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! Francis: Billy. You are late with expected verse! Has your quill flown south with its former host? Billy: 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? Francis: 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. Billy: 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. Francis: Tonight, let us drink away your sorrows, But tomorrow, you must prepare yourself To be a thief and to steal ideas. Billy: I will not do it. I will not purloin! Francis: 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! Billy: You flatter robbery with a merry toast! Francis: 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! Billy: I will admit, there is something in that. Francis: 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! Billy: Francis! I am persuaded! I will steal! But I will refashion, remould, recast! Francis: 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 [1] Billy animations on YouTube Billy badges at the RSC Shop [2] [1] [2]

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Come and have a go if you think you’re Bard enough…

Created by New Zealand International Arts Festival with 0 Comments

Come and have a go if you think you’re Bard enough... A digital Shakespeare project from the world’s faraway festival As well as a being a haven for Hobbits, Wellington is home to the country’s biggest celebration of art – the New Zealand International Arts Festival [1].   The Festival transforms the capital over 24 days, packing the city with performances from the world’s leading artists and promising an arts adventure for locals and visitors.  In February the Festival asked the help of some of Wellington’s most famous resident actors including Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong), Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) and Stephen Fry (The Hobbit) to develop a low-fi digital project that would run alongside its live performance programme. The 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival celebrated the best of the Bard with a special programme of Shakespeare including the UK’s Propeller Theatre’s double-bill of Henry V and The Winter’s Tale; Pan Pan’s deconstructed Hamlet from Ireland called The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane; feminist Germaine Greer speaking on Shakespeare’s Wife; and the world premiere of the Māori Troilus and Cressida – which later travelled to The Globe in London as part of the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival. In its digital programme the Festival set itself a challenge of Shakespearean proportions: to create New Zealand’s first ever crowd-sourced Shakespeare speech. Video content was pulled together over just a few days and featured fearless actors, personalities and presenters from the big and small screens in New Zealand who each contributed a line of “To be, or not to be”. They filmed their section by any means possible - iPhone, digital camera, webcam, studio cameras – whatever came to hand. It took 21 contributors, a quick edit - and quite a few outtakes – and then Come and have a go if you think you’re Bard enough was released to the world. The 2014 New Zealand International Arts Festival is from 21 February – 16 March. [1]

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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. [1] 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 [1]

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Troilus and Cressida – ‘Uncle Pandarus needs to talk to you’

Created by 1623 Theatre Company with 4 Comments

“My tale’s of war and how it kills what’s dear, A parable to turn my guilt to good And caution you against a future war” : Uncle Pandarus Uncle Pandarus needs to talk to you. Follow his blog at [1] as he tells you the tale of his niece Cressida and her lover Troilus. Each day for three weeks, Pandarus will update his blog with videos, photos, intercepted phone calls and his own manga artwork. Once he’s updated his blog, posts will stay there forever so you can keep updated as and when you like. This free-to-watch production from 1623 theatre company is supported by Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Igniting Ambition (Cultural Olympiad in the East Midlands), QUAD and the Great British Sasakawa Foundation. Remember, Uncle Pandarus needs to talk to you at [2] [1] [2]

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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 [1] Billy animations on YouTube Billy badges at the RSC Shop [2] [1] [2]

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Charlotte Elizabeth Webb

Infinite Violets by Charlotte Elizabeth Webb

Created by Charlotte Elizabeth Webb with 2 Comments

Infinite Violets is a computer generated artwork which creates many millions of variations of the following verse from Shakespeare's King John: SALISBURY: Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp, To guard a title that was rich before, To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, To smooth the ice, or add another hue Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful and ridiculous excess. (King John, 1595) In Shakespeare's play, the verse is spoken by the Duke of Salisbury on the occasion of the King's second coronation. Salisbury feels that to crown the King again is superfluous and unnecessary, and this feeling is reflected in the language of the verse, which denotes excessiveness and ostentation. Taking up the idea of re-enacting or embellishing phenomena, Infinite Violets explores the possibilities for language to be exploded into new forms by an algorithmic process. The work creates a hyper-textual encounter in which new variations of the verse are sometimes funny, awkward or charming, their poetic nature belying their creation by a computer programme. It is also concerned with alternative forms of authorship, both in terms of the algorithmic creation of poetry, and the inclusion of images created by the Flickr community. To make Infinite Violets, a database of all the synonyms for each word in the original verse was created. A computer programme was written which would randomly combine the synonyms to create, in human terms, an infinite number of variations of the original verse. To provide a visual element, another database was created - this time, consisting of images found on Flickr. To find the images, each synonym was used as a search term in Flickr, and an image selected from the returned results. Whenever a new textual variation of the verse is generated, the computer programme also generates a slideshow of the 'corresponding' images. The images slowly fade into one another, creating a dreamy backdrop for the verses. The images used are all licensed under Creative Commons licenses which allow for their re-use or modification. Whenever an image appears on screen, the name of the author and the license they used appears as a hyperlink on bottom right of the screen. This means that at any point the viewer can go to the original source of the image. Special thanks go to Arthur Webb and Mark Jackson for technical support.

