Writings for 2001

Pen portraits for YEOMEN, actual and draft

A King that is a Point? Though seest not the Humour in that? For a King cannot be pointed, since he is King and points himself where he will; he cannot be a point, since none appoints the King save the King by his absence, and an absence cannot appoint; a King cannot have a point, unless it be to rule, but you cannot rule with a point but put it down singly; and so a King must therefore be on the very point. But to be on the point of kingship is to not yet be the King, until the King himself is not. The point then of being a King is to prevent he who is on the point of kingship becoming King, but is this, being the point of kings, the King of points? Why no, for King Point wouldst need be a Fool, and a King who is a Fool is pointless. A King cannot then be a point, so here is conundrum, for you are to see a Point and a King! But a point with width and height is no point, and a King with no throne is no King, so here is solution simple: you are to see A King as a Point, which cannot be, and indeed is not, which is therefore true, and so I shall appear, and since my Point is to please you, I hope I do.

Al was immensely pleased that bribery and threats of violence secured for him the quite undeserved role of Jack Point. His mercurial rise through the ranks from "Second Citizen" in a few short years (eight) has failed to impress any of his peers, who are now enjoying fulfilling careers and better roles in grown-up societies while Al persists in hanging around with gauche eighteen-year-olds and pompously pontificating arguments misremembered from the Guardian in an attempt to attain pseudopretentiality. He hopes that his rich accountant girlfriend will afford him the luxury of never having to get a real job, but fears that his constant sponging - he is currently doing an IT conversion course cunningly labelled a Masters degree - is causing his appeal to wear thin.

Al is a founder member of the "Levenshulme Arts Action Commune!", dedicated to direct action to challenge the global multinationals and their rape of the Earth Mother. He hopes you will join with him in leading a walk-out after the commencement of the overture to protest at UK investment in Burma, and that the lack of Point for the remainder of the show will be seen correctly as a brilliantly insightful critique of the denial of the common personhood of the Third World by the forces of the West.

Alasdair is tremendously thrilled at the opportunity of playing this famous role. One of the greatest parts in tragedy, this jester tells many a truth, protected by the rights of comedy to poke fun, until brutal reality intervenes. This new interpretation, introducing the two new media of song and dance to what is traditionally done as a straight play, and casting the central character as a twisted gaoler, spurned in love, is a fascinating take on what is perhaps the most powerful of the Master's works. Alasdair is proud to be able to help out at such short notice, and hopes the intended Fool, Hugh Ambrose, recovers from his neck injury soon. He apologies in advance if his recent arrival shows in his lack of complete familiarity with this very original production, since opportunities to go over the play have been limited until the start of the run. Still, as he will tell you tonight, "The rain it raineth every day", and it has to rain somewhere nuncle!