TO TRIVIA or not to trivia. That is the question now facing Shakespeare lovers.
A Shakespeare edition of Trivial Pursuit has been devised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) in partnership with games company Winning Moves.
There are 600 questions across six categories – Comedies, Histories, Tragedies, Characters, Biography and Legacy. Each one has been selected by Shakespeare scholars Dr Nick Walton and Dr Anjna Chouhan from SBTs education team, and verified by the charity’s honorary president and world-renown expert on all things Shakespeare – Professor Sir Stanley Wells.
The bitesize version of the game will be sold exclusively in SBT’s shops and on its website, priced £12.99, with every purchase supporting the care and conservation of the five Shakespeare family homes in and around Stratford, the charity’s internationally-recognised collections, and learning programmes.
As well as questions about the bard’s life and works, there are others that link him to popular culture such as the Harry Potter film series, TV shows Dr Who and Upstart Crow, as well as actors Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Keanu Reeves, and his lesser known influence on the like of Elvis Presley and even Popeye.
Dr Walton said: “There are all sorts of paths to Shakespeare, that’s what we love about him, and he has been the missing link in the Trivial Pursuit suite.
“We wanted the questions to be testing but not too obtuse, because we want more than just those with a deep knowledge of Shakespeare to enjoy playing the game with their family and friends. The key to that is to approach Shakespeare in many different ways in order to reach that broad audience.”
Dr Chouhan added: “Most people will know something about Shakespeare, whether it’s his works or life and history, but everyone’s knowledge is so different, which is why writing 600 questions for a broad audience was quite challenging and, hopefully, really rewarding for players to answer.”