Monday, March 18, 2013

Review of Kill Shakespeare at Strawdog Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Kill Shakespeare. It was by Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. And the art was by Andy Belanger. It was directed by Anderson Lawfer. It is projections (designed by Michelle Underwood) of the comic book and people talking behind you. If you just read a comic book you won't hear actors acting out these characters. You will hear either nothing or you would hear yourself playing twenty different characters. It feels more realistic because the projections are bigger than just small pictures in a book and the voices are so amazing that it feels like you are in the story. The story is about Hamlet (Ryan Bosque), Juliet (Nikki Klix), Falstaff (Steve Herson), Romeo (Conor Burke), and Othello (James Anthony Zoccoli) trying to save William Shakespeare (Brian Amidei) from Iago (Caleb Probst), Lady Macbeth (Kate Harris), and Richard III (BF Helman). They want to kill him because they think he is some kind of evil god. Falstaff, Juliet, Hamlet, Romeo and Othello think that he is a good god and he wants to help them because he is their creator.

Something that I think, if you take a kid to this, you should totally remind them about is a guy gets his eyes popped out with a sword. And also if you let them watch King Lear, pause it and then skip 3 minutes. That also has the same contents. This is what happens in Kill Shakespeare. This is the process. Richard III grabs a sword, sticks it into one of his soldier's eyes, pops one out, and you hear a horrible screaming sound coming from behind you. And that I think might be one of the scariest things I have ever seen in my life. I still liked it though because it gave me an idea of what King Lear when I watch that part will be like.

One of the fun things about Kill Shakespeare, if you are a Shakespeare nerd like I am, is that you can look for different Shakespeare quotes. Like I noticed very very many that those characters didn't say in their actual plays. Like one time Hamlet does Juliet's balcony speech "Thou knowst the mask of night is on my face" to Juliet! So it is kind of reversed but not reversed. It is not Romeo to Juliet; it is Hamlet to Juliet. And Hamlet and Romeo both like Juliet. And then when you think about it, you kind of want Hamlet to get married to Juliet. Or maybe, after you think about it two days, you want Romeo to go to Juliet because they've been in love for longer. And it is so hard to choose because you like both of those characters and you've known Hamlet for longer in Kill Shakespeare but you know the story of Romeo and Juliet and how much they wanted to be together.

So here is a little question for you that I would like you to answer for yourself. I have not decided yet what in the world is going on. Why does everybody make out with Lady Macbeth?! In two different scenes Lady Macbeth is talking to somebody while they are making out or is about to make out with them. These two people are Richard III (which I don't understand) and the other, surprisingly, is not Macbeth. It is Iago. I'll tell you my three theories. One is that she's pretty. Two is that she likes them and they fell in love with her after she started making out with them. Three is that she was a wife of somebody who had a lot of money and now she has that money and they want to get that money. I don't think they really actually love her at first sight because she was already married.

The fight scenes were exciting but also terrifying. Like one time somebody who was really drunk just broke a bottle and shoved it into somebody. That was kind of gross. Something cool in the big war scene was when the witches turned against Richard III when they were with him at the very beginning. You could follow what was happening in the battles because the pictures told so much of the story that you really got an idea of what was happening.

There is lots of blood, fighting, and witches. But the witches sometimes could be funny. Like sometimes they said verses from Macbeth, but they added little twists in. Falstaff was another source of humor because he was from a comedy, Merry Wives of Windsor, and also he is very chubby and he says he is a renowned cook even though I'm not sure if he even cooks even good because Hamlet throws up right when he smells the food. And another funny thing was when Falstaff started talking normal to Hamlet when he had almost been killed and he was just talking about different kinds of food and his friends and how pretty Juliet was and how he had a great idea of what they should do (which was dress up like ladies to get into the pub).

People who would like this show are people who like big battles, mismatched speeches, and Hamlet and Juliet being in love. People should see this show because it is funny and scary and it has some of your very favorite characters from Shakespeare.

Photos: Tom McGrath

No comments: