Shakespeare in Second Life
Someone is playing Shakespeare in Second Life, and I think you should do like me and go see them. What they’re playing is «The Mousetrap», the so-called play within the play in «Hamlet», and it lasts half an hour.
The SL Shakespeare Company was founded by Ina Centaur last summer. Not only that: She also built a copy of The Globe, the theatre where The Bard staged his plays some 400 years ago. However, the first version of The Globe quickly turned out to be too small, so now they have a huge build where more than 120 persons have been present at the same time. It’s situated on the corners of four sims to avoid lag – the actors are in one, the audience in three others.
So what’s it like? Well, of course it’s primitive; lag is a huge challenge, the sound disappeared for a few minutes in the show that I saw – but it’s also brilliant. The stage is beautiful, the avatars and costumes look lovely, and the voice actors are doing a great job. Most of the time, I had a truly theatrical experience.
It’s also brilliant simply because they are doing it. That someone wants to use SL to stage Shakespeare is exactly what we need now and in the future, if we want our virtual world to become what we hope it will be. Yes, SLSC is a bit primitive, but they are the pioneers, they walk in front, and are the ones that one day will do something very beautiful. In November, the plan is to stage a full version of «Hamlet». Fingers crossed lag is gone from SL until then. (Hm, well, yeah. Right. Lol.)