By Sir Anthony Henry Bull
A new discovery has shaken the very roots of literature to their core. Having previously believed to have found all the known Shakespeare folios there were, a strange find appeared on an episode of ‘Cash in the Attic’ that seemed to be a lost folio.
This folio of Shakespeare plays was most unusual in that it appears to have come very late in The Bard’s life, and seems to have had its language adjusted – possibly to suit an entirely different audience. It was made blunter, brusquer, and less poetic. Gone was the pentameter and in came straight talking language.
I could proselytise about this portfolio but I think it’s best if we give you some excerpts.
SCENE I – Somewhere hot, Ibiza or something
The weather’s shit and there’re three coffin-dodgers.
So when we doing this again, like?
Why do we always meet when there weather’s crap?
When everyone quits pissing around
and they all fuck each other up.
Ain’t that when the sun sets?
And where we gonna meet, like?
On the heath.
Not the one where they caught that bloke nobbing a tree?
No, not that one.
Yeah, the one with Macbeth. You remember, Macbeth?
Scottish fella? Slightly overbearing missus?
Ah, yeah I know him. I come, Graymalkin.
Paddock calls – I don’t usually answer.
I have no name!
Fair is foul, and foul is fair
So it’s just a perfectly normal Scottish day.
Hovering through the fog and filthy air.
Here’s why ya backstabbing bastard. I lost us happy, didn’t I?
I stopped doing anything. I’m just sat on us arse watching Jeremy Kyle.
That’s how come I know this whole planet’s a piece of crap.
The sky? The air? Oh, aye, I bet you think they look like a cuppa Yorkshire Tea
on a chilly morning. But mate, to me it’s just wet farts.
Oh we think we’re so fooking great, right. Smart and that,
able to do just about anything. We invented digital TV!
We can do funny stuff with our bodies, like my mate Steve, right,
he can smoke a fag with his arsehole. We do so much good stuff,
like when I gave our Susan 50p for her sponsored walk.
We’re basically bloody Gods, right. The peak of evolu- evoluti-
that biology thing you learned about in school.
But to me, you’re just sodding dust.
I hate men right about now, and birds and all,
no matter what you say, you smug smiling bastard.
Cheers buddy, here’s what I owe.
Giving KENT money
Can I have a go! Here, have a go with me hat.
Hello you sexy prankster, how you doing?
Seriously, Kent, take me hat.
Why should I?
Because Lear’s a fucking bellend.
He’ll send you out into a storm on your own with
nothing to cover your head. He’s damned his daughters
by giving them stuff, did the other a favour by disowning her
and if you don’t leave soon I bet something dumb’ll happen
like you try to change your appearance and voice to still follow
the stupid bastard.
Ain’t that right, Lear, you daft git? Oh I wish I had two hats and two daughters.
Because then I could do a better job of parenting
and job management than you.
You insolent sod, I’ll whip the shit out of you.
Oh yeah! Try it! I’ll beat your arse black and blue mate.
But I’m a King and you’re a fool.
You sure about that? Last I checked you were the fool who gave away your kingdom.
You calling me a fool, boy?
Yeah, what you gonna do about it? Pussy. You don’t even have a crown anymore.
How much longer are you gonna prance about like a fairy
spouting jibberish riddles and expecting us to know what you mean?
Quite some time, yet. If you weren’t such a massive cock
my irritating intervention would not be needed.
Fair play, shall we just skip to the bit where I go mad in a storm?
Sure, why not?
Blow, winds and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!
Winds don’t have cheeks, nobhead.
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout.
What the fuck’s a hurricanoe? Sounds like an Asylum disaster film.
“One was a volcano, one was a hurricane. Now they combine powers
To destroy mankind! The Hurricanoes!”
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
You see, this is how we know you’re a nutter. You think fire is sentient.
Vaunt-couriers to oak-Cleaving thunderbolts,
Sounds like Yodel.
Singe my white head!
Is this an advert for Clearasil?
And thou, all shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
King Lear’s new solution to the obesity crisis.
Crack nature’s moulds, an germens spill at once.
What is it with you English and your obsession with the germens?
That make ingrateful man!
What a load of mad-man’s bollocks you talk, nuncle.
Romeo and Juliet
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
What? Wait? She’s like…13?
Fuck it, this bullshite nonce play is over.
And people think this is about true love?
It’s about barely-pubescent teenage lust
for crying out loud. Jesus, did you even read the thing?
As you can see, the new folios bring to light amazing new insights into Shakespeare’s writing. Yet even in this new light, The Bard is still as relevant, revelatory and passionate as ever. Thank you very much for joining me with this discovery. I have been Sir Anthony Henry Bull and I am ‘Past It’.