All posts tagged Hamlet

The Misunderstood Bard

Published April 30, 2013 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—

Med school was...tough

Med school was…tough

Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories. Which is like discovering that Captain Hook is your surgeon. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.

This evening’s History in Rhyme takes us all the way back to the great Greeks, analyzing Antigone’s inner monologue from a modern perspective.

Little Antigone, will you bury your brother?
Your Uncle’s asleep, (have you seen his mother?)
Where is the sister who said she would help?
You left her inside, afraid she would yelp.
Will you bury him? You must decide…
If so, Old Creon will have your hide.


I am pleased to announce that we have a few guests with us this evening. We will be tackling the difficulties of misunderstood quotes by the great Bard himself. With us this evening are Hamlet and Lady Macbeth.

Bert: Hamlet, I think I’m going to start the interview with a question for you. What has been the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?

2-B or not 2-B?

2-B or not 2-B?

Hamlet: Uh…well, I was playing a game of Battleship with my good friend George Lucas. I was in a bit of a dilemma, not sure what to do, which ship to sink with which coordinates.
Bert: Stressful moment.
Hamlet: Very. I was sweating—solid flesh just melting. My girlfriend was hovering about, asking if there was anything she could do. I said, “Get the others, honey bunny.” Which she did not hear correctly, and thought I had said to go to a nunnery.
Bert: Rather off-putting.
Hamlet: Well yeah. That little slip-up kinda shook things up. So, I’m sitting there, completely distracted, trying to figure out where George Lucas put his ships for the game…and I guess I started thinking out loud. I muttered “2-B or not 2-B? That’s the question.”
Bert: Oh dear. Oh, I see.
Hamlet: Yeah. So, as you can imagine, that, you know, did me in. Lucas called out “R-2, D-2” and sunk my last ship. The rest is history.
Bert: Wow. I see. Thank you, Hamlet for joining us this evening.
Hamlet: My pleasure.
Bert: And now, Lady Macbeth, it is a privilege to have you here this evening as well.
L. Mac: Thank you.
Bert: Now, let me just ask outright. What quote of yours is most commonly misunderstood?
L. Mac: Oh, most assuredly the one that goes, “Out, out—“
Bert (interrupting): –now, now. Wait. You aren’t actually going to say that line are you?
L. Mac: Why ever not?
Bert: Well….this is a children’s program.
L. Mac: And you invited me?
Bert: We can’t have…..language. Not on the air.
L. Mac: So, family-friendly.
Bert: Quite.
L. Mac: Suitable for all ages.
Bert: Indeed.
L. Mac: It would have been alienating…
Bert: True…
L. Mac: But you needn’t worry. I was never going to say “D…”…THAT WORD. You see, that’s the whole point. All this confusion and misunderstanding is so unnecessary. I was not saying, “Out, out, d…. THAT WORD…..spot.” No. There was no wringing of the hands, no craziness on my part. An acquaintance of mine, who I’ve never gotten along with, was in my kitchen. I said, “Out, out, Adam Spock!” You see, most people do not realize that Spock’s first name is Adam. Hence the confusion.
Bert: No spot?
L. Mac: No spot.
Bert: So, you never even said…THAT WORD.
L. Mac: No, never. I never would use such language.
Bert: Murder?
L. Mac: Murder, yes. Entirely different matter.
Bert: Well, thank you for coming this evening.

Dr. Jekyll

Dr. Jekyll

Finally tonight, we have some announcements and updates about some friends of our theatre. In the category of Unlikely Marriages, we have Mother Courage and the Cowardly Lion as well as Little Red Riding Hood and Hugh Jackman.

Also, you may congratulate Dr. Jekyll for his newly acquired position as a psychology instructor at The Tempter’s College, founded by Professor Screwtape.

Good night, folks. Sleep as well as you can.


Mamet’s Hamlet

Published September 1, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—


I don’t think V– will be impressed.

Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories. Which is like giving Harry Potter the Fairy Godmother’s Wand. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.

It’s a brand new school year, full of unrealistic hopes and Lovett’s Pie-in-the-sky dreams. And with any new school year come opportunities of great shame and embarrassment. We call these moments: auditions: where you can embarrass yourself in a room full of people, and never realize it. Of course, these days, I have a hard time distinguishing between theatre audition-ers and Bieber Screamers. However, in order to help the masses, today’s broadcast will center around the audition process.

