in eh, we dont dig around in souls here, gives you a
dry mouth, all that blather. Youll see. He wont let himself be put round a conference table any
more, piles of ham and cheese sandwiches plus all that blather, (to de Jonge) good god man,
how the hell did you put up with it. Talk ten to the dozen but they dont know a thing. Youll make
them sit up and listen. Just like the old days. Shock tactics. Lash out when no-ones expecting it.
If you want to win then youve got to attack from the rear. Its rubbish that thats not allowed. That
kind of stupid little rule is only meant to protect Joe Average from the People with a Goal. Go
directly to jail, do not go round the outside, do not receive two thousand euros. So destructive.
Listen Paul. If you want to go round the outside then you jolly well go round the outside and then
youll receive not two, not three, but six thousand euros from me. Let them shout. Its not
allowed. Where does it say that.
DE JONGE
Where does it say that.
COACH
And what if it does say that somewhere, who says somethings not allowed because it says it
somewhere.
DE JONGE
Who says it then.
COACH
And if someone still dares to say something then you just say: So what. Period.
DE JONGE
So what. Period. (pees in the rubbish-bin)
COACH
Its all foreign to me. I play a very different game. Thats what the muslims do too. Thats
constructive thinking mate. What are you doing there.
DE JONGE
Im peeing in the rubbish-bin.
COACH
Paul- Congratulations. Wow. Youve still got it in you eh. I knew it. Youre a man on a mission
Paul.
DE JONGE
Im a man on a mission Coach.
COACH
Do you promise that youll start behaving like Paul again.

16

DE JONGE
Ill do my best Coach.
COACH
Im counting on you mate. (pinches de Jonges cheek) Youre going places.
DE JONGE
(exits, the stage revolves during the next clause)
COACH
(to the audience) What a great bloke. The way he came in and the way he left. That presence.
What a contrast eh. Thats when I know Ive achieved something. Such a lot of nonsense goes
on in a life, youve just got to sort out the main issues from the side-issues. Before you know it,
you cant see the wood for the trees. And thats what Coach is here for. Doesnt matter. To forget
is human.

4. HENK AND JOYCE IN THE OFFICE


Joyce enters, sees Henk, does a quick about-turn.
HENK
Hang on Joyce. (Joyce pauses in the doorway) Do you think things are going badly between us.
JOYCE
HenkHENK
Im just asking, thats all.
JOYCE
I dont feel likeHENK
JoyceJOYCE
What is it you want.
HENK
A conversation.
JOYCE
Were having one arent we.
HENK
17

YeahJOYCE
Were talking arent we.
HENK
OkayJOYCE
Why say you want to have a conversation in the middle of a conversation.
HENK
Im worriedJOYCE
Well dont be thenHENK
About usJOYCE
Arent you all right?
HENK
Yes butJOYCE
Im fine too, so were both all right then.
HENK
Im worried about youJOYCE
I just said Im all right.
HENK
I dont know if I can trust you.
JOYCE
(shuts the door) Henk!
HENK
I see you walking in and out of everyones rooms all dayJOYCE
Thats my job.

18

HENK
Ernsts room and HanssJOYCE
Thats enough Henk. If you dont trust me then thats that as far as Im concerned, very simple.
HENK
But JoyceJOYCE
What can I do HenkHENK
You could just say, I love you Henk, youre the one for me. That would reassure me enormously.
JOYCE
I could say all sorts of things. The problems in you, structurally. If you dont trust meHENK
I dont knowJOYCE
How am I supposed to know then.
HENK
I though if we talkedJOYCE
Yeah look where thats got you.
HENK
Listen JoyceJOYCE
Lets just stop now. Its finished. You should never have started on it.
HENK
You meanJOYCE
Well stay friends, as far as Im concerned. Im fine with that.
HENK
Joyce.
JOYCE

19

Dont start crying Henk. Its not easy for me either. We had something beautiful, without talking,
an implicit bond, one glance and everything was clear to us, I thought, you said so yourself, we
only have to look at each otherHENK
I thought so at the timeJOYCE
Me too. You shouldnt have been careless with such a brittle bond. Eye contact is so easy to
break.
HENK
How was I toJOYCE
Too late Henk. I never doubted us till just now. Now theres no way back. (walks on)
HENK
Joyce!
5. IN THE CAF
Peter sings an up-beat pop song with a band
(text by Ad Knippels)
Oh yeah!
My future disappeared
On the day that I met you
And now my entire past is just a lie
The life I thought Id lead will never come again
Cos you set all my careful plans aside
You angel, fly me to the moon
You angel, I just wanna be with you
I cant go on alone
My life belongs to you
My heart is in your hands
Cos you are destiny
In the body of a woman
Oh yeah
I was scared that Id be all alone
But thats all in the past
Cos love came along and altered my whole plan
You took my whole life over
And soon enough I knew
20

I was no longer my own man


You angel, fly me to the moon
You angel, ah I wanna be with you
I cant go on alone
My life belongs to you
My heart is in your hands
Cos you are destiny
In the body of a woman

6. PETER AND THE BARMAN


Peter is the folk-singer type, in a tight suit, lots of jewellery and a dodgy hairstyle. Henk is part of
the fabric of his bar, and his bars own best customer. (Peter is played by the same actor who
plays Voortman, The Barman by the same actor as Henk).
PETER
Willem, Im knackeredBARMAN
Fantastic man. Im crying my eyes out again. If you can do that mate, if you can convey that
emotion, youre sitting on a goldmine.
PETER
Listen WillemBARMAN
You sing it how it is. Thats why people love you. And because you dont think youre gods gift.
Even with your fat mug on the telly night after night you still play here just the same every Friday,
in my crappy little bar, and thats so great to see mate.
PETER
Thats why I just wanted to talk to you aboutBARMAN
Cos do you know what it is, Peter. Some artists get too big for their boots, they turn into
someone completely different when theyre successful. And when the going gets tough, theyve
got nothing to fall back on. You always stay yourself.
PETER
Listen WillemBARMAN

21

I wish I had that. That clarity in life. I dont have a clue who I am, never mind about being myself.
I mean. I run this joint, but for the same money I could have ended up in an office. This is what
you always wanted toPETER
Im stopping Willem.
BARMAN
Hang onPETER
Its too much for me you know, every Friday. It was great, here, as a rung on the ladder, but Ive
got to move on. Ive got one foot in the future and Im dragging this bar round after me on the
other.
BARMAN
Never make decisions in haste, Peter.
PETER
This evenings my last time.
BARMAN
Well think it over carefully, the two of usPETER
Ive already thought it overBARMAN
But I havent. This is where your roots are man. You mustnt forget that. I mean. If you want to
earn morePETER
Ive got plenty of money.
BARMAN
Thats what Im saying. Its about having a base, you cant put a price on that. Well have a quiet
think about it. In your own best interest.
PETER
WillemBARMAN
If you dont sing this place will be empty, dyou realise that. (slaps him on the shoulder) Eh. I can
depend on you. You know that eh. Thanks Pete. (exits)
PETER
Willem- (he stands at the bar a while aimlessly)
22

The Night Photographer appears, from behind the bar, he has his Polaroid round his neck, and a
bunch of roses in his hand. Leather jacket, foreign appearance, someone who goes around bars
and restaurants taking photos or selling single roses.
7. PETER AND THE NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Weve already met havent we.
PETER
(shocked) Im not sure INIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
(shows him a Polaroid)
PETER
(looks at the photo, then at the night-photographer) Where did you get that.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Notice anything.
PETER
(looks at the photo) Pretty woman. Fascinating.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
(looks at the photo) Shes trying her best, but look at the state of you manPETER
That isnt me.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Come off itPETER
Id remember a woman like that now wouldntNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
This photograph hasnt been taken yet.
PETER
Sorry.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
This photograph hasnt been taken yet.
PETER
23

But thats impossibleNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER


Because were meeting each other in the wrong order. God Peter. You still look great here dont
you. (shows Peter the photo) Incredible eh, that youre going to change that much. The flash
makes it even worse you know, youve got to take that into account. But even so.
PETER
God. (looks at the photo) I never go near any woods.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
You were on your way to a gig. Some office do or other.
PETER
I dont do office dos.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
(points to the photo) You are here.
PETER
An awful lot would have to happen before Id perform at an office do.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Then an awful lot is going to happen. (The bar with Peter on it is revolved off)
PETER
Listen. Im doing fine. People like me. They like my songs. Ive just released my first CDNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
So.
PETER
Im on my way up, I could break-through any minuteNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Things can take funny turns Peter. Im curious as to when were going to meet each other for the
first time.
8. INTERSCENE 1
The actor playing Peter has to change costumes, hence an interscene. A video is projected of a
tree that the camera continually circles.
Then Weger, Voortman and de Jonge are revolved on again.
9. IN THE OFFICE, CONT. WEGERS SPEECH 2
24

Weger is still busy with his speech, De Jonge has a toothpick between his teeth.
WEGER
In short, its a wonderful evening. If anyone out there thinks differently then I say - big deal. You
mustnt over-estimate thinking. Minute charges of energy that flash through our brains, a
batterys got more juice than that. I mean, the energy in our collective brains at this moment isnt
sufficient to power a bicycle-lamp. So I say in turn: dont think, do. Thats Weger, Voortman and
de Jonge. Total commitment. Full throttle down a road to no-where. Everyone going for the full
one hundred percent in their own way. Look. When I hear them say, at other companies, were
two hundred percent committed, then I ask myself: whats total commitment then, in your book. A
thousand percent, ten thousand. When good isnt good enough any more and youve suddenly
got to say matchless when you actually mean all right then wheres it all going. With us total just
means a hundred percent. Good is good. Better than good is still good, then the old good is
simply no good any more, its just all right, then it depends how good the new good is in
comparison to the old. And then were talking about clarity. ConstantDE JONGE
(switches the microphone off) Its getting a bit woolly Weger.
WEGER
Whats going on. Since when do you interfere withDE JONGE
I cant follow it any more.
WEGER
Do you want to do it then.
VOORTMAN
Thats not what he meansWEGER
Hang on. What does this mean Paul.
DE JONGE
Its caved in.
WEGER
Youd rather do it yourselfDE JONGE
Look. As far as Im concerned Hans can do it.
VOORTMAN
No problem. Okay-

25

WEGER
As long as I dont do itDE JONGE
I want a clear simple storyWEGER
Oh then Hans is definitely your manVOORTMAN
Im up for anything guysDE JONGE
I meant, in a manner of speaking.
VOORTMAN
What do you mean.
DE JONGE
Listen. I only said it was getting a bit woolly. Cest tout.
WEGER
I hadnt finished my whole argument. You dont know where I was going with itDE JONGE
Thats not the pointVOORTMAN
Can I just get a wordWEGER
Hang onVOORTMAN
Otherwise Ill forget it. Ernst, maybe you shouldnt even use a microphone. It creates distance.
Without a microphone youd command more respect.
DE JONGE
I beg to differ.
WEGER
For fucksake this isnt my first speech.
DE JONGE
But if you cant even follow it with a microphone.
WEGER
26

You cant follow it at all now.


DE JONGE
Im going to say it straight.
WEGER
It was a bit woolly.
DE JONGE
Its woolly, boring, its not going anywhere. Its dead in the water.
WEGER
Thats how you build up a good argument. A bit boring in the middle, on purpose, in order to
make way for a resounding ending.
VOORTMAN
I think youd solve part of the problem if you just lost the microphone andDE JONGE
Oh forVOORTMAN
Just try it will you, for funDE JONGE
Everyones lost interest Hans, with or without the microphoneWEGER
Its nothing to do with the microphoneVOORTMAN
I think youre both underestimatingWEGER
Essentially its about your argument.
DE JONGE
Argument. Im sick of that word. Its a speech to mark our five year anniversary. An engaging
speech. Pep-talk.
WEGER
Exactly.
DE JONGE
Youre not saying a thing.
VOORTMAN
27

Okay. Lets just try one more timeDE JONGE


Cant you do it in your own timeVOORTMAN
Its your time as well.
DE JONGE
Precisely.
VOORTMAN
End of discussion. (removes microphone)
DE JONGE
The speech is crap. Period.
WEGER
Okay. Ill take that bit out. About the hundred percent and so forth.
DE JONGE
That wont help.
VOORTMAN
Just say exactly what you mean then.
WEGER
This is just a waste of time.
VOORTMAN
Just give him a chance toWEGER
This is just a load of nonsense.
VOORTMAN
Then its a load of nonsense.
DE JONGE
If you both think its just a load of nonsenseVOORTMAN
Jesus Paul.
DE JONGE
Then I really cant be bothered.

