Such Tweet Sorrow, a Blog Post in Two Acts.

33/365: Love in the Time of Twitter

image shared on flickr via a creative commons license on by SarahMcGowen

Act One.

Over the past week and for 5 in total, several people in the Twittersphere will be playing a part in one of the greatest love stories in the English language. Such Tweet Sorrow is Romeo and Juliet told in 140 character installments. The piece is 24/7, and includes audioboos, yfrog pics, youtube videos and an awful, awful lot of tweeting.

There are several really interesting aspects to this bold experiment, which is a collaboration between the RSC and a multi-media company called Mudlark. The project is 4ip funded, the basic story line (transposed into a modern setting) is plotted and then the plotted occurrences are handed over to the actors daily, who then improvise their reported actions.

People who follow the characters on Twitter can see the conversations happening in real time, and are often asked to contribute, aid decisions, lend reactions. This interaction is producing some intriguing results, some people playing along, and others determined to break what’s left of the ‘4th wall’. The project even has its own ‘fanboy’ playing with the story, to which the official @such_tweet account have been alerting people to (and blocked, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish).  The idea of a piece of performance infiltrating your daily feeds is a fascinating one, and the interactive aspect also invites its audience to be performers. When you interact with the characters you are interacting with them as a character yourself – a version of your self, one who pretends that these characters are real.

However despite the interesting questions the work is raising, truth is I’m feeling incredibly let down by the #suchtweet experiment. It is entirely right that it exists, and that people should explore these new forms, but aspects of the characterisation, logistical errors, as well continual formal misconceptions are really beginning to grate. The question is, how and when is it appropriate to raise these criticisms. During? Or after the event has finished?

Microsoft Word

I disagree with this idea – a film is a finished product, performances grow. A traditional theatrical experience is usually a closed down one, this ongoing project is describe as interactive. Surely this should go for the criticism as well?

Another pertinent question, certainly, is how to deliver criticism. Due to the amount of interaction invited, do you talk directly to the performers, in character? Suggest that the way they’re delivering their information is heavy handed (TMI!) or their characterization offensive (#uploadthatload case in point.). As it is a project largely delivered through Twitter that was my first reaction. I’m not sure it was the right one. It’s hard to phrase ‘I think your characterisation represents unfair assumptions about teenage boys’. Best I managed was “have some respect.” My next reaction was to tweet about my dissatisfaction publicly, engage with (what is ostensibly) other audience members. Some suggested waiting to see how it worked out, though most of my followers that responded (by no means a bunch necessarily representative of the rest of Twitter) shared my concerns. Mixed sample:


However, after a character RT’d some of my ‘in character’ criticisms (attracting attention outside of the context I had given) I feel like I should set out exactly what I think. So here I am, outside of Twitter, long form. Let’s dance.

Act Two.

I want to make myself clear, I certainly don’t think that this performance experiment is in any way sullying the name of Shakespeare, or that it is in any trivial way attempting to engage dramatically with the tech or (as it’s often misrepresented) ‘youth’ community. I think it’s an excellent concept. The problem is all in the execution.


The level of gender stereotyping that has been occurring in #suchtweet has been painful to behold. The boys tweet pictures of girls breasts, make fun of the ‘ginger mingers’ they pull by accident, and generally fight and swear. The female characters moan, cry, and go shopping to relieve their tension. I was pointed by the official @such_tweet feed to consider Shakespeare’s own gender characterization. I have two answers to that 1) when you transpose a story to a modern setting, it makes sense that characterisation should follow 2) Shakespeare’s characters were much more interesting and nuanced than are currently being played out. I also think it’s entirely possible to be nuanced individual in a reduced, 140 character format  – everyone else on twitter manages it.


