In honour of Soothplayers' Midsumma shows this week Scout Boxall proudly presents: Shakesqueer!
1. HORATIO Ok, Hamlet's right hand man was clearly a gay. He hasn't got a girlfriend, wears a padded hose and loves a bit of fencing. (Men prodding each other with silver phalluses while wearing virginal white?) Check out this cute quote: "Good night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!" Hamlet is dying and Horatio, cradling his love in his arms, is clearly nursing a broken heart AND already planning a lavish Kylie Minogue-esque funeral spectacular. What a diligent gay. P.S. Earlier in the play Hamlet asks Guildenstern to "play upon his pipe", which is suggestive as fuck, and has a really uncomfortable conversation with his mother IN A CLOSET. Uh-oh, Horatio! Looks like you're not the only "flautist" in Denmark. Horatio? More like Homo-Fellatio.
Right. So I guess Twelfth Night's Olivia just "didn't notice" that the sensitive boi she was courting was in fact a lady. And I guess it was just sheer dumb luck that she got shacked up with her ladylover's twin brother. Looks like Viola's fake moustache isn't the only "beard" in Illyria. Meanwhile, as these two adorable ladyqueers were trading compliments about bubbling brooks and birdsong, Manly Man Duke Orsino finds himself attracted to a woman disguised as a man. I guess HE knew she was a woman all along. Sound fishy, folks? You're damn right it does. The whole play ends in a marriage of convenience, which is basically Shakespeare's way of saying, "And then it was all just a dream." But let's be real. Viola and Olivia are gayer than a nut milk maker, and Orsino is into women who dress like men. Twelfth Night is basically an Elizabethan drag show.
Old mate Mercutio spends most of the play gossiping with the nurse, stealing away into the night with Benvolio and staring longingly at his best friend Romeo. He has all the wisdom and angst of a queer boy floundering in unrequited love. "If love be rough, why then be rough with love." Damn straight, lad. Love makes us do strange things, like disguise ourselves in a mask to sneak our friends into a ball they're expressly not invited to do they can woo their sworn blood foe's kid daughter. Beneath his bravado, Mercutio is filled with longing to play rough with another kinky loverboy, to "bite his thumb" as it were. Poor darling!
Soothplayers are playing at L1 Studios this Thursday and Friday.
Tickets available through www.soothplayers.com