WILLIAM BLAKE GOES TO THE CIRCUS
a surreal Twitter play based in an 18th Century circus
This is a surreal play about Romantic writer and visionary William Blake. An assortment of 18th Century and fictionalised, surreal characters interact in an old circus together (which is a not so subtle metaphor for social media). The play is written on and uses the limitations of Twitter/X. To some extent, it can be read as a playwright's sketch-book, with small scenes, atmospheric vignettes, and 'doodles' written over an indefinite period of time.
The page can be accessed here or by using the Twitter/X handle: @TheBlakeCircus.
Aside from the character limits, there are no strict narrative rules being explored. It is simply a space to practice dramatic writing. As such, many of the tweets are nonsense poetry. This is partly in contrast and in reference to the absurdities of Twitter/X as a space of public dialogue and discourse.
Twitter/X is a dialogic forum and one of argumentation, subjectivities, conspiracies and criticism. 'William Blake Goes to the Circus' is an attempt at a counter-measure to this - a knowingly post-modern satire of social media that thrusts the platform into the realms of the bizarre and uncanny.
"Sickly. Blake: Ah, tis morning I think. The cat next door irons a shirt furiously. The kittens haven't even got out of bed and it's already 7am. God intervenes and moves the clocks back."
"Wednesday. An old ant walks centre-stage, diligently followed by its colony. Ant: It is time for you to start your own twitter pages my loyal followers. The colony have no idea what to do so they abandon the cave of social media entirely and go out and bask in the sun."
"The frog is lobbied by a major media corporation. An investigative toad looks into the frog's accounts. It is revealed that the frog paid no taxes on its third lily pad."
"Sasquatch reads the Daily Mail. "Big Foot sighted in the Lake District" Sasquatch: fake news"
"Blake lets the sleeping Walrus’ snore, whilst seraphim’s canoodle under the sycamore tree. Tinky-Winky wanders aimlessly across the stage looking for a purpose. Pedestrians walk by the teletubby without giving it even a glance. Tinky-Winky: have you got a light?"