Slings and Arrows (2003–2006): Season 3, Episode 1 - Divided Kingdom - full transcript

Announcer: From its fabled
beginnings in a tent

To the glory years
of the late oliver welles

To last season's
production of "macbeth,"

Currently packing houses
on broadway,

The new burbage theatre festival
has been a beacon of quality

For north-american

This season, we're going to
blow your mind!

We'll soon be announcing

Just which legend
of canadian theater

Will be playing the title role
of king lear!

Keep checking our website
for details.

And now, put your hands
together for the man responsible

For what is being called

The hottest theater festival
in north america--

Geoffrey tennant!


Captioning made possible by
acorn media

[applause stops]

[sobs softly]

Oh, no. Oh.




[piano playing]

♪ when life takes its toll
and fate treats you bad ♪

♪ you used to be king,
and now you've been had ♪

♪ alone with your fool,
you think you'll go mad ♪

♪ it's nice to take
a walk in the rain ♪

♪ a stomp through a storm
is what i'd advise ♪

♪ when people you trust
tell nothing but lies ♪

♪ and kidnap your friend
and gouge out his eyes ♪

♪ it's nice to take
a walk in the rain ♪

♪ you say your daughters
are evil plotters ♪

♪ a beat about a shower
will keep you sane ♪

♪ when all has been said
and all have been slain ♪

♪ it's good to take
a walk in the rain ♪

♪ for several hours ♪

♪ helps to have
a howl in the rain ♪

♪ without your clothes on ♪

♪ nice to take
a walk in the rain ♪

[cheering and applause]

[indistinct voices
on television]

Man, shouting:
Tom's a-cold!

[mutes television]


Oh, do de!
Do de! Do de!

Hey, what the hell
is going on?

Tom's a-cold!


Oh, do de,
do de! Do de!

[telephone ringing]




Hey, everyone!
I've got geoffrey!

Hello, geoffrey.

Do you hear them?

All the way
from new york.

They're all drunk.

I can hear that.
Where are you?

At barbara's apartment.

She's giving us
a closing party.

Oh, you wouldn't
believe this place.

The view of central park
is amazing.

Wait, wait, wait.

Geoffrey, I just
have to tell you

That was the most
incredible evening

I've spent
in the theater.

It reminded me
of why I wanted

To be an actor
in the first place.

And I am totally terrified
to work with you. God!

Barbara hasn't changed a bit.
She's so great.

Mm-hmm. Great.

Oh, I can't wait
to see you.

I've been fantasizing
about my homecoming.

Me, too.

What's wrong?



Last night I wept

In front
of 1,500 strangers.


Ok. Um...

We can talk about it
when I get home...


I love you.

Mm-hmm. Me, too.

Hey, everyone,
tell geoffrey you love him.

[all saying
"we love you, geoffrey"]


Uh, well, I have 10 to 6:00 a.M.
Eastern standard--

Oh, wait.
He just walked in.

Man, british accent:
Very good. Can you stand by?

I'll be back to get a level
in half a sec. Cheers.


God. They really say
"cheers" in England.

So, do you want to talk
about last night at all?


Yeah, I know. The schedule
has just been brutal.

You're probably just tired.
I know i'm tired.

You know what I did
this morning?

I poured cream
in the coffeemaker.

I had to rinse it out.
It was all burnt.

Richard, I wept

For 20 minutes.

Yeah, but you know,
the funny thing about weeping,

Because things are going
so well right now.

Yes, it is funny.

Geoffrey, are you sure
you're up for this,

Because, you know,
this is the b.B.C.

This is important.
The queen might be listening.

Hello, geoffrey.

If we could just get
a level before we begin.

Richard, you can
rest easy.

I will not embarrass
you or her majesty

With any spontaneous

Good. Thank you.

And richard.

Uh, sibilance,
sibilance, sibilance.


Come on, ducky.
Wakey, wakey.

We have to go back
to the hotel and pack.

Why? Where
are we going?

