A F Harrold:As The Actress Said

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“As The Actress Said”
Artist: A F Harrold
Albums: An Englishman's Home Is His (Modestly Priced) Third Album (2006)

Er, this is a poem called As The Actress Said.

Um, I'm as an actress

Once upon a time there was an actress
Who was acting in a stage play off off Broadway
And her mother happened along to the theatre one night
Took fright, and flight, and sent her husband instead the next night

The father of the actress looked at his daughter
In the first scene of the play
And felt uncomfortable with her undressèdness
And so kindly hurried onto the stage to lend her his coat

Now, this rocked the boat of the actor who acted on stage with the actress
Who found improvisational challenges difficult and fled
The father asked: was it something I said?
To his daughter the actress not lying nude on the bed any more on the stage
Who was, to be honest, entering into the tiniest rage

She spoke curtly and shortly to her father
Who'd rather, he said, that she not take that tone
Or else wait till they're home and alone
The actress replied that the stage was her home
And that her body was art, or at least in this part
And she only displayed what he and his good wife had made
And to people who paid

I've one thing to say, he said
Sitting down on the edge of the foot of the bed
Neither your mother nor I is a prude
In fact it is true we spend quite a bit of our time in the nude
And although I'll admit while preparing hot food
An apron is handy, especially when frying
Seeing you naked up here on this stage
With your actor friend drying up with each line
With either his bad

Or his no sense of timing
Is not any way for a daughter of mine to be spending her time
And furthermore, he went on
This is a show with no songs
And the theatre's so draughty
And the script is so thin
I don't think it's the right play for you to be in
A daughter like you
Who's the apple of your mother and I's eyes
Deserves so much better

I don't want to be seen as a quitter, the daughter replied
An actress who leaves at the first curtain is certain
To never get work in this city again
And then what am I going to do
To make Mother, and you, proud of me?

We'll always be proud
The rest of his sentence was drowned
By the loud roar of the crowd
Who'd been watching the scene unfolding between
The girl and her dad, and by now they had had
In the couple's oration more drama and love
And coiling emotion than they could handle
And they displayed an ovation and roared with approval
And the management of the theatre
Instead of calling for the old man's removal
Asked if he could come back every night
To highlight the plight and turn up the tension
And not to mention the sense of suspension
That hung in the air

The actress' father thought he might well agree
But only after he decided on an appropriate fee