Posted in Arts Reviews

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

By: Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield
Performed By: Damian Callinan, Nathan O’Keefe and Mark Saturno
Date: 31 March 2011 

When the writers of the Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) set themselves the task of creating a play that incorporated all 37 of the Bard’s plays in just 99 minutes, they must have realised that the battle would be a tough one. To combine tragedy with histories, comedies and a sprinkle of sonnets would have been a daunting task, but it’s clear right from the opening scenes, that these playwrights have created an evening even the most intense Shakespeare haters will love.

Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield should be commended for producing the most original and unique adaption of Shakespeare in centuries. Recently, the State Theatre Company has produced some outstanding Shakespeare, such as 2010’s King Lear, but they too should be praised for introducing Adelaide to an adaption like you’ve never seen before.

Complete with ridiculous outfits, amazing laughs and some hilariously face paced performances and audience participation, it’s guaranteed you’ll be rolling in the isle’s laughing and hollering for more.

The comedy trio of Damian Callinan (who you might recognise from Spicks and Specks or The Melbourne Comedy Gala), along with Nathan O’Keefe (an Adelaide Critics Circle Individual Award winner in 2010) and Adelaide’s own Mark Saturno are a powerhouse bunch. Not only is their energy and enthusiasm outstanding as they rap, dance, mime and deliver laugh after laugh, finding humour even in the darkest of Shakespearean tragedies, but their improvisational skills are tip top and amongst the best I’ve ever seen.

One thing’s for sure, whether you love or hate Shakespeare it doesn’t matter, because you will fall in love with this version of the Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged). Think of it as a dummy’s guide to Shakespeare that even the big Will himself would have been extremely amused and proud to be a part of.

– Suzanna Parisi


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