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E.R.

Josep M. Benet i Jornet
Stages
SCENE TWO

MARIA: A few moments more. I still haven’t spoken about myself and my splendid career. I’ll be brief because I’m tired and because neither of you is going to interrupt me. (Pause. The OTHER TWO exchange looks; perhaps they shrug their shoulders, and perhaps they sit in silence.) Thanks. My stupendous career. Well, before the end of that spring Gloria was speaking about, I really intended to be an actress. All four of us did. We three… and Anna. However, when summer was over, I decided to try my hand at directing. It was something I knew I could do well ─but the jobs were few and far between. So I became a film dubber to survive. And that’s what I’ve remained. I give my voice to a real actress, changing her language into mine. I try to do it well. I’m a true professional. I also direct the voices of that other actresses dub. I try to do that well, too. I know what you’re thinking. A measly job, a job hardly worth mentioning. At least unworthy of your talents. An ephemeral job at best, or so it seems to me. A hundred years ago dubbing didn’t exist. And in another hundred years it won’t exist again. There’ll be some other way, who knows what. And then someone will hear the word “dubbing” on some old soundtrack and they won’t understand it. It will have lost its meaning. And what a pity! Don’t you feel sorry for me? I do, I’m your mirror. You two can fight each other, you can argue which of you had more triumphal nights, but it will all pass, you and your memory, and also the memory of the great and not-so-great plays you’ve acted in. Why don’t you just take it calmly? Let a bit more time pass and, I venture to say, even Shakespeare will disappear. Shakespeare? It’s only a question of time. (Pause.) There is no future. Nothing is immortal. In your hearts you pretend otherwise. No, I’m sorry. Nothing. Knowing that helps me to go forward with a certain serenity and without bitterness. Without any resentment at all about old stories from the past. (Pause.) Well, maybe I do still have a bit of resentment. (Pause.) Speaking of other things, do you know what they say about you, Gloria? That you’re frigid. And do you know what they say about you, Angela? That you’ve passed over the bodies of everyone who got in your way. (Pause.) Now you can go. Good night.


Translated by Marion Peter Holt
Josep M. Benet i Jornet, Stages. Two plays: Fleeting; Stages. Nova York: Martin E. Segal, 2008, p. 91-92.
Josep M. Benet i Jornet
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