Research Area C
A collaborative play – twin version with Darkness the Enemy Inside
by Kristin Eìriksdottìr, Gianluca Iumiento, Tale Næss, Sigbjørn Skåden and Albert Ostermeier Dramaturg/headwriter/translator Tale Næss.
and four children pretending to be animals
All the actors can be on stage all the time.The scenes and actions run parallel more often than not. Sometimes they overlap.
The text in italics can be read as stage directions.
They could also, or as well – be shared between the performers, read by one actor, orshared between the performers representing the children.
The text in brackets is not be read.
The characters enter the stage. The children are watching from afar. Each of them locked up in a room, in a cupboard, in a grown person’s life.
They own the statue of the little girl with the matchsticks.
They own all these Danish statues of white children grimacing.
They own these candlesticks.
They own these hand-made coasters.
They own this African quilt.
They own this silk.
They own this linen.
They own these napkin-rings.
They own this silver.
They own these silver spoons.
They own these silver forks.
They own these silver knives.
They own this painting of dancing women.
They own this painting of a quiet man.
They own this painting of forms and colors.
They own this Turkish rug.
They own this old porcelain.
They own this stereo.
They own these speakers.
They own this TV.
They own this sofa table.
They own this chair.
They own this chair as well.
And this chair.
(The room is empty)
PART 1 – IN THE BEGINNING
A friend of mine just came back from Peru
He’d been travelling. Ha had taken part in a ritual while he was down there
It included drinking this tea. This narcotic tea, extracted from this cacti, and he said that everything just opened up, transforming itself into pure energy.He touched the stones on the ground, and they were warmHe put his hand in the creek running by, and it was aliveAnd all of this, the stones, the creek, the teacup, his body was surrounded by this energetic field. A green, glowing field holding everything up, keeping everything together…
I can’t stop thinking about it.
It’s there when I get up, when I shower, when I go to the gym. When I prepare for a meeting, drive the children to schoolat work at the drawing board when I go through the allocationslook at the plans for a new building
the children are filling the space with objects
It’s all there:
with tables and table clothes
foundations, lintels, cornerstones
plates and cutlery
bicycles and books
and I see itHow it’s all connected and all hold together by this green, glowing field of energy
with steps and staircases
Servietts and serviett rings
High rises, office blocks – electrically loadedintertwined like the cells in our bodiesand then –
the thought of it no longer being there
that one day, it will be gonethe link brokenhow it all would start to collapse – collapse and start drifting apartthe walls from the foundationthe roof from its beamsbuildings from the citycities torn away from the groundeven the molecules in the water, the cells in our bodies – mountains free floating there in an empty space all of a sudden filled with snow, with grit, with stones and pine forests – thinning outThinning out and moving in all kinds of directions at the same timeThe world left open to a free-falling chaos, – and I have to pinch myself
and I try to focus on the sofaon the kids – running, playing laughing.how they smellwhen they sleep and I want to hold on to themtie them to my chest and never let go
Look at this painting!
Look at this lamp!
Look at this tablecloth!
And this one!
(The badger picks up a battle axe)
Leave her alone!
(The badger lifts the axe. Swings it)
She had it first!
I had it first!
Watch out or she’ll chop your heads off
I had a dream
Julian:I saw this rock that looked like a giant head.
floating like – And the sun was setting
I wouldn’t call it beautiful
It was more
It was like floating, tipping ever so slowly – up and down in the water
A gigantic face, tipping in the water, as the sun sets
I call that beautiful
We have everything we need, don’t we?
We do – don’t we?
Yes, it’s so lovely
here on this island – this time of year
It’s not an island
It’s not an island – it’s a peninsula.
You keep calling it an island – but it is a peninsula. That’s where we live
I don’t like the way you’re looking at me right now.
How am I looking at you?
Like it’s my fault.
Like I’ve done something wrong.
They gritted their teeth and celebrated Christmas together
They only did it for us
They only did it because of us
Because we were their children
She got us and the house and all the stuff but he got nothing at all. He left and she stayed and she never threw anything out.
