because theatre is for all ages

beatrice-babe  asked:

I'm working on an assignment about how we could modify the way we teach Shakespeare so students understand it. In combing through JSTOR (our lord and savior) I found two articles both discussing how damned difficult it is to teach Shakespeare. Each is titled 'Teaching Shakespeare'. One is from 1942. The other is from 1893. It is 2017, and we still don't know how the fuck to teach this shit so people get it. Academic struggles all day every day and literally nothing has changed

University was a dream come true for me. I had amazing lecturers and the class had a three-pronged approach:

1. Explain the historical context of the play, how it was originally performed and how it was received

2. View different modern adaptations (at least 2-3, sometimes more, and ideally look at some from other cultures and in other languages) and compare and contrast how they interpret the same text

3. Encourage students to interpret the text in their own way. Wanna make A Midsummer Night’s Dream about two lesbians, Lysander and Hermia, running away from a homophobic society? Go for it. Now explain why you chose to do that and how you would stage it.

We would have lectures that were theory-based, interrupted by the professor playing some clips from different adaptations. Later in the week we would meet in a theatre space and work with the text physically, vocally, and have an open and honest discussion about what we were studying. We got through one play every two weeks over a 12 week period and came out with a solid understanding of each one. Extraordinary stuff.

Now, compare this approach, which is interesting, engaging and relevant to the modern era and our own experiences, to how it’s traditionally taught in high school.

You sit.

In a room.

You read the play.

You’re stuck with it for weeks and weeks.

You have no fucking clue what’s being said or why you should care. 

Your teacher then asks you to write an essay on a topic that will have some ludicrously long title that you barely understand.

You go away hating Shakespeare and viewing it as horrible and boring. 

And you completely miss what the text is about and what it can be about.

The thing that was really powerful at uni, and what we should endeavour to bring to teenage students, was looking at other people’s adaptations. Reading Shakespeare as a 15 year old, or indeed at any age, can be a struggle. It feels like you’re reading gobbledegook. How the hell are you supposed to understand Elizabethan slang? How are you supposed to engage with the story if you keep reaching for a dictionary every 2 seconds? But that’s where skilled actors and directors come into it, because these guys do the work for you. For example, The Globe theatre is a massive draw for tourists around the world. They perform plays in the original language in a way that is hugely accessible and entertaining for all people, no matter their background. They use voice, action and gesture to make sure you understand. It’s an old maxim that Shakespeare is meant to be seen and not heard, and it’s true, so let your students watch the professionals act it out. Let them watch two or three! Maybe more! And once they start to grasp the text, aided by historical context, get them up and get them speaking and performing. And if someone’s shy and doesn’t want to perform? That’s totally fine! They’re now the director, and they can come up with ideas that others will put into practice. 

Get people talking. Start arguments. Shakespeare’s plays will say something different to each different person. What is it about this text that you latch onto? Which adaptation did you like best? How do you think it should come to life? And when you assigns essays and assessments, let them write and argue about what they are passionate about. I fucking hate those essay prompts that box you in and allow no room to put forward your own feelings, which make you talk about the theme of forgiveness or whatever when you think fuck you, this play wasn’t about forgiveness at all, it was about (x).

Even with the little stuff, there’s no point just saying “so the definition of iambic pentameter is…” and moving on, you should be up there with your hand on your heart, making them tap along to their own heartbeats, ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM, Two HOUSE-holds BOTH a-LIKE in DIG-ni-TY - great! You feel it, don’t you? You feel those 10 beats in your heart, and now what happens when you recite a line that’s slightly irregular? Sometimes you’ll get a weird line that’s 9, 11 or 12 syllables where everything else is 10, sometimes you’ll get the stressed syllable in a different place than it should be, and you can feel that as you’re reciting - it’s as if your heart suddenly started beating faster or skipped a beat, and you have to listen to it and ask - why did Shakespeare want me to stress that? Why did this character suddenly falter and slip out of rhythm? Same with things like assonance, alliteration, repetition, juxtaposition and all those others words that make students’ eyeballs melt out of their heads. Don’t just make them memorise an arbitrary list of definitions, show them what they can do.

For example: repetition in Much Ado About Nothing. Beatrice and Benedick will often choose a word or an idea and then hit it back and forth like a shuttlecock until one of them drops it. But it’s the repetition of the word heart that is most striking, and the image of Beatrice’s heart in particular. Beatrice has a “merry heart,” she has a “wild heart,” Margaret jokes she should lay Carduus Benedictus to “your heart,” Benedick declares he wants to “live in thy heart.” The word crops up close to forty times throughout the play, associated with love, happiness, sexual ardour - nice things, in other words. In the confession scene we see:

BEATRICE: I was about to protest I loved you.

BENEDICK: And do it, with all thy heart.

BEATRICE: I love you with so much of my heart none is left to protest. 

And then, all of a sudden, just a few lines later, Shakespeare pulls the fucking rug out from under us. Remember all that nice heart imagery? Throw it out the window, and listen to what Beatrice has to say about Claudio, the scumbag who disgraced and almost killed her innocent cousin: I would eat his heart in the marketplace.


Do you see that? One word, one image, one idea and suddenly it’s like the the roof has caved in. Claudio said he loved her cousin, and then he nearly killed her. And Beatrice, with her loving, merry heart, the heart that Benedick wishes to live in, says I would eat his heart. If hurting women is what Claudio intends to do with his love and his heart, then by God she will fucking pull it out of his chest and eat it where everyone can see so they know what should happen to men like him. 

Feel it, listen to it, live it. Those definitions will seem abstract and alien when you read them on the page - who cares if a few words start with the same letter? What does it matter if he repeats a couple of words? But you have to get into the text and really hear and see, viscerally, what these techniques are capable of. They should make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. 

Historical context is another issue I won’t go too far into, but suffice to say that it’s something that deserves far more attention than it gets. Apart from anything else, it’s interesting! People got up to crazy stuff in Shakespeare’s time, we should know about the world the Bard lived in.

