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MICF Review: WATSON – Shakespeare Fight Club


If William Shakespeare and George Lucas lived at the same university college, got drunk, wrote a script together, then employed theatre students to act it out and add their two cents worth of improvisation, the result could quite possibly have been Shakespeare Fight Club.

This crazy whirlwind of a production is an eclectic cauldron of genres – drama, action, comedy, science fiction, horror, pantomime, and shadow puppetry, to name a few. There’s even audience participation. Just about every trick in the theatre book is drawn upon (and pointed out like a metaphorical sledgehammer to audience temples, just in case you aren’t fully appreciating what you’re witnessing). The actors’ enthusiasm verges on ADHD, as they switch from speaking lines, to responding to audience reactions, to conferring about the plot, to leaping at one another and brandishing plastic swords.

At times, it’s akin to watching the cast of The Big Bang Theory in a World Wrestling arena – awkward nerds battling to the death using only their violent wit, and then, when their Shakespearean insults run dry, unsheathing plastic butter knives and dancing in circles in an attempt to fatally prod one another in the elbow.

Every allusion to the epic Star Wars series is acknowledged with zeal, which is useful for people like me who don’t know every single line of the films off by heart. Those plentiful references aside, many other Hollywood classics make guest appearances, including TitanicThe MatrixHarry Potter and The Princess Bride. So, in theory, there’s something for everyone.

The danger with a show that ranges all over is that the appeal, while intended to reach a wide audience, can often backfire if not handled well. In this case, Shakespeare Fight Club catapults itself well beyond the boundary line and right into the “God’s balls” of comedy theatre.

First published at The Pun

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 06.04.2012 9:54 PM

    “At times, it’s akin to watching the cast of The Big Bang Theory in a World Wrestling arena”
    I love that analogy!

    • 06.04.2012 10:33 PM

      Thanks! It took me a while to figure out what I was witnessing, but when I realised, it was one of those “A-ha!” moments.

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