Billy's Bloggerel - Theft

Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 4 – Theft!)

Created by Brothers McLeod with 0 Comments

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Four: Theft!

Billy. You are late with expected verse!
Has your quill flown south with its former host?

Francis, my dear pig, I am quite hollow.
Have you ever had an idea, so rich
And full of pregnant possibility,
That you marvelled at your own unique skill,
Only to realise it was never
Your original, your ingenuity,
But a memory of inspiration?

You still yearn for originality?
A futile adventure. Surely you must
Know that nothing can come of nothing!
Surely you had a Mother, a Father?
You are no first draft, but a revision.

I thought I was inspired to write a tale
Of an aged King and his three daughters,
About the division of royal land,
But then I remembered the old story
And now I am inspired to drink strong wine.

Tonight, let us drink away your sorrows,
But tomorrow, you must prepare yourself
To be a thief and to steal ideas.

I will not do it. I will not purloin!

Listen to me! Each pig is his own pork
But all taste the same, all are good bacon!
Let us not call it theft, but distilling!
Yes! All artisans know well the goblet,
For they drink deeply from any they find,
But also because they are such vessels.
At their vintage they are full to the brim
With poems, painting, puffery and prowess.
They pour out their sweet wine with drunken glee
Into the ready mouths of their public,
But what can they do when they have poured all?
When they have run dry?
There is no choice but to refill the cup,
To sup and sip from the grails of others!

You flatter robbery with a merry toast!

No! You have not measured this new measure!
These many brews make a heady mixture
Of beers, wines, meads, and like good alchemy
They distil a new liquor, freshly potent!

I will admit, there is something in that.

Aye! And more important, though this new swill
May seem familiar, it has fresh flavour!
Certainly there are hints of grape and hop,
The tongue might note the honey and the grain,
But the wonder is the recombination!
It is an old story with new surprise.
It is a famous clown with bold, new face.
It is Ovid reshaped as William!

Francis! I am persuaded! I will steal!
But I will refashion, remould, recast!

I am glad you have met with my wisdom.
Here is more! Let us make haste to the inn!

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
Billy animations on YouTube
Billy badges at the RSC Shop

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Will Power cropped

Caliban’s Speech by WIll Power

Created by Will Power with 2 Comments

Will Power is an award winning Playwright, Performer and M.C. Along with a small select group of others, Power helped to create the popular performance art form known as Hip Hop Theatre. His plays and performances have been seen in some of the world’s greatest venues including Lincoln Center (New York), The Sydney Opera House (Australia), The Battersea Arts Centre (London), Royce Hall (Los Angeles), and many others.

In this commission Will Power explores the lyricism of Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter, bringing these rhythms into the twenty-first century by fusing them with the contemporary beats of hip hop.  Will’s fascination with the percussiveness of language will share how you can get to the dramaturgy and character of Shakespeare’s work through the rhythm of his language.  Having grown up with hip hop and exploring the intersection between hip hop and theatre in his work, this commission will create a fusion between Shakespeare’s meter and hip hop lyricism.  Check out this video which shares his process and collaboration with composer Justin Ellington.

Justin Ellington is a composer and Grammy award winning producer based in New York by way of Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout his career he has worked with stellar artists in both theater and the recording industry. As a composer his work has been heard on stages around the world most recently in the critically acclaimed Broadway production of OTHER DESERT CITIES, which earned a Tony nomination for Best Play.

If you’d like to remix this track or create your own piece to appear on myShakespeare get in touch with us. Please email for more details.

“If music be the food of love, play on” -William Shakespeare

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Billy Blog 3

Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 3 – Dreams)

Created by Brothers McLeod with 0 Comments

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Three: Dreams

Our dreams are both blessing, and curse,
Where we are gods, or else converse.

Fair Titania, will not cease
Till we have found our mystic peace.
In dreams, she guides us, like the blind,
Our hopes, and happiness, to find.
In her charmed cloak, we hide from woe,
And waking, keep her pixie glow,
At least for moments, then tis gone,
Though, haze of fairy, may live on.
If then we rest and contemplate,
It’s then, we open, we create.
For th’ Queen of Sprites lingers near.
Listen! Charms whispered in your ear!
Your hidden thoughts are now revealed,
No longer is the dream concealed,
See! Your bright hearth of desire!
The secret of your living fire.

