Friday, June 1, 2012

The Tragedy of Barnabas Collins 1.1


What if William Shakespeare wrote House of Dark Shadows?

It's not a question many people were asking, though the Bard was invoked in almost every interview ever conducted with Jonathan Frid. Hell, it certainly wasn't a question I was asking until the past week when I began to write the damned thing. How did this project come to pass? What would make someone attempt something this ridiculous? Take my hand, if you will, and I'll lead you on a tour of my damaged psyche.

When Frid passed away April, it gave us all a chance to look back on his career. I was most interested in his days before the vampire became a part of his life, and posted the image to your left in one of my memorial tributes to the actor. It was taken from a photo collection published during the original run of Dark Shadows.

Now, the idea at the time was NOT to do a Shakespearean parody of Dark Shadows. Instead, I thought it would be fun to do some sort of Dark Shadows/Blackadder mash-up featuring Barnabas and Willie in the roles of Edmund Blackadder and Baldrick. Even though the thematic (as well as visual) similarities were present, I just couldn't make it work. So I sorta forgot about the idea.

I've been reading and watching a lot of Shakespeare lately as the Future Mrs. Cousin Barnabas and I better acquaint ourselves with his lesser works. During a screening of Coriolanus, a play I first heard about years ago by reading about Frid's biographies, it occurred to me that House of Dark Shadows had everything necessary for a solid Shakespearean tragedy. It was timeless, stylized and, in the end, most of the cast is dead. Shakespeare would have loved it.

So, with absolutely zero experience with writing verse (and the reading comprehension of a really smart 12-year-old) I decided to try my hand at a project I stupidly referred to as "Bard Shadows." There's nothing like embarrassing yourself in front of an international audience.

This is either creative calisthenics of a serious cry for help.

So, without further adieu,  here's a portion of the first scene of The Tragedy of Barnabas Collins. My modest goal right now is complete the first act. After that, we'll see how it goes. (Note: The Future Mrs. Cousin Barnabas took a pass at this text and has politely refrained from questioning my mental health.)


(Note: Blogger isn't photo friendly. After clicking on the image below, right click and choose "view image" to see it at full size.)





5 comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...