THEATRE ROYAL, NOTTINGHAM until Saturday 22 February 2014
Who would have thought that a piece of literature written some time between 1592 and 1594 by William Shakepspeare would some day feature Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is A Place On Earth", Spandau Ballet's "True" and "The Girl From Ipanema" along with a transvestite prostitute, an over protective nun, a police man straight from the Village People, imaginary Star Wars laser beams, gospel music and a nod to rap music complete with chunky gold chains?
Why use one word when six will do, which is the one thing I remember put me off reading Shakespeare at school, but when you dress the words up in
the colourful action presented by Propeller then comedies such as "Errors" and "Midsummer Night's Dream", which they are also performing this week, become an enjoyable farce, which technically is how they were written!
We have the story of a merchant who is in danger of losing his life, but is spared by the Duke, for as long as he can show that he has found his son, Antipholus, one of twins and his son's servant, Dromio, again one of twins, to the Duke. The merchant though is blissfully unaware that his son and his servant has a twin. And this is where the confusion and errors start, until finally all four servants and sons are united with the merchant, who also finds his lost wife into the bargain. Like the best stories, it all ends up happily ever after.
The setting is 80's style Spain, with the incidental music, played by various members of the cast, bringing a "Benidorm" quality to the proceedings and some of the outrageous characters, Adriana, wife to Antipholus, Luciana, her sister and Aemilia, the Lady Abbess drawing on characters that would not have looked out of place in "The League Of Gentlemen"
If only my Shakespeare introduction at school could have been more like this, then maybe English literature would have held more interest for me back then.
Propeller are a 12 all male theatrical group who perform the works of Shakespeare with a more interesting slant, bringing the rich language of the bard to everyone who enjoy interesting theatre or Shakespeare with a twist.
It's great fun to watch and the cast also provide the interval entertainment as well with their medley of 80's pop tunes in the style that may have even had old Bill Shakespeare tapping a stockinged toe to!