All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…
As You Like It. Act 2 Scene 7.
Act 3 Scene 2 (continued).
ELSINORE TOWN CRYER
Dear Reader, I know you have been anxious to hear all the news at the Castle. Your Auntie Yorick is Johnny-on-the-spotsky with the latest. Last night there was a murder. A real live murder. It was the piece de resistance “The Murder of Gonzago”, and that play was something else. And I’m talking a capital Something and a capital Else.
Over the years, I’ve seen all the plays. “A Spanish Tragedy” by Tommy Kyd. Chris Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus”. (That was a really good’un.) Romeo and Juliet by that guy from Stratford. I never can remember his name but he’s written some great ones. Anyway R&G has a real bummer of an ending.
I must tell you the prince himself directed this one. That Hamlet, he is turning into to a man with many talents. Now he’s given us this play, and wow. I mean, double wow. And the actors. I got to tell you the players in this “Gonzago” were almost as good as our own Richard Burbage and his gang of Chamberlain’s Men. If actors ever strutted their stuff on stage, these players had stuff they knew how to strut. Boy, did they ever.
Both their Magnanimousnesses were in attendance. They entered with the trumpets trumpeting a root-a-toot-toot. The king’s wear was designed by none other than Giorgio Armani. His Magnanimousness wore the finest purple with gold and scarlet trim from his itsy bitsy toesies to his fur-lined hat reaching for the ceiling. The colors were so bright they would blind a person if one looked at him straight-on.
There was only one person who upstaged the king. Queen Gertrude. She wore a black Azzaro Couture gown revealing enough queenly skin to make everybody blush. The glass slippers alone were a revelation. The skirt to her dress was so transparent that you could get a gander on her long, thin legs. The top on her dress had an oval opening that showed a belly-button button of solid gold. The top draped over the queen and unbuttoned, barely covering her bosoms. The crown on the tippy top of her head was bejeweled in jewels that would make the crown jewels in the Tower of London envious.
Normally their Magnanimousnesses would have sat on their royal tushes on the royal furniture. Not this time. I was informed that, if they sat, their clothes would break. Then the emperor would have no clothes. So they chose to stand. As they stood their stand, they were dignified in their standing as royals are wont to do.
I have to say that it was good to see the Prince back with the lovely Ophelia. She wore a simple white country dress, covered in bouquets of flowers. Hamlet, as usual, showed no fashion sense at all. He was in regular black. He may be a prince, but his fashion-sense is downright serf. While the couple watched the play, they were like two turtledoves, turtledoving as if turtledoving was going out of style.
The play opens with a prologue in pantomime. A murder occurs. A king is poisoned. The murderer takes his place beside the king’s bride. Then the play begins. During the performance, the prince kept talking over the actors’ lines. I guess he was throwing out his jokes to impress his ladylove. He sure had her laughing. Sometimes it was hard to hear the players’ words over the prince’s jabs. But he kept coming out with the funniest lines. That Prince Hamlet, he’s a riot sometimes.
Just as the play was getting interesting, the king’s man, Polonius, interrupted and threw the lights on. The king had displeasure written all over his face. He did one of his world class trumpisms, made a lewd comment about immigration and left the performance. Could it be that his feet were hurting in those tight pointy shoes on his feet? One thing is for sure. Those shoes squeaked as the king waddled out of the hall, an unpleasant frown on his face.
As she followed the king in his exit, Queen Gertrude threw Hamlet a face that said, “Just what are you up to?” I have to tell you it was not a nice face. I do hope that the prince will be forgiven for his rudeness during the play. He has had a rough time of things since his daddy died.
Since they irked king’s displeasure, will the players get paid? I hope so. They performed their performance of murder so well, so realistic. They deserve a bonus in addition to the equity they normally receive.
The king ran through the castle halls, calling out, “Lights, lights.” It was as if he were in some interminable darkness. I love that word “interminable”. Always wanted to use it in a column. One of my New Year’s resolutions. Now I can lay it to rest.
‘Til next time.
Your Auntie Yorick.