Review of “The Reduced Shakespeare Company – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” (2000)
January 22nd, 2008 by Maxim · No Comments · 4,145 Views
A.k.a. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
I heard an interview with Adam Long on NPR a few years back, and immediately added the film to my Netflix queue, but only now it arrived in mail. Damn, I have a long queue!
The plot: the Canadian trio performs on stage 37 plays by William Shakespeare in 90 minutes.
The summary: this is a hilarious show, an attempt to perform all known Shakespeare’s plays in under an hour and a half, engaging the audience (and viewers). The show is outrageously funny. It reminded me of a Monty Python’s Flying Circus episode where Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth, were performed using hand-, flag-, light-signals and telegraph without saying a word. Cracked me and my friends up. When the DVD stopped, everybody could not believe that was all – they wanted more. Well, the trio has also released “The Complete History Of America (Abridged)”. There’s a scene where they rap Othello’s monologue. The final scene of “Reduced Shakespeare Company”, where the actors perform the last scene from Hamlet at twice and trice the speed and then backwards(!) was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. Will see this DVD again.
The good: very funny. If you liked Monty Python’s outrageous show 20-30 years ago, you will like this show too. The only time we stopped laughing is during a 3 minute intermission.
The bad: from time to time the actors were getting too much into clowning around, and these parts of the play felt unnecessarily long and predictable.
Credits: Director: Paul Kafno | Writers: Adam Long, Reed Martin, Jess Winfield, Daniel Singer, William Shakespeare | Cast: Adam Long, Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor and Daniel Singer
- Two commentaries featuring the stars and the director
- Rare footage of an early RSC performance
- Cast bios
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