Politics: No soft soap as PM asks: `Are there no apples in Moscow?'

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The Independent Online
This is an extract from the script of the soap House 7, Entrance 4 in which Tony Blair appears:

Scene 3: Outside street. Prime Minister, interpreter, policeman, Varya.

Background noise of street: in the distance whistles and crowd noise.

Policeman: Where are you going? (whistles) Lady with the bag!

Varya (approaching): But this is a pedestrian crossing! And there isn't any traffic. Your traffic lights have probably broken down ...

Policeman: Don't you understand Russian? Back on the pavement I said!

Sound of approaching cars

Varya: Here stop pulling my bag! Ah, now look what you've done. The handle's broken! My apples!

Screech of brakes

Policeman (grumbling): Never mind your apples! You've stopped the convoy now. Can't you see?

Varya: I won't be a minute. I'll just pick these up ...

(Car doors slam)

Policeman: I think you and me had better go down to the station ...

Prime Minister (approaching three steps): Are you all right? Can I help you?

Varya (picking up her apples): No, no don't trouble yourself. I'll pick them up myself.

Policeman (going off): Right you can sort this one out on your own.

Interpreter: Do you speak English?

Varya: No, of course not.

Prime Minister: Have you picked up all your apples?

Interpreter translates

Varya: Mr Blair? Very nice to meet you. And I am Varya Vasilevna. Take some of my apples. They're very good. No chemicals in them, straight from our orchard in Yelets.

Prime Minister (surprised): From another city? But aren't there any apples in Moscow?

Interpreter (translates)

Varya: Of course there are! We have everything here. It's just a bit expensive.

Interpreter (translates fast and quietly)

Prime Minister: I see. Do you find it quite difficult to get by?

Interpreter (translates)

Varya: Me? No. Not at all.

Prime Minister: How are you coping with all the changes?

Interpreter (translates)

Varya: We live very well. We have everything we want. A flat, and a country cottage. We've got two children ... They're grown up now ... a boy and a girl ...

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