Hamlet without the prince

Hamlet without the prince

a performance or event taking place without the principal actor.
The phrase comes from an account given in the Morning Post of September 1775 . The member of a theatrical company who was to play Hamlet in a production of Shakespeare's play ran off with an innkeeper's daughter before the performance; when the play was announced to the audience, they were told ‘the part of Hamlet [was] to be left out, for that night’.
See also: prince, without