Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Didsbury Players, 22/8/15

The play's the thing they say and if you have ever seen any Reduced Shakespeare productions before you will know those plays are fast paced, require bags of energy and are blummin wordy. Not the obvious choice for an Amateur Company to tackle you would think, especially the Complete Works which has the added complication of large chunks of the Bard's verse. But for the Didsbury Players it was once more unto the breach dear friends as they attempted (and succeeded) to deliver all 37 plays and a few sonnets in under two hours. 

To even learn the script is an achievement, so to deliver it with such skill, wit, energy and charisma on a hot and steamy night in deepest Didsbury is quite something and I doff my cap to the talented and hard working cast of this production, Alex Grundy, Frances Lolly Chant and Mike Doward, who delivered a highly enjoyable night of entertainment.

As events got underway they even managed to arrange for a thunderous storm to add to the soundscape as the tragedies were introduced, I'm still not quite sure how they managed to time that quite so well! The two hours were packed, as well as the comedies, tragedies and histories we had sock puppets, distracting codpieces, audience participation, more costume changes than you could shake a stick at, heartfelt soliloquies, very dramatic deaths and even more dramatic spewing, cookery tips, and even a bit of interpretive dance. The cast truly gave their all to the production and they must have been exhausted by the end. The timing was excellent, and there were laughs a plenty.

Whilst this it may have been the first thing I've seen from the Didsbury Players, I suspect it won't be the last, well done all involved in this energetic and mirth filled production. 

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