This week in foolery news get the latest on Mean Girls, Shakespeare Dr Who and Witches, Con artists and balconies, Pulp Fiction and Hallowe’en. Play on!
Mean Shakespearean Girls
This week I came across a brilliant tumblr feed which takes a Mean Girls’ approach to Shakespeare. Yes, that’s right. So the classic ‘date’ scene,
Is given a Henry V twist..
The feed, titled Mean Shakespeare, includes images like this with quotations from the plays below so you can see where the inspiration for the image came from. Better yet you can click on the tab ‘the plays’ where you’ll be taken to a grand old list of Shakespeare’s canon and you can click on each play to see the related images. The subtitle “Villian I have *done* thy Mother” is also worth a mention if only just for the pure brilliance of the Shakespeare Mean Girls mash-up. I think one of my favourites of the feed is the explanation of Henry V. Perhaps not the most.. um.. academic of descriptions, but a Mean Girl treatment of the Muse of Fire episode because, let’s be honest, it’s what you’ve always wanted and what we’ve all been waiting for!
Shakespeare vs. Elizabethan Witches
From movies to TV, this week it was announced that a new show is going to be airing in the states. The title? Shakespeare’s Sisters. Ring any bells Dr Who fans?
Need a reminder travel back in time to an episode sometime in 2007.. Spells at the ready Shakespeare!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show “Shakespeare’s Sisters aims to combine the wit and heart of 1998 film Shakespeare in Love with the grit of HBO’s Game of Thrones” – quite the mix. It is set to star a young Shakespeare battling off the forces of evil namely 3 witches and Queen Elizabeth. While perhaps not strictly historically accurate or indeed academic, “For any literature fans, it’s also worth noting that the series takes place before the playwright wrote Macbeth (famously including three nasty witches), so presumably the epic action will serve as inspiration for Shakespeare’s later works.” Nevertheless, it will be interesting to watch how it pans out.
Biggest Con in Romeo and Juliet: Con artists and the bal-CON-y
Balcony, what Balcony? According to this week’s article in The Atlantic “The word “balcony” never appears in Shakespeare’s play. In fact, Shakespeare didn’t know what a balcony was. Not only was there no balcony in Romeo and Juliet, there was no balcony in all of Shakespeare’s England.” The article traces the history of our association of a balcony with this scene. Apparently, “The staged scene most strongly associated with Shakespeare actually comes from another playwright entirely, Thomas Otway” Poor old Otway te bloke we’ve all forgotten had a lasting impact on Romeo and Juliet with his adaptation or rather appropriation of the play in The History and Fall of Caius Marius “as it turns out, the seemingly quintessential Romeo and Juliet scene should actually be attributed to Otway, who explicitly staged his version of the exchange between the lovers with Lavinia “in the balcony” while Romeo responds from the garden below” and Garrick like the true thief that he was retained the balcony in his revival of Romeo and Juliet at Drury Lane.
Shakespeare and cover art
Shakespeare has been given a pulp-fiction makeover with these new covers for the plays and the Shakespeare Magazine is offering you the chance to get your hands on some.
On Othello “It’s some kind of Bardassss.” Irreverent, comic and joining the ranks of works by Hardy and Austen, this makeover for the plays allows us to see them in a rather different light. And why not indeed? It’s not too far a cry from the comics or cartoons of the play and will allow the works to hit another audience as the plays are branded under “Pulp! The Fiction”. There’s not long to wait, released on November 6 and each one at only £6.99 but enter the competition on the Shakespeare Magazine website and you could win them for free, what a bargain!
And finally today is the day when something wicked truly comes this way, probably in the form of a couple of dressed up kids armed with a bucket, crying “trick or treat!” on your doorstep their little hands desperate for another piece of candy. Even Hallowe’en can be Shakespearian-ised if you put your mind to it. You can carve a pumpkin with the Bard’s face or even dress your kids Shakespearean style with costumes like this (truly fit for a Shakespearean fool).
And if you’re in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend you can even have a Very Shakesperean Hallowe’en and also take part in their Tudor themed events running this weekend. Until next week foolery lovers, keep foolin’ around with Shakespeare!