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Extract from
Casanova Dreaming

by Martin Foreman

Asleep in bed with his first true love, nineteen-year old Giacomo Casanova is visited by an old man who shows him his future - but is what he sees a promise or a warning?

Based on his autobiography, this one-act play reveals the life of the famous libertine - a life more complex and varied than legend relates. In the young man's dream appear not only the women who shared his bed - or who refused to share it - but men who also played significant roles in his life: the Venetian Senator Bragadin, Casanova's jailer in the infamous Leads, the English noble who saved his life and the Polish aristocrat whom he almost killed.

Casanova Dreaming by Martin Foreman

ISBN 978-0-9933546-5-6
soft cover (app 55m)
The extract below may be used without charge for auditions and teaching only. It may not be used in any public performance, whether paid or unpaid, in any medium, without the written approval of the author.

If used in auditions or teaching, the author would appreciate being informed here.

To apply for performance rights for part or all of the play, contact the author here.
GIACOMO I am in love.

SEINGALT With Henriette? Anna Maria? Bellino?

GIACOMO All of them.

SEINGALT You cannot have them all. Or if you have them all, you will lose them all. You will never be content.

GIACOMO You may be right about Anna Maria. An affair with a married woman can't last. Besides, there is a beautiful Marquesa who seeks my company . . . As for being content, that depends on money. Do you have money?

SEINGALT I have had.

GIACOMO Well, I want money, lots of it. And women, many.

During the following speech the NUN enters unobserved

GIACOMO There're beautiful women everywhere. With or without money I'll kneel at their feet. I'll draw them close, taste their scent, untie their ribbons, pull down their shifts. They'll moan as my fingers caress their most private parts. Gasp with joy when my weapon breaches them. I'll give them the greatest pleasure they can conceive.

SEINGALT Beware of that word conceive.

GIACOMO I can't be a priest. Too much hypocrisy. Perhaps I should travel. Is it true you have known emperors and kings?

SEINGALT I have been welcomed by the highest in many lands. I have lived in great houses. I have loved a hundred women. I have been . . .

NUN . . . a schemer, a plotter, a lecher, a liar, a deceiver and a thief!

SEINGALT Maria, welcome! I dispute none of these, except perhaps the last.

GIACOMO Sister, I . . .

NUN Relax, boy! I would much rather you pulled clothes off than pulled them on.

SEINGALT How long have you been watching us?

NUN Long enough to know that nothing interesting would happen. I prefer watching when your companion is a woman.

SEINGALT Always a performance, I said, even when we believe ourselves unseen.

NUN Does that shock you, young man? I like to observe the game of love. to SEINGALT He blushes. to GIACOMO I once had an affair with your guest. My lover ...

SEINGALT ... the French Ambassador; he later became a Cardinal ...

NUN ... liked to watch. When the Chevalier learnt of the subterfuge, he put on a better performance. to SEINGALT You were in deeply love with me, were you not?

SEINGALT How could I not be?

GIACOMO Sister, in the last hour my room has been invaded by every kind of stranger. None of them tell me why they are here. Can you enlighten me?

NUN As for the others, I cannot say. I came out of curiosity to see you.

GIACOMO Am I as you expected?

NUN More or less. A little younger, less sure of yourself.

GIACOMO May I ask you a question? If you sin with men do you not fear God's judgement?

NUN Chevalier?

SEINGALT Paradise in the afterlife does not preclude paradise on earth.

NUN Bravo! It was God who gave us the instruments of love. It is the Devil who wishes us to suffer; he is the one who would deny us the pleasures of the senses.

SEINGALT My dear Maria, it is wonderful to see you, but I wish to speak with our host alone.

NUN About what?

During the following speech the NUN distracts GIACOMO

SEINGALT Love. It is a madness, a sickness. A man in love cannot see his mistakes until he is no longer in love. Giacomo, I urge you before it is too late, do not let your eye be turned by every woman you see. Be loyal to one! Take her far from Rome or Venice. Buy a farm, an estate, high in the mountains. Have children. Write. Throw yourself into books. Study nature - there is so much to learn. Anything. But above all, be faithful to your wife; only then will you be happy.

The NUN disentangles herself from GIACOMO

NUN to SEINGALT He has his charms but he is still too inexperienced for my tastes. You are wrong about love, Jacques. It is a game, combat with thrust and parry in the drawing-room, the ballroom, in bed. It is only madness if you surrender to it. The strong can master it. Make your lover your friend and love will last a lifetime. If your lover is your goddess, you will always suffer. But you are right, I should go.

GIACOMO Must you?

NUN Your guest wishes it. Do not look so sad. We are sure to meet again.

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