Shakespeare for Breakfast
A mash up of pastries, pop culture and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
This article is from 2016.
Now in its 25th year, Shakespeare for Breakfast is a modern retelling of a Shakespeare play – this year A Midsummer Night's Dream – with complimentary coffee and croissants. Five actors leap between a range of selfie-obsessed characters, who mix prose with iambic pentameter in an intricate storyline which leans heavily on pop culture references.
Both the storyline and language of Shakespeare's script are updated to incorporate quick jokes, Jedi fights and Taylor Swift lyrics. The actors skilfully encourage audience participation and easily incorporate reactions into their monologues. The precise choreography – the cast use four exit points and occasionally deliver lines in the middle of the audience – successfully builds a boisterous and immersive atmosphere, though the storylines become increasingly confusing as the piece rolls along.
Social media references become a bit too repetitive, but the writing remains clever and engaging throughout. Ultimately the strength of Shakespeare for Breakfast lies in the actors' energetic delivery and the writing's comedic tone. It succeeds in being an irreverent and consistently entertaining show.
C, until 29 Aug (not 15), 10am, £8.50-£9.50 (£6.50-£7.50).