Pizzazz consists of three plays intended solely as entertainment. If they have a theme in common, it is that each one deals with travellers – near Dublin, in Rome and on the Shannon – who are apart from their natural environment. Another quality in common is perhaps suggested by the original composite title Scorpions.
A View from the Obelisk
Convalescing from heart surgery, Owen returns to his native Ireland with Rosemary and insists on showing her the view from a hilltop near Dublin. But the climb takes rather a lot out of him and Rosemary goes off to summon a car. While she is gone, a young man appears, sketching the view. Owen strikes up a conversation with him, talking as though he’d known him for years. The boy goes, and it is only when Rosemary returns that Owen realizes why the boy seemed so familiar to him...
Roman Fever (from a story by Edith Wharton)
On a restaurant terrace in Rome, Mrs Slade and Mrs Ansley are reminiscing about a Roman holiday they had together many years before. Mrs Slade, envious of Mrs Ansley’s daughter’s engagement to a young and rich Marchese, cannot resist a spiteful jibe at Mrs Ansley, thereby shattering a cherished memory. But in the end it is Mrs Slade herself whose illusions are shattered. Period 1930.
Whilst waiting to hire out cabin cruisers on the River Shannon, two apparent strangers play an elaborate game, which involves re-enacting a marriage on the rocks, with the other people in the reception area as supporting cast. But this is a Chinese Box of a play, and all is not what it seems.