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A Semi-Farce in One Act

by Ken Lauter
Copyright © 2002 Ken Lauter


Characters & Cast Steven Berkoff Steven Berkoff
Shakespeare An actor strongly resembling Steven Berkoff
Coriolanus Steven Berkoff
Volumnia Faith Brooks
Sylv (from Berkoff's East) An actress in her 20s or early 30s
Time 1996
Place A London theatre, filled with rabid Berkoff fans


Scene One

A bare stage except for three high-back, armless chairs at stage center, facing out: spotlights on the chairs.  Back and side curtains up, revealing stage apparatus as shadowy wings.  Shakespeare (a green laurel wreath on his head) and Berkoff enter crisply from opposite sides, dressed identically in dark slacks and jerseys.  They bow slightly to each other and sit. The spotlight on the third chair dims.

Berkoff Have you heard the news, Will? They’ve restored the Globe?
Shakespeare No! How does it look?
Berkoff Oh, beautiful! Sam and Zoë Wanamaker worked their guts out on it. Now they’ve got corporate sponsors and some real money. No need to worry on that score.
Shakespeare Good, forsooth! But on some other score?
Berkoff Well, Will, I hate to bring it up, really I do. It’ll sound self-serving and a bit conceited…
Shakespeare When was that ever a problem for you, you vain beast. Say on!
Berkoff Right! It’s not the Globe? [He stands abruptly, kicks his chair away, and strides back and forth as he speaks] ... it’s the bloody RSC! Will, brace yourself? the RSC have gone down the toilet! Their Shakespeare productions are terrible? dead, rote, rotten. These are the straw men, codpieces filled with straw! Do you like T.S. Eliot, Will?
Shakespeare Not as much as Eliot did. Or Pound. Eliot went to hell when he ducked into the Anglican Church. Pound was an anti-semite traitor? Henry V would’ve chopped off his head. But what’s so bad about the RSC?
Berkoff Well, take Richard III at the Barbican. So slow and stiff... with piss-green lighting, and a sliding stage that rumbled out and in like a huge iron tongue! Richard in motley. He wasn’t remotely fiendish... just boring! I wept for you, Will... really I did.

And Macbeth in Stratford? even worse! I could not sit through it. Their Thane of Cawdor had no balls or nobility, their Lady Macbeth no crone-power or menace. They spoke the lines like zombies... and then played the porter as an over-the-top Irish lush with a lisp. It was a nightmare Will. I left after Act II? rather feed the bloody ducks out on the Avon!

Shakespeare That bad, eh? But what’ve you got against the ducks?
Berkoff [Shouting]

Nothing, nothing! It’s just that I can’t stand

Shakespeare Just kidding Steven! [Bringing the overturned chair back next to his and motioning for Berkoff to sit] Peace, sit you down! Were there, mayhap, no meritorious RSC productions of the Bard this season?
Berkoff Well, maaaaaybe. There was a fine Comedy of Errors. And they did Webster’s The White Devil? dark, lusty. Gorgeously staged... and [rubbing his hands together in delight] full of terror and despair!

By the way, Will, why did the Jacobeans lose your faith that, in spite of human evil, there exists at least the possibility of good in us?

Shakespeare Could it be something they ate? The bloody food in England, you know! [Groans]

Or maybe… it had something to do with the death of Her Majesty, Most Gracious Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth I. Once you’ve had a real queen in charge, a mere king is bound to look bad. You know, men usually fucketh things up right royally. It’s clear to me now (after four centuries to rot and ponder it) that it wasn’t the shrew that needed taming? it was that bastard Petruchio!

Berkoff Right! The gals have no need to prove their balls are bigger than some other bloke’s... Well, maybe Maggie Thatcher did. But it wasn’t a woman who thought up Auschwitz, eh... Or the bomb. [With a King and I delivery] Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Volumnia [Off stage]


Shakespeare and Berkoff do a double take, looking off stage? then shrug and pull their chairs together.

Berkoff And women didn’t invent fucking Disneyland either!
Shakespeare Disneyland?
Berkoff You don’t want to know.




