Music At Noon

(one act play)


EL-Sayed Hafez

( A poor furnished flat .. a woman of forty is sitting listening to radio .. it seems to be in the living room, a cup of tea .. looking in some books and newspapers .. A book case at the right of the stage) (The bell rings the woman opens the door)

1st Man : Is this Mansour El Motayam street ?

The woman : Yes .

1st Man :Then this is Mohammed Ismail's flat .

Woman : Sorry . This is not Mohammed Ismail's flat .

1st Man : Try to understand my role, I must search for him .. he is wanted and I must arrest him .

Woman : Are you a policeman .

1st Man : We protect the law here . ( enters the flat .. Slams the door behind .. she runs after him while he looks here and there )

1st Man : Mansour El Motayam street , belongs to Abdel salam El Hablan No 15 - flat 5, all these descriptions are exactly the address of the wanted man .

Woman : I live here alone . There is no one here with this name .You have no right to assault my flat .

1st Man : Don't be troubled Madam , we know every thing about him .

Woman : I live here since five years ago, there is no person her with this name .

1st Man : But our men assured that he lives here .

Woman : I live here alone since my husband's death .. you understand .. I don't visit any one.

1st Man : I understand , but nearly every body tries to escape from a crime .

Woman : A crime !?

1st Man : Yes .

Woman : What crime ?

1st Man : Any crime, so the criminal is wanted, so I'll investigate the flat.
(Tries to go to a door to open it.)

Woman : You have no right to investigate the flat, have you got a warrant from the prosecutor?

1st Man : Prosecuter ( laughing ) we are higher then prosecution madam as I have told you .

Woman : Yes , what do you say ?

1st Man : WE are over prosecution , we order the prosecution sometimes, the prosecution can't decide without our permission .

Woman : Who are you ? Are you the law ?

1st Man : I'm higher the law .

Woman : Is this a riddle ?

1st Man : Isn't life is a big riddle. Isn't it .. we do what we find suitable for us . Riddles are mode by our will and practices.

Woman : ( Go to the telephone ) I'll ring up the police .

1st Man : ( Holds the telephone from her ) Don't try to put yourself in a critical position, this is Mohammed Ismail's flat isn't it ?

Woman : Impossible, I have married here ten years ago I can't lie, ask the neighbors all neighbors this my flat , there is no one in this name .

1st Man : Mohammed Ismail is a well known person .

Woman : If you want to rob or cheat me .. I have nothing wor they .

1st Man : ( laughing ) We don't steal anything from any body .

Woman : Then what do you want ?

1st Man : Are you sure that your neighburs don't know that Mohammed Ismail lives here too ?

( The bell rings )

Woman : Yes ( she runs to open the door .. two men enter )
What do you want ?

2nd Man : WE want El Sayed Ibrahim El Hamshary .

Woman : There is no body here with this name .

1st Man : It is me .

3rd Man : Don't you know him .. He is the owner of this flat .

Woman : What .. Who !!

2nd Man :Mr. El Hamshary lives here, is this flat No 5.

Woman : What ?

2nd Man : Then have rest, we shall arrange your bags .

Woman : My bags .

2nd Man : Because Mr. El Hamshary wouldn't like to be shared in his flat .

Woman : What do you say' I'll ring up the police .

1st Man : I have told you that we are higher then the police .

Woman : Impossible .

2nd Man : Nothing is impossible in life Woman : But I do no let any one to occupy my flat .

2nd Man : You can make coffee for us .

Woman : What ( tries to run to the door, 1st man holds her )

1st Man : You can run and scream as high as you can in the street , but remember that this will hurt you because they will accuse you with madness besides this flat belongs to El-Sayed El-Hamshary and all people will assure this

(the telephone rings .. she goes towards it)

The woman :Hello, the police, I ask for help (astounded) what do you say this is El-Sayed El-Hamshary's flat.