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The Tragedy of Macbeth produced by Mike Berenger

Created by Mike Berenger with 0 Comments

The film is set in 11th Century Scotland as Shakespeare intended, but casts Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as a pair of eager twenty-somethings thirsty for fame and fortune. Marek Oravec and Hannah Taylor Gordon make for a beautiful and intense on-screen couple and an international cast brings fresh life to the myriad of supporting roles; including a stand-out performance from Viennese children's TV presenter Richard Panzenboeck as the chilling assassin Seyton and a cameo from 70's film heart-throb Oliver Tobias as a hilariously unhinged and philandering Porter. We always planned for the film to be a fresh take: “It’s a roller coaster 90 minutes and it’s nothing like what many people expect from period Shakespeare.” The play might be 400 years old but the story resonates perfectly with today's fame-driven world. The Macbeths are the celebrities of their age; filthy rich, successful and beautiful, but they are seduced into believing that they deserve even more and they jump at the chance to take it. With no regard for the consequences, their reckless impatience leads them to a spiral of violence ending in madness and death, and a final self-realisation. Marek Oravec, Golden Globe® nominee Hannah Taylor Gordon, Hal Fowler and Oliver Tobias feature in this bold new film adaptation of The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare's most notorious and bloody play. The film was directed by actor-director Daniel Coll from a finely tuned screenplay adaptation by Stephen Coles and made high in the Austrian Alps back at the end of 2009. It was released on DVD in March this year and will be available to download later in the year.  

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Jenny Ridley 3

That Time of Year – Shakespeare (Sonnet 73) by Jennifer Ridley

Created by Jennifer Ridley with 4 Comments

From exploring the nature of poetry and lyrics I feel Shakespeare is a very important figure in writing. Over the last few years I have spent time studying the relationship between these two elements and feel that his prose has had a significant impact on the way in which we write and express ourselves today. I began to notice the musicality of Shakespeare from studying and reading his sonnets and songs. I became particularly aware of the delicate emotive prose, the structures, rhyme schemes and phrase movements. I decided to work from a Classical/Folk direction being careful to arrange the music to retain the beauty of the text whilst enhancing this with instrumental arrangements. The piece I have chosen to share is, “That Time of Year” Sonnet 73.The text of this sonnet illustrates Shakespeare’s views on life, expressing his experiences using the metaphors of nature to explain the inevitable path of existence leading to old age and eventually moving towards death. Similar to the lyricists and writers of today, I feel that Shakespeare has been able to gracefully create imagery and themes that are able to transcend and capture audiences of generations. That Time of Year - Sonnet 73   That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see'st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west; Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the deathbed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourished by. This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

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Shall I Compare Thee

Shall I Compare Thee by Christof R Davis

Created by Christof R Davis with 0 Comments

Shakespeare is a hugely important influence on so many aspects of arts and culture, and is a veritable goldmine of inspiration and source material for composers. This setting of his sonnet "Shall I Compare Thee" exemplifies just how relevant Shakespeare is to us today. When you think of all the current pop songs where a singer uses similes and metaphors to describe their true love, and then note that Shakespeare was doing exactly the same thing lyrically over 400 years ago. The choice of this particular sonnet for this musical setting was an easy one - it lends itself so perfectly for musical treatment, both in the flow of the text and in the imagery of the content. The accompanying piano part has a repetitive pattern which runs throughout the setting, and through its simplicity allows the vocal line and the text to come to the fore. More than any other writer, Shakespeare has influenced artists, filmmakers and composers from one generation to the next, and as such is a towering figure in cultural history. [1] Christof is currently working on a wider selection of choral settings of Shakespeare's sonnets, which will hopefully premiere in 2013. Christof R Davis is a composer of music from Birmingham in the West Midlands. He writes music for film, stage and television alongside choral and instrumental work. To date he has written music for two feature films, countless short films, 3 stage musicals, music for video games and television, a wealth of choral work and several instrumental/orchestral works. He was educated at the Royal Northern College of Music and also works as a musical director, performer and music educator. [1]

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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 [1] Billy animations on YouTube Billy badges at the RSC Shop [2] [1] [2]

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