Saturday, September 29, 2007

Take the green line to Shylock

February before last, a wily netizen going by the nom de net Barry Heck posted a parody of the iconic London Underground map (designed in 1933 by Harry Beck), replacing each tube stop with its anagram, transforming Old Street into Eldest Rot and Oxford Circus into Crux for Disco.

The new non-map circulated across the Interwebs in a New York minute, leading the tube's owner, Transport for London, to issue take-down notices to any websites hosting this, um, copyright infringing graphic.


"Barry Heck" squeezed the toothpaste out. Now the Royal Shakespeare Company has squeezed off more still from the same tube. As the Guardian blogged yesterday, the RSC has produced its own faux Underground map, with each line representing character types like "Mothers" or "Heroes" or "Fools," and each stop being Shakespearean characters of said type.

Best part are the icons attached to some of the stops. Titus Andronicus, hero of the cannibalistic play of the same name, gets a knife and fork symbol, while Richard III gets a wheelchair. Aaron (the moor from Titus) is on the same villains line as the original Tricky Dick but, gratefully, gets a baby changing station. (Aaron's often found, when not otherwise occupied in moustache-twirling, carting around his baby boy.)

Helena and Bertram (from All's Well That Ends Well) get their own baby changing table on this map too. All's Well's heroine ends the play all knocked up, and the title of the play certainly indicates a happy ending for this married couple. Would that the historical prototypes for Helena and Bertram enjoyed the same.

No comments: