fringe: shakespeare's waiting room

adelaide fringe: shakespeare's waiting room
Mr William Shakespeare is auditioning some his most famous characters in order to determine who is the most dramatic.

Yes, technically if you think about it too hard the premise doesn't make a lick of sense, but as a framework for the show, it works quite well.

Lady Macbeth, Titania, Bottom, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet all turn up for an audition, perform the most tragic and dramatic sequence for the respective stories and then stick around to snipe at the other characters before, during and after their turns.

The location of this show was both a positive and negative I have to say... it's at Live on 5 at Adelaide Oval, and the stage has been set up looking out over the oval itself. As settings go, not too damn shabby.

However on nights like tonight when it's quite hot, it's not the most pleasant venue, and although there was some amazing reverberation and echo happening partly from the amplification but mostly from the general acoustics of the place, there were points when the actors strayed a little too far from the microphones and were slightly hard to hear (Juliet especially). The planes coming in at various points didn't especially help that either.

The other complaint I have to mention is that this was advertised in the guide as a 90 minute show, but I think it went for just under an hour... so when the play was "over" (I think we may have been waiting for the usual return of the actors to tell us to tell our friends about the show and leave them a review, etc... which didn't happen) nobody left until one of the stage hands came out to tell us it was definitely over.

Costuming is simple but effective, everybody just wears black, modern clothing that still manages to suit their character (especially Lady Macbeth... but then she was always going to be my favourite).

Likewise, the set itself is just the titular waiting room, with a little space on one side for the characters to perform for Mr William.

I can't find anything about the cast of the play, so I'm just going to have to refer to them by their characters...

Unsurprisingly Lady Macbeth was my favourite... she was such a bitch, but in the best possible way. However both Titania and Bottom were excellent also... especially Bottom playing the rather dense fool.

The gold star has to go to the waiting room receptionist though... not just for her amazing facial expressions throughout each and every audition, but also when she gets a chance to really cut loose, she's amazing.

In fact everyone did a great job with the Shakespeare parts of the show, even Romeo and Juliet manage to go from ditzy teens to starcrossed lovers without a hitch.

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