22 Sep 2009

'A Virgin's Tale' after Bridget Bardot

Bridget Bardot, French existentialist sex kitten, has just turned 75. Retrospectives of this formidable blonde's life have caused me to reflect on, well, my own life. Like Bardot, I was at my prime in my youth. Before I discovered barbiturates, before booze, long before I discovered men, my first love was writing. I was a prolific writer even before my earliest memories, when Aunt Lily tells me I would scrawl nonsensical letters up the walls of the family house, convinced that I was a new prophet after having been given a Good News Bible by a well-meaning Popish cousin. Christianity would not hold my formidable imagination in thrall for long.

I finished my first opera Thebes, A Virgin’s Tale: Parts 1-9 by aged eight, then began to experiment with higher artistic forms including drama, mime and philosophic dialogues. One of my most precocious works from this period with which you may be familiar, Persephone: Pythagorean Musings of a Woman in Perpetual Despair, won Little Miss Brain Award, Hampshire in 1993 - past winners include Philippa Gregory, Marie Curie and Diana,Princess of Wales.

Having exhausted the genre of Socratic Discourse at the ripe old age of twelve I turned my talents to poetry, fiction and historical writing. You may be familiar the historical biography Eleanor of Aquitane: A Life in Haiku and my later work The Tears of the Wood Nymph which won the Marianne Keyes prize for Creative Writing. And now let me treat you to Greek Tragedy I composed on a holiday to the Lake District aged 11 in the style of Handel's Aces and Galatea.


Thebes: A Virgin’s Tale

ACT 1 Scene 1

The Temple of Apollo, Thebes. A CHORUS of Humming Birds stand centre right.

Chorus: The Oracle The Oracle The Oracle!

A Virgin steps down from the Temple of Apollo in Thebes. She is followed by a host of wild animals, including finches, mice and rabbits. She holds a basket of wild oats which she begins to symbolically sprinkle on the ground.

The Virgin: Hail! I hear a new morn dawn in Thebes
What can it mean? What can it be?

The Rabbit: This is a new context.

The Finch: I feel like I’ve been pecked.

The Mouse: Oh an Oedipal effect.

Chorus: The Oracle The Oracle The Oracle!

The Virgin: Philomena I am called and my tragic tale applaud
For now I share with thee how cruel the world can be!
I was born alone

Chorus: Alone Alone Alone!

The Virgin: The mother was a whore

Chorus: Whore Whore Whore!

The Virgin: To the temple I did come.

Chorus: Attention!

The Army of Zeus enters stage left. Step forward ZEUS disguised as an attractive athlete.

Zeus: I have come to Thebes to find a Vir-------gin!

Chorus: Hap Hap Happy!

Zeus: What’s this?
A little girl to pillage.
Best looking in the village!

Chorus: Run Run Philomena!

Zeus: To make her mine
Will be no crime
Cause she’s so fine!

Chorus: Rape Rape and Death!

Virgin: Nay I shall not relent
My will cannot be bent
Although a maid of humble offing
I shall not be pushed into boffing!

Chorus: Apollo Apollo save her save her

Virgin: I am scared as Laius
When screwed up and cursed us
Poor me like Antigone
To an underground home shall flee

Chorus: Zeus Zeus is in your house!

Virgin: Ay me so I see
But he shall not steal my chastity!

VIRGIN Exits.

Zeus: To pluck her virgin’s tooth
I’ll have to use a hoof
Disguised as a fine horse
My plan shall surely take its course.

ZEUS and THE ARMY OF ZEUS Exit.

Chorus: Yes we’ll make a killing for there’s no chance of Zeus wining!

The Rabbit: Poor Philomena!

Chorus: Zeus will surely woo her!

The Finch: She’d love to ride a pony!

The Chorus: And Zeus is just a phoney!

The Mouse: Nay she cannot fail!

The Chorus: For it is called a Virgin’s Tale, a Virgin’s Tale!
Oh Oh Oh it is!
The Oracle The Oracle The Oracle!

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