Words: Robert Parker-White
Now in its 31st year, Shakespeare for Breakfast is a fringe staple that has been delighting audiences since 1992. This year’s company serve up a delicious rendition of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ alongside their famous croissants and coffee.
The show opens with a fun ditty that rattles off all of Shakespeare’s works before revealing which play they have chosen to riff on this year to audible gasps and whoops from the audience. Shakespeare for Breakfast has achieved a cult following that keeps bringing audiences back year on year.
This is Shakespeare meets Love Island with Titania and Oberon presenting over the squabbling lovers as their contestants. It follows vaguely the same plot with The Mechanicals becoming a keen student improv troupe who wouldn’t be out of place flyering on the Royal Mile.
The concept could easily fall into cliché but Director Kosi Carter keeps it tight, executing laugh-a-minute, knockabout comedy flawlessly. The jokes come thick and fast, tickling us with inventive puns, topical references and glorious bastardisation of some of the Bards greatest lines.
Tomás Barry is a master at physical comedy as the overambitious Bottom, gloriously hamming up his role of Pyramus and transforming into a donkey before our eyes. Clare Louis Roberts spins Hermia as a doe-eyed, manipulative ‘Essex Girl’. Cameron Banks makes a hilarious lovelorn Demetrius, listing off the pitfalls of modern dating and Katie Gourlay completes the group as a gruff, feisty and broad Scot, Peter Quince. If you have a stomach for the early start time, this is a show well worth waking up for (the coffee helps.)
Shakespeare for Breakfast
C Venues, C Aurora