This week there are stories of an unusual approach to performing all of Shakespeare’s plays and–you’ve guessed it–it includes toilet rolls (think Jack Cade’s rebellion troops..now think about the inner tube of your andrex loo roll…now combine the two..), a quiz to test just how well you know your Shakespeare, and news from David Tennant and the RSC, I knew you’d be ‘appy (featuring a new Shakespeare app).
First, let’s backtrack to those toilet rolls and Cade. Forced Entertainment are currently live-streaming their table-top versions of Shakespeare’s plays. That’s right: a performance taking place on the top of a table about a square metre in size with limited humans involved. Think salt and pepper pots for kings and queens, and expect pots of ketchup in plays like Titus Andronicus. Here’s the company on what they’re up to:
One by one, over nine days at the Foreign Affairs Festival, Berlin, Forced Entertainment performers create condensed versions of every Shakespeare play ever written, comically and intimately retelling them using a collection of everyday unextraordinary objects.
Well worth checking out. It’s free, online, and for a limited time only, so check out the schedule and see if you can catch a play or two in your lunch break or over dinner for a new twist on summer Shakespeare.
Speaking of summer, the season has well and truly arrived now. In England, that also means Wimbledon is in full swing. For those not in the know, Wimbledon is a two-week tennis tournament (the one where you have to wear all white–really, a lady got great stick for revealing a black bra-strap on court only a few days ago). If you’re wondering where Shakespeare comes into all this, wonder no longer! I came across this blog post which contemplates Wimbledon, tennis, and Shakespearean connections. It’s not just Henry V and his balls, you know. Strawberries and cream also feature, obviously.
Think you know your Shakespeare? Test your knowledge here, and see if you can fill in all the blanks in the quotes of this quiz.
Perhaps not strictly Shakespeare, but certainly fitting neatly into the Early Modern foolery rubric is this recent BuzzFeed post entitled: 21 Things Only Kids Who Grew Up In The 1590s Will Understand. It’s a humorous take on all the contemporary issues which Shakespeare, friends, and enemies would’ve been all too aware of. Have you got a favourite? Why not tweet it to @shakesstandard or directly to me @srawaters. I’ll get the ball rolling, though picking just one is a challenge! For me, it’s a tie between 13 and 14–and they’re connected anyway, so I’ll quote them in full:
Having to wait 6 months for someone to write a play about the next instalment of English regal history, and when it finally happens, it’s bloody Thomas Heywood.
… and then all your mates won’t shut up about how it’s better in Holinshed.
Sound familiar to those of you who watch literary adaptations?!? You see, maybe the 1590s and the 2010s have more than just a 1 and an 0 in common!
Finally this week, David Tennant could be on your phone. No, I’m not handing out his number–my contacts aren’t quite that good. I’m referring to the RSC-Samsung Shakespeare App collaboration. If you need motivation to study Shakespeare, perhaps Dr Who/Richard II/Hamlet might be able to assist. It also features Dubsmash, Hip-Hop vs. Shakespeare quiz, and a 360 degrees stage. Another way to explore Shakespeare and his plays at your fingertips.
That’s all for now, foolery lovers. Until next time, keep foolin’ around, Shakespeare style.