Rewriting Hamlet

Here is a really funny sketch with Hugh Laurie and Rowan Aktinson, “A Small Rewrite.” Laurie plays “Bill” Shakespeare and Aktinson is his editor. I especially like the part about the length. “Act three may be a bit long? In fact, generally I think we got a bit of a length problem… It’s five hours, Bill!” As everyone who knows me well can tell you, I’m not keen on Hamlet. It is absolutely a mess of a play. It goes on way too long. And the best part of the play—Hamlet’s escape from certain death aboard a pirate ship—happens off stage, squeezed somewhere between Act IV, Scene 4 and Act V, Scene 1. Most of Act IV is spent with Ophelia running around crazy. Oh, I’ve got to stop. The play is a mess from beginning to end. The only thing worse is most of his comedies and histories.

But this really is very funny, even, I suspect, if you don’t know Shakespeare or Hamlet.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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