My Stratford Friend
Get up close and personal with Will Shakespeare
This article is from 2015.
Imagine if Neil Aspinall, the Beatles’ long-time friend, had spilled the beans on the band members? Dominick Reyntiens uses this idea for his monologue My Stratford Friend to imagine William Shakespeare’s life. A book reading from Reyntiens’ book of the same name, it traces the life of the famous poet from the eyes of his childhood buddy Tom Wickham.
Although Wickham is an invented character, it’s a clever device. Reyntiens weaves facts and historical events from Shakespeare’s life through his thread of fiction. Having worked as a stand-up comic, Reyntiens has a relaxed presence and is clearly passionate about his subject, bringing Shakespeare to life through gentle storytelling.
Adding anecdotes from his own life (including an amusing one about a favourite uncle), he selects half a dozen excerpts from his book which highlight what he feels is lacking from more traditional Shakespearean annals: a personal side.
It’s a pleasant hour that works best as a taster session for Shakespeare enthusiasts who are keen to explore another angle on the Bard.
Café Camino, 523 0102, until 29 Aug (not 19, 26), 5pm, free.