a play for the stage
loosely based on Franz Grillparzer's
Hero and Leander tragedy: 'Des Meeres
und der Liebe Wellen' – the waves of the
sea and of love.
An old Irishman is busking in a passage in the London
Underground. Passengers scurry past in order to catch a
late train. There appears to be a sudden power cut. When
power is restored, some strange characters emerge from the
passageways and converge on the busker, who reacts in
Slowly it becomes clear that the old man has died and that
these characters are all fragments of his own disintegrating
self. He is forced to give them some kind of cue so that they
can present him with a picture of his life.
This takes the form of a ballad he knows, concerning Hero
No sooner has he sung this than they have the material they
need and the play can begin, with him as a forced observer
who, chorus-like, interrupts and protests at odd intervals.
Gradually it dawns on him what they are showing him, and,
when the tragic end arrives, he is encouraged to join in with
a repeat performance but one in which he can change the