“I think the frog. Definitely, the frog.”
“Don’t you think it lacks something of the cuteness of the others? It’s the having no fur. And being green”
“Is that what the murder of Julius Caesar means to you? Cuteness and fur? Death usually does lack cuteness. “
“And the green?”
“What colour would you suggest for a slaying?”
“Well it’s just that the advert is meant to entice people in, get them to come and see the play. What about the one with 2 kittens? An all feline cast would be a first.”
“Remember when we tried Richard III with just dogs? The lead puppies fell asleep and missed their cues, Lady Anne repeatedly mounted the Lancastrians and ‘A poodle, a poodle, my kingdom for a poodle!’ lacked the gravitas of the original.”
He had a point. The world’s first Animal Shakespeare Company was a roaring success, but early errors with larger, jungle animals had persuaded the director to work with nothing bigger than a spaniel. There was still plenty of scope for actors of course, but the seats all had to be close to the stage so audiences could see. A ferret rarely has the stage presence of a lion but at least fewer seats led to longer runs.
The wardrobe manager tried one last time. “The frog is the only one who is a female. The others are all guys, far more suitable to play Caesar don’t you think? Do we really want to veer into cross-dressing?”
“’Cross dressing’? Not one of them will be wearing garments of any kind to dress or cross-dress in. And it’s not as if you’d normally expect to see a frog’s…dangly bits…would you. Nobody will say ‘Oh, a frog without a winkle.’”
He played his trump card, all further argument moot.
“And did you see her Hamlet at Stratford?”