It is great to see another film short from the North England based collective Chicken Shop Shakespeare, with Henry V‘s “Crispin day” speech getting the group’s distinctive treatment. This short marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. It will be especially interesting to watch out for Chicken Shop Shakespeare this year to see how they mark another anniversary – Shakespeare400.
The Henry V short features Lladel Bryant, who delivers Henry’s call to arms on his way to a football match (the video was shot at Bradford City FC). Director Tyron Maynar makes good use of a hand-held camera to provide close ups, which contribute to Chicken Shop’s cinéma vérité style. The short operates through a discourse of the real – this is an urban, contemporary Shakespeare, a Bard for and of the streets. These reality effects are a staple of Chicken Shop’s videos. They speak of the culture and demographic of the collaborators, and probably help teachers to make Shakespeare (more?) appealing to young students in the classroom. Of course, YouTube offers up earlier examples of urban or street Shakespeare such as Craig Bazan’s Hamlet on the Street from 2007.
Recalling this video raises the question as to what Chicken Shop’s next move might be in 2016 – perhaps a new style or theme, one that addresses Shakespeare as something increasingly experienced through digital culture? Either way, hopefully we’ll be provided with more slices of Shakespeare from Chicken Shop this year.
For further information see Chicken Shop Shakespeare
Shakespeare and YouTube (Arden Shakespeare 2014)
The first ever full-length analysis of YouTube Shakespeare, Shakespeare and YouTube shows the importance of the video-sharing platform to the twenty-first century’s reception and adaptation of Shakespeare’s work.
By exploring YouTube’s function as patron, archive and distribution channel, my book seeks to analyse how the platform extends and challenges Shakespeare’s cultural currency. Investigating the intersection of YouTube’s participatory culture – its invitation to ‘Broadcast Yourself’ – with its corporate logic, the book argues that YouTube Shakespeare is a site of productive tension between new forms of creative interpretation and the homogenizing effects of mass culture.
Emphasising the need for critical media literacy, I also explore YouTube’s usefulness as a pedagogical resource within Shakespeare studies. The book provides practical guidelines on using YouTube in the classroom, including detailed assignments designed to facilitate interactive, student-centred learning. Including a wealth of online resources, Shakespeare and YouTube will prove essential to an understanding of how Shakespeare is being appropriated and adapted in the digital age.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Interpreting YouTube Shakespeare
Chapter One: Searchable Shakespeares: Attention, Genres and Value on YouTube
Chapter Two: Broadcast Your Hamlet: Convergence Culture, Shakespeare and Online Self-Expression
Chapter Three: Race in YouTube Shakespeare: Ways of Seeing
Chapter Four: Medium Play, Queer Erasures:
Shakespeare’s Sonnets on YouTube
Chapter Five: The Teaching and Learning Tube:
Challenges and Affordances