ARCHIE (unseen): And now, ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of a momentous victory at the polls, may I present your hostess and mine, making a most welcome reappearance, the much-missed, much-loved star of the musical stage, the incomparable, magnetic Dorothy Moore! (DOTTY enters. Much applause.)
DOTTY: Thank you, thank you for coming. (Music introduction for “Shine on Harvest Moon.” She dries.) And now, making a most welcome reappearance, the incomparable, unreliable, neurotic Dorothy Moore. (Applause. Cheers. Introduction repeated.) How does it begin? (GUESTS, offstage, sing “Shine on, shine on harvest moon.”) (Singing, but going wrong immediately.)
I want to spoon to my honey I’ll croon love’s June or July. (Breaks off.) No I can’t. I’m sorry (and goes). (Drum roll.)
Cries of disappointment change to cries of delight.
Like a pendulum between darkness and darkness, the SECRETARY swings into the spotlight, and out. She is on a swing, making an arc from wing to wing, in sight for a second, out of sight for a second, in sight for a second, out of sight for a second . . . back and forth.
The swing itself hangs from a chandelier.
Each time she reappears she has taken off some clothing.
CROUCH enters from side, the porter pressed into service to serve drinks at the party. He wears a short white coat and carries a round tray balanced on one hand, drinks on tray.
He is going to stray into the line of vision. Voices warn him away, good-humouredly.
CROUCH does not know what is going on: every time he turns downstage, the SECRETARY is in view behind him, and every time he looks upstage the gap is empty.
“Mind your back!”
“Out the way!”
“Let the dog see the rabbit!”
CROUCH is bewildered.
The SECRETARY is nearing nakedness, obscured. The unseen watchers are nearing hysterical frustration.
At the climax of their cries, CROUCH backs into the path of the swing and is knocked arse over tip by a naked lady, BLACKOUT and crash of broken glass. Immediately:
VOICE (ARCHIE’s voice): “And now!—ladies and gentlemen!—the INCREDIBLE—RADICAL!—LIBERAL!!—JUMPERS!!” (White spot. Musical introduction. EIGHT JUMPERS enter jumping, tumbling, somersaulting, four from each side of the stage: a not especially talented troupe of gymnasts possibly using a trampoline. Discreet musical accompaniment. Their separate entrances converge to form a tableau of modest pretension.)