She just packed the drawers without even looking through them, just bagged them and taped them. There was just this old random mess. To think how she carried this ugly old mug with her, from apartment to apartment, since early in the nineties
It’s going to get better.
So, I saw this badger.
In the garden.
Shit. You know, when they bite, they don’t stop until they feel the bones.
Yeah. Until it crunches. It’s so nasty.
Julian:Maybe we were all badgers once.
My husband is one for sure.
(Lina does a funny badger face)
That’s right. That’s how he looks! Definitely a badger!
Do you think it’s gone?
What? The badger?
Do you think It’s gone?
Yes, the badger.
I think it is. I guess it was migrating from the forest to the water or something like that. I’m not an expert.
Ah – it’s lovely on this island this time of year
Don’t you just love the flowers and –
Excuse me –
It is not an island
Don’t say that
That it’s an island
It’s a peninsula
It’s inaccurate An island is inaccurate
An island have water It’s surrounded by water
This is not an island
You all call it an island, but it’s not – it’s a peninsula, we live in a peninsula, a peninsula that’s where we live so why does everybody go on calling it an island!
It was not enough
A house, a garden, out of the center, close to the water,
perfect for kids
We came in the marked, such a luck, we were relieved
My wife – She works less, I work more, she wants more, she wants more of me We went to the mountains, the snow went away … it’s not global warming. It’s spring, we were too late
(The children are watching him)
Says the Squirrel
Says the Fox
That’s my father
Says the Crocodile
We had a second child
The dream house
Julian:We got the children into kinder gardenthis suuupre Steiner place – deep in the woodswe all loved it, but it wasn’t very practical
the crocodile: He’s mental
And then it was all this with the carWhat to do with the car –
I don’t know
The electric car
He is an hyper carnivore apex predator.
So I got this Quasqai
It’s big. It’s safe. It’s good for the kids.
It drives on gasoline, well hell!
But I just could not get rid of the other one, the electric one – So now I have two. Two cars.
You are lying
You are right
So why did you say it then?
For you my dear
A fox is hiding under the bed
A badger lurks underneath the kitchen table
Where are you going?
He’s going nowhere
The badger is packing a battle-axe
It looks like his going somewhere
I’m doing it for you,
If she’s going, then I want to go!
Let’s all go!
PART 2 – THE HUNTERS
We have water
We have water all around us
We have so much water it feels like an island
An island so huge we almost forget
We have seasons, beautiful and long
with colors and leaves and storms
We have it all
I have a tale!
I have a hoof!
I have fangs!
I have the sharpest teeth!
I have the sharpest teeth, the biggest grin, superpowers, handicaps, life-skills, love, a jar filled with sprogs, with jellyfish, heartache
We have a battle axe!
Off with their heads!
The children are hiding in the cupboards
In the basements
In the sewers
In the innards of a roundabout
They are bumping into furniture
Into shelfs and wardrobe-doors
Look at me now!
Listen to the sounds I make
Who is to be the bee?
Who is to be the beaver?
They are sitting under the living room table, tearing a map to shreds
So we are going?
I’m bringing a bikini!
The badger is packing a piece of barbeque chicken
This is an island so huge you could even get lost
This is an island so huge we almost forget – its forests and lakes
valleys and mountaintops
beaches and farms
all drowning in the darkness of the woods
littered with rabbit-holes
dens and hives
two hunters by a creek
waiting for their coffee to boil
Strange. It’s a place, out there – where the waves break.
Ja, that’s the Marbakke.
Where it suddenly gets deep.
It’s the sun. And the wind, – like now – like a head in the waves. A daudinghode. Where the waves break. It appears when the wind turns and then – I’ve seen it. It breaks the surface – a dead man’s head.
Can’t say I have. Seen it, sitting here, seeing the sun go down – I’ve been here so many times.
It’s the wind, when it turns. I was a child the first time I saw it. Up by Krokelva. Its high ground up there. It’s easy to see it from up high, but you can see it here too.
I’ve never heard anybody else mention anything like that – that there is a daudinghode in Vågen.
