I went to see Anna Karenina on Thursday 15th December 2016. I decided to write down every line that got a laugh from the audience. I omit laughs related exclusively to action, but include lines where the laugh came from just one or two audience members (as long as they were audible to me). I have also marked lines that I laughed at with an asterisk.
God is merciful, Dolly isn't.
Don't you dare talk to me about your passions (knees him in the groin)
You take their governess to bed. -- I thought you knew.
No French tonight – I'm in enough trouble with the French.
(Pause) I'm in love too -- Who is it this time?
Dolly's getting old, poor pet. -- She's 33, she's younger than you for christ's sake! -- Yeah but she always seems to be pregnant.
That's the vow you took. -- I must have forgotten that bit.
I looked at him, he looked at me, the aunts did the rest.*
Nothing like an affair to lighten the load of marriage.
It was after he died that I came into my own.
You hate me now! -- Yes, I do.*
(Returning having left) Prince, princess.*
Have you ever been turned down? -- Only by my own wife.
Do you like being married? -- Love it.
Madame Roland is not one bit a belle, Grisha. Madame Roland is a wagon. Madame Roland is une tramp! Madame Roland is a right little trollop.*
I know that it sounds worse than it is.
I know that they talk about me! -- No, they don't.
My husband would cut off his own foot before he'd look at another woman. -- That's so romantic. -- No it's not. *
(After an inappropriate dance with another man) No, I want to stay for dinner.
Happy now, mother?
Life is not a fairytale. It's a horror story.
She brought back an extra piece of luggage on the train.
Anna's a respectable woman, like me!
Most happy marriages survive fine without [love]. Flourish even.
When I was a girl I was head over heels in love with a priest. Father Sergius, where are you now?*
Let me know when you want me on the table.*
I have to go home – I've two husbands now.
I've a yen for a bit of hunting.
Nanny, how are you me oul petal?
Don't worry, we won't let you starve!
Starving the Japanese pigs? Why? -- I'm fed up with them.
Vronsky let her down badly. -- Great. *
She should've turned you down a forth [time].
Excuse me, I have loved. Within reason.
Oh for god's sake. Grow up.
Just wondering why he's your new best friend and everyone else in the house hates him.
You know what your father is Seryozha? A saint.
If he'd strangle me in my sleep or put a bullet in Vronsky, I'd respect that.
Just ask him how he is and you won't have to open your mouth for the rest of the night.
If I was your age again and Stiva was here on his knees proposing I'd take this poker and stab him in the heart.
She needs a fag, she's pregnant.
Dolly, you're looking well. -- No i'm not, I'm on my 10th pregnancy.
I nearly died in Germany, couldn't swallow for a while but I'm fine now. *
No doubt there wasn't a woman in sight when you put your manly heads together to solve the woman question.
I'd love to be your wife, Dolly.
I find men and woman more alike than different. -- Get married and come back to me.
The children have a father, of sorts.
Look! What have you done to my husband.
You should get married and bring up Seryozha together.
And now the big kiss of forgiveness.
I know this is terrible for you, but it's much worse for me.
You know what the problem is? -- You didn't die.
Had a wench at half past three. Danilla brought her back.
Have the clap again.
Women are overrated.
That woman is the devil incarnate. Wrecked after her. I'll have to shoot her.
Those 40,000 acres, I presume they're all mortgaged? -- To the hilt.
You've slept with half of Russia.
Scrapping already, and you're not even married.
Your father was the same, had to be manhandled to the alter.
Just you and me now mother – they're all gone.
Like a lamb to the slaughter. -- We're all in the abattoir.
You're my Seryozha now! (One, very loud laugh)
How dare you show your face to me! -- She's going through the change.
Lets go to the country and make jam. *
The guff out of these people since they got their freedom. *
I've tasted your jam – it's not so great.
Look at the size of Kostya. The child's going to be a monster. It'll never get out.
I have admired enough bullocks to last me a lifetime.
You're looking very fresh Dolly.
She's pregnant Stiva -– Oh? Congratulations, but I don't see what that has to do with us hunting.
My faithful, moithered old Dolly, with her big swollen belly and her varicose veins.
There are ways to prevent children. -- Are you telling me you don't have to get pregnant every time you lie down with your husband? [...] You mean I don't have to be pregnant now? I don't have to be pregnant for the next twenty years? *
I'm too drunk and too married.
War and Peace. Interesting subject.
You've fallen in love with that witch! -- I have not! -- I can tell by the glitter in your eyes.-- That's drink. *
You're in the way.
A girl threw herself under a train beside my estate last month. It's so quick. I went to see her body. She looked very peaceful.
We've no mourning clothes. I threw them all out. *
One more big God Almighty push, like you're shitting a turnip.
Don't touch his head, it's in ribbons.
He's alive isn't he? -- Of course, he's in pain.
It'll all be my fault. -- It's called fatherhood.
Is nobody going to let me see him.
He looks very squashed. *
Get a grip man. Kitty doesn't need your existential angst right now.
Maeve for DRAFF
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy in a new version by Marina Carr, directed by Wayne Jordan, runs at the Abbey Theatre until the 28th January 2017. Image: Ros Kavanagh