In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 27.2 (2005) 106-113



[Access article in PDF]

Count Cagliostro's Animals

Translated by Daniel C. Gerould

Characters

ALBANDINE: A fellow raised from childhood in a bottle, approximately three feet tall.

BARTHOLOMEW: A creature thin as a rail with extremely long legs, played by an actor on stilts.

CATHERINE: CAGLIOSTRO's medium.

(COUNT CAGLIOSTRO's property room in a Parisian cellar. BARTHOLOMEW is standing with his face at the cellar window, which is too high for ALBANDINE and CATHERINE to look out.)
ALBANDINE:
Any news?
(BARTHOLOMEW shakes his head negatively.)
ALBANDINE:
I don't like it . . . But tell me, Bartholomew . . . has nothing really happened? . . . Well, I mean, it can't keep on like this forever . . . The uncertainty has me terrified (tearfully), it isn't our fault, is it . . . But tell me, Bartholomew, tell me, what kind of shoes did you see most often in the street today?
BARTHOLOMEW:
I already told you, the number of shabby black shoes with low heels has been on the increase since yesterday. Oh, look there . . . too bad you can't see the sort of legs that just went by. They must belong to an apprentice. Lots of apprentices have been walking down the street for the last two days.
ALBANDINE:
Lots of apprentices? That's odd. Might be worth pondering . . .
CATHERINE:
Dumbbell.
ALBANDINE:
What? . . . What's that supposed to mean, Catherine?
CATHERINE:
Just what I said. You're a dumbbell—period. What of it if apprentices are walking down the street? That's some reason to get agitated.
BARTHOLOMEW:
It may be more significant than you imagine.
ALBANDINE:
I imagine . . .[End Page 106]
CATHERINE:
Who cares what you imagine? Cagliostro hasn't given us anything to eat for two days. And that idiot is hatching theories about . . . apprentices. If this goes on much longer, I'll go beserk. But maybe what you're saying about those apprentices is right after all. It's beyond me. I'm a simple down-to-earth girl. I feel sad and I'm hungry. (She begins to cry.)
ALBANDINE:
Stop it, Catherine.You know how susceptible I am to women's tears.You know that when I was bottled up in the flask, my tear glands floated to the top of my head. So now I can't burst into tears because Cagliostro corked me before he went out. So I'm suffering terribly.
CATHERINE:
I'll try to pull the cork out for you. You'll feel better.
ALBANDINE:
Can't be done. The cork is kept firmly in place on the strength of a spell known only to Cagliostro. Besides, if I don't cry, it doesn't particularly bother me.
BARTHOLOMEW:
The cork will pop out when the walls of Paris echo the spell.
ALBANDINE:
What's that you're saying, Bartholomew, maybe you have some news from town? Bartholomew, why don't you answer? Bartholomew, you must know something . . .
BARTHOLOMEW:
No use talking with you two as long as you belittle the lot of the apprentices.
ALBANDINE:
But we're not belittling anything, Bartholomew, how can you say that . . . we assure you, Bartholomew, the lot of those you mentioned is close to our hearts. Isn't that right, Catherine, we didn't belittle the lot of the apprentices?
CATHERINE:
(Softly.) Go on, Bartholomew.
BARTHOLOMEW:
When Cagliostro bought me as a young lad, he decided to make me long in the legs. You probably know that story, but unless you do, you'll never understand the problem of the apprentices. So he hung me by the legs in a tannery which had been leased by one of his freemason friends. My childhood and tender youth were passed in a gentle swinging amidst the aroma of raw ox hide. Every so often the master stretched my legs on a machine especially constructed for that purpose, whose patent Cagliostro sold a year ago to the Kingdom of Switzerland. You remember that abominable performance we gave for the Swiss in June last year . . .
CATHERINE:
Oh, of course...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
pp. 106-113
Launched on MUSE
2005-06-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.