Remodelling and reworking Shakespeare is an inevitable part of theatre productions; it will be interesting to see what comes of this Random House project.
Using existing works as a starting point to create new ones is hardly new. The new work created could be great works in their own right, or they could be mediocre, or they could be poor. It doesn’t matter, as the original works, which are themselves often re-workings of then existing materials, are hardly likely to be replaced. So when Random House announced recently that they will be commissioning various writers to produce retellings, reworkings, updatings, cover versions (they seemingly couldn’t make up their mind which term to use) of every play in the Shakespeare canon, I couldn’t really see much to get too excited about. Whether this project can create anything even remotely of the stature of Verdi’s Otelloor Kurasawa’s Ran remains to be seen, but let’s not pre-judge: even if it doesn’t climb to such heights, there may well be a few worthwhile books coming out of…
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Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved. On the other hand, one of them got a good crucifying. One of the old git’s commenters was a little harsh on Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare In Love) what with Gwyneth Paltrow giving it her “all English”. Let’s wait and see. The interim is mine and I’ll be using some of it to sharpen a few stakes. You’d expect no less, wouldn’t you?
Frankly, I’m surprised you don’t have a ready supply of sharpened stakes to hand! Happy whittling.