[[caption-width-right:350:Please shut up, SpiritAdvisor.]]

->''"I am not collaborating with the spirit world on a production of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}''."''
-->-- '''Geoffrey Tennant''', to his deceased mentor[[note]]shortly before they begin collaborating[[/note]].

''Slings & Arrows'' is a 200306 Canadian dark comedy about the New Burbage Festival, a thinly-veiled FictionalCounterpart of the Stratford Festival of Canada. It focuses on Geoffrey Tennant's return to the festival as artistic director upon the death of his estranged mentor, Oliver Welles (who immediately returns as a ghost visible only to Geoffrey).

Each season is a StoryArc, focusing on Geoffrey's production of a great [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespearean]] tragedy: the first season does ''{{Hamlet}}'', the second ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' with a subplot about ''RomeoAndJuliet'', and the third ''Theatre/KingLear''.

* '''Geoffrey Tennant''', the artistic director of the festival and archetypical BunnyEarsLawyer. Played by Paul Gross, of ''Series/DueSouth'' fame.
* '''Ellen Fanshaw''', the aging leading woman and Geoffrey's on-again-off-again love interest. If you take a shot every time she insincerely says "sorry," you'll be dead before the end of the first episode. Played by Martha Burns.
* '''Richard Smith-Jones''', executive (business) director who nurtures a secret love of musicals. Played by ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'''s Mark [=McKinney=].
* '''Oliver Welles''', ghost, SpiritAdvisor, and {{Foil}} to Geoffrey. Played by Steven Ouimette.
* '''Anna Conroy''', [[strike:secretary]] associate administrative director and frequent doormat. Played by Susan Coyne.
* '''Darren Nichols''', temperamental director and stereotypical [[PostModernism postmodernist]]. Played by Don [=McKellar=].
* '''Maria''', a typical stage manager. She doesn't like actors. Especially Ellen. Played by Catherine Fitch.

!!This show provides examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Sanjay isn't evil, per se, but he is a con man, and incredibly charming.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Darren Nichols is as camp as camp can be, but his sexuality just never comes up. Notable in that it's not played for laughs beyond his character being generally ridiculous, and there's no speculation as to which way he swings by any of the other characters.
* ApologizesALot: Practically every other word out of Ellen's mouth is "Sorry!" In general, she's just self-aware enough to realize how annoying her diva-like behavior must be to everyone else, but not self-aware enough to stop doing it.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Geoffrey vehemently denies the ''Macbeth'' [[TheScottishTrope curse]] while talking to a ghost.
* AsYouKnow: Geoffrey is rather fond of this, often unnecessarily explaining plot details of the plays to the actors. This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] at one point by Ellen, who snaps that she ''knows'' the play, thank you very much.
* AttendingYourOwnFuneral: In the middle of delivering a eulogy for Oliver, Geoffrey is freaked out when he sees Oliver offstage, laughing at his own jokes.
* BadBadActing: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]: All acting of bad acting contained within the show resembles genuine wince-worthy bad acting. Especially Claire's. That is some very good bad acting.
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults: Oliver finds himself in one of these in the pilot.
* BelievingTheirOwnLies: Richard is swayed very easily.
%%* BetaCouple: One per season.
* BilingualBonus: In Season 3, Nahum acts as translator when Anna needs to speak with the Bolivians, but he doesn't always translate faithfully.
* BiTheWay:
** [[spoiler: Oliver; while openly gay, has sex with Ellen.]]
** After cavorting with the musical theater company in Season 3, Richard wakes up next to one of the actresses... and the male writer.
* BitterSweetEnding: In the Season 3 finale, [[spoiler:Charles finally gets to be a stellar King Lear, Sophie and Paul get together, and Geoffrey and Ellen get married, but Charles dies, Geoffrey resigns from the festival, Richard relapses into a soulless corporate executive, Darren gets appointed artistic director, Anna is fired, and Geoffrey tells Oliver he loves him only after Oliver has disappeared for good]]. It ''redefines'' this trope.
* BookEnds: The first season gradually reveals the events that led Geoffrey to a nervous breakdown onstage 7 years earlier, ending his acting career. In the final episode of the series, [[spoiler:circumstances force him to take part in the rump production of King Lear. Oliver coaches him through his initial floundering and he is able to play his part]].
