James Christie: The World, The Stage

The World, The Stage


It’s one of the odder things on Earth, wondering how someone will portray you on stage.

It never occurred to me that the events through which we lived could be translated to theatre.   I’d thought in terms of a film or radio play, but in retrospect it now seems obvious that the only medium which could do justice to a story which had the world as a stage, was the stage.

Odd, also, how fragments of prose uttered at odd moments on the road to Sunset Boulevard could become the stuff of modern fable, caught and composed in note and lyric like dragonflies frozen in aspic.

All the world’s indeed a stage and the lives of those upon it, if captured in momentary clarity, cast light on the human condition’s foibles and fallacies which, for all its flaws, can still reach greatness.

And that is theatre.

The immediacy of the stage can let the audience feel what it was like to be beaten down to a pulp and pull myself back out of the sewer; share the solace offered by a fictional creature who was still a fair bit finer than the putrid trash who’d laid me low; and travel with me as I stole a metaphorical Enterprise for my own Helen of Troy.

Music, too, can set the sense of that last scene.  Of the cypress trees on Sunset Boulevard and the people milling round.  Making of that day, grand opera in its way.

And if the play’s the thing, wherein lies the conscience of the king; the musical’s the way you’ll find the emotion of the day.



James A. F. Christie                                                                                                                      28th March 2014

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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