He’s a real person too.
Here’s a great song by Miss Black America with a punk attitude and relevant lyrics. Have a listen.
No divine presence ever touched us
No miracle let us talk in tongues
Now you spend your days praying, crying
For forgiveness just for being human
You’ve made it clear you will not rest until
You’ve sussed out -
What does God say?
The human punk is an animal
The human punk is unconditional
The human punk loves those who keep sinning
Over and over again
God’s good children are playing outside
Learning to cheat, learning to hate, learning to fight
Why do we rejoice in pointless suffering?
What does God say?
The human punk adorns my walls
The human punk never fails to rock my world
The human punk is always listening
The human punk is a God worth worshipping
The human punk is an addict:
And adrenaline-junkie, Class-A mentalist
The human punk is ready to die to keep the rock ‘n’ roll
The rock ‘n’ roll dream alive
They told me to burn my books and my CDs
And that my friends were a satanic, evil influence on me
And you say rock ‘n’ roll destroys the soul?
I say, BITE ME -
What does God say?
In my Our friends in the North post I thought of the end of Tosker’s story and how his life had somewhat improved. It got me wondering how the Carpenter’s life might have improved after the events of the play, if it would have at all.
Which led me to thinking of whether it’s worth considering a character’s future AFTER the play. ‘I smiled and wondered how’, no, I wondered if the reappearance of Shen Te in the Carpenter’s and the other’s lives actually improves their lives in the end. Maybe it all falls flat after the euphoric end of the play and they find themselves in the same position as always, disappointed.
As for the Granddad, I don’t think he has a life after the play. His life came to an end sometime shortly after Act 1.
Full of heroin.
“Suitcase? We don’t know anything about no suitcase.”
Wall of Suitcases by Chiharu Shiota
We humans sure have a lot of things. Our excessive nature is even more apparent when you stop to consider all the things we have to store and organize other things. Chiharu’s ode to superfluousness takes form in a ginormous, looming wall, slowly encircling us until we too have become just another thing to be stored in its maw.
My mind first turned to this tv drama when thinking how to play the carpenter and considering his role in the play.
I watched it years ago but it still lingers at the back of my brainbox and I re watch it occasionally if in the right mood. It primarily follows four Newcastle-born friends across four decades ( 60’s to the 90’s) showing how their lives are voluntarily and involuntarily shaped by police corruption (Jake you bent cop, you!) and politics.
Here’s a trailer which gives you some sort of idea, saving you from having to imagine it based on what I’ve told you.
Mark Strong’s character (Tosker) is in a very similar position to the Carpenter. A victim of the social situation and the gears that grind around him, he also has a family to support. A situation many men find themselves in.
For a while he works at a factory packing boxes which are to be shipped to Rhodesia. But because of some government policy or other, it can’t continue and he gets laid off.
I’m not sure of exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of “Bloody Rhodesia. I don’t even know where the bastard place is”. This says something about his attitude to the work, that he was just leaving the house daily to just barely earn enough to support his family, packing boxes to be shipped to Rhodesia, not knowing or caring where the place was, just in it for the income. Many men find themselves in this situation, making Tosker something of an everyman.
Though the carpenter is self-employed, he too also just wants to make a fair living and provide for his family, but is downtrodden by the feet of greed, corruption and injustice.
I first considered a geordie accent because I thought it’d be fairly easy for me to pass off and it’s how I imagined the carpenter. It’s Geordie though, from Our friends in the North that first sprang to mind though, not Tosker. Yes, his actual name is Geordie. He’s a geordie called Geordie, played by Daniel Craig.
I did also imagine having an accent like Michael’s from Alan Partridge though.
***In the end though, I decided not to go for a full blown geordie accent. I’ve just allowed my own northern accent to come out, broadening it. It’s a bit of a mess really.
If you’re still not interested in the programme, maybe this article will help-
I recommend taking a leap of faith by buying the dvd.
When I first read the play I couldn’t help thinking of Monty Python, particularly ‘Life of Brian’. Maybe it was because of the potential for comedy, maybe it was the images the destitute Szechwan conjured, the possibly quirky Wang and his faith in the gods- similar to the citizens who chase Brian, believing him to be the son of God.
Here’s a clip from the film anyway.
“You don’t need to follow me, you don’t need to follow anybody, you’ve got to think for yourselves, you’re all individuals…. you’ve all got to work out it for yourselves!”