15) Interview with Bill Sh.
I: Interviewer B: Bill Sh...
I: And now it's BOOK TIME, our weekly feature for intellectuals. In this programme we present you a V.I.P. from the world of literature. Last week we talked to William W. - yes, we always leave it to you to guess our guest's full name. William W. turned out to be both a gifted poet and a botanist who is keen on daffodils. Very interesting indeed. This time we got another William in the studio, William Sh. Hello, William Sh.! How are you?
B: I'm fine, thanks.
I: Well, Bill - you don't mind me calling you Bill?
B: Not at all! AS YOU LIKE IT. Nearly everybody in Hollywood calls me Bill. Mel, Gwyneth, Denzel, Woody, they all call me Bill. Even Steve does, though we've never worked together - yet.
I: Would you like to?
B: Sure, I think he could do an even better job with MACBETH than Polanski, I mean of course Roman, did. Just think of Private Ryan. Yeah, I'm sure Steve could turn MACBETH into a box office mega hit.
I: Well, Bill there has been a lot of talk about the authorship of your plays. Some people have even claimed that you didn't write all those great plays normally attributed to you, saying that they were written in fact by a guy called Christopher Marlowe.
B: Come on, that's a load of ... Well, let me put it another way, it's nothing but A COMEDY OF ERRORS, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
I: I quite agree, Bill. But there's another point I would like to raise. Considering your age, you are still going very strong. So if it's not too personal a question, how old are you?
B: Oh no, I don't mind being asked about my age at all. I'm not like some film stars who never age. First they stay 35 for about 20 years and then they stay 45 for another 20 years.
I: Are you thinking of anyone in particular?
B: Yes, indeed I am. Liz was absolutely fantastic as Cleopatra, but that was 40 years ago and all the cosmetic surgery in the world can't alter that fact. Still, she was a great actress and we were on very good terms indeed - if you see what I mean.
I: Yes, but let me repeat my question, how old are you?
B: Let me see, I was born in 1564, so that makes me around 440, not bad, eh?
I: Absolutely amazing. What's your secret? How have you managed to stay alive and kicking for so long?
B: Sorry, I can't tell you that, otherwise I would be in big trouble with the THREE SISTERS, you know the hurly-burly ladies in MACBETH who kept shouting FAIR IS FAIR AND FOUL IS FOUL all the time. I'm sure you remember. You have to ask them. And of course there's also HAMLET who knew THAT THERE ARE MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH THAN ARE DREAMT OF IN YOUR PHILOSOPHY.
I: Sounds a bit weird to me, but I suppose you're right.
B: Aren't you going to ask me who I'm dating right now? Because Gwyneth and I split up, you know. It was too good to last.
I: Well, who are you dating at the moment?
B: I've written 154 sonnets for her.
I: Yes, but who is she?
B: She's my DARK LADY WHOSE ETERNAL SUMMER SHALL NOT FADE.
I: Sounds rather mysterious to me, but I suppose it's poetry.
B: Yes, it's poetic and mysterious. Just as mysterious as life itself because, after all, ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE.
I: Yes, indeed, Bill, but I'm afraid our time is up. Is there anything you want to tell us in conclusion?
B: Oh yes. The most important thing in life, something that puts life's essence in a nutshell.
I: And what's that?
B: TO BE OR N OT TO BE THAT'S THE QUESTION.
I: That's it?
B: Yes, because THE REST IS SILENCE.
I: Thank you Bill. It was great having you here with us tonight. Next week, folks, we'll have another writer in our studio and it'll be none other than George O. He will be talking about his experimental farm on which he has trained some animals, mainly pigs I understand, to write his next book for him. Sounds a bit like BRAVE NEW WORLD and science fiction, but it's probably only a publicity stunt to attract media attention. Well, we'll find out about O's ANIMAL FARM when he's here in the studio with us. So don't miss next week's edition of BOOK TIME. W.E.P.
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