A 16th Century theatre critic reflects on the industry

blog-shakespeare Let it be known that in the year of Our Lord 1600 the Muses departed this sceptred isle, never to return.

The English no longer possess the art to fashion an entertainment as virginal as Her Majesty.

This conclusion weighed heavy on my soul as I contemplated the bleak reality that London must endure yet another bloody Hamlet reboot.

Furthermore, this plot to pick pennies from the groundlings will be scribed by that fraud of England letters William Shakespere.

The original rendering of the Dane’s revenge still haunts our minds, as does Thomas Kydd’s foreign remake The Spanish Tragedy, yet the stony-hearted villains who own the Globe think we would risk plague to see the same tale thrice.

The contempt Shackspeare holds for the audience is laid bare in the choice of the actor Richard Burbage for Hamlet.

The conceit that a stout imp such as Burbage could play the Danish prince shows how rotten the state of entertainments is. Once his casting was loose among the webs and nets that bind London’s theatricals, it raised ire like the twitter of a thousand birds.

In truth, if this tragedy must be staged once more there is few better than Shaxspere to commit it.

The work of this upstart crow is beautified by others feathers. See how he apes Arthur Brook’s The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet or steals characters from Kit Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta.

Any original thought that stumbled into his skull would be swamped by stanchless avarice. Shakspeare’s first play Henry VI was such a success he scribbled out sequels at such a fast and furious rate I expected him to reach part VI by Christmas.

Despite these agues, my grief is crown’d with consolation that this Stratfordian’s plentiful lack of wit will soon be realised.

The world will doubtless soon tire of romantic comedies, mindless scenes of combat and crude humour.

When this happy time arrives, Shagspere can retire to the country with wife Anne Hathaway and we will never hear either names ever again.

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