Monday, September 30, 2013

Nothing New Under the Sun

What do Alfred Hitchcock and my first time acting in a play have in common? I shall attempt to explain.

Thisbe listening to Pyramus through the wall
Last night, we watched 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', which is a rather classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. Unfortunately for me, it wasn't the one I wanted to see. Alfred Hitchcock remade just about every movie he ever made, so I got to see his first version of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' rather than his last version (which is the one I really wanted to see).

Remakes are certainly not new things. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says quite eloquently, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." which has been paraphrased so many times many of us have probably forgotten where it came from. Nothing new, eh? Shakespeare loved to write about things that had already happened; in fact, Romeo and Juliet is a remake of a much earlier play, Pyramus and Thisbe, which the Romans like to observe and has the same old theme of forbidden love and two people who accidentally kill themselves because they think the other is already dead...

Whatever it is, Humankind seems doomed to repeat things. There’s this philosophy that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, but most times there’s a repetition of actions with an expectation of different results…which sounds like madness to me. I don’t know how many people have tried to take over the world, but there have been many, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph Hitler and sometimes things get just weirdly repetitious like both Napoleon and Hitler meeting destruction in the Russian winter.

But I haven’t mentioned my first time acting in a play, so consider it mentioned. I was eight years old and scared to death and Rose was even scareder. I remember getting out onto the stage and seeing everyone grinning in the audience below. With a terrible and wonderful mix of fear and exhilaration I began to speak. We were doing a scene from A Midsummer’s Night Dream and I was playing Flute who was playing Thisbe. I can only remember one of my lines.

“I’ll meet thee Pyramus at Ninnies tomb…”


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