Marius

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Four-act and six-scene play.
First performance at Théâtre de Paris (March 9th, 1929).

First Edition

Paris, Fasquelle, 1931.

Main initial performers

Raimu - César
Pierre Fresnay - Marius
Fernand Charpin - Panisse
Orane Demazis - Fanny
Alida Rouffe - Honorine
Paul Dullac - Escartefigue
Pierre Asso - Monsieur Brun
Maupi - Le chauffeur
Henri Vilbert - L'agent

Summary

For he has been keeping on watching the large sailing boats calling at the Vieux-Port, in front of his father César's bar, Marius is now obsessed by one and only thing: leaving. So strong a desire prevents him from seeing that Fanny, the little shell seller with her stall on the Bar de la Marine terrace, is in love with him. It is only when one of the customers, Master Panisse, comes on strong to her that he becomes aware of it. To keep Marius close to her, Fanny gives herself to him, in vain. She then decides to have him believe that she is in love with another man. But the power of the sea is stronger, and Marius eventually boards on "La Malaisie".

CÉSAR
... You don't even know how to mix a mandarin-lemon-curaçao cocktail in the correct proportions. No two ever are alike!

MARIUS
Customers only drink one at a time. They can not compare.

CÉSAR
Ah! That's what you think! You remember old Cougourde, a great man who used to drink a dozen mandarin cocktails a day; do you know why he doesn't come any longer? He told me why. Because your fanciful mixtures might well ruin his mouth.

MARIUS
Ruin his mouth! He's an old drunk with a zinc mouth.

CÉSAR
That's right, just carry on insulting customers instead of improving your skills! Well, this is the last time I show you how to prepare a picon-lemon-curaçao. (He goes behind the counter.) Come here!
(Marius moves forward to watch the operation closely. César grabs a large glass, a decanter and three bottles. While speaking, he prepares the beverage.) First, pour one third of curaçao. Careful: one very small third. Ok. Now, one third of lemon. Slightly bigger. Ok. Then, one GOOD third of Picon. See the color. See how nice it is. And finally, one BIG third of water. Here you are.

MARIUS
And now you have four third.

CÉSAR
Exactly. I hope that you got it this time.
(He drinks a gulp of the mixture).

MARIUS
In a glass, there are only three third.

CÉSAR
But, idiot, it depends on the size of the third!

MARIUS
Well, no, it does not depend.
Even in a watering can, you can only put three third.

CÉSAR (triumphant)
So, could you please explain how I could put four third in this glass?

MARIUS
That is arithmetic.

CÉSAR
Indeed. When you are at a loss for words, you try to change the subject.