I apologise for ranting, but yes. Shakespeare is often taught in an inadequate or inappropriate way, and for the sanity of high school students everywhere we should endeavour to teach teachers how Shakespeare should be taught.


David Tennant as Romeo in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet (2000) - Part 3

Excerpts from a Scotland on Sunday article on David at the RSC in 2000

“He is perfect casting, because of the intensity he brings to his work,“ Michael Boyd says.  While Tennant’s great friend and former landlady, the comic performer and author of Does My Bum Look Big in This?, Arabella Weir, says: "He’s astonishingly focused for his age and amazingly straightforward and honest. He’s trustworthy and he’s honourable.”

There is still something uncynical and unspoilt about him, though. He confesses that being with the RSC can be scary. “Not only because you are in the home of ‘world class classical theatre’ (as all the brochures tell you), but these big Shakespearean roles come with a lot of historical baggage attached. People tell you how romantic Ian McKellen was as Romeo, or how masculine Sean Bean was, or how marvellous Laurence Olivier was. You feel the weight of all those ghosts, those performances that have taken on a mystical resonance. And because it’s Shakespeare, you feel it’s hard to make it believable, because it is so beautiful.  With this play, everyone has so many ideas about it, that you almost want to play against the beauty. We did the balcony scene the other day and I was doing: 'But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!’ And I was going: 'How can I say that?’ It is beyond parody, but all you can do is be personal with it and make it your own, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. I know that’s how Alex [who plays Juliet] feels about famous lines like, 'Parting is such sweet sorrow’.”   

The intensity of the rollercoaster he is on is overwhelming. Stratford is a grueling, sometimes stifling, hothouse. Rehearsal followed by show, followed by rehearsal, in one long punishing schedule. After one-and-a-half hours in the rehearsal room, there is just time for a snack  before voice warm-ups for the matinee of The Rivals. There, Tennant’s rapier-thin young blade gets involved in sword fights and various cunning derring-do disguises, then he is off again for lunch. And back on again, for The Comedy of Errors. A short show, but a physical one, as Tennant slides down those banisters, executes pratfalls and turns in a brilliantly funny double act with Ian Hughes, who plays his manservant, Dromio. He also does the neatly witty trick of lighting two post-coital cigarettes after seducing his long lost twin’s wife and then buries his head in Nina Conti’s cleavage.

Later Tennant is in his dressing-room, stripped to the waist, slapping Simple moisturizer onto his face, swigging pints of mineral water, and packing up his make-up box, an old-fashioned leather bowling case. As we leave, we trip up over a bloody but unbowed Hotspur, about to go on stage and die in Henry IV, Part 1. Falstaff is plumped in the corner and wishes us a courteous good night, while various make-up girls daub elderly knights. “It’s like this every night at this time,” says Tennant. “You can’t move for men in armour and there’s blood everywhere.”    

Photo credits include:  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust,, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and more 

Other parts of this Romeo photoset [ Part 1 ]  [ Part 2 ]

Modern HS Voltron! AU

Request: So what about instead of a Voltron Glee Au, we have a modern High School Voltron Au where the paladins (Plus Allura) are the leaders of the different clubs and stuff at the school? You can choose which person for which but I think that this could be a good idea! Thank you and you write really well omg!

A/N: So I may have gone a little overboard on this one… (Also I really want a lance vs Allura dance battle because uhhhh yeah)

Warnings: High school?

Request something! Masterlist

Okay, so the ‘paladians’ were all leaders of different groups at Voltron High.

Shiro: Quarterback of the football team and Team Captain

Keith: Soccer team Captain

Hunk: President of the engineering club

Pidge: President of the STEM club

Lance: President of Drama/Musical theatre club

Allura: President of Choir “Club” (In quotations because Choir is not a club but an actual class that she is president of)

Shiro is the Star Quarterback for the school’s football team and everyone loves him tbh. He’s not like your stereotypical jock! He doesn’t pick on other kids (that’s rude!) and he gets good grades on his own. He’s a senior and he has many colleges fighting over him right now. He tends to disappear right before a big game, but somehow, mysteriously shows up. He doesn’t go to many parties as he more focused on saving for his college education and studying to get all the scholarships!

Keith is captain of the soccer team and honestly? All his teammates hate him. Keith is that captain that when one person is late to practice, he’ll make everyone run suicides till they can’t walk anymore. And he’s also that person who will do said suicides with the rest of the team and will NOT be tired after doing them. That being said, Keith’s team is undefeated, three years running. Keith had been playing soccer since a very young age, and he’s a master at the sport. He also sings (secretly), and Allura begs him to join choir but instead he does off season soccer and studies. Keith, like Shiro doesn’t go out to parties because of studying and well, he never gets invited.

Hunk is the current president of the engineering club and this boy couldn’t be any happier. He was in STEM club with Pidge, but felt like engineering needed its own club, that he wasn’t getting his engineering fix out of STEM club. So, Hunk started his own! They work on projects and go to competitions often. This past year went to nationals and got 1st place (Hunk is really proud of his team)!

Pidge is president of the STEM club, one of the most elite clubs at Voltron High! To get in you have to have your grades evaluated, get interviewed, Do a STEM project of your chosen subject, and fill out paperwork. The club was intense but if you joined, it was like receiving a college diploma. Kids who join this club have gotten into every single school they’ve applied to. Pidge took of being president after her brother Matt left school for early admissions at a prestigious college. Everyone in this club adored Pidge because even though she was strict, she had lots of fun and taught everyone everything (because she’s so smart).

Lance is president of drama/musical theatre club. Lance runs one of the funniest clubs out there. Singing bops from musicals, creating a club Tumblr, and pulling off the best plays ever imagined. Lance had been singing and doing theatre since a very young age and loves it! His shows are adored by the whole community for his creativity and his talented actors. His dream is to go to Juilliard and tbh, Juilliard wants him at their school. Lance is that kid who never does his work, instead memorizes musicals, but still manages to maintain a 3.9 GPA. Everyone hates him, especially Allura. Allura hates him because he steals all the choir kids from her so that they can sing in his shows, which is the same time as solo and ensemble contest, (aka, a very big deal for us choir nerds).

