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The Man In The Stalls

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The Man In The Stalls

by Alfred Sutro

Genre: Comedy
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


[HECTOR has been standing there stupid, dazed, dumbfounded, too bewildered for his mind to act or thoughts to come to him; he suddenly bursts into a roar of Titanic, overwhelming laughter. He laughs, and laughs, staggers to the sofa, falls on it, rocks and roars till the tears roll down his cheeks. He sways from side to side, unable to control himself–his laughter is so colossal that the infection catches the others; theirs becomes genuine too.

BETTY. [With difficulty, trying to control herself.] The letter! Old Gillingham! “His name, scoundrel, his name!”

WALTER. [Gurgling.] With his hand at my throat! Sit there, villain, and write!

BETTY. “I’ll deal with you presently! Wait till I’ve finished with him!”

WALTER. “Into the street!” At least, they do usually say “into the night!”

HECTOR. [Rubbing his eyes and panting for breath.] Oh, you pair of blackguards! Too bad–no, really too bad! It was! I fell in, I did! Oh, Lord, oh, Lord, what a nightmare! But it wasn’t right, really it wasn’t–no really! My Lord, how I floundered–head and shoulders- swallowed it all! Comes of reading that muck every day–never stopped to think! I didn’t! Walter, old chap! [He holds out his hand.] Betty! My poor Betty! [He draws her towards him.] The things I said to you!

BETTY. [Carelessly eluding the caress.] At least admit that you’re rather hard on the playwriting people!

HECTOR. [Getting up and shaking himself.] Oh, they be blowed! Well, you have had a game with me! [He shakes himself again.] Brrrrr! Oh, my Lord! What I went through!


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