Lord love it.
We're going home, dear.

Ha ha! Five shops?

That's all there is
in new burbage?

No, no, no, no, no, no.
There are...

There was
the christmas emporium.

There's save-mor.

And did I mention
the chipwagon?

No. Ha ha ha!

I want to introduce you
to someone.

Ellen, this is
christopher norton.

Ellen is one
of my oldest friends.

Christopher: And I couldn't
take my eyes off you.

It was like watching
a young vanessa redgrave.

I said to my friend skye,
I said, "who is this woman?"

Who are you?

I'm just ellen fanshaw.


And, uh...
Who are you with?



Oh, I...Ha ha ha!
I thought you meant...

Oh, my agent's name
is olive barlow

Of olive barlow

I'll look her up.

Again, it was
great work.

Barbara, call me.

That sounds so trite.
But...Call me.

Who was that?

Chris. He's huge.
He's just an agent,

But he has been
packaging everything.


"just ellen fanshaw"?

You need to learn
how to promote yourself.

Man: Geoffrey,
your productions are known

For their bare-bones
style of staging

Coupled with an almost
unbearable emotional intensity.

Oh, god. Are they?

What's your secret?

I...I don't know.

I don't know
what i'm doing.

I just do it.

Any particular influences?

Too many to count.

What about the late
oliver welles?

Oliver? Sure. Him...

And every director
i've ever worked with

And every actor
i've ever worked with

And my mother
and my father,

My grade-7 teacher,
my little dog ruffles.

I've been influenced
by anyone i've ever met,

And i've stolen
from everyone

I've ever
worked with.

Didn't picasso say
something like...

"bad artists copy,
good artists steal"?

Yes, and he
also said,

"good taste
is the enemy

Of creativity,"

And I take great
comfort from that.

Ha ha ha.

Your "macbeth"
has just finished

A smashing run
in new york.

I see here the "times of london"
called it perfect.



That's a ridiculous

Uh, but, uh...
Greatly appreciated.


Richard smith-jones here.
Good morning.

Theater is dynamic.

It is constantly
in change,

From performance
to performance.

So the concept
of perfection

Is meaningless.

I mean,
it's as meaningless

As me saying,
"oh, hi. Look at me.

I'm north
of the north pole."

This is meaningless.

Yeah, but also, you know,
I think a great tribute

To the staff and team

We've assembled here
in new burbage,

Which, among other things,
has resulted in

A year-over-year
profit increase of 350%.

But geoffrey,
these types of notices,

Given your history
at the festival,

Must be immensely

Your next production
is "king lear."

How do you plan
to top yourself?



This is absurd.

It's far
too absurd for...

Whatever time it is
in the morning.

So I thank you,

And I thank
your majesty.

Thank you so much
for being on my money.

And that does it for us.

I want to thank
geoffrey tennant...

Oh, how did it go?

Where's geoffrey?

Oh, not good, eh?

No. It was fine.

It's just that

Things are going
well, aren't they?

Things are going
really well.

They are!

But he's...
He's miserable.

You know, he's moody.
He's sarcastic.

I mean, I know he's an artist,

But does he have to be
an artist all the time?

On the radio?

Well, some people don't
handle success very well.

Speaking of which...

Oh, my gosh.

"canadian business."

I used to dream of this.


Oh, where's geoffrey?

Oh, he's probably
gone to bed.

You'll see him
this afternoon

At the world
music festival.

Is that today?

Oh, god. This schedule
is killing me.

What are you
doing in so early?

I always start work
at 6:00.


Good work ethic.

What set are we on?

Uh, gloucester's castle.

Ok. And what's handy?

Well, we're in the main hall,
so chairs, tables,

Wine jugs, goblets.


Yeah, there
could be a spoon.

My first idea is
spoons, all right?

Cornwall, he's got the
blood pack in his hand.

Gloucester, he's got
the eyeball.

It goes a little something
like this, all right?

