The Anniversary

by Anton Chekhov (1889)

One Act

Shipuchin - Male, 35 to 50 yrs

Scene partner - Khirin

Monologue - Comedic, 1:00 to 2:00 min


The employees have just presented me with an album; and the Directors, as I've heard, are going to give me an address and a silver loving-cup.... Very nice, as my name's Shipuchin! It isn't excessive. A certain pomp is essential to the reputation of the Bank, devil take it! You know everything, of course.... I composed the address myself, and I bought the cup myself, too.... Well, then there was 45 roubles for the cover of the address, but you can't do without that. They'd never have thought of it for themselves. Look at the furniture! Just look at it! They say I'm stingy, that all I want is that the locks on the doors should be polished, that the employees should wear fashionable ties, and that a fat hall-porter should stand by the door. No, no, sirs. Polished locks and a fat porter mean a good deal. I can behave as I like at home, eat and sleep like a pig, get drunk....

[Khirin: Please don't make hints.]

[Nobody's making hints! What an impossible character yours is.... As I was saying,] at home I can live like a tradesman, a parvenu, and be up to any games I like, but here everything must be en grand. This is a Bank! Here every detail must imponiren, so to speak, and have a majestic appearance. My service to the Bank has been just this — I've raised its reputation. A thing of immense importance is tone! Immense, as my name's Shipuchin! My dear man, a deputation of shareholders may come here any moment, and there you are in felt boots, wearing a scarf... in some absurdly coloured jacket.... You might have put on a frock-coat, or at any rate a dark jacket....

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