Hamlet puts on a play, nyah nyah nyah

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.

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 3 Scene 2 (continued).


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.

Hamlet: A Comedy Tonight

And, like a strutting player, whose conceit
Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
‘Twixt his stretch’d footing and the scaffoldage.
Troilus and Cressida Act 1 Scene 3.

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 3 Scene 2 (continued). Hamlet wanted to be king. Since he couldn’t have that, he’d settle for director. Director of a little play called “The Murder of Gonzago”.

You’d think that would be enough. But, no, he’d produce it too. Claudius didn’t know it yet but Hamlet was using his uncle’s money. First Elsinore, then maybe Broadway. Soon he’d be a famous Broadway producer.

The Hamster could see the Broadway marquee. There it was. “The Murder of Gonzago” all lit up. Then maybe a movie. Before anybody knew it, he would be up for an Oscar. He liked the sound of “Academy-Award-winning director”.

Hamlet wanted to do a musical but the actors couldn’t sing. Not a note. So he settled for a mousetrap play.

Not only did Hamlet think he could direct and produce, he thought he could write as well. He’d gone and rewritten the darn thing. But things weren’t working out the way he’d planned. Hamlet had gotten himself into a pickle. A real deal pickle.

The actors were perfectly happy doing “The Murder of Gonzago”. Hamlet put a ghost in the new version.

“There’s no ghost in that play,” Rufus yelled. Ghosts were old school. A fifteenth century superstition. Their Elizabethan audience would laugh them off the stage. The entire troupe ixnayed that idea right out of existence.

Hamlet overheard Jack Pierre, “I’ll never remember my lines.” Hamlet had a cure for that. He’d turn the play into a pantomime.

J P may not have been a royal but he  was royally p.o.ed. “What do you mean? I don’t get to speak? I don’t think so. It specifically says in my contract that I get at least seven lines. I didn’t spend years developing my wonderful voice to allow some pipsqueak to take out my lines.” Hamlet lost that battle too.

The actress Brunhilda came to Hamlet, “I am not going on in this dress. It makes me look fat.”

Rufus wanted to know, “So what is my motivation?”

Dealing with actors was worse than a room full of theologians. He hadn’t been this frustrated since he had taken on Martin Luther in a debate back in Wittenburg U. He had lost that one and he was about to lose this one too. Here he had this play, “The Murder of Gonzago”, going on tonight. The actors were not playing nice. In fact, they were driving him bananas, and this was before anyone knew what a banana was. They knew what a chiquita was but not a banana.

Only goes to prove that Robbie Burns was right when he wrote,” The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy.”