Taking a Spin on Shakespeare
Our Spin on Shakespeare:
|Much Ado About Nothing Summary||
Narrator’s Introduction: Welcome to To Make a ‘Hamlet’, You Have To ‘Break Some Legs’. Now’s a good time to check your ticket. If you think you’re about to see a Shakespearean production, you’re in the wrong place. We were going to perform Hamlet, but we lost the script weeks ago and ran out of time to produce it. After all, Hamlet is almost 4,000 lines, and takes over three hours to perform and about 200 hours to rehearse. Since we didn’t have that kind of time anyway, and we were sure you wouldn’t want to sit through all that stuff, we’ve scrambled our own play for ya. Now, some of what you’re going to see will look and sound a lot like major portions of Hamlet and minor portions of Much Ado About Nothing. It’s kind of a literary, Shakespearean omelet. Even though the play isn’t straight Shakespeare, it does have a lot of words. Don’t pay any attention them, cause they really don’t make much sense. But the actions probably won’t make sense either. One more thing. You might want to clap a lot and fake some laughter, cause that just makes everybody feel swell, and sometimes it even makes the actors think they’re doing a bang-up job.
Scene I (Elsinor Castle, at the platform of the watch. Bernardo and Marcellus are on watch. They are joined by Horatio. Some minutes later they are visited by a ghost. The ghost will not speak, though they believe it is the ghost of King Hamlet, the great king who has recently died. The ghost leaves. Horatio says that they will report what they have seen to Hamlet. They believe the ghost will speak to him.)
Ber. Who’s there?
Mar. Shouldn’t a “knock, knock!” come before that question?
Ber. Well, knock knock!
Mar. Who’s there?
Mar. Bernardo who?
Mar. No…who…not he.
Ber. No who? How say you!
Mar. No.....Who? This is punigma.
Ber. What is a punigma.
Mar. It’s a pun and an igma. A portmanteau word.
Ber. Whatever. Here comes Horatio.
Mar. Welcome, Horatio! Rescue us from ourselves.
Hor. Hello, Marcellus and Bernardo. What movements a foot to report?
Mar. Not a creature stirring, not even a mouse stirring.
Hor. There’s inspiration for a Christmas story!
Mar. The apparition which came at last watch has not appeared.
Hor. It’s image burns in my memory. Perhaps ‘twill appear again.
Ber. My lords, it comes! And in the same figure like the king that’s dead.
Mar. Thou art a scholar, Horatio.
Hor. This is no task for a scholar but for one skilled in the science of apparitions.
Ber. Horatio, you know the ghost busters of Denmark have resigned their post. Speak to it, I beseech you.
Hor. Very well. Steady my humours! ‘Spirit, what are thou that usurp’st this time of night, with that warlike form in which the majesty of buried Denmark did sometimes mark? By heaven I charge thee speak!’
(Ghost begins walking backwards)
Mar. It stalks away.
Ber. Indeed, it is offended.
Hor. Offended? Fresh my clothing as my breath, and my grammar sound. How claim itoffense? Stay, ghost! Engage my conversation. Texture your form with the color of discourse.
(Ghost retreats and exits)
Mar. ‘Tis gone, and answer made it none.
Ber. Horatio, tremble and look pale. Is not this something more than fantasy?
Hor. Before my God, I would not this believe without the sensible and true avouch of mine own eyes.
Mar. Was it not like the king?
Hor. As thou art to thyself. Such was the very armor he had on when he the ambitious Norway combated…(enter Ghost again) But soft! It comes again! I’ll cross it. Stay illusion! If thou hast any sound, or use of voice, speak to be. If thou own some knowledge worthy of our understanding, let it follow! Speak, I beseech thee. Stop it, Bernardo.
Ber. Shall I strike it with my partisans?
Hor. No need to make this political. Just strike it with your sword.
Mar. Why didn’t you say so. ‘Tis here!
Hor. ‘Tis here!
Ber. ‘Tis gone! We do it wrong, being so majestical, to offer it the show of violence, for it is as the air, invulnerable.
Mar. It seemed about to speak.
Hor. Look, the morn shines on the dew of yon high eastern hill. Break we our watch. Let us impart what we have seen tonight to young Hamlet; for, upon my life, this spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
|Our Spin on Shakespeare|
|Shakespeare's Infulences on the Public|