A RESPONSE TO SPIDER LOVE
A BRITISH LIBRARY AND LONDON ARTISTS PROJECT
WORK IN PROGRESS READING
OF A PLAY BY MICK GOLDSTEIN, ADAPTED AND ARRANGED
BY JEREMY GOLDSTEIN,
WITH POETRY BY HENRY WOOLF
THE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE THEATRE,
BRITISH LIBRARY LONDON,
MONDAY OCTOBER 16TH 2017.
In his ninth decade, Henry Woolf is more alive than most children,
A testament to the spirit of the vigour and vim of his time,
He survives the five friends, one of whom charted the rim
Of our theatre, the figure of Harold Pinter, whose past
The staged reading tonight will defend. Woolf prefaces the play
Talking to Michael Billington in an intro, with more than three
Handfuls of humour that shakes those gathered there to delight.
He talks of the day in 1947 when Pinter first gave him the books of H. Miller
And their own black springs were enlivened by a number of fascist sparked
Fights. Pinter and Woolf formed a gang with Ron Percival. Moishe Wernick.
Jimmy Laws and Mick Goldstein, author and protagonist
Of this piece. Adapted now by his son, Jeremy, old days open
As we learn how the spirit that refashioned theatre and the word
Was released. On reading the script, Henry Woolf responded with the poetry
He delivers; deft, thoughtful verses that elevate memory. At 87, undimmed
Here’s a true man of the theatre, reshaping Goldstein’s with his love for the souls
That fly free.
‘When we hear each others voices, we are watered and fed
When we hear each others voices, we come back from the dead.’
And so they do. In their prime, with Pinter in his ascendence,
The friends dispersed across nations, Goldstein reversing the 60’s
Inhabitants of Earls Court. In Austrailia, trapped in a seemingly failing
Marriage, a local production of the play The Dwarfs by H. Pinter
Seems to disturb Goldstein so. A seismic shift and return to the past he relinquished
And which spurns him back, prompts him to question why it was he would go.
Memories dance. As does the actor Tom Morton, when Goldstein meets him
In a nightclub to try and regain some lost ground. Joseph Simons as Tom,
Mark Rice Oxley as Goldstein, two actors playing an actor playing a version
Of someone desperate to be found. Notions of performance occur,
As the id defines itself out of movement with Caroline O’ Hara’s Bev Goldstein
Pushes her husband to confront, all that he is, while its all he was
That now plagues him, as Alan Cox’s H. Pinter reminds him
That even back then his achievement was knowing how to play the best cunt.
Cox as Pinter appears, stentorian, a commandant,
Marching in, he now conquers the fields of rememberance in one stride.
There is an absence of humour perhaps, the necessary lifeblood of friendship,
But in its remove its the poems that show how these forming hearts were defined.
There is struggle and love. The struggle to love also features,
As Pinter reads, Goldstein’s crying, keen to regain the lost boy.
Rice-Oxley’s voice sounds off key but then memory is distorted,
As men in their forties and one in his eighties now retranslate early joy.
We can never be what we were. We leave those parts in the shadows.
Trapping the past, as a spider in the trails and the webs we all spin.
This group of boys shared one heart and one mind as well by connecting,
As life stretched before them, their designs in the dark lit the dimmed.
Computer work. Politics. Professorships. Poet Playwrights, each strove
To master their particular means to ease fright. Life stuns us all.
We meet Goldstein in crisis. The first scene seems to linger,
His endurance stretched by strained life. And then the poetry comes,
Just as reality questions. A deriding wife, inhibitions, a crying son
Left upstairs. Monologues from The Dwarfs. And internal variations.
Externalised into actions and the rejection of self, beyond care.
The piece seeks its form, by using the distant past and new meta
To introduce from a letter the seeming dislocation of joints.
Goldstein’s undone. Woolf is the balm. Pinter, Doctor
As our own fears are fractured, Woolf’s touching verse turn eyes moist.
The piece is an experience then in which great writing came
From a friendship, shared by men and a master whose influence
Tars us all. A son pays a debt to a fading father. As we ourselves
Check the darkness for the distance and proof of our fall.
Everyone leaves a trail. Some are brighter than others.
In the webs we weave we’ll discover the rooms we can’t leave, the lost calls.
David Erdos 17/10/17
SPIDER LOVE CAST AND CREW
HENRY WOOLF AS HIMSELF
MARK RICE-OXLEY AS MOCK GOLDSTEIN
CAROLINE O’ HARA AS BEV GOLDTSTEIN
JOSEPH SIMONS AS TOM MORTON
ALAN COX AS HAROLD PINTER
DIRECTED BY JEN HEYES
SOUND DESIGN BY LEWIS GIBSON
HACKNEY GANG BANNER BY ED HALL
PRODUCED BY JEREMY GOLSTEIN AND NICK WILLIAMS
PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE FROM SARA MUSTAFA AL GHANEM