What Tweets That Trump? part 1

Seeing as tomorrow is (alas) Inauguration Day, I thought I would take some of our incoming president's more recent tweets and match them up with Shakespearean characters... with some strategic alterations where necessary.

The first draft of this comic was, like, all history plays. His tweets match up very well with history plays, alarmingly....

REVIEW: "Breath of Kings" at the Stratford Festival

Here is my review of the Stratford Festival's productions of Breath of Kings: Rebellion and Breath of Kings: Redemption. They're essentially two halves of the same production, so I'm lumping them together. This is what the general story is:

And here's what I thought of it:

EXTRA THOUGHTS (because I can't fit them all into a comic):

I have been deeply immersed in Shakespeare's history plays for decades now, so I am completely incapable of figuring out how accessible and understandable this production is to people unfamiliar with the plays and the history behind it. I thought that Abbey's adaptation was very clear in highlighting the important beats of the story as it unfolded, but at this point I could see these plays in an entirely foreign language and still know what was going on. If you saw this production and weren't that familiar with the history plays, please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!

There are lots of great performances in these plays, particularly Tom Rooney as Richard II (bringing Richard's wry, self-deprecating, and theatrical sense of humor to the forefront), and Geraint Wyn Davies as Falstaff (one of those casting notices where you nod your head and say "Yep. That was the right choice.") However, I just wanted to give a special mention to Carly Street, who plays a handful of characters including Thomas Mowbray, Lady Percy, the Douglas, and the Archbishop of York, and was unspeakably badass as all of them. A good subtitle for these plays would be "Carly Street Yelling At Men And Showing Them How To Behave", and it's all glorious. 

The set probably deserves a mention. For Rebellion, the stage is covered in a brown mulch that looks like earth, which is progressively scarred, disturbed, and tossed around as Richard's reign decays, revealing an interlocking stone floor beneath it. In Redemption, large chunks of the this stone floor are physically uprooted throughout the action, until, after the battle of Agincourt, the stage resembles the aftermath of an earthquake. It was a bit fussy at times, but very visually striking. 

It is (understandably) very rare to be able to see all four of these plays performed in the same season with the same cast, which is a pity as they are inextricably linked together. The Breath of Kings adaptation is a great way to see them all placed within their proper context, without having to sit through twelve straight hours of history plays. While obviously a lot of text has been removed, it has been by and large done in a very elegant and rational way, and the resulting plays are well worth watching. 

Elections

As most of you probably know, the U.S. held its midterm elections yesterday. I generally aim to keep post-Stuart politics off of this blog, but I thought it might be fun to interview some of our favorite characters and find out what issues were important to them in this election. 

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It turns out none of them are U.S. citizens, and thus are ineligible to vote, so this entire comic was an exercise in futility. Oh well. 

Three-Panel Plays, part 14

A double-dose of history in today's Three-Panel Plays!

Richard II got the full Tickle Brain treatment last year. You can see all my Richard II material, including a scene-by-scene stick-figure version of the entire play, here.

Remember: Richard III is not the sequel to Richard II. In between the two are seven different Henry plays. So the final score is Henry 7, Richard 2. Henry wins on aggregate!

Join us again on Monday, when we will be taking a look at two very different romances, with Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew!


See all Three-Panel Plays here!

Richard II: One Page Summary

Maybe you don't have time to read my epic 27-page stick figure rendering of Richard IIThat's fine. I understand. However, you have absolutely no excuse not to read my one-page summary of Richard II

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And that wraps up my Richard II coverage! Next week I will be returning to my usual Monday-Wednesday-Friday update schedule, as completing three pages a day nearly drove me up the metaphorical wall. To all those who started following this blog during Richard II, I must warn you that I will occasionally cover non-Shakespearean topics. If that makes you really agitated, I suggest you subscribe to my Shakespeare-Only RSS feed, which will conveniently filter out all non-Bardic material. 

Richard II, part 10

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Two weeks and 27 panels later, we have finally reached the end of Richard II! Let's wrap everything up now. If you don't remember what happened yesterday, I'll give you a hint: Richard died. 

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And there we have it! But before we go, I'd like to do the obligatory death/marriage tally for Richard II. Generally it's agreed that if a lot of people die, it's a tragedy, and if a lot of people get married, it's a comedy. This doesn't really take the histories into account, where a lot of people die just because that's what tends to happen in history. But, just for the sake of numbers, let's take a look:

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And there we have it, folks! Thanks to all of you who joined me for this romp. Stay tuned tomorrow, as I will be posting a one-page summary of the entire play for anyone who was too lazy to stumble through my rambling 27-page scene-by-scene epic narrative. 

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Richard II, part 9

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Hang on to your metaphorical hats! We're almost there. When we last left our beleaguered cast of characters, Henry of Bolingbroke had just established himself as king, and has sent the deposed Richard off to Pomfret Castle. But things haven't been all that easy for Henry...

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Piers of Exton is a fictional creation of Shakespeare's. Shakespeare also seems to have ripped off the "knight overhearing frustrated king's hyperbolic exhortation to kill someone and then taking it literally" gag from Henry II's famous "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" remark, which resulted in the horrible and totally unintended* murder of Thomas Becket.

*may or may not have been intended

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So, this is what happens when you try to turn a deeply introspective and philosophical soliloquy into a one-page stick-figure comic strip. I fear most of Richard's profound, self-actualizing discoveries were lost in the translation. On the plus side, he does now have sock puppets.

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And that, tragically, is the end of Richard. It is not, however, quite the end of the play. Check back tomorrow for the final scene and the obligatory "Death and Marriages" tally. Richard II is very short on marriages.

Richard II
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | 
Part 10