Upon these eyes of thine,
I set my feet,

Blah, blah, blah,
and then...

Yeah. Yeah, and I can
light that tight.

You know, lights down...

Eyeball pin spot.

That'll mean blood spatters
on regan's gown.

We'll need doubles.

You know, that's...
That's one way.

Could I have that
for a second?

But I just...I think
shakespeare had it down.

It's way more fucked up

If cornwall digs them out
with his own fingers.

You know what I mean? What's
more disturbing than this?

I mean, imagine a finger going
into the eye socket, you know.

And then it's like--

I mean, you would literally,
like, hear, you know,

The optical nerves,
you know, snapping.

You'd probably smell
somebody else's hand.

And then it would be like--
ok. Ready? Watch this.

"upon thine eyes of mine,

I set my foot."
and then it's like...

Aah! Aah! Aah! You know.

Something like that.
You know what I mean?

But I mean, it's
totally your choice--

You know, thumbs or...
Thumbs or spoons.


Thumbs, I think.

Thank you. Next.

The storm--lighting
and special effects.

Ok. Geoffrey,
is it true?

Richard said I could have
anything I wanted.

Yeah. He said
the same thing to me.

Ok, because...I'm thinking
of using the sierra system.

It's very expensive.

What does it do,
this sierra system?

[loud thunder]

[wind blowing]

[thunder and wind stop]

Thank you.
Thank you.

Hey, man,
that was great.

Geoffrey, what
do you think?

Well, it's, uh...

It's very realistic.

Too realistic?

What do you mean?

I mean, we can
make it real,

But is real
what you want?

Or is it like
madness, right?

I mean, you know,
is the storm really happening?

I mean, I know
it's really happening,

But is it like
a crazy storm of madness

In lear's head or...

Nahum, what
do you think?

Hard for me to say.

In my theater in nigeria,

We would shake
a large piece of tin.

It worked quite well.

"canadian business."
I used to dream of this.

Of course, in my dream,
it was just me, but still...

why am I here?

I don't have to say
anything, do I?

Nah. Just say a few words,
thank them for coming.

I don't think it matters.
They don't speak english.

It's pointless.

It's not pointless.
We're the face of the festival.

For god's sakes,
would you put it away?

[music continues]

Speaking of faces,
any hints

On who's going to play lear?
Is it william shatner?

I haven't decided.

Oh, come on.
What's to decide?

He's captain kirk!

[music ends]


Is this it
for today?

No. You've got
the marketing meeting at 5:00

And you've got the arts
administrators dinner at 8:00.

No. No. I can't.

Geoffrey, it's
a national conference.

You've got to.
You speak better than me.

No. I can't richard.
Ellen's coming in tonight.

And aside from which,
I do not want to run the risk

Of, you know, weeping
in front of another room

Of entire strangers.

Look, you were stressed.
We're all stressed.


[applause stops]

[takes deep breath]

[sobbing softly]

You have to do
the announcement.


All right.

[geoffrey sobbing]

Uh, well...

Los perditos.

Los perditos.
Weren't they terrific?


Obviously, this is
a very emotional time for us.

It's been so moving to see
all you foreigners,

Artists and musicians,
do your thing all week long,

But unfortunately,
the festival is over,

And it's time to say good-bye,
and that's very sad.

[geoffrey sobbing loudly]

Very, very, very sad.

Uh...But to you,
we say bon voyage,

Which means "have
a pleasant journey home"

In one of our 2
official languages...


Well, thank you
very much for coming.

Thank you, everybody.


I'll...I'll do the dinner.


If you will all turn

To page 17
in your annual report,

You'll see in figure 4
that as of last June,

Our advance sales--
21 days or longer--

its steady climb

Until we were 85%
to 90% capacity,

And that gave us
a year-over-year improvement

Of 350%, so...


Ok, any questions?

Mr. Jones.


I am so sorry.

I'm a little

Really? Thank you.

The financial turnaround
is one thing.

I mean,
it's very impressive.