They all know it, and nobody talks about it.
That guy, Kroken. Wasn’t he still around when you were a child?
Was he? I don’t know. I can’t remember.
He must still have been around when you were that age.
No. Not in this area. Not as far as I remember.
It was a shooting accident wasn’t it? That deformed his hand?
No, he was born that way
Lina looks at Emil)
Come shooting with me
At what? What do you want to shoot at?
Just at anything at all. We could shoot at some seagulls or at some critters or at this mug your mother left you that you hate so, so much or just at the sky ...
No thank you. I don’t even know you!
Do you have a gun?
I have plenty of guns, we could leave right now and I could let you try all sorts of guns, a shotgun, a handgun, a rifle. I even have a machine gun.
And where could we fire all these guns?
At my place
You can sleep at my place
We could drink some more
We could just go on a shooting spree
You could shoot at my stuff
At my paintings
My pots and pans
Not your horse
Not my horses
But anything else
It’s just ... I haven’t even put on make-up or showered or anything.
You are fine just the way you are.
No, I mean it. I prefer you like this.
I always like you best just in your leisure wear.
My husband always says
Your husband is a badger
But you have never seen me in –
Emil:It is up to you.
Do I have time to get my purse?
It’s just I don’t like not having my phone ... or money.
Lina lies deep in grass.
Can you see her?
She is a turtle too big for her shell
She is a princess shedding her skin
I want to og home
PART 3 – ON THE RUN
The wood is green and deep and endless
there – where four animals are making their way through the thickets
Who is there in the water?
Who is there resting in the woods?
We shouldn’t be here
The Badger, The Fox and the Crocodile:
We are not allowed
You know it
We should not cross that bridge
We should not swim that river
Let’s cross it
Let’s jump it!
Let’s splash around
I want to go home
Here comes the boogieman
Says the crocodile
Here comes the hammerfish!
Have you ever shot a gun before?
Have you ever shot anyone?
Who then died?
I’m very precise.
Always in self-defense?
What do you think?
Yes, maybe just start with this one. Look, now it’s loaded, here, just aim, and pull the trigger. See.
Wow, it’s heavy.
Is it still loaded?
Yes, just go crazy. Shoot.
(Lina goes crazy. She shoots at everything
The children are crossing the creek
They are never coming home
By a roadside a man stands bent over a flat tire cursing:
Bugger, ass, puke, shit, bugger! Bugger me!
As he continues to curse
Damn, damned, bugger, ass-bugger, motherfucker, fuck!
Fuck, fuck, fuck
As he calms down.
As he is saying:
I wish I was a child again
I wish I was a child
I wish I was a fireman
I wish I was a goldfish swimming in my goldfish-bowl
Do you have any tranquilizers?
Saying: Show me your bags
Show me your teeth
Show me your hopes and dreams
Show me your secret selves
Show me the way home
Tell me my name
The children watch him
He is crying
What’s wrong with him?
He wants a new name
What name shall we give him?
Maybe he already has a name
Maybe somebody has taken his name away from him
He wants a new name, stupid
The Squirrel (to the secretary of state):
Don’t you like your name?
Do we think he deserves one?
Everyone should have a name
What kind of name do you want?
Like a human name?
– like our names?
I have a name for him!
He looks like the type who always gets whateeever he wants
and that’s /
just never good for anyone
They lead him to a tree They tie him to the trunk
I am the Fox
Says the fox
I am the squirrel
as they fill his pockets with honey
as they fill his mouth with ants
It is so easy!
See, I knew you had potential.
Who would have thought that it could be so rewarding shooting a gun? Just like this, right into the mud, blah blah.
Remember when you gave me a kiss?
You could do it again sometime
Emil takes off his clothes. Underneath he wears shiny prince costume. Jewels falls from his pockets. He drags a chain of pearls from his mouth and puts it around Lina’s neck.
PART 4 – LOST
We have forests
We have lakes
We have mountaintops and valleys
We have all kinds of animals
We have creatures, monsters, trolls
We have hidden places and famous ghosts
We have snow, and rain and even darker days
We have it all and it makes us wonder what’s real
Lina:I had this dream
Oh – it’s silly
In this dream, I was a woman
And this woman said –
Lina as the woman:
What am I?
