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Alexander The Great
Witness To Yesterday
A Review by Moira
Alexander the Great (Paul Gross) interviewed for television. The blonde curls, short skirt, head band, armour, bangles, chest scar, came as a bit of a shock, but presumably Alexander was blonde. I imagine the garb was a faithful representation of a Macedonian warrior.
If the costume made you smile, the demeanour, pure hauteur and arrogance, would not. Here was a man who would have no compunction about having you executed, or even doing it himself. He would crush you like a cockroach underfoot. And yet, for all his merciless strength and power, when he asked "Is my empire still there?" I was sorry for him. I knew, and the interviewer knew, that his life's work, with all the sacrifices and slaughter, started to crumble immediately after his death at only 33 years.
Paul Gross played Alex as a man, not as a gay man. He was asked about the friend he killed. This was his lover, was it not? He declined to answer. "We will not talk of this". He declined with such chilling finality that not even the Spanish Inquisition would have repeated the question and survived.
This Alexander exuded raw power and menace while remaining perfectly still. It was all done with eyes, voice and body language. Here was a man not normally given to sitting around and chatting. I even wondered why he had agreed to be interviewed.
Methinks that at some stage during the half hour I totally forgot I was watching an actor with stupid hair and a gold lamé cloak. I was in the presence of Alexander himself. What more could one ask of a performance and a TV programme?