But the artistic

I mean, that's
really remarkable.


Could you
comment on that?


Well...What are
your influences,


Actually...I'm just stumbling
around in the dark

Like everybody else.

I think i've stolen
every good idea i've ever had.

But as picasso
is alleged to have said,

"bad artists copy,
good artists steal."

[laughter and applause]


Ellen: Wailing?

No, weeping. Very...
Really heavy crying.

You know what?
It's nothing.

I cry all the time.
It doesn't mean anything.

It's...It's healthy

Oh, look. Look at this.

It's chanel.

Barbara made me buy it.
It cost a fortune,

But I can wear it
to the opening.

I'd really like
to believe that.

No, I will.

No, I mean about
weeping being healthy.

Well, geoffrey, forget about it.
It's just a one-time thing.

Well, it happened
again today.

So it's...A 2-time thing.
Just don't obsess.

You obsess about little things,
they become big things.

I don't think
it can be sadness.

I mean, it feels
like sadness.

I don't think it
can be, because...

Well, things have
never been better,

And why would
I be sad

When things are
going really well?

You missed me.

Mmm...I missed you.

I thought about this
all the way home.

I thought about it
all through barbara's party.

I thought about it
all through

The second act
of the final performance.

What about
the first act?

I was thinking
about my dress.

So i've got no macbeth,
i'm hemorrhaging subscribers,

And my ad-account
executive is in jail.

Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!

That is terrifying.
Ha ha ha!

Listen...I know
this is stupid,

But could you
sign this for me?

Ho ho! I know that guy.
Sure. Uh...I don't have a--

I do.

Oh, you do?
Thank you.



There you go.

"to melinda."
what does this say?

"rock on." I didn't
know what to put.

Ha ha ha!

Say, where did
everybody go?

you know.

They're all home
in bed with hot milk

And their copy of
the pact agreement.

Right, yeah.
Well, I, um...

Guess I should
get going, too.

You know,
I may be down

In new burbage
next week,

If you wanted to go
for a coffee or...


Ok. What day are you
coming to town?


Or Wednesday.

Thursday or...

Ha ha ha!

Here's my card.

Just call me...
Mr. Smith-jones.


Oh, I am so going
to get laid.

Well, that's
an eye-opener. Ha.

I'm sorry.

Oh, no...

I mean, I...
I suppose

This kind of
thing happens,

You know,

I guess we could
be grateful

I'm not weeping.

No. This is serious.
This is a problem. It's me.

It's me, isn't it?

No, it's not you.

That's exactly what people say
when it is you.

Ellen, would you
please just calm down?

I think this is
probably, you know,


You're right. You're
very stressed.


You should see
a doctor.

You need

Ok. What happened

To the "don't obsess
about the small things"?

Well, it's become
a bigger thing.

This is
our sex life.

What if we never
make love again?

What if 2 weeks ago
in my hotel room

In new york was
our last time ever?

Ok, you want
to know something?

You are reacting
in the worst possible way.

This is the single
worst possible way

That a woman could react
to this situation.

Right. I'm sorry.
I'm very, very sorry.

It's common, isn't it?

This kind of thing
happens all the time.

Wait a minute.
I remember an e-mail.

A chinese
homeopathic remedy

For men with
penile problems.

Richard, you forgot
the check for the minister,

For the photo op.

Anna, I said big,
not gargantuan.

Well, they had
3 sizes.

I thought bigger
would be better.

Anna, it's not going to
fit in there.

Ok. How about
the trunk?

This looks

No one will notice.
You'd better get going.

Uh, mr. Archer's
assistant called,

Wants to stick
to Friday.

Why? Why do I always have to
change my schedule for him?

I don't know.
She said

It's a really
important issue.


[engine won't start]

Ah, shit!

I'll get the jumper cables.
You need a new car, richard.

I know! I know!

Stalled again?

Yes. He needs
a new car.

And how
are we today?

We are fine.
We haven't cried...Yet.

Oh, it's still early.

