Kamikaze Shakespeare

Turns out i miscounted. This is 101. I’ve always been shit at counting. I do words. I’m trying to get better at the maths bit as then I’d get into fewer pickles. As someone that loves to turn his hand to the unfamiliar it’s odd that counting has evaded me so completely for so long. But it has.

I’ve just got home from a kamikaze Shakespeare evening. It was two hours of going up and engaging people in conversation before asking them to choose which Shakespeare play they like and then doing a bit of it for them. It’s fine as long as they don’t ask for Timon, Verona or Romeo and Juliet. Everyone always asks for r&jb the buggers. I ended up doing most of Hamlet, half of Macbeth including lady M, and bits of loads of the comedies. Only one person asked which my favourite was and I surprised myself by saying Julius Caesar. But that changes all the time depending on what I’m worrying about. Right now I’m worrying about the capacity for those who have power to do harm. So I did Cassius deconstructing Caesar to Brutus.


Sometimes i describe my brain to the guests as a bit like an old windows 98 hard drive. It’s all there somewhere but the wheels need to spin for a bit before the older stuff comes up. One of them asked for “some verse from Malvolio” and I surprised myself by hauling up his only extended bit of verse. I’ve not said it for 8 years or more. Another gave the first line of a half remember’d sonnet and i finished it. For every obvious win like that I hit a few losses: “Do Romeo and Juliet” “I’ve never learnt any, not even the prologue. I should probably get on it. Anything else?” Technically I could get away with just repeating the same sonnet over and over but I deliberately make it harder for myself as then it’s more interesting. That’s a pattern in my life that is all too familiar – deliberately making things harder for myself. If I’m making money doing what I love it feels like cheating if it’s easy. It’s a pattern I’m trying to break. It can lead to me blocking myself from having a nice time in all walks of life.

It hasn’t been the easiest time since I’ve been back anyway if I’m honest. I’m back to sifting and prioritising creditors, doing multiple constantly shifting jobs to make sure that things are coming in not going out. London has that effect on me. Thank God I’ve got a happy roof over my head. I was beginning to worry that I’d never have another meeting when my manager called in a self tape for tomorrow. It’s good casting – an entitled megalomaniac scientist. A cross between my darling brother and all the people I went to school with. He’s the Julian Sands character in Arachnophobia, but instead of spiders it’s … something else. I’m probably under NDA.

That’s the other side of this job. 0 to 60 in 0.5 seconds  Suddenly having a load of stuff to learn and no time in which to learn it. I’m working first thing tomorrow and I took the call at 10pm. So i have to go in in the morning. And I’ll have to see if I can get the afternoon off. But right now I’ve got to knuckle down and learn a load of ecstatic ranting well enough that I can swallow it and make it mine tomorrow if i can persuade someone to help shoot it…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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