#28PlaysLater 2019: Day Eleven | A-N-I-M-A-L

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Cast.

 

Animal – Muppet

Anima – Puppet

Anipa – Puppet

 

Scene.

 

A cave. It’s dark and slimy. Rocks strewn the floor.

 

Baby Animal (the Muppet) sits on the floor. He laughs to himself

 

Anima enters. She is a female, grown up version on Baby Animal.

 

Animal: Anima! Amina!

Anima: [guttural grunts]

 

Animal holds up his arms to be picked up. Amina picks him up.

 

Animal: Anima!

 

Anima throws baby Animal up in the air and catches him. Animal laughs.

 

Anipa enters pulling a buffalo.

 

Animal: Anipa! [laughs]

 

Anipa puts lets go of the buffalo, and sits on a rock. He lights a pipe. Anima puts baby Animal on Anipa’s knee. Anipa ruffles Animal’s hair.

 

Animal laughs.

 

Anima gives Anipa a kiss on the cheek and sets about skinning the buffalo.

 

Animal: Anipa!

 

Anipa proceeds to tell Animal the following story only using actions, grunts and growl: “Outside there is a big round hot ball. The big round hot ball is very high. It makes you sweaty and tired. Outside there are also animals. Big animals like buffalo. Tiny animals that go squeak, squeak , squeak. Big strong Anipa, he kill buffalo and bring back to cave for Anima and Animal to eat. They sit down and the go nom, nom, nom and all the buffalo is gone. Burp. They all go to sleep. Snore. And then Anipa wakes up, and he leaves the cave and goes to hunt buffalo under the big hot round ball. And that’s what all Anipas should for their Anifamily.”

 

Animal laughs and claps.

 

Animal: Anipa!

 

Anima: [Grunts]

 

Anima gestures to the buffalo that has now been skinned and cut into steaks.

 

All the family set on the buffalo and eat it all – bits of buffalo and bones flying. Baby Animal crawls to the edge of the stage and sits burping and laughing to himself. He is hit in the head by a flying bone. He is knocked flat.

 

Baby Animal sits up, grunting and holding his head. He shakes his head to clear the mental fog. He sees the bone next to him.

 

Animal: Buff-a-low.

 

Animal picks up the bone. He waves it around and laughs. A second bone lands next to him.

 

Animal: Buff-a-low.

 

Animal picks up the second bone. He waves the two bones about, laughing. They accidentally strike each other. Animal freezes.

 

Animal: Buff-a-low.

 

Animal deliberately strikes the bones together.

 

Pause.

 

Animal hits the bones together again.

 

Pause.

 

Animal hits the bones together maniacally laughing.

 

Animal waves the bones about excitedly. He accidentally hits a rock.

 

Pause.

 

Animal deliberately hits a rock.

 

Pause.

 

Animal hits all the rocks around him with the bones, laughing and grunting while he does it.

 

Animal: Brum. Brum eats. Brum eats. Buff-a-lowwwwwwwwwwww.

 

Animal laughs.

 

Anima and Anipa stop eating the buffalo to watch him. They have bits of gut hanging off their fur and faces.

 

Anipa starts walking towards Animal. Anima tries to pull him back by an arm. Anipa shakes her off. He strides over to Animal. He grabs the bones. Animal reaches up asking for the bones. Anipa snaps the bones over his knee.

 

Animal freezes. Animal breathes hard. His head drops.

 

Animal: Brum…

 

Anipa throws the broken bones to the side. Anima runs forward and tries to push past Anipa to Animal. Anipa holds Anima back.

 

Anima: [grunts]

 

Anipa tells Animal the story ogain: “Outside there is a big round hot ball. The big round hot ball is very high. It makes you sweaty and tired. Outside there are also animals. Big animals like buffalo. Tiny animals that go squeak, squeak , squeak. Big strong Anipa, he kill buffalo and bring back to cave for Anima and Animal to eat. They sit down and the go nom, nom, nom and all the buffalo is gone. Burp. They all go to sleep. Snore. And then Anipa wakes up, and he leaves the cave and goes to hunt buffalo under the big hot round ball. And that’s what all Anipas should for their Anifamily… Anipa and Anima and Animal do not hit stones with bones. That is not what Anifamily do. You are dead to Anipa and Anima.”

 

Anima: [sad whine]

Animal: Anipa!

 

Anima pushes past Anipa and runs to Animal. She scoops him up into her arms and holds him to her.

 

Anipa growls and turns his back on Animal.

 

Pause.

 

Anipa puts Animal down slowly.

 

Anima: [sad grunt]

Animal: Anima?


Anima goes to stand next to Anipa and turns her back on Animal.

 

Animal: Anima? Anipa?

 

Animal hangs his head. He breathes deeply. He sees another bone out of the corner of his eye. He reaches for it.

 

Animal: Buff-a-low…

 

Animal waves the bone sadly.

 

Animal: Brum…

 

Animal sadly hits a stone with the bone.

 

Animal: Brum eats. Brum eats.

 

Animal hits the stone harder and harder. He laughs.

 

Animal stops. He breathes.

 

Animal waddles to a rock. He lifts it up. He pulls out a massive hanky and a cuddly Animal. He wraps the cuddly teddy into the hanky and hangs the package over the bone. He hoists the bone over the shoulder. He waddles over to the mouth of the cave.

 

Animal: Animal….?

Anima: [whimpers]

 

Anipa puts his hand on Anima’s shoulder to stop her going to Animal.

 

Anipa: [growls]

Animal: Animal [he touches his chest where his heart is] Anima. Anipa…

 

Animal waddles out of the mouth of the cave head hanging low.

 

Anima and Anipa stand still with their backs to the audience. Anipa removes his hand from Anima’s shoulder.

 

Pause.

 

Blackout.

 

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