(Lina pretends to be an animal)
So what am I?
You are aaaaaa …
Emil as the man:
Now – What am I?
(Emil pretends to be an animal)
No, it’s silly
I don’t think it’s silly
It’s kind of fun
Guess – what am I?
A hamster – Come on.
I don’t know!
– a bear.
And now it’s your turn
What are you?
Look – it’s a game!
It’s supposed to be fun – Show me!
(Lina tries but gives up)
What’s wrong with you?
Nothing’s wrong with me
It’s just –
– show me!
OK – Wait!
I love it
No – I really – Really. That’s lovely
(in a low voice) You are a squirrel – an alley cat – a tiny white mouse
The children are watching from the bridge
Let’s stay behind
says the other
I tried to sign up for online dating
I thought there must be some horny women online
There must be other compulsive liars who’d want to have an affair with me
Someone that wouldn’t get hurt
Someone open to the terms
We meet we fuck we keep it secret
I was wrong
I couldn’t find anyone like that out there
I ended up spending a lot of money fighting online with women that didn’t want to meet
I mean do they think I'm stupid?
That I don’t get it?
I know they’re paid to entertain me online
To make me feel special
To send me pictures with the hope that one day we will meet or fuck
But the truth is that they are hired by some company to keep me on the website chatting
And since you pay for each email you send
It’s not convenient for them to let you meet out in real life
They’re not people that you can actually spend time with or have fun with
You get it?
They meet liars with lies
That’s maybe fair
They make their profit off our fucking sorrow
They use people’s problems to suck money out of our pockets
I felt so useless when I realized I got depressed because some woman I met onlinewas probably lying to meI was so shocked to realize that she didn’t find me incredibly attractiveThat she was sitting somewhere unknown getting paid to turn me on
Fuck that’s humiliating!
I can’t be a good person
I don’t believe in therapy to change
I don’t believe in art anymore as sublimation
I drove the car, the car drove me, in silence, it’s electric and it drives in silence
It stopped by the water, and there I saw – the feeling
There I could finally meet it, there it was inside me – For an hour, I was by the water, waiting, trying to push the pedal, trying to give gas
I smelt shame
I felt narcissistic shame
You don’t want to die
You’ve never even watched online porn
No, I haven’t
It’s just something you say to impress me
You’ve never believed in in art as sublimation
Yes, I did!
– I know
You are just depressed because some asshole didn’t want to put on your performance, that’s all
I am depressed because I am losing my hair! That’s all!
I don’t need a bed.
I don’t need sleep.
Don’t need a thing, just a back to push myself against.
A resilient back.
The real diagnosis is to like me.
Four children pretending to be safe
pretending to be what they want to be: a squirrel, a badger, a crocodile and a fox
lighting an engangsgrill
barbequing a chocolate bar and a sandwich and a piece of chicken
Watch out – the chocolate is melting!
I told you
I told you we should have put it on last
Scoop it up!
It’s just like poo – it’s like soup – we could drink it
Four little animals lighting a fire
Shines and glistens in the dark far away
Far away from home
That’s where they are
Are we really?
Are we really like lost?
Lost in the woods
Not kind of lost but like
Like totally fucking lost
Like totally – t o t a l l y /
– fucking – /
Like we have to live on roots and moss and shit, right?
– lost – Right!
I have a can of beans, if anybody fancies it
Does anybody have a can opener?
We could use a stone or something
Yeah – let’s stone it
They stone the can of beans
Hunter 1:What was that?
I thought I heard something
Some children. Laughing –
Did you hear anything?
(Silence – they listen)
I thought about taking a lot of pills.
I thought about cutting open my veins, going out like a Roman, sitting in the bath and enjoy the end while reading my favorite book, but then I thought, shit, – we don’t have a bath. We never had the money to replace our shower with a bathtub. She always complains about it. Says the kids should live in a house with the bath – and anyway – I can’t even decide what is my favorite book. It all seems so staged, so thought-out.I thought about hanging myself, but it’s not so easy. Too many things can go wrong. Maybe the hook isn’t strong enough, the rope could break, worst case, you risk hanging a long time before you actually die!
