Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Chimp Hamlet

In about a day, I will be joined by some trusted colleagues to read The Taking of Orange Line 1-2-3. It is, of course, nerve wracking, but necessary. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, I bring to you another drama that, in its day, achieved great acclaim.

***

It is often theorized that an infinite number of monkeys, banging away at an infinite number of typewriters, will eventually produce Hamlet. Back in 1954, family member who correctly anticipated my hope of proving this theorem true, commissioned just such a menagerie of monkeys and outfitted them with whatever typewriters all of Bush's National Guard records would have been typed on. Some years ago, our experiment at last bore fruit. This is, then, Hamlet, as composed by a roomful of chimpanzees who have been banging away at typewriters since 1954.

Act I, scene i -- a guard post at Elsinore

GUARD ONE

Ooooooweeee!

GUARD TWO

Nisssissseeee!

Act I, scene ii -- Interior

HAMLET

Oooowoooowooowoo.

GERTRUDE

Weee-ohh-ohh. Eeeeeh oohhh.

HAMLET

Sree! Sree!

CLAUDIUS

Kahyeeee!

(Gertrude and Claudius toss Hamlet into a bramble bush.)

CLAUDIUS

Kayeee.

Act I, scene iii -- Interior, five minutes later

(Horatio and Guards enter, help Hamlet out of bush.)

HORATIO

Oooo oooo ooo oooo ooo.

HAMLET

Oooo ooo? Oooo oooo ooo!

GUARDS

Wheeee! Wheee!

(The Ghost of Hamlet?s father is lowered quickly. He is shown wearing a diaper and is covered in baby powder.)

GUARDS

Skreee! Skreee!

(they run out)

GHOST

Raaahhhyeee! Rahhyeee! Gerp! (Gurgles)

(the Ghost hangs himself on the rigging)

HAMLET

Eeeoooohhhh.

(Horatio bats at Ghost)

Act II, scene i -- Ophelia and Laertes are discovered onstage

OPHELIA

(holds drawing of Hamlet)

Oooooooo. Oooooo. Hee-hee.

LAERTES

Brap! (takes drawing of Hamlet, smears it with waste)

(Enter Polonius)

POLONIUS

Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah.

(Laertes and Ophelia run from room)

(Voltemand enters)

VOLTEMAND:

Ooo oooo ooo-ooo.

(Polonius pelts Voltemand with pebbles.)

Act II, scene ii -- Another room in the castle. Gertrude, Polonius and Claudius enter.

CLAUDIUS

Oooo-weee, oo oooo ooo?

POLONIUS

Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah.

(Gertrude and Claudius run from room. Hamlet enters with book.)

POLONIUS

Oooo, ooo ooo ooooo-oo. Oooo-wee-ooo-weee?

HAMLET

Wooo, wooo, wooo.

POLONIUS

Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah.

HAMLET

Reeeee! Reeee!

(strikes Polonius on head with book, Polonius runs from room)

(A band of players enter.)

HAMLET

OOOOOH! Ooooh, ooo-weee-ohhh. Skreee!

(The Players look at each other and shrug. They commence rutting.)

HAMLET

(delighted)

Reeee! Reeee!

(Hamlet gets his freak on.)

ACT III, scene i -- Later. Hamlet enters

HAMLET

Ooo oooo, ooo oooo ooo oooo. Oooo oooo ooo ooooo-oooo. Ooooo ooo oooo ooo ooo, ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Oooooo ooo oooo oo oooo. Ooo ooo oo o oooo oooo. Ooooo ooo oo ooooo oo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo oo oooo ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo ooo oo oooo oo ooo oooo-oooo. Oooo oo oo ooo oooo ooo. Ooo oo oooooo oo oo o oooo. Ooooo oo oo ooo ooo oooo. Ooo oooo, ooo oooo ooo oooo. Oooo oooo ooo ooooo-oooo. Ooooo ooo oooo ooo ooo, ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Oooooo ooo oooo oo oooo. Ooo ooo oo o oooo oooo. Ooooo ooo oo ooooo oo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo oo oooo ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo ooo oo oooo oo ooo oooo-oooo. Oooo oo oo ooo oooo ooo. Ooo oo oooooo oo oo o oooo. Ooooo oo oo ooo ooo oooo. Ooo oooo, ooo oooo ooo oooo. Oooo oooo ooo ooooo-oooo. Ooooo ooo oooo ooo ooo, ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Oooooo ooo oooo oo oooo. Ooo ooo oo o oooo oooo. Ooooo ooo oo ooooo oo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo oo oooo ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo ooo oo oooo oo ooo oooo-oooo. Oooo oo oo ooo oooo ooo. Ooo oo oooooo oo oo o oooo. Ooooo oo oo ooo ooo oooo. Ooo oooo, ooo oooo ooo oooo. Oooo oooo ooo ooooo-oooo. Ooooo ooo oooo ooo ooo, ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Oooooo ooo oooo oo oooo. Ooo ooo oo o oooo oooo. Ooooo ooo oo ooooo oo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo oo oooo ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo ooo oo oooo oo ooo oooo-oooo. Oooo oo oo ooo oooo ooo. Ooo oo oooooo oo oo o oooo. Ooooo oo oo ooo ooo oooo. Ooo oooo, ooo oooo ooo oooo. Oooo oooo ooo ooooo-oooo. Ooooo ooo oooo ooo ooo, ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Oooooo ooo oooo oo oooo. Ooo ooo oo o oooo oooo. Ooooo ooo oo ooooo oo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo oo oooo ooo ooooo ooo ooo. Ooo ooo oo oooo oo ooo oooo-oooo. Oooo oo oo ooo oooo ooo. Ooo oo oooooo oo oo o oooo. Ooooo oo oo ooo ooo oooo.

