Friday, 23 April 2010

A Pair of Star Crossed Lovers

Recently I’ve been immersed in the world of ‘Such Tweet Sorrow’, a modern, multi-platform interpretation of Romeo and Juliet by The Royal Shakespeare Company. Using six actors to play key characters in the play, the story unfolds in real time on the social networking site, Twitter. The project presents viewers not only with the omnipresent ability to follow events as they happen, but also the gift of being able to interact with the characters, creating a truly multi-usery and addictive take on a much loved tale.

While on some levels ‘Such Tweet’ has been criticised for changing an untouchable literary classic, for me the story has been given a fresh spirit to what I once perceived as a rather dated and overdone play. I find it fascinating how the personality of the characters comes alive using only 140 characters per tweet. They also use Twitter to post pictures and YouTube videos of themselves and Juliet has gone as far as to create a Facebook event for her sixteenth birthday party tonight. And if you’re a Call of Duty fan you could even be lucky enough to play with Romeo online as he’s currently grounded for getting into fisty-cuffs with Tybalt.

The only thing that worries me about this project is the level of emotional involvement myself and many many other people are feeling towards the characters. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, and soon I will have to say goodbye to characters which I have invested time and care over. Much like the ending of a good novel, I am going to have to prepare myself for a certain feeling of loss and bereavement. But why do we read on when we know there’s darkness and hurt around the corner? I think there is a link between good literature and healing, a cathartic way of purging the emotions in stories that stand the test of time and make us feel human. ‘Such Tweet’ is happening over 5 weeks and I urge you to follow them, have a look and even get involved by replying back. I only hope that this paves the way for further projects in the future of a similar nature, of exploring how technology can enhance much loved classics and bring them to different audiences around the world.

To follow 'Such Tweet' and more information click here

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A Word on Word!

‘Word!’ is the longest running poetry and spoken word night in the East Midlands. Hosted at The Y Theatre in Leicester, a gorgeous venue with large round tables, red velvet chairs and bursting with a palpable creative atmosphere, Word! offers a much needed platform for poets and spoken word artists. For most of the evening it is ran as a highly organised open mic night, with slots available to any artist who gets to the venue and puts their name down by 7 that evening. Such a format gives the audience the chance to delve into different approaches and styles of writing that reading privately could never offer. Word! is then concluded with a booked headline act, and in the past has hosted such poets as Rob Gee, Joolz Denby, Malika Booker, Steve Rooney and Lucy English to name but a few.

Last night, in partnership with Staple Magazine, Word! delighted the audience with the majestic Mimi Khalvati, the founder of The Poetry School and a truly inspiring poet. She has published 6 collections of poetry with Carcanet Press. Her most recent book, The Meanest Flower, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, a Financial Times Book of the Year, and also Short-listed for the TS Eliot Prize. Mimi was mesmerising, and won the hearts of the audience not only with her wonderful poetry but also her kind and gentile personality, instantly putting everyone at ease and taking us on inspiring journey through her life via the medium of poetry. I came away from Word! feeling invigorated and bursting with new ideas thanks to the magic of good poetry.

For more information on Word! see here