AUDITION SCENE - DAVID BLISS & MYRA ARUNDEL. This scene takes place midway through the second act.

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1 AUDITION SCENE - DAVID BLISS & MYRA ARUNDEL This scene takes place midway through the second act. During the first act, we learn that each of the family has, unbeknownst to the other family members, invited a guest for the weekend. MYRA is the guest of SIMON, DAVID'S son. SIMON is under the impression that he is having some form of romantic relationship with MYRA, whereas her motivations become clear in this scene. The second act begins after dinner. The Bliss family are, without any regard for the opinions of their guests, deciding which after-dinner game to play. As is common with the Blisses, the game degenerates into an argument that sees the family scatter - each with someone other than their invited guest. DAVID and MYRA went to the garden, and this scene sees them return to the house. MYRA is the only one of the guests who is acquainted with the Blisses and their ways. She is in her 30s, and is described by JUDITH as using sex as a shrimping net. JUDITH does not like MYRA, and that feeling appears mutual. DAVID is the father of two grown up children, SIMON & SOREL, and husband to JUDITH. He is an author. Like the rest of the Bliss family, he is short tempered, and rarely misses an opportunity for drama. As SOREL pointed out to SANDY earlier in the play, none of the family ever really means what they say. (DAVID and MYRA enter from the garden) DAVID....and, you see, he comes in and finds her there waiting for him. MYRA. She hadn t been away at all? DAVID. No; and that's psychologically right. I'm sure. No woman under those circumstances, would. MYRA. It's brilliant of you to see that. I do think the whole thing sounds most excellent. DAVID. I got badly stuck in the middle of the book, when the boy comes down from Oxford but it worked out all right eventually. MYRA. When shall I be able to read it? DAVID. I'll send you the proofs you can help me correct MYRA. How divine! I shall feel most important. DAVID. Would you like a cigarette, or anything MYRA. No, thank you. DAVID. I think I'll have a drink. (He goes and pours out some plain soda-water) MYRA. Very well; give me some plain soda-water, then.

2 DAVID. There isn't any ice d'you mind? MYRA. Not a bit. DAVID (bringing her drink). Here you are. (He goes back and pours himself a whisky-and-soda) MYRA. Thank you. (She sips it). I wonder where everybody is. DAVID. Not here, thank God. MYRA. It must be dreadfully worrying for you, having a houseful of people. DAVID. It depends on the people. MYRA. I have a slight confession to make. DAVID. Confession? MYRA. Yes. Do you know why I came down here? DAVID. Not in the least. I suppose one of us asked you, didn't they? MYRA. Oh, yes, they asked me, but DAVID. Well? MYRA. I was invited once before last September. DAVID. I was in America then. MYRA. Exactly. DAVID. How do you mean exactly? MYRA. I didn't come. I m a very determined woman, you know, and I made up my mind to meet you ages ago. DAVID. That was charming of you. I'm not much to meet really. MYRA. You see, I'd read Broken Reeds. DAVID. Did you like it? MYRA. Like it! I think it s one of the finest novels I ve ever read. DAVID. There now! MYRA. How do you manage to know so much about women? DAVID. I'm afraid my knowledge of them is sadly superficial. MYRA. Oh, no; you can't call Evelyn's character superficial it's amazing. DAVID. Why are you being so nice to me? Have you got a plan about something? MYRA (laughing). How suspicious you are! DAVID. I can t help it you're very attractive, and I m always suspicious of attractive people, on principle. MYRA. Not a very good principle. DAVID (leaning toward her). I'll tell you something strictly between ourselves. MYRA. Do! DAVID. You're wrong about me. MYRA. Wrong? In what way? DAVID. I write very bad novels. MYRA. Don't be so ridiculous! DAVID. And you know I do, because you're an intelligent person. MYRA. I don't know anything of the sort. DAVID. Tell me why you're being nice to me. MYRA. Because I want to be. DAVID. Why?

3 MYRA. You're a very clever and amusing man. DAVID. Splendid! MYRA. And I think I ve rather lost my heart to you. DAVID. Shall we elope? MYRA. David! DAVID. There now, you've called me David!! MYRA. Do you mind? DAVID. Not at all. MYRA. I m not sure that you re being very kind. DAVID. What makes you think that? MYRA. You being rather the cynical author laughing up his sleeve at a gushing admirer. DAVID. I think you're a very interesting woman, and extremely nice-looking. MYRA. Do you? DAVID. Yes. Would you like me to make love to you? MYRA. Really I wish you wouldn't say things like that. DAVID. I ve knocked you off your plate I ll look away for a minute while you climb on to it again. (He does so) MYRA (laughing affectedly). This is wonderful! DAVID (turning). That's right. Now then MYRA. Now then, what? DAVID (leaning very close to her). You're adorable you're magnificent you're tawny MYRA. I m not tawny. DAVID. Don't argue. MYRA. This is sheer affectation. DAVID. Affectation s very nice. MYRA. No, it isn't it's odious. DAVID. You mustn't get cross. MYRA. I m not in the least cross. DAVID. Yes you are, but you're very alluring. MYRA (perking up). Alluring? DAVID. Terribly. MYRA. I can hear your brain clicking it's very funny. DAVID. That was rather rude. MYRA. You ve been consistently rude to me for hours. DAVID. Never mind. MYRA. Why have you? DAVID. I m always rude to people I like. MYRA. Do you like me? DAVID. Enormously. MYRA. How sweet of you! DAVID. But I don t like your methods. MYRA. Methods? What methods.

4 DAVID. You're far too pleasant to occupy yourself with the commonplace. MYRA. And you spoil yourself by trying to be clever. DAVID. Thank you. MYRA. Anyhow, I don t know what you mean by commonplace. DAVID. You mean you want me to explain? MYRA. Not at all. DAVID. Very well; I will. MYRA. I shan't listen (She stops up her ears) DAVID. You'll pretend not to, but you'll hear every word. MYRA (sarcastically). You're so inscrutable and quizzical just what a feminine psychologist should be. DAVID. Yes, aren't I? MYRA. You frighten me dreadfully. DAVID. Darling! MYRA. Don t call me darling. DAVID. That's unreasonable. You've been trying to make me--all the evening. MYRA. Your conceit is outrageous! DAVID. It s not conceit at all. You've been firmly buttering me up because you want a nice little intrigue. MYRA (rising). How dare you! DAVID (Pulling her down again). It's true, it's true. If it weren't, you wouldn't be so angry. MYRA. I think you re insufferable! DAVID (taking her hand). Myra dear Myra MYRA (snatching it away she rises). Don't touch me! DAVID. Let's have that nice little intrigue. The only reason I ve been so annoying is that I love to see things as they are first, and then pretend they're what they're not. MYRA. Words. Masses and masses of words! DAVID. They're great fun to play with. MYRA. I'm glad you think so Personally, they bore me stiff.*** DAVID (catching her right hand again). Myra-don't be statuesque. MYRA. Let go my hand!*** DAVID. You're charming. MYRA (furiously). Let go my hand!*** DAVID. I won't! MYRA. You will! (MYRA slaps DAVID'S face hard, and he seizes her in his arms and kisses her.) DAVID (between kisses). You're perfectly sweet. MYRA (giving in). David! DAVID. You must say it's an entrancing amusement. (He kisses her again)

5 (JUDITH appears at the top of the stairs and sees them. They break away, he still keeping hold of her hand)

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