The Kingston Whig-Standard
Thursday, September 16, 2010

I saw The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) at Theological Hall at Queen's, produced by a new theatre group, The King's Town Players. There were only about 30 people in the audience Tuesday night, but this is a show that deserves more support.

In case you don't know, this is a comedy in which three actors attempt to condense all of Shakespeare's plays into a less-than-two-hour show. You don't have to know anything about Shakespeare to get the jokes. Most of the humour comes from the actors whipping themselves up into a hysterical frenzy, with lots of screaming, groin kicking, and frequent hamming.

All three actors -- Zorba Dravillas, Clayton Garrett and Steve Spencer -- are veterans with extensive experience playing "straight" Shakespeare in the past (Garrett and Spencer did sterling work in Hamlet and Twelfth Night, for instance) and that experience serves them well here. Their comedy version of Romeo and Juliet plays better than some serious versions that I've seen.

The second act of the show is entirely devoted to Hamlet and has audience participation, which is fun for everybody. This is the first show from King's Town Players, and audiences need to get out there and see this show. Plenty of little theatre groups have come and gone due to lack of support. Let's hope this one survives.

Barry Yuen Kingston

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