Shakespeare Syndrome is a fun and upbeat show that would especially appeal to people fond of Shakespeare’s work, and light-hearted but well-performed by young, upcoming talent.
A functional knowledge of at least the outlines of the plays is useful to gain full enjoyment, but even to someone less well-versed, who struggles to distinguish their Hamlet from their hamstring, Shakespeare Syndrome is still relatively enjoyable. The actors are young, innovative and talented, committing to their roles and gaining laughs consistently throughout from the relaxed and grinning audience. Overflowing with delightful puns, witty one-liners and visual slapstick moments, Shakespeare Syndrome is cleverly written and charismatically performed by a strong ensemble.
Though light-hearted and enjoyable, the plot is not wildly compelling and the show relies on the moment to moment jokes instead of a grippingly tight narrative to maintain the audience’s attention. Energy seemed to wane somewhat halfway through, before picking up again at the excellent entry of Nick Bottom (Oli Savage), the vainglorious ‘act-or’. Furthermore, although beautifully portrayed and well acted, it is unclear why Olivia from Twelfth Night has wound up as Shakespeare’s receptionist. The ending is a little weak but is redeemed from the moving and powerful epilogue from Puck, based on the gorgeous final monologue of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, highlighting the group’s desire to raise funds for a worthy cause in honour of a lost friend.
The group could have benefitted from a slightly bigger and quieter space within Greenside, as visibility can be somewhat limited from the back of the room, but enjoyable despite spacial restrictions. Shakespeare Syndrome is a fun and upbeat show that would especially appeal to people fond of Shakespeare’s work, and light-hearted but well-performed by young, upcoming talent.