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Aesop’s Fables Sample

The Lights come up on a deserted Greek Theatre. A gentle wind is blowing. We suddenly hear echoes from the Play. An elderly, shuffling figure enters from the Centre Door on the platform. He looks around, smiling knowingly. As he begins to approach the Altar, he seems to stoop less and appears to get younger. He feels the Altar, climbs onto it and curls up. The Stage is now in semi-darkness; the only source of light comes from unseen flickering lanterns. We can just make out the unkempt figure of Aesop, curled up and fast asleep on the Altar. He yawns, stretches and mutters in his sleep. Terpsichore, Euterpe and Polyhymnia enter and gather round the Altar. All of the other three Muses enter, greeting each other. Urania waves her hands and the skies light up, bathing the stage in an ethereal light.


Clio and Erato wake Aesop up, by gently kissing him. He slowly awakens and yawns, rubs his eyes and tries to focus on them.


Muses Good morning, Aesop!


Startled, he falls off the Altar. They giggle. He stumbles to his feet and tries to make himself look a bit more presentable.


Aesop Sorry there, ladies. Just having forty winks, you know?


Muses We know.


Aesop Anything I can do for you, sweet ladies? A tale or two perhaps? A threnody or three? A fable or four?  


He produces a rather tattered, hide-bound volume and rifles through it.


Aesop Got some classics in here, though say it I shouldn’t. All mine, you know… Did I tell you I was a storyteller?


Terpsichore We know.


She dances around him, giggling. He is unsure about all this.


Aesop You know? About me, about my fables…?


Clio Historical ones…


Erato Poetical ones…


Euterpe Lyrical ones…


Polyhymnia Sacred ones…


Terpsichore Danceable ones…


Urania And astronomical ones!


They all laugh, kindly.


Aesop Are you winding me up? (Scratching his head) Who are you? What’s going on? I mean… I know my fables are, well, lyrical I suppose. Even slightly poetical. At a stretch maybe… But, historical?


Clio Could be.


Aesop Sacred…?


Polyhymnia Maybe.


Aesop Danceable…?


Terpsichore Possibly.


Aesop Astronomical?


Urania Definitely!


They all laugh again.


Aesop This is a wind up… Come on, now! Just who are you?


Terpsichore (Dancing) We are the Muses!


Aesop snorts with laughter.


Aesop You mean, the Daughters of Zeus? Famed goddesses of Parnassus? Skilled in all the Arts?


They nod.


Muses Yep…


Aesop Come off it! Anyway, I only count six of you… Shouldn’t there be nine?


Urania You’ll soon be meeting the other three of us.


Polyhymnia We’re here to prepare you.


Aesop (Unsure) For what exactly…?


Clio For immortality, silly!

 

Euterpe Let the Legend begin!


Aesop Legend? What legend…? Immortality…? I don’t understand?


Euterpe and Polyhymnia begin to sing and Terpsichore starts do dance. Soon the other Muses join in.


SYNOPSIS         CAST