Challenge Week 2021: Mind The Bard

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We’ve had Mind The Bard, we’ve had Mind The Bard: 2 Bard 2 Spurious – and now I give you… Mind The Bard 3: Hospital Shift. (There is no earthly reason why I’m taking inspiration from the Fast & Furious franchise titles, but there we go.) It’s a bit of a risk taking the decision to do a challenge week now, when I’ve only just started agreeing to reviews, and taking a while to get going with the actual writing side, but I do still enjoy writing so I’m hoping this will be the catalyst for a more efficient & productive spell. It’s disappointing to not stick to the schedule of previous years, but a Mind The Musicals may wend its way to you later in the year instead.

I’ve taken inspiration for this Mind The Bard week from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (as I’m unfortunate enough to live somewhere with a government that still hasn’t managed to learn from any of its multitude of mistakes), so from Saturday 3rd until Friday 9th July I’ll be bringing you the pestilence edition. It’s a hybrid in terms of the watching Shakespeare side of things, as I have managed to find a couple of in-person productions to balance with past productions and films.

My choice of Shakespeare has come from the Giant Microbes ‘Shakespeare Plays with Microbes’ set, and topped up to seven via the ‘Ancient Plagues’ collection:

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Hamlet
  • Macbeth
  • Henry V
  • All’s Well That Ends Well
  • Henry VI, part 2
  • Coriolanus

There were a few other options courtesy of the ‘Ancient Plagues’ box, but ultimately I think this is the most interesting selection – though lacking a bit of levity, perhaps.

I did as thorough a sweep of the London area & digital sphere to find any new productions, but I only have two plays covered that way. If you have a last-minute suggestion (or cheeky invite) to a HamletAll’s Well That Ends Well or Henry VI, part 2 then do get in touch! I’m really excited to be able to include a Shit-faced Shakespeare trip in this week (they’re currently doing Macbeth at Leicester Square Theatre), and thrilled to be rounding off the week with a long-awaited return to the Globe – I’m invited to their Romeo & Juliet press night, so keep an eye out for a review as a bonus post at the end of the week.

Posts will be focused around the Giant Microbes and their related plays, though if I do have any other random ideas & bursts of creativity I won’t hesitate to spam you with more. I’m mostly just thrilled that I can take this rare opportunity to combine my science qualifications with my passion for theatre! (No pressure.) I’m sure I’ll also end up hurling the same sort of hashtags at you on social media, so you also have that to look forward to…

I’ll be honest, this week has snuck up on me a bit with everything else going on, so some of my ideas are a bit half-formed, but I’m sure things will develop over the next few days – and it won’t be a total disaster. And that’s called managing your expectations!


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