I had the great pleasure of seeing The Reduced Shakespeare Company perform live in London. Hysterically funny and unimaginably creative, I absolutely loved the show and was delighted to find there was a DVD. It helps if you have some working knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays but it is definitely not a prerequisite. Many people don’t realize that while Shakespeare is lauded today as the epitome of grace and culture, his plays are full of vulgarity, double entendres and were designed to appeal to the common Elizabethan rather than the elite. The Reduced Shakespeare Company capitalizes on that and takes the viewer on a wildly irreverent ride through all the Bard’s works. If only Shakespeare was taught this way in high schools! I laugh myself sick every time I watch this and never get tired of it. So quotable (“I love performance art. It’s so pretentious!”), massively entertaining and undeniably funny, this is also a rather shrewd look at a titan of English literature, guaranteed to make you laugh as well as think. The Company deconstructs the plays in a myriad of clever ways, allowing you to appreciate them in a new light. That is, if you can still see through all your tears of laughter! – BETHANY
Titus Andronicus as a cooking show. There is no way to convey the genius of this production using only still photographs, but I thought I’d at least try.
Photos courtesy of The Reduced Shakespeare Company