"A superb idea, in which I happily lost myself online for some time. Very clever and entertaining." — Author Philip Hensher
"This was great fun. It's a giant spoof, of course, but it's more than that — what interested me most is that Hannah's created a many-headed comedy creature that is alive and kicking." — Author Sam North
King Lear Facebook Play is a 2010 retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear in Facebook.
To create the experimental interactive fiction, Facebook profiles were drawn up for each of the characters using the familiar social media conventions — personal information, favourite quotations, relationship status — and these profiles interacted with each other according to the traditional plot lines of the Shakespeare play but in the modern language of Facebook: status updates, videos, links, wall posts, comments and more. The modernisation of the scenes of the play turned a tragedy into a comedy.
A reader’s experience of the text was interactive as they logged into Facebook as 14 different characters and explored the profiles of each to uncover the story.
By bringing the two mediums together — an Elizabethan theatre play and a contemporary communications phenomenon — the retelling explored how Shakespeare constructed his tale and prompted questions about what we are prepared to say and do on Facebook.
Unfortunately, you can’t read it anymore because content was wiped by Facebook updates. It was created before Facebook introduced fictional character profiles.
Below is an essay I wrote on the project which acts as a case study of its creation and execution.