Tuesday, 26 February 2008

"PUT MONEY IN THY PURSE"

Visiting the gift shop - or, perhaps I should say, Ye Gifte Shoppe - at Shakespeare's Globe on Bankside the other week was an education in the higher skills of merchandising.

Shelf upon shelf was stacked with all manner of stuff decorated with play titles, character names and quotable quotes from some of the Bard's top shows...

There were Romeo and Juliet mugs: a dagger-pierced-heart tattooed with 'Montague' on one side and another with the name 'Capulet' on the other; and (useful for an open-air theatre) Merchant of Venice umbrellas decorated with Portia's words: "The quality of mercy is not strain'd, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven..."

There were also "Alas Poor Yorick" shoulder bags (cool for school but unfortunately not quite large enough for your average grave-digging tools)...


...Titus Andronicus copper dishes engraved "Let their vile heads be baked" - ideal for... er... certain types of canapés, perhaps...


...and Macbeth tea-towels: the wittiest of all the products guaranteed to give any thespian a bit of a smile when faced with the task of drying-up...


However, Everything was moderately to hysterically expensive and I think they really missed a trick in not having carrier bags to take home one's purchases printed with a suitable quote from Othello...

"Poor and content is rich, and rich enough..."

Anyway, the oddest souvenir of all was the Plague Rat glove-puppets, available in a choice of gruesome grey or bubonic black...


Certainly Buttons was not amused...

Of course (knowing my predilections as you do), you will not be surprised to know that I was on the look-out for a pair of underpants with the line from the Dream - "THIS IS TO MAKE AN ASS OF ME" printed on the... well... bottom!


11 comments:

Boll Weavil said...

I suppose it makes Shakespeare more accessible.I always think the Bard, if played well, is very available and pertinent to a modern world.This stuff is the equivalent of the recent 'Romeo and Juliet'update so, why not ? Great...

LisaH said...

And I suppose as you and Buttons were wandering around the shoppe you were muttering, 'To buy or not to buy, that is the question'.

Brian Sibley said...

BOLL - I think it's more about making cash accessible... But I agree, it's fun - even if neither innocent nor cheap!

LisaH - Excellent! I very nearly rejected your comment in order to snaffle that line for my own! ;-)

Qenny said...

If you find yourself back there, you should keep your eye out (sic) for a Vile Jelly mould - that will give you something to lear at.

Qenny said...

Perhaps the Titus Andronicus things could be used to serve some sort of broccoli bake. Just to get around the otherwise cannibalistic overtones.

LisaH said...

What! Not a pair of knickers or a cod-piece in sight? Such a shame - a cod-piece would probably have made a nice hammock for Buttons.

Brian Sibley said...

QENNY - Useful Tips, there. Thank you!

LisaH - Nope! I was surprised that they weren't selling one or two items "SHORT as any dream, BRIEF as the lightning in the collied night..."

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments...

But do they have my cauldron ingredients?

I can't list them of course, in case quoting on a blog site is as bad as quoting in a theatre!

Now there is a thought..........

Are there blog-based superstitions yet? If not, I think we should invent some!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL - Excellent suggestion! Maybe some of our readers can offer one or two to get us started...

Qenny said...

Proposed blogerstition:

It's bad luck to do a meme that you haven't been invited to do. Unless you are its originator.

Brian Sibley said...

QENNY - It's a start... ;-)