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All Of The Monkeys

    by Michael Park


       

Runner Up - Scarborough Drama Festival 
Scarborough, 2000 (adj: Sir Alan Ayckbourn)

Synopsis

Drama Play Script: 'All Of The Monkeys' by Michael Park

Danny is on a mission. His orders from the boss of ARK (Animal Rescue Korps) is to visit the small, run-down local zoo and free the monkeys from their cage. It will be his first time on active service and he wants to make a good job of it. In return, he might be allocated a bigger room in the large old house ARK members are occupying in the High Street.

Being the newest member, he has to endure less comfort than the more experienced activists, so he has planned out exactly how he will achieve the best results for the lowest risk. He will wait until half an hour before closing time before entering the zoo, and the warning bell will be the signal for him to put his bolt cutters to work on the cage. He is counting on being alone because the zoo doesn’t happen to be very popular, but he hasn’t been there five minutes before a young woman, Carol, arrives and seems reluctant to move on.

He is puzzled by the fact that the otherwise attractive girl has a large purple bruise near her eye, the result, so she claims, of walking into an open cupboard door. Danny by nature is chatty, and he finds himself inadvertently blurting out details of his supposedly secret existence. In turn, he learns that Carol has an abusive husband, the originator of the bruise which has caused her to finally walk out on him.

Danny finds parallels between releasing the monkeys and Carol breaking free from her domestic situation, even offering her sanctuary with ARK. But she insists she ought to get back to her husband as life isn’t too bad - she has everything money can buy and hubby is always sorry for his violent outbursts. She even taunts Danny, saying he hasn’t the nerve to free the monkeys, to which he has a simple answer when he cuts off the lock on their cage and opens the door.

In return, as he leaves, he dares her to walk away from her own ‘cage’. The play ends with Carol left still undecided which way to run.


Duration

45 mins approx

Characters

(1m, 1f)

  • Danny - young, enthusiastic but naïve, claims to be an animal rights activist
  • Carol - young, a battered wife, scared to break free from her abusive husband

       

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