All of the plays are covered: history, tragedy, comedy, the problem ones and even the sonnets. It’s quite a feat to keep the energy up with excerpts and loose approximations of the Avon dramatist’s work, the majority of which are alien to the audience.
But no matter your level of familiarity or ignorance, so many phrases from Shakespeare remain in modern parlance that you’ll never be lost for long with Keith Lynch, Gerard McCabe and Michael Patrick on stage to guide you. In fact, the cast give such a comprehensive overview that you’d swear they know some of the plays backwards.
“Praise be the Willy!”
In keeping with the original Elizabethan texts, there’s a fair amount of vulgar language, boke and humour as the 37 plays are brought to life over 97 minutes. It’ll appeal to young and old.
While Keith Lynch’s “To be or not to be” speech is deliberately ruined, Gerard McCabe manages to squeeze in a spine-tingling moment away from his comic asides and ad libs with the audience.
Unlike Bruiser’s 39 Steps which was trapped in a particular period, The Complete Works succeeds in
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) plays in The MAC until September 22 before going on tour through Monaghan, Dún Laughaire, Ballymena, Coleraine, Newtownabbey, Drogheda, Claremirris, Ballina, Armagh, Derry and Antrim. (Full details of dates and venues on the Bruiser website.)