Making an Entrance

While picking couples for my “Star Crossed Losers” post on Valentine’s Day,  I thought briefly about Antony and Cleopatra, but realised I didn’t know very much about them.

While ignorance like that has never held me back before, I decided I’d better make some sort of effort, so I Googled them.

In the end I reckoned they weren’t quite pathetic enough so I left them out, but I’m so glad I looked them up because I got to read the start of Shakespeare’s play, and thus found the greatest stage direction of all time.

The curtains open, two guys called Philo and Demetrius enter, Philo speakes ten lines, and then the play says:

“Flourish. Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her ladies, the Train, with Eunuchs fanning her”

I so wish I’d written that line.

I also wish now that I’d taken amateur dramatics a bit more seriously in my 20s. The group I was in tended to do comedies and pantomimes, we’d never have taken on something like Shakespeare.

My own work CV, if I ever need to use it again, would contain one or two oddities (I worked in a bingo hall for about a year), one or two lies (“I am fully computer-literate”) and an awful lot of padding (“interests include reading and walking”, most people put down. I’d do the same, because the more truthful “interests include going to the pub after work on Friday and sleeping through Premier League Football on the couch on Sunday afternoons” doesn’t generally impress HR departments).

But imagine if I could add the line “March 1986 – April 1986: was a Eunuch, fanning Cleopatra”.

It wouldn’t matter what job I’d applied for, I bet I’d get at least as far as the interview stage.


3 thoughts on “Making an Entrance

  1. Tilly Bud

    Another great post.

    You know, I studied that play and never noticed that stage direction. A fresh eye is a wonderful thing.

    My favourite stage direction is also from Shakespeare – The Winter’s Tale:

    Exit; pursued by a bear.

  2. laughykate

    Outstanding. I have a friend who was going for a (big, flash) job at an ad agency.

    ‘So, Insert:nameoffriend’, said his prospective employers, ‘would your friends describe you as dynamic?’

    ‘No’, he said, ‘but they’d say I was hung like a rogue elephant.’

    He got the job.


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