Het Vijfde Bedrijf


'Monologues, not by Shakespeare' now for sale!

Thanks to 'International Theatre&Film Books', an in Amsterdam based publisher, our plays find themselves bundled and published. Also in English!

Since 2008 we brought several monologues based on the works of Shakespeare to the stage. Or, to put it more accurately, inspired by what he didn’t write: the cacophony of voices that resound throughout his oeuvre but remain in the background. The monologues in this book offer a new look at the classics, without unpicking the originals.

Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III, King Lear, Othello and the sonnet A Lover’s Complaint are all put under the spotlight. A total of seven monologues of different lengths are all narrated from the perspective of a bit part.

Several writers have worked on these theatre texts: Annechien Koerselman, Annemarie de Bruijn, David Geysen, Maaike Bergstra and Radna Diels.

With a preface by the art philosopher Tom Dommisse.


Shipping costs

If you don't have a Paypal account you can also order the book through us. Please send an email to info@hetvijfdebedrijf.nl.


Fragment from the bundle, the foreword by Sarah and Annemarie de Bruijn

In 2008 we, two sisters, decided to join forces and start our own theatre company: Het Vijfde Bedrijf (translation: The Fifth Act). It is a reference to the act in which the lady in waiting to Lady Macbeth has her only scene, when she really has so much more to say. This is the first supporting role that we brought out of the wings and into the spotlight.
Lady M is the first performance in a series of monologues in which suppressed stories from theatre are brought out into the limelight. The continued dreaming and thinking about the characters created by Shakespeare, however small, repeatedly offers a new view of the, as yet, untold world that he managed to hint at with the smallest turn of phrase, poetic without ever being pompous.
In doing so, we feel Shakespeare managed to approach man’s inner world as closely as possible. We have gratefully exploited the fact that Shakespeare left many loose ends in his work: characters who matter for moments, only to promptly disappear from the plot again. Every character we have held under the microscope stimulated us to continue digging into the literary world of Shakespeare. We have now been lucky enough to perform the monologues that flowed from this at home and abroad, and have even arrived at the moment that these texts will find a home on bookshelves of other theatre makers and Shakespeare lovers.
The shorter texts in this bundle were especially developed for the The Hague Shakespeare Festival 2013. We have this festival to thank for our introduction to Tom Dommisse (professor of musical aesthetics and cultural philosophy at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands). He turned out to have a lot of love for Shakespeare, too. He analysed the works we performed at the festival and placed them within the framework of the history of theatre and the context of the theory of art, and managed to draw connections we had not yet noticed ourselves. Which is understandable given the fact that, as a theatre maker, you tend to work on intuition and are less able to reflect on your own work. We would rather leave the latter to critics and dramaturges, or philosophers like Tom Dommisse. You will therefore find a preface by him, which we find a valuable addition to the collection of our texts.
It then remains for us to mention that these theatrical monologues are all new texts, by different and/or multiple authors, through which ribbons of Shakespeare’s original texts have been woven. To indicate the latter, these sections have been printed in italics.
We proudly present to you the results of our research into what can be read between the lines, or into what Shakespeare, possibly out of pure foolhardiness, never wished to reveal. Whatever the case may be, we hope that our love for his work will be infectious, and we therefore wish you to have a lot of fun with our monologues (so not by Shakespeare…).
The Hague, The Netherlands, July 2016
Sarah and Annemarie de Bruijn
Het Vijfde Bedrijf / The Fifth Act