The Great Drama

Wandering thoughts: No editing: 40 Minutes or 1000 words…

In my mind’s eye, I see a theatre:

Many wish to be famous: desiring to tread the boards. Seeing the adoration of celebrities fans and feeling recognition for accomplishing the art of illusion. At night they dream of mansions and luxury cars, clothes and jewellery. The more they think of the ‘trappings’ of fame, the more they become trapped and without real purpose.

Today the world is in a great drama. And few wish to be central actors on this stage. They are not politicians, scientists and medical professionals. No, these are second fiddle to the stars who are to die from the disease, they are centre stage: for the moment.

Of course, some will say ‘This is no act: this is life and death: My friend died of the disease: this is real and serious’. But John died because he smoked too many cigarettes. Carling died from injections of heroin. Ricky rode his Honda too fast. The child killed by a car. Corrine shot by her father. Julie stabbed by her lover. Des died of alcoholism. Every one of those friends has an act, a part in my drama: everyone is interesting. And, I agree, death is no play. It is finality, the only final curtain. Surely you have listened to: ‘The curtain has closed on his life’ ‘His life has come to an end’? And so it must: and the seven people aforementioned, all died before their fiftieth anniversary. 

In this great drama, there are two sides: followers of science and the followers of science. Both sides can bring their heroes to the fore to prove an argument. At this time, the governments have their scientists weighing the balance in their favour. But they play a dangerous game. Because their opinions, are in the eyes of many: weak. And because they are weak, their argument needs the suppor of law and oppression. Indeed if their statement were strong, no such leverage would be needed.

And for each day they imprison and confuse the people they serve: they fail to recognise they are becoming like jesters and few can see the joke. They weep tears of a broken and fearful audience. They sit in the theatre of death and hope for a final curtain.

On this stage, there has never been a final curtain, And the acts are many: thousands of different scenes are played. But the central actors always meet the same fate: all will die. Some will last longer than others. Some became more famous, and others are Charley Chaplin tramps of sorrow. It makes no odds, who is the playwright, the players all enter the final sleep.

In theatreland, there are many plays, and in the future, today’s matinee will sadly be known as the tragic comedy. Because, when the audience returns home, they will think they paid too much to watch the play. Homes and jobs lost: parents and grandparents will see their children and grandchildren without jobs. All will watch society crumble from the battering of the great-leaders wrecking ball. And the play is acted out in full sight, played in such a way the desperate audience, claps and cries when told to do so: their mind is fixed by hypnotic lines repeated so often, the drama must be real.

After seeing the drama, many of the audience are dying inside. Thousands of broken hearts and lonely people who care not for life, and now love the thought of death’s blessed release. And what of the terminally ill whose final year is embalmed with worries and concern for those they will leave behind?

And the theatre impresario’s wait in the wings. Already there is another play to promote, so sure are they the audiences will keep returning, and there is no rehearsal: one play follows another. The audience comes and goes and lives in wonder at the illusion and lies, the drama. Theatre owners dine on their profits while the actors continue to cast their dark spells of fear and doom.

Ian Timothy: The Great Drama
The Gagged Actor

I leave the great theatre:

And walk into a side ally and here is ‘The Little Theatre’. There is no queue, walk straight in; cash for a seat and the bar is open. In the bar are friends and enemies. I drink beer and strong whiskey and smoke Havana cigars. Everyone laughs, they may not like everyone present, but there is no intention of argument. Live and enjoy life is the rule here: A woman wears a low-cut dress, she’s surrounded by admirers, and all know the score. In the corner an old lady in tweeds smokes a cigarette and knits away: I smile, and she telepathically communicates ‘This is for you Ian, there is a storm ahead, and this magic fleece will keep you warm and safe’.

At no time on the dot, the bell is rung. We move into the auditorium: a strange circular arena, the round stage is twenty, no, thirty feet wide and actors appear from a trapdoor centre stage. Lights of every type shine down on the play, differing colours, spotlights and diffusers. There is smoke and mirrors and magicians: but every trick fails, because the audience surrounds the players. But the audience cry’s for the unhappiness of the performer’s failure: as they laugh with the successes and mistakes within the play’s essence.

And the music captivates. One moment a baroque harpsichord: minutes later, pop ballads are followed by a coalminers brass band. Soon we begin to realise, the play’s actors are both dead and alive. Messages are sorrow and joy, life and death: pain and ecstasy. Nothing is barred, everything imaginable is acted out of the stage. But all must be true: the audience acknowledges the deceptions and the false actors are hanged. The audience is the jury: there is no judge. Although a strange aspect is: when an actor is executed, a member of the audience has to replace him. Thankfully, I’m not chosen and never wish to be famous or judged.

This is a one-act play, and the curtain falls to a heavy metal concert applause. A chorus of demons and angels sing in harmony and the two impresarios ‘god and devil’ take their bow. Now the show is over, and we return to the bar. Everyone enjoys their poisons, addictions and desires: this is no physical orgy, it is a meeting of minds: there is no polarity this world is centred, without opinion. The old lady in tweeds gives me the now finished jumper: it is black and white squares. ‘Play your game with care’ she smiles, inhales from her cigarette, and the exhaled smoke becomes real-live chess pieces which enter my head.

At no o clock, we leave ‘The Little Theatre’. And as we walk out of the ally, I look back and see we are walking through a brick wall. In the street are the theatregoers from other plays. I ask one if she could direct me to the train station, she weeps and says: ‘The play has made me uncertain of everything’.

‘You should have come to ‘The Little Theatre’ with me’ I reply, and she answers ‘Why would I do that? In our play, we drown in tears of pity: all in the tragedy together. Our plays have purpose and feelings and make us important: in your theatre, there is no-one famous and no drama’.

Ian Timothy


  1. Ian I really enjoyed this, as a man of imagination myself I wandered down several different pathways while reading this piece, thank you for being my tour guide.

  2. Absolutely loved this Ian, as a man of imagination myself I wandered down several different paths during the reading of this piece thank you for being my tour guide.

  3. Ian. As always, your poetic words make one think very deeply. I find so much that went over my head on a second reading.
    I look forward to your posts.
    Best regards, Mark

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