WEGER
This is driving me nuts.

28

VOORTMAN
Look whats your problem.
DE JONGE
I dont care one way or the other.

WEGER
Hes just procrastinating.

VOORTMAN
GuysDE JONGE
Thats not bloody true Ernst.
WEGER
Now just listen here.
DE JONGE
Ive been listening the whole time.
WEGER
No you havent.
VOORTMAN
Guys.
WEGER
No you havent.
DE JONGE
Do you realise you keep introducing new topics.
WEGER
Youre such a fucking smart-arsedDE JONGE
There you go. Another new statement. (to Voortman) See what hes doing.
VOORTMAN
What are we talking about now.
WEGER
The speech.
DE JONGE
It hasnt been about that for ages.
WEGER
Thats where it all started.
29

DE JONGE
All sorts of things are suddenly coming up.
WEGER
Its about my speech.
DE JONGE
I think not.
WEGER
It was about my speech. You thought it wasnt clear.
DE JONGE
I still think it isnt.
VOORTMAN
Then lets talk about that.
DE JONGE
I dont want to any more.
WEGER
Whats going on Paul. Do you think I cant do it. Am I using the wrong words. Is there something
wrong with my suit. Should I change my hair-style.
DE JONGE
I dont understand what you mean.
WEGER
Whats so terrible about me Paul. I want to know. From you too Hans. You keep leaving me out
in the cold too. This isnt the first time guys.
VOORTMAN
Dont blow it up like that.
WEGER
I havent slept properly for months. Im so wound up, you know, I think people are talking about
me behind my back. That people are giggling and whispering when I walk down the corridor, do
you know what I mean.
VOORTMAN
Its not that bad as all that.
WEGER
So you admit its going on. During meetings, anything I say never gets minuted, have you
noticed that too.
30

DE JONGE
Now you come to mention itVOORTMAN
Its not that badWEGER
I see what I see.
VOORTMAN
You take it too seriously.
WEGER
Come on guys, whats going on, you know more than I do. (silence)
VOORTMAN
Listen ErnstWEGER
Fine. Maybe Im burnt out, who knows, Im not sharp any more, Ill admit it, Im confused,
muddled, what dyou call it, woolly. Im doing my best.
VOORTMAN
Of course Ernst, listenWEGER
Youre talking to me as if Im ill.
VOORTMAN
Course not.
WEGER
Do you think I look terrible. Bags under my eyes, lank greasy hair, have I got B.O? When I
occasionally do manage to fall asleep I dream that all my teeth are slowly falling out. A mouth full
of rubble. Or that Im sitting in a car and Ive got no driving license, and I can just manage to
peer out from under my eyebrows. (demonstrates). Like that, see, and Im driving down a busy
motorway at full speed.
VOORTMAN
I know what you mean. God.
WEGER
You see. You know what Im talking about. Five years weve been winding each other up,
frantically trying to get one up on each other, thats enough to give you weird dreams. Im just
expressing it, Im passing the ball, then you can head it in oh guys, football, whens the last
time we went to a match together, you know, football, one nil two nil, oh god, two nil. (takes a
31

deep breath) Nobody understands what its like. The pressure. The continual stress. I was a
stranger to them, at home. My children, they avoided me and rightly so. Rightly so kids, daddy
understands. Bloody hell. Id get furious at the most random moments, I couldnt help it. Id sit in
front of the TV weeping evening after evening. Plate on my lap. Just let daddy sit here in peace
for a while. I couldnt even get their names right, gave them money to make up for the lack of
attention. Dont let mummy see, eh. Hundreds of euros a month I was handing out, on the quiet,
gods truth. The three of them chucked me out, last week, theyd couldnt take it any more. We
never want to see you again daddy. Thats hard, guys. Fair but hard. And its the same story in
the office. That new girl, whats she called, the one with black hair, you knowDE JONGE
Joyce.
WEGER
Ive slipped her a fortune as well. I bought her warmth guys.
VOORTMAN
Fucking hell Ernst.
WEGER
No sex, thats much too tiring for me. I sat on her lap, and looked into her eyes.
VOORTMAN
What kind of a rank story is thisWEGER
So moving. (sobs)
VOORTMAN
Youre sick Ernst.
WEGER
Maybe. Maybe.
DE JONGE
Ernst. Just stop thisWEGER
(weeps) I cant stop.
VOORTMAN
Because youre not trying.
DE JONGE
Shall I go and get a glass of water, or something stronger perhapsWEGER
32

(weeps) I just cant stop.


VOORTMAN
(slaps him round the face)
WEGER
(stands opposite Voortman in a fighting pose)
Dont try and start anything.
DE JONGE
I will go and get a glass ofVOORTMAN
Stay here Paul- (to Weger) It was meant to be therapeutic.
WEGER
(bellows) I cant answer for my actions.
DE JONGE
He meant well Ernst. Ernst. ListenWEGER
He mustnt start hitting thats all.
VOORTMAN
Youve got to keep your hands off the personnel.
WEGER
I only looked into her eyes.
VOORTMAN
Because youre an impotent prat.
WEGER
Youd better hold me back Hans.
DE JONGE
(pushes Weger backwards) Calm down. Its okay. Just sit downWEGER
(pushes Voortman over)
VOORTMAN
(pushes Weger to the floor, kneels on his arms) Give in?
WEGER
This is ridiculous.
33

DE JONGE
(tries to pull Voortman off of Weger). Someone could walk in any minute.
VOORTMAN
Give in?
JOYCE
(enters) Got a second, guys. I suggest we serve sushi this evening.
WEGER
Paul. Bastard. FuckingJOYCE
What the hellsVOORTMAN
Sushi?
JOYCE
If you want to do a bit of justice to the event serve sushi. What are you doing.
WEGER
What about cheese on sticksVOORTMAN
With a few gerkinsJOYCE
For godsake Ernst. You cant serve cheese on sticks in the twenty-first century. The sushi will
pay for itself in the long-run.
VOORTMAN
Is sushi that expensive then.
JOYCE
You can cancel the order if you dont want it.
WEGER
Have you already ordered this sushi then.
JOYCE
Its sushi Ernst.
WEGER
So.

34

JOYCE
You cant go and pick up sushi over the counter on the off-chance for a room full of people.
VOORTMAN
Can you cancel sushi.
JOYCE
Im not going to cancel that sushi.
VOORTMAN
Its all fresh stuff isnt it.
WEGER
Ruddy hell. Whats this sushi going to cost.
JOYCE
Thats completely irrelevant. Sushi will raise that whole party of yours to a higher plane and the
whole image of the company along with it. Youd never achieve that with cheese. You dont have
to do a thing. Sushi will do it all for you. Thats whats so good about sushi. Its the Yin and Yang.
DE JONGE
Come on Joyce.
JOYCE
You lot could learn a thing or two from the Japanese. You actually cant work in an office like this.
Completely out of balance according to Feng Shui. Its no wonder youre attacking each other.
So. Youll have to come up with some pretty good arguments before I cancel that sushi. Let me
know when youve finished playing. (exits)
VOORTMAN
(shifts his full weight on to Wegers biceps) Give in?
WEGER
Give in.
DE JONGE
We cant carry on like this with each other.
VOORTMAN
What was that?
WEGER
(shouts) I give in!
DE JONGE
Dont be so ridiculous. (exits)

35

VOORTMAN
(gets off of Weger) Hes right, this is ridiculous.
WEGER
I think he might be gay, the way he just walked off, you can see it- (Voortman goes to leave)
Wait. Wait a minute. Im just talking rubbish, I cant stand the silence. Then I just go and say
precisely the wrong thing. For the same money I could have said precisely the right thing.
VOORTMAN
YeahWEGER
Yeah. But you understood didnt you eh. Driving a car with no license, and then only being able
to peer out under your eyebrows. (demonstrates) Like that.
VOORTMAN
I know what you meant yes.
WEGER
Great. No, really, that means something. That youre not the only one.
VOORTMAN
(goes to leave)
WEGER
(offers him a hand) Thanks for understanding.
VOORTMAN
(shakes his hand) Sure Ernst.
WEGER
Were all on our own.
VOORTMAN
Sometimes, I mean, you dont always haveWEGER
God. Good of you, to shake hands. God. Hey, Hans. Understanding. Understand.
VOORTMAN
What.
WEGER
Understanding. Understanding.
VOORTMAN
Ah, understanding.
36

WEGER
See. Hey. (sticks his thumb up)
VOORTMAN
Yeah yeah.
WEGER
We set the company up Hans. That creates a bond mate. No-one can come between us. We
understand each other. Thats beautiful. (sobs) Theres not many people you can say that about,
eh. (pulls Hans towards him) Pauls up to something. Behind our backs. Ive never really trusted
him.
VOORTMAN
(sighs) My heads going round mate.
WEGER
You should go if you want to eh. (still holding tightly on to Voortmans hand) If youre busy. Ill be
all right.
VOORTMAN
Are you sure.
WEGER
Absolutely. Thats a beautiful word. So. Im feeling much better.
VOORTMAN
(extracts his hand)
WEGER
What are you doing.
VOORTMAN
My hand. I meanWEGER
Oh is that your hand. Jesus. Id started thinking Id got three.
VOORTMAN
It was mine.
WEGER
Jesus man. Well thats a relief.
VOORTMAN
Im just going to go and-

37

WEGER
Have a glass of water.
VOORTMAN
Thats a good idea.
WEGER
(when Hans is almost gone) Hey Hans. (Voortman turns) Ill be all right you know. I could never
top myself.
VOORTMAN
(sticks his thumb up, leaves)
WEGER
(remains behind alone, attempts to hang himself on his desk using his tie, or something similar)
Right. My name is Ernst Weger. Im a human beingBLACK OUT
Coachs set revolves on
WEGER
(in the dark) Jesus. A room with no windows, that shouldnt be allowed. (calls out) Hans. Paul.
(silence) (calls out) Hey. Can someone turn the light on. Somewhere. Jesus- Jesus, this is really-

10. COACH AND WEGER


COACH
(looks at his card) Youre Ernst and Im Coach. Welcome Ernst.
WEGER
I thought IdCOACH
You can think till youre blue in the face, but you cant work it out eh. Are you in a hurry?
WEGER
Usually yesCOACH
Have a seatWEGER
(looks at his watch) I dont knowCOACH
38

Just have a seat. (Weger sits down) Feels better right away ehWEGER
Yes erCOACH
Does it feel better or notWEGER
Ehm yes erCOACH
Yes er ehm yes er. Rivetting conversationalist you are, ErnstWEGER
Im not quite altogether hereCOACH
What kind of nonsense is that- (pinches his arm)
WEGER
OwCOACH
Feel that. Hundred percent Ernst Weger. You are altogether here you know. The test has proven
it.
WEGER
(looks at him in bewilderment)
COACH
(mirrors his facial expression) Huh? Unique, man. Youre unique.
WEGER
(bursts out crying) Dyou mean that Coach.
COACH
Of course Ernst.
WEGER
Thanks Coach.
COACH
You dont have to thank me for it. It's simply true.
WEGER
Thanks anyway for saying it Coach.
39

COACH
No problem.
WEGER
Still have to do it. (wipes his tears away)
COACH
Nonsense. Hey Ernst. Great to have you on my programme. If you could see some of the people
I get through here you wouldnt hold out much hope for the human race, honestly.
WEGER
Oh god. Its just one big mess Coach.
COACH
But we understand each other Ernst and then you realise why youre in this game.
WEGER
I havent got a clue why Im in thisCOACH
But I have.
WEGER
What good is that to me. Theyve chucked me out, my family. Ive been sleeping in my car for the
past three weeks. Im on the board of a company where no-one takes me seriouslyCOACH
Well get there Ernst.
WEGER
I dont think so Coach.
COACH
I do think so.
WEGER
(suspiciously) You think Im a loser dont youCOACH
Not at allWEGER
Oh come on, I can see it, you all think that ImCOACH
(looks at his card) You are sure that youre Ernst Weger arent you40

WEGER
Jesus Coach. What do you think.
COACH
I dont know what I think. Im just askingWEGER
I wouldnt know who else Ernst Weger would beCOACH
So youre sure youre him.
WEGER
Bloody hell. Im not sure of anything any more.
COACH
Because you dont look like him at all, I mean.
WEGER
Jesus, Coach, as ifCOACH
The Ernst Weger that I know, the real Ernst WegerWEGER
You know the real Ernst Weger.
COACH
I think I know the real Ernst Weger yes.
WEGER
Jesus Coach this is going from bad to worse.
COACH
Here. (lays some Polaroids on the table)
WEGER
Hang onCOACH
Thats the Ernst Weger I know.
WEGER
That is me. God. Thats a long time ago. Great eh, that cowboy suitCOACH
41

Scared stiff they were, the other kids, when he walked down the street. Fired his gun right next
to their ears.
WEGER
That was me all right Coach.
COACH
(holds the photo next to Ernsts face) You can understand that the penny didnt drop straight
away.
WEGER
I wouldnt recognise me either if I was you.
COACH
(lays a number of other photos on the table) Look. In the early photos youre just being Ernst
Weger. But the older you get the more you tried to be like what you thought Ernst Weger should
be. Here. Thats just pure John Travolta. And here. Prince Maurits. See that. The editor of The
Quote. It just gets worse. You look less and less like yourself, dyou see that.
WEGER
Unbelievable.
COACH
You completely lost yourself along the way.
WEGER
Its totally unbelievable Coach.
COACH
But its not too late Ernst. (lays a gun down on the table) Here.
WEGER
Jesus Coach.
COACH
Take it.
WEGER
I dont know ifCOACH
You wanted to be Ernst Weger.
WEGER
I am Ernst Weger Coach.
COACH
42

Then youd still be that cowboy Ernst. If you wanted to be.