Scene Two

Same bare stage, chairs, etc. Lights up low on silhouette cut outs of Shakespeare and Berkoff in profile, facing each other. The third chair is now brightly lit. From stage left, wearing Mussolini suit & boots, Coriolanus staggers in-- exhausted and bloodied, dragging his sword limply. It makes a grinding hiss (amplified). Sweating and panting, he puts his sword on the empty chair and circles the cut outs, eying them ominously, while wiping his bloody hands on his shirt.

Coriolanus Well, well, well? take a look at 'em!  The PANSIES!  Ar-teeeeeeests!  Yadda, yadda, yadda!  That's all they're good for... that's all they are!  Air.  Wind.  Farts!

I don't care if it's Republican Rome, Elizabethan England or the god-damned 20th Century? there's only two kinds of guys.  The ones who do it and the ones who talk about it!  Guys like me [strutting around, puffing his chest, etc.] ?and [pointing] pussies like them!

Hell, would either of these bastards have come in through the Corioli town gates with me?  Would they get in there where the smoking sword-stuff gets done and you live or die with a scream in your throat and some other guy's hot gore splattered on your face?  [Wiping his hands again]  Go through the gates? these two [He walks over and stares into their faces silently for a moment, then whispers slowly at the audience.]  Fat... fucking... chance!  [He spits]

Hey, lemme tell you girls something.  The Jacobeans?  They didn't [in falsetto] "lose their faith."  They saw the truth and put it in your face and if you can't take it, well then? too fucking bad for you, you faggots!

Even that Old Maid, Alfie Tennyson... he said it "Nature red in tooth... [baring his teeth and holding up one hand in front of his face, fingers spread claw-like] ... and claw."

It's  MOTHER NATURE, baby!  If you don't fight for a tit in the litter, you don't get one.  Get used to it.  Grow up.  Be [growling] a man.

Now, Master Shakespeare there, maybe he learned little Latin and less Greek? but he learned enough to make him a pussy!  So I never really expected much from him!  But aw, Jeez, [tearfully disappointed] BERKOFF!

[In Cockney]

Oh, such great, bloom'n expectations for him we had once, now didn't we!  Knew his way round a knife, once.  Bagged birds with the best of 'em once, he did! [Macho growl] Yeah... ONCE!

[Dreamy, nostalgic]

Yes Little Stevie could well and truly kick ass, once upon a time.  And yet, with all that lovely amateur training among the East End crew, you'd think he'd a turned out better.  Become a professional? like me.

Oh, his plays have the right stuff, all right... that Mike and Les...  They could've been in my legions!  They would've come through the gates!  Lovely lads.  Scrappers.  Knifers.  Men.  Spot on!

[Snapping out of his reverie, wiping a tear away]  It's sad, really.  You know what's wrong with Berkoff, don't you?  [Leans down to the cut-out's ear and shouts] 'E READS TOO MUCH FOOKIN' SHAKESPEARE, THAT'S WHAT!

All gore and ballsy rage in his plays... that's one thing.  But it's still just talk... idinit?  Why didn't the bloke do something besides talk? ... Join the army, for instance?  (The bleeding navy don't count).  I mean, where was he during the Falklands?

[In a rapturous, pleading reverie]

By Mars´ Ruddy arse, there was a bit of a rumble!  Would've loved to been down there!  And there's always plenty of Special Service stuff... taking out some IRA crud when Whitehall gives the word!  And Black Ops in the land of the Mad Mullahs, eh?  Plenty of work for King and Country [jeering at the cut-outs again]... if you're man enough for the job!

But what's little Berky do? [With contorted revulsion, as if he'd swallowed something putrid]  He writes, for Chrissakes!  [Campy falsetto]  He prances 'pon the stage!  Arts-fartsy.  Wilde.  Kafka.  That little egg-head prick, Hamlet.

And, oh my, how he whines about the bloody Belgrano and all them poor baby Argie boys who went down to their wat'ry graves.  [He grabs his sword, sticking it under the chin of the Berkoff cut-out, shouting]  OF COURSE IT WAS MURDER, YOU SCRIBBLIN' SOT!  THAT'S WHAT WAR'S FOR!

[Turns back to the audience with a shrug] Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda... drives me fucking nuts, all their fucking talk.  [With a hiss]  I tell you I could? [Takes his sword up with both hands, swinging it before him viciously as he circles around Shakespeare and Berkoff]... take' em both out? [beating time with the sword] ...with...  just...  one...  good...  hard...  clean...  fucking...  swing!

