Hats Off Hats On

(After Samuel Beckett)

 

Pozzo

Vladimir

Estragona

 

 

(Vladimir and Pozzo are sitting on chairs facing the audience. They are wearing hats. Enter Estragona, carrying a hat. She approaches Vladimir)

 

Vladimir: Estragona, good to see you.

 

Pozzo: It’s been a long time. Where have you been?

 

Estragona: I’ve been away. I have now returned.

 

Vladimir: Well, welcome back.

 

Estragona: Make space ! Make space!

 

Pozzo: There is no space! We are but two chairs.

 

Estragona: There were three when I left.

 

Pozzo: And now there are two. Perhaps you’re return should be brief.

 

Estragona (to Vladimir): But I have brought something new.

 

Vladimir: Something new?

 

Pozzo: Something new? I don’t want something new.

 

Estragona: This is something new (to Vladimir): for you.

 

Vladimir: For me?

 

Estragona: For you, Vladimir.

 

(Vladimir’s face lights up, he looks at Pozzo, makes a decision, then pushes Pozzo out of the chair, He falls to the ground, gets up angrily, straightens his clothes and leaves in a huff. Estragona sits down)

 

Vladimir: Welcome back!

 

Estragona: Thank you!

 

(They hug awkwardly after several attempts)

 

Vladimir: Something new? For me?

 

Estragona: Yes.

 

Vladimir: What is it?

 

Estragona: This! This, Vladimir is for you!

 

(Estragon presents Vladimir with the hat – he takes it looking at it)

 

Vladimir: It’s a hat!

 

Estragona: I can see you are still a genius. Yes, it is a hat!

 

Vladimir: For me! And such a fine hat too!

 

Estragona: The finest you can buy. I came by it in a far off land.

 

Vladimir: And brought it back for me!

 

Estragona: Yes, Didi! For you!

 

Vladimir: Thank you! It’s such a fine hat.

 

Estragona: Yes it is!

 

(Vladimir looks at it, turning it over in his hands)

 

Estragona: Well?

 

Vladimir: Well what?

 

Estragona: Aren’t you going to put it on?

 

Vladimir: Where?

 

Estragon: On your head of course. Perhaps you have lost some of your genius with the passing of years.

 

Vladimir: On my head?

 

Estragona: Yes! It is a fine hat. Indeed it is much finer than the hat you are wearing.

 

Vladimir: No.

 

Estragona: I beg your pardon?

 

Vladimir: I’ll accept the hat, but not on my head. I am happy with the hat that currently sits there.

 

Estragona: But this is a much finer hat. So much finer! It is from the rich east!

 

Vladimir: I don’t care where it is from. Or how rich it is. I cannot, I will not take off the hate I have. I LIKE the hat I have.

 

Estragona: Well, why not experience a change? A change of hats?

 

Vladimir: Thank you, Estragona, but no thank you. This is a fine hat you have brought me. But it must not take the place of my own hat.

 

Estragona: I’m wounded.

 

Vladimir: I’m sorry.

 

(Pause)

 

Estragona: Put it on.

 

Vladimir: No.

 

Estragona: Put it ON!

 

Vladimir: Will NOT!

 

Estragona: ON!

 

Vladimir: NOT!

 

(Suddenly Estragona whips off Vladimir’s hat and tries to put the new hat on. A fight ensures which ends up on the ground. Estragona strangles Vladimir who dies. Estragona carefully puts the new hat onto a dead Vladimir’s head and then takes the old hat, and returns to the chair. Enter Pozzo who sits beside Estragona. They look at each other and smile. They look at the dead Vladimir)

 

Pozzo: A nice hat he wears.

 

Estragona: Yes, it suits him.

 

The End

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