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Domino Theatre
Lily Tomlin


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"I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific."

- Lily Tomlin

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Grave dispute

Moliere

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière, was one of the greatest French playwrights, the most famous actor of his day and a favourite of King Louis X!V. Despite all that, the church refused him a Christian burial because he did not repent of being an actor before he died. Yes, really.

So the king, being informed that the archbishop of Paris wouldn't allow Molière to be buried in consecrated ground, sent for the prelate. Finding the archbishop inflexibly obstinate, his majesty asked how many feet down the consecrated ground reached. This question coming by surprise, the archbishop replied, about eight. "Well," answered the king, "I find there's no getting the better of your scruples; therefore, let his grave be dug twelve feet deep, that's four below your consecrated ground, and let him be buried there."

Or at least that's what the story in Peter Hay's book Theatrical Anecdotes says. According to Wikipedia, the church did refuse to bury Molière in consecrated ground, but his widow pleaded with the king, who arranged to have him buried at night in a section of the cemetery reserved for unbaptized infants. His remains were later transferred to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.



Richard Monette

Another story about death

Richard Monette relates the following in Standing Naked in the Wings, compiled and edited by Lynda Mason Greene and Tedde Moore:

In Henry VI I remember playing one of the two soldiers who had to burn 'Joan'. I had to carry Joan, who was played by Martha Henry, off, then come back up the tunnel and whisper in Bill Hutt's ear (I think he was playing Warwick) that the deed was done. She was of course burned at the stake.

One day, I came up with gloved hand full of ashes and I said, "My Lord... phoooooh (and blew the ash toward him)... Joan." Of course, Bill Hutt, being enormously disciplined, kept a perfectly straight face. Unfortunately, I didn't.

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