Review: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

By Larissa Albuquerque
Photo by Les Erkine

Perhaps Shakespeare can help you form a truce with iambic pentameter with its postmodern spin on Renaissance-era theatre

Whether you dozed through Shakespeare in your high school English classes, or you’re a fan of the famed playwright, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare is a sight to see. Three talented men suit up in colorful tights as they set you on a comical and theatrical journey through all of Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, and histories. “Is it even feasible to perform 37 plays in 97 minutes with only three actors?” a skeptic might ask.

While this eccentric, fast-paced performance not only proves this to be possible, it will leave you more knowledgeable on what Shakespeare is all about and breathless with laughter. With so many plays and so little time, it is to be expected that corners get cut and creativity employed.

As a result, the audience is presented with clever shortcuts such as 16 comedies in a mere 60 seconds, 14 histories played out like the Superbowl playoffs, Othello summarized into a rap by a white boy, Macbeth with three butchered Scottish accents, and Hamlet both sped up and rewound.

The smaller size of the Metro Theatre and its low production value adds to this intimate performance, where audience members feel as if the actors on stage were their close friends performing on their living room floor because of their close proximity and interaction.

The general population of the audience consisted of lovely seniors who were all excited and ready for a night out on the town, along with mothers and fathers with their children hoping for a night that would cater to everyone’s likings. The addition of a more youthful turn out full of energy might have nicely added to the highly vivacious performance, and this would almost certainly occur if this play were to reprise at, say, the WISE Hall.

This aside, Braedon Cox, Robert Sterling, and Adrien Gendron give a brilliant performance through the amount of chemistry they have on stage. Their interactions with the audience and abrupt references to today’s pop culture make this play extremely comical and highly accessible, even if the only Romeo and Juliet you know involves Leonardo Dicaprio.