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(A note from Ernestine! Today I saw a phenomenal performance of Macbeth, starring Christopher Eccleston, who is just made for the role and Niamh Cusack who gave a fantastic Lady Macbeth, at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford Upon Avon. I am lucky enough to live only about half an hour’s drive away. Anyway I have wondered since coming home how the rough and ready ‘Aunty Raine’ would respond to a Shakespeare fan. I hope you enjoy it!)

Dear Aunty Raine,

I am 35-year-old woman and have always had a very ‘run of the mill’ life. I left school with no qualifications and have worked in the same supermarket for fifteen years. My life was very boring.

Anyway, I bought some raffle tickets from a work colleague, she was selling them in aid of destitute jacuzzi salesmen, who I believe have been hit very hard in the recent difficult economic climate.  I forgot all about them, but a week later I received a phone call from the charity. They told me I had won the first prize of 2 tickets to see King Lear at the Desmond Shunt Memorial theatre, here in Leeds.

I was absolutely blown away by the play; I felt that I had truly come alive for the first time that night. Bill Knackery’s performance of King Lear touched me in a way that nothing ever has before. And I’ve had 24 boyfriends.

The phase I went through with seeing male strip shows about ten years ago simply paled into insignificance next to what I experienced that night.

Since then I have read every Shakespeare play and have become so enamoured of the  Bard of Avon that I speak in lines from his works whenever I can. I’ll give you some of the instances here, and how people have reacted to them.

A customer asked me at work if I could recommend a wine for her from the drinks aisle. I replied ‘Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used!’ (Henry V, act 3) And then pointed her towards a particularly fine Icelandic Burgundy which was on offer for £1.99

My cousin’s husband passed away,  after a long battle with expecting England to win the world cup every 4 years and a disease. I said to her, when she called me with the news; ‘Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe!’ (Richard II) Cousin: ‘Yes, I’m sure it does. The funeral’s next Wednesday. Can you get me 200 sausage rolls with your staff discount?”

When a customer’s toddler was having a tantrum in the meat aisle of the supermarket while I was at work, I said ‘Though she be but little, she is fierce!’ (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) . Customer: ‘Have you got a plaster? The little sod’s just bitten the end of my finger off’

A work colleague, while we were in the staff canteen, showed me a picture of Boris Johnson in his newspaper. I said ‘What’s here? The portrait of a blinking idiot’ (Merchant of Venice) Colleague: ‘Yes, he’s a right twat isn’t he?’

When my mother handed me the knife to cut my birthday cake: ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?’ (Macbeth) Mother: ‘No, it’s my bread-knife’

To my manager, after I had caught the bus to work: ‘The wheel is come full circle: I am here’ (King Lear) Manager: ‘Good. There’s a spillage in aisle 5’

To the woman sat next to me, when the bus broke down on my way back home from work: ‘A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! Woman: ‘You’ll probably find they’ll send a mechanic out from the garage’

Well, here’s my problem, I am slightly worried that I am falling into an addiction with it all. Just yesterday I used the word ‘forsooth’ approximately 200 times. I have previously had an addiction problem, there was that terrible summer when I ate so many  grapes that my urine turned purple, and as much as I am enjoying bringing Shakespeare’s words into a prominent role, forsooth, I don’t want to find it all turns into a compulsion. Should I try to leave the  quotes alone for a day or two or do you think, forsooth, that all the forsoothing, may be a passing phase? Forsooth.

Yours, with a quote quote here and a quote quote there, here a quote, there a quote, everywhere a quote quote, Louise, Leeds

Aunty Raine says:

Dear quote quote,

I’ve got to be honest, I couldn’t understand a fucking word of what you were saying when you went all shake speer.

I’d just knock it on the head if I were you. There’s nothing wrong with English when it is spoke proper like what I speak it.

Hope that helps! Aunty Raine

Remember! Forsooth, them shelves want stacking!







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