The Cat in the Rain by Julianne Watling


This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent




Scene 1


Italy, 1975 - the hotel room is plush and expensive.

ROSE is looking out of the window at the rain thrashing into the sea.
She is a thirty-ish, stylish lady with short hair. She flicks her
hair and folds her arms across her chest.

ROSE: Anyway, I want a cat. I want a cat now. If I can't have long
hair or any fun, then I can have a cat.

GEORGE continues to read his book whilst laying on the bed, he is
unaware of what Rose is saying. He is smartly dressed - in his late
30's. He snaps the book shut, it is 'Islands in the Stream' by Ernest

GEORGE: I've never read so much in all my life!

ROSE: You're always reading, George.

George puts his finger in the air, as if about to make an important

GEORGE: Not so - sometimes, I'm asleep.

ROSE: Ha bloody ha.

George sits up on the bed.

GEORGE: I'm hungry!

ROSE: How can reading make you hungry?

GEORGE: It's Hemmingway, darling - not just any old literature. It
requires definite food for thought.

ROSE: But you've finished it.

GEORGE: And I may go on to read 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' - if you
would care for this one?

He holds up the book.

ROSE: No thanks - life's too short for drivel.

GEORGE: Touche!

ROSE: And what exactly is that pathetic little statement meant to

GEORGE: Darling, you read so much into things.

ROSE: Just stop it George, please!

GEORGE: Stop what? I was merely stating the fact that I've never
had so much time to read, that is all. If we must endure this hideous
weather, then I may as well read about being on a beach in the

ROSE: Fine.

GEORGE: After all, you can't buy the weather can you darling?

This makes Rose angry.

ROSE: Meaning?

GEORGE: We haven't had much luck, have we?

ROSE: Meaning, George?

GEORGE: Nothing…

ROSE: He didn't have to pay, you know?

GEORGE: And it obviously cost him a pretty penny…

ROSE: But?

GEORGE: Well - I'm not sure I would have picked Italy, would you -
at this time of year?

ROSE: No, I suppose you would have gone for the Bahamas - just like
dear old Thomas Hudson!

GEORGE: So you have read it!

ROSE: I've also read the Bronte's, George. And your point is?

GEORGE: Yes and it would seem that you've modelled yourself on
Bertha Mason.

ROSE: Very droll!

GEORGE: I do my best.

ROSE: Why don't you go and find yourself a Jane then, if you think
you'd be happier.

GEORGE: How could I possibly be happier, my little stingray?

GEORGE puts his book down.

GEORGE (CONT'D): I really do enjoy Hemmingway's posthumous work, you

ROSE: As opposed to what?

GEORGE: I beg your pardon?

ROSE: All of his work is posthumous, George!

GEORGE: Is it? Well, I never knew that…

ROSE: Read the bloody blurb then! Or the Author's bloody biography!
God, I'd swap with Bertha Mason tomorrow!


GEORGE: I think I'm just going to give you some quiet time, dear.
Yes, I think that's best.

George goes into the bathroom to get a toothpick. He comes back and
sits on the bed and begins picking and sucking bits out of his teeth.
The noise drives Rose mad. She stares out of the window and sighs.

ROSE: I wanted that poor kitty. Where did he go? All alone out
there in the rain. Poor kitty.

There is a knock at the door.

GEORGE: Avanti.

The door opens and THE MAID stands holding a big tortoise-shell cat.
He is clearly quite heavy for the small lady to hold. She has an
Italian accent.

THE MAID: Excuse me. The Padrone asked me to bring this for


GEORGE: Well, wasn't that nice of the Padrone, Rose?

GEORGE gets up from the bed and relieves THE MAID of the cat.

GEORGE (CONT'D): Send him our thanks would you?

THE MAID: Of course, Signore. Right away.

She does a small, awkward curtsy and leaves.

GEORGE: Well? Aren't you going to say anything? Here's the poor
little kitty you were so desperate for.

ROSE: That's not him.

GEORGE: What do you mean?

ROSE: That's not the same kitty, George.

GEORGE: Of course it is. Don't be absurd.

ROSE: It was black. The other cat was black for God's sake!

GEORGE: Well maybe it just looked black because of the rain,

ROSE: Don't you 'darling' me. It's not even bloody wet, is it?

GEORGE looks confused.

GEORGE: Maybe they dried him off. Here, have a hold.

He offers the cat to ROSE.

ROSE: I don't want it. It's not the right one.

GEORGE: Well, what shall I do with it?

ROSE: Put it on the floor.

GEORGE does so, but the cat doesn't move so he picks it up and puts
in onto the bed.

ROSE (CONT'D): I want a divorce.

GEORGE: What on earth? What do you mean?

ROSE: Exactly what I just said, I want a divorce.

GEORGE: But we've only just got married.

