Stratford Festival 2017 Photo Comics (part 3)

It's "Stay Sane September"! That means I'll be sharing some of my "greatest hits" from social media and Patreon to keep you entertained while I take the month off in order to avoid burnout, take some theatre trips, and get caught up on various tasks and projects that I have been neglecting. 

Today's installment features YET MORE photo comics cobbled together from the Stratford Festival's official production photos, starting with Guys & Dolls:

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Then The Komagata Maru Incident, based on a rather dark chapter in Canada's history:

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The ludicrously complicated and madcap The School For Scandal

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And finally, a new play by Kate Hennig, The Virgin Trial

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I missed Bakkhai. I'm very sorry about that.

Upcoming Events

September 28: Cincinnati Museum Insights Lecture

WHO: Me! Again!
WHAT: Talk followed by Q&A on the development of Good Tickle Brain and approaches to making Shakespeare accessible to new audiences. 
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm
WHERE: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
WHY: Because they have a cool Shakespeare exhibit going on right now! 
HOW: Reserve a FREE ticket at the Cincy Museum website!

 

Stratford Festival 2017 Photo Comics (part 2)

It's "Stay Sane September"! That means I'll be sharing some of my "greatest hits" from social media and Patreon to keep you entertained while I take the month off in order to avoid burnout, take some theatre trips, and get caught up on various tasks and projects that I have been neglecting. 

Today's installment features MORE photo comics cobbled together from the Stratford Festival's official production photos, starting with HMS Pinafore:

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Next up, Twelfth Night:

 

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Then it was time for Treasure Island:

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Next up was an ultra-modern Tartuffe with an ultra-modern script by Ranjit Bolt. 

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Anyways, that's all for now! Tune in Thursday for another "Stay Sane September" installment!

Upcoming Events

September 28: Cincinnati Museum Insights Lecture

WHO: Me! Again!
WHAT: Talk followed by Q&A on the development of Good Tickle Brain and approaches to making Shakespeare accessible to new audiences. 
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm
WHERE: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
WHY: Because they have a cool Shakespeare exhibit going on right now! 
HOW: Reserve a FREE ticket at the Cincy Museum website!

 

Stratford Festival 2017 Photo Comics (part 1)

It's "Stay Sane September"! That means I'll be sharing some of my "greatest hits" from social media and Patreon to keep you entertained while I take the month off in order to avoid burnout, take some theatre trips, and get caught up on various tasks and projects that I have been neglecting. 

Today's installment features some comics I put together during my trip to the Stratford Festival two weeks ago. I deliberately didn't take my computer so that I wouldn't be able to work. However, once I got there I found myself wanting to document my theatre-going, so I downloaded all the official production photos, ran them through a basic comic app, and here they are.

First up was Timon of Athens, which I previously saw 13 years ago, when I was far too immature to appreciate this famously hard-to-appreciate play. Here's how it unfolded:

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While I'm still not particularly fond of the play itself, I thought this was a great production - very clear and comprehensible, with excellent acting, especially by Joe Ziegler, who managed to somehow make me not lose all interest in Timon once he slid to the "UNRELENTINGLY BITTER" end of the spectrum. 

I then saw Thomas Middleton's The Changeling. This was my first Middleton (not counting his possible collaborations with Shakespeare) and it was a doozy:

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This was an intense play. I'm struck by how very different Middleton feels to Shakespeare as far as the language and characterizations are concerned. It all feels much more melodramatic, with the result that I empathize less with the characters involved, but enjoy all the horrible, over-the-top atrocities that occur. 

Next up was Romeo and JulietWe all know how this one goes, right?

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Confession: I'm really really really sick of Romeo and Juliet. It's just done ALL the TIME, and it's always pretty much the same, and you can't seem to get away from it. However, this production managed to rekindle my interest in the play, thanks primarily to the ludicrously engaging performances of the two leads, Sara Farb and Antoine Yared. 

Finally, I saw The Breathing Hole, a new play commissioned by the Stratford Festival. It goes like this:

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I really loved this production, and not just because the bears are ADORABLE and PERFECT and LOVELY. Apart from the bears (who were adorable and perfect and lovely), my favorite scene was one in which two Inuit hunters meet and try to communicate with British explorer Sir John Franklin and his crew. It was perfectly written and acted. 

