Shakespeare for Breakfast
Back for its 27th sell-out year, Shakespeare for Breakfast is a must for me at any festival year now. Performed by C venues’ resident company, it is a humorous treat both for those of us who love the Bard and those who aren’t quite sure he’s still relevant or comprehensible for the modern age.
The premise is simple: take four or five actors and a Shakespeare play or plays, put them in a modern setting with lots of contemporary references, throw in a dose of humour and a madcap plot that bears a vague resemblance to said play or plays and you have yourself a sell-out show.
This year, it's Taming of the Shrew that’s given a run for its money. Set in a shoe shop in Barking (a mistaking of the word shrew for shoe!), four actors tell a truncated story of Kate and Bianca with plenty of shoe puns, silly costumes, lots of pace and a bit of audience participation.
There’s plenty of the Bard in there and it's told mostly in rhyming couplets, along with references to Brexit, Love Island and Hull City of Culture, and for those with a deeper knowledge of Shakespeare plenty of clever references along the way. There’s also loads of laugh-out-loud humour, mostly family friendly (you have to listen hard for the adult content—it's pretty well hidden—so you can take your five-year-old or your granny without fear of offence).
There’s also free croissants and coffee—what’s not to like? An absolute treat to start your Fringe day with.
Reviewer: Suzanne Hawkes