Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised] by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield.  Canberra REP 16 November – 2 December 2023.

Reviewed by Frank McKone
November 17 Opening Night

Director: Ylaria Rogers; Asst Director: Jude Colquhoun
Stage Manager: Paul Jackson
Set Designer: Kayla Ciceran; Mentor: Andrew Kay;
Set Coordinator: Russell Brown OAM
Props: Anne Gallen; Costume Designer: Heather Spong
Lighting Designer: Stephen Still; Asst Lighting Designer: Ashley Pope
Sound Designer: Neville Pye

The PlayersCallum Doherty, Alex McPherson, Ryan Street

Go now to  so you don’t miss out on hilarity at its best.  

Wherever The Complete Works is put on, the Players are expected to take the built-in opportunities for improvisation and local community revisions.  What’s so good about this Canberra REP show is how lively is the action, how absurd the style, and how original are the set, props and costumes compared with what you will see on Youtube.

Most important is how directly, personally and warmly these three connect with the audience.  We were completely engaged from Ryan Street’s announcement about switching off our phones, via Alex McPherson’s pre-eminence, to Callum Doherty’s extraordinary Hamlet moment when we suddenly realised we had stopped laughing – but only until they did Hamlet faster and faster and shorter and finally backwards!

Clowning, of course, is a very special art where fun is made by playing with our expectations.  These three get the essential ingredient – the timing of the unexpected – absolutely right every time.  You don’t need to know your Shakespeare.  You’ll be surprised at how much you learn – while you laugh, wave in unison, shout out the words, and applaud with gusto.

Just be there, and enjoy every moment – I promise you will.