WEGER
(picks up the gun)
COACH
Do you understand what I mean Ernst.
WEGER
(feels the gun in his hand) I understand a bitCOACH
That silence eh. When you stepped into a bar, flicked your cigarette butt onto the floor. The
barman dived under the counter.
WEGER
They dont know what to make of you eh, if you glare at them from under your hat.
COACH
You see you do still know.
WEGER
A trill in the air. The sound of a harmonica. See that cloud of dust there. In the distance. Theyre
after me Coach. But I wont let themCOACH
Youre not going to let them get you any more Ernst.
WEGER
No more going home. Drifting. The man in his sleeping bag between his horse and a
smouldering campfire. That was me Coach. I could easily shoot three bullets through the same
hole.
COACH
Thats the Ernst I know.
WEGER
Hey. (shakes his hand) Thanks Coach. Youve helped me a lot.
COACH
Hey Ernst. (Weger turns) Im counting on you.
WEGER
You can always count on me and you know it. (exits, Coach revolves off)
COACH

43

(to the audience) I saw it straight away eh. When he came in. Thats a guy with substance.
Talent. Hes going places. Just forgot his true calling. Can happen. Just a question of turning the
right dial and then you put someone back on track again.

11. LYDIA AND THE BARMAN


In the bar. Lydia is the only customer. She is an ex-soap star, blonde, too much make-up,
conceited. (Lydia is played by the same actress that plays Joyce)
BARMAN
But where do I know you from then.
LYDIA
Ive done a lot of stuff.
BARMAN
You seem so familiar.
LYDIA
You too.
BARMAN
Do you mean it.
LYDIA
You look exactly like Henk from The Stock Exchange.
BARMAN
Henk from The Stock Exchange.
LYDIA
You know. That soap about multinationals.
BARMAN
Oh that HenkLYDIA
Yes you look exactly like him.
BARMAN
That big wussLYDIA
Purely in looks I mean.
BARMAN
44

I dont think so at all.


LYDIA
You do. Im in it myself. In The Stock Exchange.
BARMAN
Youre an actress?
LYDIA
Amongst other things. I play the secretary. PA to the directors.
BARMAN
Youre JoyceLYDIA
Yeah. Nice eh.
BARMAN
I can see it now.
LYDIA
Different hair ehBARMAN
I think Joyce is fantasticLYDIA
That woman knows everything. Really a sort of key figure.
BARMAN
I cant believe that Im- I feel really nervous all of suddenLYDIA
Im very ordinary honestlyBARMAN
Even soJOYCE
In real life I meanBARMAN
Feel. (gives her his hand) Im standing here shakingLYDIA
People cant see the difference between you and the role. Thats what happens when you play
the same role for too long45

BARMAN
Nonsense. I think Joyce is just fantasticLYDIA
Ive asked them to write me out. Otherwise you get stuck in one role forever.
BARMAN
But youre still in The Stock ExchangeLYDIA
What theyre broadcasting now was recorded a while back.
I had to think of myself.
BARMAN
LogicalJOYCE
Ive got so many other talents I couldnt use. Because I was Joyce to everyone all day long.
BARMAN
But you are JoyceLYDIA
Thats what I mean.
BARMAN
I think Joyce is really fantasticLYDIA
I insisted on committing suicide. (Barman shocked) In the series I mean. Suicides the thing that
people remember the longest. The only thing was Id only just got marriedBARMAN
GodLYDIA
So then they want you to go off abroad or have a car-accident. Be killed off, ehBARMAN
You knowLYDIA
I just put my foot down. Youll get to see it. In a couple of weeks time I hang myself during a
party. So now I can do what I like. Im going to record a CD soonBARMAN
46

Good idea. SoLYDIA


Im learning to play the guitar. You only need to know a few chords to play a number, did you
know that.
BARMAN
So JoyceLYDIA
My names LydiaBARMAN
Something completely different Do you believe in love at first sight.
LYDIA
In real life you mean.
BARMAN
For instance, yeah.
LYDIA
In real life, I dont believe in it.
BARMAN
No eh. (Peter enters the bar in a very over-the-top show costume)

47

12. PETER AND LYDIA


PETER
(runs into the bar) I Im sorry but I see you sitting here at the bar and I nearly jump out of my
skinLYDIA
Thank youPETER
I dont mean it like that. I Hey Willem! Long time no see. Busy man. (The Barman starts to
rinse glasses) I Dyou mind if I sit next to you- Sorry- (offers her a hand) Peter.
LYDIA
(surprised) HalloPETER
Would you like a drink. Ive got to have a dr- What would you like?
LYDIA
A beer.
PETER
Two beers Willem. (looks at his watch) Damn. Im far too busy really (shows his watch) A real
Rolex, its not a fake.
BARMAN
But it has stopped.
PETER
A Rolex never stops.
BARMAN
Then it isnt a Rolex.
PETER
(looks at his watch) Shit. (taps the glass cover) Its got a lifetime guarantee.
BARMAN
Thats promising Peter.
PETER
(laughs) Hey Willem, Willem (to Lydia) But what I wanted to tell you. I (takes out his mobile
phone) Just a minute. (into the telephone) Paul. Its me. Im stuck. Traffic jam. Roadworks I think.
Were crawling along. (smiles at Lydia). Ill do my best. Bye. (to Lydia) My manager. I assume
you know Im a singer. (fumbles in his inside pocket)

48

LYDIA
Ive got your CD.
PETER
Hey. Thats great. My first or my second.
LYDIA
Youre standing like this (demonstrates) smiling on the cover.
PETER
Theyre both like that. On the beach?
LYDIA
I thought it was a train station or something.
PETER
Yes. Thats numero uno. (gives her a CD). Here. The second one. Its just out. Thats why Im so
busy you know, interviews, radio, newspapers, TV. Its driving me nutsLYDIA
(Lydia gives the CD back)
PETER
You can keep it. But what I wanted to tell youBARMAN
Two beers. (to Lydia) If he starts to bother youPETER
(this makes him to laugh very loudly) Hey Willem (to Lydia) I used to play here every Friday
evening but I gave it up so theres a bit of frictionLYDIA
Art is conflictPETER
Exactly. They dont understand do they. Ordinary people. Cheers. (empties his glass in one go)
But what I wanted to say, a month or so ago, or maybe it was a year ago actually, it goes so fast
eh, I met a man here who had a photograph with him and youll never guess who it was of.
LYDIA
Yeah, Jesus, erPETER
Us. The two of us. I would have long forgotten it if I hadnt seen you sitting at the bar just now.
LYDIA
49

Yeah yeahPETER
You dont believe me do you.
LYDIA
Its not often I hear such an unbelievable story.
PETER
Its true.
LYDIA
The more unbelievable a story the bigger the chance that it really happened.
PETER
Thats what I mean.
LYDIA
Shall I tell you a story.
PETER
Yes- I- If you likeLYDIA
Just as unbelievable but just as true.
PETER
Yeah yeah.
LYDIA
Once upon a time long long agoPETER
In a land very far from here
LYDIA
A woman, no, my best friend actually- its getting pretty unbelievable already eh- well one
evening she got chatting to a man, a singerPETER
Oh yeah. Good beginningLYDIA
This singer had approached the woman with a corny chat-up line, you know, you look so familiar,
that sort of thingPETER
50

Yeah yeahLYDIA
So at first she found the singer a rather irritating little chap.
PETER
Thats possibleLYDIA
Mainly because he was so full of himself.
PETER
Thats not trueLYDIA
This man was, the man in my story. Hed just released a CD, hed been on the telly a couple of
times, but apart from that he was nothing to write home about.
PETER
(this makes him laugh very loudly)
LYDIA
But anyhow. They drunk rather a lot and it also happened to be summer so during the course of
the evening she started to think he was rather nicePETER
Thats how it goes eh.
LYDIA
And so she took him home with her.
PETER
Gosh thats quite a story. Would you like another drinkLYDIA
Its not finished yetPETER
This was followed by a night of passionLYDIA
She didnt actually tell me all the detailsPETER
If this mans anything like the man I think you meanLYDIA
51

You dont know what this womans like.


PETER
Ive got every faith in her.
LYDIA
Thats what you think. Anyway he ended up staying with her the whole weekend.
PETER
Really.
LYDIA
The following Monday he left, without saying a word, without leaving a note behind.
PETER
(lays his hand on her arm) Its actually a very believable story- (Peters mobile rings again)
LYDIA
Oh for godsake.
PETER
It never stops ehLYDIA
(stands up) That phones really getting on my nerves.
PETER
Hang on. (into the mobile) Ill call you back. (sees that Lydia is making moves to go, breaks off
his call, lays the telephone down on the bar) Hang on.
LYDIA
Switch that thing off.
PETER
Its switched off now.
LYDIA
I mean right off. Otherwise its going to ring again any second.
PETER
Course not- (his mobile rings)
LYDIA
(switches his mobile off)
PETER
Now I wont know who phoned.
52

LYDIA
So what.
PETER
Ive already missed one gig that way.
LYDIA
Oh really.
PETER
Im unreachable now, do you realise that.
LYDIA
Yes.
PETER
Jesus. (pause) Jesus. (silence) AndLYDIA
What.
PETER
How did it end. The story of the singer and that friend of yours.
LYDIA
Oh yeah. The singers gone, very occasionally the woman thinks back to that weekend, if she
happens to see him on the TV. Fine. A year or so later shes sitting in a bar again and he
suddenly comes rushing in. Now listen carefully Peter, because now the story becomes so
unbelievable that it could actually have really happened. Because everything starts all over
again: He gives her his new CD. He shows her his fake RolexPETER
Hang onLYDIA
At first she thinks he hasnt recognised her straight away, after all shes changed a lot, her hair, a
different clothing sponsor. She refers to the previous meeting a few times, but he seems to have
forgotten everything. So she decides to tell him the whole story right from the beginning. And
shes still doing it at this moment.
PETER
You cant be seriousLYDIA
Thats what the singer said next, yes-

53

PETER
So weve alreadyLYDIA
That photograph you were talking aboutPETER
YesLYDIA
We had that taken by one of those blokes with roses and a cameraPETER
Hang on, whenLYDIA
I dunno, Id just had myself written out of The Stock ExchangePETER
Were you in The StockLYDIA
God. Im Joyce. The secretaryPETER
But there are I-dont-know-how-many secretaries in The Stock ExchangeLYDIA
Jesus. Peter. You spent the whole weekend with mePETER
You wouldnt forget something like that.
LYDIA
No.
PETER
I dont believe a single word of it.
LYDIA
Neither do I.
PETER
What did we do with that photo thenLYDIA
I kept it. Here. (lays her purse on the table)
54

PETER
(goes to pick up the purse)
LYDIA
(takes the purse) I have very fond memories of that weekend.
PETER
As far as Im concerned it never happened.
LYDIA
Then it was probably only my happening.
PETER
Perhaps if I see that photoLYDIA
Yeah, who knows.
LYDIA
I really cant believePETER
Yeah sorry, I dont know eitherLYDIA
(walks to the bar, to Barman) A beer please Willem.
PETER
(walks to the bar too) Sorry. Really. I dont know- I- Give me a beer too will you Willem.
(the Barman pours the beers)
LYDIA
Still using the same aftershave eh.
PETER
Yeah I mean YeahBARMAN
(puts two glasses on the bar) Two beers. Shall I put in on a tab?
LYDIA
I can pay for it now.
BARMAN
You wont be going for ages.
55

LYDIA
Who knows.
BARMAN
A tabs easier.
LYDIA
Go on then. (to Peter) Cheers. (they raise their glasses, keep looking at each other, change of
lighting, their heads draw together, ending in a fitting kiss)
PETER
Hang onLYDIA
Do you remember me nowPETER
I dont know.
LYDIA
Do you promise youll remember this time.
PETER
Yes.
LYDIA
(kisses him, they smile at each other, BLACK OUT)
The same scene is repeated, but Weger replaces Peter, he is dressed as a cowboy
BARMAN
(puts two glasses on the bar) Two beers. Shall I put in on a tab?
LYDIA
I can pay for it now. (takes out her purse)
BARMAN
You wont be going for ages.
LYDIA
Who knows.
BARMAN
A tabs easier.

