#FE365 Alan Read

POSTED 09.01.2014

Continuing work is what matters. Not just to keep on keeping on. To say what one means? Maybe. But more to the point: to show, to tell, however that is possible from day to day.  In company.

The same sun that rose that day outside Athens, above the cavernous ground, safely distanced from the sea with its wayward sailors, rose above The World in Pictures. Plato would have approved of the name at least.

Forced Entertainment, more a condition than personnel, more a state of play than an ensemble, more an excuse for a ride to Sheffield in a carriage where the tea came scalding, or not at all.

The same moon that rose that night above the Connecticut parking lot on the first night of the Laurel Players’ Petrified Forest, rose above The Coming Storm. Richard Yates would have enjoyed the song that ended it all.

Home on the Range is what they have always been, and where you could always find them. Somewhere between, outside and in. The Green Room might have been named for them, the place they kept the runner that acted as a field.

The same stars that Dante lyricised in his Inferno? No, not quite the ones that twinkle down from the canopy of Emmanuelle Enchanted. These are cheaper ones. Dante would have upgraded them.

Along with the flats, always turned to show their flatness. Veneer. Saturated thin. Surface surfing. Animal skins, that tell us more about the animal than the one inside.

Under the same sky that Walser walked under. But better. Bigger, because it is the sky of Void Story, and that goes on forever. Or, until a woman, looking on, faints, and the story stops. For the first time. I think.

In thirty years I had seen it all, except the stopping. There had been ends a plenty, that is the point of ‘it all’, it starts, it ends, it engages and releases us. But, in all that continuing, until then, I had never seen it stop.

And when it did, outside, in the Soho street, Robert walks by and recognizes the sky, the incomplete story, the company, his company, in company, company, any.

Alan Read
Writer, Professor of Theatre, King’s College London