Anyways, that's all for now! Tune in Thursday for another "Stay Sane September" installment!

Upcoming Events

TOMORROW: September 6: Stratford Festival Forum - Willy Shakes: Fanboy

WHO: Me! And also Conor McCreery of the Kill Shakespeare comic book series.
WHAT: Panel discussion on Shakespeare in pop culture and graphic novels. Part of the Stratford Festival Forum series of events. 
WHEN: Wednesday, September 6, 10:45am
WHERE: Chalmers Lounge, Avon Theatre, Stratford, Ontario.
WHY: Because they asked me! 
HOW: Buy tickets at the Stratford Festival website

September 28: Cincinnati Museum Insights Lecture

WHO: Me! Again!
WHAT: Talk followed by Q&A on the development of Good Tickle Brain and approaches to making Shakespeare accessible to new audiences. 
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm
WHERE: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
WHY: Because they have a cool Shakespeare exhibit going on right now! 
HOW: Reserve a FREE ticket at the Cincy Museum website!

 

Shakespearean Christmas Carols, part 3

You've sang through part 1 and part 2, so here's the most recent set of Shakespearean Christmas carols! 

Happy holidays to all of you! I will be taking next week off to spend time with my family, but I look forward to seeing you here again in the new year!

2016 has definitely had its full share of heartbreak, but it was also a year of adventure and excitement (and stress and euphoria and terror and learning) as I started working full-time on Good Tickle Brain. Thanks again to all of you for reading and supporting and laughing and generally being a fantastic audience. I look forward to another year of sharing Shakespearean silliness with you. 

The Timon of Athens Death Clock

I'm still on vacation this week at the Stratford Festival, so here's another low-body-count death clock from everybody's favorite Shakespeare play about misanthropy!

I don't know what exactly Timon dies of. It's not a broken heart. Overdose of bitterness? Toxic accumulation of spite? In any event, if my death clocks only counted onstage deaths, this would be the emptiest of all the tragedy death clocks.

It would be empty, basically.

If you want more Good Tickle Brain action this week, take a peek at my FacebookTwitterTumblr, and Instagram, where I'm posting updates on my adventures in Stratford, Ontario. 

Timon Who?

I was looking through my archives and I noticed that one play in particular never seems to feature in my comics.

If pressed, I'd probably say that my least favorite Shakespeare play is Timon of Athens. It's not a really fair judgement, as I've only seen it once, a number of years ago, and haven't revisited it since. At the time I remember thinking it was a miserable play. Of course... that's kind of the point. It's like complaining about Romeo and Juliet being "a bit of a downer". 

Nowadays it seems like Timon is the hipster of the Shakespearean canon. "I liked Timon of Athens before it was cool", I can almost hear people say. "Duuuuude, Timon is, like, a brilliant critique of our corrupt, emotionally-bankrupt and overly-materialistic society, man. It's deep." That may very well be the case. It's also not much fun.

I probably need to give Timon another chance. Have an opinion on Timon? Leave a note for me in the comments!

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 16

The Three-Panel Plays are into the Ts now. If anyone ever asks you "which letter is most likely to start the title of a Shakespeare play?" the answer is T - assuming you're counting The Two Noble Kinsmen, of course. Otherwise it's H, with all the Henries. 

That's the basic gist of The Tempest. I'm very sorry that I cut out Caliban, but (a) I didn't have the space for him, and (b) I don't know how to draw Calibans. 

Confession: Out of the 37 Shakespeare plays that I have seen (I stupidly missed the Stratford Festival's production of The Two Noble Kinsmen back in 2002) I would have to say that Timon of Athens is probably my least favorite. This is probably because I am a feckless, shallow youth more interested in the joys of the world than in a bitter study of a man's descent into miserable misanthropy, but hey, to each their own. 

Next up on Friday, we hurtle on towards the end with Titus Andronicus (that's a fun one, believe you me) and Troilus and Cressida!


See all Three-Panel Plays here!