On our final spin round the Nursery Carousel, Buffet told the story of Steve, a zookeeper with a drinking problem, whose boozy behaviour was deeply upsetting to Duncan, the talking orangutan. Duncan, feeling like he can no longer trust his human keeper, turns his back on him and refuses to obey him until Steve gets his drinking under control. Whilst Steve’s ‘lads lads lads’ mates are in the pub, trying to encourage him to have a pint, our jester asked the audience to pick a card from the Wildcard deck. Every card in the deck has a different meaning and changes the story in some way. To our absolute delight, the Queen was picked, which meant the scene turned into a musical! A raucous song ensued (somewhere between “Master of the House” from Les Mis and “No One Fights like Gaston” from Beauty and the Beast), and Steve decides to leave his burly, boozing buddies to seek medical advice.
Doctor and nurse deliver some hard truths to Steve; his liver is on its last metaphorical legs. There is only one solution. He must visit Barbara, the life coach. She is famous for noble literary works, such as “Learn to play the piano to control your debt” and delivers redemption through music. Steve encounters Barbara, and halfway through the scene, the pesky jester makes another appearance and asks the audience to pick a card. This time it’s the ‘Alphabet’ card, where our players must speak in the order of the alphabet (one player starts a sentence beginning with A, the other with B etc until they get through the whole alphabet). Through this (hilarious) game, it transpires that Barbara’s advice to Steve is to take up the oboe. When he does, he discovers that as well as creating beautiful music, his oboe also produces different Kellogg’s products. (Because that’s what happens when you’re under pressure and get to ‘K’ in the alphabet).
Armed with his new musical and cereal talent, Steve returns back to the zoo to make amends with Duncan, the talking orangutan. At this point, our audience pick our final card, which is ‘New Object’. The object selected by the audience is pommel horse (that’s what happens when you ask a room full of improvisers for a suggestion). So our final scene of forgiveness, redemption and reunion takes place whilst Duncan the talking orangutan is straddled upon a pommel horse. Of course. Duncan, impressed by Steve’s tee-total commitment, and his new found cereal-producing, musical prowess, learns to forgive. Lessons were learnt all round, in this heart-warming story of man and monkey.
Thank you to the Nursery for hosting Buffet on the Carousel; we had a fantastic time!