Notes on What a Piece of Work is Fan
Whether it’s the history cycle or Star Wars, passions will always run high in fandom, as we discover when the groundlings get restless in this week’s cartoon.
The fact that Henry VI Part One was written after parts two and three (and therefore a prequel) was an irresistible element to throw into the mix, but I was delighted to discover that the analogy was even stronger than I thought – it’s widely considered among academics to be one of Shakespeare’s weakest plays. I was going to have the chap with the beard just make some generic comments about it, but it was much more fun to have him deliver genuine criticisms scholars have made over the centuries. Academics bemoaning Shakespeare’s poor fidelity to Holinshed can be made to sound remarkably like internet forums buzzing with annoyance that the latest superhero movie isn’t “true to the comics” given the right context…
The prequel hater (who is possibly one of Simon Pegg’s ancestors…) was originally the design for the central character, but was shunted aside in the wake of the most recent Star Wars movie. Watching Adam Driver straddle the gap between evil incarnate and Kevin the Teenager, I knew I had found the perfect model for my perpetually angry protagonist. Dressing him like a tudor Han Solo was just the icing on the geeky cake.
And, yes, Shakespeare knows it’s three am. Honestly, what kind of hack writer equips his historical characters with an anachronistic clock?