Allura, president of Choir. Allura had been taking voice lessons since she learned how to talk. Her voice is super high-pitched (Think Ariana Grande, but higher), her whistle tones could probably crack glass tbh. She loves her choir more than her own family and can’t go a day without singing. She balances choir and her other classes quite well, soaring in with that 4.0 GPA. Her choir is undefeated at nationals, having won three years in a row and hates Drama with a passion (thanks to Lance). She really likes to sing and hopes to one day become famous. She even started a YouTube channel, where she has over 2 million subscribers.


-Allura and Lance had a musical battle sophomore (It’s like the riff-off in pitch perfect but with songs from musicals)

-Lance cheated but Allura still won

-Keith got sick and had to stay home so his team literally threw a party to celebrate Keith not being there

- Shiro is the mediator most times between Allura and Lance

- Their fighting gets so bad that everyone in the school picked either Team Lance or Team Allura.  

-They don’t make up until senior year when Lance asks Allura to be the lead in this year’s musical.

- Pidge is a total hardass and will not hesitate to kick you out of STEM class.

-Hunk is the nicest club president. He will cook snacks and make sure everyone understands the homework from that school day!

Adrien Agreste Headcanons

These were too fun to make. Feel free to add on at the end!!!

* Adrien can be very overly touchy with people he considers friends. He’s been so sheltered that he doesn’t really understand when you should give people high-fives vs. when you should pull them close and hug them. The shoulder thing is just a scratch of the surface; if Adrien considers you a friend, he openly will hold, hug, or kiss you on the cheek without hesitation. He doesn’t understand why it makes some people so flustered.

* To follow that last bullet, Adrien also doesn’t understand the concept of personal space. While Marinette thinks it’s cute, Nino has to constantly remind Adrien to stop standing so close. This is also the reason why Adrien never thinks to push Chloe away.

* Cat memes. Not only will he show people meme after meme, but he will occasionally slip in one that he made himself and become delighted when people laugh at it along the others.

* He has the most beautiful handwriting out of everyone in class.

* He’s really into theatre, but never got into it because of being homeschooled.

* I’ve always had the head-canon that Adrien is bi. He obviously started modeling at a young age, and so he’s been exposed to not only beautiful women, but beautiful men his entire life. I can guarantee he’s had some genuine crushes on other guys.

* He’s also not afraid to admit he’s bi/give other guys compliments. He once openly told Nino how beautiful he was and Nino turned BRIGHT RED

* sugaraholic, but we all know this

* Cannot sleep unless he’s cuddling something, whether it’s a pillow, ladybug plush, or Marinette herself

* Didn’t know this about himself until Nino pointed it out (added to the list of 200000 things Adrien Agreste has done to make his best friend Nino severely uncomfortable)

* One time he made Nathalie laugh and he wouldn’t stop smiling for like a week

* Shows the cooks sneak peaks of his father’s upcoming magazines in exchange for secret sweets from the kitchen

* Buys Christmas presents for every butler, cook, and staff member. Every. Single. One.

* Everyone on Gabriel’s fashion staff who isn’t cold hearted or narcissistic loves Adrien and sees him for the big sweetheart he is (some of them even resent Gabriel for making such a kind kid do something he hates so much)

* LOVES the holidays even though his dad doesn’t really celebrate them with him

* Most of the books in his upstairs library are anime and manga, but the rest are classic literature. He loves reading the classics as much as he loves reading comic books

* Tried Tumblr once but freaked out and quit when he saw a cuss word

* He’s one of those people who has to fill his coffee with a crap ton of sweetener and milk in order to drink it

* Doesn’t have 20/20 vision!!! (His father fiercely denied it so he wouldn’t have to get glasses, but eventually gave in to contacts when he witnessed Adrien literally almost falling off the stage of the runway because Adrien thought he had another 5 feet)

* Adrien hates his contacts because he secretly loves the glasses aesthetic


* Grew up playing dress up and dolls with Chloe. Because of this, he never gave/gives into dumb masculinity peer pressure

* Woke up a staff member in the middle of the night to “free a spider” because he wouldn’t let them kill it (yes I realize this is the same boy who risks his life to save his city every day)

Feel free to add on!!

Vague Post Review

I’m really not allowed to do this but my emotions say otherwise. Gear up for the feels, y’all, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is the best movie I’ve seen in years

No spoilers, vague post, nothing but reassurance. Story time:

So my aunt got the email for this preview showing a few days ago. She showed it to me for one reason, because Luke Evans was listed in the cast. It didn’t specify the title, but by the vague summary mentioning Dr. William Marston and the creation of Wonder Woman, I already knew what it was. Since first hearing about this movie months ago, I’ve been interested, but also a little worried. It’s so easy to misconstrue true stories, polyamory, BDSM culture no matter what historical phase it was in, feminism, etc. With lesser writers, directors, and actors, this could have turned out entirely different.

But fear not, my friends, because this was the most entertaining, heart wrenching, emotional movie about true love I think I’ve ever seen. There’s a definitive balance of humor and drama, a careful accuracy to the depiction of the time period, and some damn good storytelling. This is truly an ensemble piece; Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and Bella Heathcote all deserve praise for their performances. 

From a very young age, for superficial reasons like “boys don’t cry,” I taught myself to suppress my tears while in a movie theatre, lest my mother find out that I cry at movies just like her. But damn it, I cried, not as much as I wanted to, but the tears were there, my breathing was heavy, and there was no way I was going to quiet down just because I was surrounded by people in a packed theatre. 

