Colonialism Makes a Bad Joke

Colonialism Makes a Bad Joke

Thoughts on the character of Caliban in The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Globe

  1. @WritersofColour @adamec87 Change of subject but I went to see The Tempest at the Globe last night – didn’t realise what an uncomfortable >
  2. @WritersofColour @adamec87 >character Caliban is, the colonised and enslaved son of a witch.
  3. @WritersofColour @adamec87 Played by a white actor, doing slightly Caribbean accent. Audience howled with laughter, couldn’t join them
  4. @WritersofColour @adamec87 Looked round to see black people sitting (I was a groundling) stony faced. Shakespeare always thought provoking
  5. @RoseAnnaStar @WritersofColour oh god. Well I guess since we put a stop to blackface, this was the next best thing
  6. @RoseAnnaStar @WritersofColour @adamec87 Caribbean accent? I’ve seen it four or five times and James Garnon certainly isn’t doing that.
  7. @PoshTater @WritersofColour @adamec87 Maybe I’m hearing wrong = ) The implication is pretty clear
  8. @RoseAnnaStar @WritersofColour @adamec87 Although I agree that he is a very difficult character. Ariel is also enslaved.
  9. @PoshTater @WritersofColour @adamec87 Ariel has no human analog though – relates to fantasy story about magicians & djinn – Arabic origin
  10. @PoshTater @WritersofColour @adamec87 Not laying into Shakespeare. Don’t want to be comfortable about colonialism. Or generally in theatre
  11. @RoseAnnaStar @WritersofColour @adamec87 I think James plays it as a half human who only learned to speak late in life, taught by a child.
  12. @RoseAnnaStar @WritersofColour @adamec87 Oh you can. He’s terrible and also sometimes great about women, Jews, people of faith/colour…
  13. @PoshTater @WritersofColour @adamec87 That’s part of why it’s always so fruitful to engage w Shakespeare, that people accepted these ideas
  14. @RoseAnnaStar Yes! Thank you, I felt uncomfortable at the Caribbean accent and looked at the rest of the audience to see if i was alone
  15. @OrchidBeam You were not, and I didn’t see any PoC laughing.
  16. @OrchidBeam Like I said to @WritersofColour I think it’s GOOD to be made uncomfortable, but… did @The_Globe do enough to do that?
  17. @RoseAnnaStar @WritersofColour @The_Globe The woman and her child next to me didn’t look uncomfortable, they were laughing hysterically
  18. @OrchidBeam @WritersofColour @The_Globe yeah agreed, playing it for laughs is… Really problematic today…

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