The Common Crown
Performances: Southbank Busking Pitch, London (2016)
Undoubtedly the coldest venue I’ve ever worked in, and the first time for a long while I tried performing in my own show.
There are lessons in defeat.
For some reason, nobody wanted to stop on a winter’s night to see a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hollow Crown cycle abridged to the lines spoken by its commoner characters. All my careful clowning with a trumpet counted to nothing against the fact that a) I’m not a very good performer and b) it was really cold.
What was good about this? It emboldened me to keep reinventing old classics, and viewing them as something you can grab, vandalise, and reimagine. It also reminded me of the need to get the right person for the right job, and was a good way to celebrate my (finally) reading the complete works of Shakespeare after traumatic experiences with uninspiring English teachers.
I was not the right person for this job. If anyone wants to take the idea on, I’m happy to pass on a version of The Hollow Crown (with all the noble characters cut out). It’s about 30 A4 pages long.
“Subjects may challenge nothing of their sovereigns;
I will, my king; God give your grace good rest!”