Ok so, here’s a big reason why I care about this film so much and why others may not. As a member of the LGBT+ community, I feel victorious whenever I see accurate, loving depictions of queer folks/relationships, even when it’s not necessarily apart of my own identity. I’m also a major feminist, and this film gives me hope; it simply empowered me as a believer in the strength of women. As a movie goer, I’ve become very cynical and am impatient with the continued monotony of monogamous and heteronormative couples in mainstream film, not to mention the constant reluctance to show healthy queer relationships center stage. This film, by all means, is the progress I’ve personally been waiting for, so naturally, I’ve been emotionally compromised for hours now. 

This, sadly, is exactly what drove away the older couple sitting next to me. I was sitting in the third row in the front, so I wasn’t able to see if anyone else disliked the movie as much, but at least one couple couldn’t get behind the first R-rated scene. I suppose it’s not entirely their fault for not doing their research, but at the same time, it was clearly labeled “rated R” in the invite email, so they must have been prepared to see something along those lines. Apparently not including three people at the same time. I live in LA, and I know for a fact that a lot of older people go to these previews simply because they’re free. I can understand being uncomfortable watching sex scenes – I’m asexual and hate gratuitous, meaningless scenes of intimacy – but this wasn’t meaningless, so I watched it, and I wasn’t uncomfortable at all. That’s how carefully made this film was; every scene is important, there is absolutely no filler, and every single emotion is genuine. I was truly transported, while others, I’m sure, will be scandalized.  

If you’re here purely for Wonder Woman, I think you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. The psychology, feminism, and love behind the creation of Wonder Woman is really something to see, I learned a lot from this. There’s no sign of a release date yet, nothing but the year 2017 on IMDb. It’s almost completely done, so I’m hoping it comes out later this year. Please, please go support this movie when it comes out, it’s an amazing experience. 

Edit: for the time being, if we could refrain from sharing this post on other social media platforms, that would be great. Tumblr isn’t the most visible for this kind of review, so that’s why I posted it here. I’m really not allowed to post anything about the movie, but I had to say something. 

Another edit: Here’s a detail about the extent of this movie’s queerness that I probably should have made clearer for those of you unawares of this sort of thing. Being polyamorous/non-monogamous doesn’t inherently make you queer. This particular situation is only partially queer. Bill Marston, as a cishet dude in love with two women, is not queer. Elizabeth and Olive, who are cis women in love with both a man and a woman, are arguably bisexual, making them queer. Just wanted to throw that out there.

some ed headcanons. edcanons, if you will.
  • he was definitely that kid who corrected the teacher and asked too many questions and drove everyone crazy in class.
  • he used to help the other kids with their homework, until he realised it was the only reason they still talked to him.
  • he was often bored at school and used to bring his own reading material to class for when he finished his work. he had to smuggle books in and hide them under the desk so his teachers wouldn’t see and get angry with him.
  • he started learning the piano when he was a teenager because it was a new kind of puzzle; he liked to learn by ear because it meant he had to work it out for himself instead of having it laid out before him. because his parents couldn’t afford a piano, it was an excuse to get out of the house.
  • he methodically read his way through the school library as a teenager, and he’s now doing the same with the gotham city library.
  • he still sleeps with his childhood teddy bear, even though it’s all old and bedraggled.
  • he got into his habit of eavesdropping/lurking as a child because people (including his parents and doctors) used to talk about him behind his back. as a teenager he did it to learn about what other people his age were interested in so he could try and be like them and fit in. it didn’t work.
  • he loves musical theatre and wanted to be in musicals when he was younger. he still has that flair for the dramatic, of course.
  • knew he was bi as a teenager but refused to think about it because it was just another thing that made him different and wrong like his parents and peers told him he was.
  • he started playing video games as an adult when he finally had a place to himself and some disposable income. sometimes he turned up to work sleep-deprived because he’d been up gaming all night.
  • he chose to work in forensics after coming across a book on it by chance at the library. he pushed away the part of himself that enjoyed the blood and violence as much as the puzzles and new information.
  • he got a book of riddles for his birthday when he was five. his parents thought he’d stop asking them endless questions if they gave him something that would stump him, but he worked them all out on the first read-through and developed a life-long obsession.
  • he doesn’t understand why other people aren’t curious about things. he can’t stand an unanswered question. there’s so much to learn, and sometimes he gets this sinking feeling when he realises he’ll never be able to know it all.
  • his favourite thing about working with corpses is that they always listen to him and never interrupt or tell him to shut up. they also always answer his riddles as long as the answer is ‘nothing’.

This website doesn’t flip out about Agatha Christie nearly as much as it needs to. She aided and nursed WW1 soldiers while writing cold blooded muder for kicks, formed an all girl theatre group with her pals, went on to write the longest running play and once vanished, throwing the whole nation into panic-mode and they couldn’t find her for ages because she had lodged under the name of the woman her husband wanted to dump her for.

Quacks: Surely one of the most original new TV shows of the year

How does a sitcom about pioneering doctors in 1840s Britain sound? About as funny as Victorian gall-bladder surgery, or as underpowered as another recent'ish BBC2 period comedy (this one about Edwardian Suffragettes), Up the Women? Fear not, for Quacks is surely one of the most original new TV shows of the year, unsurprisingly since its creator, James Wood, has a track record in unlikely but engagingly droll TV shows; he wrote Rev, the Bafta-winning comedy starring Tom Hollander as an inner-city vicar, and, earlier this year, a delightful adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall – so well-crafted it made Jack Whitehall seem like a proper actor.

Quacks has also assembled a dexterous cast to play its trio of medical pioneers in early Victorian London: Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong) as a showboating surgeon, Robert; Mathew Baynton (Horrible Histories, The Wrong Mans) as William, a psychiatrist – or ‘alienist’ as they were called in those pre-Freudian days; and Tom Basden from Plebs as John, a self-experimenting anaesthetist.