Good. Good.

in your office.

Oh...Take a knee.

Sometimes it's best to just
work through the tears.

Anna, for god's sake!

That's what I do.


Darren nichols.

Grotten van netherlands,

It's chocolate.

Of course it is.

And how was your winter
in amsterdam?

No tourists.

Just the dutch,
damp and pale.

I swear,
the pronunciation

Grows even
more guttural

As the days
grow darker. Ha ha.

What is it you were
directing again?

A musical based
on humpty-dumpty.

Very dark. The dutch
went crazy for it.

Oh, those dutch.

I must say,

I've fallen in love
with the musical genre.

It's the art form
of the common man.

If you want
to communicate

to the proletariat,

Cover it in sequins
and make it sing.

It's noisy, vulgar,
and utterly meaningless.

I love it.

I'm very eager
to begin.

And we are eager
for you to begin...

And to conclude also.

Ha ha ha. Oh, yes.

I'm counting on your
input, geoffrey.

Why the fuck would
you want my input?

I've come to realize
that the repulsion

We feel for one another
may, in fact,

Be the source of
our creative energy.

Darren, i'm going to be
real busy with "king lear."

Oh, come now.
I want you

At casting,
at rehearsals,

And at every

our musical

Will blow the roof
off this place.

To the set.

This is going to be great.

[camera clicking]

The flash is...

Can we take
the picture?

Yeah. I'll get more
out of my car.

Ok, look.
Could you hurry?

Because this is the minister
of culture, all right?

Sorry about that.

I'll make sure
you get

A really nice framed
copy for your wall.


You know, minister,
I thought you'd be pleased.


That we paid
our loan back early.

Why do artists
make such a big deal

When they exercise basic
financial responsibility?

We lend you money.
You pay us back.

You don't get a parade
and a handjob.

Ok, minister, come on.

Look at all these.

Each one a photo op.

Ooh. This one
actually bounced.

Some shifty little bastard
from a poetry magazine

Brought this in,
and it actually bounced.

The fucker!

God, I feel like a truant
officer with you people.

Jesus, minister.
You know, I...

You know,
i'm a taxpayer.

Excuse me?

Yeah, i'm a taxpayer,
and I think that funding--

Are you talking
back to me?

No, minister.

Go to hell.

Ok. Big smiles,

Well...No more
champagne and oysters.

No more star-struck fans
waiting at the stage door.

No more fire island.

No more cheesecake.

A couple of
dreary-looking shrimp

And a crusty old
deviled egg.

After all
the reviews we got.

I hate it here.



How did it go?

My car stalled
on the highway.

Get a new car,

It just needs
a tune-up!

You have a problem
with success.

What? What do you
mean by that?

I mean
you've worked hard,

And you've succeeded

So treat yourself. Go out
and buy a shiny new car.

No. Used maybe.

Or maybe
an off lease with...

God, maybe I do
have a problem.

What i'm saying is that
these recent problems,

You know, the weeping
and the...Down there--

The erectile


That's what
it's called.

Well, thank you.

Anyway, I think
it's actually bigger.

I think it's, like,
me and everything.

You've conquered

You're doing "lear,"
a play you love.

Which i'm having some
trouble with at the moment.

What kind
of trouble?

Well, casting mostly.

Every canadian celebrity
over 60 wants to do it,

And richard is pressuring me
to go that way,

And I don't know.
I don't know.

I think i'm going to go
and talk to charles again.

Charles kingman?

Isn't he
a little old?

Well, old is
the right age for lear.

And it's not...It's...
Ellen, I really need

To talk to somebody
right now.

Wait a minute.
There's barbara.

Ha ha ha!

I'm here!
You're here!

Can you believe it?

your apartment?

Uh! No, no, i'm kidding.
It's fine.

I mean, it's
a little small,

And it's above a dry cleaner's,
so there's a smell.

Oh, you can't
stay there.

Oh, it's fine.
I told myself

I will not be a diva.
It's fine.

