Slings and Arrows

Playing the Swan

Season 1, Ep 6, Aired 12/8/03
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  • Episode Description
  • It's opening day and the play's leading man, in a low ebb of self-esteem, has gone missing. Richard is revealed as a traitor to the company of actors. Ellen reveals to Geoffrey what really happened that night 7 years before. With Kate's help, can the play go on?

  • Cast & Crew
  • Mark McKinney

    Richard Smith-Jones

  • Graham Harley


  • Sean Cullen


  • Don McKellar

    Darren Nichols

  • Michael Polley


  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Apparently the last of 6 episodes, Hamlet finally hits the stage in this episode. Many loose ends are tied off, many are left dangling...and it is rightfully so.

    By red_jatsby, Sep 12, 2005

  • Exactly captures the brilliance of theatre, and is a perfect end to the season.

    By Harmonica, Apr 28, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (8)

    • (Nahum refuses to let Richard pass from backstage to his seat, claiming that Richard is too late, more probably though because he knows that he has been trying to sabotage the play.) Richard Smith-Jones: I guess, I'll just watch from here, see the actors at work. Nahum: Careful! If a farmer names his pigs, it makes the slaughter very difficult.

    • (Geoffrey trying to comfort a very nervous Jack.) Geoffrey Tennant: Forget about perfection! There's nothing more boring than perfection! Imprecision, fear, this is what gets them to their feet! Jack Crew: Well, I should be brilliant then.

    • (Ellen and Geoffrey on why Ellen still sticks with the theater) Ellen Fanshaw: I don't know how to do anything else. I'd starve to death if I left the theater. Geoffrey Tennant: You stay at the theater because you don't want to starve to death? Now, that's ironic. Ellen Fanshaw: And I like it. I like it when the story's good and the audience is listening. Geoffrey Tennant: And you like the good reviews and you like the standing ovations and you like all those fans. Ellen Fanshaw: Yes, I'm shallow. I'm shallow, I admit it. I wonder what life would be like if I could bake or something. Geoffrey Tennant: Ah, well, you would be the bakery queen and you would be constantly late, you'd be petty and argumentative and everyone would hate you, but the people, they would still line up to buy your tarts.

    • (Geoffrey tells about his breakdown during a performance of "Hamlet".) Geoffrey Tennant: I would have cut my throat but you are not allowed to do that in front of subscribers. So I just jumped in there ... (Geoffrey points at Ophelia's on-stage grave.) Ellen Fanshaw: You didn't come out for seven years.

    • Geoffrey Tennant: I was looking forward to your Gertrude, more than you will ever know. Ellen Fanshaw: This isn't going to a compliment, is it? Geoffrey Tennant: You two have a lot in common, you and the wanton queen. Like you, she's a victim of her own sexuality. She lives to be an object of desire. She's as happy with the good king as the bad king, doesn't matter. The keyword here of course is "object" because once you allow yourself to be objectified, then you will be trundled in and out of the light like a prop or you will get caught in someone's politics and be forced to drink from the poisoned calyx or, worst fate of all, you will be dumped by your teen aged boyfriend. Ellen Fanshaw: God! You're an ugly drunk!

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