How About A Young Adult Lady Macbeth Musical?

That’s a stream of words I never thought I’d type. But sure enough, word is that Channing “Magic Mike” Tatum and Scooter “Taylor Swift Hates Me” Braun are teaming up with Amazon for just such a project.

 “the story is said to center on a teenage girl who grapples with her own morality as she contends with the dreadful consequences of her ambition.”

Of course, if nobody had specifically written the Macbeth connection that could just as easily be Mean Girls.

I have no idea if it’ll be any good, or even ever see the light of day. I’d expect about as much of such a project as I do for any other teenage retelling of Shakespeare inspired stories. 10 Things really set the bar too high.

https://www.broadway.com/buzz/199739/channing-tatum-more-join-forces-for-ya-lady-macbeth-musical-for-amazon/

Guest Post : Shakespeare’s Travels

Scotland – the famous setting for Macbeth

Should you ever decide to embark on a tour of the locations of Shakespeare’s plays you’d find yourself with a long itinerary. The bard’s quill pen roamed the world, from Egypt and Syria to Scotland – this blog has even provided a handy map. Some places, such as England and Italy, were, of course, frequently visited by his imagination. Others, such as Austria (Measure for Measure) and Cyprus (Othello) he only visited once.

Shakespeare shaped these foreign lands to suit his stories. Greece (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Timon of Athens, The Two Noble Kinsmen, etc.), Wales (Cymbeline, Richard II, Henry IV P1) and Turkey (The Comedy of Errors, Troilus & Cressida, etc.) were made the settings for comedy, tragedy, romance, and history. The world truly was his stage to dress – in fact, most of his plays are set abroad, the Globe Theatre, therefore, becoming an actual microcosm of our globe.

Some locations are famously linked with his plays. Who, after all, would not know that Hamlet is set in Denmark? Other links are, perhaps, a little more obscure. Lebanon featuring in Pericles, for example, or the former Yugoslavia (specifically, the area known as Illyria) in Twelfth Night.

Dubrovnik, once the centre of the Republic of Ragusa in the ancient region of Illyria

Are visitors to Spain’s Basque Country aware that they’re following in the footsteps of the characters in Love’s Labour’s Lost? The location of the French court in All’s Well That Ends Well is a little unclear, but it isn’t hard to imagine Helena and Bertram amidst the grand buildings of Carcassonne. I’m also a fan of the vague Mediterranean setting of The Tempest, which allows me to imagine Prospero roaming Malta, or Menorca, or perhaps Sardinia.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, famous even in Shakespeare’s day

How did Shakespeare know about these far-flung places? As the No Sweat Shakespeare blog once mentioned, even travel between Stratford-Upon-Avon and London was no mean feat. Shakespeare, therefore, didn’t have direct experience of these locations – it was 40 years after Shakespeare’s death when The Grand Tour made foreign travel popular amongst the English elite. Instead he took inspiration from historical texts and other stories (including Italian novellas) – Egypt, for example, has always been well-known to the western world and descriptions of its ancient sites would not have been hard to come by.

The world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open” – the world isn’t currently our oyster to open, but with Shakespeare’s stages on shores near and distant, perhaps we can, for now, take a little peek and plan for the day when we follow the footsteps of his far-flung characters.

Olly loves to travel and has visited over 80 countries and all 7 continents. He also likes to explore the world through the medium of literature and enjoys matching famous locations with the places he’s been to. Olly runs travel planning blog APlanToGo.com, on which you can download free, highly detailed itineraries for destinations across the globe.

Which Play Next? A Geeklet Story

My son is the last of my three still in middle school. As both of his sisters passed through his current grade they both read Romeo and Juliet, to mixed experience. I’ve been waiting to see if he’ll get to read it at all.

Son: “So I guess we’re not doing Romeo and Juliet this year.”

Me: “What? They decided for sure? How come?”

Son: “Nothing romantic anymore.”

Me: “Huh?”

Son: “I guess we’re not reading or studying any stories this year that have romance in them.”