Not all such journeys are so blest,
Some fright and haunt, when we would rest.

In dreams there is no iron song
To repel fell Lord Oberon.
The Fairy King in sleep has sway.
To him, the mares of night, obey.
They drag us by our self-milled chains,
To places of perpetual rains,
Where hate and fear have made a feast,
To satiate our hidden beast.
This Grendel quaffs a mead of terrors
Reminding us of all our errors,
Loves all of which we’re most afraid,
And shows each fall in a parade.
At last, the gloating King sets free
Our low souls to reality.
But here too in our wretched sweat
We owe cruel Oberon a debt.
The poison from his puckish potions,
Ferment strong and primal notions.
Even from his tricksy lyre,
Come the burdens that inspire.

Awake, we are like lucky steel,
That mute the fairies’ lulling reel.
Yet even here they wait like fades,
For daydreams where they prowl as shades,
They tease and taunt, like fools, like Lears,
And revel when we breed ideas.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
Billy animations on YouTube
Billy badges at the RSC Shop

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Billy's Bloggerel. Connections

Billy’s Bloggerel – Where do ideas come from? (part 2 – Connections)

Created by Brothers McLeod with 0 Comments

Welcome to Billy’s Bloggerel, a web-log of doggerel…

Where do Ideas come from?
Part Two: Connections

Once more I attend to where ideas are born.
We know a bite of it is our birthplace,
But that is just a beginning, a raw pip.
Not all designs shoot from our puking days.
For each new moment, virgin thoughts cavort
afresh in our minds, demanding sanction.
From where do these rude ribald sparks emerge?
What fecund field burgeons these brash schemes?
I say the answer lies anywhere
friends or families or foes meet and mix.
We are all Spiders, sharing a great web
that stretches from the school room to the inn
and from the church pew to the bawd’s chamber.
It is a monstrous mesh that boldly binds
each meeting house to all others, near or far.
As we creep and crawl along these threads
we may meet any Jack, every Jill.
If not a web, then we are a beach of stones
vulnerable to the variable tides.
We revolve against others, are reordered,
resettled, each day milled by new neighbours.
It is these chance collisions on silk links,
it is these luck-filled limestone jostlings
that mint novel forms and philosophies.
Then, suddenly, like a devil dog’s bark
clawing at the silence of a cavern,
an idea leaps from the quiet abyss
and thrusts his novelty into naked light.
From this first unaccommodated thought
may spew fierce sulphurous tributaries.
New notions roll and roil with Vulcan fire
until the idea is spent of good fuel.
Then it cools and sets into a lattice,
a web of abstractions, now set in stone.
Of course, not all meetings are like Pompeii.
Who’s to say if the nugget will be mined
from a chance fellowship with a tradesman
or from a society of mummers?
Perhaps from a reunion of pupils
who once recited from the same hornbook?
No one can tell when the earth will so shake.
But surely we can say,
It’s in the trifling instants that we converge
Where these unpredicted sprites emerge.

Billy words and pictures by The Brothers McLeod
Billy animations on YouTube
Billy badges at the RSC Shop

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'Self Portrait, 2004' by Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa

Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa

Created by Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa with 1 Comment

Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa is a commissioned artist for myShakespeare. The image above is called ‘Self Portrait, 2004’.  Emma’s commissioned piece for myShakespeare is called ‘Nicely Turned’ is a tumblr blog in which, for the duration of the World Shakespeare Festival 2012, artist Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa will collate and re-present quotations, allusions and references to Shakespeare’s plays and Shakespeare’s characters at work in contemporary culture – primarily within affluent Western societies. View Project

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Tom Uglow

Social Shakespeare by Tom Uglow

Created by Tom Uglow with 1 Comment

Social Shakespeare will surprise and delight audiences by taking a subject that is perceived as traditional (a 17th century play) off the stage and into a highly contemporary world (Google + and 21th century social media) – educating and entertaining in equal measure – creating a blueprint for new narrative forms. Social Shakespeare will ask us to think about how a story exists today, to investigate what is almost the negative space around the spoken words. It will capture the updates, the comments, the chat, the photo and the videos that would echo out of each scene telling the story through them.

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