Devised by Christopher Luscombe & Malcolm McKee
If you’ve been living in a cupboard in Iceland you may not have realised its Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary but this collection of witty music and skits, including material from Victoria Wood, Alan Bennett, Maureen Lipman, Monty Python, Noël Coward, Cole Porter, Fry & Laurie, Stiles & Drew, Stephen Sondheim is here to celebrate the Barts 400th year. .
Shakespeare meets showbiz in this cabaret style review, which was originally produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and had a hugely successful West End run. You definitely don’t need to be a Shakespearean scholar to enjoy this comic concoction of funny sketches and silly songs and although you might not need to be fully versed in your Shakespeare to enjoy most of the show, there’s certainly a lot of highbrow plot and character rather brilliantly throw in – most causally – by the very clever writers whose work is on display here. However the laughs come pretty steady and there’s a good range of style and content so even if you’re flummoxed by what’s happening in the current sketch, like the deaths in Hamlet, there’s another one along in a minute to keep your attention.
This quick fire routine of seriously funny, daft, surreal, actory type funny stuff and then general tomfoolery spreads the laughter across the show and the sparking fun cast even manage to get a utterly daft sing-a-long with the audience in bad French accents, deliciously funny. The cast are at ease with themselves, and each other, play to their strengths, the singing is superb a bit of dancing and there’s some light teasing of the audience also, some contemporary references, and the songs come and go with a pleasing frequency.
See the full list of contents here
There are no costumes or endless soliloquies or speechifying, other than to raise a laugh at just that and the cast are charming, energetic and talented. Thier timing is spot on and they know just when to grease the wheel for a titter or two more. The Shakespeare Review is more sophisticated than it may appear to be at first glance, but as a charming evening of songs, routine and some music hall style parody it’s an engaging and enjoyable way to spend an evening in the warm velvety comfort of the Theatre Royal.
Until 26th November
For more info or to book tickets see the Theatre Royal website here: