We have an epicene Hamlet, who is easily half the size of his vast and monumental mother, played by Hilary Mottleglot. I do not like to gloat, and I hesitate to use the word fat to describe her, but Mottleglot has patently decided to ignore my well meaning suggestion of 4 weeks ago, which was that she lay of the pastries for a while.
Then we have Sylvia Dorking-Pastures, an actress incapable of a subtle performance. Her intent is to bring attention to herself, generally in crowd scenes, by over-emoting and drawing the eye from the main players. She is allowed to get away with this because she is one of the few members of the cast with any claim to an acting career. For the price of a double Vodka and orange, she will regale you with well worn tales of the many years she spent, treading the boards in Rep and Revue. Curiously, I have not found evidence to back her various claims, but we indulge her nonetheless.
Then we come to the much maligned ghost-of-Hamlet's-father. We are to attach the "ghost" to wires and use a very temperamental mechanism to hoist the dummy/ghost into the air and then move it on pulleys towards the middle of the stage. As for the dummy/ghost, I have tried in vain to give the wretched thing an ethereal bent, but it has proved nigh on impossible. It is unfortunate, or is it deliberate?, but the "spectral apparition" bears a strong resemblance to the talented actor, Roger Moore. The limbs of the dummy are immovable and so we have a suave and sophisticated, ghost-of -Hamlet's -father, who is marked with one quizzical raised brow and a vaguely affected gait. Even with the copious application of whitener and powder, it would still look more at home in a shop window advertising non-iron trousers, than imparting words of prophecy in a damp Danish graveyard. You may not be altogether surprised to hear that my muse has long since departed for other climes and by the time that the Saturday evening premiere of Hamlet begins, I will heartily wish that I were gone with it.
I remain convinced that this is an attempt by Hilary Mottleglot, to make me look foolish. Not content with buying her way into the Streatham Amateur Dramatic, Dance and Opera Society, (she has money and we are not allowed to forget it), but she must divert attention away from the fact that she has no ACTUAL talent for the stage, by sabotaging my artistic endeavours.
Saturday looms, and the dark clouds of despair are gathering.
yours in trepidation