My dream is to direct the following ludicrous production of Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline.” (If you’re not familiar with Cymbeline, you might wanna google it— it’s possibly his most ridiculous show, which is saying something.)
So, the show starts with Shakespeare sitting drunkenly in a bar, chatting up a barmaid about the show that he’s BS-ing for some upcoming deadline. She’s super into him. (This is the opening scene of the play where characters spit ridiculous amounts of exposition and backstory.) The characters in the play enter when he mentions them, and are clearly using costumes and using props re-purposed from other productions— Iachimo is “definitely not Iago,” the Queen is “totally not Lady Macbeth,” etc. A crazy mish-mash of styles and time periods. The actors do the play so incredibly ‘over-the-top earnest and sincere’ that it’s hilarious.
Shakespeare himself frequently starts and stops the play, changing things, removing or adding characters, props, and details. They freeze while he engineers every possible deus ex machina, such as freezing the actors, swapping fake poison for real poison, and restarting, and he plays minor plot-device characters like Cornelius and Jupiter. He also gets most of the ‘straight-to-the audience’ one-liners. All of his lines are uttered like he’s making them up as they go along.
By the end of the show, Shakespeare becomes aware of how absurd the thing he’s created is, comes up with a speedy resolution, gets upset, throws the play in the trash, all the actors exit. The Barmaid picks the manuscript out of the trash, considers it, puts it in her pocket and exits.
That is the only excuse I will accept for the existence of this play, haha.
One thing to add is at some point Shakespeare should stop the actors, think for a while, copy the pose of the barmaid like he’s trying to see it from her perspective, then he’s just like ‘I can’t fucking think like this’ and him and the barmaid swap clothes, and he looks again and is like ‘No, no you’re definitely right, it’s just not quite there’ and he restages the scene they were doing.