Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
I recently saw a little stage musical called ‘All Shook Up’, which is easily the best performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night set in 1950s America using the music of Elvis Presley I’ve ever seen. Granted it’s the only performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night set in 1950s America using the music of Elvis Presley I’ve ever seen, but why let that ruin the fun. So on top of that, how else could we modernise Shakespeare and bring him into the 21st Century. Well here are my ideas.
Antony and Cleopatra: See the problem with this play is that neither Rome nor Egypt are the superpowers that they are any more. I mean they really aren’t. So what are two good superpowers that could be used? Well why not the President of the United States having an affair with the Queen of England. Look me in the eye and say that this isn’t an improvement of the story. Can you imagine poor Barrack Obama having to choose between the woman he loves and the country he serves. The answer is no, because you shouldn’t be imaging it, you should be watching it. We can also have him go off and have to fight a war in Iraq (topical! Okay not any more, but still) and have his vice president trying to off him. It’d be brilliant. Plus you could have a few digs at politics, so that’s always fun. So yes, this needs to get made.
King Lear: Now King Lear will always be my favourite Shakespeare play since it was my first (though Hamlet can give it a close run for its money). But I’m surprised no one has modernised this yet. You have King Lear (played by Donald Trump) be the owner of a big media television company. He has three daughters played by Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and some third nice daughter. Lear splits his company up in two and takes 100 executives with him. Meanwhile a record company owner has two sons: Eminem and Kayne West. Kayne West is a bastard (as in he was illegitimately signed to the record label) and as such betrays Eminem and makes him out to be the bad guy. Meanwhile Paris and Nicole abuse poor Donald Trump I mean Lear and cast him out in the mean streets of LA, accompanied by his loyal business partner and his accountant. Then some other stuff happens. In short, a modernised version of Lear using the media empire is very long overdue.
Othello: Now it’s been said that Othello is all about Race and stuff like that. Truth be told even though I read the play, I don’t really see it. But still, lets say it is about race. You have the black Othello being persecuted by what is going on around him. But no teenager isn’t going to read some ancient text. They’re too busy watching TV. So do you know what you need to do? Well I thought it’d be obvious. Set Othello on Jersey Shore. Have Othello be played by, I don’t know, the Situation. And Desdemona played by Snooki. And… Okay I’ve never watched an episode of Jersey Shore, I’m not that brain-dead, but still. Hearing Snooki reciting Shakespeare would be brilliant, would it not? How couldn’t it be?
Macbeth: As I said at the top of the blog, the idea of combining Shakespeare with music isn’t a bad idea. Hell you could rap Shakespeare if you really wanted too. Anyway, there is one clear combination. After reading Hamlet it can be said that Macbeth is just Hamlet from the point of view of Claudius. But more than that, there is one band to fit, and that is Queen. Just think about the possibilities.
â€œA Kind of Magicâ€ can be used when meeting the witches.
â€œKiller Queenâ€ can be used to describe Lady Macbeth’s fall into Darkness.
â€œAnother One Bites the Dustâ€ features the death of the King by Macbeth’s hand.
â€œDon’t Stop Me Nowâ€ shows Macbeth going crazy.
The first part of â€œBohemian Rhapsodyâ€ is the perfect demonstration of the madness the characters feel.
Hell failing that there’s a song literally called â€œI’m Going Slightly Madâ€
â€œUnder Pressureâ€, need I say any more?
Seriously why has no one ever thought of taking the music of Queen and applying it to a story of people killing each other until there can only be one?
What’s that. Highlander? Never heard of it, what’s it about?
â€¦ Well Fu-
So there you have it. Four ways of modernizing Shakespeare (especially the last one, why has this not been done, it’ll be fantastic). If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.