He stops behind the cut-outs, with the sword drawn up high in the air, ready to decapitate them both, but freezes, thinking? then lowers the sword to the ground.

NAAAAH!  They're not worthy of my sword.  [Draws a cut-throat razor out of his pocket]  They're not worthy of martial music and the rites of war... and they shall not have a noble memory.  Just one smooth, little bitty slice... [drawing the blade across the throats of the cut-outs] ... and they're gone and forgotten forever? the beastly little cowards.

Volumnia [From off-stage left, amplified]


Coriolanus does a double-take, drops the razor, and slowly backs off stage right, his hands over his crotch, in fear and trembling.




Scene Three

Return to the arrangement of Scene One, with Shakespeare and Berkoff back on stage in the exact position and dress we left them in.  They look around nervously and a little sheepishly for a moment before speaking.

Berkoff [Looking to stage right, where Coriolanus exited]

Did you hear something?

Shakespeare [Looking to stage left, where Volumnia's voice was]


Berkoff What?
Shakespeare It sounded like? like rain, I think.  Did you hear something?
Berkoff Yes.  Buzzing... like wasps, when you poke their nest with a stick.   But where were we?
Shakespeare You were saying something about... "Disneyland"
Berkoff No, no!  We were talking about the RSC... how they ruin your plays.  Royal Shakespeare Company, my ass... Royal Shit Company's more like it!
Shakespeare Just so.  But you did Coriolanus recently, did you not?
Berkoff Yes!  [shy, hesitant]  Did you... maybe... get to see it?
Shakespeare [a la Noel Coward]

Sorry, old chap.  Would've loved to... but it's not permitted where I am now.  Play to full houses, did you?

Berkoff So-so.  Could've been better.  We ran a couple of months.  But... [Sighs]
Shakespeare But what?
Berkoff Dunno.  I loved doing it.  Friends, critics and sycophants have said it was good.  But somehow... a bit disappointing.  Maybe I'm just tired.  Becoming an Old Mole myself, eh...
Shakespeare Post partum depression.  Closing a play is hard, Steven, a kind of death... you know that!  Don't worry.  You'll be back strong as ever next season.  You'll eat 'em up, Son.
Berkoff Aaaaagh!
Shakespeare [With a wink, seeing that Berkoff is hungry for more]

Now I really shouldn't tell you this, Steven? but although I didn't personally see your Coriolanus, I did talk to some angels who did? it can be arranged if you know who to ask... and they said...

Berkoff [Falling before him, clasping his feet]  Yes, yes, YES!
Shakespeare Well, they said it was... [teasing delay, looking all around? then jumping on his chair and flinging an arm out with each word like Bob Fosse, he bellows] ... FAN... FUCKIN... TASTIC!

[The polite Brit again, but a bit naughty and tittering, as he helps Berkoff back to his feet again]  You made old Sir Ian's R III look a bit sick. Really!

Don't blush my boy... it's true!  Here? [taking the laurel from his head and offering it to Berkoff] ... you deserve one of these too.

Berkoff [Twisting his torso, hands jammed in his pockets]  Naaaaaagh!
Shakespeare [Angry]

No false modesty, sirrah!  You know you're great? just as I knew I was.

He places the laurel on Berkoff? who beams and mimes looking at himself in a mirror.

What you don't know is, whether it's all worth it... once the curtain falls.  Right?

Berkoff It's crossed my mind.
Shakespeare Well, I'm afraid I've got bad news for you, Berky.  I dunno either.  Even after all this time.

It's all a crap shoot.  You work, work till your teeth ache and your balls break? but the day comes when all you can do is spit on your hands and roll the dice.  And then something... physics, gravity, fate, luck, some god or goddess, maybe... intervenes.

Tumble, tumble, tumble, tumble go the little boney dice, Dame Fortune's Great Wheel turns, neutrinos drill a hole in a chink of your ma's DNA, a horn blows at midnight, the Great Owl hoots... and there you are, 30 years later, rich and happy, or poor and fucked.

