William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls

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Ian Doescher made a splash with his Shakespearean reinterpretations of the Star Wars saga, but as each new volume appeared on bookshelves, I couldn’t help but wonder where his eye would roam next once the SW series had concluded. Well, I have my answer, and if this first entry in the wider Pop Shakespeare universe is anything to go by, Doescher will be on bookshelves and in homes for many more years to come.

Mean Girls was a brilliant choice for the next source material, given how the plot and characters lend themselves to Shakespeareanizing. The scheming, the lies, the betrayals, the misgivings, and all of the interwoven personal relationships form a sandbox Shakespeare would find very familiar, and Much Ado About Mean Girls streamlines the numerous quick-cut scenes of the film into an easily digestible (and easily staged!) five-act play.

Doescher clearly had a field day with the already wordy and playful dialogue for the film and managed to translate an impressive amount of the film’s signature lines into Shakespearean verse. Honestly, I wish I had a text like this in school as a bridge into Shakespeare, because it combines his style and mannerisms in a clever, familiar, accessible way.

My only knock on the book is the art. By no means is it poorly drawn or executed, but it doesn’t really evoke the same “for the stage” aesthetic as Doescher’s previous efforts, and it feels like a missed opportunity.

Much Ado About Mean Girls/ is wordplay dynamite.

Reviewed By:

Author Ian Doescher, illus. by Kent Barton
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 176 pages
Publisher Quirk Books
Publish Date 2019-04-23
ISBN 9781683691174
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2019
Category Humor-Fiction


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