Bard laid bare in abridged om­nibus

Albany Advertiser - - AGENDA - Shan­non Smith

It sounds crazy that any­one would fit 37 plays into a 97-minute show, but that is ex­actly what Spec­trum Theatre will do as they take on The Com­pleat Wrks of Wllm Shk­spr (abridged).

The high-en­ergy and quick-wit­ted three-per­son play will fea­ture dozens of cos­tume changes and a high au­di­ence en­gage­ment.

Di­rec­tor Kathryn Gun­ning said it was a play for those who love the fun and en­ter­tain­ment of live per­for­mance.

“It doesn’t mat­ter if you love or hate the Bard,” she said.

“Whether you are a Shake­spearean scholar from Oxbridge or some­one who has ac­tively avoided ‘ole Bill since you first heard the term ‘iambic pen­tame­ter’ it is a very easy go­ing play that doesn’t take any­thing, es­pe­cially it­self, too se­ri­ously.

“The play is so much fun to di­rect, I was re­ally ex­cited to do it again and couldn’t have asked for a more ded­i­cated, tal­ented and hi­lar­i­ous cast and crew.”

The au­di­ence should ex­pect to see sword-fight­ing, men in tights, nau­se­ated hero­ines in bad wigs, death, love, be­trayal, re­venge and even a guest speaker from Juras­sic Park.

Gun­ning said the per­form­ers were on stage for the en­tirety of the show, dash­ing into and out of cos­tume and throw­ing them­selves around the theatre.

“The ac­tors have fun tak­ing the mickey out of Shake­speare, them­selves and each other,” she said. “The au­di­ence has fun as the very silly ad­ven­ture, through the plots of well-loved plays, un­folds around them.

“It tries to boast the fastest-ever per­for­mance of Ham­let but the com­par­i­son is sim­i­lar to two chil­dren rac­ing to one hun­dred and one of them wins by singing ‘one, two, skip a few, ninety-nine, a hun­dred’.”

She warns that for any par­ents con­sid­er­ing bring­ing young chil­dren, the play in­cludes mildly crude hu­mour and lan­guage.

Spec­trum Theatre per­form The Com­pleat Wrks of Wllm Shk­spr (abridged) on Fri­day, Novem­ber 23, and 30, and Satur­day 24, as well as De­cem­ber 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30pm.

There will be two Sun­day shows at 2pm on Novem­ber 25 and De­cem­ber 2.

Per­form­ers Daniel Singer, Jess Win­field and Adam Long.

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