John Bjarne Grover

I was in bus 13A on the way towards Hauptbahnhof - we were approaching the station when the bus turned right on the corner Rainerstrasse / Favoritenstrasse - with Opocensky & Opocensky's Edelgreisslerei next to Julia's Änderungschneiderei - when the bristling video display in the bus told that Julia Roberts was 50 that day. On my return from Bratislava or was it Hungary later that day I wrote down some ideas I got from this 'turning right'. Unfortunately it seems that the electronic file could have been tapped and abused - or at least I believe that I saw some echos here and there. Was there a play based on Strindberg on Burg (not about Burkina Faso)? The relevant authorities should tidy up in such problems. If american film industry has abused data from my life and work and this is told of in the media as if it were about sexual abuse of the actresses in the films, it could be telling if those (America, that could mean) get the economic compensation which I should have had. That would not be right.

I have never given or shown this brief draft to anybody before I publish it now on 5 march 2018. Neither have I given the copyright to it to anybody. But it has been on my home computer since I wrote it.

I later discovered that Erika Mitterer lived in Rainerstrasse, quite close to the street intersection. She herself seems to have believed in something and the relation to the concept of 'american terror' is, if at all, in the name only. She died in 2006 but knew Rilke personally in her youth.

For reasons of discretion, Julia Roberts is here hidden behind the name of Julia Roberts Nelson, so that nobody can discover the realworld reference.

(Apparent problems with the formatting below do not correspond with my home file).


- a play about a playwright and his typeewriter
- an oh so modern play

Tabulae mensae:
- August Strindberg, the playwright, wriiting this play
- Julia Roberts Nelson, actress
- Bertrand Camington, her neighbour, a pplumber
- Carl Babbington, another neighbour, a lumber
- Aron Appleston, a former neighbour, ann umber
- Rudolf Falkenstein, philosophical poett
- Pipi, Julia's dog
- people of various kinds

Scene 1 - spotlight on the playwright sitting on an elevated wooden structure, a sort of balcony, writing under a lampshade, ashtray and paper wastebin full

AUGUST: Let me see, I will need an actress, a Julia Roberts, whose passion for brislings and anchovies is the driving motor...

Roberts opens another box of brislings on her kitchenbench...

AUGUST: and a neighbour who is a charming casanova

the moustached neighbour Bertrand peeps in the open window with a big smile

AUGUST: no, this wont work

Roberts throws the brislings in the wastebin, the neighbour withdraws, the playrights pulls out the paper and puts in a new in the carriage

AUGUST: Let me see, she likes to relax with a round of Ludo

The doorbell rings, or the typewriter's bell does, she opens and the same neighbour enters...

JULIA: Come in, Bertrand , what a nice day it is.
BERTRAND: I brought some foil.
JULIA: Ah yes, would you like some Ludo? Sit down...

They start playing, but soon their movements get slow and the voices deep, slow and murky, ... your turn, i got a hat, three on the stable... ...nono, leave it there... then they speed up and the voices turn ducky quick with quick body movements, before it turns around, they move and talk backwards untill the neighbour is out of the door again - the door slams, the doorbell rings backwards.

Scene x:

JULIA: There is this nagging feeling more or less all the time, Carl - I believe that I hear these noises, like an old typewriter, you know. Do you know what I mean?

CARL: I dont know. Voices, you mean?

JULIA: No, the oldfashioned ticketock from a typewriter - have you heard it? Can you hear it now?

CARL: I dont think so. Do you hear it now?

JULIA: It's quite far away, I think, a remote mechanic sound. Could be it is just a clock from a window.

CARL: I cant hear that. It is you who think too much, Julia.

JULIA: I dont think too much, Carl, you know that well - it is more like the sound of morse... Silence. Old telegraphy... A faraway SOS. Is it you sending it?


JULIA: You know, I think there is somebody typing around here, but I was a little taken back when I heard it even out in the woods. I was sitting down on an old log when I suddenly heard it start again, and I thought - er, it is not impossible that somebody has brought an old typewriter out here, behind that thicket there, but it isnt much probable. What is this?

CARL: You are afraid of getting mad, Julia. You could talk with a psychiatrist.

JULIA: It is not psychiatry. Could be I could talk with a priest, if he is at home, but not psychiatry!

CARL: Mm, yes, right.

JULIA: I probably fancy the sound - it is there for real now and then, but when it is not, then I fancy it. Unless somebody make it...

CARL: Ja, yes, probably.

Scene y: JULIA at the window with RUDOLF

JULIA: This society is such a senseless mill of consummation, dont you think so. In the days of communism, I always dreamt of running off from it all and start a new life over there.

RUDOLF: Yeah, the dreams hid behind the concrete.

JULIA: They did. There was this gray surface and under the lager frocks there were warm hearts beating. Communism is the only real political solution, that I have always meant.

RUDOLF: Have you studied Marx?

JULIA: No, I'm not so academic - it is more a feeling, an impression. The communists meant what they said - but in this society people say the opposite of what they mean.

RUDOLF: You dont mean that!

JULIA: I do! You think my logic is short circuitry? I mean what I say, and still I live in this society. Isnt that like being somewhere else while you still remain on the place where you always was?

MARX: Yeah, Rudolf was always so busy with understanding the heart of being.

JULIA: Sorry, I didnt mean to say that. I should have kept my mouth shut.

RUDOLF: You should not, you are a sweet actress and shouldnt let that be.

PIPI: Come on, folks, lets go for a walk.

Julia opens the window and one hears the humming sound of the people down in the street. Suddenly she seems to spot something:

JULIA: Jesus! Is it Aron coming there? Oh what shall I do if he comes here, he certainly does. I cannot open for him now. I get so nervous!

RUDOLF: You just open for him, I can leave.

JULIA: No dont leave, you stay here.

Ding dong, the doorbell chimes. Pipi runs to the door

JULIA: What shall I do? I get so nervous...

RUDOLF: You just open the door, I can do it for you.

JULIA runs before him to open the door first, Aron steps in


Last scene - Julia seems to spot the balcony for the first time, runs up the stairs to it and knocks on the door - the playwright rises from his typewriter and goes to open the door:

AUGUST: Jesus Christ! Is it Julia Roberts?

JULIA: Are you the one who types all the time?

AUGUST: I can't believe it! I was just writing a play about you - for true! - I've been working on this for quite a while - and here you suddenly stand right before me! I can't believe it! What a surprise! Come in, Julia!

JULIA: Oh, August, it has been such a terrible time - so long since we parted.

© John Bjarne Grover
On the web 5 march 2018