Twelfth Night Madness | Fit for a Fool

By January 13, 2017 No Comments

It’s a new year and a new opportunity to fill up on some Shakespeare foolery. Liverpool is claiming Shakespeare really sounded like he was actually Scouse (yes, really, read about that here), brush up on your pre-, present, and post-Shakespeare knowledge with our collection of quizzes, and hear about the time Twelfth Night and misrule ruled perhaps the most serious of British radio stations, BBC Radio 4..

Shakespeare’s out and poet Audre Lorde is in. In the name of diversity, students at the University of Pennsylvania have taken down a portrait of Shakespeare and stuck another poet in his place. This poet is black, a woman, and a lesbian. Pretty different from the predecessor who’s spot she’s now been stuck in. Shakespeare won’t be returning to his post in that department because his removal demonstrates the students ‘commitment to a more inclusive mission for the English department’. Poetry continues to be celebrated at Pen, but now it’s not just by white old British blokes!

As we bid goodbye to the festive season here’s a round-up of the best early modern and Shakespeare-themed quizzes which circulated over Christmas and Twelfth Night. The first from the Before Shakespeare team tests your Christmas-dinner-induced-expertise on pre-Shakespeare play going, the Curtain theatre, and Elizabethan trivia; test how well you know the endings of Shakespeare’s plays over here on this quiz from the Folger library; try your luck at the RSC quiz on their 2016 season, it even features crocodiles; can you spot the bees in this veeerrry loosely Hamlet-linked quiz; and finally see how fluent you really are in early modern lingo (spoiler alert: this quiz features Jon Snow).

The Lord of Misrule and Twelfth Night takeover on BBC Radio 4 (here in the UK) took place on Saturday but began with this explanatory programme earlier in the week, the day then was interrupted with the Lord of Misrule ruling well er all as he forced the continuity announcers to do silly things, hopped into Women’s Hour, messed around with a Rev and Ed Balls, saw to gangnam style being played on Radio 4 (well, there’s a first for everything) and even managed to sneak his way into the shipping forecast (listen to that here). Some of the silliness included making Neil Sleat do announcements in funny accents, to the tune of the archers theme song generally saw Cabin Pressure’s John Finnemore creating all round chaos. All in the spirit of Twelfth Night, of course. The day was filled with brand new comedy as well as twelfth night themed discussions and the Now Show took on Twelfth Night the play in this Shakespeare-show special. Some of these tweets should give you an idea of how the day shaped up. It made for brilliant listening, especially for those it took unawares! And if you want to read more about it check out this piece here.

Do check out the #LordofMisrule posts on twitter for more of the madness that ensued and if you are able to access the iPlayer links in your country do check out some of the programmes in the spirit of early modern Twelfth Night frivolity.

Ever wondered how Shakespeare might have talked about finals week? Well BuzzFeed’s post on that very subject means you need no longer be in the dark about this important matter. live long and prosper(o), study (b)ard, and may the bard be with you.

Finally, with Twelfth Night still just about in the rear-view mirror, here is a w(rap)-up (sorry) inspired by Shakespeare’s play, staged at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. What you ill.

That’s all for now folks, until next time keep foolin’ around (Shakespeare-style).

Author Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is a PhD student at Oxford Brookes University, England where she is currently researching female melancholia in the early modern period (as presented in Shakespearean and early modern drama and proto-medical treatises) and contemporary female depression. She is interested in all things Shakespeare related, particularly contemporary Shakespeare adaptation and appropriation.

More posts by Sarah Waters

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