"Spritely Shakespeareland spurns spoilt Superheros"
by Lita Doolan on 21/08/14

In Shakespeare-land recent events have been holding up a mirror to life that only the author can take away. Not everyone on stage realises the writer is dead. Thankfully this Fringe tradition is in rude health with every croissant spoken for.

The direction makes superheroes out of an eclectic choice of Shakespearean icons. None of the characters drawn into this drama can be their true selves without solving their own challenge. Not even a strapping Prince Harry can stand at ease for long during a belter of a show which sports tailors audience specifc puns such as ‘et tu Robert?’

The show emphasises the clever use of Shakespeare’s locations in his plotting. A mixture of themes from his classic work is blended together to find a form that is naturally pastoral and feels similar to the tragi-comedies the writer is known for. This ingenious asks questions about who we are and finds satisfying interactions; Iago flirts with a shrewish Kate in a way that feels oddly right.

The ordinary world of everyday hurly burly is blocked out by the thick walls of C as we all conspire to give the characters a fair stab at their challenges in Shakespeare-land. It is a great metaphor for the C building and this annual play creates its familiar magic. In a scenario that starts off with the central character changing his/her identity from Steph to Steven and being drawn towards Prince Harry, the plot twists until there are hearts breaking across the Island. Unfortunately the villains, lead by Richard III are in the wings ready to wreck havoc on the fragile dreams of others.

The show’s power is to align Shakespeare’s writing with common knowledge holding the attention of everyone from babes in arms to seniors who all experience how Shakespeare could address topical issues. Richard III being buried under a car park and Scottish Independence are all weaved into comic monologues.

Hamlet convincingly finds contentment in the haggard arms of Macbeth’s Third Witch in a moment that shows the audience how to go with the flow and find the best destination. Amongst the audience are folk with aircraft trolley bags, all on their way to or from a flight showing how ‘Shakespeare for Breakfast’ is a firmly an essential part of the Fringe goers’ experience. Enjoy the last few moments of Fringe magic, while the spirit of Shakespeare is still in the building, and take a bite of Shakespeare-land.

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