It’s like that – That’s the terrible thing – like when you have the feeling that you don’t even own your own words
Not even your feelings
They are – They are not even like /
We know how you feel
They feel even /
– made up?
Made up –
the moment you say them – As you say them – As you speak
I think it's psychological
Damned sure it’s psychological!
I get so frustrated sometimes
Just so fucking FRUSTRATED –
I just feel like screaming
What if I can’t function
What if I’m like
Like a piece of machinery, like – just
PUFF – and then – no more
Just like scrap
You are not broken
You are not broken, Julian.
I mean – There is a certain kind of framework that you are supposed to fit into
Consensus paralyses action
I mean – if the idea of what you cannot do is stronger than the idea about what you can do
Like the sniper
What about the sniper?
When he hits
I mean – there is the voice of reason and then the will to act and then –
the sniper –
These are the days of the sniper That’s what I think It’s all about what you do and what you say Cause and effect Cause and effect
Like when the link is broken then – If what you say – does not mean anything
There is no effect
And the sniper?
That’s what I mean
So – If the link is broken, then –
You have guns?
Sometimes I feel
Like I’ve just lost my voice
I have now voice
I open my mouth to speak – and its just –
Emil and Lina:
Why do you have guns if you are not going to use them?
So you mean –
This is the time of the sniper
You just get yourselves ready, climb on top of a roof
choose your spot
PART 5 – DARKNESS
We have it all and we know it’s precious
And all we can feel, is the darkness
All we can see, is the darkness
All we can think, is darkness
Julian alone on the stage)
in the beginning was the word you
did not hear me did not see me did
not cover your eyes did not hear
a word think a thought did not hear
me breathing your breathing it is for you
I stand in darkness for you I
am night I am the blackness
that surrounds me it’s like
the air in your lungs I
pour gasoline over me can
you hear the sound of it like water
heavy water that swirls
that leaps across the wall the
dam that falls to the ground
spreads itself out touches your
feet you stand barefoot in it it folds
around you you do not hear my thoughts
not a word you do not know that
which is going to happen a work of art
that’s what will happen we will
make a work of art
that is what you will do you are all there
you are all invited
you are all a part of my story you
are my work of art your lives
your fears your memories
your thoughts your
feelings the fucking that already
goes on in your heads that which you detest
the punches the caresses the way you can’t stop
thinking about your children your cat
and the wind fills the hall
it caresses our necks it is
so cold a rough hand and even
if it is there the air is still
it is all a totally still as if the
air that’s there was constituted by our breath as
if in this hall on this peninsula we are
running out of it the air
we breath it stinks soon it will reek of gasoline
I have begged you to come you
all know each other I know you all
you have all become one word for me that’s
enough that you are here that you know
why we know each other we
sleep with one another we kill
each other we make each other
sick we love
one another we hate we have
had enough of one another and still
we want more … that is all
a complete murky darkness … you
sit here like blind as
you learn to see with your
senses to read with your minds as your fears are being
unlocked the singing in you and your heart breaks out
into the open out of your
narrow chests but you are
caught here in this waiting in this
silence in the silence of the other and the
silencing of others … as we avoid
each other’s gaze
we are on an island of bliss we are
the makers of Utopia that will arise
from the truth that I speak we will
die you and you and
me and you
and your child in your home and the
dog and the deer as the forest burns down as
it all burns down as
the oceans rise aflame you will be
on this island in an ocean of flames you
as the ice turns to heat you are
the heart of my art
the eye of the storm
I have this gasoline and this matchstick with it
I will draw your portraits … you will
burn for my art for
our joint venture
each and every one of you will become
an artist and as one finally
like one… you take leave of your personalities you
will become pure colours you
will become my colours you
will become all ears you
can hear every word I say
(he lights a match)
you rise as I
burn for you I stand
aflame before your eyes
who of you will take his jacket off which one
of you will take his jacket off and throw it
over me which one of you will try
to put out the fire
… as I run through this dark crowd like
a fireball to put you all alight
you and you
and you and you
and you …
while we all
turn into language not flesh
not blood not hair heart only
words freedom will blow you wide open turn you into
word-bodies language-bodies all
languages spoken as one
this peninsula is my Babylon and I am
we are shadows
shadows of words
deep inside you there is light
you are all lit up
like through a window you can spot your own
inner selves can you read your
own hearts what is written there
in the dusk
that which makes what’s readable
this night smells of gasoline
hear how I sing
Its night on the island
Julian stands aflame
The crowd is applauding
The Crocodile is asleep
the Squirrel rests all curled up in the arms of the Badger
he is dreaming of candy floss and little brown nuts
Ekornet ligger i armene på grevlingen
hun drømmer om sukkerspinn og små brune nøtter
Do you see that, wedge? Between those two mountains?