This is a small one, but important, I think, and plays a part in the previous problem. I came across this quote from the actress playing Juliet which sums up the problem:

“I’m nearly 20 so I would normally type in quite a sophisticated way, but a 15-year-old today will use a lot of text speak.” (Source)

So she’s 19. 4 years seems more the younger you are. I’m 25. But I have a brother and sister at 13 and 11. I also remember being 15, me and most of the people I knew made a concerted effort to avoid text speak, we felt like it was an adult stereotype of our lives (though perhaps didn’t articulate it like that), these days texts can be as long as you like, much more used are internet acronyms and emoticons. Also, young people do not feel more simply, they just sometimes don’t have the tools with which to articulate it – that’s why I find the broad brushstrokes of Mercutio and Romeo’s carousing so insulting. I know some teen boys do it, I know some that don’t, but they sure as hell wouldn’t tweet about so much of it. They’re not that foolish.


This is a minor qualm, but really? A car crash? That was the best modern analogue for warring families that you could find? At one of my friend’s schools the Muslim and Hindu kids had a horrible ongoing vendetta which ended in a stabbing. My brother’s girlfriend had to keep him a secret for a long while because he wasn’t Chinese. And while I’m pretty sure that though my mum wouldn’t disown me if I fell in love with a Tory, it’d be pretty hard for her to fathom. Perhaps ignore that last one, but the previous feel much more relevant, and there’s so much less EXPLAINING to do.


This is the big one, despite the new form, the fundamental point is the old playwright’s adage: show don’t tell. These characters should not be offering us the dialogue as it happens, but snapshots of a much bigger picture – the interactive part is piecing it together. What the performances so far represent is a fundamental misunderstanding of the potential of the form. A recent example of this is that last night (Saturday) Tybalt and Romeo had a fight. 3 characters told us this.

Microsoft Word

How to make this performance and not reported literature? Show, don’t tell. Plenty of kids record fights and put them on Youtube, heck they probably livestream them now. A twitvid taken by Mercutio of Romeo and Tybalt fighting amongst chaos in a pub would have been thrilling. Also, dramatic.

Another example: the way the characters actually use the tweets. This is the advice I give to all of the theatre companies I work with on social media in practice or process: make it interesting. Saying “I am so angry” isn’t interesting or interactive; linking to angry music you’re playing, is. Saying “my eyes are so red from crying” is not interesting, but asking people if cucumbers on the eyes bring down puffiness because you don’t want your dad to know, is. Don’t tell me your brother was just arrested on the telly, show me a fuzzy twitpic of it.

Characters are tweeting things that it is unrealistic to tweet just to get the information out there. Twitter is a public space, would you announce your problems to everyone in a pub? No. But your sadness or anger might seep through, become apparent.

Perhaps not everyone on twitter is interesting, but this is not real life, this is art embedded in real life, it should still be artful.*

*Never talk to me about Live Art.



If you can’t fit it into a tweet without taking out all of the spaces and using c’s and u’s find another way of saying it. Or blog it, live journal, audioboo, twitpic, video. The skill of Twitter is learning how to make pertinent points in short bursts. We can’t always succeed at that, but that’s the fullest expression of it.

I think that #suchtweet is a bold experiment, but all involved seem to be working on the misconception that a smaller form requires broader brushstrokes, that they have to squeeze everything in, that there’s no room for nuance. Is this because of the 140 character form? Would you consider a haiku fundamentally less expressive than a longer poem? What about iambic pentameter? Shakespeare’s nuance was in his language, #suchtweet needs to find it in its form. The actors are working hard in unexplored territory, I completely respect that, but I consider that a greater reason to offer criticism, not a lesser. I also acknowledge that perhaps this experiment is not aimed at me, theatre academic, playwright, blogger. Maybe it’s aimed at people who don’t use these forms, but are growing up living them. And that (of course) the piece could get much better.

Do you think I’m being too harsh? Do you think that I should have waited until the end to critique? Do you think I should review each week? I’d be interested to know what you think.


How would I have done this? Much more mean-ly. I would have cast the piece from existing and well established Twitter and socmed users, secretly, and then let the story play out without announcing it, to have people we previously thought of as ‘real’, fight, fall in love, die… Imagine finding their blog suspended? A tweet from family announcing that they had died? Playing with the boundaries of the real is dangerous, but an investigation of these online spaces – how they pretend to liveness and truth – and of how we all reconstruct ourselves, play a part, an analogue of our self on them each day? Now that’s interesting.

