A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Dammit 4

Stephen is sitting at a desk looking at a computer terminal. Hugh is leaning over his shoulder.

Stephen Dammit, Peter.

Hugh Thanks John.

Stephen This is ... what can I say? This is good work.

Hugh Well I kind of hoped that we might be along the right lines here.

Stephen Right lines? Dammit backwards into a narrow space, Peter, this is the best I've ever seen.

Hugh Jill reckons ten days at the most. Which means we could have this up and running by the 29th.

Stephen You mean ... ?

Hugh Exactly, John. The Derwent Enterprises Board meeting. With something like this nestling in your hip pocket, you could really kick some arse. Stephen starts to laugh smugly. What's up, John?

Stephen Peter, can you imagine how Marjorie is going to take this?

Hugh Well John, at a guess I'd say that she'll be wilder than a hungry hellcat in a tornado.

Stephen That's putting it mildly.

Hugh Is it? The both laugh creepily. The phone rings. Hugh picks it up.

Hugh Hahaha ... Yes, hello? Hold on Sarah. (To Stephen) It's Marjorie.

Stephen Haha. Well talk of the she-devil. Oh what the hell, I'll take the call.

Hugh It's not a call, John. She's outside and she wants to see you.

Stephen Marjorie's here?

Hugh Yup. Stephen takes the phone.

Stephen Show her in, Sarah.

Hugh John, are you out of your goddamned mind?

Stephen We don't know what it's about, Peter.

Hugh To hell with what it's about, John! You and I have broken out arses building up this health club, with Marjorie gunning for us every centimetre of the way, and now you're going to let her swan in here ...

Stephen Now listen to me, Peter ...

Hugh Listen be damned! In case you'd forgotten, John, that bitchfiend tried to break us in two ...

Stephen Peter ...

Hugh I'm not going to let you do it, John! They are now nose to nose across the desk. In the background the door opens and Mrjorie enters. She is late forties, Joan Collinsish glamour.

Marjorie Hello John.

Stephen Hello Marjorie.

Marjorie Peter. Hugh says nothing.

Marjorie I hope I'm not interrupting anything?

Stephen Not at all. Peter and I were just running over one or two things.

Marjorie Are you all right, Peter? You seem a little uncomfortable.

Hugh Yeah. Maybe I'll go outside and get a bite of air. The atmosphere in here seems to have got to my stomach. Exit Hugh. Stephen and Marjorie look at each other for a while.

Stephen You look well, Marjorie. You look damned well. New breasts?

Marjorie Swiss.

Stephen They suit you. I like what you've done to your hair. Looks much better there.

Marjorie Thanks John, you look pretty fit yourself.

Stephen Fit? Yeah, one of the perks of running a health and leisure business I guess. That is ... if I still do run it?

Marjorie The meeting will decide, John, you know that.

Stephen (Pouring two drinks) And who will decide how the meeting goes, Marjorie? Dammit old man Ashby's in your pocket, Dexter and O'Neill will do whatever you damned well tell them and Tim will jump with the tide. Do you still like it straight up?

Marjorie Two lumps of ice. Hugh has appeared at the window and is looking jealously in. I do whatever I do for the boy, John. You must know that.

Stephen Yeah, the boy. Have you taught him to hate me, Marjorie?

Marjorie Hate you? Hate you? You'll never really know me, will you.

Stephen Not if I live to be a chairman. Hugh is trying to listen.

Marjorie Peter resents me.

Stephen Peter? Dammit in top gear, Marjorie, what are you after?????

Hugh (Muffled, through the glass) Yeah? What are you after?? They don't hear him.

Marjorie I just want you to know, whatever happens after the meeting ... that it wasn't personal, John. Strictly business. I still like you ... a lot.

Stephen (Roughly yet somehow tenderly) Come here, you ... you Marjorie. They kiss deeply and erotically. Hugh is distraught the other side of the glass. He hammers on it.

Hugh Leave him alone you bitch-cat! John don't listen to her. Damn you! They part, panting.

Marjorie I'll see you round the boardroom table.

Stephen Yeah ... round the boardroom table. She makes to leave. Oh and Marjorie ...

Marjorie Yes?

Stephen Damn you to hell you're one hell of a woman.

Marjorie I know. Well ... you know where to find me. Stephen takes an Oedipal decision. Exit Marjorie.

Stephen (Following her) Daaaaaamn! Hugh climbs in through the window in a desperate bid to stop him. He trips over.

Vox Pop

Stephen Chris Patten? Isn't he Margaret Thatcher's new corporate logo? I'm not sure.

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