The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2207 Thursday, 20 November 2003
Date: Wednesday, 19 Nov 2003 18:56:11 -0000
Subject: The Globe is but a mile from the East End
Pressing the wrong button on the remote and inadvertently stumbling on
an edition of "Eastenders" I tarried for a moment mildly curious as to
why this show is the most popular in all England. Young working class
boy says to scowling woman behind a cafe bar, "Were you serious about
the divorce, or were you just trying to hurt me?" Woman behind the bar
scowls, turns, walks away deserting her bar. This "on the nose"
dialogue is atypical of this show and many other soap series. There is
never the slightest doubt as to anyone's intentions or motives. Every
plot point is numbingly obvious and repeated at least three times. The
show is purported to be about London's East End but differs dramatically
in many respects from the television version. For instance, racism is
rife in that part of London; they hardly ever speak to each other and
watch Eastenders all the time. No television view of modern life could
be quite such a social lie.
But where is the Shakespeare link? Well, from what we know the Globe
provided hours of popular dramatic entertainment for all type of people
in London. Then they watched the likes of "Hamlet" - now the unlikely
antics of faux working classes spouting strange uncomfortable lines
written by inexperienced middle class writers. Is this awful
degeneration of popular drama the result of the need for several BBC
hours of material per week? Or the fact that the audience is now
entirely the old rabble in the Globe Yard? Or another reason?
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