2nd Man :(goes to the telephone)Yes, Hello (holds the receiver) Hello, I'm El-Hamshary, welcome to you. how are you. I can't come today. I'm sorry exceuse me my friend I'm busy with the conversation of our guest madam Sabris Abdel Aziz

The woman :(looking at them) Incredible. it is my name, and it is my flat. it belongs to me.

2nd Man :Surly we hosted you a long time in this flat, so you thought that you are the owner of the flat. some people do the same thing

2nd Man :You are a gentle woman, you need choosing the preper inomeut to decide .

The woman :This is my flat, you are not their owners. sure (the bell rings)

2nd Man :(goes to the door, the grocer enters)

The grocer :Is Mr. El-Hamshary here ?. these things are ordered.

The woman :This is Mohammed the grocer, O'mohamed is it my flat ?

The grocer :No.. it's Mr. El-Hamshary's (laughing)

The woman :Incredible ... Incredible. O'Mohamed, fancy, it is a decrepit, you are deceived, O'Mohamed you're drunken .. you are senseless .. it is sure .. you know well who am I and this is my flat.

2nd man :(to the grocer) you can go.

The grocer : At your service, sir.

1st man :Have you brought the whole things of the party ?

The grocer :Yes sir.

1st man :This sum of money is a tip for you.

2nd man :(closes the door)(the woman sits on a chair) What happened madam?

3rd man :Madam, what happened ?

The woman :This house is mine, these curtains I have bought them with my

husband before his death five years ago, these sofas are ours. these

walls can speak .. speak walls .. whose house is this. O' God help me help me(weeping)

1st man :Don't be sad madam. We can solve all problems without noise, quietly and without noise .

2nd man : Madam, I beg you to discuss with us quietly because we want to solve your problem .

The woman : I have no problem, this is my flat , you can ask the neighbors, ask my mother, my friends and my sister. Every thing in this flat is mine my clothes are here in this cup board . There are all utensils in this kitchen . This flat does not belong to El Hamshary . I assure you, that flat is mine .

1st man : ( laughing ) Madam, I'm sorry . Don't be so enthusi astic, enthus iasm and rage lead to nothing , we, surely, want to solve your problem .

The woman : O sir, didn't you say when my door was opened it is Mohammed Ismail,s flat.

1st man : Yes .

The woman : When you asked me I said there is no one idle this name

1st man : Yes

The woman : Then how this flat changes from Ismail to
El-Sayed El-Hamshary ?

1st man : I and he Mohamed Ismail is were living in it in the past . Mr. Mohamed Ismail and I El-Sayed El-Hamshary (laughing) especially the name I was astonished at your answer so I asked you.

The woman : What name, what hypocricy, what lie do you want, and what right you are speaking about, you want to steal this flat and drixe meout of my shelter and usurp my rights.

3rd man : (to 2nd man) We will arrenge your bags.

2nd man : Yes sir. (enters in one room. the woman runs to stop 2nd man. the

3rd man pulls her toward the door)

1st man : Madam, No season your excited nerves and control yourself, we want

to arrive to reality. (the bell rings, she runs to open, two men

smiling and enter)

4th man : Sorry madam, is El-Sayed El-Hamshary here ?

The woman : (astonshing taken back)

4th man : If he is not here, is El-Sayed Mohamed Ismail here ? (smiling)

The woman : (take back astonished .. the two men enter together)

5th man : What happened madam, is madam Sabria Abdel Aziz that works as

a servent for a house ....

The woman : Am I (astonished) a house servent.

The all : Yes, you are a house servent.

The woman : I was not a servent any day, I'm the owner of the house.

The all : No.

The two Smart : (one of the guests wear a smart suit. has a red necktie,

goes toward her)

1st man : Sevice is not a sin and as she was a servent at El-Sayed

El-Hamshary and El-Sayed Mohamed Ismail you aree safe and Sound.

many women long to serve the two masters. you are lucky. this is a

good chance. you are a lucky woman.

The other man : (wears a white shirt and foreign hat and spectacles, goes towards her) Madam, don't be sad of this behaviour. if those two men treat you badly, you can come to work for me in my house. I'm a father and have five children only. they are all witty girls as you are (puts his hand on her .. she slips hishand violently .. shel slips her on face. runs to hold the telephone)

The woman : I'll ring the police.

