Mata Hari,

Mata Hari, for one man and one woman, was first presented as a companion piece for Marina.  In darkness we hear the sounds of insects in a jungle and an Indonesian gamelan playing softly.  Lights come up on Mata Hari, in jail, wearing a dark dress.  She says she was terrified of the rats at first but has become rather fond of them.  She wants to communicate with Vadime, her Russian lover, but the authorities intercept her letters.  We hear the sound of a door creaking open and Macleod, a man in his sixties with a large black satchel, steps into the light.  He says as her husband he has a right to see her even if she is a traitor and a prostitute.  He says she answered the advertisement he had put in the paper looking for a wife.  She says he tried to pimp her out to his friends and gave her syphilis.  She starts naming the people she has slept with until he stops her.  She accuses him of beating her with a buggy whip but he says it was a cat-o-nine-tails and that she lost all rights to her children when she ran off to Paris to become a whore.  She says a servant girl, his mistress, poisoned their son.  She says that in Paris, alone and starving, she reinvented herself as Mata Hari which means sunrise, the edge of the day.  He says a friend put the advertisement for a wife in the paper as a joke.  He says she had the look of a half-caste girl which he was unable to resist and they agree they had some good times together.  She pleads with him to help her get out of jail, saying that she spied for the French, not the Germans, and that the French betrayed her.  She says that he let the military system define him, and he says that she danced in various stages of undress and told a pack of lies about herself.  She explains that she turned her own flesh and blood into a work of art and that people loved her.  She says she took money from some Germans because she had lost her luggage and needed clothes, but she has no idea why the French have put her in prison.  She asks Macleod to ask Vadime to help her, but Macleod says Vadime, blinded in the war, has already betrayed her.  Macleod says he brought her a present and she takes the jeweled bra, her costume, out of the satchel.  He wants her to dance for him and she goes into the upstage darkness to change.  He reads aloud from a paper that she is to be executed.  She appears in costume and we hear gamelon music as she dances, saying that she removes the veils signifying cast-off illusions.  She describes what she is doing as she dances and drops six of the veils.  Maclead says, “Ready . . . Aim . . . Fire” as she is about to drop the last veil and we hear the sound of a firing squad, very loud.  She falls; the music stops; we hear a few faint jungle sounds.  Macleod takes out his revolver and points it down at her head, saying, one final act of love.”  Lights go to black as we hear the sound of the shot.

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