Æ News – No Sorrow for Such Tweet

Oct 26 2010 | By More

Twitter version of Romeo and Juliet up for two awards

By Thom Dibdin

Such Tweet Sorrow, the RSC’s twitter version of Romeo and Juliet which ran online in the Spring of this year, has been recognised with nominations in both the annual British Interactive Media Awards and the Royal Television Society awards.

The performance, which the RSC created in partnership with cross-platform media company Mudlark, has been nominated in the Arts and Culture section of the BIMAs, which rewards “projects that aim to cover, enhance or represent artistic or cultural endeavours that extend the reach of arts and culture to a wider audience”. The winner will be announced at a big industry bash at the Heaven nightclub in London on November 25.

The full list of nominees is:

  • A History of the World — BBC / VML
  • Classic FM : Classic Treasure Chase! — Holler / Global Radio
  • Recode | Decode — Saint@RKCR/Y&R
  • Such Tweet Sorrow — Mudlark in collaboration with the RSC
  • The Secret Dancer — Tate and Martin Perc
  • yV&A Search the Collections — the OTHER media

Such Tweet Sorrow is also nominated in the Best Digital Innovation category of the RTS Midlands Centre Awards which are to be held on November 4 at the University of Birmingham Great Hall. Also nominated are Embarrassing Bodies Live (Maverick) and WeVee (InCahoots).

The five-week long retelling of Romeo & Juliet used Twitter and other online social platforms to tell Shakespeare’s plot. James Barrett and Charlotte Wakefield played the star-crossed lovers @Romeo_Mo and @julietcap16 with Mark Holgate as Tybalt (@Tybalt_Cap), Geoffrey Newland as the Friar (@LaurenceFriar), Lu Corfield as a composite character of Juliet’s big sister Jess (@Jess_Nurse) and Ben Ashton as Mercutio (@mercuteio).

Where this Twitter-play differed from other similar attempts at using the micro-blogging medium as a storytelling platform was in its narrative structure. Online storyteller Tim Wright and playwright Bethan Marlow collaborated on a story grid where the character’s lives were mapped out over the five weeks. Instead of using Shakespeare’s word the characters tweeted in the manner that normal people would: Juliet’s tweets were quick and often; her elder sister ‘Nurse’ Jess’ more mature and reflective.

This lead to a tantalising and new take on the play with the audience able to interact with the performers – and the online death of Mercutio  drawing an astounding response.

Mudlark are currently developing new ideas for cross-media storytelling.

The full “script” of Such Tweet Sorrow remains online at http://www.suchtweetsorrow.com/ . There are several reviews and interviews with cast members, here in the Annals.

Detials of the BIMA Awards are available on the BIMA website.

Details of the RTS awards are on their facebook page here.


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