Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Indrek Hargla (Estonia)

Andromedas Island

Text Extract


Instead of the sound of ocean waves we now hear the forest – rustle of the trees and forest birds. Ramon and Doris are in the forest, on their way to the castle. At the back of the stage are tree leaves covering the entry which we cannot see yet. On the foreground there is a stone or a tree branch that can be leaned on.

Doris supports Ramon, they come slowly because the path is difficult to walk on, they have to climb over branches and fallen trees.

Ramon moves on with his teeth pressed together, he is in pain, he is clearly exhausted and suffering. They stop in the middle of the stage.

DORIS: Let’s take a rest, shall we? (Ramon nods) How long do you think we’ve walked for? Are we half way there? Or more? I think we’re closer.

RAMON (pressing through his teeth): We… can’t… stay out in the dark.

Doris looks around and shrugs her shoulders. She supports Ramon when he leans on the stone.

DORIS: I can’t see, the trees are on the way, but we’re not far. Definitely! How’s your leg?

RAMON: Hurts a little.

DORIS: Show me!

Doris leans over and starts to untie the bandage. Ramon closes his eyes, he is in pain. When Doris takes the bandage off, she freezes for a moment.

RAMON: How is it?

DORIS: I’ll put some leaves on it. (She takes the leaves, puts them on the wound and ties it up. At the same time speaking) The main thing is that no dirt gets in it. It’ll be fine…

RAMON (arduously): Please, see if there’s any water here. A spring or…

Ramon is interrupted by the beautiful music that is now heard louder. Startled, they stop to listen.

DORIS: It’s coming from the fortress.

RAMON: I guess.

The music stops.

DORIS: Let’s rest and then we’ll keep going. There are people there, they’ll help…

RAMON: You go. Let me stay here.

DORIS: Stop it!

RAMON: Please!

DORIS: I’m not leaving you here on your own! Is that clear! End of story!

RAMON: I want to drink, Doris. I can’t go without water any more.

DORIS: If the music can be heard here then… it can’t be far.

RAMON: Too far for me.

DORIS: I’ll find something drink from the forest, ok? Maybe there are some raindrops on the leaves. This castle is not far any more. Wait here!

RAMON: Where do you think I can go?

DORIS: And maybe there are some fruits. You have to eat fruits, vitamins, you know.

RAMON: Don’t be like my… mother.

DORIS: Why not?

RAMON: Just… don’t.

Doris stops and thinks for a moment. Ramon’s head falls on his chest, he closes his eyes and breathes heavily.

Doris runs to get the leaves. She is looking for raindrops and disappears behind the stage, between the leaves.

Ramon stays on the foreground leaning on the stone, he is in pain, he is weak and exhausted. He does not see that Doris has disappeared between the leaves.

RAMON (calling weakly): Hey girl? Doris?

DORIS (offstage): Yes?

RAMON: Can you hear me?

DORIS (offstage): Yes.


RAMON: If there’s water… then drink. You drink… You know, I think I’ve heard of this island. I thought it’s a fairytale, but…

DORIS (offstage): What are you talking about?

RAMON: That there’s an island in the middle of the ocean where the shipwrecked can end up on, and only one of them…

DORIS (offstage): I can’t hear you…

RAMON: Oh, it must be just a fairytale…

Ramon’s eyes fall shut.

Doris appears from between the leaves, she is holding carefully a large leaf that probably has water on it. She steps very slowly. She arrives to Ramon and sees that he must have lost consciousness. Doris tips water on Ramon’s lips.

DORIS: Drink now, drink a little. It’s not a lot but it’s fresh clean water…

RAMON (recovers and opens his eyes. Whispering): The fairytale…

DORIS: Yes, like a fairytale, isn’t it. It’s the water of life, it gives you strength. Wait, I’ll get some more.

Ramon stays on the stone, Doris exits in between the leaves. The silent music is heard again.

Behind the leaves a passage is revealed. We have not seen this before. Andromeda comes out of it, she has a horned mask on her head. She steps slowly to Ramon and stops in front of him. Her pose expresses compassion when she leans over Ramon and whispers in his ear.

Ramon opens his eyes slowly and looks at the woman. Even if he is surprised, he has no strength to express it.

Andromeda waves her hand and a Guard comes out of the passage. He is wearing black and a mask, he is like a shadow or a phantom… The Guard comes to Ramon, takes the boy in his arms and they disappear in the passage between the leaves, the passage opening remains uncovered.

The music stops. From between the trees Doris appears, holding tree leaves that she carries with great care.

DORIS: Ramon? Did you hear that? It was the music again… (She sees that Ramon is gone). Ramon? Where are you? (She drops a leaf and runs around agitatedly) Ramon? Where did you go? Ramon?

Doris notices the opening and stops dismayed. She understands – this is the only place Ramon could have gone to.

She moves closer to the opening, hesitates, but not for long. She enters.


A girl and a boy are washed ashore, on an island, after a
shipwreck. They have to stay alive and find their way home. But the
boy is abducted by a woman who wears a horned mask and calls
herself Andromeda. It is her island. Ancient gods have punished
her for being vain. The Gods granted her eternal life and unearthly
beauty but put a spell on her as well. They took away her soul and
doomed her to live forever in solitude and to wear the mask. Whoever
sees her beauty is forever attracted to it. But Andromeda
herself is denied love and human feelings. Only when someone is
able to love her for whom she really is, without seeing her face,
can she be human again. Andromeda offers the children a choice:
one of them must stay, the other can go back home. They both
want to stay in order to save a friend’s life. The boy takes off
the mask, believing that the girl will leave, but she escapes and
goes on a quest to save her friend. She is willing to pay
whatever it takes to save the boy not knowing exactly why.
(In the end it turns aout that the whole quest was the dream of an
old widow in her deathbed. She dies happy, being able to experience
love and all the desires of her youth once more. Old people are
never really old, their souls stays young forever. Moments before
her death she relived her life story disguised as a romantic
adventure in which she was able to meet her dead husband once
again… and be young.)



VAT Teater, Tallinn / EE, March 2013

M: 1
F: 2