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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June 2005, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Shakespeare joins forces with Viz
The Fat Slags
The Fat Slags could have been lower order Shakespeare characters
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and adult humour comic Viz have joined to bring some of the Bard's bawdy characters to life in an exhibition.

Viz, famed for The Fat Slags and other raucous creations, have provided the drawings for some of Shakespeare's less refined comic creations.

The RSC has called the collaboration a "broadening" of their comedy season, which begins in September.

Viz cartoonists have also caricatured some of the backstage staff at the RSC.

Bawdy lines

"Shakespeare's lower order characters are similar to some of those in Viz," said a spokeswoman for the RSC.

"They were perhaps the Viz caricatures of their day," she added.

The Elizabethan writer's comic plays, including As You Like It and Love's Labour's Lost are peppered with low-brow characters.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare put low-brow characters in his plays

They were given their fair share of bawdy lines and sexual innuendo by the Bard.

Viz co-editor Simon Thorp told The Observer newspaper: "We don't know anything about Shakespeare - my colleague Graham Dury is a botanist and I studied physics.

"But some of Shakespeare's jokes are a bit dated and people say Viz's are as well, so it seemed like a good match," he added.

The RSC's season of Shakespeare comedies will run at their theatre in Stratford-upon Avon until October ahead of a 16-week run in London.

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