The Man Himself


Nicholas Butler

Essex County Standard


The Man Himself by Alan Drury

Essex University Theatre

Alone on the stage sat a youngish nondescript man who chain smoked and told us, as it might be to the psychiatrist, that he ought to have been seeing, about his life, his condition and prospects.

His name was Michael and he was apparently very concerned about the lack of moral standards in the world. ‘There is right. There is wrong. There are standards. They must be maintained,’ he said wretchedly.

What he meant was that in order to save himself the difficulty of constructing a moral and social code for himself he would have liked on to have been constructed for him. And, of course, for everbody else. As it is his efforts to behave like a dull, unimaginative, conscientious, latter day Victorian in contemporary Clapham have cost him the respect of his workmates and broken up his marriage.

People who cannot make rules for themselves often submit, rather suddenly, to creeds of an extreme character that make the rules for them.

Alan Drury’s monologue about a pleasant man albeit with an arid personality, who was using all his conservable intelligence to try and discover what was wrong with him, was subtle and detailed not a mere vehicle for propaganda.

The actor, who with great skill and sympathy, interpreted the part was Alan Wright. His director was Barry Edwards.