** Both seasons 1 and 3 involve productions of ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'', season 1 following Oliver's lavishly produced but creatively dead production, and season 3 showing a glimpse of a nursing home production directed by Charles.
* BrickJoke: In Season 1, [[spoiler: Oliver's skull. It's a topic in episode 2 and the beginning of episode 3, and then is forgotten by viewers and by Geoffrey himself until Oliver reminds him at the last possible moment on opening night.]]
* BritishBrevity: Actually ''Canadian Conciseness'', but the effect is the same: Each season is only 6 episodes long.
* BroomstickQuarterstaff: When he overhears Geoffrey yelling in the supply closet at odd hours, Nahum runs in brandishing a mop with a war cry.
* BungledSuicide: In a flashback, Ellen spends a while balanced on the edge of a bridge, dressed as Ophelia, with Oliver dramatically pleading with her not to jump and her telling him to go away. Then she does jump... and the water is about a foot deep. When she tells Geoffrey about it in the present day, he can't help but think it's hilarious.
-->'''Ellen''': Don't laugh! I was extremely upset.
* BunnyEarsLawyer:
** Geoffrey is rude, unreliable, and not particularly mentally stable. He's also a brilliant director.
** The advertising firm Froghammer appears to be this way, using nigh-incomprehensible postmodern tactics to build up interest in the festival. It's later subverted when [[spoiler:it's revealed that they were scam artists from the beginning, but [[DoubleSubversion luckily their phoney tactics actually]] ''[[DoubleSubversion work]]''.]]
* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: Oliver wanted his skull to be used for productions of ''{{Hamlet}}.'' Almost no one wanted to fulfill that request for some reason.
%%* ButNowIMustGo: Oliver in the final episode.
* ButtMonkey:
** Jerry, the understudy. Though he gets a CrowningMomentOfAwesome / CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming in the second to last episode of Season 2, where he gives a kick-ass performance as Theatre/{{Macbeth}}.
** Richard is used by everybody and is barely effectual at best.
* CampGay:
** Patrick, especially around his male friends, to the point where Geoffrey is rather bewildered when he notices the [[UnresolvedSexualTension UST]] with Sarah.
** Oliver.
* CallBack: In the final episode, [[spoiler: Ellen tells Geoffrey her answer is yes. He seems to have no idea what she's talking about, but presumably she is replying to his marriage proposal from 10 years earlier, which we saw in Oliver's flashback in the very first episode.]]
* CastingCouch: Claire accuses Kate of trying to seduce Jack to help her career. Actually, Kate is genuinely in love with Jack, but the accusation makes her question her motives enough that it leads to a SecondActBreakup.
* CatchPhrase: Changing every season.
* CentralTheme: Each season has a theme that relates the backstage plot to the Shakespeare play being performed.
** Season 1: ''{{Hamlet}}'' - madness, betrayal, selfishness.
** Season 2: ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' - power, ambition, trust.
** Season 3: ''Theatre/KingLear'' - rivalry, [[spoiler:death]].
* ChessMotifs: Darren Nichols' [[InvokedTrope invokes]] this in his production of ''Romeo and Juliet''.
* ChristmasEpisode: "Fallow Time" is mostly centered around Christmas (a downtime for the New Burbage festival, which performs in the summer). Oddly, it originally aired in July.
* CloudCuckooLander: So many characters, but the prize has to go to Sanjay and all the kids at Froghammer.
* ClusterFBomb:
** Maria's drunken rant about actors, ending, "Well fuck you all! Fuck off, you fuckers!"
** Henry's backstage reaction to Geoffrey's use of EnforcedMethodActing on him.[[invoked]]
%%* ComedicSociopathy
* CorruptCorporateExecutive:
** Richard is not so much corrupt as commodity-minded rather than art-minded, but that kinda comes with the territory. First, he rises above this corruption, only to eventually fall from grace into a deeper level of corruption.
** Holly Day is just as business-minded as Richard, with several extra spoonfuls of unscrupulousness thrown in.
* ClassicallyTrainedExtra: Ellen tells Kate not to run off to Hollywood with Jack, because she'll become one (though she later changes her mind). In season 3, Ellen herself winds up with a job as a RubberForeheadAlien, which she despises.
* CreatorCameo: The show was co-written by Mark [=McKinney=], Susan Coyne and Bob Martin. The first two play regular characters (as Richard and Anna), but Martin also makes a cameo in a first-season episode as a plastics executive who takes a class in Shakespeare.
