To some, the works of William Shakespeare are sacrosanct; never to be reworked or reinterpreted. The bard himself however would probably much rather his work were enjoyed for what it was – mostly an excuse to tell dirty jokes and explore all the things proper people would very must like left unexplored, thank you very much.
Edge Improv have taken the latter approach with their collection of six “lost plays”, told in an intimate space above the Junction Hotel in Annerly. Set to a backdrop of David Peachy’s Mandolin playing, Edge transform two chairs, a handful of physical props and a whole heap of imaginary ones into a tale worthy of The Globe itself.
Each night is a unique experience as the cast put on a new play and a new sonnet each night of the run with the audience getting to pick the themes.
As this is improv theatre, expect the odd slip up or strange word here and there, but the mark of good improv actors is how they recover from those slips, and in that our cast of intrepid thespians excelled, keeping their rhythm going.
At 40-min in length, A Midsummer Nights Whatever is short enough to be accessible to young audiences (although with a PG rating you may end up having to explain what a carbuncle is) and old audiences alike. Some audience interaction is involved and this reviewer was almost hugged by a “blind” cast member during the closing minutes of the show.
Verdict: A Midsummer Nights Whatever is an irreverent take on Shakespeare, crafted with love and respect for the bards work.
The reviewer attended the Monday 14th of May performance.