My friend Stuart and I first saw the Reduced Shakespeare Company live about 16 years ago. They were touring The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) to the theatre we worked at and we loved it. We even spent an interminable coach journey to Prague listening to the cassette version of the Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show getting slower and slower as the batteries on Stuart’s walkman wore down to nothing. I’ve seen the company perform a few times since then but never with two of the longest serving members, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, in the cast. When I heard that Reed, Austin and Matt Rippy were coming to the UK this summer with their new show, The Complete World of Sports (abridged), I booked straight-away. Through a series of happy happen-stances, Stuart was over from New York and came along with me.
The show is full of action and you really, really don’t need to know much about sport to enjoy it. I know nearly nothing about sport and loved it. Stuart knows a lot more about sport (he spent the interval trying to explain the principles of baseball to me) and seemed to enjoy it a lot too. It’s an intense, physical show and is choreographed meticulously, rather like the Shakespeare show we saw all those years ago. If you like innuendo, puns and silly costumes, this show has it all. I even got picked by Reed to go on stage and participate in the show. It was brilliant getting to watch the cast so close up and although I was a bit nervous it didn’t feel strange, perhaps because I was so familiar with their voices already. Everyone looked after the volunteers from the crowd really well, both the cast and crew.
I was really pleased to have finally got to see Reed and Austin perform in a show after all these years. And as for Matt Rippy, well, any man who has snogged John Barrowman and lived to tell the tale is worth watching.
The RSC are performing at the Arts Theatre in London for another five weeks. If you can get along to see the show, then do!Pin It