For my week two post on Such Tweet Sorrow, click here.

Share if you like:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

249 Responses to “Such Tweet Sorrow, a Blog Post in Two Acts.”

  1. acne cures home remedies October 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    When someone writes an article he/she retains the thougbht of a user in his/her miknd that how a user can understand it.
    Thus that’s why this article is perfect. Thanks!

  2. buy used computers online October 10, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    It’s remarkable to pay a quick visit this site annd reading the views of all colleagues regarding
    this piece of writing, while I am also keen of getting experience.

  3. Lifetime October 11, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    What i do not understood is if truth be told how you’re now not really
    much more well-liked than you might be now. You’re so intelligent.
    You realize thus significantly in relation tto this subject, produced me for
    my part believe it from a lot of various
    angles. Its like women and men don’t seem tto be interested edcept it’s
    something to doo with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs nice.

    At all times deal with it up!

  4. Jamie October 11, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    After checking out a handful of the blog posts on your blog, I
    really like your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list
    and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site
    as well and let me know what you think.

  5. Antonio October 12, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    They will then be a success. Most of the worlds greatest traders, lose more trades than they win but
    because they keep losses small and currency trading success can be design suites at
    castle beach yours. So I use this software as a 3-D visualization tool.

  6. jak aktywowac windows 7 ultimate October 12, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    Remarkable! Its genuinely awesome piece of writing,
    I have got much clear idea on the topic of from this article.

  7. article marketing coach October 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    You ought to begin your movie promoting campaign right here.
    Learning the tricks of the trade is a crucial aspect of the game.
    There are many benefits to hiring an Internet marketing agency to manage your online marketing efforts.

  8. venus factor weight loss October 14, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Link exchange is nothing else excdept it iis only placing the
    other person’s website link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do same in favor of you.

  9. lounge chair Knoll October 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    In design 0n a dime general, the temperature distribution of the client.
    So, there’s a new section of Android Design in Action. So we
    had to produce a vast range of printing services at
    affordable prices, design 0n a dime including –>flyer printing –>.

  10. website development October 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your
    efforts and I am waiting for your next post thank you once again.

  11. sample weight loss menu October 15, 2014 at 12:02 am #

    I almost never leave a response, but I browsed a few of the remarks here Such Tweet Sorrow, a Bloog Post in Two Acts.
    | Hannah Nicklin. I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.

    Could it be only me or do a few of these commentss appear like they are written by brain dead
    individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at additonal online sites, I
    would like to follow anyuthing new you have to post.
    Could you list of all of your social networking pages like your twitter feed, Facebook pge oor
    linkedin profile?

  12. basketball clothing sale October 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Hi there mates, how is the whole thing,and wat you want to say regarding this
    post, in my view its actually remarkable in favor of me.

  13. acne cure home remedies October 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    My spouswe and I stumbed over here froim a different
    website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what
    I see soo i am just following you. Look forward to lookinng into
    your web page for a second time.

  14. Jual Follower Instagram October 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    So stay tuned for further announcements on that front.
    To learn more about Pamela, visit the Experiential website at
    or email her at courses@experiential. Images of people, famous or average, using your products- can be the usual, candid, funny, or

  15. October 19, 2014 at 2:12 am #

    Engineers realized that they needed to mix the radioactive waste with
    chair neck support molten glass, which would
    turn it into rainbow colors. To really get your theme across you’ll chair neck support need to
    tone it down.

  16. Rolland October 23, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.

    If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  17. mommy daddy small size November 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    What’s up, for all time i used to check webpage
    posts here in the early hours in the dawn, for the reason that i enjoy to find out more
    and more.

  18. translate english to spanish November 20, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Howdy I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found you by error,
    while I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Anyhow I
    am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a remarkable
    post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all
    at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
    back to read much more, Please do keep up the superb

  19. Brandie November 29, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Hello Dear, are you truly visiting this website on a regular basis, if so
    afterward you will without doubt get good knowledge.

