Challenge Week 2022: Mind The Bard

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We’ve had Mind The Bard, we’ve had Mind The Bard: 2 Bard 2 Spurious, we’ve had Mind The Bard 3: Hospital Shift – and now… Mind The Bard 4: Tyrant Fever. I’m hoping this will rejuvenate my will to write a bit more, as I’ve been severely lacking over the past few weeks – despite trying to force my own hand by posting a list of shows that I wanted to write reviews for. Some other form of motivation is required, and who better to turn to than Shakespeare?

This time round I’ve taken inspiration for Mind The Bard week from the continual stream of corruption emanating from Westminster, so from today (Monday 11th) until Sunday 17th July I’ll be bringing you the tyranny edition. I would like to add that this wasn’t a direct result of last week’s so-called resignation – Boris Johnson, the cunt he is, managed to steal my thunder over this. (Of course.) I couldn’t find a completely free week in my calendar that also coincided with the right kind of Shakespeare plays (it’s mostly more ‘summery’ shows by the time I do have a free week in August), so there isn’t a play or film every day – but I’ll try and balance out blog posts and social media coverage on non-play days.

ty·​rant | \ ˈtī-rənt
1a: an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution
1b: a usurper of sovereignty
2a: a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally
2b: one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power

My choice of Shakespeare (so far) owes a debt to the Globe’s summer season, as well as recent programming at the RSC:

  • King Lear
  • Julius Caesar
  • Richard III
  • King John

There’s probably space for a couple more (most likely films or recordings of stage productions, unless anyone has a Friday matinée on offer) – so I’m looking for versions of Richard IIMacbethMeasure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale, or possibly Titus Andronicus to fill those gaps. Or if you can make a case for another of Shakespeare’s plays and want to invite me to a production, that would also be gratefully received… I’m also open to sticking another early modern play in there, for a bit of variety, so any suggestions are welcome.

This will also be a chance for me to finally release a review that is quite overdue – I hadn’t initially intended for this to happen, but once a couple of weeks went past I thought I might as well leave it until now, as at least that allows me to promote it properly. (I have also bought a copy of the playtext to assuage my guilt and help me add a few finishing touches to the review.)

Once again I will manage your expectations, as this week has managed to sneak up on me and almost catch me unawares – even by delaying it by a day…


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