Romeo and Juliet now killing it on Twitter

A new, updated version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is currently being played out on Twitter. Will many follow it over its five-week run?

For those of you who have never read any William Shakespeare, might I offer you some of the best lines from his "Romeo and Juliet" just to make your day run a little more lyrically?

Here's Juliet: "Just uploaded my video finally! YouTube crashed! last thing i needed! love you jess! Mum would be proud of us today xxx."

And here's some more Juliet: "Omg I REALLY don't wanna go to school today! Save meeee! Xx."

You didn't realize that Shakespeare was so modern, so today, so up-to-the-minute fascinating? Well, neither did I, until Reuters offered me the revelation that "Romeo and Juliet" was now being acted out on Twitter.

It seems this five-week extravaganza is the result of a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company and mobile entertainment company Mudlark. And, it being Twitter, there's hardly room for all that "Wherefore art thou Romeo" stuff. (Incidentally, "wherefore" actually means "why" in that sentence, my hugely erudite handlers inform me.) This is all happening in the microblogged here and now.

You can begin to follow this comic tale of love and death at suchtweetsorrow.com. There, the action will unfold over a five-week period, with tweets being spontaneously offered by the performers, who are following a loose storyline.

Juliet, for example, is already busily tweeting away at @julietcap16. She seems a dizzy little thing, perhaps already smoking a little ganja to ease her troubled life. (Her mom died 10 years ago, you see, in very sad circumstances.) Of course, being English, she will soon be going out to the pub with her mates, downing several pints of cider, and adorning the sidewalk with the remains of a distant curry.

But please don't let me spoil the story for you. However, I can tell you that, should you want to get a picture of Juliet's voice--and, indeed, of Juliet--in your head, she has helpfully posted a video on YouTube, which I have embedded here.

I am sure that, in real life, the actress playing the part is terribly posh, but she manages a very passable common English accent here. Shakespeare, you see, cannot be full of snooty English accents anymore--not in England's new and highly equalized society.

I know the idea of Shakespeare may be quite dull to some, so might I offer you a notion that seems to have been accepted by critics over the years? Shakespeare's constant references to death are really references to sex. (I will say no more than to refer you to Juliet's line: "O happy dagger!")

And everyone knows that there's loads of death at the end of this little drama. So perhaps you all might follow suchtweetsorrow.com, just, you know, to see how the rather unhappy ending is dramatically delivered in 140 characters.

 

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