Pros: Builds a fantastic relationship between audience and performers. Fast paced, energetic and hilariously clever.
Cons: Perhaps not suitable for anyone under the age of 16 and be warned, there is audience participation!
Since my first visit to The Bread and Roses, this characterful little pub just off Clapham High Street has had a sophisticated refurbishment. With a summer beer garden it is the perfect place for pre-show drinks, and a relaxed, down to earth venue for Burn Bright’s performance. Programmes in hand we were taken upstairs to the simple open playing space, furnished with just one trunk full of props and costumes; a few lighting changes and some atmospheric music was all that was needed to accompany this fantastic cast.
If the idea of Shakespeare scares or bores you, don’t let it! This production is the perfect antidote to any long or dull experience of Shakespeare that you might have had at school. Burn Bright Theatre, with their revival of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s long-running hit, give this wonderful playwright a complete makeover. Rap, interpretive dance and current world issues are used to showcase all 37 of the plays in just two hours. Conveying a sense of the story but without the three-hour story lines, I guarantee you will walk away remembering more than you ever have before. If there were a U-rated version of this production, I’d go as far as to say that it would be the most beneficial and engaging introduction that students could have to this playwright.
Although the show relies on great source material, it would be much less hilarious without the incredible work of the performers, Dannielle Winter, Joseph Emms and Chris Whotton. Their constant energy, enthusiasm and comedic talents make this a very memorable evening. They are able to break down the barriers between audience and performers, keeping us completely engaged. Their wit, charm and passionate performances win the audience over from the very beginning.
Whoever you are, and whatever history you have with The Bard, you will find an element of this production to love. If you don’t like audience participation, don’t let that deter you, just sit at the back! And just to keep the fun going, the programme comes with a fun-filled activity pack to enjoy on the bus home.
Director: Katherine Timms
Producer: Isabel Dixon
Writer: Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield and Adam Long
Musical Director: Odinn Orn Hilmarsson
Box Office: 020 8050 3025
Booking Link: http://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare.html
Booking Until: 11th June, 2016