Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a great darkening presence

What some of us missed in the acting edition and others informed us of from their reading edition:

(A great shadow, or darkening, fills the stage; it is the shadow of a great presence filling the room …

This stage direction continues for several more lines. A few more lines in both editions from Julian, and then a concluding stage direction that is ampler in the reading edition. Both editions are copyrighted 2001!

This discrepancy remains for me the greatest mystery involved in Tiny Alice. Even the hyena and the anus trail behind.

After our very good discussion of this play—I'm always amazed at how much more we uncover together—I re-read the third act. It's much more readable in the reading edition (of course) and I can appreciate better the themes others were talking about, but my opinion of the play as a whole remains unchanged. And I have to wonder how compelling even its fans find Julian's final speech—long(ish) and rambling (or so it seems to me … with no better memory from Gielgud's delivery forty-seven years ago).

I must confess, however, without having to look too deep into my own soul, that the topic of martyrs and martyrdom hold absolutely no interest for me ... more particularly the wish to be a martyr. Jesus didn't! (And let no one think the motes in his eyes will be any the safer after the parading of this beam in mine.)

No comments: