Under pressure from Church, University, and political leaders, and faced with mass demonstrations in my front yard accompanied by the delivery of a petition signed by tens of thousands of angry Norteamericanos, I’ve recently been forced to admit that, in fact, United States Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has never, to my knowledge, had a speaking role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, neither as a witch nor even as Lady Macbeth. I apologize to all of those who might have been misled by a quotation that I posted earlier.
But, as a matter, of fact, it’s not inconceivable that she might have had a speaking role in Macbeth.
I know this because, in fact, I have.
Many years ago, my wife and I were in London, and we decided at the last minute to attend a performance of “the Scottish play,” as it’s sometimes superstitiously called, at London’s Old Vic Theatre.
The only tickets that were still available put us very near center (or, if you’re Hugh Grant, centre) stage, and on the first row.
At a certain point in the play, while a change of scenery was going on behind the curtains, the court jester or “fool” came out and sat down on the stage directly in front of us.
Looking right at me, he said “Knock, knock!”
I looked around, and, feeling certain that he didn’t actually want me to say anything, remained silent.
“I said ‘Knock, knock!’” he repeated, emphatically.
“Who’s there?” I replied, rather tentatively.
“A Yank!” he exclaimed. “A Yank!” And he began dancing madly around the stage.
I’ve thought, several times, of adding this line to my résumé: “Had a speaking role with the Royal Shakespeare Company in a performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at London’s Old Vic Theatre.”
I feel that my considerable acting experience — I also once had a non-speaking role as a biceps-flexing muscleman in my high school’s performance of Li’l Abner, and performed at the American Embassy in Cairo as a mustache-twirling villain in a Thanksgiving melodrama — puts me squarely in the company of previous Old Vic legends such as Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir Laurence Olivier, and its current artistic director, Kevin Spacey.
In any event, my experience indisputably demonstrates that it’s not actually implausible to suggest that United States Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) may once have had a speaking role in Macbeth.