Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Such Tweet Sorrow

Performing Shakespeare over Twitter is nothing new - Twitter of the Shrew took place a year ago.  But here we are again, this time with Such Tweet Sorrow, backed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The thing is ... I don't get it.  I visit the page, and I see stuff like this:

Tybalt_Cap:  "It's a joke! Salty mash, sausages that are basically hotdogs, overcooked veg and was that water or gravy? Now for my meeting with the head"


LaurenceFriar: " sitting with a sandwich on a cold stone wall,memories rushing re #10yearsago when I waited for the most wonderful woman 2 meet me for brunch"

I was very confused until I read their story so far page, which lets me know that this is not Romeo and Juliet, this is a "modern retelling" which is not the same thing at all.  They've put specific details to the ancient grudge - a car accident between Capulet (driver) and Montague (victim).  They've added characters - who exactly is "Jess"?  And there is no "Romeo" listed in the cast of characters.

Looks like a sort of young adult / fan fiction / soap opera that happens to use some Shakespeare names.  If you started calling Scar "Claudius" and Simba "Hamlet", it'd still be the Lion King, not a modern retelling of Hamlet.  I don't really know why the Royal Shakespeare Company is involved.


Alexi said...

I glanced at the site briefly, and the cast list says that Jess is the Nurse, re-imagined as Juliet's grown-up sister. Other than that, I couldn't make much sense of it, but then again, I don't know much about Twitter.

ShakespeareInBits said...

I tend to agree. I don't really see this as being anything other than an attention grab. They've got the BBC to write an article or two so mission accomplished.

I can think of far more interesting versions of Romeo and Juliet to write about.

Austin Tichenor said...

Yep, count me as one who was also disappointed. It seems more like a Twitter satire than anything remotely connected to Romeo & Juliet. They could take any two squabbling characters from different families on EASTENDERS and call *them* Romeo & Juliet too. 'Tain't (pun very much intended) the same.

Great idea. Lame execution.

JM said...

What's the point?

This is a perfect example of over extension at "promoting" Shakespeare any old kind of way. A fairly useless, lame, attempt serves little purpose but to confuse the issue. Those who will somehow "get it" don't want any part of "it". Those who won't "get it" won't learn anything new or exciting about Shakespeare--if they pay any attention at all. The fact that the RSC can somehow squeeeeze the idea of "outreach" out of this protracted nonsense is baffling to me. To WHOM are they "reaching out" ?