Brenda Garrick, author of Jamekespeare, writes about Shakespeare's influence on her work

Like Shakespeare, I’m a Taurean so I feel we would be kindred spirits if we were peers; I can but dream!!! I love to write; I love language; its power and beauty.  Shakespeare is a wordsmith that needs no introduction. He created worlds, characters and new words like, ‘unrivalled’, ‘zany’ by the slight of his quill. And more than 400 years later, his work, legacy and reputation still resonate – what’s not to like about this incredible human being. Shakespeare is relevant and universal.  His work has been translated the world over.  

I wrote Jamakespeare because I wanted to marry my love for Jamaican patties and my love of Mr Shakespeare!  I had the idea that a group of actors could perform it in their comedy sketch show. My vision was to hoodwink the audience into believing that the following sketch was to be a serious piece of drama with the beginnings of a Shakespearean monologue only to then morph into my monologue. I used the themes found in Shakespeare’s plays or the first line as a springboard for my collection. The modern themes ventured in my work are pertinent but not exclusive to the Caribbean/Black British experience. There is a playfulness and rhythm found within Patois and Shakespeare’s language so they are a marriage made in heaven, methinks! 

I urge ‘unnu’ to be ‘bold and resolute’ and open-minded…I disliked studying Shakespeare in school and found it dull, dreary and cheerless. I couldn’t make head nor tail of it!  (To quote my parents). And yet the Bard has indirectly been the instigator in my first anthology of poems being published!  My love affair with this man is yet to be diminished!

Article by Brenda Garrick