History of Western Theatre: 17th Century to Now/Spanish 21st
Included among noteworthy Spanish plays of the early 21st century: "Animales nocturnos" (The insomniacs, or more precisely Nocturnal animals, 2003) by Juan Mayorga (1965-?).
"Nocturnal animals". Time: 2000s. Place: Spain
The Tall Man is accosted by the Small Man, who tells him that he knows of his status as an illegal immigrant, but promises not to divulge this information provided he does as he says, mainly to serve him as a companion to talk with. The Tall Woman, wife to the Tall Man, reveals to him that a man with a hat flirted with her, but he is not worried by that. One day, he meets the The Short Man at the zoo, where they discuss the habits of nocturnal animals, such as the hedgehog. He cites the Greek lyric poet Archilochus (c. 680–c. 645 BC), who said that "The fox knows many things, the hedgehog only one, but of prime importance", but which he miscites as from the "Thousand and One Nights". The Short Woman, wife to the Short man, is an insomniac, listening to a late-night TV program meant to help insomniacs, but loud enough to disturb the Tall Man and the Tall Woman living in the apartment below. The Tall Woman receives the visit of the Short Man, to help repair an electric disturbance in their apartment. While poking around for the source of the problem, he enters their bedroom and touches the bed. Worried, the Tall Woman goes over to her husband's place of work as a night-time orderly in a hospital and mentions the Short Man's visit, at which time the Tall Man reveals the nature of their relation, one he feels is under control. The Tall Woman disagrees. The Short Man worries her far more. She threatens to leave the apartment with or without him. The Tall Man greets the Short Woman in a park. They speak of her husband, the Short Woman asking what she can do to help. Later, the Short Man and the Short Woman discuss their grievances to no avail. True to her word, the Tall Woman heads for the train station alone, to meet the man in the hat. Meanwhile, the Tall Man goes up to the Short Man's apartment, where he meets his wife, who wishes to dance with him, to the satisfaction of the Short Man, whose marriage problem may thereby be resolved. The Tall Man is the fox, the Short Man the hedgehog.