William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged) by the Reduced Shakespeare Company

Reduced Shakespeare Company
William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged) by the Reduced Shakespeare Company at Wilton’s Music Hall.

Reduced Shakespeare ComapnyThe Reduced Shakespeare Company are renown for making Shakespeare accessible to the masses and this show is no exception. The premise of ‘William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play’, is that the guys of the Reduced Shakespeare company have unearthed Shakespeare’s first manuscript. This happens to be a play which is 100 hours in length and contains the majority of Shakespeare’s more prevalent characters. Luckily for us this show is abridged!! The Reduced Shakespeare Company tells of Puck (from Midsummer’s Nights Dream) pitted against Ariel (from the Tempest) who due to mischief and magic weave together the likes of Richard III and Viola, Dromio and Juliet and many others.

I have to admit that I was apprehensive that a lot of it would go over my head. Whilst I know my Lady Macbeth from my Ariel I would say I am a long way from being a Shakespeare buff and many of his lesser known plays I’m not familiar with. However I needn’t have worried and in fact I was surprised with exactly how much I could recall! On top of that they make it even more accessible by throwing in everything from numerous Disney references to a homage to Beyoncé herself.

Reduced Shakespeare ComapnyThe Reduced Shakespeare Company is made up of Joseph Maudsley, Matthew Pearson and James Percy, 3 American actors who perform the whole show in Converse trainers. These actors are incredibly quick thinking and adaptable. Between them they play so many characters I lost count. Their energy and likeability is brilliant that you can’t help but relax and enjoy the show.

The show is incredibly fast moving, so much so that you lose track of the ‘story’ but did this matter – not really. The important thing in this show is the gags and the interplaying of the various Shakespeare characters. All of these elements succeeded in abundance.

I would urge anyone with a fondness for the Bard to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s latest work and would encourage anyone studying Shakespeare to see it. This helps remove the scary inaccessible stigma that can surround some of his works and delivers it in a way that the purists may not love but the audiences do!

The show is on at Wilton’s Music Hall until the 1st April and then continues on it’s tour.


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