Happiest of Saturdays, Nerd Cactus followers! This Shakespearean break from Pokemon Go is brought to you by none other than Gandalf. Yes, Ian McKellen recently launched an iPad app called Heuristic Shakespeare and it is a brilliant step in creating further accessibility for the Bard.
Lemme ‘splain… The app is the first of many, focusing specifically on The Tempest. There are plans to create a series for each of Shakespeare’s plays and the undertaking could prove to help make Shakespeare more easily understood in the context of education. In the article linked below Richard Loncraine explains that the element of eye contact increases comprehension. This is why The Tempest of Heuristic Shakespeare is performed by actors looking directly into the camera, right at you.
The actors perform the text in extreme minimalist style (there are no props or costumes) because the app is intended to be a learning tool and study guide. As the actors speak the words the text goes by on the bottom half of the screen and “notes” allow you to delve further into the text . The “notes” include anything from simple clarifications to essays and commentary on historical context of the play.
The app’s approach to the Bard aims to create clarity and accessibility so, of course, I love it. Because Shakespeare is for everyone.
Thanks for stopping in! See you tomorrow for the silliness.