There. From over here it looks as if somebody has struck a wedge between those two mountains – that tiny crack over there, can you see it?
Ah, over there.
Hunter 1:They say that one day it will crack wide open. That an abyss will open up underneath it. Nobody knows when. It could be tomorrow, or a hundred years from now.
Kate is roaming through the house
She is searching for something, but she cannot find it
She is checking out the breadbin
Where are you –
My little crocodile?
Have you gone hiding
– little fox?
Come out! She cries
No need to hide anymore!
– let’s play a game together
Let me fill your pockets with candy and gold
I will build you a palace – I will be whom ever you want me to be
Look – I am a baby bear
I will get you a spaceship
You’ll be the astronauts
I’ll be the space-cadet
Let me fetch the sun for you
PART 6 – THE HUNT
Who’s there in the woods?
It’s a squirrel She’s crying
In her sleep she says
I don’t want to play anymore
I don’t want to be a squirrel anymore
You are lying. All of you!
Sometimes it is as if we are dreaming
We just keep on walking
Keep on walking and as the children leave the peninsula behind
The hunters are hunting
The children are deep in the woods
They are leaving a trail behind them – a plastic bag, a rubber band, a chocolate wrap and a yellow baseball caps
The badger has lost his shoes
He does not know what way to turn
Do you think they still remember us?
They remember us
Hey – did you hear that?
What happened? Did you fall?
Are you ok?
There it was again
I’m alright. I’ll manage.
Are you sure?
Ja – I heard something. I saw something moving
Could it have been a fox or something?
Or a squirrel?
It could have been a squirrel
The hunters stop
They lower their guns
then – Nothing
But you saw it too?
Ja – I think –
It was there – as big as a child?
(Lina turns to Emil)
Maybe it’s not such a big deal
Whether one lives or dies
If you get hit, you mean?
Maybe it’s all the same
What would you miss?
Don’t worry – I am not going suicidal on you
It’s a possibility
I’ve always considered it a possibility. Sort of a privilege even.
That you can shoot yourself in the face if you wanted to
PART 7 – GARBAGE
Did you hear what happened! One of the neighbours, that old maths-teacher, he went to pick up his grandson at the kinder garden and came back with the wrong kid.
Returning all happy and content with the wrong kid
Why are you telling met this?
Are you scared?
Are you scared of messing up?
Forgetting your childrenof something being wrong – going wrong
of not doing the right thing?
What do you mean – “doing the right thing”
I’m always right t
Before I was careful. I recycled every little item.
If I wasn’t sure I just put it to the side until later. I started thinking about it like raw material. Paper, plastic and all that. Hazardous waste, electronics, wood, aluminum
Now it seems endless.Little by little I’ve just lost my patience. The emotions got me. First it was just a little carelessness. A framed photograph that I just couldn’t deal with dismantling it in order for the paper to go with paper, glass with glass, aluminum with aluminum, wood with wood. I just threw it in a garbage bag and as soon as I did that – the entire system was flawed So, in the end – that’s what we all doWe just stuff it all in garbage bags and drag it to the front lawn and there they just stand hundreds thousands of black garbage bags. No one no longer has any idea of what is what: photo albums with kitchen appliances and stereos and books and pamphlets from every organization – clothes.Heaps of winter coats one for each winter, and all the tiny fibers in all the other coats,
all the filling
filling the garbage cans
all this winter
heaped up in the front yards
Five thousand pairs of shoes.
in the roundabouts
Smelly old crusty leather piles
In the school yards
dragging with them some filth from some long gone
It nauseates me.