56

LYDIA
Go on then. (to Weger) Cheers. (they raise their glasses, keep looking at each other, change of
lighting, their heads draw together, ending in a fitting kiss)
WEGER
Hang onLYDIA
Do you remember me nowWEGER
I dont know.
LYDIA
Do you promise youll remember this time.
WEGER
Yes.
LYDIA
(kisses him, they smile at each other, BLACK OUT)
The same scene, but this time played by Peter again.
BARMAN
(puts two glasses on the bar) Two beers. Shall I put in on a tab?
LYDIA
I can pay for it now.
BARMAN
You wont be going for ages.
LYDIA
Who knows.
BARMAN
A tabs easier.
LYDIA
Go on then. (to Peter) Cheers. (they raise their glasses, keep looking at each other, Peter bends
forward slowly to kiss her, Lydia is surprised) Hey cowboyPETER
Sorry. I got carried awayLYDIA
57

Youre really unbelievable.


PETER
Im confused by your story. By that photo, I dont know, its all very unreal, I dont knowLYDIA
(takes the photo out of her purse, lays it down in front of Peter on the table, Peter looks at it)
Well.
PETER
Yes.
LYDIA
It is isnt it.
PETER
Yes.
LYDIA
Do you recognise yourself now?
PETER
We look happy here.
LYDIA
Nice eh.
PETER
Im so happy we came out so well.
LYDIA
I think your lifes a bit too busyPETER
(looks at the photo) Youve no idea how happy this makes me. BLACK OUT (they are revolved
off)

14. WEGER VOORTMAN AND DE JONGE


WEGER
(in the dark) Can someone turn the light on. (silence) This is so bizarre its just unbelievable.
(the light goes on, Weger is dazzled, squints at his watch)
Its not too bad.
58

(Voortman and De Jonge enter, De Jonge fastening the middle button of his jacket, very selfassured, Voortman is very nervous.)
Didnt you hear me just nowVOORTMAN
Take a seat Ernst.
WEGER
Or were you doing it on purpose.
VOORTMAN
ErnstDE JONGE
Take a seat Ernst.
WEGER
You two turned the light out ehVOORTMAN
Just fucking co-operate a bit, will you.
WEGER
Ive been sitting here in the dark for ten minutes.
DE JONGE
What are you on about.
WEGER
Ive been shouting at the top of my lungs.
VOORTMAN
We didnt hear anything.
WEGER
(not convinced) Yeah yeah.
VOORTMAN
(searching for the right words) Listen Ernst. Weve just been discussing things. You mustnt take
this the wrong way. Weve been talking about this that and the other, sometimes thats
necessary, and it was better, it seemed better to us to do that with the just two of us, you were
here, thats why, understand. I mean. About what just happened between us, regarding your
speech and the discussion that came up afterwards.
WEGER
59

What do you mean.


VOORTMAN
You know. The fact that he wasnt completely in agreement with your speech.
WEGER
Oh right. The speech. Id completely forgotten about it.
VOORTMAN
Exactly. Wed like to talk to you about that as well. The way you forget that sort of thing.
WEGER
You leave me sitting here in the dark for minutes on end.
DE JONGE
Were sorry about that Ernst. Now listen.
VOORTMAN
About this discussion then. Your behaviour too. How you present yourself. Its not your fault, at
least thats what we think and I dont mean that disparagingly, some things just happen to you,
thats life, isnt it, everyone has their fair share, it just happens to be your turn at the moment. It
could just as well have been me or Paul, or whoever, thats not the point at the moment, you
know damn well that we like you, that we trust you, honestly, youll have to take my word for it,
because it would be hurtful Ernst, if you were to doubt that (claps him on the shoulder) HeyWEGER
You make it all so complicatedVOORTMAN
Bloody hell, just let me have my say Ernst, its not easy for me. What this is all about ErnstDE JONGE
We just think you shouldnt do it.
VOORTMAN
So.
WEGER
What.
DE JONGE
The speech.
WEGER
But I did it ages ago.
VOORTMAN
60

We mean this evening, the jubilee eveningDE JONGE


That was a rehearsal just now.
WEGER
Yeah yeah.
DE JONGE
We think it would be better if one of us does it.
WEGER
So.
VOORTMAN
Just in case you feel hurt.
WEGER
Why should I care.
VOORTMAN
You understand eh. That its better for the business. Of course, youve got to be there. Nobody
will notice anything and thats for the best. Were a stable business and we have to project that,
you know that and you want that too, Im sure.
WEGER
(walks off)
VOORTMAN
Where are you going.
WEGER
I thought youd finished.
VOORTMAN
Youre taking it like a real sport Ernst. Im glad about that.
WEGER
(pulls out his gun) Eh. (quickly puts it back in his pocket). I dont want any problems guys.
VOORTMAN
Jesus. Ernst.
(exit Weger)
VOORTMAN
Did he have a gun just then61

DE JONGE
Hes still weird isnt he.
VOORTMAN
We did a good job.
DE JONGE
As long as he manages to control himself this evening.
VOORTMAN
Hell be standing next to us smiling this evening.
DE JONGE
Youve known him the longest.
VOORTMAN
Thats what I thought. (looks at his watch) Bang on schedule. (walks away)
DE JONGE
Hans. (Voortman turns) Hang on. Just for the record. Whos doing it this evening.
VOORTMAN
What do you mean.
DE JONGE
The speech.
VOORTMAN
Oh yeah. What do you think.
DE JONGE
Yeah. I dont know.
VOORTMAN
Its a drag eh, this sort of thing.
DE JONGE
I depends on what you want.
VOORTMAN
Exactly.
DE JONGE
Look. Im happy to do itVOORTMAN
62

So am I, thats not the point.


DE JONGE
Ive a good idea of what needs to be said, Ive already made a bit of a start- (pulls a piece of
paper out of his pocket) Read it if you like (gives him the paper)
VOORTMAN
(takes the paper, reads it) Hm.
DE JONGE
Maybe I could read it out to you.
VOORTMAN
No, no need for that. (reads on, hands paper back) Paul, mate, I dont knowDE JONGE
It could go in any direction, of course.
VOORTMAN
I can see that too.
DE JONGE
I just put it together in five minutes.
VOORTMAN
Its not bad, I supposeDE JONGE
Thats what I thought.
VOORTMAN
But if Ernst isnt going to do it, thats already a bit strangeDE JONGE
I agree. I agreeVOORTMAN
And look, imagine if you did it, when Ernst and I set it up in the first place eh
DE JONGE
HmhmVOORTMAN
Dont you think it might give the wrong impression, I mean, Ernst is going to be standing there
like a bit of a spare part anyway this evening, thats a dead cert, somethings definitely snapped
in him, its just so-

63

DE JONGE
But you just said no-one would notice anything was up with him.
VOORTMAN
Okay. But the point is Paul intuitively Id say that it isnt a good idea for you to suddenly start
doing a speech this evening of all evenings, okay? (goes to walk off)
DE JONGE
Ive been working here almost as long as you two.
VOORTMAN
But you didnt set the business up.
DE JONGE
I bought into it.
VOORTMAN
Precisely.
DE JONGE
Im a partner.
VOORTMAN
I dont mean it like thatDE JONGE
Thats the situation.
VOORTMAN
But even so PaulDE JONGE
I dont see the problem.
VOORTMAN
There isnt a problem.
DE JONGE
Why shouldnt IVOORTMAN
Listen Paul. Lets just be grown up about this. It doesnt matter whoDE JONGE
It does matter to meVOORTMAN
64

Listen, as far as Im concerned you can do itDE JONGE


OkayVOORTMAN
In principle I meanDE JONGE
No, seriously, IVOORTMAN
Cant you understand that Im only interested in doing whatevers most sensible.
DE JONGE
Me too.
VOORTMAN
Just listen Paul. Id find it strange if the five year jubilee speech wasnt done by one of the
founders. Id think there was something funny going on with the management.
DE JONGE
There is something funny going on with the management.
VOORTMAN
Things arent going too well with Ernst.
DE JONGE
Ernst is completely off his rocker Hans.
VOORTMAN
Fucking hell Paul. You must have been the youngest in your family. So on the make, so hard
done by, always scared of being short changed. I dont want that. All this to-do about a shitty little
party. This whole jubilees going to be ruined for me at this rate. I dont want this crapDE JONGE
Thats what Im saying. Let me do the speech, and then its settled.
VOORTMAN
But I dont mind doing the speech.
DE JONGE
(wearily) But youve got no presence Hans.
VOORTMAN
What are you saying.

65

DE JONGE
Presence. You havent got it. No authority, no charm, nothing happens when you walk onto a
stage, youre invisible Hans.
VOORTMAN
Just hang onDE JONGE
Im just being blunt otherwise it wont hit home. Ive seen it so many times. When youve taken
part in a forum. Everyone starts coughing when youve got the floor, and you dont even notice,
you just chunder on for another fifteen minutes.
VOORTMAN
I beg your pardonDE JONGE
Afterwards a couple of people always come up to me and say, whats that bloke doing at your
place, is he all there, we couldnt make head or tail of it, or worse than thatVOORTMAN
WhenDE JONGE
But thats not what this is about.
VOORTMAN
PaulDE JONGE
Dont ask me what it is. You just havent got it when it comes to this sort of thing. Seriously Hans.
Youre a great fielder. A first class second man. But in the spotlight theres nothing left of you. I
dont know how often Ernst and I have said thatVOORTMAN
PaulDE JONGE
Dont get me wrong Hans. Im not blaming you for anything. But one way or another you havent
got the slightest idea what effect you have. Its a blind spot, purely genetic, you cant help it. Eh.
Hans. Doesnt matter. But just try and understand that its becoming extremely embarrassing for
everyone in the company that youre frantically trying to be something you just arent. (starts to
exit)
VOORTMAN
Hang on Paul.
DE JONGE
66

As far as Im concerned were done. (exits, Voortman follows him, we see him through the
window of the office, the light at the front of the stage goes out, the following scene takes place
in the window, but because the light comes from behind, the scene looks like a film scene,
framed by the window)
15. JOYCE AND VOORTMAN, LATER HENK
JOYCE
(enters the frame) I always follow my nose when Im looking for you. (embraces him) I smelt your
aftershave in the corridor.
VOORTMAN
What about Ernst Weger.
JOYCE
What about him.
VOORTMAN
Do you always follow your nose with Ernst too.
JOYCE
In what respect.
VOORTMAN
Aftershave.
JOYCE
Hey, are you still doing it this evening.
VOORTMAN
Eh.
JOYCE
The speech.
VOORTMAN
Of course.
JOYCE
Have you talked to Ernst and Paul about it yet.
VOORTMAN
Of course.
JOYCE
And they thought it was a good idea.
67

