I Shall Never Play the Dane

“I’m bored.”

“You’re…some people would kill for your role!”

“I’m sorry I ever took it. It’s a curse. Same thing night after night.”

“What are you, Tom Stoppard?”

“It’s tedium personified. Why can’t we mix it up a bit, do something different?”

“Roger, it’s Hamlet. People have certain expectations.”

“I’m not saying we leave out ‘to be or not to be’. I’m saying, let me do it with a Norwegian accent. That’s what Welles would have done.”

“You’re not Welles. You don’t drink enough. This isn’t experimental theater; it’s rep.”

“Exactly! It’s rep. It’s not dinner theater.”

“Actually, a lot of people eat during the…”

“They’re not going to burn the place down just because I make some interesting choices. It could do for the critics, too, you know. Maybe we get increased ticket sales.”

“Well, what did you have in mind?”

“You really want to hear my ideas?”

“Er…how many of them are there?”


“Why don’t you give me your top five, if it’ll make you feel better.”

“All right…first one, Hamlet wins.”

“He what?”

“He lives at the end.”

“But…that totally invalidates the whole point of the play. How can it be an effective tragedy if the hero doesn’t meet a tragic end?”

“So we don’t make it a tragedy! We make it an action movie! Except in play form.”


“Plus, that beautifully sets up my idea #2.”

“Which is?”

Hamlet II: The Hunting of Fortinbras.”

“Are these your best ideas? I mean, do they get worse from here on?”

“Define worse.”


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