Such Tweet Sorrow with the Royal Shakespeare Company
Way back last autumn my former colleague Claire McArdle came to the 4iP table with an idea that involved the world's authority on performing Shakespeare, Twitter and a mad little company we had played with before. Such Tweet Sorrow has just been born, and is something every school in the land could be using as an injection of amusing accessible literature before this year's diet of death-by-examination:
More than 400 years ago William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet , introducing “a pair of star-crossed lovers” who defy an “ancient grudge” between their two families with romantic and ultimately tragic results.
As well as numberless stage versions, it has been retold in film, opera, ballet and musical forms. In this ground-breaking experiment, it is coming to life across and through a social network, Twitter.
If you have a Twitter account already, you can simply choose to follow any or all of the six main characters in Such Tweet Sorrow.
If you aren't on Twitter yet, this might be the perfect opportunity to discover what all the fuss is about. It is easy to join!
Throughout the five weeks of this performance, you will see and read the “tweets” - Twitter updates which may be thoughts, messages, links or confessions - of Romeo, Juliet and four other characters .
They are being brought to your Twitter-stream by six actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Each of them has a “script” designed by Mudlark's writing team of Tim Wright and Bethan Marlow, under the direction of the RSC's Roxana Silbert.
The actors will write their actual tweets themselves, using the rich backgrounds the writers have given them, along with a detailed diary that tells them where their characters are at any one moment of the adventure- what they are feeling, who they are with, who they want to talk to.
This may be as ordinary as telling us what they had for breakfast or as remarkable as announcing a deep, deep love.
It will all take place at the time (GMT) it would in real life.
To catch up, look at the Live Timeline and The Story So Far on this Such Tweet Sorrow site - also look out for events in the storyline that you can join in with and have more talk of these sad things.