In its 26th year of presenting a different Shakespearean entertainment every Fringe, Shakespeare for Breakfast brings us Macbeth on an allotment – just don’t go saying the titular character’s name aloud! With use of such theatrical superstitions, a great deal of vegetable-based punning and well-written modern rhymes, C Theatre’s cast of five rip through a very amusing version of this famous tragedy, where ambition quickly turns murderous. Not that we endure deaths on stage – this is a family show with humour for everyone, and members of the audience, without being made too uncomfortable, are included very well and in a consistent fashion which weaves through the play.
The only set is a wee gardening hut beside a carrot patch and character changes – providing for extra comedy – are clearly achieved via costumes / accessories, accents and excellent character work by the performers. This is a tight ensemble, who seem in fine, fit form (not always the case during long runs at the Fringe), and they are aided by uplifting pop, some decent sound and song work, and a good script. Shakespeare’s own language is in use, and parodies show wit as well as knowledge of the original play. The climax of the original is a slightly weak patch on this allotment, but the rest is well sown and grown. From references to Game of Thrones and Blazing Squad to political ponderings and pokes, via keeping up posh appearances and social media, this Shakespeare for Breakfast brews a cauldron of ingredients far more tasty than the usual witches’ potion. It also happens to be very well organised this year, with an efficient drinks set up (for your tea or coffee) and earlier entry to this usually sold-out show keeping the queues moving smoothly on the way in.
Great imagination, lively entertainment and strong performances with plenty of panache make up this year’s Shakespeare for Breakfast – all served with a hot drink and a croissant: enjoy!
Until 28th August, not 14th; 10:00 (10:55) @ C (Venue 34)