Sometimes I just wish it would all explode, all of it, just so that we don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Lina keeps roaming through the fur coats
A piece of art
A piece of shit
I hate things!
Why can’t they just self-terminate!
Why can’t they just explode!
This is where we are living
This is our home
Kate parks her Qashqai
She’s been out looking for the kids. She can’t find them
What is it Kate?
Lina enters the kitchen
She enters the living room
She walks upstairs and then down again
What is it Lina?
I cannot bear it anymore
It’s like acid – corrosion
What is it –
the smell /
– like a cat breaking down inside me a porcupine
a seagull, a lumpfish,
an old rat
To think how she carried this ugly old mug with her, from apartment to apartment, –
She is leaving the basement
She is in the living room
She is holding the jug
She has these candlesticks
She has this Danish statue of white children grimacing
She has these hand-made coasters
She has this African quilt
these silver spoons
these silver forks
these silver knives
This painting of a quiet man
and this chair
and this chair – and she starts to shoot
at random first
just randomly at her stuff
at her paintings
Kate:I can’t find them
You can’t find who?
her pots and pans
all the leftovers
They’re not with the neighbours?
Julian:I thought you said they were with the neighbors
Drop the gun Lina
Drop the gun!
She goes out
She is heading for higher ground
Let go of the gun!
She lets go of the gun
She is not thinking about slugs
Deep in marsh
In the cold
In the dark – the children are no longer playing
Soon it will be snow
The hunters do what hunter do
They are hunting
They are getting their guns ready
They are sharpening their knifes
I was thinking about doing some fishing. Putting out some nets.
But that’s illegal, isn’t it?
And you are going to do it anyway
It’s only for the good
Thinning it out
Thinning it out?
The fish are too small. And there’s too many of them. So, I am thinning it out
In the river?
You are thinning the river because there are too many small fish in the pond?
Darkness is falling
Snow soon covers the silky slopes
The moons up
Only the Fox is awake
She has gone hunting
She does not care about the snow, or the moon
She is not gazing into the fire
She is hunting
She is a turtle too big for her shell
a princess shedding her skin
She is just like her mother –
Did you hear that?
The sound of nothing
You know, when I started shooting, I just could not stop. I just kept doing it. I thought – I’ll just go on doing it until there is nothing left. Until it’s all reduced to pieces. Until it’s all gone.
The hunters are in the marsh
Following tiny footprints in the snow
Let’s look further up the river
That’s what it’s called
Because of that guy that lived down there
His hand was so deformed that it looked like a hook, all crocked. Like this
(he shows him) That’s what they say, anyways.
These things happen
What is it?
I’m not sure.
I think it’s a fox. It’s not a squirrel, not a hare. Too heavy
– it might be a fox
Under the branches
It is really big. As big /
– as a six year-old.
I got it.
Are you sure it’s an animal?
I got it
Should we not – I think it’s –
The sound of a gunshot
What was that?
What was what?
It was as if fire touched my back.
I felt nothing
It was as if the ground moved
Did you get it?
I think so
NoLook it’s running – there – between those two big pines
Julian:Did you feel it too?
This is no island, it’s a peninsula
It is what it is. What it’d always been
And there is a quiver
and Kate takes Julian’s hand as the hunters hold on to their guns
This isn’t right
And the snow swirls as the children awakes from their sleep and looks at each other
Where is she?
She was here – but where is she?
