Shakespeare meets 'The Archers'
The 'Archers' editor, Sean O'Connor, says Shakespeare's plays are the template for his scripts. Nicholas Lezard imagines how the bard's Ambridge might sound
The Tragedie of Tomlet, Prince of Borsetshire
The Bull, Ambridge. Professor Jim Lloyd is discovered, doing the crossword. Kenton Archer polisheth the glasses behind the bar. Enter Jazzer
Jazzer Ho there! What news? And mine's a pint, I thank ye, good sirrah.
Prof Thou hast not heard? The Prince, young Tom hath his nuptials callèd off, and our Lady Kirsty doth the world forsake, and in Costa Rica doth her garments rend.
Jazzer God's wounds! The whoreson. When she returns, her hat will surely be with his knackers bedeck'd. Wherefore did he this?
Prof None know. Perchance the lady Brenda still his heart bestir; or maybe 'tis a ratings-gaining exercise.
Jazzer A what?
Prof Ne'er mind. But hark, here comes the Duke, Tom's father, Tony. Be gentle with him, Jazzer, for this news hath made him bitter sore, and now he speaketh with a moan and whine, as if each day were torment to his soul.
Jazzer But he talketh ay like that in every scene.
Tony Ah me, ah me! Was ever grief like mine? How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child. And to do this after all we've done for him.
Jazzer Too true, my liege, and mine's a pint, I prithee.
Kenton How now, good people. Be of good cheer withal. This remindeth me of a funny tale that once I heard, when...
All Shut up, Kenton.
The battlements of Bridge Farm. Enter Tom Archer, carrying a pig's skull
Tom To wed, or not to wed; that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to "grow the brand" of Bridge Farm sausages, whate'er that meaneth, or keep organic status for the pigs? How can one marry at a time like this? But hark! Who comes?
Ghost I am thy brother's shade, John Archer, who underneath a Massey Ferguson was slain. Avenge my death! For David Archer is the one with hands incarnadine. Hast thou not noticed how everyone around him cometh to a sticky end?
Tom That cannot be!
Ghost I have but two words to say to thee: Nigel Pargetter.
Tom That doesn't scan.
Ghost This bit's in prose.
Tom OK, then. Well, we'll see.
A blasted heath, with pig arks. Three witches (Pat, Susan and Clarrie) stir a cauldron of vile-smelling organic yoghurt.) Enter Jazzer
Witches All hail McJazzer, that art pig man of Ambridge, and shalt be boss hereafter!
Jazzer The boss, youse say? And how will that befall?
Witches Poor Tom's a mess. And frankly, he's a bore.
Jazzer Cheers witches! Mine's a pint. (Peers into cauldron) But not o' that.
Ruth (off): "Oooah nooah!"
All What eldritch shriek is that? It makes our knotted and combinèd locks to part, like quills upon the fretful porcupine. We're off.
Exeunt, pursued by a cow. And so on, for the next 60 years.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Wireless 2015: Nicki Minaj 2 hours late to main stage due to 'travel issues'
Chronixx interview: Reggae sensation on taking the opening spot at Glastonbury and calling Barack Obama a 'waste man'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director Jack Bender hints showrunners 'communicate closely' with George RR Martin
Amy: Mark Ronson praises 'respectful' Amy Winehouse film as it scores the highest ever UK opening for a British documentary
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture