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The Room

One Act, Drama
4 men, 2 women
Total Cast: 6, Interior
ISBN-13: 9780802150967
FEE: $40 per performance.
THE STORY: While her taciturn husband remains engrossed in his magazine, Rose bustles about getting breakfast. As she works she carries on a monologue touching on the weather, the coziness of their cramped quarters, and the mysterious tenant who occupies a damp, windowless room in the basement. The aged landlord, Mr. Kidd, enters, and while he at least responds to Rose’s small talk, he does little to allay her nameless fears of the room below. After Mr. Kidd and Bert, the husband, depart, a young couple appears in search of lodgings and Rose discovers that they had wandered into the basement room while looking for the landlord. Their description of what they saw, or rather felt in the darkness only heightens her growing sense of apprehension. Then, after they have gone, Mr. Kidd returns to tell Rose that she must see the man who has been waiting for her below, waiting for Bert to be gone. The stranger, when Mr. Kidd brings him in, proves to be a blind black man with a message for Rose, and while she disclaims any knowledge of who he is, the message, which is that her father wants her to come home, has an obvious and moving effect on her. As she reaches out to touch the blind man Bert reenters and, while ignoring the stranger, speaks of the terrible weather through which he has had to drive his lorry. Then, after a long moment of silent study, he tips the blind man off his chair, knocks him down when he tries to rise, and kicks his head against the gas stove until he moves no more. There is a moment of silence, and then Rose clutches at her eyes and cries out. Now it is she who has become blind.
Produced Off-Broadway as a double bill with A Slight Ache. A play of mood and subtle overtones, set in a tumble-down London rooming house and filled with the unique theatrical magic which is so much a part of this distinctive writer’s work.