I bet Shakespeare could look you in the eye and tell you who you are – so well-versed in the ways of people he was. And he could then place you upon the stage, and have an actor have a go at you. With puns and foibles and insights.
Thus do I repeat my Shakespeare (if not Shakespearean) homage.
The stage is as bare as my lady’s ass in his lordship’s bedchamber. Rough-hewn in the most knockabout way, leaving splinters in the palace lawns of the imagination.
There’s many a dip ‘twixt the trap and the lip.
It fares little better than hastily strewn boards covering parched ground, and barely enough elevation to keep the understanding masses at bay.
Were one fool enough to come from out the wings, and at centre front begin a soliloquy about the beauty of the wretched arena on which he stands, to fight the resulting and justified spontaneous combustion, there would not be found one drop of piss from any a Thespian’s hose.
For who could allow this sacrilege to be spoken?
Even the flag atop the pole knows that the magic is not yet arrived.
A stage without commercial trappings:
without solid doors and thick drapes;
uncluttered by pillars and arches, tables and chairs, windows and fireplaces;
sans orchestra, sans balcony, sans pit.
A stage revealing all its secrets. Profound as emptiness.
A stage in wait.
For in this world writ small – as in the globe around – the audience has nothing to know, nothing to learn, until the actor makes an entrance, and prepares to fight past our eyes to battle with those thoughts and fears which lurk in sheltered halls.
What’s Hecuba to him?
Why – nothing.
Merely a name on a page of script, a cue at which to turn his profile thus.
It is what Hecuba becomes to we who wait,
that turns the key upon the heavy gate.