1st man :In vain, I have told you that we are higher them police .

( The woman went towards the window, screaming, the men pull her towards them. one of them goes to the window to shut it )

( A knocking at the door, one if them goes towards the door, a woman enters )

Lili : Sory, is madam Sabria abd El Aziz here ?

One of them: ( Smiling) There is no body here with this name .

Sabria : ( Trying to go to the door, one of them catches her, pushes her behind the cupboard .

Lila : There is none of this name .. impossible .. she lives here .

3ed man :Be seated Madam ( The woman enters, they catch her, Seat her on a chair .. she sees ( Sabria ) trying to scream, one of them gagged her mouth ) Don't make noise.

Lili : Who are you ?

Sabria : leave her .. ( she runs towards her ) save me .

2nd man : ( laughing ) What is your opinion, you are beautiful. So we decided to invite you to a small party on the beach .

Lili : ( tries to escape from the man and scream ) Who are you and why you did come here, thieves .

2nd man: ( laughing ) We are the owners of this flat, we are not thieves. Who enter flats at dawn or secretly from windows and not from doors . If we were thieves, we are at noon and in front of all people .

1st man : ( points to 3rd man ) Call the guard .

3rd man : Yes sir ( goes out to open the door and cries ..the two women are astonished and a mazed .. the guard comes, they look at him )

The guard : Any service Mr. El Hamshary ?

1st man : ( Laughs , looks at the two women ) do you know these two women ?

The guard : No sir .

1st man : Remember carefully these two women .

The guard : Yes I remember, this servant, ( Sabria ) a servant of sir Hamshary , and this servant ( Lili ) a servant of El Sayed Mohammed Ismail ( all laughing )

1st man : Thanks .

The guard : Thanks sir ( the guard takes a sum of money and goes out )

Lili: ( Looking at Sabria ) What happened, certainly this man is mad or has a dementia .

Sabria : No, he is not mad, and has not dementia .. yes Mr. Hamshary .

1st man : We have reached the correct language for speaking O my servant Sabria what do you want ?

Sabria : ( angrily ) What , are your my sir ?

Lili : Are you mad Sabria . How you speak to him in this way , .. certainly , you are demented or mad .

Sabria : What do you want O servant of El Sayed Mohammed Ismail.. are you excited to revolution .

Lili : I'm not a servant .

4th man : ( slaps Lili ) You the servant of El Sayed Ismail .

Lili : I'm not a servant I'm a wife, I have three children, my husband is a chief engineer .

4th man : Chief engineer . Ha, spit over him three times one in the morning, one in the evening and one at moon . How can a chief engineer marry a low woman like you . spit over him every morning . O' he is stupid to marry a woman like you ( Lili weeps )

Sabria : ( Look at 1st man ) and what after ?

1st man : Of course you are an intelligent woman . Zakia .

Sabria : I'm not intelligent, I'm ( Sabria ) a widow , my husband died five years ago after marriage . Only one month.

1st man : I know what you say completely ..

Sabria : Then you come to take revenge from me because my husband hurted you .

1st man : I don't think that I'll revenge from you, I have no desire to take revenge Sam you although your husband was rascal, mean and willing to liberate the world from conquest, fear and slavery ...etc.

Sabria : Then what do you want ?

2nd man : Nothing, all what we want now hom you is to enjoy us, what do you think of dancing, you look gracefull .

Sabria : ( looks at Lili ) Yes sir I'll dance for you.

1st man : Well this is good manners .

Sabria : O' Mr. Hamshary .

1st man : (laughing ) I'm not El Hamshary .

Sabria : I know that .

1st man : You are intelligent, Zakia .

Sabria : I'm not intelligent Zakia , I'm (Sabria ) sir .

1st man : Then let us see your gratefulness in dancing you and Lili .

Lili : I can't dance, I'm a respectable lady .

