Foolery

Shakespeare and Gaming | Fit for a Fool

By July 17, 2015 No Comments

It’s the season of summer Shakespeare, and, for the first time, I’m living in a city where there’s a choice of several Shakespeare shows to see every evening this time of year–but unlike folks living in Barrie, I don’t have the option to see a Shakespeare production which includes several Muppets, or at least a few puppets. It’s As You Like It, but like you’ve never seen it before, produced by company Shakey-Shake and Friends. And just like you might expect with actors, these puppets even undergo a few costume changes!

Keeping with the subject of unusual Shakespeares, have you heard about the robot Shakespeare? No, I’m not talking about a kind of Shakespeare-Robocop adaptation (not that I’d be against that idea, Hollywood), but I’m talking about this on Roblox. For those not in the know, Roblox is an online site where you build your game and now, for those who desire it, you can also have a miniature Shakespeare wandering about your world, book in hand.

Speaking of games, there’s a new Shakespeare board game out if you can’t get enough of the Bard or for those rainy summer days. Each player is a theatre manager and the aim of the game is to recruit all you need to put on a show in a week, actors, set dressers, and even the Queen (clearly this is set in Elizabethan not Jacobean England).

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It wouldn’t be a foolery column without a Shakespeare quiz, and–fear not–this quiz over on BuzzFeed is designed to test how well you know your Shakespeare (and I don’t just mean which character appears in which play, I’m talking questions like the longest play or which female character has the most lines in the canon). Why not test your knowledge one coffee break?

For a handy bit of trivia (for that next pub quiz), did you know that Age of Kings starred an actor as Henry V who was later to become known for his role as Minister of Magic? If you don’t believe me (or even if you do), you can read more about it here.

This week, I discovered a new book: Chris Moore’s Fool, which is King Lear as told from the Fool’s perspective incorporating some lines of Shakespeare and plenty of bawdy humour. If you want to find out more, have a look at this recent review, but beware and take heed of the advice, Fool is not an adequate substitute for King Lear itself!

For those who know King Lear, the story will be a cleverly amusing recasting of Shakespeare’s tragedy into a dark comedy with an interesting twist for an ending; for those who do not know King Lear, go read it now. Fool is about as good a substitute for reading the real King Lear as watching Clueless is a as a substitute for reading Jane Austen’s Emma.

Finally, I mentioned a few weeks ago about the brilliant pop-sonnets project and recently there have been some great sonnets including adaptations including ‘My Girl’, ‘Dancing in the Street’ and ‘American Pie’. You can see all the latest sonnets here, with a new one appearing every Thursday.

That’s all for now, foolery lovers. 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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