Christmas with the Bard

Review by Paul Nelson

Is there anyone left who has not yet seen The Reduced Shakespeare Company?

This fascinating evening, which originated in San Francisco, is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. It originated in an alley as a free street entertainment of Hamlet being played in half an hour and the idea took wing from there and developed into the fastest and funniest show that you can see now.

It has now become a regular habit to take friends and visitors to London, to the Criterion, to see the show which takes the audience at a mad rush witnessing all 37 Shakespeare plays in 97 minutes.

Ever thought about Hamlet being run through? I mean the play physically run through. The cast perform the play forwards, backwards and sideways. Ever thought about a rap version of Othello? It's here.

Three utterly madcap men in tights and sneakers take the theatre by storm as they gallop through the tragedies, histories and comedies at a speed that will leave you gasping.

Now in its SIXTH year at the Criterion Theatre in London, the cast have pleasure in presenting the show with special matinees over the Christmas period.

There will be no shows on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, nor will there be shows on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but to make up the deficiency, from Wednesday, December 26 to Friday, December 28, there will be two shows daily at 3pm and 8pm. Saturday, December 29, will have a show at 5pm and 8pm.
In addition, on Sunday, December 30 there is a 4pm show.

After New Year's Day it's back to the usual schedule.

The Complete Plays of William Shakespeare (abridged). Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly Circus, W1. Box Office 020 7369 1747. Alternatively, you can visit the website at www.reduced-shakespeare.co.uk