Coming out of a creative project undertaken for the module 'Shakespeare & Selected Dramatists of his Time', this is the next stage of a piece of new writing comprised of twelve original monologues by Ronan Hatfull which aim to explore the unsaid and unheard narratives of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. It looks at both the principal players, such as Malvolio and what the nature of his future 'revenge' might be, and the function of the bit-parts like Fabian and the Sea Captain and what they contribute to the plot. The monologues themselves are comprised of language which riffs on the original text itself, many of Shakespeare's other plays and directorial interpretations of the play. It also takes influence from contemporary speech patterns from the world of hip-hop and beat poetry to poets including Liz Lochhead, who make use of exaggerated pauses, enjambement and caesura in their work.
The principal aim of this project is a pedagogic one. As the rapper and founder of the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, Akala asks in one of his lectures "what is the purpose of education today" in a world where "the success or failure of society is increasingly dependent upon the mind, the ideas of society?" His constant refrain is the idea of who the "custodians of knowledge" are and it was in that light that i decided to undertake this creative writing project with the intention of developing it into as a possible free writing workshop, designed to help students gain insight into seemingly impenetrable characters and their complex emotions, as well as embracing the beauty of the original language.
The final piece could be reproduced on a larger scale and applied to any chosen Shakespearean text, with a view to helping young people who turn off at the mention of Shakespeare, rejecting him as "the ultimate dead white male" to become these 'custodians of knowledge' and begin to relate to these texts and characters. The pieces will be directed and filmed using a professional actor so as to enable it to be used as a resource for future students.
This act concealed, like most of my action
My purpose unsaid as the play’s subtraction.
Absence is key and without me it’s dead,
The whole play cannot be turned on its head.