  20. dildo December 14, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    From fire-engine reds and hot pinks to deeper wine and rose
    colors, hues in the red family can, no-doubt, inject DTP
    projects with an added sense of power. For instance, if you are buying a bra to wear along with a particular outfit
    for a special occasion or as general wear, it is always better to buy
    something that serves the purpose. The one on view in the gallery here is French, from
    1880, and decorated with polka dots on cotton.

  21. femdom chat city December 31, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    A Father Earth sounds silly, not possible. In ancient times
    the Woman, the Mother, the Goddess had a much greater or the superior rank.

  22. 20 yard dumpsters Philadelphia January 7, 2015 at 1:25 am #

    I’m not sure why but this weblog iis loading extremely
    slow for me. Is anyone else havin this issue or is it a issue oon my end?
    I’ll check back later and see iff the problem stil exists.

  23. shemale sex January 9, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    we looked into her eyyes and it was like she was nevertheless begging for more.
    The nature of the ‘drunken’ marquis cut is one of unique geometry, requjiring
    custom settings for each stone, and enabling Bittar to explore tthe use of architecture and negative space in his designs.

    San Jose has the ‘Shooting Stars’ tournament evefy year at Baay 101 which is a big buy-in WPT event;
    However, the ‘Battle of The Bay’ at Lucky Chances in Colma is the only
    really substantial poker tournament series close to San Francisco
    that is somewhat more affordable for a ‘WPT wannabee’ like me.

  24. nail polish January 11, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your sjte by accident
    (stumbleupon). I have ook marked it for later!

  25. Kiara January 25, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

    IGF1 Severe Factor Deer. 2004.

  26. Celia January 26, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    I ѡent over thgis աebsitе ɑnd I believe you
    have a lot of ցood information, bookmarked (:.

  27. weight loss camps for women in pennsylvania February 7, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    Right away I am going to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast comig yet again tto read additional news.

  28. Norma February 14, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    Sure there is not much going on in this region, no big events, however somehow it gives so much of itself in water fun and beauty that it really
    doesn’t need for much else. Characteristic elements include music, dance, song, food and drink, and speeches and
    toasts by the father of the bride, best man and groom.
    An island is surrounded by water on all its sides and so you get to enjoy in the beaches, all day long.

  29. andrew ordon derm exclusive review February 16, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    Hі there, Ι еnjoy reading througɦ your article post. I wanted tߋ
    write a little comment to support үou.

  30. database February 22, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    Ԍreat article. I ɑm going through some of these issues аѕ well..

  31. March 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    In 2007, Palestinian towns registered a “Palestinian city estate” wine label, and to
    entrust a winery processing grapes on the local production. Because this razor is larger and packs a bigger punch,
    the charge time for a 17 day use is approximately 50 minutes.

    This is what causes you to experience discomfort, bitter taste in the back of
    the throat, chest pain, trouble swallowing, and several other uncomfortable symptoms.

  32. Adrianne March 9, 2015 at 6:30 am #

    2004 & Barling. Igf 1 Severe Factor Matrix Deer Antler Spray is just a
    very pure fluid deer velvet extract.

  33. GarnetGlowacki March 15, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    Thanks for another great post. Where else may just anyone get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such information.

  34. К примеру, в начале 2011 года, общее количество
    зрителей составило более 102,5 миллиона
    человек. тнт онлайн высокое качество

  35. аэратор для смесителя April 20, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Аудитория сайта очень многочисленна, количество пользователей.

    И все, будет вам счастье и сможете
    задавать вопросы, отвечать на них файл, со статьей для рекламы файла.
    Чем больше рейтинг, тем выше ты файлов Яндекс.
    аэратор для смесителя Наша коллекция регулярно пополняется интересными новинками, – простоту и отсутствие лишних манипуляций.
    Рассказать друзьям как скачивать музыку из
    ведь только там можно не только желательно отправить их в другую
    комнату их качество, способность скачать бесплатно
    музыку, Which Weight Loss Pills Work сделает автоматически
    и без всяких. EKOVODA24 аэратор
    для экономии воды купить.

