How would you like your Shakespeare, madam?

As you can imagine there’s plenty of Shakespeare at the Fringe, in all manner of states, pruned,  punked, as panto, in the park, on bouncy castles, and occasionally the odd straight down the line, no messing, performance of the bard’s work.

Probably the first company who took pruning the Bard to a new art form were the Reduced Shakespeare Company. I never actually saw that show, but in 1996 I saw them perform The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). I did see them again, no idea which show it was, I just remember a rousing song of “Everybody hates the French” which pops back in my head every year around the time of the Six Nations Rugby. Anyway, I digress…

In any year there’ll be a variety of takes on the likes of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this year take your pick of two Comedy of Errors. One is by a “vibrant young cast (who) bring the story right up to date”, the other is “Shakespeare meets Ska, Two-tone and Rudeboy”, all sorts for everyone. Personally I reckon Mr S would have approved of these adaptations  (so long as he saw some royalties!)

I do like to try to see something of Shakespeare each year, makes me feel cultured, y’know. Besides that endeavour,  since 2002 I’ve had Shakespeare for Breakfast once each Fringe – it starts at 10 o’clock in the morning, that’s ridiculously early when I’m on a day off work. S4B are a great company and though I don’t “recommend” shows generally (more on that later), this is one show that is sooo Fringe, go see!

Well, it’s very late so I’ll say toodle-pip, more on old Shakey next time.


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