To my sick soul, as sin’s true nature is, Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.

When I played this part 20 years ago, I hadn’t experienced any real anxiety. I worried about things, sure, but had not yet experienced any existential dread.

I’d like to play this part again – partly because I know what this feels like now. This – this moment – this sense of “Oh hell – even the smallest little thing is a suggestion of impending doom.”

In the Queen’s case, she’s not wrong. Shit is about to get REALLY bad. So one can experience her saying it as a particular kind of dramatic foreshadowing – a sense of, “Ha, ha. We’re at a tragedy. This woman just voiced what we all know is going to happen.” It might even make an audience feel superior – or above the fray.

But to Gertrude – this sense of foreboding has to be folded into not knowing the end. She feels like stuff is about to go horribly wrong but it probably feels silly to her. This bit about it being a “toy” suggests that she’s trying to dismiss her feeling of dread.

I would be curious to sit inside this moment again, to tap into the anxiety I too have felt. In my case, the impending doom was just in my mind and I came through the other side. This will not be so for Gertrude.

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