Discover more from Writing Hamlet
When I got to the theater on opening night, I immediately received some bad news. The actor playing the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father was a method actor, you see. And apparently earlier in the evening he’d had the bright idea of performing the role while actually being dead. We decided to roll with it, and as a group, we hoisted him onto the stage for his first scene. Unfortunately, he totally bombed. Instead of acting all ghosty and imposing, he just kind of lied there, limp, starting to smell if I’m being honest. I decided to give him until the end of the month to improve his performance, but it just didn’t work out. What we gained in terms of verisimilitude, we lost in terms of a theater that didn’t smell like decaying flesh. I’ve worked with dead actors only sparingly ever since.