Theatre from the cracks in the psyche of culture
a beastly dark comedy
APE caused a near riot when first performed as BROTHER APE in an earlier draft form in 1982 at The Pie In The Sky Theatre and Bar before performing to near full houses for the remainder of the season.
The humans known only as My Love and Poor Dear enact their rituals in their bedroom and nicely kept home. Their language has almost the triviality of a Noel Coward comedy. Their concerns reflect the emptiness of an alienated culture. Their one defining point that sets them apart from their friends is their house guest: an Ape who plays with the children and is being gradually socialized into the human way of doing things.
But he is more. Like the medieval ape of god, APE is a deceptive trickster who ingratiates himself into the very psyche of the humans, drawing them back into a bestial fantasy that engulfs their whole existence.
APE is performed by three versatile and adventurous actors. One needs to have exquisite mime and movement skills.
Children's playing and talking is heard.
Lights up on a bedroom and living space. The bed is well made, music is now playing from a radio. Suddenly a door opens and Ape, a partially dressed ape, comes crashing through. He dives straight onto the bed and jumps up and down trying to rock it as much as possible and in the process untidies the covers. The bed begins to rock and he looses his balance and falls over. This is a thrill. He has learnt something new and does it again&ldots;and again. The bedclothes now seem to get in his way so he begins ripping them off the bed. He is so engrossed that he manages to drape the sheet around his body and over his head. This fascinates him and he jumps off to find a mirror which he backs into. At first frightened, he then perseveres and studies himself. Disgusted by what he sees, he throws the sheet away and looks around for more things&ldots;
Next to the bed is a photograph of My Love which takes his fancy. Gently he touches and caresses the frame. He jumps into the centre of the unruly bed. His head drops.
Enter Poor Dear
Poor Dear: There you are, you naughty fellow! Did you do all this?
The ape sulks.
Poor Dear: How did you get in here anyway. Oh I see, you've got My Love there, have you! Give her to me. Come on&ldots;don't be naughty. Now&ldots;my you've been naughty&ldots;ever since the Baxbys were here you've seemed quite off&ldots;now come on&ldots;oh you bad boy&ldots;give me that picture&ldots;come on&ldots;My Love won't give you a rub. I know you like her rub.
Ape replies and hands over the picture which Poor Dear puts down on the table.
Enter My Love
My Love: Good grief&ldots;Brother Ape&ldots;you baboon! Look what the silly thing has done. Listen Dear&ldots;he's your friend. Now you said&ldots;
Poor Dear: Oh, he's just been a little frivolous&ldots;
Ape coyly rubs up to My Love and rests his head against her.
Poor Dear: See My Love, he's sorry.
My Love: How ridiculous, how many families would put up with an ape like you in the house.
Poor Dear: I think he's grown very attached to you&ldots;I think he prefers you to me.
My Love: Well you'll have to control him better.
Ape grabs her tentatively
My Love: ... and let go of me&ldots;sometimes he's more than I can handle.
Poor Dear: He was holding your picture in his hand.
My Love: Oh he's in love with me!
Poor Dear: I'm sure he is!
The ape looks up at My Love and then looks at Poor Dear.
My Love: Well get him outside now to where he belongs&ldots;Listen here you, you've go to behave yourself if you are going to stay.
The ape smiles and then hugs her.
My Love: You hefty thing&ldots;get out of here&ldots;come on.
Poor Dear: Out Brother Ape&ldots;out you go&ldots;come on.
Ape doesn't like going.
My Love: Get out. Go on, do as Poor Dear says.
The ape opens the closed door and leaves dejectedly.
NOTE: The above sample script is available FREE of charge for reading purposes, workshopping in classes and community theatres and evaluation of suitability and needs.
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Production licence is available for a $120 (AUD) fee. Professional fees are 10% of gross box office. However, we have found that scripts offered by Shadow House PITS have had a resonance in areas which do not have a capacity to pay. Should you wish to produce any of these works and do not have a capacity to pay and/or recoup fee costs at box office, then please just let me know. In such cases, I would just like to get a report on the production and if possible, some photographic or video imagery from the work. It has been most gratifying to hear of small scale productions taking place in areas without charge. If any of these works, or the plays in the "youth" section, are of value to your group or school in financially poor areas please feel most welcome to use the texts free of additional charge.
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