Shakespeare and footy tipping

Yesterday among my September 2012 pics I posted:


Which turned out to be apt, as Monday night on ABC #QandA had a wonderful episode Over 400 Years of Shakespeare. Do go there. See also Germaine Greer tells Q&A Shakespeare’s timeless lesson is to make us think and Q&A: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 127 Was Read In An Indigenous Language and It Was Awesome!



In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name;
But now is black beauty’s successive heir,
And beauty slander’d with a bastard shame:
For since each hand hath put on nature’s power,
Fairing the foul with art’s false borrow’d face,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress’ brows are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Slandering creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
That every tongue says beauty should look so.

It was indeed a remarkable thing.

Actor and director Kylie Farmer translates Shakespeare into Indigenous languages, and on Monday night Q&A was treated to one of those performances.

Farmer performed Sonnet 127 in Noongar, which is the indigenous language of her family in the south-west of Western Australia.

Actor Kate Mulvany performed the translation back into the English language and the performance was as beautiful as the context of the words.

The show ended with actor/director John Bell reading from the little-known play Sir Thomas More. The manuscript is particularly notable for a three-page handwritten revision now widely attributed to William Shakespeare.


The passage Bell read had much relevance to our present day.

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs with their poor luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silenced by your brawl, And you in rough of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.

I see that Sir Ian McKellen quoted the same passage on 15 June in another context.

McKellen walked through the crowd quoting from the speech written by Shakespeare in Sir Thomas More. In the text, Catholic martyr Thomas More is sent by the King to quell a riot in the streets of London, where there are shouts that the “strangers” should be removed. What follows is an emotional speech about the need for greater acceptance in the face of violence and ignorance.

Coincidentally on Sunday I replayed my DVD of Trevor Nunn’s Macbeth from the 1970s TV production. I posted about that in 2007: Ian McKellen and Judi Dench in Macbeth and segue into Mardi Gras.

I’ve mentioned this DVD before and have at last watched it, and it really is a brilliant production. If you click on the picture above you can see an extract in flash video. The director was Trevor Nunn. McKellen and Nunn “met as undergraduates, both reading English at Cambridge, where they acted together in the Marlowe Society’s 1960 production of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus in the open-air theatre in Bankside Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon.”


Ian McKellen as Macbeth in the stage version, taken from the second visit to the Weird Sisters.

Finally, and perhaps a bit of a leap here…. The City Diggers NRL Tipping Competition is over for 2016. See Wild tipping – 2016 version, King of the tipsters, me! and And my footie tipping went south too…  I ended up coming third. I believe there is a prize for that, but am not yet sure what it is.


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  1. Pingback: Go the Sharkies! | Neil's Commonplace Book

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