Part two of a tetralogy
We’re all living too long. With extended dotage comes an extended compulsion to think about ourselves: our comforts, our ailments, our failures and successes, our loves, lost and won, as we slowly fade away, falling back into an endlessly looping egotism so that our minds sit still and look deeper and longer into our own reflections – if we can remember to look at all that is.
Narcissism may not be a choice, but an inevitable trick of time and fate. Add to that the perfectly natural vanity of an actor or musical celebrity and you soon arrive at an infinite number of signed autobiographies, stacked up in a remainder pile of the mind. One step further and you end up with an old guy in an armchair wittering on, telling other inmates of his twilight home everything they don’t want to know. There’s nothing less illuminating than a burnt-out star, whose life is the subject of his scrapbook of reviews.
Unashamedly, we have included excerpts from other pieces we have written together, strategically placed for our hero to listen to nostalgically; he must have performed them once upon a time. Our own mirror-gazing here was simply to acknowledge that almost certainly we shall share the same fate, or do so already.
To perform this second of our four monodramas you will need a chair, a mirror, a TV, three DVDs, a small instrumental ensemble – and an old tenor. Then about eighty years of rehearsal.