Add a scene-stealing Rupert Everett as George’s anti-semitic boss and Lydia Leonard (a celebrated Anne Boleyn in the stage version of Wolf Hall, and Virginia Woolf in BBC2’s Life in Squares) exhibiting a knack for comedy as George’s professionally and sexually frustrated wife, Caroline, and you have a deft ensemble well capable of taking on Wood’s intelligent scripts.

The idea came for Quacks germinated in the writer’s imagination four or five years ago when he went out for a drink with a surgeon friend. “He told me about the two dentists who pioneered anaesthesia in the 1840s”, says Wood. “These lunatics experimented on each other using nitrous oxide, ether and chloroform and they both became addicts and committed suicide. It never occurred to me to think about where anaesthesia had come from.”

His surgeon friend also suggested a book by the medical historian Roy Porter. “I discovered there was this amazing 20-year period of Victorian medicine that went from the early 1840s, where if you could cut someone’s leg off fast then you’re a good surgeon, and the Bedlam approach to mental illness, to within 20 years when germ theory had come in, nursing had come in, anaesthesia had come in. I gave myself a medical historical education and puked it back out as comedy.”

The opening episode begins with Robert (Kinnear) psyching himself up to go on stage in front of a paying public, except here the stage is an operating table within a mini amphitheatre. This is surgery as spectacle, Robert a showman as he ties on a bloody apron (hygiene wasn’t a consideration in the 1840s) and boasts to the fashionable onlookers about how rapidly he is about to amputate the leg of a fully-awake and terrified accident victim.

“The fame and accolades you received at that time for being the best surgeons were immense”, explains Kinnear. “That’s why they were in theatres because people were there to look at them, and he’s definitely someone who played to the crowd.”

This was also an era when half of all patients didn’t survive surgery. “Many of them simply died of shock”, says Kinnear, adding that whether or not a patient did make it through the operation was only important in how it might reflect on the surgeon’s reputation.

Psychiatry was another discipline in its infancy, if not still in its swaddling clothes. Mathew Baynton’s character William is unusual for the age, believing that the mentally ill should be treated with kindness instead of being locked away in harsh Bedlam-like insane asylums.

“He’s somebody with a great deal of empathy and passion”, says Baynton. “And you discover later that his father suffered from some form of dementia, which at the time they wouldn’t have a great diagnosis for, let alone treatment. So he’s motivated to find better ways to care for these people, but he has absolutely no tools or skills at his disposal.

“One of the things I really loved about the script when I first read it is that comedy, by and large, is based around failure, and this is a rare beast where these guys fail because of the time they are in, but they are actually pioneers and visionaries as opposed to being buffoons and idiots themselves.”

Baynton, who had bad asthma as a child growing up in Essex, has every reason to bless medical progress. Period comedy is not new to the actor-writer who cut his teeth working with James Corden (he is understandably reluctant to discuss his co-star on Gavin & Stacey and The Wrong Mans, claiming that he has yet to do a media interview in which he isn’t asked about Corden) before becoming part of the Horrible Histories team.

“Horrible Histories is unashamedly broad and silly and its primary aim is to educate children - although I’m not involved in it anymore, I hasten to add”, he says. “Quacks is even different to Blackadder in the sense that it doesn’t use the setting to play dress up and enjoy farcical half hours; it’s a proper comedy drama with proper complex human characters with their own stories.”

One similarity to Blackadder, however, is that it employs – albeit sparingly - real historical figures. Both Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens appear in episode two, Sherlock’s Andrew Scott giving a brilliantly unhinged performance as the novelist as egoist. “James has a bit of an axe to grind with Dickens for some reason”, says Baynton.

“I’ve always just believed that Dickens was a massive dick”, confirms Wood. “And it’s not been properly dramatised. Self-aggrandising, he used to do these talks endlessly for hours and hours… he was so pleased with himself.”

Other guest appearances include Miles Jupp, Jamie Demetriou and Fonejacker’s Kayvan Novak as an Indian mesmerist, but not all of Quacks lives up Wood’s billing for it as “a near-the-bone, raucous badly-behaved comedy”. There is a tender if frustrated love story also going on between William (Baynton) and Robert’s wife, Caroline (Lydia Leonard), and Baynton himself wrote the episode in which Caroline dresses as a man in order to perform surgery – a storyline based on the real case of Margaret Ann Buckley, who identified as female and practised as a military surgeon called James Barry.

Even the most ludicrous-seeming medical details are historically accurate, says Wood – including baked potatoes applied to wounds and the fact that doctors never physically examined their patients, especially females under their charge. In one scene, Rupert Everett’s consultant produces a porcelain anatomical “modesty doll” for a genteel elderly lady (Gemma Jones; Quacks is well cast in depth) to point out where she’s in pain 'below’.

“There’s no way a physician then would touch any of their patients, certainly not a woman”, says Wood. “They’d diagnose, as Rupert Everett’s character puts it, through conversation. They’d chat to their patient about their lifestyle and diagnose them.”

Wood and his director Andy de Emmony took inspiration for their more visceral medical scenes from the Russell Crowe movie Master and Commander. “The surgery in that is brilliant and you don’t really see anything much”, he says. “We used that as our model for – just a few rifle-shot moments are enough, and your imagination fills in the rest. And we’re a comedy so we don’t want to become too repellent.”

'Quacks’ begins on August 15 at 10pm on BBC2

Ghosts AU

In this AU, Buster’s theatre is inhabited by ghosts. All the spirits live in the building because they died nearby or their properties are here. Basically Buster tries to convince his friend, Eddie, that something is haunting his property.

Johnny kills himself and Meena in the car accident nearby the theatre. He was driving a getaway car for his dad’s gang and was just about to hit Meena’s mom, when she pushed her away. Both can be perfectly invisible, even for other ghosts.
Ash was killed by her boyfriend, who was cheating on her. Died in her home, but Buster bought her guitar from a pawn shop as a prop. Mike was chased down the parking lot behind the theater by the bears and got murdered by them. Both of them look more terrifying than other ghosts.
Rosita lost conconsciousness because of the stress while washing dishes. She didn’t see when something electrical fell into the water and she got electrocuted. Since she loved the theatre, her kids left her bracelet under the seats, so part of her would always be there. Gunter died overseas after falling off a stage during a performance. His red sparkly leotard thing ended up at the theater used as a costume.
Buster’s father died of old age. Because he lived a great life and doesn’t have any unfinished business, his spirit is kind of weak, so he doesn’t appear too much.