1st man : To us there no respectable one in this world .We can change the respectable to irrespectable by all means you must hear and obey , it is better, and this is not a threat. it is a warning. The difference between threat and warning is wide apart, I warn you, so you must obey, to what you don't like all your life .

Lili : Have you not a heart, a wife, a sister to put us in this awkward, shameful position ?

Man : ( slaps her ) ,Keep your mouth shut, don't say these words, woman always say what they do not understand during emotional moment. I see you are a wise lady, you must think your emotions not your mind, tradition, and morals, nothing of the sort .

Lili : You are surely mad .

Another man : Keep your mouth shut .

2nd man : My lady don't try to make the (master) be eveited .We must obey him.

Lili : Why ?

Sabria : I have told you Lili don't speak about rights , you must speak about duties. I beg you, No use to put ourr selves in awk worrd positions .

2nd man : It seems that ( Ms Sabria ) Is wise and understanding .

4th man : Yes ..yes ..

1st man : Applaud to Sabria Abd El Aziz .

( they all applaud, as if she was a pupil in a school who answered a question )

Lili : ( weeps )

Sabria : What do you want sir ( to 1st man )

1st man : ( to 2nd man ) We can hear music now, and see your greaful dancing .

2nd man : The dancer Lili Mansour Khalil .. is this your father's name
( talking to Lili )

Lili : Yes it is my father's name

1st man : The ex official in Rail way .

Lili : How do you know ?

2nd man : He took a poor salary and borrows from the grocer, the butcher and the bread seller. In every month he escapes from them and enters a narrow lane.

Lili : How do you know all that ?

1st man : Have you not been told by your honest friend servant Sabria Abd El Aziz that we are higher the law and we know every thing about every one . She is wrong in deed . Let us hear music .

3rd man : Hear music ( get out a recorder and pushes the bottom, gaz music is played.

( 4th man gets out two cloth material, two scarves to put round their waists )

( Sabria yields completely while putting the scarab but Lili tries to resist )

( They slap her and she turns silent , yields while weeping, they began to applaud, the two women dancing as victims silently while they are laughing 4th man gets out a bottle from a bag begins to drink, one drink. give 3rd man , 2nd man gets out a cup , stops music suddenly and say ) Lili go to the kitchen ..

1st man : No need, order Sabria .

2nd man : Sabria goes to the kitchen and brings a cup for ( the master ) to drink.

4th man Drink the toast of the master .

The all : Drink the toast of the master ( laughing )

1st man : I thank you my dear friends .

Lili : ( Bored ) .

Sabria : ( bring a cup .. looks a them )

1st man : We need to eat, what is your opinion to eat grilled meat .

2nd man : Wonderful, grilled meat .

1st man : Fried potatoes ( clips )

3rd man : Fried potatoes .. magnificent .

1st man : We drink wine .

2nd man : Drink wine( laughing )

1st man : Sabria , go to the kitchen , prepare grill meat .. give her meat .

3rd man : ( gets out a roll, gives her the roll.)Grill this meat, this is good meat .. fresh .Grill it in a nice way .

4th man : You are a clever cook, you have cooked to your husband five years ago grilled meat, we ate from it, but he screams at midnight, we thought it was poisoned, later we knew that he complains of teeth ache (laughing).

Sabria : Yes it happened, really happened, How do you know all this ?

The all : ( laughing )

1st man : Go to the kitchen Sabria and you ( to the 3rd man and 4th man ) go with them and if one of them screamed or made a noise kill the two, get rid of them as quickly as possible, go ( the two went out, 1st man 2nd man stayed )

1st man : ( to 2nd man) Listen to music .

2nd man : ( begins to cwircl on the recorder to listen to music ) Hail , Lili Lili bring a cup of cold water to Mr. El Hamshary quickly. ( in minute Lili enters carying a cup of water ) holds the cup gives it 1st man .

1st man : This is dirty, wash it carefully you lazy lady .

2nd man : Wash it carefully because ( the mister ) wants to drink in a clean cup .

