A show that offers free coffee and croissants is already worth going to see. When it comes to the Bardic Breakfasters’ sold out show ‘Shakespeare for Breakfast’ then, there is no excuse not to go. Back for its sixteenth sell-out year, the show’s details and characters evolve every year, and after featuring ‘I’m Julius Caesar, get me out of here!’, this year’s version finds various Shakespeare characters lost in a forest.
Puck the sprite endorses the role of director by secretly arranging meetings between characters, leading to the most incongruous yet hilarious scenes you could imagine. Richard II, III and Richard Lion-Heart interview Juliet’s nurse for the role of Richard IV, Hamlet boasts about inventing psychology, and Lear blames the nurse for not loving him enough since she never ‘poked him’ on their Facebook account.
The story itself remains secondary, as the constantly laughing audience finds its happiness in the interrupted succession of witty lines. The characters’ new personalities are all excellent, with Lear quoting Amy Winehouse lyrics, Hamlet nervously writing down shallow thoughts in his diary, and Cleopatra wishing she knew Parseltongue when bitten by a snake.
It must however, be noted that the show suits adults better than children since some jokes remain explicit, and the smart dialogues require a basic knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays and British pop culture in general to be fully appreciated. With its genius writing and acting (the brilliant six actors do not hesitate embodying different characters all throughout the show) and its master direction, this show goes straight to this year’s must-see list.