Friends & Crocodiles

Synopsis: "Friends and Crocodiles" traces the relationship of maverick entrepreneur Paul Reynolds and his colleague Lizzie Thomas over a period of 20 years from the beginning of the Thatcher years to the rise of the electronic age and the dot-com bubble. Paul persuades Lizzie to work for him as his personal assistant, and becomes her mentor. She is inspired by his drive and creativity, but appalled by his lack of organisation and occasionally destructive anarchic lifestyle. After she calls the police to terminate an extravagant party which has got out of hand, they part, vowing never to meet again, but, over the years, their paths continually cross, as Lizzie rises through the corporate world and Paul's fortunes rise and fall. The play is an examination of the nature of personal relationships where work and ideas are more powerful drivers than sexual emotions, and also a panoramic view of the rapid changes in British society in the '80's and '90's.
Genre: Drama
109 min


Yes, William? I won't be a moment. William?

I've just rung to say that Paul is here.

- Paul?

- Yes, right now.

Paul is here.

Paul is with you?

Not actually with me, no.

He's outside the door, waiting for me.

He looks extraordinary, too.

He looks like he has been living in a cave.

You've no idea what he wants?

- Why he might want to see me?

- No.

Not a clue.

Paul, is it you?

It is you. How extraordinary, after all this time.

It is me, yes.

- How goes it?

- It goes well, I think.

Very well. And with you? You look...

- Like sh*t?

- No, of course not.

Different. Tiny bit different.

- Busy, are you?

- Very busy.

Always busy, stirring away at this and that.

- You weren't looking for me, were you, Paul?

- Of course.

- Why were you doing that?

- I think it's time you paid me a visit.

You haven't seen where I am living now,

have you?

No, that would be good.

And, yes, can't wait to see that.

Look, Paul, I'm running late as it is,

and I've got a very important meeting.

Very important.

And as you can see, the meter is running.

And I'm very uncharacteristically paying

for this taxi. So, I'll call you tomorrow?

- Same number, isn't it?

- Yes.

Yeah, I'll call tomorrow without fail.

Go. Go now to the Savoy, go.

Come on, what are you waiting for? Go.

Hello. This is Charlie.

Now I was just explaining to Charlie

that in Saxon England,

there was actually no word for "woman".

It was just "man" and "man".

You believe me? It's a joke.

Marvellous. Absolutely marvellous!

There are facts in here

that will make your hair stand on end.

There she is.

Always on time.

Regular as clockwork.

Nobody seems to have noticed her except me.

Ingrid, the man, was left for...

Hello. And what's your name?

- Yasmin.

- Yasmin? Now, Yasmin's a good name.

- Hi.

- Hello.

You walk by here all the time.

That's right. It's my lunch hour.

- I'm Paul. Paul Reynolds, by the way.

- I know.

And that's your home. I know that, too.

And these are all your grounds,

as far as you can see.

But this is a right of way, isn't it?

- I'm all right here, aren't I?

- Yes, of course.

You're free to go wherever on my land,

whenever you want.


- And you are?

- Lizzie.

Lizzie Thomas.

I work in an estate agent in Ashbourne.

So, I know all about your property,

I should say "properties".

I read about you

buying this building and that building.

You don't want a drink? Or a little food?

- Or a job?

- No, thanks. None of those.

Not today, but maybe...

- I've a selection of possibilities.

- I have got to go if I want to finish my walk.

I can't be late back for work.

Will she look back?

I bet she doesn't look back.

All our W's in the right place, are they?

All our R's nice and perky, are they?

I think we have a tiny bit of slippage here,

haven't we?

All our F's and K's in good order, are they?

No keys getting stuck?

I know this customer.

Mrs Wheeler will see to the customer,

thank you very much.

- What are you doing here?

- Come and work for me.

- As what?

- As my secretary, at first.

- At first? That sounds dangerous.

- No, it doesn't.

It's exactly what it seems.

Personal Assistant. I need one.

- You must have loads of secretaries.

- At this precise moment, there's nobody.

And why is that?

You'll see, I expect,

when you come and work for me.

Enough chat, Lizzie. Back to work.

Mrs Wheeler, see to the gentleman.

What've you got to lose?

I'll start in a month.

- It's too late.

- That's my offer.

Take it or leave it.



Here she is.

With her typewriter.

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Stephen Poliakoff

Stephen Poliakoff, CBE, FRSL (born 1 December 1952) is a British playwright, director and scriptwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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