So what if the windows
won't open?

Stay with us.

No, no. I won't intrude
on you and geoffrey.

Geoffrey won't mind.

Well...Maybe just until
they find me something else.

I want to start torturing
my director right away.

Where is geoffrey?

Oh, he was here.



So, like, do you
want to see it?

It's parked
just outside.



So, why are you
selling this car?

My dad got me
an s.U.V.

You should tell him
what happened inside the car.

Maybe then he'd want
to buy it more.

Why? What happened
inside the car?


Well, nothing

Or at least she says
she doesn't remember it.

Ok. Um...How much is your
asking price for this vehicle?


Oh, I don't know.

I mean, i've got the money.
It's not that.

It's just that,
you know...

God knows,
my car is dying.

It's just that, you know,
i've had it a long time.

So it feels like who I am...
Or who I was. Ha ha.

I don't know. Maybe it's
the way I was raised.

Boy, but i'll
tell you kids,

It's very, very...[whistles]

You know, we're doing
great this year,

But, you know, that
could be dumb luck.

And next year, it could all
come crashing down, you know.

And then i'm left
driving around

In some cherry-red girlie car,
looking like a complete fool.




I'm sorry. Um...

I've got another meeting.


Man: And yet
to save a truth,

Reason and love keep little
company together nowadays.

Thou art wise

As thou art

Not so neither.

But I have wit enough
to get out of this wood.

I have enough to serve
my own turn.

Out of this wood
do not desire to go.

Thou shalt remain
whether thy will or no.

I am a spirit
of no common rate.

The summer still doth
tend upon my estate.

And I do love thee.
Therefore go with me.

I'll give thee fairies
to attend on thee,

And they shall
fetch thee jewels

From the deep
and sing

Whilst thou on pressed
flowers dost sleep.

And I shall purge
thy mortal grossness

So that thou shalt
like an airy spirit go.

Pea's blossom,
cobweb, moth,

And mustard seed.

And here come
the fairies,

All except mustard seed,
who's in dialysis.

So we'd better
take a break.


I'm not too early, am I?

No, not at all,

Sorry to bring you
all the way down here,

But this is our last
day of rehearsal.

When do you open?

Oh, tomorrow
or the next day,

on who's alive.

Thank you.

I always order 2.
It saves time.

I hate being in the middle
of a really deep conversation

And trying to get the waiter's
attention, you know.

Yeah. Of course.

Tell me more about how you
and geoffrey work together.

I mean, you guys seem to have
this really amazing rapport.

Well, you know,
geoffrey does

More of the art stuff,
and he's impossible

To rope into the
administration stuff.

So that really puts
the pressure on me

To keep the theater

Tell me about it. My a.D.
Is an ass-grabbing alcoholic.

I've had to clean up
more of his fucking messes

Than I can tell you,
but he's a genius...

And married.
Oh, enough about me.

You go on. Go on.

Well, you seem pretty
interested in the rebranding,

So I brought you
a little surprise.

I accept.

Mrs. Richard smith-jones.
Who knew? Ha ha ha!

I'm kidding.


I'm totally...Ha ha ha!

Um, I had
my assistant

Print off the daily
box-office reports.

Now, I know you can
follow numbers,

So you can see
how dramatically

The upswing in sales
came when it happened.

I mean,
it's not tom clancy,

But it's pretty
compelling stuff.

What exactly do you
and geoffrey do together?

I mean, does he ask you
about anything creative?

Do you even...Do
anything creative?

Oh, well, you know,
we're all a band

Of brothers
up at the theatre.

It's just that some
of us direct or act

Or hang lights.


You're just another

Of those fucking
numbers guys, right?

I mean, you do these
tedious grant applications

And funding
and union contracts.

It's dull!
Your life is dull!

Isn't that
your life, too?

Fuck you.
Ha ha ha.




I got to tell you,

It's been a long time
since i've heard

People enjoy themselves
in rehearsal.

is short, geoffrey.

