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The Actor's Nightmare

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Having casually wandered onstage, George is informed that one of the actors, Eddie, has been in an auto accident and he must replace him immediately. Apparently no one is sure of what play is being performed but George (costumed as Hamlet) seems to find himself in the middle of a scene from Private Lives, surrounded by such luminaries as Sarah Siddons, Dame Ellen Terry and Having casually wandered onstage, George is informed that one of the actors, Eddie, has been in an auto accident and he must replace him immediately. Apparently no one is sure of what play is being performed but George (costumed as Hamlet) seems to find himself in the middle of a scene from Private Lives, surrounded by such luminaries as Sarah Siddons, Dame Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. As he fumbles through one missed cue after another the other actors shift to Hamlet, then a play by Samuel Beckett, and then a climactic scene from what might well be A Man for All Seasons—by which time the disconcerted George has lost all sense of contact with his fellow performers. Yet, in the closing moments of the play, he rises to the occasion and finally says the right lines, whereupon make-believe suddenly gives way to reality as the executioner's axe (meant for Sir Thomas Moore) instead sends poor George to oblivion—denying him a well-earned curtain call.


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Having casually wandered onstage, George is informed that one of the actors, Eddie, has been in an auto accident and he must replace him immediately. Apparently no one is sure of what play is being performed but George (costumed as Hamlet) seems to find himself in the middle of a scene from Private Lives, surrounded by such luminaries as Sarah Siddons, Dame Ellen Terry and Having casually wandered onstage, George is informed that one of the actors, Eddie, has been in an auto accident and he must replace him immediately. Apparently no one is sure of what play is being performed but George (costumed as Hamlet) seems to find himself in the middle of a scene from Private Lives, surrounded by such luminaries as Sarah Siddons, Dame Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. As he fumbles through one missed cue after another the other actors shift to Hamlet, then a play by Samuel Beckett, and then a climactic scene from what might well be A Man for All Seasons—by which time the disconcerted George has lost all sense of contact with his fellow performers. Yet, in the closing moments of the play, he rises to the occasion and finally says the right lines, whereupon make-believe suddenly gives way to reality as the executioner's axe (meant for Sir Thomas Moore) instead sends poor George to oblivion—denying him a well-earned curtain call.

36 review for The Actor's Nightmare

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julian Munds

    I don't know what it is about Durang's work but it rings hollow to me. I am a fan of Theatre of the Absurd but Durang's work does not leave an impact. In fact, I am often disgusted at it. It's stereotypical, not to play it up, but because I think that's all he can write. It's played off for empty comedy, most of his premises would work, and probably be better as short sketches. This one for sure would work that way. Perhaps, that's reason one rarely sees full productions of his work and only com I don't know what it is about Durang's work but it rings hollow to me. I am a fan of Theatre of the Absurd but Durang's work does not leave an impact. In fact, I am often disgusted at it. It's stereotypical, not to play it up, but because I think that's all he can write. It's played off for empty comedy, most of his premises would work, and probably be better as short sketches. This one for sure would work that way. Perhaps, that's reason one rarely sees full productions of his work and only comes across it in reviews in places one might see a scene study or acting class.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lise

    a fun romp, had a blast performing a scene from it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Last show, ladies. Let’s get this bread!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Wilkinson

    Like the theatre version of Duck Amuck.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gabe

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Poplavska

  8. 5 out of 5

    Imarie Oberholzer

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sama

  10. 5 out of 5

    The uncommon girl

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katelynn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily Maria

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric Weisheit

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

  16. 4 out of 5

    James Sullivan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Raechelle

  18. 5 out of 5

    M

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katealily

  20. 4 out of 5

    Krista

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arwen~Undomiel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annika

  23. 4 out of 5

    Makynna

  24. 5 out of 5

    Šárka

  25. 4 out of 5

    Catriona Bone

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cheyenne

  27. 4 out of 5

    Max

  28. 4 out of 5

    Juliet

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ben L.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Blake Howard

  31. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  32. 5 out of 5

    abcdefg

  33. 5 out of 5

    Blake

  34. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  35. 5 out of 5

    Ella

  36. 5 out of 5

    Hera

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