Our first impression when seeing Antonio! is that it’s chaotic and hedonistic, a impression that is quickly proven to be correct, but in a gloriously celebratory way.
There’s no doubt that Antonio! is going places
The band, Fools For Love led by Antonio (WIliam Duignan), takes us through the story of Antionio - an amalgamation of William Shakespeare’s heroes (and villains), as he searches for love and acceptance and takes control of the narrative and tells us the true stories behind the classic comedies such as The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing.
Antonio! is a thorough and triumphant analysis of love and what it means and the forms that it can take, using the medium of Shakespeare to challenge his definition of love, and to reclaim a character’ story who seems to have drawn the Bard’s ire. This show gives Shakespeare the Six treatment and seeks to redefine what we know about love. Each song is deeply ingrained in the rock genre, and contains such emotional intensity in its lyrics, that we are almost overwhelmed by the culminative performance that we see onstage. The actor-musicianship is spectacular as each member of the band takes on a role in Antonio’s story, and their energy and joy is barely contained by the venue itself. It uses Shakespeare’s best-known and loved comedies to analyse and teach us about the different forms that love can take, what a healthy relationship can look like and what we ourselves deserve. In doing so it becomes a celebration of queer love and identity, as well as a font of positivity and non-conformism. It’s really inspiring to have healthy messaging that we can take away and apply to our own lives.
There’s no doubt that Antonio! is going places. After all, It’s the cult classic that we all deserve.