Tag Archives: Such Tweet Sorrow

Such Tweet Sorrow II

Flickr Photo Download: Executioner Blues | Outtakes.365

Image shared on Flickr via a creative commons license by Stephan Geyer.

This may start off sounding like criticism, but it isn’t, more like a lack of an applicable critical language.

At the point I started writing this blog post, in my eyes #suchtweet had lost a lot of its artistic and realistic credibility – the characters were tweeting at a party, about secret things, to each other, about each other, knowing that everyone can see them. There was earlier, hideous, product placement (more later), and the language had turned from the irritatingly truncated to an odd kind of a poesy, apart from Juliet, who got even more screechy

It was really unrealistic.

(24) Twitter / @hannahnicklin/Such_tweet

But so’s Hollyoaks, lots of people watch that.

There’s a danger my criticism becomes irrelevant, and that’s the point at which it’s not about language skill, understanding of the form, theatre or performance. It’s just a story everyone knows, threading into people’s lives.

Such Tweet Sorrow is no longer about the quality or nature of storytelling (art), this is about the power of familiar stories and love.

People love, love. They love the idea that they might give up so much for something so beautiful. They love the idea of love at first sight, and that someone as simple, or normal as they might be fated for someone. And they love to see this in a place they visit, an intimate and constructed space that they go to each day – it’s more inside them (I believe that as we reconstruct ourselves in these online spaces we build others into us), their lives, than film or theatre ever is.

We go through our lives feeling not enough, half of what we should be, the stories shilled by marketing, capitalism and the gaps left by the loss of what the post-modernists termed grand narratives (religion, class, the state) make sure of that. To want to believe in completion is understandable.

Maybe that’s what Romeo and Juliet should be about.

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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:

System

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.

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