I would like to thank @leaalda for making these amazing banners.

This is an effort to spread the word about all fan fiction writers in our little fandom. If you would like to be featured or nominate a writer, please contact me. Please reblog this post if you can and check out some of @bughead-is-riverdale work!

1. First things first, if someone wanted to read your stories where can they find them.

I have a Masterlist of all my fics to date, all nicely ordered under headings/ship pairings. You can find it in my bio.

2. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 18 and I’m from the U.K. I’ve just accepted a place to study English Lit at Birmingham Uni in September, I’m so excited! I’ve always loved reading/writing - starting this blog is something I wish I had done sooner - and I also love theatre. I have a little brother with Down’s Syndrome who is the centre of my world, I’m more like his second mum than his older sister because of our 8 year age gap. I’m the ‘Mum Friend’ of my friendship group, don’t be alarmed if I call you 'my love’ or 'sweetheart’, it’s ingrained in my soul.

I’m a hopeless romantic (probably why I’m so invested in Bughead) and I’ve been with my current boyfriend/best friend for just over 4 years.

3. What do you never leave home without?

My promise ring that my boyfriend bought me for our 4th anniversary. It’s an aquamarine stone with tiny diamonds and I never take it off. As I said, I’m a hopeless romantic.

4. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Definitely early bird, I’d rather not waste the day!

5. If you could live in any fictional world which one would you choose and why?

Cassandra Clare’s world of Shadowhunters! I think I would be pretty badass. Besides I would find Julian Blackthorn and marry him.

6. Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met.

Sadly I haven’t actually met anyone famous! Recently however I saw both David Tennant in 'Don Juan’ and Andrew Scott in 'Hamlet’, I was so close to them! Does that count?

7. What are some of your favorite movies/TV?

Aside from Riverdale… I’m a sucker for most period dramas (Colin Firth as Mr Darcy ahhh)! Brooklyn 99 is hilarious and Teen Wolf has always been one of my favourites. With films… Anything with Meryl Streep in it! I’m secretly a huge nerd so 'The Lord of the Rings’ as well. Another one of my favourites is 'Dead Poet’s Society’ because it breaks my heart just to think about it.

8. What are some of your favorite bands/musicians?

Recently I’ve hated almost everything in the charts. Musicals are my safe haven so Hamilton, Les Mis, The Phantom of the Opera, Kinky Boots, and Rent I will listen to on repeat. I also love Tracy Chapman because of the meaning behind her lyrics and Queen is legendary.

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Why I love Shakespeare (and why you should too)

Have you ever read Shakespeare and thought, “This is stupid.  I don’t understand a word of this”? 

Hey, me too! The first work of Shakespeare I ever read was Romeo and Juliet as a freshman in high school, and I remember thinking, I know this is a classic story and all, but why do people think this is so good?  A couple of teenagers fall so madly in love in a matter of days that they make a bunch of stupid decisions that gets themselves and a few other people killed.  

Wow.  We should probably market this as the greatest love story of all time.  

I just didn’t get it.

Within the next few years I read Julius Caesar, which definitely impressed me more, and then I read Hamlet, which I legitimately enjoyed, but there was still something missing.  I’d come to appreciate Shakespeare, but I just couldn't love Shakespeare.  

And then something happened that made all that change.  Something that changed my outlook on everything I’ve ever heard about Shakespeare’s plays.

I saw one performed.  

I know, I know, revolutionary, right?  I saw a freaking play.  But here’s why it was so amazing for me.

To preface, I read the play beforehand, and wasn’t impressed.  The play I’m talking about is Comedy of Errors, which I’d actually never heard of before reading it.  It’s one of Shakespeare’s earlier works.  It’s a comedy about identical twins who happen to have identical twin servants who get separated basically at birth.  They take the same name, as do the servants who have been with them since birth, so you end up with two guys names Antipholus with two servants named Dromio.  They come to the same town (now adults) and everybody gets everybody else mixed up.  

Upon reading the play, I chuckled maybe a couple times, but it wasn’t all that funny.  Then I went and saw it, and it’s probably the second funniest play I’ve seen in my entire life.  I laughed so hard.  The whole thing was hilarious.  

And it was in that moment, walking out of the Globe theatre after my first Shakespeare production, that I started to love it.  

An epiphany of understanding: Think of it this way.  Imagine your favorite book.  A book that makes you laugh and cry and want to be a better person.  A book that inspires you.  Now imagine the sparknotes version of that book.  Raw, basic plot with none of the flourishes and nuances that make that book what it is.  Sparknotes will tell you what happens, but that’s it.  

If you read Sparknotes, would that still be your favorite book?  Probably not.  Mostly because it wouldn’t mean anything to you.  

Reading a Shakespeare play is like reading the Sparknotes version of a book.You get dialogue.  That’s it.  The bare basics with nothing that makes it truly incredible.  

No wonder so many people hate Shakespeare!  They have no idea what Shakespeare even is!

A few weeks after my wonderful first encounter, I returned to the Globe to see Julius Caesar.  Remember how I’ve read this one before?  I liked it before.  But just wait.  

I stand in the Globe as a groundling, just as a working class citizen would have in Shakespeare’s day.  Midway through the play, I lean against the stage in the front row and watch the fake blood flow as Caesar is stabbed again and again.  The conspirators, soaked to their elbows in blood, threaten Mark Antony, a supporter of Caesar’s who has walked in to see their heinous  act.  Antony claims to mean them no harm, and they leave him for a moment alone with Caesar, who lies dead in a pool of crimson.  The murderers exit, and Mark Antony stands alone on the stage.  He stumbles to Caesar’s body, falls to his knees, and weeps.  

