FRINGE REVIEW – Shakespeare for Breakfast

*****

For the 20th year of Shakespeare for Breakfast, C Theatre presents Macbeth: The High School Years. Prepare for school uniforms against an impressive backdrop crest (school motto ‘Work Bard, Play Bard’) – the only item of set – and musical jokes among teenage cliques in this tale of the Macbeths’ treacherous rise to power and their culminating comeuppance, complete with coffee and croissants. Or tea (but that’s not as alliterative).

The six actors take great enjoyment in this self-aware update of Shakespeare’s classic and deliver the goods with gusto, including the audience in their fun from start to finish. Knowledge of the original play allows admiration for the modernising ideas, but is in no way necessary. The cracking pace never overwhelms clarity and the story is splendidly told.

Goth Wiccans, a would-be stand-up comedian caretaker, a gung-ho PE teacher, major product placement and drafted-in audience members are all thrown into this bardic breakfast cauldron, spiced with humour – silly and clever – topical references and a sprinkling of popular music. Mac is a guitar-hugging, susceptible ‘nice guy’, his girlfriend Beth an ambitious, vain, cheerleading bitch and the Goth witches and their rhyming verse an absolute joy, while the multi-character-playing actor who performs Banquo even provides moments of pathos.

Shakespeare for Breakfast is a Fringe tradition for many and always fun. This year the script is particularly witty and well-written, which was heartily appreciated by its packed audience.

“Gall of Goths and laughs on cue,
Make this your tradition too!”

By Danielle Farrow

3 – 29 August (not 16), 10:00 (10:55) @ C Venues – C

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