In the television series, "Slings and Arrows," Geoffrey Tennant goes to great lengths to ensure that Oliver Welles's skull is quietly used in the New Burbage production of Hamlet, as directed in Oliver's secret will left with his assistant.
This BBC story mirrors that story enough that I wonder if maybe it's more than coincidence -- that maybe the authors of "Slings and Arrows" knew this story and used it.
In 1982, Andre Tchaikowsky (a concert pianist) passed away from cancer and donated his body to science -- except for his head. He requested that his skull be donated to the Royal Shakespeare Company and used in productions of Hamlet.
The RSC has not ever actually used the skull in a production until recently. In their current production of "Hamlet" starring David "Dr. Who" Tennant, they decided to use Tchaikowsky's skull.
According to the BBC story, "...the company says a fake skull will be used when ("Hamlet") transfers to London. Tennant was the first actor to use Mr Tchaikowsky's skull during Hamlet's famous grave-digger scene. Audiences in Stratford were unaware the skull belonged to the Oxford pianist, but the secret was revealed by Tennant. The RSC told Channel 4 News that now the secret was out, it would be 'too distracting for the audience' if the skull was used."
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