Synopsis

Act I

Dawn. The Controller sits in her tower. People start to arrive at the airport – for the Refugee to `befriend’: a married couple, Bill and Tina, are going on holiday to rediscover romance; the Older Woman is meeting a young man whom she met in Mallorca – she would like to remain inconspicuous; the Steward and Stewardess go about their business – some of the time. Another couple arrives, almost late for their flight to Minsk, to emigrate; the Minskwoman is pregnant. At the last moment she refuses to board the plane and her husband leaves without her. The Refugee offers her a magic stone to comfort her. The travellers are preparing to depart when the Controller announces that, because of storms, flights are indefinitely delayed.

Act II

Night. The storm rages. The Controller leaves her tower and wanders about outside. Everyone tries to sleep, but, in pairs or alone, they secretly approach the Refugee, fascinated by his magic stone. He gives them all what each thinks is the unique stone and they make wishes. Bill is restless and seeks out the Stewardess, but finds the Steward instead: they go off to explore the control tower. The women and the Refugee decide to get drunk, and, as they become more garrulous, the women discover that each of them has `the’ stone. They vent their anger, with dire consequences for the Refugee. The consequences of Bill and the Steward’s explorations are no less cataclysmic.

Act III

Dawn. The storm abates, flights resume. The Minskman returns, unable to face his separation. Bill and the Steward have a surprise for their partners. Tina has a nasty surprise for Bill. The Refugee has a surprise for the women. The Minskwoman has a surprise for everyone. When the Refugee tells his story, even the Immigration Officer has a surprising reaction. Flights are called and under the Controller’s watchful eye, the airport returns to normal…

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