There's not much in between... for the son of a Warwickshire glover like me, or for an East End tailor's kid turned writer, director, producer, designer and kick-ass actor like you!  [Eloquently, but without theatricality]

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.  It is a tale

[King and I inflection again]

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!


But theatre matters, Steven... only theatre.   Not we poor players, not the critics... and certainly not the bloody RSC.

Berkoff [Peevish at first]

OK, OK!  "The play's the thing."  But really [teasing now] isn't it a bit crass to quote yourself that way?

Shakespeare [Jubilant]

Prithee no!  Not if you're like me.  Or Steven Berkoff!

Drum roll: they do a double-take, and on the down-beat, go into a soft-shoe finale? then embrace, laughing and clapping each other on the back like old army buddies.

Berkoff [With a huge sigh]

Ah, gee, thanks, Will, for the shoulder to cry on.  Thought you ought to know what the SOBs at RSC are doing to your stuff.  Feel like popping out for a pint?

Shakespeare Love to, Steven... luuuuuuuuv to!

Arm in arm, they exit, yelling out gleefully in unison:





Scene Four

Lights up dim on two chairs, bright on the third.  All dialogue is off stage until Coriolanus enters.

Volumnia Get out there you pip, you worm, you ninny!
Coriolanus Aaaaaaah, Mother! Must I, must I?
Volumnia You know you must. I love you, but you must. You’ve let those two sneak off too easy. Scoot!... do your duty as the Roman son of a Roman mother.
Coriolanus I’m going, I’m going! Jeeeeez!

Trumpet fanfare. Berkoff as Coriolanus appears at stage rear in a shaft of blue light which changes to a bright white as he steps forward, in the shining, full-dress regalia of a Roman general (golden breast plate etc.). He wears a gilded oak laurel, and carries a helmet, a spear, and a fourth chair ? a small gilded throne, with a tasseled, crimson cushion.

With Opera Buffo ungainliness, he places the throne on a platform behind the chairs, turns two chairs around to face the throne and the third in profile to it. He puts his helmet and spear on the turned chairs and sits in the profile chair, at first in a legs-apart posture? then growing shy, closing his knees, tugging his Roman skirt down.

Coriolanus Uh... she... wanted me... to tell you...
Volumnia First tell them who I am, for god’s sake!
Coriolanus [Beaming with pride]

She’s MY MOTHER! VOLUMNIA! She made me what I am today... great general, feared soldier, defender of Rome... a cojones guy, a lion among men, a myth... Marlboro Man, OO7, Ollie North... a veritable Rambo (who can act!).

Volumnia Stop that, Cori! Naughty, naughty!
Coriolanus Yeeees, Mother!

[Turning his chair full to the audience, getting chummy] You see? I LOVE MY MOTHER! [Suddenly sobbing profusely] More than my wife! More than my life! More? [biting a knuckle] ... more than my honor!

But Ma couldn’t make me what I ain’t! A bloody politician! Hypocritical, pussy bastards!


[In a Bronx-Jewish accent] Will you forget the ass-wipe politicians for once already! Just get on with it, Caius Marcius !

[Normal accent] Who else am I? [A rose-red light falls on the throne.]


[Shy, but with proud conviction] Well, she’s also... my lovely, lovely SYLV! ... from East and West. Remember her? Bawdy, beautiful, randy Sylv whom Mighty Mike couldn’t love as much as he loved the blood and guts rumble with the fire-breathing Huxton Monster?

[Mimes hearing something from the audience] Whaaaaat? What’s that?

[He stands, hands on hips, and swaggers out to the footlights, with a snarl.] You didn’t SEE East or West? YOU WANKERS! You common pack of curs whose breath I prize / As the dead carcasses of unburied men / that do corrupt my air? I should take me spear to the lot of you!

He eyes the audience ferociously.

By Bloody Jove, I WILL!

He runs and grabs the spear, and cocks one leg up, about to lunge out at the audience.


[Shouted sharply]

Steeeee-VEN !

He freezes in the spearing pose, then slowly and suggestively lowers the spear.


Oh, all right? MUUUUUTHER!

He slinks back to the chairs, puts the spear down, and starts unbuckling his armor? eventually stripping down to white tee shirt and maroon shorts?becoming Berkoff again.

