Thursday, June 02, 2011

Rewriting Shakespeare, and other do-overs

Quote du jour Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
– Jim Rohn

As part of my attempt to 'travel light', when I take the Max to work I carry only a small purse that holds a tiny notebook and a tiny pocket edition of Shakespeare. The whole set is about 20 volumes, which adds up to about four plays per tiny book. Sometimes the Bard is good, sometimes... not so much. I'm thinking of re-writing some of Shakespeare's plays. (He'd thank me, I'm sure.)
For example:
  • Instead of a measly epilogue at the end of All's Well that Ends Well, we should have a version of Whack-a-Mole. The "hero" of the play would play the part of the mole, and all the other characters would take turns hitting him. Much more satisfying ending.
  • The Comedy of Errors is the Elizabethan equivalent of a cheap sitcom featuring two sets of identical twins "with hilarious results." I suggest it be re-written as a one-man play. Watching one poor actor trying to portray all those identical twins without going mad would be entertaining, in a twisted kind of way.
  • Titus Andronicus is Shakespeare's version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Seems to me the least Will could've done was throw in an actual chainsaw and a Texan or two.

On the exercise front, I'm planning another do-over: I want to cycle 20 miles again. This time, instead of trying to scrunch most of the mileage into the afternoon, I want to cycle the whole way into work and then back again. See how the muscles feel about that. I figure splitting the commute up into two 10-mile rides should be easier. [Famous Last Words...]

One problem I have is that my mind still thinks 20 miles is a short distance to cycle, while my muscles are saying "Excuse me? You sit on the couch or at a desk most of the day -- why did you think you could just jump back into cycling?" The muscles have a point: I didn't bother to stretch Tuesday night, since it was "such a short distance." Wednesday, my hamstrings were so tight I couldn't touch my ankles. (Usually I can almost reach my palms to the ground.) This time, I'll take it easy.

Exercise du jour: 20 miles cycling. Okay, maybe not. It's a bad sign when you wake up exhausted. Maybe this is left-over flu or something. Today's a walking day.
Done. Two miles, but I still get me a star.


solarity said...

You should have been there: Actors Theatre of Louisville did a pseudo-Star Wars version of Titus Andronicus back in the 70s. WIth light sabers. They did deliberate Bad Shakespeare Acting, and it was hilariously, astoundingly, Awful.
Some things just can't be fixed in the rewrite.

Sending healthful stretchy thoughts to your hamstrings.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

The Merry said...

Mary Anne in K, that sounds absolutely wonderful. Probably a much, much better experience than reading the play on the train. It's so over the top that it probably plays better than it reads.

messymimi said...

Love the Bard, can't stand Titus. Hamlet always makes me cry, not sure why. It's the comedies i like to reread.

Light sabers? And it was still Awful? Like i said, can't stand that one.

McB said...

Rewrite R&J while you're at it. When Jules wakes up and sees what a stupid thing Romeo just did, she realizes what a close call she had and goes off with his best friend.

Or Macbeth. He kills off his wife early on and lives, un-henpecked, happily ever after.

solarity said...

Well, the train part would be good, Merry; trains are always good.

I didn't think it worked as well as the director probably hoped it would, but it's been more than thirty years and I still remember it vividly. It was certainly not Meh.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

London Mabel said...

you need to rewrite all of willy's plays those r great

London Mabel said...

I'm sorry but ummm I had to repost these on my blog. With credit of course.

The Merry said...

I'm honored :)