The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) is a by-the-seat-of-your-pants romp through all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in 97 minutes (extra with interval). This madcap show finds various ways to evoke the Bard's classics, from rap, to gruesome cooking show, to backwards-high-speed-mime, and more besides. It's fast, fun, and deliciously silly.
Three performers – Damian Callinan, Greg Fleet and John Leary, each established comic actors in their own right here in Australia – take on this show which has been performed around the world by a vast array of actors.
The play is now over twenty years old, and has enjoyed success in the USA (where it was first performed), the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as Australia, India, Macau, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
It's easy to see why the play continues to have a long life, as Shakespeare's timeless works are always ripe material, and male performers that fill the three roles in the show can bring their own flavour of silliness and slapstick, while references to pop culture and local celebrities can be tweaked to suit the audience.
Perhaps a large part of why the show is rapidly becoming a modern comedy classic is that while the show is irreverent, silly, and energetic, at its heart it is a celebration of the work of Shakespeare - his famous stories, the blistering and gruesome violence, the love, the death, the struggles for power, and the wonderful language.
If you haven't yet seen it, dust off your pantaloons, lace up your sneakers and get along to it.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Venue: The Playhouse, Sydney Opera House
Dates: Sat Dec 27 – Sun Jan 31
Times: Tue - Thurs 8pm, Fri 6pm & 9pm, Sat 3pm & 8pm, Sun 3pm
Prices: $74.00 - $44.00
Bookings: Sydney Opera House (02) 9250 7777 & Ticketek