Officials at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) have decided to stop using the skull of late Polish pianist ANDRE TCHAIKOWSKY in a British theatre production of HAMLET - because it's too distracting for the audience.
Play director Greg Doran refused to publicise the skull's origin during the show's four-month run in Stratford-upon-Avon for fear of turning the play into a spectacle.
But the secret was recently unveiled by the leading man, Doctor Who star David Tennant, who revealed the skull had been bequeathed to the RSC by the late musician.
Tchaikowsky lost his battle with cancer in 1982 - but his skull has only been used as a stage prop since last year (07).
However, RSC executives have chosen not to continue the practice for the show's West End run, which starts on Wednesday (03Dec08).
And the decision has disappointed Tchaikowsky's former agent and pal Terry Harrison.
He says, "When he saw (a plastic skull) with the RSC, (Tchaikowsky) said: 'I am going to leave my skull to the RSC, they really should have a proper skull. It doesn't work with the plastic thing.' And then we looked at his will and there it was."
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.