Sunday, 24 July 2011

My Coco Chanel Monologue

For our end of term drama project we had to write and perform a monologue on a person throughout history who had lived a very interesting life. I chose Coco Chanel. 

Dear Diary, December 1970. I feel that the end of my life is close by. My friends have left me one by one and I am an old woman now. Each day I am becoming less and less independent. I am becoming a lot more reliant on morphine. I wish I could live the final years of my life naturally but I have so many memories and I am frightened to stare old age head on. The drug is my substitute for love. I use it to help get to sleep: my only defence against the night. However, it does not stop the constant nightmares and sleepwalking. Sometimes I rise from my bed, get my scissors, sit at my dressing table and start cutting my pyjamas, stabbing the material. Each time I wake up in horror at what I have done. What would Boy think if he could see me now? Aah Boy Capel. He was an Englishman, born William Capel, Boy being his nickname. The love of my life. He believed in me. Without him I would not have had the money to set up my business. Do you know what he said to me after he gave me that money and my business took off? He said "Coco, I thought I gave you a toy, I gave you freedom." Sweet, sweet Boy. How I miss you. 22nd December 1919. It's over half a century ago you were in that accident. Nothing could disguise the love we had for each other. But he had to go and get married and make me his mistress. His family would not have approved of me back then. I wonder who he would prefer now? An international celebrity or that lady in her dusty old castle? I met Boy through a friend, Etienne Balsan. I met Etienne when I was performing, singing at an inn with my aunt. "Qui qua qui qua vu Coco?" The song that gave me my name. I used to dream of being a performer. One of my few childhood dreams, struggling to stay alive in a pool of loneliness and nightmares. My mother died when I was six years old and immediately afterwards my father dropped me off at Aubazine where I was to be raised by nuns. I waited for a visit from my father every Sunday, but he never came back. I never saw him again. I later discovered he had moved to America with his new girlfriend. I didn't matter to him anymore. My aunts would visit me but when they did they hit me and starved me. I often thought of killing myself. In the books that I read death seemed so romantic, such an adventure and rather more appealing than my then miserable life. It depresses me so to dwell on the past. It was all so dark, just so, so dark.
The Second World War was significantly more frightening than the first. Not only for my personal safety but for the safety of my business too. France was living in terror and I closed all my boutiques throughout the Nazi occupation. However, when rumours started to circulate about my alleged affair with a Nazi officer I feared that a reopening would be unsuccessful. The First World War did not affect me much. I was just starting out back then. I was designing and making hats. My dreams to become a performer were crushed when my aunt went off to marry a baron. I tried to make it as a soloist, but failed. I stayed at my day job as a seamstress but one day I decided I would leave to go and live with Etienne Balsan. Whilst there I encountered numerous women who wore tight fitted corsets, heavy gowns and ridiculously large hats. When I was with Boy we would joke about how silly they looked. Boy admired my style. I dressed sort of like a man; chinos and waistcoat but I was so much more comfortable than those ladies who walked around unable to breathe, dressed in curtains with meringues on their heads.
I used to claim that I did not value marriage. However, I did not consider growing old all on my own; loveless. Ah well, it's getting late now; probably time for my injection. Good night.

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