Impromptu Shakespeare

Impromptu Shakespeare had all the right ingredients for a good night out, as well as a genuine love for William Shakespeare's language, plays and the characters involved. Using an empty stage, with very quick costume changes, intuitive characterisation and a good sense of fun, Impromptu Shakespeare created a brand new Shakepearian inspired play in front of our eyes.

All the right ingredients for a good night out, as well as a genuine love for William Shakespeare

The way they took the leaping point for the performance was clever in the sense of each audience member being given an orange ping pong ball that had a word written on it that either the Bard himself would have created, or a theme associated with one of his plays. We then when told to had to throw it into the pantaloons of one of the actors and four balls were chosen at random. On this occasion, the words were 'lust', 'a crown', 'twins' and 'revenge' – a good concoction for this show.

What emerged was an insightful way that Shakespeare could be adapted for the modern age. It was clear that everyone involved had a strong background in the techniques of Iambic Pentameter, as well as a thorough understanding of the Bard himself. The way each performer took on the challenge of combining Shakespeare with improvisation would be a mammoth task for most people, but here it seemed despite the occasional lack of performance energy and the head mics swallowing their words at odd moments, Impromptu Shakespeare put their heart into creating an experience that not only created raucous comedy, introduced a new audience to the bard, but also made the impromptu plot easy to follow and engage with each character that evolved. It was particularly hilarious when scenes emerged that involved manipulative priests, as well as a liquor called 'Sack' that brought people back to life even though they were brutally murdered.

From start to finish, Impromptu Shakespeare kept us on our toes and gave us a strong, well-rounded performance that enabled a fresh appreciation of what Shakespeare used to create his work for those who know him, as well as a fun way to get to know the Bard if you didn't know him at all. The shows are different every time, but the experience is one that will never be forgotten and can see this concept growing further on its already well-established reputation.

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Reviews by Sascha Cooper

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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

Hold onto your doublets, ruffs and trunk hose! The Bard is back. With story and verse improvised in the moment, enjoy a riotous new Shakespeare play every time – performed by Impromptu Shakespeare’s whip-smart cast. Packed with wit, heart, and lyrical smarts, this leading ensemble do the Bard proud with a brand-new one-act hit every time. Impromptu Shakespeare have been a smash hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, Bristol Shakespeare Festival, and appeared on BBC Shakespeare Live. “Sublime... side-splittingly hilarious” ***** (Broadway Baby) “Chaotic, riotous fun” ***** (PlaysToSee) “Ingenious and very funny” (Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor)

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