I simply cannot believe it. I would never have dreamed that such an injustice could have been inflicted with the careless ease Marion exhibited just now. Understudy. Upon my Oscar (2012, just wait), this is surely some nightmare. Treading these very boards I have portrayed with unparalleled flair characters from Winston Smith to Vladamir to Proctor- my Hamlet (circa term two year one) is the benchmark against which all others are measured, and inevitably found wanting. Now, this wealth of limitless potential, relegated to the asinine position of reserve. And who am I to understudy? A first year, a first year who had never acted prior to university, yet to cut his teeth on the hard edges of undergraduate drama.
Steve (ridiculous name for an actor) surely cannot summon the emotional depth required for the role. The bitter irony of a man beset by the woes of unrequited love, who in a cruel twist discovers that he is dying from heart cancer. I confess I had written it with myself in mind, if only because I know I can rely upon myself to commit 500% to the task. I fasted for fully 5 days before Hamlet opened- the “eerily convincing sense of delirium” I exuded was the product of true hunger-induced madness. Thank God I fainted during the interval, and had time to eat the 5 grapes needed to recover sufficiently for the climax of the piece. Helen, dear girl, was so touching (in more than one sense, saucy minx) about the desperation the audience felt on my behalf as I descended into insanity.
The worst of it is that it was I, on a foolish whim, who suggested that we hold open auditions. A mere formality, to appease the critics who do not wholly comprehend the workings of our society. I have always felt that the relationship we have is one of trust- there are certain people who can be relied upon to deliver the goods every time. And today this one was usurped by a fresher who probably only turned up because he’d lost a bet.
I shall never live this down. Images keep flashing before my eyes – Steve bowing before a standing ovation, Steve the new regular on the party circuit, Facebook photos overflowing with shot after shot of him amidst the bright and beautiful of the university. I can’t help but wonder whether it was Martin’s presence on the panel which sealed the verdict – his thinly veiled suggestion that there is something of the homoerotic in my demeanour hardly bodes well for my casting as the romantic lead. How utterly ludicrous – I’d have thought it was abundantly clear that there are few who appreciate the unique beauty of the female form, or pursue it with such voracity as I. Affairs may be short, but how else am I to encounter the full scope of experiences the fairer sex has to offer. Shit, I’ll never get laid as a fucking understudy.