ROSE: Maybe we can have it annulled then.

GEORGE: On what grounds?

ROSE: On the grounds that I never should have married you!

GEORGE: What have I done?

ROSE: Oh God! Exactly… exactly! What have you done? What do you
ever do? You're such a bloody imbecile. You can't even tell that
that cat hasn't been outside in the torrential bloody rain, because
it's bone bloody dry!

GEORGE: Is that what all this is about? Look, darling, you can have
a cat. We'll get you a kitty when we get home OK? And your hair will
grow - I promise.

ROSE: I should never have had it cut. You shouldn't have let me.

GEORGE: I'm sorry darling - but you look absolutely perfect to me
and once I give you a nice little black kitty, you won't even give
your hair a second thought.

ROSE: Maybe if you'd give me a child George, then I wouldn't need a
fucking kitty!

GEORGE stares at ROSE. He can't quite believe what she has just said.
He walks out of the room, slamming the door. ROSE begins to sob.

The door opens and GEORGE walks back in with his head down. He goes
over to the wardrobe and retrieves his coat. He holds up the mac to

GEORGE: It's raining - still!

GEORGE walks back over to the door. He turns around as if to speak,
but thinks better of it and leaves. ROSE sobs even louder. She goes
over to the bedside table and picks up the telephone. She speaks in
between sobs.

ROSE: Yes, hello… could I order some… some scones, please?...
yes, with clotted cream and jam… and a pot of English tea… for

She hangs up and takes a tissue to blow her nose and dry her weeping

There are muffled sounds of voices outside the room and GEORGE
re-enters with a strained look on his face. Right behind him is STEVIE
LONGHORN, a young, unshaven man. He holds a gun into GEORGE'S back.
He is mid-20's and speaks with a Northern accent.

STEVIE: Get in - quick. Shut the fucking door.

GEORGE closes the door and STEVIE puts the dead lock on.

STEVIE (CONT'D): Over there.

He gestures with the gun.

STEVIE (CONT'D): Go on. With her.

ROSE: George, what's going on?

GEORGE: No cause for alarm darling. I just met this nice young chap
in the corridor.

ROSE: Why is he carrying a gun?

GEORGE: Erm, right… yes, well…

STEVIE: To kill people with.

GEORGE: Exactly right, to kill people with.

ROSE begins to sob even louder - a tad dramatic.

ROSE: Oh God!

STEVIE: Shut up, will you? Fucking shut up!

STEVIE is walking around nervously. He goes over to the window to
check if anyone is following him.

ROSE: Well it's just not the best timing, that's all.

STEVIE: Sorry?

ROSE: I mean, George and I are getting a divorce.

STEVIE: What? A divorce?

GEORGE: Apparently, she wants rid of me.

ROSE: Oh shut up George! There's much more to it than that.

GEORGE: Well I really don't see what…

ROSE: That is so typical of you. I give up, really I do.

STEVIE: Will you both just shut the fuck up?

ROSE: How rude!

GEORGE: Just do as he says.

STEVIE listens at the door.

STEVIE: I'm not being funny love, but I've just burst into your
hotel room with a fucking gun and all you're doing is carrying on with
him like I'm not here.

ROSE: Well I beg your pardon, but you interrupted us while we were
in the middle of something really rather large.

STEVIE: He was on his way out, love - slammed the door and

ROSE: He would have been back.

GEORGE: No, I wouldn't!

ROSE: Of course you would.

STEVIE: Looked like he was off to me.

ROSE: What would you know anyway? I mean, who are you for Christ's

STEVIE: Stevie. Stevie Longhorn.

GEORGE: Er, do you think it was wise to just announce your surname
like that, when you're carrying an illegal weapon?

STEVIE: Why, what are you gonna do about it?

GEORGE: Well, I don't know, I mean it's quite likely that we'll be
reporting you when you leave.

STEVIE: Who said I was leaving?

ROSE: George, don't make things worse!

GEORGE: Well you can't stay here can you? That's perfectly absurd.
I mean, where will you sleep for starters?

STEVIE: Who said anyone was sleeping?

GEORGE: How long are you planning on staying for? People do need
their sleep you know. You want to see this one if she doesn't get her
eight hours.

ROSE: I'm quite capable of going without sleep actually. Maybe
you'd know that if we ever had a late night. God forbid we should go
to an all night party or anything.

STEVIE: Of all the rooms…

GEORGE: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the

ROSE cuts GEORGE off.

ROSE: If you don't like it - you know where the door is.

STEVIE: Don't get fucking lippy with me, right?

ROSE: I'm sorry.

STEVIE: I mean it. This will go a lot smoother for everyone if you
just keep your mouth shut and do as you're told.

There is a knock at the door.

THE MAID (off): Room Service!

Rose smiles sheepishly at them both.

Lights out

[end of extract]

[end of extract]


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