A Certain Lack of Focus

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shakespeare Horror

coverI'm reading a literary satire at the moment called The Eyre Affair. I'll be writing a review whenever I get around to finishing the book, but for now I want to discuss something that's described starting on page 180.

The main character is meeting her ex-boyfriend for a night out at the theater. Here is the show they're planning to see: "No other play but Richard III had been performed here for over fifteen years, and the theater itself had no company to speak of, just backstage crew and a prompter. All the actors were pulled from an audience who had been to the play so many times they knew it back to front. Casting was usually done only half an hour before curtain-up."

rockySo basically it's Rocky Horror Picture show... for Shakespeare. How freaking cool is that? Why don't we have something like this? I wonder how hard it would really be to produce it. Of course in our society it would actually be quite difficult because it would require a full house worth of audience that's dedicated enough to Shakespeare to memorize it, well enough to banter about it and improv. Not real likely I guess. Still it's a nice idea.

The show in the book ends with the Battle of Bosworth, with the majority of the audience participating. "...fortunately this time no one had been seriously injured during Bosworth." A pink toy horse was supplied in response to Richard's anguished cry of "My kingdom for a horse!" Really a fantastic idea, even if it's a bit far-fetched in application.

*Images are stolen and linked. You know the routine.

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