I am assuming that he’s mostly misinterpreting some sort of ban on PG-13 material, perhaps.

Me: “Well that’s fine it doesn’t have to be Romeo and Juliet. That’s basically why schools do Julius Caesar in the first place, no romance. I can write to your teacher and suggest Julius Caesar, or maybe even Macbeth…”

Son: “I think we should do King Lear.”

Me: (impressed) “Bold move. You really think that in middle school kids will be able to understand King…”

Son: “I know thee not, old man.”

Me: …(not so impressed anymore)…”Oh, dude…”

Son: “No, I know that’s not from King Lear. That’s from Falstaff. I was just saying I want to see that play.”

Me: “Oh, ok, phew. For a minute there I was going to say you just made the blog, but you know what, you just made the blog anyway!”

Still have to write to his teacher and see if I can keep Shakespeare in the curriculum!

I Give Up. Can Somebody Explain the Saucy Boy / Egg Fascination?

I have several different filters that collect Shakespeare references  across various sites – Google, Reddit, etc…  The signal/noise ratio is about what you’d expect, but I do find some good stuff often enough to keep doing it.  Most of it lately is memes.  Typically bad ones (hint – if you think your meme is funny, take two seconds to check your spelling rather than rushing to post it for karma? it’ll be that much funnier when you can include in your audience all the people that don’t think you’re an idiot.)

But lately it seems like the world has been taken over by two quotes in particular:

“You are a saucy boy” – Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet

and

“What, you egg!” – Murderer in Macbeth (stabbing optional)

No, seriously.   Just looking at the front page of my Pocket queue today, here’s the links I found:

https://www.reddit.com/r/SequelMemes/comments/eglb1p/shakespear_was_truly_ahead_of_his_time

https://www.reddit.com/r/memes/comments/egkilc/shakespeare_knows_how_to_meme

https://www.reddit.com/r/memes/comments/egieb8/et_tu_shakespeare

https://www.reddit.com/r/dankmemes/comments/eghzr7/the_pillar_men_love_shakespeare

https://www.reddit.com/r/reddeadredemption/comments/eggsvy/i_love_shakespeare_spoiler

https://www.reddit.com/r/dankmemes/comments/egfqcr/the_dankest_of_shakespeare_memes_oc

https://www.reddit.com/r/Memes_Of_The_Dank/comments/egf6el/breakfast_with_shakespeare

https://www.reddit.com/r/dankmemes/comments/egf7u2/shakespeare_likes_sauce

Using “egg” as an  insult  has always been  one of those amusing things about Shakespeare that was  a little off.  But these days it’s become clear that saucy boy and egg have teamed up (usually with some stabbing at the end)  and I’m just  wondering where this came from? Was it a reference to a show I’m not watching?  It’s getting pretty tiresome.

Could A Slings & Arrows Prequel Be Coming?

I noticed some stories lately talking about Slings & Arrows, the undisputed “greatest show about Shakespeare” ever.  But this was the first one to drop the word “prequel” and now you have my attention.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2019-11-05/slings-arrows-acorn-tv-shakespeare-prequel?fbclid=IwAR1eSIG54i2GZ3CjXNzmNMrc2BfifdxPpkgpJ7UlXSznzaG309tqDfES8Ic

I’d do some “If you’ve never seen Slings & Arrows” banter here, but seriously, if you’ve never seen Slings & Arrows, stop reading and go watch it. It’s just that good. To recap, each of the three seasons maps to one of Shakespeare’s plays – Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear (with some side plots thrown in, too). We’re introduced to the series via Geoffrey, our director, who once had a nervous breakdown after he played Hamlet (and yes, now he’s directing it). He’s haunted by the ghost of his own former director.  Meanwhile we get to see what makes a Shakespeare festival work, from how they rehearse to how they make money.

And now they’re pitching a prequel about the origins of the festival itself, back in post war America in the 1950s?  I’m not sure what play that’s going to map to, or how much of the original cast would still be relevant, but the original just has so much credibility that I’d get in line to see what the creators come up with next.  I hope somebody picks it up.