The Real Inspector Hound and Other Plays 2
Here’s the link to the first post about the book. I decided to let this post be the last post about the book in part because even though the other plays in the book are entertaining, they aren’t quite as awesome as is The Real Inspector Hound. Quotes from the other plays:
i. “FOOT [policeman]: It is my duty to tell you that I am not satisfied with your reply.
THELMA: What was the question?
FOOT: That is hardly the point.
THELMA: Ask me another.
FOOT: Very well. Why did it take you so long to answer the door?
THELMA: The furniture was piled up against it.
FOOT: (sneeringly) Really? Expecting visitors, Mrs. Harris?
THELMA: On the contrary.
FOOT: In my experience your conduct usually indicates that visitors are expected.
THELMA: I am prepared to defend myself against any logician you care to produce.” (After Magritte)
ii. “COCKLEBURY SMYTHE: So you are going to be our clerk.
COCKLEBURY SMYTHE: May I be the first to welcome you to Room 3b. You will find the working conditions primitive, the hours antisocial, the amenities non-existent and the catering beneath contempt. On top of that the people are for the most part very very very boring, with interests either so generalized as to mimic wholesale ignorance or so particular as to be lunatic obsessions. Their level of conversation would pass without comment in the lavatory of a mixed comprehensive and the lavatories, by the way, are few and far between.
MADDIE: It has always been my ambition to work in the House of Commons. […]
COCKLEBURY SMYTHE: Mine has always been the House of Lords. But then perhaps I have not been willing to make the same sacrifices you have.” (Dirty Linen)
iii. “[FRENCH:] The only meal I’ve had this weekend in a London restaurant was tea on Friday at the Golden Egg in Victoria Street.
COCKLEBURY SMYTHE: L’Oeuf d’Or?
MCTEAZLE: Were you with a woman?
FRENCH: I was with the Dean of St. Paul’s. […]
COCKLEBURY SMYTHE: French, can anyone corroborate your story?
FRENCH: The Dean of St. Paul’s can.
CHAMBERLAIN: Apart from her.
FRENCH: We had Jumbo Chickenburgers Maryland with pickled eggs and a banana milkshake. The waitress will remember me.
FRENCH: I was sick on her shoes.” (Dirty Linen)
iv. “ARTHUR: These naturalization papers. We’re supposed to be advising the Minister.
(BERNARD examines the document at considerable length.)
ARTHUR: I’d like to have your opinion.
(Finally BERNARD raps the document authoritatively)
BERNARD: This is an application for British naturalization.
ARTHUR: Yes. Does he look all right to you?
BERNARD: He’s got a beard. The Minister won’t like that.
ARTHUR (nods): No, then.
(ARTHUR closes the file decisively)” (New-Found-Land)
v. “Americans are a very modern people, of course. They are a very open people too. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. They don’t stand on ceremony. They take people as they are. They make no distinction about a man’s background, his parentage, his education. They say what they mean and there is a vivid muscularity about them without reserve or pretence of scholarship. They are always the first to put their hands in their pockets. They press you to visit them in their own home the moment they meet you, and are irrepressibly goodhumoured, ambitious, and brimming with self-confidence in any company. Apart from all that I’ve got nothing against them.” (New-Found-Land)
vi. [Context: This play is about a group of people performing an abbreviated version of Macbeth in a private home in Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall. A police officer (INSPECTOR) is also present.]
“[INSPECTOR:] Didn’t even say goodbye. Whatever happened to the tradition of old-world courtesy in this country?
(He puts the ‘phone down as ‘MACBETH’ and ‘LADY MACBETH’ re-enter the room.)
Who are you, pig-face?
INSPECTOR: The actor?
‘MACBETH’: The floor-cleaner in a boiler factory.
INSPECTOR: That’s him. I’m a great admirer of yours, you know. I’ve followed your career for years.
‘MACBETH’: I haven’t worked for years.
INSPECTOR: What are you talking about?—I saw you last season—my wife was with me …
‘MACBETH’: It couldn’t have been me.
INSPECTOR: It was you—you looked great—sounded great—where were you last year?
‘MACBETH’: I was selling papers in—
INSPECTOR: (Triumphantly)—the newspaper kiosk at the tram terminus, and you were wonderful! I said to my wife, that’s Landovsky—the actor—isn’t he great?! What a character! […] I remember you from way back. I remember you when you were a night-watchman in the builder’s yard, and before that when you were the trolley porter at the mortuary, and before that when you were the button-moulder in Peer Gynt … Actually, Pavel, you’ve had a funny sort of career […] could I have your autograph, it’s not for me, its’ for my daughter—
‘LADY MACBETH’: I’d rather not—the last time I signed something I didn’t work for two years.” (Cahoot’s Macbeth)
vii. “INSPECTOR: Look, just because I didn’t laugh out loud it doesn’t mean I wasn’t enjoying it. (To HOSTESS.) Which one were you?
HOSTESS: I’m not in it.
INSPECTOR: You’re in it, up to here. It’s pretty clear to me that this flat is being used for entertaining men [‘entertainment’ = performance of a play]. There is a law about that, you know.
HOSTESS: I don’t think Macbeth is what was meant.
INSPECTOR: Who’s to say what was meant? Words can be your friend or your enemy, depending on who’s throwing the book, so watch your language. (He passes a finger over the furniture.) Look at this! Filthy! If this isn’t a disorderly house I’ve never seen one, and I have seen one. I’ve had this place watched you know?
HOSTESS: I know.
INSPECTOR: Gave themselves away, did they?
HOSTESS: It was the uniforms, mainly, and standing each side of the door.
INSPECTOR: My little team. Boris and Maurice.
HOSTESS: One of them examined everyone’s papers and the other one took down the names.
INSPECTOR: Yes, one of them can read and the other one can write. That’s why we go around in threes—I have to keep an eye on those bloody intellectuals. […]
I blame sport and religion for all this, you know. An Olympic games here, a papal visit there, and suddenly you think you can take liberties with your freedom … amateur theatricals, organized groups, committees of all kinds […] I arrested the Committee to Defend the Unjustly Persecuted for saying I unjustly persecuted the Committee for free Expression, which I arrested for saying there wasn’t any” (Cahoot’s Macbeth)
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