* DamningWithFaintPraise: Nahum's comment on Oliver's ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'': "The production values are very high." We won't talk about the performances, the direction, or the design...
* DeadPersonConversation: Geoffrey and Oliver on a regular basis. In Season 3, [[spoiler:Charles joins in]].
* DecoyProtagonist: For most of the first episode, it looks like Oliver will be the protagonist of the series... until in the closing minutes of the episode he's run over by a pig truck.
* DiabolusExMachina: Arguably [[spoiler:Richard's descent from flawed-but-essentially-decent-person back into [[CorruptCorporateExecutive soulless corporate executive]] in the final episode]].
* DistinctionWithoutADifference: Lionel Train's attempt to get the actors to improvise a script for him.
-->'''Lionel''': You're paraphrasing. That's not what I want you to do. I want to tell the story as written, but in your own words. \\
'''Ellen''': That's what paraphrasing is.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Ellen's meetings with her tax auditor eventually morph into therapy sessions.
* DoubleEntendre: Most occur in the text (it is Creator/WilliamShakespeare, after all), but the actors are also proficient.
** "He was my Bottom for seven years."
** "I've never played Romeo before."
** "I want a thrust in the Rose."
* DreamSequence: Richard has one toward the end of season 2 [[spoiler: that involves him being executed by Sanjay and one of the board members.]]
* EnforcedMethodActing: An in-universe example. After rehiring Henry Breedlove for the role of Macbeth, Geoffrey feels the need to use this when Henry defies his direction.
* FaceHeelTurn: After going back and forth for most of the series, [[spoiler:Richard settles on this in the last episode.]]
* FeudingFamilies: Not literal families, but the classical and musical troupes in Season 3 do not get along, to say the least.
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: Oliver is very much alive in the first episode, making spoilers tricky to avoid when describing the series.
* FisherKing: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]], as it appears in Creator/{{Shakespeare}}'s plays.
-->'''Oliver''': "[[{{Theatre/Macbeth}} A king is murdered]], children are slaughtered, horses go mad--that's a sure sign of evil--horses going mad."
* FlashBack: The first season has a few, to Geoffrey's ''Hamlet'' production.
* {{Flynning}}: Geoffrey and Darrin's duel has a bunch of this. It's {{justified}}, since they're actors fighting with prop swords...
* TheFunInFuneral: The funeral of Oliver Welles is comical, cliche, and ludicrous all at once.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: In-universe, Jack Crew is huge in Japan.
* GilliganCut: "Of course, it all falls apart if one of the actors is no good at pretending."
* GodwinsLaw: A string of angry phone messages for the festival starts with composed complaints and devolves into "Even the ''Nazis''--"
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Richard at the end of the first season]].
** To a lesser extent, Brian Cabot starts season 2 a self-satisfied, complacent actor who is all too happy to phone in the final performance of ''Hamlet.'' After being fired from the festival, and after his infinitely worse protege Henry Breedlove is introduced, Brian begins to see the value in Geoffrey's vision and encourages him to do what is necessary to realize his vision of ''Macbeth'' regardless of Henry's demands.
* HeteronormativeCrusader: Anna has trouble finding a minister for Oliver's funeral. She comes up with one at the last minute, but he ends up giving a fire-and-brimstone sermon about how the theater is an abomination because it turns everyone gay. She has to pull the fire alarm to cut him off.
%%* HowManyAllOfThem
* HoYay: They are [[AlwaysCamp actors]].[[note]]Note that the portrayal of a theater company the show offers is very much TruthInTelevision, with a wide range of behavior patterns, sexualities (all of which are matter-of-factly accepted InUniverse), and a good sprinkling of overt homoeroticism.[[/note]]
** It is strongly implied that Oliver was in love with Geoffrey.
** Patrick and his friends.
* ISeeThemToo: [[spoiler:Charles]] noticing Oliver in the third season. Notably, this weirds out both Oliver and Geoffrey.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Almost all quotes from the play of the season.
* IfItsYouItsOK: Patrick, for Sarah, although for Joanne Kelly, anyone'd switch their sexuality. The actors would be loath to admit it, but this subplot is a PlotParallel for Darren's [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible incomprehensible]] gender-exploration production!
* InformedAbility: At the end of season 1, Jack Crew gives what we're to understand is a masterful performance as Hamlet, but this is conveyed with a montage of him reciting his soliloquys in virtual monotone while staring dreamily into the middle distance.
