Friday Fictioneers: THE PART’S THE THING


The familiar faces adorning the entrance to the Globe Theatre emerged from the fog, reminding Mr. James Teach how much in demand his services were. With his lithe frame and lyric voice he always got the part. Problem was, he was tired of playing maidens.

The Drury Lane manager had put in a good word to the playwright of a new work about a prince in Denmark. James was confident of landing the part of Laertes, he had been practicing sword-fighting for days now.

There was the familiar bald pate.

“Ah, Mr. Teach, how would you like to play Ophelia?”


Laertes and Ophelia by William Gorman Wills


My 100 Word Flash Fiction based on the photo by sculptor and writer Claire Fuller of one of her works.  Thanks once again to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers.  To read all the stories inspired by Claire’s piece, go here…

59 responses

  1. Uh oh! Looks like Mr. Teach’s dream of playing the part of a guy aren’t changing anytime soon! What horror it would’ve been for him to hear he’s been asked to play Ophelia and especially when a good word was put in for him.. Love this story.. As much as I empathized with him, I laughed too.. 🙂

    1. It would have been hard to take… but the part of Ophelia is the far better part…

  2. Poor James. Maybe if he took up smoking he could add some rasp to his voice. (No, I don’t smoke and shouldn’t suggest it but couldn’t resist.)

    Fun story.

    1. Well, they did have tobacco then. Thanks, Beth, glad you liked it.

  3. Very nice! the part an actor hopes for and the part s/he gets are not always the same – but work’s work!

    1. Thanks… have you been to the Globe?

      1. not to see a show, but i’ve been inside and looked around

      2. and by “show” i of course mean “play”

  4. Poor Mr. Teach, and all of his sword fighting practice gone to waste. Good one Ted.

  5. I loved it


  6. Maybe next time he’ll land the part of Joan of Arc so his sword practice won’t go to waste. Nice, Ted.

    1. Thanks, Rochelle… Great prompts you are coming up with…

  7. So engaging….!!! Loved it.

    1. Almost as much as I love your latest Crow Painting…

  8. Nice story of poor Mr. Teach.
    Funny how we always yearn for what we don’t have no matter how much we have.
    I like the subtlety with which you used the prompt. Very nicely done Ted!

    1. Thanks so much, P. Where are you going on that bicycle? Don’t tell me it’s the Napa Valley?

  9. Aw, poor Mr. Teach! This was quite comical. Enjoyed it very much!

  10. At least it’s work… nice one Ted.

  11. I loved this. You captured Mr Teach’s character, the period, the conversation, the setting and a story – all in one. My favourite so far this week.

    1. I’m honored, Claire… especially since it was your photo.

      1. I just noticed the man in your statue has his hand on the woman’s head. It looks like a tender embrace.

  12. I really enjoyed this – excellent writing. I know everyone else has already said this but: poor Mr Teach!

    1. Yes, everyone is being quite sympathetic…

  13. Always wondered how those guys who played women felt. Now, I have one opinion.

  14. I’m laughingly sympathetic. Maybe he can use his newly-honed sword skills on the manager who assigns the parts. 🙂 It might be more to the point, if you’ll excuse the pun.


  15. How our expectations are cut short…a lovely turn of event at the end there! Well done!

  16. Type-casting can be a right pain, whatever your century. Nice one.

  17. I envy hsi litheness. Great word, one i have aspired to and never quite reached.

    1. Hsi=his. Silly typos.

  18. Fun, but somehow touching and sad..good going

  19. You can’t escape how others see you…NIce work Ted. I feel bad for the guy but it is ok to laugh at him, right?


    1. Without a doubt, Tom. Thanks.

  20. Poor guy. He should just own it and be the best maiden he can be

  21. Poor fellow. Maybe if he buff up and grow some facial hair he may get a manly part.

  22. I think it would have been a lot more difficult “to fall in love with the ingenue” back in those days when the ingenues were usually named Phillip or Bartholomew. Nice, evocative post.

  23. Dear Ted,

    This was simple yet not. One of your best to date.



  24. This story I can read on so many levels. But at least he could still play the young women, the next step is to play the crippled jester.

    I like it a lot.

  25. A lovely tale, Ted – left me smiling and feeling sorry for poor James.

  26. He should think himself lucky. If he’d had a singing voice, in those days he might not have just been obliged to dress as a girl.

  27. Sounds like the poor guy had become stereotyped. After so many times, they couldn’t see him in any other role. Well done, Ted.

  28. I would imagine it must do something to a guy’s ego to always be typecast as a girl.

  29. Good stuff Ted. Those were the days, before women started coming over here, taking our jobs! (Steps back and waits for furore!) Give a whole new meaning to ‘Maiden England’!

  30. Oh, a nice little history lesson, Ted. Poor James, it must have been quite frustrating to be that kind of man in that time and you capture his failing ambition well. Clever use of the picture too – the two masks of theatre and the two faces of a man playing the part of a woman.

    1. This was one of those that I knew what I would write the moment I saw the photo. I thought of Tragedy and Comedy first, then “Shakespear in Love” in reverse.

  31. Not sure I would have asked him that question with a sword in his hand. could go bad. Nice one Ted 🙂

  32. Poor Mr. Teach! These girl’s roles will drive him crazy, won’t they? Clever.

  33. Drat! Better luck next time for Mr. Teach. Is there significance to the parts you picked? Great job!

    1. Only in that Laertes and Ophelia are brother and sister in the tragedy “Hamlet”. Laertes is a smaller part, but one that is male and manly, with the sword fight and all. But he is offered the part of the sister, which is by far the better part. I fear Gweneth Paltrow will play Laertes before Mister Teach, alas.

      (I was once in “Hamlet”, and wanted to play Laertes… I was Rosencrantz instead.

  34. D’oh! Maybe he can slip in some unscripted female sword-fighting scenes.

  35. So typecasting has always been an issue for those actors and actresses wanting to broaden their range. I like it Ted, gives some life to a time so far gone.

  36. the man is holding a sword and has been practicing. the casting director might want to be a little more tactful. well done.

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