Before a show opens, when I'm wondering how we'll do everything in time or whether anyone will come, I'll say, "Oh God! I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams", often combining it with, "the night has been unruly" from Macbeth as I breeze in in the morning.
On tour, I'll even pour my tea into a mug which has on it Polonius's advice to Laertes, "To thine own self be true" - a quote that, at home, I have on tea towels, mugs, plates, the works. And when I want something to supplement Shakespeare, I borrow some words from Billy of the Boyne: "No surrender."
n Thelma Holt chairs the Arts Council drama panel. She is currently producing 'The Glass Menagerie' at the Comedy Theatre, London SW1 (0171-369 1731)Reuse content