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Croquet with Shakespeare's voice-over

by John Prince
posted January 7, 2010

Prince's Portraits of the Stars
"My Life in Croquet," the three-part John Prince memoir
Paintings and other art by John Prince
Classic croquet caricatures by Horace Francis Crowther-Smith

If all the world's a stage, where can you go to get your act together? Croquet, perhaps. The game has plenty of invented significances and lots of in-the-moment passion as shown in this series, but few of the harshest consequences. Of these 16 whimsical croquet pictures, 14 are captioned by Shakespearean quotes suitably tweaked in croquet terminology. Prince credits Andrew Winn with brilliantly penning several of the more intricate tweaks. The other two will be well known to BBC fans: "No, but yeah..." is from "Little Britain"; and "What's all this shouting..." is inspired by John's favorite comedy series, "The League of Gentlemen".

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O Roquet, Roquet, wherefore art thou, Roquet?

I dote on his very absence.

Doubles, doubles, toil and troubles....

No but Yeah but no but yeah 'cause she said I was double tapping and I wasn't ....

2B or not 2B?!

A roquet! a roquet! My kingdom for a roquet!

That it should come to this....

Is this a Pidcock which I see before me, the handle towards my hand...?

But soft ground, what light through yonder four-ball breaks? It is the east boundary, and Juliet is yellow.

But, for my part, it was GREEK to me.

I bear a charmed life.

Out, damned Spot! Out, I say!

"Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness and some HAVE FAR TOO MANY BISQUES" - from Twelfth Hoop.

The course of true strokes never did run smooth.

What's all this shouting about! We'll have no trouble here! This is a local club for local players, there's nothing for you here!

When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hoop running is done, when the battle's lost and won...

Each original colored pencil picture is slightly larger than A3 size (A3 = 297 x 420mm or 12" x 16.5"), on 300gsm acid free drawing paper. The captions are included on the work. Please do not reproduce or copy the images. Each picture is available for purchase at either AUD250, GBP135, NZD300 or USD220, including airport postage for the mailing tube. John Prince can be contacted at or through his website at

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