August 11, 2013

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

When I think of Shakespeare I am often reminded of Black Adder (Rowan Atkinson) punching Colin Firth "for every school boy and school girl for the next 400 years." More English teachers should take their students to plays; traditional, adapted, modern and abridged. Shakespeare wrote 16 comedies but it hasn't felt like we are allowed to poke fun at him, not so anymore. The Triple-A Shortened Shakespeare Society (all named Andrew) and the Heretaunga Players are currently performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).

In 90 minutes Andrews Watson, Elzenaar and Tait manage to cover everything Shakespeare wrote or was reported to write, although several only get a brief mention. The more well known plays Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and, Macbeth receive a more thorough examination.

Oh, but that makes it sounds horribly boring. I don't know how to describe the evenings entertainment without ruining the experience. Three actors portray every part which necessitates a quick change of costume, accent and props. There were a lot of props, so much so that the stage was littered with them at the end of the performance. Many devices are used including music (but not as you'd expect), sport (but not as you'd expect), conflict and, good old fashioned storytelling. The script has been adapted to the purpose making it feel as if the Andrews are just talking to the audience (like a trio of crazed uncles).

I think it's worth the drive to Upper Hutt which isn't really that far on the Motorway or, if you're vehicularly challenged, there's a train station at the end of the street (Wallaceville, not Heretaunga, which is weird).

Performances: 4pm: Sat 10-11th, 17th August
8pm: 8-10th, 14-17th August
Tickets: $20
Bookings: Expressions i-Site, 527 2168
Venue: The Studio, Ward Street Upper Hutt

Find out more about the Heretaunga Players on their website and Facebook group

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