Sunday, April 10, 2011
Hi diddle de dee!
Well we went back to Clonmel and played our tragic tale once again to a higher but by no means incalculable number of patrons.
They gave us many compliments, many compliments indeed, and so I need hardly point out that they were a particularly discerning audience of unparalleled good taste.
Next week we'll be in Cork, but for the moment, I am as idle as the superannuated man. The end of ' Five kinds of Silence ' is in sight and I'm already grasping desperately around for some project to distract my brain and fill up my empty existence as soon as 'Five' is kindly silenced permanently.
I had hoped that the act of simply being in the room with an audience might give me an idea or two but so far, nada; nor have my e-mails R.E. Bloomsday in Oslo born fruit and so.... what to do, what to do?
I did have an idea before to organise a performance of 'The Beckett Lebowski' where nine characters ( trapped inside bowling pins in a similar fashion to the three people trapped in urns in Samuel Beckett's ' play' ) would act out all the dialogue of the Coen Brothers film: I love the way that phrases (beginning with George Bush Snr's "this aggression will not stand") reverberate from conversation to conversation in a constant language-echo-effect that I thought would suit the Beckett treatment,— but now that a chap has brought out a Shakespearean re-working of the fillum, well, The Beckett Lebowski looks like a load of copycat crapola.
The fact that Two Gentlemen of Lebowski is really quite well-written and works way-way better than my malformed idea does nothing to help matters.
Nothing at all.
Here's a sample where Sir Walter of Poland entreats Jack Smoke to "Mark it Zero":
Nay! I do protest, and draw my sword;
It shall teach thee to disobey my word.
Mark none but none into that bowler’s frame,
Else thou shalt enter to a world of pain.
A world of pain, think upon’t; unhappy world!
A lake of fire, rich with damnèd souls,
Gulfs of anguish ‘twixt vales of agonies.
Mark me; we stand at twisted, jealous gates
Of cast-iron, above which, in vulgar tongue, reads
“Here is a world of pain, thou enterest thus.”
My steel before thee, ‘tis the last of keys
I' faith, could lock these doors, and keep thee
From this world of pain, or with one flick
Ope its mashing maw, and summon winds
To cast thee down within; an excellent key!
Farewell to earthly delights, farewell to friends,
To fellowships and follies and amends.
The choice to spare thy passage through these trials
Is thine alone; take heed, I entreat thee,
And turn thy back upon this world of pain!
Walter, put up thy sword; tarry a moment.
Hath this whole world been mired in madness?
Remain ye men of faculty complete,
Of full arithmetic and prudence fair,
Attending to our noble bond and contract?
Or does here stand the last remaining man
To give a fig for rules and order yet,
No noble savage, but a stave unbroken
Who loves the law and bids it no misdeed.
I’ll not be bent to lawlessness. Mark it nought, if we be men of honour.
Walter, too long we have tarried on public fields; the constable is notified. I pray you,
sheath thy piece.
Mark it nought, else I’ll none.
Good Sir Walter, speak with reason!
Dost thou think I tarry idly? Mark it nought!
Yea, I shall yield, and leave it to your pleasure.
Mark as thou wilt, in full and legal measure.
[Exit JACK SMOKE. WALTER sits]
In sooth, Walter, thou hast wounded me horribly.
Jack Smoke is cut of cloth alike my humour;
Peaceable men we, for peaceable times,
And Jack Smoke is a man of soft conscience.
That he is conscious, I mark thee; I attend well.
In tender youth I dabbled in a course
To seek and hear moral philosophy.
Encount’ring pacifism on that road,
Though ne’er in Orient jungle, beshrew me; yet
I thought upon’t e’en on fields of war.
Thou markest that Jack Smoke hath woes of mind.
Faith, beyond pacifism?
He is a man of fragility, sir, and like to shatter.
“Like”; yet I mark not his fragile dust,
Nor saw him break, nor melt, nor cleave in two.
The heated moment passeth, river-tide
Below a bridge in Exeter. Speak, Knave,
Are we not victorious in our sport?
We progress as do rakes; or be I wrong?
No, thou speakest true—
Be I wrong?
No, sir, thy speech is straight and true. But yet thou speakest not, for thou hast not spoken
but brayed, in the manner of an ass.
Fair; then I am an ass; let it be writ down that I am an ass. Then, mark well; the Knave
and his partner, an ass, shall play again at ninepins in half a fortnight, their skills match’d
against Joshua Quince and Liam O’Brien. They worry me not; they shall be o’er-pushed
An we play again in seven days and seven nights, I pray you, be of good humour.
“Be of good humour!” ‘Tis thine answer to everything.
Mark: thy peaceable nature, while conceiv’d
In upright spirit, meant for noble deeds,
May cited be by devils for their purpose.
Mark the Arab king in foreign land,
The base Mesopotamian, who lieth with steed.
Thou present’st to me a wall to hide behind
‘Twas born of truce in fear and frighten’d mind.
I pray you, be of good humour.
I am as calm as still waters, Knave.
As steel waters, I’ll warrant; put up thy
Icy blade! Crack not gory tales of war!
My calmness exceeds thine.
Be of ease, I pray you! Be of good cheer,
And let us not repeat what happen’d here!
My calmness exceeds thine. But hark; here comes a visitor.
It really is quite good.
Two Gentlemen of Lebowski site.