Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Comedy: The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)

By Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield
Featuring Damon Lockwood, Sam Longley and Sean Walsh
Subiaco Arts Centre
10 – 18 June, 2011

Walsh, Longley and Lockwood
This sharp, bubbly parody of the Shakespeare canon has been doing the rounds now for nigh on a quarter of a century, getting a run whenever three suitably quick witted and sure-footed performers – generally with a strong background in improv – pop up in the same place and time.
It was probably inevitable that Damon Lockwood and Sam Longley would give it a whirl along the way, and now, in company with Sean Walsh, that time has come.
I’ve reviewed a few of Lockwood and Longley’s performances over the past six months or so, and I hope I’ve given them their just desserts; they’re both terrifically confident, self-possessed performers and a mightily funny double act. Shakespeare Abridged is a perfect vehicle for their talents, and Sean Walsh is a splendid foil for their antics.
As always with this show, the core script – the Romeo and Juliet skit, Titus Andronicus as a cooking show, the Othello Rap – is spiced with lots of by-play, local and topical references and a dash of improvisation. The adapted material is well pitched, in particular the history-plays-as-a-game-of-footy which had the great advantage – not always the case – of being performed by guys who know their Aussie Rules as well as their comedy.
Things built up in great good humour to the chaotic end of Act One, with the cast at comic loggerheads and all but one play covered.
And here I have to make my confession: that’s when I left. No disrespect to the players or their show; they and it had been terrific, and I know the fun and games will have continued unabated in the second half, but after four shows in three nights leading up to Saturday night (and the emotional roller-coaster of Freo v Essendon looming the next day), it was time for me to put the cue in the rack.
If anyone would like to finish the review for me, go right ahead. Just have your say in the comments box below! Alternatively, you can link here to Robin Pascoe's diligent review of the whole show in The West Australian.

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