A resounding thump startles OTHELLO and IAGO, who are midway through a scene.
OTHELLO: What the...
CASSIO (yowling from offstage): Godammit!
IAGO: You alright back there?
CASSIO: Yeah, yeah, fine. Emilia, give me a hand out, would you?
Grunts of effort come from backstage, accompanied by virulent muttering of swear words.
EMILIA: Guys, could you come back here and give us a hand? Cassio’s stuck.
IAGO and OTHELLO look at one another, puzzled, then slope backstage to see what’s going on. The DIRECTOR watches, clearly rather confused. Then the sound of the two laughing fills the air.
OTHELLO (snorting with laughter): What the heck were you doing?
CASSIO: It’s not funny! I was trying to pull that shelf out, but it wouldn’t budge.
IAGO (clearly stifling hysterics): No, it's friggin' hilarious! Good thing this was here to break your fall, eh?
CASSIO: Shut up Iago.
EMILIA: Othello, could you hold it down? Iago, come help me pull it out.
IAGO: Jeesh, it’s stuck really hard!
CASSIO: Ow, ow, don’t pull, that hurts!
OTHELLO: Steady on guys, it’s a bit floppy around the edges, I can’t get hold of it properly.
IAGO: Yeesh Cassio, you went in a long way!
CASSIO: Ow! What are you trying to do, rip me out?
The DIRECTOR bites her knuckles to keep from giggling.
OTHELLO: On three. One ... two ... three!
CASSIO yelps, and there comes another thud. OTHELLO, IAGO and EMILIA breath sighs of relief.
OTHELLO: That was bloomin’ hard work. Worse than a tug of war on sport’s day.
CASSIO: How do you think I feel? Agh, my bum is killing me.
The cast come back onto the stage to see the DIRECTOR slumped over her desk, quaking with mirth. They look at one another, confused.
EMILIA: Was it something we said?