Where was I ? Oh yes? my lovely Sylv. [Walking to the throne, he goes down on one knee, places one hand gently on the cushion.] How could I ever forget you! [Quotes from West.]

I take the future of England in my hand [mimes this with his other hand] and ponder her body which seems to me as if a shoal of silvery fish were gathered in a net / and wiggling and slithery and her silken skin encasing her incredible form.
Berkoff [Bows his head? then, with a mad grin, jumps up into an iron-pumper pose? yelling out in machine-gun staccato, as if one long word]

West-Act I-Steven Berkoff-Collected Plays-Volume I-Faber and Faber-London-1994! YOU WANKERS!

Volumnia Now, now, Stevie ! They can’t all see your plays.
Berkoff [Exasperated, pacing around, running his hands over his head]

Hey, Mother Vol? cut me a little slack, will ya! I’m trying to make a sale. Do you have any idea what my overhead is these days!

Volumnia All right, dear, all right. But it’s late? we’ve got to move on. Who else am I?
Berkoff [Defiantly]

Can I quote myself again?

Volumnia As you wish? but, as you told William, it is a bit crass.


Oh, all right.

He pulls on an Oxford don’s robe, whips out a telescoped pointer, extends it suggestively, and assumes a Terry Thomas upper-class tone and toothy smile.

Well, then? just who is this Volumnia woman? Roman matriarch, yes, yes? quite. But more. Much more. The Magna Mater, the Great Mother. The veritable Ur-woman, as it were.

In short, she’s what all we fellows fear? the archetypal OTHER! The Adored. The Desired. The Feared. The Dream Girl one could scarcely speak to? much less date, much less touch, much less play hide the weenie with, when one was only a Pubey Little Runt!

[Warming up now, losing his Oxford accent]

She’s that lovely Lovely? on the tube or clopping down the sidewalk or just sitting in the deli, with a cuppa and a book. You oggle her fiercely and tenderly on your way to the office or the grocery or the school or the jail or the war. She’s that... [slow, lusty moan, dropping the pointer and sensuously peeling off the robe]? terrrrrific blonde or brunette or redhead you saw... [Pointing at the men in the audience, a la Joan Rivers] Oh yes! Oh yes! Don’t deny it! ? the very one you peeked at, out in the bloody lobby of this bloody theatre, this very bloody night! [Mimes hearing something] What? Hush, hush, is it? Oh, grow up! Your wives and girlfriends know all about it, you miserable fakes. (Don’t you, my dears?) So don’t try to look so bloody innocent, you buggers!

[Subdued and empathetic]

And, seeing that goddess in the lobby, you thought? if only for a micro-second, deep in your randy, terrified little boy’s boisterous brainstem? you thought [almost choking]? “Oh, god! ... if only... she...”

Annnnnnd... [In lightning-fast Cockney, as he slips on a camouflaged army shirt and helmet] ... she’s also your daffy sister and all those nameless aunts and female cousins and so on in the fucking family tree you paid no attention to while you were so fucking busy playing patriarchal games... [Miming martial arts combat] ... like World Wars and Vietnam and Sink the Bloody Belgrano and Desert Smart-Weapon Storm and Bomb ‘em in Belfast and Obliterate ‘em in Oklahoma and Bash ‘em in Bosnia and Chop ‘em in Chechnya and Whack ‘em on the West Bank and Crush ‘em in the Corporate-Takeover-Downsizing-Olympics and the Coca Cola-International-Arms-Sales Regatta!

[Taking a deep breath, then softly]

So slurp up the Guinness tonight, boys... ‘cause tomorrow we’re off to... [shouted rapidly]... THE IBM-WORLD-CUP-SUPER-BOWL-WORLD-SERIES-PHALLUS-WORSHIP-TECHNO-DEATH-ECO-DESTRUCTION-IMF-GLOBALIZATION GAMES... AGAIN! Ta, ta!

Volumnia Whoaaaa there! Chill a bit, will you, Son?

Oooops! Sorry, Mum.

[Turning his back to the audience, wearily putting his hands on his hips, then shaking an arm in frustration, looking up into the “sky.”]

But you know, Ma, you could help me with this... JUST A LITTLE BIT! Pleeeeze, Ma!

Sudden blackout. A loud burst of harp music.

