The Pyramid Texts
Geoff Thompson’s monologue of a life in the boxing ring certainly packs a punch. Gritty, painful and searingly honest, The Pyramid Texts is 60 minutes of drama.
And yet it’s so simple. Christopher Fairbank as Ray switches on a video camera and speaks to it. His only props are a handful of prayer beads, some wraps, boxing gloves and a flask of tea – all the drama is in his story and the way he tells it.
Casting back over his life, Ray talks about his heroes, he admits his faults and failings, he speaks of precious moments such as when he held his first son – and he speaks of moments so painful they can reduce a grown man to tears.
Thompson’s writing is taut, powerful and poetic. There are no wasted words and repetitions and memories are all the more haunting for being linguistic recalls of happier times. A whole life is encapsulated in 60 minutes of narrative.
Fairbank is totally convincing as Ray. Not once do his eyes stray into the audience – it’s as though we are not there. Focused on the camera, he successfully conveys the joy and sadness of Ray’s life by a gesture, a facial expression or a word. It is a concentrated performance in which, for a short moment of time, he becomes Ray.
Directed by Michael Vale, there are some wonderfully poignant moments, such as when Ray cradles one of his boxing gloves and in his mind’s eye it becomes his son.
Also a film, The Pyramid Texts is a mesmerising production. The hour flies by and you are left wanting to know more.