Now not many of you know this, but I am a Shakespearean actor. I am a member of a small troupe who perform publicly at various venues far and wide.
We’re very good really. Matilda, Hilary, Gerard and I. It’s a small troupe as I said … an ensemble you might call us. We try our best to be as authentic as possible when performing our plays; or bits of plays like monologues, sonnets and so on.
We rehearse our productions in our living room every Wednesday evening. We put the headphones on the dog so we don’t disturb his TV viewing and we gather there to read our lines.
Now being a perfectionist, I like to dress in full costume beforehand and rehearse my lines in front of a full length mirror. You should have seen me as Mark Anthony the other day … frightened the cat I did!
That evening I was rehearsing my lines from Hamlet. “To be or not to be … that is the question!” I said in my best English accent. “To be … or not … to be …”
And the cat came into the room meowing and rubbing himself against my legs. I gently pushed him away and continued, “To be … or not to be …”
But the wretched cat continued to pester me, and my rehearsal turned more into, “To meow … or not to meow … that is the purr purr, question.”
“Go away”, I said to the silly creature, “this is a monologue … not a catalogue!”
But it wouldn’t go away, so I eventually put him out in the garden just as my guests arrived.
So there we were, Matilda, Hilary, Gerard and I, enjoying a nice cup of hot lemon tea. I like to offer them lemon tea because it loosens the vocal chords you see; it was also on offer and a little cheaper at the supermarket this week.
So we were enjoying a nice cuppa and chatting away casually when the cat came in and gently placed a dead mouse at Matilda’s feet.
She screamed loudly throwing her hot tea in Gerard’s lap. He quickly awoke feeling the sudden rise in temperature in his Southern regions and accidentally kicked the small table sending teapot, sugar and Viennese biscuits flying through the air.
I like to offer Viennese biscuits because they’re so delicate … and also on offer … buy one get one free. So I got two packets.
Anyway, in the mayhem that ensued the dog suddenly awoke and rushed out of the room still wearing the headphones, dragging the TV to the ground as it broke into millions of pieces.
The whole evening’s events were totally disrupted and our rehearsals adjourned to a date in the very distant future.
The cat enjoyed the Viennese biscuits but was not too partial to the lemon tea.
I understand both Matilda and Gerard are consulting their respective lawyers.
Anyway, weeks later, after all these events died down, I landed a big part in a play that’s showing locally in town. I play the part of a mouse.
I know it’s not Shakespeare but he could have written it I suppose; if he was into pantomimes. That’s a British comedic theatre style, for those of you who don’t know.
I play one of the mice that turn into horses in the Cinderella story. I’m sure you know the story, the Fairy Godmother turns a pumpkin into a horse drawn carriage and the mice into horses. I play one of the mice.
Now as I mentioned before, I like to rehearse my lines in full costume at home in front of a full length mirror.
I realise that in Cinderella I don’t have any lines to say per se. I just stand there dressed as a mouse together with three other actors; then there’s a big bang as the Fairy Godmother waves her wand … the lights go out … and when they come on again we’ve left the stage and we’re replaced by four other actors dressed like horses.
It’s very complicated you see and requires a lot of rehearsals to get it right.
So I took my costume home and put it on. Then I stood there in front of the mirror looking like a giant mouse.
The cat came in and AHHH!!!! He was totally frightened out of his nine lives. He thought one of the many mice he has been chasing in the past had come back for revenge. He climbed madly on top of the wardrobe and would not come down … shaking to death he was.
What a turn of events. The cat who made my life hell all these years is now cowering away like a quivering jelly on top of the wardrobe.
The lazy dog usually half-asleep in front of the TV woke up suddenly upon hearing the cat’s commotion. He looked at me and decided there’s no way he’d let a giant mouse usurp his territory.
He started growling. I tried to calm him down, but he pounced toppling me onto the ground and biting me in several unmentionable places.