You shouldn't do it
if there's no fun in it.

When did you become
so fucking sunny?

Well, you caught me
on a good day.


You've come to tell me you're
going with a movie star?

Ha ha. Well...

I just...I need
someone to talk to.

I'm losing my focus,
and, uh...

My usual resources

Well, they're failing
to keep me erect,

If you know what I mean.



I want you to tell me
about the storm.


It's lear, isn't it?


A king...Stripped
of everything--

Riches, loyalties--

Standing naked
in the heath.

"blow winds
and crack your cheeks.

Rage, blow."

Do you hear
the storm?


And then he sees
his fool

Waiting for him
in the rain,

Standing there
shivering in the cold.

And something
in him stirs.

"in, boy," he says.
"go first."

An incredible thing
for a king to say.

Then he turns back
into the storm,

And he
actually prays.

"poor naked wretches,
whereso'er you are,

"that bide the pelting
of this pitiless storm,

"how shall your
houseless heads and unfed sides,

"your looped
and windowed raggedness

Defend you from seasons
such as this?"


He says, "i've taken
too little care of this."

He makes the connection
between his own suffering

And the suffering
of others.

He's losing his mind,

But on the way,
he's finding his heart.

I never thought
of it like this.

You can go right through the
ages of man with shakespeare,

And in the end, he gives you
this enormous gift of lear

To anticipate
your own decay.


Well, well, well.

You've just given me
a peck of trouble.


I want to do
your lear.

Oh. Sorry.

Anna: Richard,
where have you been?


You're supposed to be
meeting with mr. Archer.

He's been looking
for you everywhere.

Shit! Where is he?

In the parking lot.
He was about to leave.


Sorry. I don't know
what's going on.

Richard: Mr. Archer!
Mr. Archer!

Richard, you're late.

Well, then you should have
fucking rescheduled.

I'm sorry?


I am the executive director
of this festival,

Not your damn butt boy!

You want a meeting
with me?

You tell me the fucking agenda.
You got it?

Richard, relax.

This is bullshit!



If you have
a second, richard,

We'd like to
give you this car

To thank you
for all your incredible

Leadership and vision
this season.

You saved the festival,

And this is a token
of our appreciation.

Isn't that


I am not king lear?

That's correct.

I would have been
a pretty good lear.

And i'm sure
you will be someday.

You know, I spent
7 seasons at stratford.

Some of the critics
said that my hamlet

Was touched
by greatness.

I'm sure it was.
I'm just...

I've decided to go
in a different direction.

A different direction
from greatness?

I'm going to go
with charles kingman.


Yeah. Ha. Ah.
[ahem] kingman.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Interesting choice.

Bold choice.

Your marketing

Might even call it
an insane choice.

Look, I just wanted
to say that it's been

A real pleasure
getting to know you.

There's no need
for that, ok?

I'm a big boy.
I'm a big boy.

I can handle it.
I'm a big boy.

I thank you
for your understanding.

Oh, no, bless you.
Please, geoffrey.

The director's obliged
to share his vision

Of the play
with his lead.

When I was doing
"the aviator"

With marty scorsese,
you know, he'd assess

My role with me,
you know. So I, um...

I wish you and charles
the best of luck.

I appreciate that.
I sincerely hope

That you and I can find
something to work together on.

Actually...I have
an ideal project in mind.

Oh, yeah? What?

"king lear,"
starring me. I beg you.

Oh, ken, please.

You son of a bitch.
You toyed with me!

You dangled that role
in my face!

I didn't dangle

"I turned down
kenneth welsh."

Is that what you're hoping
to crow to the world?

No, not at all.

I wasn't available
anyway. You got that?

I turned you down!

Is that what you
want me to say?

That's the truth
of it.

Call my agent,
you big piss ant!

Ok. I'm sorry.
Oh, man. Sorry.

[sighs deeply]

Ok, when you get to
your opening night,

Just before
the curtain goes up,

Could you do me
a favor?


