For the 27th run of this Edinburgh Fringe staple, C Theatre have utilised a cast of four to present this contemporary pidgin adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. As always, they have drawn on the bard’s traditional style of malaprops aplenty, as the cast have supposedly mistaken the title to be The Taming of the Shoe. This provides the opportunity for a plethora of shoe based puns which thrill the early morning audience.
Bright, high energy and with enough culture to whet our appetite for the rest the Fringe has to offer.
Audience interaction allows the foursome to extend their cast, providing an immersive experience which sees audience members play the part of suitors and other micro roles. The fusion of Shakespeare’s comedic elements with modernities and colloquialisms such as ‘vibing’, ‘lit’ and plant-based diets serves to make the story more accessible to the masses. Additionally, there is some particular meta genius executed as the story includes a poem from the film Ten Things I Hate About You; a film which is also a modern adaptation of the same classic Shakespearean comedy.
As an early morning, family friendly show, Shakespeare for Breakfast features some cheap and easy wins in terms of laughs and audience satisfaction. However there was also a variety of missed cues, confusion over characters, and moments which were poorly executed which detracted from the plot for a more discerning viewer. And although the cast were utilising a historic masterpiece which would clearly fail the Bechdel Test, it’s disappointing that the modern execution of this didn’t extend to more equal usage of the actors. The character of Hortensio is given the majority of the lines and the majority of the laughs, whilst the others feature far less. In addition, the actor playing Katie is barely seen, despite an outstanding performance on the occasions she does manifest - including a mind-blowing rendition of a song from ‘Grease’ as the showstopper.
Another criticism of the performance was that once the show was finished the audience were held captive for what felt like an age. The actor playing Bianca gave shout outs to four other plays the house was showing and gave us a message on recycling, then we were provided with their various social media handles. This held us in the room for an extra six minutes, at which point the air was palpable with an audience who had enjoyed the show, but wanted to get on with their day.
This is a wonderful start to the day - bright, high energy and with enough culture to whet our appetite for the rest the Fringe has to offer.