NICOL WILLIAMSON—WHEN STAGE FIGHTS ARE REAL. Mary Jane and I recently enjoyed seeing I Hate Hamlet. Kids, I Hate Hamlet is the play in which the great actor Nicol Williamson gave a legendary Broadway performance—legendary because he drove his costar off the stage—and out of the production—in the middle of the first act. This obituary of Williamson in the New York Post (January 27, 2012) by Michael Riedel recounts the legend. First, “Williamson departed from the script and shouted at [the costar]: ‘Put some life in it! Use your head! Give it more life!’” Then, in a sword-fighting scene which followed, “Williamson smacked [the costar] on the backside with the flat of his sword.” After the costar walked offstage, “Williamson turned to the audience and said, ‘Should I sing?’” The obituary has some other Williamson stories, including one about Williamson fighting the legendary David Merrick and knocking him into a trash can.

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