VOORTMAN
They thought I was the right person. Ernst is completely bonkers and Paul de Jonge is a prat,
hes not capable of doing that kind of a speech.
JOYCE
I didnt know that ErnstVOORTMAN
Ernst is completely off his rocker Joyce. This business would go down the drain without me. Im
the face of the company.
JOYCE
Promise me youll look at me during the speechVOORTMAN
(gazes deeply into her eyes) Like this?
JOYCE
No not like that.
VOORTMAN
I heard you always really like it like this everywhere with everyone.
JOYCE
(gets up) Whats wrong with you the whole timeVOORTMAN
(pulls her towards him) Listen. Joyce. Weve got something specialJOYCE
Thats why I thought it would be nice if you looked at me this evening.
VOORTMAN
Of course Ill look at you this evening.
JOYCE
(kisses him)
VOORTMAN
Well keep it special eh- No messing around with the rest of the world.
JOYCE
Trust me.
VOORTMAN
I trust you. (kisses her, Henk comes into the frame)
68

HENK
I hope Im not disturbing anything.
VOORTMAN
Whats there to disturb.
JOYCE
(to Voortman) Thanks. A bunch. (disappears from frame)
HENK
Perhaps you two were just having a meeting.
VOORTMAN
Did it look like a meeting.
HENK
I didnt really notice.
VOORTMAN
You never disturb anything and you know that very well. Now. What did you want.
HENK
No idea. (looks around) I could swear I worked in a bar.
VOORTMAN
What did you say.
HENK
I cant get the business straight in my mind all of a sudden. Its as if I dont work here at all.
VOORTMAN
(laughs) Just sit down Henk.
HENK
Henk. Henk. That name means nothing to me.
VOORTMAN
Its just a name. Nothing special.
HENK
(pronounces his name in an exaggerated way) Henk. That names got nothing to do with me.
VOORTMAN
Well there are so many Henks.
HENK
69

You think Im joking.


VOORTMAN
Youre always joking.
HENK
Am I.
VOORTMAN
Come on Henk.
HENK
Actually I feel very serious.
VOORTMAN
(laughs) All the greatest comedians do.
HENK
Henk.
VOORTMAN
(points at him and himself) Henk. And Voortman.
HENK
Henk. With no surname.
VOORTMAN
Yes. And Voortman with no christian name.
HENK
I could swear I worked in a bar.
VOORTMAN
Youve got the right posture for it.
VOORTMAN
Maybe thats why I think that.
VOORTMAN
Hey Henk. Do you believe that you become what you naturally look like, or do you gradually start
to look like what you naturally are.
HENK
PardonVOORTMAN
For instance do you think I look like a leader.
70

HENK
Sorry.
VOORTMAN
Do I look like a born leader.
HENK
What does a born leader look like.
VOORTMAN
Calm. Self assured. Someone with presence. (walks away, comes back into the room, as if the
working day has just begun) Hello Henk. Do you think something happens when I step into the
office.
HENK
What strange questions you ask.
VOORTMAN
Answer then.
HENK
I dont know what to say.
VOORTMAN
Just yes or no.
HENK
You shouldnt ask me that sort of thing.
VOORTMAN
(walks out of the room and in again) Hello Henk- Come on Henk.
HENK
I think so.
VOORTMAN
I think so too. Eh. (thumps him on the shoulder)
HENK
Ow. (thumps him back quite hard, they disappear from view, the following texts are on a tape,
off screen, while Coach is being revolved on, Voortman is sitting at a table with him) Eh.
VOORTMAN
Do you remember what you came for.
HENK
71

Have you got your hands on Joyce?


VOORTMAN
What do you mean.
HENK
Exactly what I said.
VOORTMAN
If theres someone in the management who knows his responsibilities, then its me, you know
that dont you.
HENK
And the other two.
VOORTMAN
(tuts) Yeah Henk.

16. VOORTMAN AND COACH


COACH
Im Coach, and youreVOORTMAN
Hi there Coach.
COACH
WelcomeVOORTMAN
Thank you Coach. Its really great to be with you on your programmeCOACH
Fantastic to have youVOORTMAN
Because its incredibly busy Coach, were working fifteen, twenty hour days.
COACH
Thats just what I wanted to talk to you about.
VOORTMAN
Its still fantastic to do of course. I mean, youre right up at the top.
COACH
72

The top is just a point.


VOORTMAN
Of course, of courseCOACH
And coming down is much easier.
VOORTMAN
Hm hm, hmhmCOACH
Its all soVOORTMAN
I just dont buy that Coach. That its always got to start going downhill just because its going well
for once. There are other scenarios after allCOACH
So you think its going well yourself.
VOORTMAN
As far as Im concerned its going fantastically.
COACH
Youre sure.
VOORTMAN
What are you on about Coach. Im in a privileged position. In my work as well. Its a fantastic
team. Great people every one of themCOACH
Why arent I seeing that then.
VOORTMAN
Maybe youre not looking clearly.
COACH
Do you know what I seeVOORTMAN
Im curiousCOACH
I see a bunch of ego-trippers who are only out for themselvesVOORTMAN
73

Its very different behind the scenesCOACH


That business with the jubilee party, that speech, scrabbling around for nothingVOORTMAN
What do you meanCOACH
If theres anyone who could break out of it, its you.
VOORTMAN
Look Coach. I just happen to have a particular character. Breaking out of things is the last thing
Hans Voortman would do.
COACH
I think its a shameVOORTMAN
You can think its a shame but I dont have the slightest influence over the script. But mark my
words Coach. Hans Voortman hasnt got long to goCOACH
SorryVOORTMAN
I dont know if Im actually supposed to say this but Im being written out soonCOACH
Just hang on- (looks at his card)
VOORTMAN
Exactly. Everyone says I shouldnt, but Ive pretty much had enough. Youve got to get out while
youre at the top, the tops just a point, ehCOACH
HowVOORTMAN
I cant really give much more away Coach, but I can just say that an awful lot of strands are
going to come together in an incredibly bizarre way. Really spectacular. As an actor its quite
something to be able to take my leave in that kind of way. But then I have done five years ehCOACH
(laughs) You think youre an actor.
VOORTMAN
74

Well thats just typicalCOACH


I couldnt understandVOORTMAN
Because my character isnt called Hamlet but Henk MOET Hans ZIJN you think its not worth
anything.
COACH
Thats not the point at allVOORTMAN
What do you want then. Am I supposed to play to an empty theatre night after night. Would that
make me an actor. You cant eat idealism. Ive got a family Coach. And a soap like that meets a
need so its useful.
COACH
Hans. MateVOORTMAN
Listen Coach. Im happy to talk to you, but only if I can be myself.
COACH
Thats exactly what I want too.
VOORTMAN
Then dont keep calling me Hans the whole time.
COACH
What am I supposed toVOORTMAN
Just call me PeterCOACH
(looks at his card) If it helpsVOORTMAN
Its exhausting being identified with that role the whole day long. Im going to grow my hair as
soon as Im out of it. Get rid of that bald Hans Voorman head for good. And then only do really
nice things. Im singing every Friday now in my local bar, just as a sort of hobby. Were thinking
about doing it more seriously. Maybe bring out a CD, who knowsCOACH
Good. Peter. So you think youre in a soap-

75

VOORTMAN
What kind of a conversation is thisCOACH
Im just trying to get things clear.
VOORTMAN
Look just sod offCOACH
Im trying to find out how you see the worldVOORTMAN
I dont have an opinion about that.
COACH
Listen Peter. What Im going to say now might sound strange, but you are Hans Voortman.
VOORTMAN
That roles got nothing to do with me at all CoachCOACH
It isnt a role, you are Hans VoortmanVOORTMAN
Are you feeling all rightCOACH
I could ask you the same thingVOORTMAN
Hans Voortman is a total wimp. A loser. An extremely stupid opportunist. As common as muck.
Thats nothing to do with me.
COACH
Youre just kidding yourself Hans.
VOORTMAN
Im not going be branded as a character from a soap by you.
COACH
Im actually saying that youre notVOORTMAN
You should take a look at yourself- Theyve plastered you with make-up, shaved your head
because it looks so-called intelligent-

76

COACH
Thats got nothing to do withVOORTMAN
They choose your clothes for you, they put your questions down on a bit of paper for you. Who is
it that looks like a character from a soap round here.
COACH
Im just trying to have a polite conversationVOORTMAN
This wasnt the deal Coach- I told the editors very clearly up front what I wanted to talk aboutCOACH
You think this is a television programmeVOORTMAN
Youd better just stop this now Coach.
COACH
Now I understandVOORTMAN
Youre making me look like a right - (gets up walks away)
COACH
Hans! Fucking hell Hans! Sometimes someone just slips through the net. Doesnt matter.
Slipping through the net is quality control. Many are called, few are chosen. Cast your nets wideIts almost impossible to get through to someone like that- It must be hell not knowing what's real
and what isn't, just imagine - I mean - that bloke's going to come to a sticky end, just you mark
my words I mean(A voice comes over an intercom, like a director sounds)
VOICE
Okay. Thanks.
(The lights on Coachs set go out, on the panel behind him the word INTERMISSION appears,
Coach exits)
INTERMISSION

77

PART II
1.

NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHERS SONG (text by Jaap van Keulen)

Now youre out there in the woods


Now youre out there in the dark
And the rain is pouring down
Its the red lights and the time that will tell you
That the train is always worth waiting for
To pass you by
Or to take you away
Im so glad to meet you here
And Im so glad youre doing fine
Im going to take a final picture of you
Connecting and disrupting time
Showing
That its funny how things go
(during the song the following monologue is to be seen, Lydia at the window, with a telephone,
The Barman behind her)
LYDIA
Peter. Its me. I want to see you this evening. Im okay, but Ive got to talk to you. Theres all sorts
of things going on, but I cant tell you now. Not over the phone. Lets meet in Willems bar- Peter,
its important, youve got to come quickly. (she turns the phone off, the Barman stands behind
Lydia, his gun pointed at her) Hes coming.
Theres always a flashlight
Theres always a flashlight
To capture the dark side
The stage revolves to the bar setting
2. IN THE BAR, LYDIA, PETER, BARMAN
(Peter and Lydia are kept covered by the Barmans gun, the chairs are on the tables, the bar is
still closed, the Barman is in total panic)
PETER
Put that gun away please.
BARMAN
Ill fall over without my gun.
78

PETER
It makes it so hard to talk you knowBARMAN
Respect Peter.
PETER
Of course of courseBARMAN
Thats what I need.
PETER
LogicalBARMAN
Im nothing in my own eyes you know.
PETER
We respect you.
BARMAN
Oh come onPETER
Dont we. Lydia?
LYDIA
Yes.
BARMAN
Ive heard it all beforePETER
Course you haveBARMAN
What would you know ehPETER
You get screwed continually if you dont watch out.
BARMAN
And if you do watch out you get screwed just as hardPETER
79

That as well.
BARMAN
Too right.
PETER
I do knowBARMAN
But you dont know. You were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
PETER
Hang onLYDIA
PeterBARMAN
Everything just drops into your lap.
PETER
Youre picking the wrong person to say that toLYDIA
PleaseBARMAN
Dont start blubbing.
LYDIA
Im not going to start blubbing.
BARMAN
Im just saying it.
PETER
Okay. Ive got a gift. Ive got a fantastic voice. But all the same no-ones handed me anything on
a plate. They tried to stamp me into the ground just as hard. Oh come on. You dont have any
idea what kind of power it has if they begrudge you your success. Envy. My god. Thats the
worse thing there is. Ive managed to keep my head above water Willem. Its purely a matter of
character, damn it, purelyBARMAN
Listen PeterPETER
Listen Peter my foot. Thats what I mean. I know damn well how it goes. Im right arent I Lydia80

LYDIA
PeterPETER
If you two think its so easy to get famous, okay, get okay, but be, hey, stay famousBARMAN
(aims his gun) Its all egotism, PeterPETER
Okay, okayBARMAN
With you as wellPETER
What else can I do. In this worldBARMAN
Safes full of shares, it just keeps growing, and where does it come from that money from the
stock exchange, who pays for it all?
PETER
No idea. Honestly notBARMAN
I do. Here. (pulls out a letter) The bars being sold. They declare me bankrupt so the rest of the
economy can keep on merrily growing. Since you stopped singing here its gone steadily
downhill.
PETER
Jesus. Christ. Thats shitty for youBARMAN
Shitty. God Im going completely nuts. I took this gun out of the drawer, this morning, I drove out
of town, turned down a country lane somewhere, I put the gun to my temple, in my mouth,
against my heart, I dont understand how they do it, but I was just too much of a coward. I
accidentally shot my front windscreen out. Its driving me mental this thing. Completely
untrustworthy. I mean. How am I supposed to pay for a new windscreen, Im not going to
sacrifice my no-claims bonus, but the cars like a wind-tunnel going down the motorway, Ill be in
bed with flu tomorrow Ill bet you, everything comes at once eh, fuck it. (shoots accidentally)
Fucking hell. Sorry.
PETER
Fucking hell.

