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Pianist's skull used in 'Hamlet'

November 27, 2008|ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Polish pianist has made his stage debut in Britain, 26 years after his death.

André Tchaikowsky's skull was featured in performances of "Hamlet" by the Royal Shakespeare Company between July and November, company spokeswoman Nada Zakula said Wednesday.

Director Greg Doran said he did not disclose the skull's use earlier because he feared the news could overshadow the play.

It was the first time the skull was used in a performance -- Tchaikowsky's expressed wish -- though the company had used it in rehearsals since it was donated in 1982.

Before this "Hamlet," the company had never used a real skull, and it had to get permission from the government's Human Tissue Authority to use Tchaikowsky's because it was less than 100 years old.

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