I Hate Hamlet Background

I Hate Hamlet Background

A comedic 1991 play by Paul Rudnick, I Hate Hamlet tells the tale of an actor who wrestles with taking on the role of Hamlet, while attempting to deal with life's problems as well. It premiered on Broadway later in 1991, and enjoyed moderate success.

I Hate Hamlet centers around Andrew Rally, a young television actor who wins his dream role– Hamlet, but has significant trouble with portraying the character. Along with this acting block, Rally attempts to navigate his relationship with his girlfriend, as well as hosting the ghost of John Barrymore, who encourages Rally to play the part of Hamlet to his fullest. The play blurs the line between fantasy and reality; in one scene Barrymore challenges Rally to a sword fight in the middle of his NYC apartment. Eventually, Rally is forced to choose between his dream role of Hamlet and other personal matters.

The play premiered on Broadway in 1991, and was generally well-received except for a few hiccups with the cast; Williamson, who played Barrymore in the original Broadway production, was notoriously temperamental, resulting in several squabbles with other members of the cast and crew.

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