* InsistentTerminology:
** ''Macbeth'' isn't cursed, it's extraordinarily difficult to stage effectively.
** Darren Nichols will not let you forget that he was ''stabbed!''[[note]] Read: thwacked on the arm with a prop sword.[[/note]]
* InsultBackfire: Geoffrey and Henry disagree fundamentally on the interpretation of ''Macbeth''. Geoffrey thinks it's necessary to showcase Macbeth's vulnerability in order to humanize him; Henry thinks Macbeth should remain in control of himself at all times (or, more precisely, Henry is the kind of actor who wants to be in control of his own performance at all times, and that informs the way he plays Macbeth). As a result of this conflict, Geoffrey pulls Henry out one night and puts in his understudy. Geoffrey thinks this is a great success. Henry, well...
-->'''Henry''': I saw a man stuttering and sweating his way through ''Macbeth''. Now, if that was your desired effect, well, I'd say you succeeded admirably.\\
'''Geoffrey''': ''(proudly)'' Yes.
* IntangibleMan: Oliver starts phasing against his will in the third season.
* IntimidatingRevenueService: Ellen gets audited in season 2.
* InvisibleToNormals: Only Geoffrey can see Oliver. [[spoiler:(And, briefly, Charles. And possibly Henry at one key moment.)]]
* InvokedTrope: If it can be used in theater...
* ItsNotYouItsMe: Ellen tries using this on Sloan at the beginning of season 2.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Geoffrey is an interesting deconstruction; he ''is'' a jerk, and he ''does'' have a heart of gold, but he isn't a jerk to ''hide'' his heart of gold, he's a jerk because his mental illness, depression and anxiety make it extremely difficult to tolerate other people.
%%* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope
* {{Leitmotif}}: Several, particularly ones for Geoffrey's madness/creativity and final performances.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The show itself, and most of the episodes.
%%* LookingForLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: Ellen.
%%* LoveTriangle
* MagicalRealism: Everyone leads perfectly ordinary, realistic lives, but for the fact that Geoffrey [[spoiler:and later Charles]] regularly has conversations with Oliver's ghost. No explanation is given, no mythos is revealed. It just happens.
* MathematiciansAnswer:
-->'''Geoffrey''': Okay look, I'm not saying that evil isn't present in the play. What I'm asking is, are the events of the play driven by evil, '''or''' is it that the characters themselves are just, simply evil from the get-go?\\
'''Oliver''': Yes.\\
'''Geoffrey''': Which!?
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Quite a bit of the first season revolves around Geoffrey being unsure whether Oliver is really haunting him, or he's having another breakdown.
* MayDecemberRomance: Ever since Geoffrey's mental break, Ellen has had a series of these in order to (in Oliver's words) "screw the years off." In season 1 we see one of these play out with her and Sloan.
* MeaningfulName:
** Charles Kingman as King Lear.
** [[Creator/LaurenceOlivier Oliver]] [[Creator/OrsonWelles Welles]].
* MetaCasting: Charles, who comes out of retirement to play King Lear shortly before dying of cancer, is played by the distinguished stage actor William Hutt, who retired from the Stratford Festival several times, and who died of leukemia not long after filming.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Geoffrey is discussing the end of his acting career with Terry from accounting.
-->'''Terry''': Geoff, you gotta get back on that horse or you'll never get on a horse again.\\
'''Geoffrey''': I don't wanna get on a horse. I'd rather... direct.
* MotorMouth: The original director of Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet appears for less than one minute, which she fills entirely with conversation at an impressive density. Both present [[DeadpanSnarker Deadpan Snarkers]] Geoffrey and Oliver utterly fail to get a word in.
-->'''Geoffrey''': ''(after Naveen falls off the stage)'' She was in a neck brace when they wheeled her away. She was still talking, though.
* MultitaskedConversation: Geoffrey, Oliver, and whoever else is around. Constantly.
* {{Nepotism}}: Claire is the relation of "some chairman," and so her atrocious acting runs unchecked.
* NobodyOver50IsGay: Strongly averted, by Frank and Cyril as well as Oliver (who is in his [[LiteralMinded late forties]]).
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** In Season 1, Jack Crew's storyline is loosely based on Creator/KeanuReeves' infamous ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''. Geoffrey's past breakdown as Hamlet mirrors similar stories about Creator/DanielDayLewis.
