Last Life: A Shakespeare Play (2 stars)

This article is from 2019

Last Life: A Shakespeare Play

Shakespeare gets a remix

Attempting to offer a new take on Shakespeare at Edinburgh Fringe is an incredibly dicey prospect, with the Bard's seeming to appear on every second page of the brochure. Unfortunately, Last Life: A Shakespeare Play offers little new to some of the Bard's most famous lines.

Writer and director Sara Fay George aims to chop up various Shakespeare plays, reassembling them into some sort of grand statement on humanity and our relation to one another. The set is striking enough, with two semi-naked performers encircled in a ring of salt laid by an overseer named Kismet.

When the action gets going however, the performers do very little with this set up, and the opportunity for some interesting physical theatre is lost, with many of their movements simply acting out the words rather than attempting to twist or bring new meaning to them. Although there are short stretches where the different lines blend, the assemblage nature of the work means that some of the rhythm of Shakespeare's words are lost.

It would be extremely difficult for anyone not reasonably attune with Shakespeare to get much from this show, and those who do know his work will probably have seen attempts to shake up Shakespeare up like this countless time before.

Greenside @ Infirmary Street, until 17 August, 6.30pm, £8 (£5).

Last Life: A Shakespeare Play

  • 2 stars

A new theatre work made from the words of Shakespeare.