Shakespeare for Breakfast

If ever there was a perfectly matched pair, like a pie and a pint, a horse and cart or Edinburgh and rent-scalping, then surely Shakespeare is now inexorably linked with Breakfast. For it has been 6 years since C Venues have been serving up the Bard with a croissant and coffee at the hangover-challenging hour of 10am.

It is traditional for these events to take a rather liberal view of Shakespeare's original work, and this year is no exception. It's probably fairer to say this franchise is “inspired by” rather than “based on” anything William Shakespeare ever penned, as the plot is set in a forest where the cast of “Carry On Up The Avon” have crashed enroute to their premiere. The melting pot of characters - or possibly more accurately, caricatures - each grotesquely lampoon their roles.

High-brow this is not, and the performances from Gemma Whelas as the ass-fixated Cleopatra, James Witt as the narcissistic King Lear, Sarah Lark as the fame-hungry nurse, Jess Fostekew as Gollum-clone Puck, Sara Pascoe as the timid Hamlet and Alastair Watson as the abrasive Macbeth all sit at the panto end of the theatrical genre. But this is not a criticism.

There's plenty of groan-inducing gags at the expense of Shakespeare's greatest speeches, riddled with anachronistic humour and even a cameo for annual fans of this series. If anything, there's occasionally too many ideas going on at once, and the humour isn't always subtle - but this Fringe stalwart sings when the fourth wall is broken down and the cast acknowledge the audience to parody theatre.

It is for good reason that C have offered us Shakespeare for Breakfast as an annual fixture, and it would be wise to secure your ticket before the show starts selling out.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

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.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

The Bardic Breakfasters are back. The Shakespeare sensation returns for a 16th sell-out year with FREE coffee and croissants! 'Bouncy and boisterous take on Willie's work'

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