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Cloud 9

Caryl Churchill

Act II, Scene 3–4

Act II, Scene 2

Act II, Scene 3–4, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Scene 3

On a summer night, Victoria, Lin and Edward come to the park drunk. They begin a sort of séance, gleaned from a book of Victoria's, calling on a sex goddess to join them in ceremony. Lin claims to see the goddess and yells "Look out!" in an attempt to frighten Victoria and Edward. Victoria starts calling to the goddess again, disappointed that the séance fell apart. She refers again to her book, telling Lin and Edward about a community ruled by a priestess, a community in which men had no status.

Victoria, Lin and Edward hear someone approaching. Lin and Edward dare Victoria to proposition the stranger for sex. She does so, but the stranger turns out to be Martin, who has been out looking for Victoria. Martin notices that the others are drunk as they jump on him, pulling him down into the beginnings of an orgy. At this point, another stranger arrives. Lin recognizes the person as her brother, referred to as Soldier. The soldier tells Lin that he has "come for a fuck" and then disappears. Lin collapses, and Victoria comes over to attend to her. Lin invites Victoria to come home with her. Edward, Lin and Victoria depart together, and Martin leaves alone.

Gerry comes on to address the audience, saying that he prefers living alone. Then, Edward (from Act I) enters and tells Gerry that he loves him. Gerry tells Edward that he loves him also. At this time, some, or perhaps all, of the cast enters and sings the song "Cloud Nine." The song's verses become more perverse as the song progresses.

Scene 4

Back in the park in late summer, Cathy comes on with another poem about "true love." Edward and Martin follow. Martin will be babysitting Cathy and Tommy, so Edward is preparing him. Betty comes in rambling about her new job as a doctor's assistant. She lets Cathy count her money, and then turns to Martin to assure him that Victoria will come back to him when she "sorts herself out." Cathy scurries off when she hears ice cream bells, dragging Martin and Betty with her.

When Cathy, Martin and Betty leave, Gerry arrives, finding Edward. Gerry learns that Edward has been living with Victoria and Lin. Edward mentions that the three of them sleep together. Cathy runs in to give Edward some ice cream and then leaves. Gerry asks Edward to have a meal with him sometime. Edward agrees and then leaves. Harry (from Act I) arrives, and he and Gerry leave together.

Betty returns to the park followed by Maud (from Act I), who warns Betty of the dangers of independence. Then, Ellen (from Act I) comes in to ask Betty again what she should expect from sex with a man. She tells Betty not to forget her. Maud and Ellen leave. Betty addresses the audience, speaking about her first experience with masturbation as a child. She then relates her rediscovery of masturbation this year and how it gave her the power to defy her mother and Clive.

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