We are in the Green Room. The sound on the two stage monitors is turned-down and everyone's attention is given to the 2004 Summer Olympics on the T.V. It is the final of the 4x100 relay. All eyes are glued to the screen ready for the gun to be fired. A cast member glances at the action on stage. “Aren’t you in this scene” he asks his colleague next to him. His table companion rushes to the door and heads frantically towards the stage. “A new event – the Hamlet 25-yard dash” he mutters as he turns back to the athletics.
“Has he jumped yet?” the tall figure gazes at the stage monitor. The black and white figures hard to distinguish on a fuzzy screen. We have a long forty minute wait before we go back on stage. Hamlet must meet the ghost of his Father, learn of the murder and then swear revenge before we return. We hang out in the Green Room sipping cups of tea and eating flapjack. On stage, the Ghost will fall back into the stage through a hidden trap-door. Greg Hicks, holding his body sword-rigid, will bravely tumble into his grave and back to Purgatory.
Meanwhile, we enjoy the summer’s evening on the Green Room balcony overlooking the river. Above us on the first floor are the main dressing-rooms for the key characters. Occasionally, tourists walking by are treated to the sight of Queen Gertrude using her mobile phone. We are joined by the King who has slipped on to the balcony for an inter-scene cigarette. He and Osric swap insulting banter. I switch into Switzer-mode and manage to catch the King’s eye. “Do you want us to sort him out?” Osric looks appalled: “Jesus, you sound like you mean it.”
Still, we wait for our call to action. We look back at the monitor, waiting for Greg Hicks to wail for his revenge. “Go on you bugger, jump!” we shout at the Ghost.