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A monologue from the play by Amy Freed
ANNE HATHAWAY (thirties)
The Beard of Avon is a wild farce about the Shakespearean authorship controversy. Here, Mrs. Shakespeare has come to London, curious about her husband’s life there,
disguising herself as a “woman of loose morals.” This is a direct address to the audience.
Ooooh, LONDON! Well, life is certainly strange. ’Twould never be believed in a FICTION that my own husband might not penetrate my disguise —. Oooh, what adventures have I had!
Once arrived in Colin’s rags, I went to see my cousin Lucy, a bawd about town. She took me in and thrilling to my device, outfitted me in her own sl*ttish fashion. Such THINGS she has!
That push you IN where you go OUT, and puff you OUT where you don’t actually. Paints as white as poison and rouge as red as roses! Cheek patches, corsets, chokers and gloves . . .
shoes that make you taller than your own dumpy self —for once in my life I’m slender! No wonder why my husband loves the theater! I never want to go home again —and just look at this hair!
Had I only been a man, I might have been an . . . actress. (Pause.) Well. Thus trimmed and decked I sought out my own love — and contrived to meet him just after the matinee.
(Titus Andronicus —now THAT be entertainment!) Well. He knew me not as his wife, but thought me a wicked wh*re. He took me to his rooms, and we’ve scarcely been apart for a week.
I’ve been just AWFUL to him. It’s been WONDERFUL. Well, he himself hath taught me cruel inconstancy, since faithful kindness prompted him to flee.