“O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,” Antony whispers through his tears to Caesar, “that I am meek and gentle with these butchers.  Thou art the ruins of the noblest man that ever lived in the tide of times.”

He raises his hands upward to heaven, now dripping with Caesar’s blood, his face streaked with tears. “Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!”  His voice echoes across the hundreds of silent people who suddenly feel as if they have intruded on this grieved and pained man as he weeps over his dead friend.  

A tear slides from my own eye.  

No longer words on a page, Shakespeare is alive.  The words are no longer ancient and out-of-date, but natural and beautiful.  

Shakespeare was not of an age, but for all time, as Ben Jonson said.  

I love Shakespeare.  I love Shakespeare.  Not because I’ve read most of his plays, which I haven’t.  Not because I’ve seen many of his plays, because I haven’t.  

I love Shakespeare because I’ve seen the plays come to life on stage in the way they were meant to.  Plays are meant to be seen, not read.  

So don’t hate Shakespeare because you don’t understand it.  Stop reading and start watching.  Maybe you’ll fall in love, too.  

Voltron Glee!AU

Requested: No. I thought of this Idea and I thought it was kinda cool.

A/N: If you guys like these I might turn it into a series, but Idk. Also I decided to do Michael Jackson week (aka the week Blaine had to get surgery because of Sebastian) I also linked all the songs mentioned!

Warnings: Glee references, uh, no x reader yet, though it may turn that way in the future

Im Tagging @dc-hoe cause I was talking to Artza about these!

So the Paladians of Voltron are a singing group at Garrison High school. The members are, Pidge: An Alto/ tenor who joined to get extra curricular points (It looks good on college applications)

Hunk: A theatre nerd who join glee club because he loves to sing and dance!

Allura: A choir nerd. Has been singing since a very young age. Also does Private singing lessons and is an amazing soprano (no one can beat her high notes)

Lance: Has been in glee club since the beginning. Can match almost any note, can sing almost every part, he’s also in charge of costumes and song choice.

Keith: Secret singer. Joined Glee club to avoid being expelled. He can sing very well, but is determined to not let anyone hear him sing. (Till Shiro forces him to sing a solo)

Shiro: The leader of the group. Bass, Bass all the way. He helps keep the piece, (especially between Lance and Allura who always fight over solos)

Coran: The supervisor, makes song suggestions that usually win competition.

Reader: (Y/N) is a transfer student who joined Glee Club to make new friends! Is really talented in their own way. Is a very good (Alto/Soprano)

Voltron’s biggest rival is the Galra, another really good singing group, (likes to play dirty).

-This week was Michael Jackson week at the competition. The week started with Voltron going against the Galra in a parking garage singing ‘Bad’ for the rights to sing MJ at regionals

-As I said the Galra don’t play fair which ended with Lance getting slushied, (The slushy had rock salt in it. Lance had to get surgery)  

-This made Allura really mad, (Lance is her best friend) so she found Lotor (who threw the slushy) and had a sing off with him to ‘Smooth Criminal

-Lotor admitted to putting rock salt into the drink, but said the drink was meant for Shiro, lance just got in the way

-Allura told the rest of the glee team and they were going to go and fight the Galra, but Coran said to let the schools handle it

-The rest of the team wasn’t thrilled about it, especially Hunk and Pidge (who always get picked on)

-Voltron decided to be the bigger team and invite the Galra to a special performance where they sang ‘Black or White’ to try and get the Galra to stop and see what they were doing by being mean

-Neither team decided to do MJ

-but it didn’t matter because Team Voltron won regionals with Keith and Allura’s rendition of ‘Just give me a reason’ by P!nk and Nate Ruess

-Team Voltron also found out that Keith has REALLY good breath support and is now the king of holding notes

anonymous asked:

question: how old ARE yuuri and victor when they meet in the sugar daddy au. because i'm picturing like, twelve year old yuuri following victor around at banquets all tonguetied and it. kind of escalates over the the years??

GOD, you know what, yes.  yuuri in this AU is totally richie rich, just completely incapable of making friends and miserable.  at age twelve his only friends are yuuko and takeshi, two normal kids from town who only meet him after he spends his weekly allowance of ten million yen to keep the local ice skating rink from closing down, and they still make fun of him all the time for being completely out of touch with reality.  he eats his feelings at the mcdonalds he has in the east wing of the edwardian-inspired manor his family owns.  his parents think its sweet that he has ornately framed posters of victor nikiforov up in his room at age twelve after he and yuuko watch the junior GPF in the small movie theatre on the second floor of the estate.  

“at least let us contract him to sit for a painting to hang above the fireplace in your bedroom,” hiroko says, because she is still Supportive Mom Number One, but yuuri is SO EMBARRASSED, and please don’t invite him to my birthday party, i don’t want my birthday party to be takeshi and yuuko and a confused and pitying victor nikiforov who has better things to do than see me turn thirteen!! 

anonymous asked:

I mean, there can be such a thing as an incompetent Slytherin, right?

Sure. But Trump isn’t just incompetent at the scheming game - he’s bad at it in ways that show he doesn’t much care for it at all.

A Slytherin is all about secrets, right? About gaining power through those secrets, about tricking other people with those secrets. Trump told the press he fired Comey for his role in the Russia investigation when he could have stuck to the line the White House was giving about the memo his deputy AG wrote - apparently in order to stroke his ego. He had to be the one that fired Comey, and ultimately be responsible, not his deputy AG. During the campaign, he insisted on directly calling on Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, probably because it made for better theatre. He compromised an Israeli intelligence operative solely because he couldn’t stop himself from bragging to the Russians about the top secret shit that he knew.

