They wanted to perform Shakespeare’s works back-to-back, but couldn't reserve the theatre for the 88 straight hours. Plus, apparently there’re ‘laws’ where minors can’t perform for four days without sleeping or bathing or eating.

The 'they' are Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, and it was 25 years ago, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, that they first brought their adaption to the stage.  

Throughout the play, the three daring actors interweave the brilliance of the Bard with absurd innuendos and topical references. 

“Rather than perform all 16 of Shakespeare's comedies, they get combined and it's like we're pitching the plot to Hollywood producers. There’s everything from the Kardashians to Mel Gibson playing Shylock from 'Merchant of Venice'.

And as if the script wasn’t ludicrous enough, the costumes take it to an entirely different level.

“The designer, Ailsa Paterson, did a great job. But having done the play before with very simple costumes, it was a bit confronting at first. They’re all Elizabethan in template, but ridiculously and luridly coloured. Essentially my costume’s a peacock. It completely changes my physicality — the way I walk, the way I run. And you don't rehearse in the costumes, so my outfit arrived from the Philippines for the dress rehearsal, and all of a sudden I had this whole other entity sticking out the front of me. “The peacock has now actually become a character in the show. He's called Brendan. He has his own lines, his eyes light up … It was very much a last-minute thing.”

Wild and unforgettable, this is not a play to be feared if you have no particular interest or knowledge of Shakespeare. “The show moves so fast that most jokes land and another joke lands on top of it almost straight after. People generally see it and say 'I thought it'd be funny but I had no idea it would be THAT funny'.”

‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)’ will play at Redlands Performing Arts Centre on September 7. 

 

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