For all you actor wanna-be’s, think about your name. It’s understandable that you want a cool actor’s name—one with three names. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tommy Lee Jones. Bertolt…Bale…Brahms. However, just because your name is John Jacob Jingelheimer Schmidt does not mean you should put all that down on your audition card. I recently received an email from this John Jacob Jingelheimer Schmidt fellow, who let me know his intention of playing in Richard III by adapting this Shakespearean text into something, which I admit, is much more understandable than Shakespeare’s original. He writes:

Ian McKellen as Richard III

James, Edward, Henry and Richard,

There are so many of you.

When Richard the Third is read,

You all turn up for dead,

He sings James, Edward, Henry and Richard!

(Die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die.)


Yes, folks, this is deadly theater at its roughest. Which is why I decided to bring in a special guest…my good friend Hans Christian Mamet, to give us some idea of how to do Hamlet.

Bert: Hans Christian Mamet, so good to see you.

Hans: Likewise.

Bert: So, Hans. I thought it might be good if you would give us some suggestions on doing Hamlet’s monologue in Act III—the one where he gives advice to the actors. Any initial thoughts before we dive in?

Hans: It’s uh—ya know…

Bert: What?

Hans: A good script.

Bert: Indeed. Ok, let’s dig in. Hamlet starts this by saying, “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly  on the tongue: but if you mouth—“

Hans: Stop.

Bert: What’s the problem?

Hans: The speech. It’s too…

Bert: Too–? Too what? This is Shakespeare, you know.

Hans: I realize. He was a pretty good one. Playwright. I guess.

Bert: So, why’d you stop me?

Hans: No need to continue.

Bert: What?

Hans: Well, it’s too long. Cut it.

Tell us, Hamlet, how you really feel about cutting your monologue.

Bert: Cut Hamlet’s “Speak the speech” monologue?

Hans: Cut it. Just do that part again.

Bert: Ok, I’ll try. Um, “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you—“

Hans. Yeah. Ok.

Bert: What?

Hans: That’s all. All you need. Do it again.

Bert: “Speak the speech—“

Hans: Stop. That’s it. All you need.

Bert: That’s all? Really? Cut down all of that advice to “Speak the speech”?

Hans: Actually, just “speak.”

Three Uses of Mamet’s Knife

Bert: “Speak—“

Hans: Yes. Good. That’s it! Perfect. All you need. Cut the excess.

Bert: Wow, you sure cut that one up and baked the life out of it. I Lovett, Mamet! Again, thank you so much, Hans. We appreciate your input and thoughts on how to approach this classic monologue.


Finally this evening, a small introduction to the next production here at Mother Goose Children’s Theatre. We will be doing Othello: The Prequel. Here is a small sampling.

The thing with Othello:

Iago lies to Othello.

Iago tells lies,

But says that he’s honest,

Which Othello buys.


They all end up dying,

But what’d ya expect?

The story was Shakespeare’s,

We’re not yet to Brecht.


Good night, folks. Sleep as well as you can.

The Pirates of Denmark

Published January 7, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—


Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories.

Peter Rabbit's invisible father.

Which is like telling Peter Rabbit that his father was Harvey. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.


Special broadcast this week: “The Pirates of Denmark,” sponsored by Fisher Price. We hope you enjoy today’s show.


Horatio: Who’s there?

Hamlet: (hollers) Yeah! Hallo, Horatio!

Horatio: Oh, good. It’s you, Hamlet. What do you have there? Is that—is that the bacon cheeseburger from Five Guys?

Hamlet: Oh, this too too solid flesh melts in my mouth.

Horatio: Hamlet, something has come up.

Hamlet: My father, methinks I see my father.

Horatio: Where, my lord?

Hamlet: In my sandwich. Here. Think I could sell it on ebay?

Horatio: Season your admiration for a while—something has come up that needs your attention.

Hamlet: What?

Horatio: Five Guys.

Hamlet: Horatio. They gave me this sandwich.

Horatio: Yeah, they gave me one today, too. But these Five Guys are Pirates.

Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.

Hamlet: Caribbean or Penzance?

Horatio: You don’t know?

Hamlet: Geography isn’t my strong point.

Horatio: Anyways…they’re here.

Hamlet: Not right now, Horatio. I just talked to my dead dad, and he’s blaming Uncle Claudius for his death.

Horatio: Murder most foul.

Hamlet: New slogan for Chick-Fil-A?

Horatio: Forget about your dead dad’s ghost. We have to figure out what to do with the Pirates.

Hamlet: What are they doing here?

Horatio: Those Pirates don’t do anything!

Hamlet: Here comes Uncle Claudius. Don’t tell him what I said about Dad. Or my burger.

David Tennant as Hamlet

Claudius: Hamlet, you look a little Tentative.

Hamlet: I’m just trying to figure out Who I am.