** In Season 2, Henry Breedlove is clearly meant to resemble [[Creator/KennethBranagh another hugely successful, talented, and rather egotistical Shakespearean actor]].
* NotActuallyTheUltimateQuestion: Kate has just found out about Oliver's death. She asks "What will happen to ''Hamlet''?" (meaning, to the production he's about to direct).
-->'''Nahum''': ''Hamlet'' will be ''Hamlet'': an ineffable tragedy of the human spirit that still resonates, even today.
* OdeToIntoxication: "Call The Understudy," the ending credits tune.
* OrphanedPunchline: Scenes are often opened at the end of what have clearly been long true-from-life accounts, just in time for the punchline. Breedlove is a [[RunningGag walking example]]; he is introduced finishing a story he's telling to a crowd, at the conclusion of which a fellow actor returns "with a fish," which he throws at a woman in the audience. Later a scene cuts to him saying, "I thought UsefulNotes/ThePope was a pretty good sport about it."
* OurProductSucks: The Froghammer ad campaign in Season 2.
* PhraseCatcher: The circumstances of Oliver's death and the phrase "pig truck."
* PlotParallel: As with CentralTheme above, there's always many, many connections between each season's play and backstage plots.
* ProtestByObstruction: In the first episode, Geoffrey Tennant chains himself to his bankrupt Theatre Sans Argent. Oliver sees his protest on the news and calls him, setting in motion the events of the show.
* PunishmentDetail: The Minister of Culture in season 2 was the Minister of Health until she spoke out against her own party, and clearly would still rather be -- her reaction to Richard coming to her with a grant proposal for the New Burbage theater festival is to note that the money would probably be better spent on an MRI machine, which would actually save lives.
* PunnyName: Holly Day, Lionel Train.
* PutOnABus: At the beginning of the second season, Kate is Put On A Limo (to Hawaii).
* QuickNip: Oliver, before his death.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: When Richard first meets Holly, it's in the middle of a corporate shake-up. After Richard's former contact at the company introduces the two of them and then leaves, Holly comments of him, "He's just gonna love Anchorage."
* ReferenceOverdosed: Given that the majority of the cast are in-universe Shakespearean actors putting on Shakespeare's plays ''and'' the show itself reflects those plays in its characters, arcs, and themes, this is inevitable. While the actual plays performed are among Shakespeare's most famous, the characters are not afraid to reference his more obscure works. (Season 1 ends with a quote from ''Theatre/KingJohn''; season 2, with a quote from ''Theatre/RichardII''.)
* TheReveal: The cause of Geoffrey's nervous breakdown and his falling out with Oliver and Ellen. ([[spoiler: Oliver had sex with Ellen.]])
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder:
-->'''Geoffrey''': Which would you prefer: an empty house with a great play, or a full house with a piece of garbage?\\
'''Richard''': GARBAGE! GARBAGE! I want GARBAGE!
:: and
-->'''Ellen''': What do you want me to do, ask her to leave?\\
'''Geoffrey''': Yes! Now! Please!
* RunningGag: Sanjay quoting something inspirational, and finishing "UsefulNotes/RichardNixon said that."
* TheScottishTrope: Season 2 is about a production of ''Macbeth'', so naturally this comes up. Oliver refers to Macbeth as "the Scotsman" until Geoffrey starts making fun of him for it. The opening credits are all about how the role is cursed, and call him "Mackers."
* ShoutOut: To Creator/WilliamShakespeare, constantly.
* ShownTheirWork: Those lengthy discussions of possible decisions for the staging, direction, and acting of the plays reference loads of critical theory and scholarship, though they're so conversationally written that you don't need to know that to be interested.
* ShowWithinAShow: Much of the action revolves around the production of plays in the New Burbage Theater.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Two of the interns in Season Two.
* SillyWill: Oliver, who asked to have his head severed upon his death so it can be stripped of flesh and used in a production of ''{{Hamlet}}''. Oddly enough, this is TruthInTelevision, since Polish pianist André Tchaikowsky (1935-1982) was able to fulfill his dream of posthumously playing Yorick in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2008 production of ''Hamlet'' with Creator/DavidTennant.
* SkewedPriorities: Kate shows up for a performance half an hour late only to find out that Oliver's dead and the performance has been canceled. Her first reaction is, "You mean I'm not fired?" To her credit, she immediately realizes how insensitive this is.