(Ophelia enters)

OPHELIA

Oooo-ohhh. Weee-oooh. Oooo. (Strokes Hamlet?s face)

HAMLET

Brap. (Smacks Ophelia across the face.)

OPHELIA

Sreeeeeee! Skreeeeeeee! (she runs out).

(Hamlet touches himself vigorously)

Act III, scene ii -- a great hall

(Hamlet, Gertrude, Polonius, Claudius and the Players enter)

HAMLET

(to players)

Ooohh! Weeee! Kie-eee-eye-eee! (claps hands)

(The Players commence a frenzied orgy.)

CLAUDIUS

Rahhhh! Reeee-ooooo! (slaps Gertrude)

HAMLET

Skreee! Skreee! (bites Claudius and Gertrude)

(Gertrude runs out, Hamlet and Polonius follow)

Act III, scene iii -- Gertrude?s chamber. Gertrude is onstage, weeping. Polonius is tucked behind an arras

HAMLET (entering)

Keeee! Keeeee!

(Hamlet screws Gertrude from behind)

GERTRUDE

Aaaaiiieeeeee!

POLONIUS

Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah? Blah! Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah.

(Hamlet beats Polonius to a bloody, unrecognizable pulp. This takes about twenty minutes)

Act IV, scene i -- Downstairs

(Hamlet enters, dragging Polonius? carcass. Enter Claudius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Horatio)

CLAUDIUS

Oooo oooo-weee! Weeee. Weeeee!

ROSENCRANTZ

(appoaches Hamlet)

Oooo oooo ooo. Ooo oooo oooo, oooo ooo. (extends arm in friendship)

HAMLET

Skreee! Skreee-eee-eeeeee!

(Hamlet kills Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The gravedigger enters with skull of Yorick)

GRAVEDIGGER

Oooo ooo oooo. Oooo ooo ooooo.

HAMLET (takes skull and shows Horatio)

Ohhhh. Oooo ooo ooooo. Oooo ooo oooooo.

HORATIO

Oooo. (nods)

(Hamlet strikes the Gravedigger with the skull of Yorick. Voltemand enters. Horatio and Hamlet attack Voltemand and kill him. Laertes enters. He and Hamlet tussle. At this point, several trainers enter, carrying cattle prods and tranquilizers. Hamlet, Horatio and Laertes attack the trainers. Horatio tears a trainer?s throat out. Hamlet seizes a cattle prod and electrocutes two other trainers, as Laertes administers fatal doses of horse tranquilizers to the other two trainers.)


HAMLET

There is more to heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy.


(A curtain is raised to reveal the Statue of Liberty, buried up to its neck. Hamlet, Horatio and Laertes invent a complicated written language, which they master and use to prove the Unified Field Theorem. With this in hand, Hamlet creates three powerful cold-fusion guns. Horatio, Hamlet and Laertes fire these guns at the audience, vaporizing various audience members. Chaos ensues, and tragedy is narrowly averted when the New York Times review come out, soundly panning the production, referring to it as "Ghastly?an utterly implausible take on the Hamlet story. These poor players should definitely be heard no more." The shows backers withdraw their funding, and the Chimpanzee Hamlet closes after only fourteen performances. Horatio, Hamlet and Laertes join the SAG/AFTRA strike, where they fling their own feces at scab, non-union commercial actors. The theatre is dark for two weeks, after which it hosts the opening of Andrew Lloyd Webber?s new musical Bombastic A-Holes Singing Goopy Songs About Love, which wins every major Tony Award that year, excepting Best Choreography, which is won by Contact II: Bullshit Boogaloo. Bombastic Assholes, however, goes on to play the Nederlander Theatre for the next fourteen years, closing only after the sun goes supernova and destroys the Earth in a painful rain of white-hot liquid flame.)

Exeunt.

7 comments:

A. L. Deviant said...

It never gets old.

Red State-Blues City said...

Still not as funny as The Skinhead Hamlet

playfulinnc said...

Wow. You have amazing focus and follow thru abilities.

Anonymous said...

I'll have whatever you had prior to this post..

arcticactor said...

Finally! Someone understands the subtext I was trying to give the character! We even had a monolith in our production ... to give another chimp-driven movie crossover. "2001" meets "Planet of the Apes" meets "Hamlet." It all makes sense now.

Robson said...

"(Hamlet gets his freak on.)" remains my favorite stage direction ever.

Paris said...

That's hot.