Fringe 2015 – Shotspeare Presents Romeo and Juliet – The Garden of Unearthly Delights – Umbrella Revolution – 4K

By Tom Eckert

Shotspeare is what you get when fraternity initiation and classical theatre have a love child. If that sounds like something you would enjoy, then this show is for you.

Nearer to a drinking game than a traditional play, as you are ushered in you are reminded there is in fact a bar next door and that you may want “a couple for the show.” This is all in the spirit of the experience and it is notably more enjoyable when you are drinking along with the cast.

As you are seated, the premise is explained just so that you are under no delusions concerning what you have gotten yourself into. Whilst downing a few warm up beers the cast stalk through the audience to find an individual to complete their sextet.

Despite the undergrad-esque premise, the cast are a group of very capable actors. Pacing and delivery were strong with a very accessible interpretation of the original text. This was occasionally complicated by some overly exuberant abuse of the microphones obscuring some of the dialogue; but I suppose that is inevitable when downing a shot of vodka every ten minutes and besides, you already know the story.

The show keeps the game entertaining with a number of random elements including a wheel of fortune and punishments for adulterated lines. Contributing to this is a healthy dose of audience involvement (I spent a good few minutes lobbing balled socks at a Paris mid soliloquy), brilliant comic timing and solid sight gags.

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect is that this format imbued an energy and life into the portrayal of some of the characters that you often will not find in traditional productions; which has the delightful effect of returning the play to its original purpose, common entertainment.

For a fun night out with a few friends, a few drinks and a few laughs, Shotspeare is the way to go.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K



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