* SlapSlapKiss: In season 2, Ellen does this twice within three episodes of each other: the first time with Geoffrey, the second with her brother-in-law.
* SmugSnake: Henry Breedlove, a complete and utter asshole of a pretentious actor who absolutely refuses to take direction.
%%* SpiritAdvisor: Oliver.
* SpoilerOpening: An actor who was a regular in season 1 is credited as a guest star in the opening credits of the first episode of season 2. This kind of gives away the result of her character's plotline that episode, which is her deciding whether or not to stay in New Burbage.
* StereotypeReactionGag: Anna tries to score some pot off Maria. Maria initially [[MistakenForGay thinks Anna is hitting on her]]; after that's cleared up, Maria's reaction is:
-->So, you assume I'm a pothead, as well as a lesbian? Because all stage managers are pot-smoking lesbians, right? ... Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm all out. This process has been hard on my stash, and my guy is out of town till Tuesday.
* TalkingInYourDreams: [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Probably]] averted: When they're out of contact Geoffrey sees Oliver in dreams which are probably normal ones (i.e., nonsense) and not [[DeadPersonConversation actual communication]]; the rest of the time Oliver wakes Geoffrey up to talk to him.
* TalkingToTheDead: [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] like crazy in a CrowningMomentOfFunny. Geoffrey's therapist prompts him to engage in this as role play during a session, guessing (correctly) that he still has a serious beef with Oliver. He then perceives a fantastic one-sided argument, admittedly carried out by a former actor of notable talent. Of course, it is actually Geoffrey holding a DeadPersonConversation with Oliver as per usual.
%%* TechnicianVersusPerformer: A recurring motif.
* ThematicThemeTune: The openings are drinking songs about whatever play is being performed that season.
* ThemeTuneCameo: Frank and Cyril perform "Call the Understudy" in the bar as the final scenes of season 2 play out, and a different song is used for the ending credits.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Frank and Cyril. Also, the undertakers at Oliver's funeral in episode 2.
* TroubledProduction: Rife with InUniverse examples -- probably the most troubled is the Season 3 and its production of ''Theatre/KingLear''.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: InUniverse, Darren firmly believes this. No one else does.
%%* UndeathAlwaysEnds
* UnfinishedBusiness: Oliver and Geoffrey both believe Oliver is present for a reason, but to their mutual despair, they can't figure out what it is so that he can take care of it and move on.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Almost everyone in the main cast, particularly Richard.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: You ''can'' watch this show knowing nothing about Shakespeare or theater, but you'll miss a hell of a lot.
* VomitDiscretionShot: Frequent.
** Kate's old drama teacher gets extremely drunk and throws up on Oliver in the first episode.
** Both Jack and Jerry throw up out of nervousness, right before going onstage as Hamlet and Macbeth respectively.
* WhamEpisode: The Season 3 opener, with [[spoiler:Charles shooting up heroin alone in his room]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Or the Theatre sans Argent? [[spoiler:After resigning from the company, Geoffrey mentions in his final "talk with Oliver" that he planned on starting it up again.]]
** What happens to May? [[spoiler:Is she dead or still in a coma or what?]]
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Ellen is a {{downplayed}} example. Although her golden age has clearly ended, she is still a talented actress who performs well, and this is still admitted openly by everyone.
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: Sloan delivers a very odd example of this speech to Geoffrey and Ellen in the Season 2 finale:
-->'''Sloan:''' [[spoiler: You guys are so obviously meant to be together. So obvious it pisses me off, all right? What the fuck, just deal with it. You fucking broke my heart, Ellen, all right? But I knew you were right.]] I mean, come on. ''(walks off)''\\
'''Geoffrey:''' Wow. [[FromTheMouthsOfBabes Out of the mouths of babes.]]
* WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief: Discussed in the first season. Geoffrey quotes the [[Creator/SamuelTaylorColeridge Coleridge]] line about this, and then goes on to comment, "Of course, it all falls apart if one of the actors isn't very good at pretending."
* TheWorstSeatInTheHouse: There's nothing wrong in theory with the Minister of Culture's seat for the opening night of ''Macbeth'', but she has the misfortune of being behind a ''very'' tall goth.
* YourTomcatIsPregnant: Ellen's chameleon Sibyl turns out to be a male. She only learns this by happenstance a year after she gets him.