A warm coffee in one hand and a rather stale croissant in the other is not all that C venues serve up for breakfast. Running in the fringe since 1992 Shakespeare for Breakfast is a sell-out morning performance nearing the end of the 2014 festival. With a set of players boasting great chemistry and lively performances from the moment the audience step through the door, this show sets itself apart from the hundreds of other Shakespeare plays on offer during August.
The piece follows Steph (a.k.a Steve) who disguises herself as a man and is shipwrecked and stranded - a Shakespearean story we are already familiar with. However, she/he lands on an island named ‘Shakespeare land’ where she meets a long list of recognisable characters such as Hamlet, Richard III and even Third Witch. It’s a battle between the goodies and the baddies and wondering if the play will result in a Shakespearean tragedy (where all of the characters die) or a comedy (where everyone gets married). Sure enough the performance, which started off a little slowly, ends with the audience in stitches.
This is thanks to the brilliant spoof created by writer/ director; Tom Crawshaw, who is essentially the new Shakespeare in town. His characters all speak in Shakespearean verse mixed with modern day tongue adding a combination of puns, soliloquies and even a rap battle (which is sometimes difficult to hear due to the booming rap music). These words are brought to life by hugely energetic cast who interchange their characters flawlessly and keep the audience entertained throughout.
The show does not boast fancy lights, huge sets or elaborate costumes instead it keeps it simple and allows for the performances and writing to shine though. This performance will keep you laughing throughout and is a great way to kick-start your morning.