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How The Life Of Mister Grey Ended

The Life Of Mister Grey theatrical poster

How The Life Of Mister Grey Ended is the second play by Lovian artist Jonathan Frum. Frum has written, directed and funded the production which was finished in 1991. The Life Of Mister Grey is Frum's most existentialist play and is monologue about an accountant that gets involved in a criminal investigation. The play focuses on corruption in legal institutions and themes as guilt, punishment and liberty. Frum performed the monologue himself for a long time but ever since 2005 he left the stage. The play was successful but never reached the same popularity or media attention as his other productions.

Synopsis Edit

The stage is dark and we hear a bang. A weak light is turned on and shines upon what appears to be a man, sitting recumbent on a bench. On the white background screen a view of a park is being projected. In the distant night we hear a voice introducing itself as mister Grey. The man gets up from the bench as the voice gets clearer. He is an elder man of average height and wears a long black vest and a hat. Mister Grey tells us he has to hurry if he wants to catch his train. He has to get up at five in the morning to get to his work in time, but - as he explains - he always wakens around four. Having no real occupation at that time he simply dozes a bit on the park bench along the way. On the background screen the view has turned into a station platform. Mister Grey is now waiting for the first train to arrive while he describes his job. The occupation of Mister Grey consists of 'filing all sorts of things for the citizen register'. Mister Grey's friendly character is portrayed by the sentence 'important stuff I guess, but I am no big shot if that is what you were thinking'.

All the sudden mister Grey stops talking to us in the middle of his sentence and turns around. He engages in a conversation of which we only hear his part. It appears he has to attend something in court. Mister Grey is clearly startled but remains polite. He also asks his conversation partner whether he still has to inform his employer. Mister Grey continues to talk to himself out load, ignoring the public. He overlooks the situation and concludes it is all 'very serious and big and all that, since they have taken care of practically everything'. Mister Grey finally turns to the public again and starts making excuses while he seems to enter a train. He says he 'didn't know at that time and couldn't possibly have known either'. The background screen turns into the interior of a train as mister Grey accounts of his visit to the court: he was charged but maintained his innocence. We are informed about how the evidence was dubious and how untrustworthy witnesses contradicted each other's stories. Mister Grey claims it clearly was a case 'higher powers wanted to be over with in the blink of an eye'.

It becomes clear to us that there was no real case and someone had made a mess of a framing operation. 'They had nothing against me', mister Grey says. Then his tone suddenly changes: 'but it was not because I had not done anything'. He continuous by saying he has his regrets and how he definitely is guilty, just not of the specific crime they intended to pin on him. According to mister Grey it is not only him who is guilty, 'we are all being'. Mister Grey leaves the train and the background screen changes back from train over station to park. Mister Grey is walking down to his bench again as he continuous his confession. He sits down and says: 'Even by cheating they could not take a guilty man down so they simply revealed my imperfection and condemned me, I was released but not at all free; how am I to endure such a burden?' Mister Grey lifts a handgun out of his pocket and holds the barrel against his head. We hear a shot as the lights go out.

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