Presented by Soothplayers
Reviewed 25th February 2020
Soothplayers’ Completely Improvised Shakespeare makes its Adelaide Fringe debut this year. The motley troupe endeavours to spontaneously unfold a unique play each night in the manner of the Bard himself. Performers offer an Elizabethan welcome as the audience enters the intimate space of The Parlour. “Well met,” they cry with a merry smile.
Our substitute Shakespeares for the evening are: Melissa McGlensey, Shea Evans, Adam Hembree, Ella Lawry, Dana McMillan, and Ryan Patterson.
They offer a brief introduction and entreat the audience to name that night’s show. On Tuesday, our tale is Lost in Translation. This title inspires a magical comedy, wherein mischievous fairies plague a small Scottish town, making it impossible for the inhabitants to understand one another.
The tangled web of characters both mundane and mythical, of lost loves and dramatic death scenes, were delightfully reminiscent of As You Like It or Midsummer Night’s Dream. Soothplayers’ instincts for comedy and prowess at the “Yes, and” rule of improv are impressive. Playing off each other’s kinetic energy they bring the townsfolk and fairies to life. For example: Seamus, the farmer who only takes life advice from the weather. Together they create running jokes and witty references. Their brave attempts to improvise in iambic pentameter must be commended – Hembree was particularly adept at this.
Soothplayers’ Completely Improvised Shakespeare is mandatory for those who enjoy the works of William Shakespeare, and perhaps do not take themselves too seriously.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Rating (out of 5): 5
Venue: The Parlour – Gluttony, Rymill Park
Season: 25th Feb – 1st Mar 2020
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $22.00 – $30.00