A Recap and Review of Shakespeare Abridged 

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“Get thee to a nunnery,” is not usually met with laughter. Although Shakespeare’s works are not always a funny affair, when three actors summarize Shakespeare’s work within two hours, it becomes oddly amusing. In Snow College’s adaptation of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” jokes and props were flying everywhere.

The first play they did was the well-known tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Yet in this version, the star-crossed lovers are cross-eyed at best. The two actors comically jump from playing the famous couple to being regular people that don’t want to kiss one another. At one point, when Romeo accidentally slurs a line, Juliet only hears him call out, “But love!” From then on, Romeo is affectionately referred to as Buttlove.

After the shortened version of Romeo and Juliet, the three actors quickly moved on to other works. They also shorten the rest considerably since there are so many. Next is a graphic recap of Titus Andronicus, done as a cooking show. Bloody stumps for hands (which were just socks and red dye), and throat-slitting are the basis for their comic interpretation of the gory tragedy.

Other works were hurriedly done. In several instances an actor “vomited” glitter over an unsuspecting crowd as a female was dying in the play. The odd quirk was met with some unsure laughs.

When they finally got to the comedies, it was a single comedy that combined all of Shakespeare’s comedies into less than 7 minutes’ worth of jokes and nonsensical plot. Although some antics were met with laughter, just as many fell flat.

Lastly, after a temper tantrum thrown by one of the characters led to intermission, the trio did the famous Hamlet. The play was done more thoroughly than the other works, but still kept with the air of comedy that is not usually found in tragedies. Yet the funniest part of the whole performance was when the trio did Hamlet, three more times, once in two minutes, once in one minute, and once backwards.

Although the play was mostly enjoyable, some moments were better than others. Freshman, Emilee Jacobs said, “it had a lot of energy but some of the energy wasn’t made to move the story along or to help the acting. Sometimes it was a little too overbearing.” This was noticeable when many jokes were met with uncomfortable chuckles.

Overall, the play was done well. Even though not all the jokes and eccentricities were found to be uproariously hilarious by the audience, much of the performance was dedicated to doing Shakespeare’s works in an amusing way, and in that, they succeeded.

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