This is page 140 of a version of Shakespeare's "HAMLET" in German at Google Books. I really like the old Gothic script. When you put "I really like the old Gothic script" into Google Translate and translate into German it becomes "Ich mag die alten gotischen Schrift". My German is now so bad that I don't know whether this is exactly the right translation or not, but it's a start! Please click the picture to make it easier to see. You can see evidence of me listening to Brian Eno songs at YouTube if you look closely enough.

ALL HANDS ON TWEETDECK!

“BRIEF LET ME BE” – HAMLET’S DAD DRESSED UP AS A RENT-A-GHOST IN A WHITE SMOCKETTE AND PAIR OF WHITE BRIEFS

Yesterday I wrote a play called “VERBUS MAXIMUS” and I tried to keep it as short as possible but couldn’t limit myself to a script below 1,000 words.  So today I thought I would try to write a play that works within the 140 character limit at social networking site Twitter.  Unfortunately just this preamble has already extended beyond the requisite 140 characters, but you can’t have everything.   Still, my little play d’esprit “Tweety Pie” aims to use a 140 character limit which is tuned to the culture that we now live in where the internet provides us with so many labyrinthine distractions that we can barely give 140 seconds or our time to one thing before another attracts us in the manner of a moth in a luminarium.  The script is below.

SCRIPTORUM TWITTERATICUM.

The basic scenario is that there is a stage where the actors have handheld electronic devices.  The actors then tweet new names for people that they create (WITHIN 140 CHARACTERS) and the tweets are written up on a big screen or blackboard at the back of the stage.  The other actors then have to define these new words through their gestures, movements, drawings or conversations.   At some point this also leads to definitions of those new words WHICH ALSO HAVE TO BE WITHIN 140 CHARACTERS.

An example might be – if one actor tweets LAWYEAR, then the other actors might work their way to a definition such as “THE PERSONIFICATION OF THE NUMBER OF YEARS IT TAKES AN ORDINARY PERSON IN AN ORDINARY JOB TO EARN AS MUCH AS A LAWYER DOES IN AN HOUR”.   This definition could be discovered through mime, through dialogue, through audience participation – whatever works best in the moment.

There might be a limit of 140 new words and definitions per performance, but I leave that to theatre companies to determine as they see fit, because it might turn out that a performance of 140 of these little games might take 140 hours and prove to be almost interminably dull.

There is also the possibility for the transposition into the SECOND ACT of the play where the actors act out scenarios between some of the characters defined in the first Act – so for example a Lawyear might have to go and buy some apples from a BRIANCOX which might, for example, be a cox’s apple that accidentally got stuck in 24 frames of the Monty Python film “The Life of Brain” which was a typo of the Monty Python film “The Life of Brian”.

I have no idea precisely what the mechanics of this are and leave that, in my usual lazy fashion, to directors, producers, actors and audiences.   Whatever works best pragmatico-theatrically is what I exhort.  This also allows me to pretty much stop writing this (I will do when I’ve done a quick paragraph about inspirations below) and go and have some lunch instead.

Some of the inspirations for this small play are Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author”; the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, the board game Pictionary, the TV show “Win, Lose or Draw”, the game often played at Christmas in the UK called charades, the radio programme  “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue” and various others I can’t remember off the top of my phizog.

A quick message to all lawyers: obviously the definition above is just a little bit of fun.  I respect your profession very deeply indeed, which is why it is so reasonably remunerated. So please feel free to come and buy tickets to the play – it takes the average thespian one cosmic year (which is 225,000,000 earth years) to earn as much as you do in an hour, after all, and most thespians are usually too busy serving coffees in coffee-shops to even get to amuse you when you get a nice bit of time off from your 225,000,000 hour weeks and spend a couple of hours half-dozing in a theatre.

THAT’S IT FOLKS.

Theatre companies are very warmly invited to start performing this play immediately.  If you do, please let me know at devereux5000@gmail.com.  I might come along although I will probably mistake the theatre for a cinema and rustle a bag of popcorn so loudly that I have to be ejected from my ejector seat.

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