81

BARMAN
Sorry guys, I mean, did I hit anything.
PETER
Give me that gun, you dont know how to handle it.
BARMAN
I didnt hit anything though did I.
PETER
Give me that gun Willem.
BARMAN
(walks over to him) I discovered you Peter.
PETER
Calm down Willem. Of course. We can help you, weve got money.
LYDIA
(looks at Peter)
PETER
Its true. One big concert will do the trick. Hey. I sang for the first time at your place. Do you
remember, that first eveningBARMAN
They were all sitting there cryingPETER
Hey man- What a time that was. If you hadnt given me the chance Id never have got this far.
(pulls a cheque book out of his pocket). Just say. How much do you want.
BARMAN
Thats so great of youPETER
I owe it to you. Its thanks to you Im at the top nowLYDIA
Youre not and you know it.
PETER
I dont know what I know. I perform everywhere.
LYDIA
Those are gigs, not big concerts.

82

PETER
They want me, thats the most important thing.
LYDIA
For a laugh, as a curiosityPETER
(to Willem) How much do you want.
LYDIA
(to Willem) Hes been down on his bum bones longer than you have. Has he ever asked you for
help.
PETER
I dont need any help. Fucking hell. Willem. Listen Willem.
BARMAN
Calm down, hang on, IPETER
Its a question of ups and downs, you know that as well as I do. The markets changed, I mean,
nobodyLYDIA
Paul Draaier, Menno Gever, they all play in stadiums, enormous concert hallsPETER
Thats a different genre. Im busy with my third CD WillemLYDIA
Youre the only one who still believes itPETER
Lydia- (tries to laugh) Women Willem, I dont knowLYDIA
I dont mind, you know. As long as you just admit it.
PETER
As if your career is flourishingLYDIA
Thats not what were talking aboutPETER
That band of yours was a flop.

83

LYDIA
So what.
PETER
That column in the Telegraaf. Your food programme. All flops.
LYDIA
So what.
PETER
Youve gone bust. Lydia Cremers doesnt mean anything any more.
LYDIA
I know thatPETER
Why should I still bother about you. You dont matter any more.
LYDIA
And thats how I act. You act like a star, everyone plays along with it but behind your back they
laugh at you, Peter. Everywhere you go.
BARMAN
Guys.
PETER
(desperately trying to suppress his tears) You cant- you mustnt say that.
BARMAN
(aims his gun at Peter again) Youve got to let me have my say tooPETER
Of course Willem. Say whatever youve got to sayBARMAN
I
PETER
Were listening to your every wordLYDIA
Just shut up will youPETER
Im only saying- What do you want to say WillemBARMAN
84

(silence) I dont know- I just dont know any more. If youre down on your bum bones tooPETER
Do I look like I am.
BARMAN
I dont knowPETER
Just have a good look Willem. Eh. What do you think a jacket like this costs. (shows the lining)
Armani eh. Here. (shows him his watch, slaps the face of it) You could go on safari for three
months on that. Come on Willem. Well sort it out. Give me that gun. I know how to handle it.
Hey- (grabs the gun out of the Barmans hand) How do you put the safety catch onBARMAN
You said you knew how to handle itPETER
Stop going on, where that ruddy safetyBARMAN
(tries to take the gun back)
PETER
Dont(through the window Weger can be seen, dressed as a cowboy, he aims his gun at the Barman)
LYDIA
(sees the cowboy) Peter(the cowboy pulls the trigger)
PETER
(accidentally pulls the trigger) Fucking hell.
BARMAN
(falls over) Jesus.
PETER
(to Lydia) Christ. Weve gotta get out of here.
LYDIA
Did you see thatPETER
Come on Lyd85

BARMAN
(gets up) Its all right guys. Its just the shock. Jesus, it made me jump.
PETER
(looks at his watch) Ive got a show tonight, were already running late Willem.
BARMAN
Hey. What a shame.
LYDIA
Well make another date soon.
BARMAN
Make sure you do, eh.
PETER
Its a promise. (they leave quickly)
BARMAN
For the same money you could have been my wife. Its just a case of bumping into the right
woman. For the rest you just fill it in any old way eh, you grab what comes along, or you let it go(inspects his clothing) I feel fine. Nothing wrong at all. Ach. Guys. Money. (laughs loudly) It
makes me laugh. Can you hear. (laughs again, coughs) Health and happiness. If you havent got
that- I feel much better. He shot all the misery out of the room in one go. Thats priceless, isnt it.
The things you go through, eh. Man. Only this morning I was sitting in my car in a field. I felt
terrible guys, unbelievable- I thought it was the end of the world. But now were just here. And
the day hasnt even ended, I mean, Im thirty-eight, but what are we going to be doing in an
hours time. Thats hard to guess at, eh, when youre in the middle of it. I work here now- (the
bar starts to revolve off). Eh. I like the spring best of all I think. I always used to want to go on a
round-the-world trip. How long have I been working here now. Eight or nine years. Im thirtyeight. Eh. Guys. Ive been working here one fifth of my life. Incredible eh. (from behind the set)
And it can only increase.
BLACK OUT

4. IN THE OFFICE JUST BEFORE THE JUBILEE EVENING IS ABOUT TO START


De Jonge and Voortman walk on nervously, De Jonge is knotting Voortmans tie
DE JONGE
Where the hells ErnstVOORTMAN
86

Ernst is a grown manDE JONGE


Well just start without himVOORTMAN
Paul, one other thingDE JONGE
Theres a room full of people, we cant keep them waiting much longer.
JOYCE
(storms in) Any word on the sushi yetHENK
(in her wake) JoyceJOYCE
I havent got time for that Henk. GuysHENK
I dont care who hears, weve got to talk JoyceVOORTMAN
Just a second Henk- About Ernst, did you perhapsHENK
Ernst?
JOYCE
Im worried that the sushi wont, I mean that the sushi isnt going toDE JONGE
We dont give a damn about the sushiJOYCE
Okay. (starts to cry) Okay Paul de Jonge. Okay- (exits)
HENK
Bloody hell, you should just speak for yourselfVOORTMAN
He didnt mean it like that JoyceDE JONGE
I meant it exactly like that-

87

HENK
FascistDE JONGE
What did you sayHENK
You heard me. (leaves)
DE JONGE
(shouts after him) Running dog.
HENK
(comes back again, De Jonge recoils, Henk waves a piece of paper) Fax from Weger. (gives the
paper to Voortman)
VOORTMAN
(reads the fax)
DE JONGE
AndVOORTMAN
(tuts) YeahDE JONGE
That doesnt tell me anything. (takes the paper, reads)
JOYCE
(comes back) Is it something bad.
DE JONGE
Weger isnt coming this evening.
VOORTMAN
Ernst Weger is leaving to go abroad. Unbelievable.
JOYCE
He just writes a letter to say hes going?
DE JONGE
Im just about to do that speech- (re-knots his tie)
VOORTMAN
Why doesnt he crash his car into a tree.
JOYCE
88

HansVOORTMAN
What is it JoyceJOYCE
Ive just got to get used to the idea that he isnt here any more.
VOORTMAN
Its not to my liking.
JOYCE
What do you mean.
VOORTMAN
That whole thing between you and him has never been to my liking.
HENK
What whole thing.
VOORTMAN
Management level. You wouldnt understand.
HENK
JoyceJOYCE
You two were supposed to be discussing this speechVOORTMAN
Joyce, I er, oh yeahJOYCE
(walks off, Henk runs after here)
HENK
Joyce- (exits)
DE JONGE
What about that speechVOORTMAN
A small request from Weger, a little memo to Joyce, asking if I would do the speech in his placeDE JONGE
Jesus. Hans, Im about to do it-

89

VOORTMAN
It was a little memo, one of those yellow paste-it notes, you knowDE JONGE
I know what a memo is. I thought wed agreed that I was going toVOORTMAN
Correct. But Joyce suddenly starts on about that memo from ErnstDE JONGE
The Ernst Weger era is over.
VOORTMAN
Okay okay.
DE JONGE
The tide is turning Hans, mark my words.
VOORTMAN
Of course.
DE JONGE
The winds of change are going to blow through here if I have my way.
VOORTMAN
Exactly.
DE JONGE
Listen Voortman. Im going to put my cards on the table.
VOORTMAN
Of courseDE JONGE
Im on an assignment Hans.
VOORTMAN
Eh.
DE JONGE
A mission. Im on an undercover operation, dont you realise.
VOORTMAN
No.
DE JONGE
Good. Why do you think Ive got this. (shows his toothpick)
90

VOORTMAN
I hadnt really noticed itDE JONGE
Im going to expose the whole game round hereVOORTMAN
I dont know ifDE JONGE
Just look around you. They all walk around twittering into their mobile phones. But have they
really got anyone on the line Hans. Ever looked into that, have you. Diaries full of appointments.
But have they all actually taken place. Those kinds of questions eh. God. They print cupboardfulls of reports, design forms that other people have to fill in. Theyre all rushed off their feet, but
listen Hans: theres absolutely nothing happening round here. Meetings are called because
someone has circulated an agenda. Its one big pretence that they all keep up together.
Everyone knows it, but no-one dares to say it out loud. Oh god, theyre all so frightened for their
jobs. And thats what its like everywhere. Social workers, politicians, artists. Why do you think
they all wear the same suits as us. Eh. Because we live in a world full of confidence tricksters.
Precisely. Its got to be about something again- Why are you staring at me like that VoortmanEh- (annunciates it clearly) Voortman. Youre not called that for nothing eh, are you. Voortman
always carries on. Eh. And de Jonge is the future. Get it. Ideal combinationVOORTMAN
Look Im sorry butDE JONGE
Whats wrong nowVOORTMAN
Those arent your lines.
DE JONGE
What?
VOORTMAN
All that stuff you just said.
DE JONGE
Yes.
VOORTMAN
Thats not in the script.
DE JONGE
Which script.
91

VOORTMAN
Unbelievable. (pulls several sheets of paper out of his back pocket, reads from them) Here. De
Jonge: What about that speech- Voortman: A small request from Weger, a little memo to JoyceDe Jonge: Im about to do itDE JONGE
What do youVOORTMAN
Hang on. Voortman: It was a little memo, one of those yellow paste-it notes. De Jonge: I know
what a memo isDE JONGE
Hang on, now Im going nutsVOORTMAN
The tide is turning, the winds of change are going to blow through here if I have my way- and
listen here then it says, Voortman: Exactly- and then we get that speechDE JONGE
And youve got that all down on paperVOORTMAN
Jesus come onDE JONGE
Im really going nuts, how did you do that, how did you manage toVOORTMAN
(has to laugh)
DE JONGE
(laughs too) Brilliant. You know I really believed it for a moment.
VOORTMAN
Dyou mean that seriouslyDE JONGE
Seriously. Fantastic. How did you do that- (looks at his watch) Shit. That speechVOORTMAN
PaulDE JONGE
Right now-

92

5. WEGER SINGS A COWBOY NUMBER


Youve got lots of beer, wine and whisky
Have you got any women who sell
Ive been on the range for a long time, boys
And Im feeling as frisky as hell
So fill up all those glasses bartender
Hey cowboy, put your money away
Cause Im going to tell you right now Im a spender
And Ive been saving my wages to pay
to pay for this one evening Ive been looking forward to for so long
And Id sure hate like hell to make this here evening go wrong
All I want is a bottle to empty
All I want is a woman wholl dance
Last damn thing is trouble now
Last damn thing I wanna do is fight
So lets all proceed with this evening now
And hope to hell that everything works out right
So fill up all those glasses bartender
I said fill them up to the brim
And then you turn the music way up loud
So fill up all those glasses bartender
And then you turn the lights down dim
Well honey have you ever longed for a man to be tender
Now your prayers have been answered tonight
And you already know I'm a spender darling
I intent to treat you just right

6. PETER, LYDIA AND THE NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE WOODS


Peter and Lydia are sitting in a car. They are waiting by a level crossing. Its pouring with rain.
PETER
Bloody hell. Shit weather. Shit. Fuck it. Where the fuck are weLYDIA
(looks at a road map) Its not on the mapPETER
93

Were here arent weLYDIA


Yes.
PETER
Then it must be on the map.
LYDIA
(searches on the map) Theres no wood on the map.
PETER
Then we cant be in a wood.
LYDIA
Yeah we are.
PETER
Well then.
LYDIA
I cant find it.
PETER
Just look for an unmade-up road that crosses a railway track. I cant understand it. A manned
level-crossing in a wood. That must be on the map. I mean. Fucking railways, they make you
stand here and nothing comes, I mean, how long have we been standing here already.
LYDIA
Theres no wood with a level crossing anywhere.
PETER
Have I got to do bloody everything myself- Bloody hell. (looks at the map, tears it)
LYDIA
Bloody hellPETER
You were right. Im a loser. Just look at us, in the streaming rain in the middle of a wood, on the
way to a gig at an office do.
LYDIA
Can we have a window open.
PETER
Then the rainll come inside.