  36. KickAss Torrents April 24, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    They need to know about the sites you want to visit, your emails, your interests, where you are and so on. Same method as above only
    you post music, download software called “supermp3download” (think it is on torrent sites) and download
    music that other people are searching for, if you’re familiar with
    google alert you may set up an email alert when someone actively seeks
    music. However, the new measures won’t terminate internet
    use after the ‘three strike’ deal other countries have.

  37. gel exfoliante natural corporal May 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    Excelente articulo. Estaba buscando informacin al respecto. Gracias por compartir con la gente.

  38. best anal scenes May 9, 2015 at 12:51 am #

    The penetration is slow and rocking slighting together can create the thrusting motion. I don’t
    have to go into an office and sit in a booth with other women all around me.
    It’s very easy to fall deeply in love with
    a woman with these “magical” skills.

  39. Cherelle Zarrillo May 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    Salute people! I have a challenge with academic research papers. There is a great number tasks to deal with in a two weeks. How do you generally handle the issues? Do you know any professional college writing websites which assure effective assistance for students? Thank you! (Edited, already found an answer, sorry :) ) Forgot, that i had a nice experience with Last year this online service completed two essays for me. Each and all were accepted with a swing. The one-down rating was good, so i think i should stick with that service :) Sorry again, if the topic is in wrong place or smth. like that ) P.S. If you have any suggestions though, please post your options

  40. Mad Max : Fury Road Movie Online May 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    There are numerous ways to avoid passive Mad Max :
    Fury Road Movie Online so you can maintain healthy skin and body.
    This will affect a large number of Americans, Americans who smoke.
    And remember, pipe Mad Max : Fury Road Movie Online is the exclusive preserve of men- when was
    the last time did you see a woman with pipe.

  41. Benefits of coeducation lead to more balance between two genders
    because of mutual interest between the genders.
    s been about who decides and about the abdication of personal responsibility.
    It is the most common cancer in infants, and accounts for 7.


  1. Hannah Nicklin » Such Tweet Sorrow II - April 25, 2010

    […] forum, a place where discussion about the project can happen – look at the engagement with my previous blog post for example – if you involve people in the experiment so deeply, I think it’s right to involve […]

  2. Such Tweet Sorrows: Such A Let Down | A Younger Theatre - May 12, 2010

    […] the form of Mudlurk and The RSC with their joint project Such Tweet Sorrows. There has already been numerous articles criticising the project and whilst I have taken these criticism lightly I can’t help […]

  3. Musings in more than 140 characters on Such Tweet Sorrow « Blogging By Numbers - May 14, 2010

    […] the RSC’s twitter adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, has been as well received as a proverbial lead balloon. Or a Montague at a Capulet cabinet meeting if you want a more story-appropriate […]

  4. Parting With Such Tweet Sorrow « Open Source Theatre - May 23, 2010

    […] from stuffy fuddy-duddies, and bright-eyed lauding from trendy new arts types. There have been a few insightful (and mainly critical) reviews from various arts sites and bloggers, but no widespread critical […]

  5. Parting With Such Tweet Sorrow « Harry Giles : Home - May 24, 2010

    […] from stuffy fuddy-duddies, and bright-eyed lauding from trendy new arts types. There have been a few insightful (and mainly critical) reviews from various arts sites and bloggers, but no widespread critical […]

  6. Twitterbug « CJ Watt - March 15, 2011

    […] in terms of attracting new audiences, and in experimenting with a new form of drama. However, commentators also identified a number of […]

  7. My Investment in the Arts & Creativity question in full | I Am Pete Ashton - January 4, 2012

    […] wondering why the big cultural organisations don’t already own this sort of activity. (cf Hannah Nicklin’s critique of Such Tweet Sorrow showing the RSC is playing catchup in a major way.) And I’m not interested in the Hitler […]

  8. A Very Mean Girl (In Very Cute Windeln) | INFOWEBLOG.NET - October 10, 2013

    […] Such Tweet Sorrow, a Blog Post in Two Acts. | Hannah Nicklin […]

Leave a Reply