That isn’t the equivalent of a particularly dull Ravenclaw. That’s the equivalent of a Ravenclaw that goes around burning libraries. The man doesn’t just not care about secrets, he shreds them every chance he can get to bolster his ego. In an odd way, his supporters are right: he might be the most honest president we’ve ever had, save for the fact that he is so capable of self-delusion that he’s still spouting bullshit most of the time.

Those incidents often show the negative side of Gryffindor. Running for president when you have no qualifications and everyone says you’ll never win is a stupid kind of bravery. So is crusading against the mainstream media. Gryffindor’s loyalty becomes a willingness to sacrifice his agenda and the good of the nation to protect Michael Flynn. Gryffindor’s lust for glory is, in Trump, inverted in a constant need for fame. The man saw dying babies on television and fired off air strikes that fundamentally changed American foreign policy in the Middle East without much thought, after running as an isolationist - that’s Gryffindor as hell.

Newest Fics  an early celebration for my birthday on sept 22nd

1. Dress You Up in My Love (72k)

Harry is single, and more than anything wants to find love. Agreeing to sign up to a dating website was a bad, bad idea. Niall’s bad, bad idea. Louis is single, but has no interest in relationships. Or so he tells himself. 

Harry is a lawyer, his boss, Nick, happens to give him a bonus, which he decides to splurge on a new work wardrobe. Louis is a frustrated designer, working as a personal shopper at Selfridges. Louis happens to be working on the day a very beautiful, but out of his depth, new customer ambles into their department in need of advice. Louis might have just found the muse he never knew he was looking for.

2. Ache To Know The Song He Sung (14k)

Louis is a bartender and Harry is a DJ in a club in Barcelona. All they really need to do is get their shit together. Of course, that’s not what happens. 

3. For You I Saved the Love (I Never Knew How to Give) (42k)

Louis moves to a small town with his young daughter and has a gorgeous neighbor. Harry loves children and Louis also likes him a little bit. Lots of fluff.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

you say your wish fulfillment is loaning out your awesome parents can you talk about how your parents are awesome? (i'm a new parent so i need to knowww)

Aw congrats on your baby!

It’s a little hard for me to verbalize just what about their parenting was (and is) so good, because it’s the world I’ve always known and sometimes their genius is only visible to me when I hear horror stories about other people’s parents and think anew, holy moly did I luck out.

A few years ago, my mom told me, “Yeah, so one of my co-workers asked me about my plans this weekend and I told her, ‘I’m going on a trip with my family!’ and she said, ‘Haha, I’m so sorry.’” My mom, recounting this story, made a disgusted, disbelieving face. Why would a random acquaintance assume my mom didn’t like her own children? Why would this feel like an okay thing to say out loud, even jokingly? To my mom’s way of thinking, if you raise people you don’t like, that says a lot more about you than it does about them.

I think this is a lot of it in a nutshell. “Of course I like my children. Of course I respect them. Of course I want to spend time with them.”

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everyone can discourse all they want with which category was robbed the most but i’m just not going to be over the fact DEH won orchestrations. you have bandstand and great comet who have actors on stage playing their own instruments (i can’t speak to great comet because i don’t know how much it plays into their story, but bandstand’s instrumentation and orchestrations are an ESSENTIAL part of its story) and you’re going to give it to DEH who has part of a song on a recording? idk about y’all but i’m sick of all these categories going to the new “coming of age musicals” just because its a pop/rock score. y’all want something revolutionary in the theatre but when someone finally does it it goes to the same shit we see every other year

anonymous asked:

Can you tell us a little bit about each character from IWWV's upbringing? Their family/home life etc?

Sure. Briefly:

Wren and Richard probably had the most privileged upbringing of the group. (Meredith’s family may have had more money, but she was starved for attention in a way the Stirlings were not.) Expensive schools, gallivanting around Europe on holiday, attending the theatre from a very young age and being coddled and pampered by their parents and all their friends. As Wren mentions in Act III, neither of them had siblings, but because their fathers remained close, they saw each other quite frequently and so had a relationship more like what you might ordinarily find between siblings than cousins. 

Meredith grew up in a somewhat similar fashion in that there was always plenty of money. She was mostly raised by a nanny until she was old enough to start school, but her education wasn’t something her parents took terribly seriously. Starting at thirteen they shipped her off to boarding school, which functioned more as a babysitting service than anything else. She spent summers with friends from school or wandering around New York, finding ways to entertain herself–books, music, movies, theatre. 

James was born and raised in academia, and his parents–rather like Meredith’s in some respects–mostly left him to his own devices until he was old enough to be treated as an adult. (He called his father “Professor” his entire life, with increasing sarcasm as he aged.) Growing up in Northern California, he spent a lot of time outside. Clear air, clear head. He had enough friends but only a few that were close, and developed a keen fascination with his father’s students, who were often around the house for study groups and dinner parties or just to borrow books from the library.

Alexander was brought up in foster homes among foster siblings. He rarely got to stay in one place for more than a few years, and was expelled from two different middle schools before finally mellowing out under the influence of his favorite foster brother (the one he spends holidays with in Philadelphia), who turned him into a stoner but kept him from getting in fights long enough for him to graduate. 

Oliver’s home life is the only one the book offers a close look at it, and I don’t know what needs to be added. Everything about it was average and ordinary.

Filippa’s upbringing was a lot like Oliver’s until middle school. If you’ve finished the book you’ll know why. 

High school aged Crutchie loving theatre and has an amazing voice and is overall an amazing actor but every year the school picks a very dance heavy show because they have so many good dancers (aka all the newsies) so Crutchie usually ends up doing set and hair and makeup and singing back stage 

Crutchie crying when the musical senior year was announced and it turned about to be 13, meaning he could actually get cast as Archie

And obviously he gets it and he’s just so happy


Llangefni Eisteddfod Stone Circle, Anglesey, North Wales, 13.5.17. A modern stone circle that is now devoid of any atmosphere thanks to its situation amidst a housing estate, industrial unit and next to a supermarket car park! This is a real shame because a few carefully planted trees could cure all that.