Three men play many parts

The Reduced Shakespeare Company at the Berry Theatre, Hedge End It was a great pleasure to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company again last week. They are currently touring the UK with their show “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) (revised)” before they take up residence at the Leicester Square Theatre over the summer. This was the third time I’ve seen the Shakespeare show, albeit the first time in the “(revised)” form.

I’ve seen some of their other shows (I wrote about seeing the Complete World of Sports last summer) but have always had a soft spot for the Shakespeare show: It’s funny, but in an incredibly endearing way. The central concept is simple: Three people (Americans! Shock, horror) try to perform all of Shakespeare’s plays in an hour and a half, without realising how impossible their task is.

You don’t have to be familiar with Shakespeare to enjoy the show, although a little GCSE-level knowledge of a play or two helps. For the most part the updates in this revised version are subtle, work well and make sure that the show appeals to everyone.

I was lucky enough to get plucked from the audience by Matt Pearson (right) to run around on stage like an idiot. This means I can chalk up playing Ophelia’s ego alongside a pig and a urine tester in other RSC productions. As I got onto stage Matt Rippy (second from right) managed to work into the melee of dialogue that was flying around that he recognised me from Twitter!

I chatted to the guys briefly afterwards, and got to recommend a local curry house to Gary Fannin (left). One of the great things about RSC shows is that they differ depending on who is performing in them. This cast are great guys and work really well together, so get along to see them.

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