Volumnia [Out of the dark]

Thought you’d never ask! Oh, my babe, my son, my lovely boy, my Adorable Adonis, my Dumuzi Darling, my brother, my consort, my bold helper, king, and lover? my BERKOFF!

Lights slowly rise on Berkoff as himself in dark slacks and jersey again. The small throne is gone. He gets down on one knee, facing the audience, as he and Volumnia (off stage) exuberantly recite from the Theodore Roethke poem, "I Knew a Woman."

Berkoff and Volumnia


I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,

Flashed on a large screen at stage rear? Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them.

Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:

The shapes a bright container can contain!

The Botticelli fades out, and Sylv’s voice joins in the poem

Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,

Or English poets who grew up on Greek.

Enter Volumnia and Sylv, hand in hand from stage rear? Volumnia in costume from Coriolanus, Sylv in costume from West.

We’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.

The women flank Berkoff, taking his hands, smiling. Facing the audience, they continue in unison:

My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;

Her several parts could keep a pure repose,

Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose.

(She moved in circles and those circles moved).

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:


I’m martyr to a motion not my own;

What’s freedom for? To know eternity.




I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.

But who would count eternity in days.

These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:

(I measure time by how a body sways).

[from The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke, Doubleday &. Co. 1966]


Harpsicord music? 18th Century minuet. Berkoff kisses each woman on the cheek and bows as they curtsy. They all exit, dancing to the music. A gong sounds. The rear curtain drops to reveal a twelve-foot tall gold statue of the seated Egyptian Goddess Isis ... bathed in glitter ball lights. Isis The amplified voices of Sylv and Volumnia now chant a hymn to Isis...perhaps to Greek flute music.


Sylv and Volumnia

I am Isis. I am Nature,

Mistress of Earth’s elements

Queen of the Dead

Queen of the Immortals...

Glitter ball out. Sylv and Volumnia enter, dressed in dark slacks and jerseys. As their chant continues, they look up at Isis in wry wonder, lifting their arms to the audience in a wide, slow arc.

Worshipped by countless names...

Ishtar, Innana, Astarte, Artemis,

Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter,

Holy Priestess, Divine Wife.

I am Isis... the Great Mother.

Music ends. The women look puzzled. Suddenly, wearing only a diaper and carrying a small bowl and spoon, Berkoff hops out from behind the statue, crawls up to its lap, and sits there facing the audience? grinning and softly bouncing.


[With a wink, patting Isis lovingly on the hips]

You know, I’ve always liked chairs in my plays! [In Cockney] But do you know? ladies and gents, black and white, young and old, rich and poor, royals and schtarkers... do you know what the name Isis actually means?... in Egyptian?

[In a histrionic baritone, trilling the r, a la Olivier]

It means THRRRRONE, that’s what!


Ya get it, eh, doncha... Throw-aaahnn. Well then! ... it’s a sort of chair, idinit!

As a baby now, he looks up at Isis’s face over his shoulder, waving the bowl wildly, and crying out:

Mummy, mummy! Can I have more cornflakes!

The women are dumbfounded... but now laugh and sing out.


Berkoff grins mightily, puts the bowl on his head like a helmet, and starts bouncing up and down madly, swinging his spoon like a sword.





A spotlight snaps on. Stage bare. Berkoff enters, in slacks and jersey again, tossing the green laurel wreath gently in his hands as he walks... reading Sonnet 29, in a crisp, modern accent.


When, in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,

Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee...

At stage rear, the Isis statue is slowly back lit, revealing Volumnia and Sylv flanking it, arms at their sides, both dressed in long white robes, with gold multi-ring necklaces. Berkoff continues solo.

                                                ... and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

Volumnia and Sylv slowly arc their arms up above their heads, mimicking Nile River Goddess sculptures.

For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings

Berkoff bows to Volumnia and Sylv. They return it.

That I then scorn to change my state with kings.

Volumnia and Sylv take small gold crowns from their robes, and crown themselves. All lights except the spot on Berkoff fade. He steps out of the spotlight, flinging the laurel far out into the house.




Steven Berkoff
Steven Berkoff


Copyright © 2002 Ken Lauter
Included on the site with the kind permission of Ken Lauter.



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