Scene One: The Girl and The Cab Driver
The first scene of The Blue Room is an encounter between The Girl and The Cab Driver. The Girl is a prostitute, young, amateurish, and new to the work. She is waiting in a park, dressed in a short, black leather skirt, trying to catch the eye of a potential customer when The Cab Driver walks past her, twice. Taking the initiative, The Girl invites The Cab Driver home with her. The savvy driver knows her game and tells her he doesn’t have any money. She persists, telling him she doesn’t care about money, and they end up walking down to the nearby river in order to have sex off the main pathway in the park.
The lights darken, and a projected slide reads ‘‘THREE MINUTES,’’ the time it takes for The Cab Driver to finish and pull his pants back up. When the lights return, the driver brushes himself off, pulls The Girl up off the ground, and heads off to go back to work. In spite of her earlier claim, The Girl asks The Cab Driver for some money. He refuses and leaves, while she promises, ‘‘I’ll be here tomorrow.’’
Scene Two: The Cab Driver and The Au Pair
With the sound of an Elvis Presley ballad echoing at a dance in the outside ballroom, The Cab Driver and The Au Pair duck into a darkened storage closet. The Au Pair, whose name is Marie, is foreign, and her job is caring for a family and their children. She has just met The Cab Driver, who now introduces himself as Fred. He has brought her into the storage room, he says, to escape the dance. His real motive is to seduce the young lady.
Before The Au Pair will agree to have sex with The Cab Driver, she tells him he must reassure her that ‘‘it means something.’’ Parroting her request, Fred tells Marie, ‘‘It means something. I promise.’’ The lights go out and the slide projection reads ‘‘NINE MINUTES.’’ As a dim light slowly reveals the two of them atop some crushed cardboard boxes, The Au Pair asks her Cab Driver what he feels. Fred stammers that he doesn’t know. ‘‘Feel’s a big word,’’ he complains. But the experience seems to have had a greater effect on him than his encounter with The Girl in the park. He admits he feels confused and is in no hurry to leave this girl. Instead, he asks her to stay a bit while he goes to get David Hare them both a beer. He heads off on his mission while The Au Pair sits alone and the lights go out.
Scene Three: The Au Pair and The Student
The third scene takes place in the fancy modern kitchen of the lavish home where The Au Pair works. She is seated at a table in the middle of the room writing a letter to The Cab Driver, who she recently met at the dance, when The Student comes downstairs from his studies for a glass of water. He asks about a phone call he has been expecting, then takes his water back up to his room. A moment later, the phone rings. Apparently it is The Student again, asking for another drink. The Au Pair hangs up the phone, and just as she finishes pouring a fresh glass The Student reappears. It is obvious he has manufactured the need for more water as an excuse to see her again.
This time down The Student wastes no time. He begins flirting with The Au Pair, complementing her shirt and shoes, before kissing her and unbuttoning her clothes. For modesty’s sake, or perhaps to preserve her job, The Au Pair asks The Student to at least close the blinds before they continue, which he does. As he pushes her up onto the table, she warns him they may be interrupted by the door, or by the phone call he is expecting from his friend, but The Student pretends not care. The lights blacken momentarily and a slide projection reads ‘‘FORTY-FIVE SECONDS,’’ before the doorbell begins ringing. The mood is broken. The Student panics. He asks The Au Pair to check the door while he quickly dresses himself. When she returns his manner is changed. He is once again the son of the family in charge and announces he is leaving for the cafe. Instead of kind words or tenderness, he leaves The Au Pair with a directive to tell his friend where he has gone, should he finally call.
Scene Four: The Student and The Married Woman
The ‘‘friend’’ The Student was anticipating in the previous scene was apparently The Married Woman, Emma, who appears in Scene Four. Up in his bedroom, The Student, whose name is now revealed as Anton, has been preparing for her visit. He has assembled a collection of hors d’oeuvres wrapped in an aluminum container and a bottle of cognac. Offstage, the doorbell rings, and The Married Woman is greeted by The Au Pair. When Emma makes it upstairs, she is obviously a public figure the wife of a prominent politician who is trying to keep her tryst with The Student a secret. She has worn a scarf and dark glasses and complains to her soon-to-be lover that she must not be discovered, because the press have no values or respect and would make her life miserable.
To make matters worse, or at least more dangerous, The Married Woman is a friend of The Student’s parents. The two briefly discuss her marital woes (she is unhappy in her husband’s world of deception and lies), and The Student actually admits he is in love with her. Then they fall into bed together. The lights are only out briefly, long enough for a slide projection to read ‘‘0 MINUTES,’’ before the room is bright again and The Student sits on the edge of the bed, frustrated and nervously impotent. While he tries to find excuses for his condition and berates himself, she tells jokes and tries to make light of the situation. Finally, The Married Woman solves the problem. She tells The Student to simply lie very still on the bed. She stands over him and the lights fade to black. The slide projection now reads ‘‘THIRTY-TWO MINUTES’’ and, in the darkness, she murmurs in a satisfied voice, ‘‘Oh my beautiful boy.’’
Quickly, however, The Married Woman realizes she must get back home to her husband. While they both dress they agree they will see each other the next day, in public, at a political rally for her husband, and two days later they will...