Lucio costume design by
Rebecca Washington-Hughes

The Script

Click here to download the latest draft of our adaptation of Measure for Measure

We’d love your feedback! Editing the screenplay down to a filmable length was an incredibly tricky process. Uncut, the play runs around two and half hours, so the primary aim was to get it down to under two hours and still keep the story intact.

Despite the apparent verbosity of some of the characters, particularly the Duke and Lucio, much of the dialogue has a very natural and easy flow, and keeps the story moving along at quite a pace, which just goes to show the pure genius of Shakespeare.

Let us know what you think – have we cut out too much or too little? Are all the important bits there? Does shifting it to its new setting work for you?

Post your comments below:

Nick Simons says:
October 14, 2013 Reply

I’ve not read the full script yet, however, from what I’ve read I believe it has great potential, I sense great respect for Shakespeare
and the story is powerful enough & human enough to transfer to any local or time. Good wishes for your project. Nick Simons

Vince Mack says:
April 30, 2014 Reply

Hope all is well.
Looking through the script I have two initial reactions.
Firstly, as with most Shakespeare plays it’s very wordy. It needs tightening up!
Secondly, sticking too closely to actual Shakespearean prose takes away a lot of the originality of this promising project, there’s a real danger of the YAWN factor!
The prose needs bringing up to date, futuristic settings and olde worlde speak don’t really mesh very well.
Just a coupe of observations that may make it more appealing to a wider market.
Anyway the best of luck with it.

Andy Coughlan says:
April 30, 2014 Reply

Hi Vince,

Thanks for taking the time to check the script out and feedback your comments, I really appreciate it.

I have taken an awful lot out of the dialogue, but the big problem I found is that, whilst on the surface it might appear waffle, it’s actually quite economic and moves the story forward at quite a pace. To remove too much would run the risk of making it even more incomprehensible that it already is in places. There are definitely bits I can trim down more, but decided that it’s probably best to save that for the editing room and make sure that the actors are carrying enough of the meaning to trim it.

The reason I haven’t modernised the language is that Shakespeare’s words are all we have. Measure for Measure isn’t original to Shakespeare, being based on an older story that he adapted and put a bit of an original twist on. So, for me, it’s about opening up the beauty and poetry of one of Shakespeare’s most underrated plays to a wider audience, hence the Sci-Fi setting – which ultimately is just a conceit to set the story up in a non-period kind of way, and play more into my personal interests.

Having said that, I might just do a modern day language version to see how it turns out. Would be an interesting exercise šŸ™‚

Andy Coughlan says:
April 30, 2014 Reply

Hmm, on second thoughts… I think I’ll leave well alone. My attempts to modernise the first scene were OK-ish, but it felt like I was taking gold and turning it into plasticine – you know the manky brown version when all the colours have been mixed together? Some of the later, non-iambic stuff might work better, but the poetry just lost its flow.

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