Best Performance By A Skull

Dec. 5 2008, Published 12:04 p.m. ET

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To be, or not to be What must have seemed clever in rehearsal turned out to be a major distraction, when a production of Hamlet featured a real human skull during the well known grave-digger scene.

The skull belonged to Polish pianist Andre Tchaikovsky, who left it to the Royal Shakespeare Company after dying of cancer in 1982. This fact was kept hidden during the play's four-month run in Stratford-upon-Avon, but was finally leaked by Hamlet himself, David Tennant, during an interview.

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Tennant stars in the UK's wildly popular Dr. Who, the longest running TV series in history (45 years and counting).

The Royal Shakespeare Company intends to replace the eerie prop with a plastic skull when the play goes to London's West End.


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