94

LYDIA
Its so airless in here.
PETER
Thats because weve got a problem LydLYDIA
Its not thatPETER
Weve murdered someoneLYDIA
Thats not truePETER
Didnt you see him bleeding, he wont survive itLYDIA
You didnt shoot himPETER
What did you say?
LYDIA
You didnt shoot him. It was a cowboy PeterPETER
Oh, well thats okay then.
LYDIA
You see, youre winding yourself up too muchPETER
Youre right, it was just a cowboy. So whos the nutter round here. Unbelievable- (opens the car
door)
LYDIA
Youll get soaked out there.
PETER
(steps into the pouring rain) Lovely.
LYDIA
PeterPETER
95

Give me a breakLYDIA
(gets out of the car) It really was a cowboy. I saw it.
PETER
Listen Lydia. You see things differently, Ive come to realise. You see that everyone laughs at
me, that I make a fool of myself, according to you Im going down the pan. I see it all much more
simply. Its all fine as long as it looks fine. Im at the top as long as I project that and you dont
deny it. And its exactly the same with that shooting. As far as Im concerned we didnt even see
Willem this evening. Everythings fine with Willem, if we were to drive over there hed be
standing at the bar his usual jolly self just like always, mark my words.
LYDIA
But I do think that youPETER
It didnt happen Lydia. I cant remember a thing about it. All I know is that were on our way to a
gig and that you still believe in me. We have absolutely no need of a cowboy for that (sits back
down in the car again) This is our life Lydia. Were on a dirt track in a wood in the pouring rain
waiting for a train that isnt coming. Well just have to make do with it for now.
LYDIA
Or you could just give it up and do something else.
PETER
If only I could.
LYDIA
Well you just gave up on The Stock Exchange didnt you.
PETER
That was a soap.
LYDIA
So?
PETER
This is real life.
LYDIA
I dont see any difference.
PETER
You cant have yourself written out of life.
LYDIA
96

Have you ever tried?


PETER
Dont be so ridiculous. Weve just go to grit our teeth and carry on, Ive got the feeling that weve
touched bottom, that things can only get better from now on.
LYDIA
You could just try, for fun. Get yourself written out of it. Start all over again, with a clean slate,
without baggagePETER
You just want to keep going wrong, for fun.
LYDIA
Id rather go wrong three times briefly than once permanently.
(A train rushes past, lots of noise, black-out, when the train has passed the Night-Photographer
is sitting in the back of the car)
LYDIA
I didnt hear that coming at all.
PETER
If these barriers would just go upNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Wait till the red lights gone out.
LYDIA
Jesus PeterNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
There might be another train coming.
Nope. There it goes then eh (looking through his Polaroid camera)
PETER
Hang on aNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Thats that then PeterLYDIA
Do you know him PeterNIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
This is our first meeting and yet we already know each other. Strange eh. It was the same with
you two wasnt it.
97

PETER
Are we supposed to smile?
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
Only if you find it amusing.
LYDIA
He means for the photo.
NIGHT-PHOTOGRAPHER
The photo couldnt care less, its a dead thing.
LYDIA
He doesnt understand eh.
PETER
Lydia. Sweetheart. (embraces her) Would you mind passing on my apologies for that gig. Say
Im not feeling myself at all.
The camera flashes, black-out, on the video we see Peter and the Night-Photographer walking
into the woods and disappearing.
LYDIA
(alone in the rain) Peter. Peter. (she walks to the back, comes back again) Peter, for fucksake(the stage revolves, the bar set revolves on, without black-out)

7. IN THE BAR, WEGER SINGS A COUNTRY NUMBER


The Barman is standing at the beer-tap, the Night-Photographer sits alone at a small table,
Weger is dressed as a cowboy and sings a great piece of country-and-western. A wood is
projected onto the back wall. The Night-Photographer sits at the bar.
BARMAN
LydiaLYDIA
Hey, nice jacket. Just turn round.
BARMAN
(turns round, there is no blood on his back)
LYDIA
Gorgeous. (takes his hand) God. Am I glad to see you.

98

BARMAN
Dyou mean thatLYDIA
SeriouslyBARMAN
You dont come here often enough. (picks up a towel, wipes his face) Didnt you bring the car.
LYDIA
I lost the car on the way.
BARMAN
(laughs loudly) Only an actress could come up with thatWEGER
Okay folks, Im going to take a break, then Ill be right back with you.
LYDIA
Who is that guyBARMAN
New boy, so ambitious its frightening.
LYDIA
Watch out eh Willem.
BARMAN
Hes eating out of my hand, countrys old hat you know, hes as pleased as punch that Im giving
him a chance.
WEGER
(walks to the bar, the barman gives him a beer)
(cowboy style) Thanks partnerBARMAN
Fantastic man. Im crying my eyes out again. If you can do that mate, if you can convey that kind
of emotion- (meanwhile Lydia sees the Night-Photographer sitting at the bar)
WEGER
(to Lydia) Do you like country.
LYDIA
Its all right.
WEGER
I thought, she either likes country or she thinks Im great, or both, you were looking at me99

LYDIA
Oh yeah?
WEGER
If I looked at you like that youd fall instantly in love with me.
BARMAN
Do you know what it isWEGER
Im busy with a one-night stand Willem. Two beers please- (the Barman goes to tap beer, Weger
touches Lydia on the arm, she pulls her arm away) Are you scared of cowboys?
LYDIA
I dont understand how a grown man would dare to walk round in an outfit like that.
WEGER
Father Abraham started off as Piere Kartner dressed as an old man, and along the way he grew
into that outfit, thats the way it goes. I havent been doing country very long. You should give me
a chance. You wait and see, one day you wont think I look funny any more, Ill just have become
a cowboy.
BARMAN
(puts two glasses on the bar) Two beers. (to Lydia) Shall I put in on a tab?
LYDIA
No its okay Ill pay for it. (takes out her purse)
BARMAN
Youre not leaving for agesLYDIA
Ive got to go soonBARMAN
A tabs easier. (he walks away)
LYDIA
Listen, WillemWEGER
Cheers. (they raise their glasses, look at each other, Weger leans forward slowly to kiss her,
Lydia is surprised)
Its as if Ive already known you for yearsLYDIA
100

(gets up)
WEGER
Sorry. It just came over me. Hey. No problem, Ill be patient with youBARMAN
(puts two glasses on the bar) Two beers. (to Lydia) Shall I put it on a tab for you?
LYDIA
I didnt order anythingBARMAN
Youre not leaving for agesLYDIA
WillemBARMAN
A tabs easier.
WEGER
Cheers. (he raises his glass, fixated on the spot where Lydia was just sitting, leans forward
slowly to kiss her)
LYDIA
(goes to leave)
WEGER
Lydia- (pulls out his gun, Lydia is startled)
LYDIA
Dont, please.
BARMAN
Do you find it so airless in here too.
WEGER
Im laying claim to you Joyce, Ive paid for it- (the Barman, the Night-Photographer and Weger
freeze)
LYDIA
(the stage revolves, she runs out of the bar and thereby arrives in Coachs set that revolves to
the front)
COACH
Youre Lydia, Im Coach, welcome Lydia.

101

LYDIA
(runs off, the set keeps revolving, Coach runs after her, the bar set revolves back on, Coach
walks into the bar, sees Weger in his cowboy outfit, in the following scene Coach and Weger are
the only two who move, the Night-Photographer and the Barman remain frozen. The set
continues to revolve, after the final clause the office set has revolved round to the front)

8. WEGER AND COACH II


COACH
Fantastic man. What a differenceWEGER
I dont know CoachCOACH
If you think how you came in here and how youre walking around nowWEGER
I think both are a dead lossCOACH
Youre far too negativeWEGER
They laugh straight in my face, Coach. The only thing that makes an impression is this. (points
his gun at Coach)
COACH
Easy ErnstWEGER
Then they suddenly take you seriously.
COACH
I believe in youWEGER
See, it works CoachCOACH
Listen ErnstWEGER
Whos Ernst-

102

COACH
Thats you ErnstWEGER
Ernst Weger is a wash-out CoachCOACH
It depends on how you look at it ErnstWEGER
(shoots down Coach)
(in the meantime the office set revolves to the front, De Jonge and Voortman enter, in festive
suits, it is the jubilee evening)

9. AT THE OFFICE DURING THE JUBILEE EVENING


It is the night of the 5th anniversary party. De Jonge looks splendid, he walks to the microphone,
self-assured, Hans Voortman follows him uncertainly, trying to look like an equal business
partner. De Jonge addresses the audience, as if the office staff are sitting there)

DE JONGE
Ladies and gentlemen. Great that youre all here. As you can see, Voortman and I are here with
the two of us, Ernst Weger has dashed off abroad, you know Ernst, when he gets something into
his head it has to happen straight away. But actually its him who should be standing here, hes
actually the right person for this kind of address. But anyway. Youll have to make do with me, at
least youre not saddled with Hans Voortman. (he laughs loudly, Voortman laughs along with
him, slaps De Jonge on the shoulder, shakes his hand)
VOORTMAN
Thank youDE JONGE
I said to him only this afternoon, mate, as long as you dont do that speech, youve got no
presence, nothing happens when you walk onto a stageVOORTMAN
(laughs very loudly) Youve either got it or you havent eh.
DE JONGE
And you havent got it have you.
VOORTMAN
Sorry folks, I just havent got it.
103

DE JONGE
If you just know that about yourself nothing can go wrong. But anyway. Its great that youre all
here. Hows it going with the music for this evening Hans.
VOORTMAN
Eh.
DE JONGE
The music. Muzak. Forgotten to organise it, went right out of your head.
VOORTMAN
Its on its way.
DE JONGE
Thats fine then. Whats it going to be. Jazz. Pop. House.
VOORTMAN
A bit of everything.
DE JONGE
Large group? Leather trousers. Back-up girls with big knockers.
VOORTMAN
Its a one-man band.
DE JONGE
Come on. Youre going to be dancing your socks off everyone, you can always count on Hans
what are you staring at the whole timeVOORTMAN
SorryDE JONGE
What are you looking at- oh I see. Hans is looking at Joyce. Thats not a bad idea at all Hans.
(waves) Hallo Joyce- Just come over here Joyce. (Joyce comes out of the wings) What do you
think about Hans staring at you like thatJOYCE
Its nice.
DE JONGE
She thinks its nice Hans. Yes everyone. This is Joyce, the lynchpin of our organisationJOYCE
Oh-

104

DE JONGE
Dont be so modest Joyce. Shes responsible for a lorry-load of sushi which were all going to
polish off together, arent you Joyce. By the way, has the sushi arrived yetJOYCE
Its on its way.
DE JONGE
Positive?
JOYCE
Positive Paul.
DE JONGE
Because its got to be fresh I expect JoyceJOYCE
Yes. Something like that yesDE JONGE
But youre sure the sushi will be here on timeJOYCE
Sure as houses.
DE JONGE
Because itd be a shame eh, if it came too lateJOYCE
Its on its way.
DE JONGE
So youll know whos to blame if there are empty dishes everywhere this evening ehJOYCE
(laughs sourly) Yes.
DE JONGE
Wholl be to blame then JoyceJOYCE
Ill be to blame then Paul.
DE JONGE
Well hold you to that. (keeps looking at her for a while) It could always be worse ladies and
gentlemen. If wed left it up to Voortman wed be having cheese on sticks and gerkins, eh Hans.

