Slings and Arrows

Season 1 Episode 6

Playing the Swan

Aired Unknown Dec 08, 2003 on The Movie Network
out of 10
User Rating
13 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Playing the Swan
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?moreless

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  • 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.

    I regret so very much that this program had such a short run; it was unfailingly entertaining, insightful, wonderfully written and beautifully acted. Geoffrey the director shone especially; his insights into Hamlet's characters were true and heartfelt, and the entire cast carried this show with their full talents. I enjoyed the camaraderie and poison darts shared by the troupe; actors do tend to be dramatic!
  • Exactly captures the brilliance of theatre, and is a perfect end to the season.

    Captures the brilliance of the theatre, the play itself, the excitement of an opening night, and the tension of acting, as well as something about the opposition between art versus commerce - whilst still being a damn fine comedy/drama.

    The way that the subplot of Geoffrey's madness, Oliver's death, and the love triangle with Ellen was worked in - of course mirroring the play itself - was most powerful in this episode. The flashback sequences were well designed: stark, poignant, and they never veered into self indugence. They were the inciting incident behind the entire story, and seeing them wrapped up (and Oliver gobbled up by the swans!) was a nice example of televisual bookending.

    After five previous episodes and five weeks, it was rewarding to see the show come together, and the standing ovation was as much the TV audience's at home as the one in the New Burbage.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • 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!

    • Holly Day: I do what I have to do to give you what you want, control. That is what you want, isn't it, Richard?
      Richard Smith-Jones: Yes.
      Holly Day: That's right. Now, take off your pants!
      Richard Smith-Jones: Of course.

    • (Geoffrey and Ellen are talking about why Jack might have run away and why Geoffrey left seven years ago.)
      Geoffrey Tennant: I don't think it was the play, I don't. I think it was something else but I don't know what.
      Ellen Fanshaw: Why did you run away?
      Geoffrey Tennant: That was an entirely different situation.
      Ellen Fanshaw: Yes, you ran away in the middle of a performance.
      Geoffrey Tennant: Not now, please! ... okay, it was you.
      Ellen Fanshaw: Oh, c'mon!
      Geoffrey Tennant: You and Oliver and a broken heart or maybe it was just my time to go mad.

    • (Geoffrey and Oliver are having an argument after Jack has fled "Hamlet".)
      Oliver Wells: I don't know why you are so mad at me.
      Geoffrey Tennant: He cracked because I pushed him too hard and I learnt that nifty little directorial approach from you.
      Oliver Wells: Oh, that's pathetic!
      Geoffrey Tennant: You pushed me, Oliver. You pushed me and you played mental games with me, you conned, you fucked my mind and my girlfriend, let's not forget about that, the original sin. Yes, Oliver, you broke me!
      Oliver Wells: You're being ridiculous.
      Geoffrey Tennant: Look at me, I'm talking to you now and you've been dead for weeks. Look at your handiwork! All in the name of good theater?

  • NOTES (0)