Everytime I work with the words of Shakespeare I am astounded about how often you find bits of Shakespeare in everyday life. Whether these idioms were coined by Shakespeare or simply written down by him, his influence is astounding. Ever waited with ‘bated breath’? Ever said ‘for goodness sake’? Ever thought that it was a ‘foregone conclusion’ that something would not ‘budge an inch’? Ever bid’ good riddance’ to something or dealt with things in ‘one fell swoop’? There seems no end to these expressions and I guess that is why I am still coming across new ones. This time round while working through the script of “Shakespeare’ Lost Pantomime” (one of his finest works…) I was delighted to discover that “What the Dickens” has nothing to do with Charles Dickens and is a quote from Merry Wives of windsor.
I think that my favourite realisation was while trying to write some jokes for the show. What would be the perfect joke for a pantomime and include a quote from Shakespeare? That’s right, “Knock Knock, who’s there?” is a quote from shakespeare. I was very pleased when i realised that. Now if you want to know what awful punchline I attached to the quote, then you will just have to come and see the show.