Willy's Bitches

William Shakespeare, music & lyrics by Shannon Thurston

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Assembly Checkpoint

From 06 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Rating: ***

Review by Catherine Lamm

To make Shakespeare’s text into a cabaret show is not a great stretch of the imagination but rather a great challenge, well met, by Shannon Thurston (music and lyrics), Philip Howard (director) and Tamara Saringer (musical direction).

Willy’s Bitches is a smattering of many of the female monologues and even some of the men’s. These segue into Ms Thruston’s songs and sometimes almost equal the text. The characters wander in and out through the house and playing area thanks to the seamless directing of Mr Howard.

But this is more about the development of these characters and text into musical numbers. Ms Thuston has done a great job and is, for the most part, proved to be worthy of the nine women who are part of this production.

Although the acting is a little out of reach of some of the performers, the singing is not (with one kind of pitchy exception). The musicians, headed up by keyboardess Tamara Saringer, are excellent and do a little of the acting themselves; a nod to David Bowden (bass) and Lewis Banks (clarinet).

Well worth seeing. And hearing. Let’s hear it for the big girls.