Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014

Shakesprovisation, MFF 2014

0 Comments 03 October 2014

Generally, you find that Improv can either be really, really good or just awful.

Shakespeare performances also tend to have that hit and miss quality. But Shakesprovisation, thankfully, was a hit.

We were promised a “litany of word vomit” from our host and man, did they deliver. A coin flip determined the genre of the performance (heads for tragedy, tails for comedy); audience contribution determined the number of people to die (seven) and also the title: The Most Lamentable Tragedy of The Poor Tree.

Just like a real Shakespeare play, in Shakesprovisation, you’re not always entirely sure of what’s going on plot-wise. You just know that something that may have required a simple yes or no response has gone for five florid stanzas, and there’s a heaping of wordplay. The prose flowed freely from the players, who handled inevitable mistakes and awkwardness with humour and confidence. Their characters were delightful and the players themselves all wonderfully charismatic, engaging and witty; it was truly a pleasure to watch them work together so effortlessly.

With a healthy dose of regicide, incest and witchery, Shakesprovisation gives us a well-crafted and darkly comic performance that, as the host puts it, is “kind of fucked…but he would have wanted it this way”. Too right.

Shakesprovisation is on at The Portland Hotel until the 5th of October. Go see it! Tickets and information here

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This post was written by who has written 14 posts on Buzzcuts.

Alexandra Schnabel exclusively watches high-concept documentaries, arthouse films and Law and Order: SVU re-runs (Stabler era only). She reviews two of three here sometimes.

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