105

VOORTMAN
That can be very tasty at times.
DE JONGE
Eh.
VOORTMAN
That can be very tasty at times. Eh. (laughs, slaps De Jonge on the shoulder)
DE JONGE
What do you mean by that. Joyce. What does he mean by that do you think, thumping me on the
shoulder like that.
JOYCE
I dont know.
DE JONGE
Silly cunt. Sorry Joyce. I didnt mean to say that at all. Im trying to bring a bit of continuity to the
business, understand JoyceJOYCE
No.
DE JONGE
Thats stupid but honest. (Joyce walks off crying, silence) Theres nothing like a well-oiled
machine. Why are you standing there sniggering like an idiot Hans.
VOORTMAN
Its just nerves I think.
DE JONGE
Youre no good to me either are you eh.
VOORTMAN
What did you sayDE JONGE
Twat.
VOORTMAN
(pause, Voortman takes a piece of paper out of his pocket) Ladies and gentlemen. What shall I
say to you. Five years, thats nothing is it, thats just, well, five years. I mean. Who would have
thought five years ago how things would be now, and some. I mean. Maybe there was someone
who could have thought it, but how do you check if its right or not eh. Whos to say that what he
thought then is the same as whats happening now. I mean. Sometimes the same things can

106

seem very different, or other things exactly the same. Or what he thinks is the same, I could very
well think different and vice versaDE JONGE
Thats a good point HansHENK
(storms in) JoyceDE JONGE
Youre at work here HenkHENK
(doesnt understand him) Yeah?
DE JONGE
Youve got to keep work and private separate.
HENK
Eh, thats impossible in this caseDE JONGE
Then youre not suited to this business Henk. Im terribly sorryHENK
(doubtfully) Eh PaulDE JONGE
Mister de Jonge- Youre out on your ear Henk, if you carry on like this.
HENK
Joyce has hung herselfDE JONGE
Pardon.
HENK
Joyce has hung herself. Because of you De Jonge. You shouldnt have gone on about that
sushi. Joyce is very sensitive to criticism and you knew that damn well, didnt you. She was
responsible for this whole party, she was under intense pressure. You went much too far.
DE JONGE
Where is she thenHENK
Shes hanging in her office-

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DE JONGE
Because of that sushiHENK
Yes bloody rightVOORTMAN
You just think you can do what you like ehDE JONGE
Joyce has hung herselfVOORTMAN
(takes the piece of paper out of his pocket again) Here. Henk- She was under intense pressureDE JONGE
You should never make the same joke twiceVOORTMAN
You keep screwing us up man. Listen. Henk says you went much too far and then you say you
cant shift all the blame onto meDE JONGE
(grabs the paper out of his hand and reads it)
VOORTMAN
And then Henk pulls out his gunHENK
Exactly- (pulls a gun out of his inside pocket and aims it at De Jonge) I said now youve really
gone too farDE JONGE
In godsname. What are you allHENK
Now youve really gone too far.
DE JONGE
Okay okayVOORTMAN
And then you sayDE JONGE
(looks at paper) You cant shift all the blame onto me-

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VOORTMAN
Right.
HENK
HansDE JONGE
I, I
VOORTMAN
Thats not what it says hereDE JONGE
Listen.
HENK
GuysDE JONGE
I I Im assuming that- this is happeningHENK
What am I supposed to do with that gun HansDE JONGE
I- I- I am Paul de JongeVOORTMAN
(grabs Voortman by his jacket) Now just you listen here for onceHENK
HansDE JONGE
Im on a mission Voortman.
VOORTMAN
Youre in The Stock Exchange now with me yeahDE JONGE
What do you mean The StockVOORTMAN
The seriesDE JONGE
What series109

VOORTMAN
The one were in the middle of right now idiot. (shows him the script) This seriesDE JONGE
This is my lifeVOORTMAN
This isnt getting anyone anywhere. If you just wait a minute youll be dead and then you can do
what you likeDE JONGE
You cant mean that- Henk- Listen. This here (points around the space) is all one big cover-up.
VOORTMAN
Shoot then manHENK
(shoots)
DE JONGE
Fucking hell. (falls over, remains lying down)
(Lydia appears in the window, she is still soaked through from the rain)
LYDIA
(to Voortman) Where have you beenHENK
(fires into the air) I nearly jumped out of my skinVOORTMAN
(takes the gun away from Henk) I cant work like this guysHENK
I thought I just heard Joyces voice, I thought you were (Joyce)VOORTMAN
What are you doing hereLYDIA
Ive come here to cancel your gig. What the hell are you doing in The Stock Exchange PeterVOORTMAN
Im just trying to do my jobLYDIA
110

Is that performing in The Stock Exchange. Jesus whose idea was that.
HENK
It is Joyce HansLYDIA
Joyce my footHENK
I just came in here in a panic because you hung yourself.
LYDIA
Im not in The Stock Exchange any moreVOORTMAN
Thats what I mean. If you hang yourself then youve just got to keep out of itDE JONGE
(jumps up startled) Did someone just fire a gun guys.
HENK
Its all fine PaulVOORTMAN
This is just unbelievableDE JONGE
(feels beneath his shirt, there is blood on his hand) Is this supposed to be here guysHENK
Jesus- (Henk walks over to de Jonge, looks at him from close by) I dont think hes altogetherVOORTMAN
Its just stage bloodHENK
I dont know Voortman.
VOORTMAN
If everyone thinks that anything goes then Im throwing the towel inDE JONGE
(in panic, leafing through the script) Where does it say that then- (reads) I had a dream. (looks
up) Henk. I (dies)
HENK
(walks over to De Jonge, feels his carotid artery) I Jesus.
111

LYDIA
Lets go Peter.
HENK
You said this was a seriesVOORTMAN
This is a seriesHENK
How can I have really shot him thenVOORTMAN
I dont know. Yeah I dont knowLYDIA
This is no concern of yours any more Peter.
HENK
I cant seem to get my head round whats going on- I thought I worked in a bar guys.
LYDIA
Just stop that nonsense will you.
Listen Peter. We were in a wood this evening, rememberVOORTMAN
Ive never been in a wood with youLYDIA
Think will you- We were waiting at a level crossingVOORTMAN
What do you mean. I- Ive got absolutely nothing to do with youLYDIA
Were having a relationship PeterHENK
Fucking hell VoortmanVOORTMAN
Thats in the seriesLYDIA
(shows him the Polaroid) Here-

112

VOORTMAN
You shouldnt start confusing fiction with realityHENK
(sees the photo) Hans!
VOORTMAN
Theres nothing between Joyce and me in real life.
HENK
I thought- Weve got something special JoyceLYDIA
Ive moved on in my life.
HENK
I cant follow youLYDIA
Lets go PeterVOORTMAN
Im Hans Voortman from The Stock Exchange.
LYDIA
You hang around too long everywhere. (exits)
VOORTMAN
Im Hans Voortman from The Stock Exchange(the stage revolves, the bar comes to the front again, Henk suddenly feels completely at home
and takes his place behind the bar, Weger comes into the bar in his old outfit)

113

10. COWBOYSCENE
WEGER
I need a drink.
BARMAN
What can I get you cowboy.
WEGER
(surprised) Can you see that.
BARMAN
You can see it straight away.
WEGER
Without me having to do a thing. (shakes his hand) This is an important moment for me. Man. If
only you knew the lengths Ive gone to to become a cowboy. Ive dressed up, sung country, rode
a horse without a saddle. It hasnt got a thing to do with it. The cowboy has to be inside,
understand, everyone can recognise that. Thanks man. Id cry if I wasnt completely dried out.
Could I please have some waterBARMAN
I cant live on that.
WEGER
I can.
BARMAN
Theyve declared me bankrupt.
WEGER
Look Im in the same boatBARMAN
Its every man for himself here.
WEGER
(pulls his gun)
BARMAN
Okay okay. (gets a glass of water)
WEGER
(takes the water and downs it in one go) The cowboy you see in front of you, thats me, for sure.
That water is indisputably entering my insides. Ah guys. lve had times when Ive continually
stared in shop windows, wishing for a miracle, hoping that hed suddenly catch up with me, the
114

cowboy, and Id start to look like my mirror image. Ah man. Eventually I didnt see anything at all
when I looked in mirrors. Terrifying it was, the only thing that helped was to walk on. Not to think
about things for too long. Walk on and count your steps. One two three four one two three four. I
took millions of steps like that. I walked till my head was empty, walked the soles off my shoes,
millimetre by millimetre I sunk towards the earth till suddenly here in front of your door I felt the
ground again under my bare feet, man, Im so happy to be speaking to you, I never thought Id
talk to anyone again. Hey. This is me eh. Ive been walking through the desert for years, man, I
didnt know there was so much desert, and you go and open a bar here, no wonder youve gone
bust. I understand you. If youve got to go bust, youd rather do it in an original way. Great
attitude. Weve been round the block eh, well be able to look back and say that. Ive been round
the block. Ive left tracks. You opened a bar in the desert, meanwhile Ive been walking time to
pieces. Shame the earth isnt flat any more, eh, I would have loved to have stood on the edge.
Reach a real border. And then peer out at the rest of the universe, stretch one leg over the edge.
Maybe even secretly dangle off it. You can always go further in a round world, so you keep
walking on, continually chasing your tail. Just look round a corner sometime, youll be staring at
your own back. See. (looks into the distance)
BARMAN
(looks into the distance, starts) Jesus.
WEGER
They really got you, didnt they.
BARMAN
(takes off his jacket, looks at the back, there is a large shot wound in the back of it) God.
WEGER
Thats how it goes. Here. (pulls up his shirt, theres a bullet wound in his belly) You get what you
deserve. (points to his belly) Ambition, eh. You can live with it, if you go carefully. With you its
love.
HENK
This is because of Joyce.
WEGER
It can really get you sometimes. But here (points to his head) if they hit you here, you never get
over it.
VOORTMAN
Er, guysWEGER
(starts, turns and shoots at Voortman)
VOORTMAN
(falls down)

115

WEGER
Dont ever do that again.
VOORTMAN
(gets up again) Fuck it Weger. Thats enough.
WEGER
Well dont bloody creep up on me from behind. Thats cowardly Hans, damn cowardly manVOORTMAN
(half crying) Nothing of the sort. Ive got a family right, Ive got responsibilitiesWEGER
Youre soVOORTMAN
Let me have my say. I mean, Ive got a mortgage, children at school, fixed outgoings right. I
always fall between two stools, dont quite qualify for free health care, not quite eligible for
scholarships for the boys, private everything me, dont you understand that I need that role in
The Stock Exchange.
WEGER
The Stock Exchange is old hat Hans.
VOORTMAN
Because no-one sticks to their script. You just do what you like. Its pure obstinacy. And it all
started when you suddenly had to go abroad. (aims his gun at Weger) I need that job, and youre
doing it with me otherwise Im sunkWEGER
(threateningly) Are we going to play it like this Voortman.
VOORTMAN
Ive got no choice.
WEGER
Do you dare to take on the cowboy.
VOORTMAN
Voortman used to mean something in the world and now here I am sitting in a bar during
working hours. What have I got to lose. A whisky Henk.
BARMAN
Just call me Willem Peter. (pours him a whisky)
VOORTMAN
My name is Hans.
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WEGER
(shoots Voortman) Farewell Hans. (Voorman falls over backwards) One minute youre here, the
next minute youre gone. Ill never get my head round that.
(the stage revolves, we see all the actors in the bar, it is convivial, rain is running down the
window. The Night-Photographer appears, takes a photo of Lydia and Voortman, after the flash
black-out, in the dark we hear the photo coming out of the camera)

END

117

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