Lili : ( Takes the cup, goes out in a state of astonishement ) ( Comes with a cup quickly) : Help your self sir .

( 2nd man takes the cup and gives it to 1st man )

2nd man : Help your self sir .

1st man :I think I'm not in need of water, I'm disgusted of the dirty water.

Lili : ( in state of astonishment. )

2nd man : Go to the kitchen quickly to prepare the food .. you lazy woman. I don't know why did the stupid engineer marry you . I don't know nowadays stupid men marry stupid women as you, we see that most of whom we know are stupid by nature,, and heredity . So you stupid, your children will be stupid .

Lili : ( weeps ) .. runs to " Sabria " ( who appears from one of the doors )

Sabria : And later .

2nd man : We don't intend to insult you the day when your husband's died your tears refused to flow of your hazel eyes, Is'nt it true ?

Sabria : Who told you ?

2nd man : The women talked by insinuation, not so .

Sabria : It is my special life, I'm free.

1st man : Let her, my friend. The lady is so sensitive .

Lili : Leave us with our affairs .

3rd man : It is meaning less to be neutral now .

Lili : How .

Man : Your husband the engineer, does he let the contractor realize his wishes in building . I intend the building of blocks . No . They are interests and interests that mean neutrality is death .

Sabria : Have you come to teach us a lesson of philosophy ?

4th man : ( beats her) .. Keep mum .. speak politely while speaking to the mister)

1st man : Leave her, speak as you wish .. we believe in the controlled freedom .

Sabria : What kind of freedom do you speak about ..

1st man : Freedom is an elastic word, my dear .. you want a limited concept of freedom which means we do what we see good from our point of view .. what is your opinion .. freedom to you is to permit your family the house, your husband's family not .. not so .

Sabria : How you knew all this about my life .?

3rd man : We are higher secrets .. we know the secrets . put them in life , when we need them, we get them out in the proper time .

1st man : Good speaking .. those two gentle ladies will make a very good grilled meat for us . Go to the kitchen .

Lili : I don't go to the kitchen .. No .

3rd man : ( slaps her ) Don't say no .. ( weeps, falls down on earth )it is preferable to say, yes.

1st man : No need to violence .

4th man : Sir.. the two women don't know their reality clearly .

1st man : Go to the kitchen .. no need for laziness

( 2nd man draws Lili. 3rd man Sabria , go to the kitchen)

( 4th man sits in front of 1st man take cards and play )

1st man : It is the night of life .

4th man : It is the beautiful night of life .

1st man : Are you a good player of cards .

4th man : Completely .

1st man : The food .. O .. lazy women, and men ..

(Lili, Sabria enter carrying dishes .. the men begin to prepare food and eat)

4th man : This is the time of fantazy .. really .

1st man : You Sabria is known as a good cook of food .

3rd man : You dance while eating food .

1st man : Fantastic idea, this is the time of dancing .

4th man : Go .

Lili : I can't dance .

1st man : You can .

Lili : Impossible .

2nd man : If you dance, this is the correct .

Lili : I'll not dance .

Sabria : I'll dance, leave her .

1st man : No .. you the two will dance .. you both .

Lili : I'll not dance .

1st man : ( slaps her ) you will dance .

Lili : I'll not dance .

1st man : ( slaps her ) you will dance .

Sabria : Leave her .. don't slap her, enough, she is a conservative woman .

1st man : I know .. she does not watch cinema except seven times, she watches a play once in her life - she doesn't listen to a complete news cast, I know that .

Sabria : I'll dance, leave her .

2nd man : She will dance .

Lili : I'll not dance .

Sabria : Then I'll not dance .

Men : ( A quarrel with them, beat them violently ) Leave the house .

( The two women fall down ) ( Darkness ) Light a bedroom .. on the bed .. "Sabria " was sleeping ..light she rose in horror . Looks around her, finds every thing as before .. runs to the mirror, looks and screams .. when she sees blood stains on her face .. )

( Screams and weeps .)

Sabria : What happened in the world ?

( Slow curtain )

EL-Sayed Hafez

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