November 23rd, 2021


Hamlet -- The Lancashire dialect monologue version

I had this poem on my website, but Demon stopped doing email, we changed ISP and so the website eventually disappeared. I thought it might be useful to have it available online again, so here we are...

Marriott Edgar wrote a number of humorous verse monologues in Lancashire dialect, the most well known of these is probably "The Lion and Albert". I remember hearing this regularly on the radio when I was a child. It was while I was doing the OU's Shakespeare course back in 2003 that my attention was drawn to The Skinhead Hamlet. Until then I hadn't really been aware that humorous versions of Hamlet existed. I'm not quite sure what happened then, but something clicked in my brain and I just knew that if there wasn't already a version of Hamlet done in the style of "The Lion and Albert", then there ought to be one. The story of Hamlet is just as tragic as the tale of a little boy eaten by a lion on a visit to the zoo and would perfectly suit that dry Lancashire way of telling a tale. As Google couldn't find me the monologue I longed to see, I decided that I'd better write it myself.

Here's the original poem: The Lion and Albert

With profound apologies to both William Shakespeare and Marriott Edgar, here is Hamlet in the same style...

One dark moonless night on the ramparts,
Two sentinels standing at ease
Saw summat extremely peculiar,
A ghost, large as life, if you please.

The poor blokes were horribly frightened,
The ghost was all haggard and wan,
But before it could say owt t'purpose,
The cock crowed -- and then it were gone!

When Horatio happened to mention
The ghost they had seen in the night,
Young 'Amlet became quite determined
To see it himself, come what might.

Now 'Amlet was a trifle unbalanced,
His father was dead, and his Ma
Had married his dead father's brother,
Which he thought was going too far.

It were perishing up on the tower,
The air it were biting and cold,
When the ghost at last condescended
To speak, what a story it told!

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computer typing

NaNoWriMo Day 23 -- 6767 / 9000 (75%)

Words written during November: 6767 / 9000 (75%)
Writing days: 23/23
Average no. of words written each day: 294

Words written today = 173

Today was the weekly food shop and I had to take the bag of wool to the person who had asked for it on the Facebook Freecycle group. They live only a few minutes walk from the Co-op and had a really cute front garden full of gnomes. By the time I'd done that and finally got round to putting the clock in the car back an hour, and put all the stuff away in the cupboards, fridge and freezer, the morning had more or less gone.

This afternoon was spent doing not very much until a little while ago when I got my act together and managed some words. I'll be glad when NaNoWriMo is over because I would like to occasionally miss a day. However, I'm determined to get the badge for writing every single day, so I need to keep going for another week.

I will carry on writing this novella(?) when NaNo is over, but I'll set a slightly lower monthly target, partly so I can take a day off every now and then but also because I'll need to spend time on research and plot wrestling. I had fairly detailed notes for the beginning and I know how the story is resolved, but currently my notes regarding the middle just say:

"Middle:Conflict/complication. Need sufficient incidents to keep the beginning and the ending apart in an interesting way." :-)