And they get up
And they start running
And the badger starts falling behind
But they cannot find her
She’s all gone
We cannot find her
The snow must have covered her tracks
the Fox is deep in the woods
she is not running, she is falling
she gets up
and she falls
She is panting
alone on a slippery slope
underneath the branches
She is nowhere
She could be anywhere
Says the badger, putting down her battle axe
I know, I know – it just won’t do
Let’s go home
Says the Squirrel that is a girl
That no longer pretending to be a squirrel
Says the Crocodile that is a boy
No longer pretending to be a crocodile
He wants his mother
And the Fox says nothing
It’s just breathing. That’s all it does, and then it stops
And the ground is shaking
And the fox lies there
And a woodcock says:
(the sound of a woodcock)
And a little brown field mouse says:
(the sound of a field mouse)
And the hunter says:
There it was again – did you feel it!?!
And an owl, and the minx, and a weasel
and the bear and the hare and the beaver
And a deer and a fink and even a tiny lemming is there
With the forest – why is it so restless?
They sayWith that little fox?
Why is she just lying there?
Why is she not moving?
She is beautiful
Says the weasel
Will she just lie there?
Says the mouse
Will she never move again?
And the wolf howls
And the birds stops singing – as stones and rocks starts rolling down the slopes
and the rumbling grows higher
and the river spills its water unto the marshes
and the lake rips open like a ripe fruit
Pouring its sweet water into the ocean as the rivers ripple – as the Badger clings to the Crocodile
As the Squirrel clings to the Badger
And the Crocodile keeps slamming its tail in the mud shouting to see if her voice is bigger than the rumble
As the peninsula starts tearing itself away from the mainland
as if it had a will of its own
Look at the trees!
Look at the hill!
look at the forest!
It is! It is!
Look at my belly!
Says the Crocodile he jumps and shout between twigs and branches
Look at my tale!
Says the Squirrel as the world rips open
All still now
The petrol station is gone
Bye bye children
Bye bye mainland
Bye bye hunters
How can it be gone?
Are you there?
Julian:Kate – I don’t want to die now
Kate:You are not going to die
Can you just hold me!
I think this is it
This is the world coming to an end
What did you say?
Just my luck.
We’re not that lucky
I cannot hear anything for all the noise!Julian:
No need to celebrate. We’ll surviveHow strange – I don’t get itI feel like this is all a metaphorMaybe it’s all just a metaphorI don’t get it JulianYou’ve always been so good with metaphors
Can you just hold me
Can you just hold me, just for a minute
If you were a bird
You would see it
A peninsula tide to the mainland and then a crack
Straight across eide
You would see the suburbs, and the lake and the kindergarten
You could see eide
And then the wood and the marshland and the little dead fox
The roundabout gone and a trail of ants
and a tree, with a man tied to it and then suddenly a crack
and you would see how the crack open wider – chewing up the tree – the man – the trail of ants
leaving the interior on one side
and the peninsula on the other
PART 8 – THE ISLAND
I’we always thought of this as an island anyway
Well, at least the ferry is still running
But no petrol station –
Do you know, I tried bungy-jumping once. That really worked for me. Youshould try it some time.
Do you miss them as much as I do?
That little fox that used to hide under our bed?
That little crocodile that always wanted to eat
his slippers for breakfast
Calling it crocodile-food
Ah – Smell the grass
So fresh in the morning
There it is
The island that once was a peninsula
Floating like on its own like a giant scull, it tips
ever so slowly in the water
Isn’t it lovely?
It’s so lovely here, this time of year – on this island?
swaying then stabilizing
Drifting further and further from the mainland
Away from the woods
Away from the children –
Fox lies under the branches
a little yellow fink watches over it
Insects are building nets in its pointed ears
I am hungry
We’ll eat soon
the Squirrel and the Badger:
We’ll find some berries
Or a house
I hate mushrooms
Let’s make a snowman!
Over there – a path!
the badger and the crocodile:
Let’s take it!
What if it takes us all the way into town!
I have a twenty-dollar bill
We could get a hot dog, or a pizza,
Or a steak
I want a big, fat bloody steak
The Badger that really is a boy starts humming
The Squirrel is right behind him
Here comes the boogyman
Here comes the hammerfish
(As the characters leaves the stage)
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