TV presenter Carol Vorderman once enraged the literary world by declaring that Shakespeare was as “dull as ditchwater.” Vorderman, who has an IQ of 154 and a master’s degree in engineering to her name, made the controversial remark after failing to recognise Sir Toby Belch as a character in Twelfth Night on a celebrity version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
I’m sure she’d approve of a new initiative from the Royal Shakespeare Company though. In collaboration with production company Mudlark, a cast of six RSC actors is currently presenting Romeo and Juliet to the digital generation via Twitter.
The drama of the two star-crossed lovers is being played out on the micro-blogging site over five weeks, with the actors relaying the famous romance in posts of 140 characters or less.
The production, which goes under the name of Such Tweet Sorrow (not so sure about that one) has been switched to modern Britain, with the action taking place live, and in real time. Juliet, played by RSC actress Charlotte Wakefield, is described as “a fun-loving, gentle and polite” teenager who obeys her father and has never had a boyfriend. Early tweets included lines like “i feel sooo trapped in this house!!! i feel caged in! I am so thankful for my Netbook” and “What a crazily emotional day. Feeling down at the moment. Anyone want to cheer me up?” Her Romeo, played by James Barrett, is “an avid PS3-playing, drum ‘n’ bass lover.” Currently on his gap year, he’s working part-time in a cardboard box factory. The rest of the time he’s playing on his Xbox or down the pub with his mate Mercutio.
So far Juliet’s brother Tybalt has been expelled from school for drugs. her big sister (nicknamed “Nurse”) is busy training for the London Marathon and Juliet herself has tweeted that she’s dreading the tenth anniversary of her mother’s death. Forget EastEnders, I’m absolutely gripped.
To catch up with the action go to www.suchtweetsorrow.com.