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A musical by Rob Swain, based on Hamlet.

The musical was created for the Harrogate Theatre in the UK. The theatre had previously had great success with Bob Carlton's Return to the Forbidden Planet and From a Jack to a King, musicals based on The Tempest and Macbeth respectively. However, Carlton didn't write any more Shakespeare musicals, so the theatre decided to make their own.

"Something is rotten in the Denmark State Circus!"

In 'Tears of a Clown', the story of Hamlet is moved from the royal court of Denmark to the Denmark State Circus. (This turned out to be remarkably appropriate - the real Denmark State Circus happened to be in Harrogate during the show's debut run.) The evil ringmaster has killed his brother, the head clown, in order to steal his wife, the fortune-teller. However, the clown comes back from the grave to warn his son, also a clown, about his evil uncle.

The story is actually very faithful to Shakespeare's Hamlet. There's plenty of dialogue that's completely intact. However, there's also a few circus tricks, plenty of jokes, and, of course, the songs. Ghostbusters and Bat out of Hell make appearances, along with 'Tears of a Clown', The Tracks of my Tears, and plenty more.

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