"I have to edit Hamlet so that it runs for ninety minutes and can be played by six actors".
Val and I exchange looks.
"It's sacrilegious, isn't it? I think my advice in that situation would be: don't perform Hamlet".
Val nods. "It's like in Educating Rita; how do you overcome the staging difficulties of Peer Gynt? You do it on radio".
We are seated in the stalls, awaiting the moment when two thousand people will descend upon us.
"You could just stage the play within a play" Hapgood suggests.
I laugh. "And pad it out a bit?"
"Yes". He gestures to the stage - "Have a big scene change -"
"Two intervals -"
"And a really long curtain call".
I smile. "Really, I don't know what I'm worrying about".
He smiles back. "Neither do I".