I have always loved the spooky. The feeling of being scared. Ghost stories. Haunted houses. Watching horror movies at 3am huddled nearly naked in a t-shirt and underwear on the floor in front of the glowing television next to someone special. I find these experiences romantic. When I see ghost trains in movies or photos I get so excited I tend to exclaim and dance and clap my hands like a little girl. That’s why when I read the ghost train scene in AMLETH, I did just that. I squealed, clapped my hands and danced around the room. One day, I hope to ride a real ghost train, as I’ve only been in a couple of state fair style haunted things.
Here’s the opening stage directions from Jeremy Menekseoglu’s The Tragedy of AMLETH Princess of Denmark. It is a brilliant and beautiful way to show the budding (grotesque) public relationship between GERTRUDE and CLAUDIUS as well as a very clever way to do the play within a play catch a killer scene.
“This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine.”
As the house lights lower, OPHELIA slowly stands and stares up at the sky. There is a rumble of thunder and it begins to rain. She lifts the suitcase over her head. Darkness. Thunder.
After a moment, we hear a large door bang open and two glowing eyes appear. We hear a loud blast from an air horn and a hiss of steam. Strange lights raise revealing GERTRUDE, MRS. POLONIUS and CLAUDIUS riding in a small cart painted to resemble a Ghost Train. It tosses them violently as it jerks and bumps forward. MRS. POLONIUS is trying to hold on to some cotton candy.
The cart jerks to a stop as organ music begins to play. A light rises revealing a large wax puppet sitting in a chair holding a handgun in one hand and a revolver in the other. A wax puppet of a small boy sits before him. The small boy stands and walks towards the Ghost Train. He raises his hands and beckons to them for help. Suddenly, the large puppet raises both of his guns and fires repeatedly at the boy. The limbs break apart into several pieces and slowly glide away in all directions. Darkness. The Ghost Train jerks forward. A dim light rises.
Tonight and tomorrow night you can hear the whole script read aloud. I can’t wait to explore these characters more! Visit our facebook page for details.