Claudius: Well, you’ve got company. Here are the leaders of the Pirates now.

Hamlet: You can’t have leaders of Pirates! That’d be like Jack Sparrow leading the Brute Squad.

Claudius: Welcome, guests! Welcome to the palace, where brotherly love is so strong, you might think you’re in Philadelphia.

Guests: Thank you.

Claudius: Let me guess now. You are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, right?

Gilbert: Not at all. I’m Gilbert.

Sullivan: And Sullivan.

Hamlet: Ah-hah! Penzance!

Claudius: Horatio, I see that the Pirates have brought their sisters, and their cousins, and their aunts. Let’s go make them feel welcome.

Horatio: Of course. Hamlet, I’ll talk to you later.

Hamlet: Certainly. Ah—my excellent good friends. Gilbert and Sullivan! What brings you to this prison?

Gilbert: Prison?

Hamlet: Yeah. I feel like it’s a prison. I have bad dreams, see? But what brings you hither?

Sullivan: See yonder Pirates?

Hamlet: And their sisters, and their cousins, and their aunts?

Gilbert: Precisely. They are all here to perform a play for you.

A Pirate King...if ever there was one.

Hamlet: He that plays the King shall be welcome.

Gilbert: Ah yes. The Pirate King, Jack Sparrow. Here he comes now.

Jack: Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I.

Hamlet: Here’s a How-De-Do. Are you the captain of those Pirates?

Jack: Captain? No. Not yet.

Hamlet: So what are you?

Jack: I am the very model of a modern major-general,
I’ve information vegetable, animal and mineral,
I know the kings of England and I quote the fights historical,
From Marathon to Waterloo in order categorical.

Sullivan: Gilbert, did you write that down?

Gilbert: Got it! Sullivan, let’s go work on our next production. We’ll call it The Pirates of Denmark.

Hamlet: So, what play are you Pirates all about to do?

Jack: Musical adaptation of the movie The Princess Bride.

Hamlet: And you play…?

Dread Pirate Roberts

Jack: The Dread Pirate Roberts, matey. Do you want to be in it?

Hamlet: To be, or not to be, that is the question. But who is that over there, walking around in circles?

Jack: Poor Wandering One. Here she comes now.

Buttercup: I’m Called Little Buttercup.

Hamlet: Dear little Buttercup.

Buttercup: Though I will never know why.

Hamlet: Nevermind the Why and Wherefore.

Buttercup: Wherefore art thou?

Hamlet: I’m right here. And the name’s Hamlet.

Buttercup: Hamlet, I have a bone to pick with Jack, here. Would you challenge him to a duel, and win?

Hamlet: As you wish. Jack, any last words?

Jack: My dear lady, what are my crimes?

Buttercup: (sobbing) On the high seas, your ship attacked Captain Corcoran’s. And the Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.

Jack: I can’t afford to make exceptions. I mean, once word gets out that a Pirate’s gone soft, it’s nothing but work, work, work—all the time.

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Hamlet: Life is pain. Unless you go to a nunnery. Ah, here comes Horatio.

Horatio: Hamlet, I just found out that Dread Pirate Roberts attacked Captain Corcoran because Captain Corcoran is actually your Uncle Claudius disguised. He wanted to hold Buttercup hostage.

Hamlet: Oh what a tangled web we weave! I’ll fight him, I will indeed! Here he comes now.

Claudius: Hamlet, why do you look so gloomy?

The ultimate test of skill and bravery.

Hamlet: One, two, three, four; I declare a thumb war!

Horatio: C’mon, Hamlet! Claudius is starting to get the upper hand. Don’t let him do that!

Hamlet: Ouch! That really hurts!

Claudius: Say “Uncle!”

Hamlet: Never!

Claudius: But why are you smiling?

Hamlet: Because I know something you don’t know.

Claudius: What is that?

Hamlet: I am not left handed!

Claudius: Oh. Neither am I. Switch.

Hamlet: Oh no! I’m losing! I die, Horatio.

Horatio: Me too, Hamlet. It was those burgers from Five Guys. Those Pirates poisoned us. I die too.

The Tragedy of Hamlet

Hamlet: Horatio, I am dead. Claudius just won the thumb war.

Jack: Not so fast, Claudius!

Buttercup: Oh, my dear Hamlet! I die of grief!

Claudius: Jack, I almost beat you back there on the high seas.

Jack: Yeah, but not quite. I’m just gonna grab some of this rope, here—and tie you up. There.

Claudius: What are you going to do?

Jack: To you? Nothing. I’m going to leave. This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Jack Sparrow.