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.

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Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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The Blurb

Antonio! is a queer punk pirate musical starring Shakespeare’s ultimate love interest. With his band The Fools, Antonio expresses the joys, frustrations, and rebellions of queer love in a world that might not have been quite ready for it. Reframed – and reclaimed – as a hopelessly romantic pirate who can’t help falling in love with the wrong men, Antonio! tells the story of how he inspired Shakespeare to write one of the queerest characters in the canon. An original musical by a team of queer artists from NYC and New Zealand.

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