Primera història d’Esther. Improvisació per a titelles
The Story of Esther
MOST HIGH: May God’s gift of light be yours for ever! I am the Most High, a blind man of this parish of Novareba, and it is my duty to call young and old together… not in the Parish Hall, which is being given a good spring-cleaning (and heaven knows it could do with it)… but in the garden with the five trees, under the rose bush with the scabby bark, the privet, the mountain ash, the cedar and the stunted monkey-puzzle tree, this very day, this beautiful summer evening, without a cloud in the sky, as my Snow-white’s charitable chattering tongue informs me. The Reverend Irfon Jefferies, our own vicar here, is inviting you to the poet Selyf’s puppet show, to see and inwardly digest the true and biblical story of good Queen Esther. Come, now, with your little ones, townsfolk and gentry, men, women and fellow citizens! There’s time on your hands, the sea is calm, the swallows twitter as they skim over the river. Where else will you find such entertainment, such a sweet breeze, at a cost, let us say, of next-to-nothing? I give you my word, I shall leave it to the pricking of each man’s conscience: pay whatever you like for your ticket. Come in, then, and sit yourselves down where you want to, round the little theatre. Hurry now, for the king is trying on the crown he has to wear, the great king of Shushan, a long way from here, very near here, right under your very noses, maybe. The puppets are going to talk and dance, manipulated by the wonderful skill of Hector, Mair’s son, the boy next door, who, as you know, will one day bleed to death, before you can say knife, with his les cut clean off, caught up in a machine. But today Selyf can still get him to control the antics of the marionettes. Try to relax for a bit and forget all the troubles that are coming to us. Later, when the sun has set and Watkin Bryn Haul makes war on the dark night of Novareba with his lamplighter’s pole, you will go slowly back to supper and wait for sleep and the grace of a new morning, if God grants it to you. And may I ask the ladies and gents of the audience to stop their noise, because the show’s starting. Are you ready, King of Persia?
Translated by Philip Polack
Salvador Espriu, The Story of Esther. Kent: The Anglo-Catalan Society, 1989, p.19.