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The Play’s the Thing! Vive Le Bard!

Before we jump off into this month’s article, I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and that you will join Theatrix in making it great by participating in or attending some of our many projects this year. You can always contact me to find out what those are at the phone number or email address at the end of this article or visit and like Theatrix Group on Facebook. And now…

The-Play’s-the-Thing!Art
By Joel Adams

Sunday 12 January 2020, 11:00AM


Remake of the Globe Theatre in London.

Remake of the Globe Theatre in London.

You name it, I love theatre in all its many forms. The tradition of Western theatre has its roots in Greece, but then, close to 1,000 years later, a man who has eclipsed all other English language playwrights for 400 years burst on the scene of the Elizabethan stage. Of course, I am speaking of none other than William Shakespeare.

Imagine! This obscure glove-maker’s son came out of Stratford-upon-Avon to London in the late 1500s to write the greatest, most wonderful and enduring plays in our wonderful language, English, a language he helped make the leading language of the world. He is credited with inventing over 1700 original words, by changing nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, connecting words never used together before, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original.

Even more interesting, at least to me, is the fact that, before the day is out, you and I will probably say something that Shakespeare said first in one of his plays. Wanna bet? Since you leapt out of bed this morning, I am sure most of you are unaware that you’ve been quoting Shakespeare all day. Do this with me, will you? In the upcoming text, every time you see this, ‘…,’ I want you to fill in the words, “quoting Shakespeare”. Let’s go! The following was borrowed from Christopher Gaze’s Ted Talk: Shakespeare is everywhere. 

If you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are… “quoting Shakespeare”. See how it works?

If you recall your salad days, you are…

If you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your property has vanished into thin air, you are…

If you’ve refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you’ve been played fast and loose, been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, or been hoodwinked, or in a pickle, if you’ve knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, or insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance on your lord and master, laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort, or too much of a good thing, if you’ve seen better days or lived in a fool’s paradise, why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion, that you are, as luck would have it…

If you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time, and that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up, and the truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low to the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge at one fell swoop without rhyme or reason, then to give the devil his due, if the truth were known, for surely you have a tongue in your head, you are…

Even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was as dead as a doornail, if you think I’m an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then, by Jove, O Lord, tut tut, for goodness’ sake, what the Dickens, but me no but’s, it’s all one to me, for you are… QUOTING SHAKESPEARE! Amazing, isn’t it?

I once had a friend say to me that Shakespeare’s appeal was all in the beauty of his language, because there was no story to speak of in his plays. I was gobsmacked! His plays are actually packed with action galore! Wars, murder, love at first sight, deceit, beheadings, fairies, ghosts, witches, duels, divorce, marriage, feasts, plays within plays, court intrigue, riotous and bawdy comedy, mistaken identities, twisted and untwisted plots, mystery, horror, assassinations, philosophy, unforgettable characters, both male and female, and much more.

You would be hard pressed to find a modern play or movie with as much plot as one of Shakespeare’s plays. I don’t have time or space to prove that, but just Google a synopsis of any one of his plays and you will see for yourself how action-filled it is.

In closing, I want to tell you that I have recently joined a Facebook group called Shakespeare 2020 Project founded by a writer named Ian Droescher. There are about 2,500 of us and it’s growing, and we are all going to read through all of Shakespeare’s works this year. We will read the plays, write each other our impressions, questions, criticisms, and more. We are having a ball so far, having just started with our first play, Twelfth Night. You are welcome to join us. Just google Facebook 2020 Project, and have your say.


Joel Adams is building a vibrant thea­tre community right here in Phuket. You can contact him at theatrixphuket@gmail.com or by phone on 093 6490066. Facebook: Theatrix Group

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