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Cloud 9

Caryl Churchill

Act II, Scene 1

Act I, Scenes 4–5

Act II, Scene 1, page 2

page 1 of 2

Note: The actors from Act I assume new roles for Act II. No new actors are used.

Summary

Four year old Cathy (played by a man), her mother Lin and Victoria linger about on a winter afternoon at a children's play area in a park. Victoria reads as Cathy recites lewd poetry. Lin, growing tired of Cathy's poems, suggests that Cathy paint. Cathy, after changing her mind a couple of times, decides not to paint. She runs off when Victoria points out that the "big bike" is open.

Lin complains that Cathy is "off" and afraid of being abandoned. To Lin's frustration, Victoria remains entrenched in her book. Eventually, Lin manages to distract Victoria enough to invite her to a movie. Cathy runs onstage shooting a toy gun, then leaves again. Noticing, Victoria mentions her despair over letting her son Tommy play with guns. This talk of gun leads Lin to mention her brother in the army.

The discussion of family leads to Lin's revelation that she was married to an abusive husband, but is now a lesbian. Victoria relates that her marriage to Martin is "Up and down. You know. Very well." Edward (played by a different actor) enters to tell Victoria that their mother Betty is walking around the park. Dutifully, Victoria leaves to speak with her.

Following her intuition, Lin asks Edward if he is gay. He quiets Lin nervously, fearful that someone might have heard her. Victoria re-enters with Betty. Betty speaks continuously, sometimes lecturing Victoria on parenting, at other times rambling about clothes and gardening. At one point, she slips in the comment that she might leave Clive and get a job. After letting Betty go on for a while, everyone turns his or her attention to Cathy, who has covered a sheet of paper with black paint. Betty offers an alternative to painting by putting her earrings on Cathy. Cathy's excitement over her newly discovered beauty drives her to ask for Betty's necklace (the same one from Act I) and then for her hat. Lin decides that Cathy has had enough of femininity and begins to take the items from Cathy to give back to Betty. Cathy throws a fit.

Once Betty leaves, Victoria and Edward express their concern over Betty leaving their father. Cathy offers her painting to Edward, and she exits. Before Lin follows, she asks Victoria to have sex with her. Victoria's only explicit concern with the offer is that it might count as adultery.

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