Suck on this!

Oh! Uh!

Jesus. I've waited all
my life for that part!

You are a dream
fucker, geoffrey!

I curse you, and I
curse your production!


your new car?

God, the insurance
on this kind of thing...

Richard, you should
feel very proud.

You've earned it.
Enjoy it.

I'm a fraud, anna.

How are you
a fraud?

I'm not a leader
or a visionary.

I'm a bureaucrat.
I'm...I'm a bean counter.

Yes, but you're
a good bean counter,

And you care about
what you do,

And you're

Oh, richard,
please don't cry.

You're making me cry.

Who the hell am I, anna?

Who the hell
is richard smith-jones?

Ok. Well...
I can't stand this.

So i'm going to
go away, ok?

You have a good cry.
Get it all out.

I'll be
in the office. Ok?

Take your time.

[exhales deeply]

Dear god, help me,
help me, help me!

Woman's voice:
How can I be of service?


Bmw assist.
How can I help?

Hey, um...
Geoffrey, I--

What happened
to you?

What do you want?

Did you hear
I got a new car?


Yeah. I just sat
in it and cried.

I couldn't stop.

Christ. Maybe
it's a virus.

You know,
all I ever wanted

Was for this theater
to be successful,

And now it is.

And I can't
enjoy it.

I mean, my whole
experience of this

Is just numbers
and box office

And marketing meetings

You know, there's
got to be more

To a life in theater
than this.

Oh, god, I know
that feeling.


Look, richard, I don't think
I can continue like this.

I just...I can't do
all these meetings

And the fundraising
and the interviews

And the committee...

I just...
I'm no good at it.

It makes me weep,
among other things.

All I want to do
is direct "king lear."

So I need you to do
something for me.

I am asking you to take over
all of that other stuff.

What? More meetings
for me?


That doesn't help me!

Geoffrey, I came
to you for help...

Trying to figure out
who I am and...

What i'm doing here.

Ok, richard, get a grip.
Take a breath.

[breathes deeply]

Why'd you come here
in the first place?

Do you like
the theater?

Yeah, I like
the theater...

Especially musicals.

I mean,
I love musicals.

Ok, this is great.

You see, this is a very
happy piece of symmetry,

Because...I hate musicals.

And I don't think I can sit
in a room with darren nichols.

I'm quite afraid
that this time,

I will put something sharp
into his frontal lobe.

So why don't you go
to the musical rehearsal

And be me? You can sit in.
You can give your ideas.

You can connect
to the creative process,

And you will discover
what's going on in here.



I could do that?

It's all yours.

Ok. Sure.

Hey, good meeting.

That's a very good meeting.
Yeah. You feel better?

You feel good?
Yes. Yes, I do.

That's great,
because i'm going

With charles kingman
for king lear.

[door opens]

Captioning made possible by
acorn media

Captioned by the national
captioning institute

♪ call the understudy ♪

♪ I can't go on tonight ♪

♪ i'm drinking
with my buddy ♪

♪ i'm getting kinda tight ♪

♪ before they raise
the curtain ♪

♪ i'll be higher
than a kite ♪

♪ so call the understudy ♪

♪ I can't go on tonight ♪

♪ tell the cast and crew
to break a leg ♪

♪ break a leg ♪

♪ roll me out
another bloody keg ♪

♪ bloody keg ♪

♪ I need to ease the pain
that life can bring ♪

♪ life can bring ♪

♪ and liquor is what
will hit the spot ♪

♪ the play is not the thing ♪

♪ so call the understudy ♪

♪ I think it's only right ♪

♪ my diction will be muddy ♪

♪ i'll never find me light ♪

♪ before the intermission ♪

♪ i'll be pissing
on a sprite ♪

♪ so call the understudy ♪

♪ I can't go on ♪

♪ he can't go on ♪

♪ I won't go on ♪

♪ he shan't go on ♪

♪ I can't go on tonight ♪

Damn right!

[laughter and applause]