Melody Delilah (Scene 1)
Name: The character who is talking
[italics]: The stage directions
---: The interruptions in speech
Cast List for Scene 1
The following is the cast list for my script:
Scene One ‘The First Visit’
The action takes place in Bedfordshire Zoo. The place is home to many animal attractions including lions, birds and beavers.
Fourteen year old Melody Delilah is an only-child, curious, brave and compassionate. She is dressed in a summer frock. With Melody is her Mother who is in her early forties. She is a businesswoman. She is carrying around a mobile-phone in her hand because she is expecting a call from her office. She is a dedicated worker and a loving parent.
Melody looks into various animal cages whilst her Mother walks behind her.
Melody (concerned): Look at that lizard. His leg seems to be damaged.
Mother (to herself): A trip to the zoo. What could possibly go wrong?
Melody and Mother go to the ‘Ape and Monkey Habitat’ section of the park and look at the gorillas. The gorillas are kept behind bars in an open field. The gate into the enclosure does look climbable.
Melody (whilst pointing to the gorillas in the cage): Don’t you think it’s cruel that those gorillas are kept in a cage all day and all night?
Mother (earnestly): Yes love but that’s the way the world works I suppose. (pauses) The zoo is a business. Just like mine they provide a service and that service is to showcase animals to the public. They seem to be well fed.
Melody: Yes I know that, but I bet they still get neglected. Such poor creatures. Look at this one.
Melody points to the hairiest Gorilla in the cage with ruby waxed eyes.
Melody: It looks rather upset.
Mother: Oh darling you have such a vivid imagination, don’t you? I’m sure it’s happy.
Melody (whilst looking at Mother): I’m not convinced.
Mother: Should we settle this?
Mother calls over to the other side of the habitat.
Mother: Excuse me Zoo Keeper. Hello excuse---
Melody (interrupts): ---Mum.
The Male Zookeeper standing by the gibbon cage notices Mother calling him. He comes over to Melody and Mother.
Male Zookeeper: Hello there citizens. What can I do for you? I hope you are enjoying the zoo especially the Ape and Monkey Habitat, my personal favourite area.
Mother: We are thank you. My daughter and I were disputing over whether---
Melody (interrupts): We wanted to know whether the gorillas are happy living here. Like this one.
Melody points to the same gorilla as before.
Melody: It looks depressed. That’s not really fair is it?
Male Zookeeper (confidently): I can assure you that all of our animals are content. They are fed, watered and given shelter---
Melody (interrupts): ---I do hope so.
Mother: Thank you zookeeper. That’s very kind of you to answer our question.
Male Zookeeper (rather patronising): That’s kind of my job. (Laughs to himself)
Mother: See darling the---
Mother’s phone vibrates, playing a ding-dong ringtone.
Mother: Sweetheart, it’s work.
Mother points to a place next to the toilets.
Mother: I’ll just be over here for a second. I won’t be too long, hopefully.
Melody: Righto, I’ll just entertain myself then.
Melody stares at the gorillas in the cage. She wonders what it would be like if she was kept in a zoo. After this thought, Melody notices a gorilla, the same one she pointed at earlier, coming towards the cage bars and directly looking at her.
Gorilla: It’s rude to stare you know.
At the sound of the gorilla talking, Melody jumps. She then looks behind to see if Mother heard anything. Mother is too busy talking on the phone to her boss. She then looks at the Male Zookeeper who is reading a book upon a bench.
Melody (daringly): Blimey this is gonna sound crazy but did you (points at the gorilla) just speak?
Gorilla: It’s not silly if it’s true. You are hearing me Melody.
Melody (amazement): Gosh blimey. Umm wait a minute. Did you just say my name? This is weird. No, this is crazy. It’s not like umm that you get to speak to umm a gorilla every day. I’m not Doctor Dolittle or anything.
Gorilla: (laughing) You’re funny.
Melody looks around again at Mother and Male Zookeeper who have not noticed still.
Melody (shocked): Okay, okay. Why are you talking to me if you’re talking to me?
Gorilla (reassuringly): Well Melody you seemed to be the only one here who has properly taken notice of us gorillas. I mean you are concerned about our health, which is very kind. I can reassure you now that we are fed, watered and sheltered. We even have games.
Gorilla points at the tire at the other side of the enclosure.
Gorilla: See that tire over there? We can swing on it. This isn’t the wild but it will do.
Melody: But you have to admit you do look sad.
Gorilla: Well you have to admit you do look silly. Sorry that was rude of me. Oh I’m Brongo by the way.
Melody (confused): Umm Brongo, I’m Melody. Oh wait you somehow knew that already.
Brongo: It’s a lovely name, Melody Delilah. Anyway if you ever come back and I hope you do I would love to talk some---
Mother (interrupting): ---Right all done. Ready to go home Melody?
Melody looks in astonishment from Brongo to her Mother then back again. Melody is speechless.
Mother: Well Melody?
Melody (regaining her voice): Yes sorry. I’m ready to go. (pauses) I think.
Melody and Mother slowly walk out of the Ape and Monkey Habitat with Mother thanking Male Zookeeper on their way. They walk by the sea lions, the birds, the tigers, all the way to the car park.
Mother (concerned): Melody, are you okay? You look like you have seen Father Christmas.
Melody (hesitantly): I think that Gorilla (pauses you know the one I pointed to---
Mother (interrupting): ---Yes.
Melody: It talked to me. Yes it did. He said his name was Brongo and that you were right that he is fed, watered and sheltered and even has---
Mother looks at Melody in disbelief.
Mother (forcefully): Don’t be ridiculous. Gorillas can’t talk Melody. You know that right?
Melody: Yes I know that. But whilst you were on the phone to your office this one did. Oh how is work going anyway?
Mother: Never mind that. Right let’s get you home and run a hot bath.
Melody is shocked at what Mother has just told her.
Melody: I’m not ill. I just had a once in a lifetime experience.
Mother: You’re telling me. Oh here’s our car.
Mother struggles with the car keys. The key gets jammed in the locked. After a few tries, she manages to open the door
Mother: Stupid keys. Right get in unless you have a date with Jingo or whatever he’s called.
Melody: Brongo. No I haven’t.
During their car-ride home Melody sits quietly dwelling over her experience with Brongo. Mother, whilst driving, keeps looking at Melody in astonishment through the car mirror.
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