We have considered how some of Shakepeare’s plays would be in lockdown
TAMING OF THE SHREW
ACT 1. A room in Katherine’s house
and a room in Petruchio’s house
Enter KATHERINE and PETRUCHIO to their respective rooms
Alarums and errors
Why Sir, I trust I may have leave to speak,
Even to the utmost, though I need a leak.
Her lips doth move, her hand raise in salute
And yet there’s naught I hear – she is on mute.
ACT 1. On a ship at sea, whereat GONZALO and MARINERS, and at the shore, whereat PROSPERO and MIRANDA
While wills above be done, let death be dry.
What is that land which from our ship is seen?
PROSPERO (to Miranda)
The waters wild I made, and you know why;
If they land here, they’re stuck in quarantine.
ACT 1. In OTHELLO’S Chamber.
Enter OTHELLO, apparently alone.
There’s none allowed in here, of that I’m certain.
And so I plunge my knife right through the curtain
To check we’re clear – oh, see, my dagger slid
And sliced through cloth and this chap who was hid.
Curtain (another one)
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
I clicked the mouse and hoped to have a greeting.
Has organiser failed to launch the meeting?
ACT 1. In the offices of GONERIL, REGAN and CORDELIA
Which one of us can call? You know the rule.
There’s only one allowed with that old fool.
One daughter only meets within his bubble?
You go then, sis, for us, he’s too much trouble.
ACT 1. At the Court of Count ORSINO
Enter ORSINO and MALVOLIO
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that surfeiting
The Spotify may sicken and so die;
We’ll have the Daily Briefing by and by.
We’ll hear those vile statistics; nothing more.
And yet they plan to send more shock and awe.
The news we have today’s already shocking;
I think I’d better wear my yellow stocking.
ACT 1 . An ANTECHAMBER in the KING’s PALACE
Enter KING HENRY and.
ARCHBISHOP OF CENTERBURTY is on zoom.
Prepare the boats and make our way to France!
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
The ports are locked – you haven’t got a chance.
Once more to the box sets, dear friends, once more.
What can we do at home within the law?
ACT 1. The quayside
Enter POLONIUS and LAERTES.
HAMLET is hid.
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any quickly furloughed one the work.
Be thou attentive, but by all means distanced.
The friends thou hast, if they have zoom installed,
Save thou their contacts so you’ll call at will,
But do not dull thy wall with entertainment
Of each new-made, unchecked, Face Friend. Beware
Of entrance to a tweet-storm, but, being in
Share it, that the opposed may beware of thee.
For every one you follow, read their tweet;
Note each one’s rantings, but hold back your post.
Dress well above the waist, for that is seen;
But trousers matter not – they’re out of sight.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
As Lockdown day’s good credit’s lost that night.
This above all – your profile should be true,
So they will follow, and subscribe to you
He writeth to Laertes, not to me;
Forgot he that I was still in cc
ROMEO AND JULIET
ACT 1. At Juliet’s balcony
Enter JULIET to the balcony, with smartphone.
Enter MERCUTIO to the street below checking statistics.
Broad is the band
Through which our words may flow.
I’m waiting here, wherefore art Romeo?
Provided I my details all to Zoom;
Becalmed am I within the Waiting Room.
JULIET (admits ROMEO)
Ah your sweet face! I never see your trousers.
The network fails!
And plague’s hit both your houses’
Before you go, we trust that you will rate us.
The call hath died, be that its only status.
And frankly I’m more worried at our fate as
Our hospital’s run out of ventilators.