artwork by Mikyong Rodgers

Renowned Canadian Playwright
Morley Shulman 


Infinity Stage
A publishing House for modern plays and musicals


Shattered Shakespeare

by Don Grimme


cast:  3m,2w

running time: 40 minutes


free script preview

Five actors gather on stage to portray eight characters in a muddled tale told to them by the drunken poet Willie Liam Shakes-beer. Following pontifications by five witches, the tale begins with an elderly befuddled king named Lear, his wife Gertrude, and her hunchbacked transsexual lover Rachel (formerly Richard III) Macbeth. After decapitating Lear, Gertie and Rachel relocate to Verona, taking the name Montague. They send their hunchbacked daughter Ophelia to an orphanage and raise Lear's son Hamlet as "Romeo."

Most of the tale takes place 20 years later and concerns the Montagues' entangled relationships with the Capulet family – fat court jester Polonius and his children Othello and Juliet. At the urging of Lear's ghost, Hamlet/Romeo jilts his girlfriend (and half-sister) Ophelia and hooks up with Juliet. Ophelia gets herself to a nunnery, taking the name Sister Desdemona.

Othello ignores Polonius' advice and becomes a Venice wine merchant/loan shark named Shylock, who lends his father 100 ducats (with the equivalent pounds of flesh as collateral) ... but not before hooking up with a defrocked Desdemona, whom he later kills. Worn down by Lear's nagging, Hamlet/Romeo eventually beans Gertie and Rachel on the head. ["To bean, or not to bean. That is the question." – is but one of scores of mangled quotes.] In the final scene, Othello/Shylock demands his pounds of flesh. When first Juliet then Romeo rise to Polonius' defense, Shylock kills each of them.

watercolor by Mikyong Rodgers

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