The Impact of Brexit on the Sevenoaks Shakespeare Society is, I fear, as clouded as the impact on the nation, and has riven our ranks in twain as Committee remoaners chaff at what they see as exile from our traditional millieux, and the more intrepid members of your leadership cadre pine to explore the potential for new theatrical alliances and opportunities on a more expansionist basis.
What we know:
If it is a ‘hard’ brexit then there will be an immediate financial impediment to setting plays in Europe. A new EU office for Creative Licencing will immediately apply swingeing licence fees where plucky little drama groups across our nation seek to render European locales in dubious paintwork, wobbly canvas, or even through the god-given medium of dramatic dialogue. Thus, even setting ‘Shrew’ in a martian outpost colonised by robots (one of Julian’s more Starwars-fuelled fantasies) would incur per-performance fees for the mention of:
Padua (6) Eur18
Venice (4) Eur 2
Verona (2) Eur 2
These fees, as iniquitous and rapacious as they are punitive, simply cannot be sustained, and we have therefore reached the melacholy conclusion that we must follow other in a ‘clean break’ with our neighbours across the channel.
But lest we be downhearted, consider with a brightening smile that, for the first time, our fair English cities will have the chance to host the immortal stories of he bard. We have the chance to marry English dramatic genius with English brickwork, plaster and slate and doubly enrich our beholders!
The opportunities abound. Two Gentlement of Swanley was under consideration by John, but abandoned for lack of, ah, gentlemen, in favour of Two Gentlemen of Vigo Village.
The Merchant of Vilnius allows us access to a place outside Europe’s reach while retaining that Italian sense of deviation from the perpendicular.
Pericles, Prince of Tyne and Wear cannot be surpassed as avenue for incest and famine, and promises a degree of gritty realism to replace the sun, sand and frolics of the original.
Would they rob us? Why, then we’ll smile, for “The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief;”……… and the smiles of your committee are awful to behold!