Start with the Grandfather opening a pocketknife. An apple in his hand, which he carefully peels.
The girl, seated on the floor, rests her head against her grandfather’s leg. The cane chair is a sturdy relic.
There is a smell of mothballs in the tiny back room. The knife glints silver as red petals fall onto a white linen handkerchief.
The girl and grandfather share the apple slices.
In the next scene there there is a stroke, an ambulance, and a hospital, where the girl stares at a fly buzzing the grandfather’s catheter.
In what the audience thinks is the end there is a funeral.
Intermission – 15 minutes
The next scene is a day or a year or five years later. The girl’s brother enters her bedroom in the middle of the night, holding a pocketknife.
Some in the audience will recognise it as the grandfather’s knife.
Others will not be surprised when the next morning, the brother denies what happened that night.
A less bold director could end with the girl crying because no one will believe her. This option is clearly stated in the playwright’s introduction.
Other directors will follow the next stage direction, which clearly shows the girl creeping into the kitchen, past her brother who is passed out on a sofa
She opens a drawer, pulls out a steak knife. She looks down at her brother, steak knife looming over his face.
Originally, this is where the play ends. However, subsequent directors have changed the ending, always with the playwright’s permission.
Some end with the girl hacking her brother to death. Others with the girl putting the steak knife under her pillow.
In my version the grandfather doesn’t die.
He takes the girl to live with him in his gated senior community.
There are oblique references to the girl’s brother, who died young.
This version has never been performed.